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Shopping for a 2014 Ninja 1000? Me Too!

5715 Views 21 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  troydba
On my quest to purchase a Ninja 1000 I've read just about every review there is and torn through multiple forums. This is what I've learned so far. Hopefully owners can chime in with their own anecdotes or corrections. Again this info I've gathered is based on reviews and forum perusal...

We've know about the updates so its of little use to dive into the 3 different TC settings or the dual mode power settings. We also know about standard ABS.


  • 1,043cc I4 is good as ever. Smooth and silently powerful, I've heard that its simply a slight hum (or what it seems to be ;)) all the way through the rev band
  • Power is linear and easy to use, shifts like a dream in typical Kawasaki fashion
  • Midrange is where the meat is, perfect for street riding
  • Higher speed cornering it flat, stable and predictable
  • Ergonomics are satisfying for a litre bike, much more standard than sport bike positioning.
  • Traction control can be defeated


  • I've read that the LCD readout can be prone to glare which can sometimes manifest potentially distracting reflections
  • No gear indicators
  • No ambient temperature gauge
  • Some test pilots have felt that the airflow direct too much air at the bottom half of their helmets making longer rides taxing on the ears, this is subjective of course
  • Longer tail geometry makes N1K a little reluctant at low speeds

Guys please feel to add, debate or outright discredit anything I've said here. Again, just a collection of common observations I've noted while doing my due diligence. Hopefully this thread will be not only of use to me but to many of the other shoppers I know are lurking about ;)
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No motorcycle is perfect.This one is close. Your cons are all what some M/C journalist came up with. How bout the test that said to put 20 clicks of spring preload in to it that would make it like a rigid frame.
Blue, the Ninja 1000 comes alive with a good set of tires. Gear indicator? I cam efrom the dirt world and we never had them...

Outside Temp gauge? Usuall I just feel if its too cold, or too hot to ride. For me, thats abotu as important as it is on the radio stations when they tell me what time it is.

The stock windshield itself is not bad. There are ten to twenty different choices out there if you like something else. The puig is very good and has smoother flow.
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Out of my current bikes, except for the seat, this is the best all around bike i have.
Every time I ride my 14 N1K I love it even more, Body position, power, handling and finally the looks of this bike. The only draw back I see is the colors, Green and Blue for the US market, are you kidding me? Why didn't we get choices like black or silver?
I like the way the bike looks without the hard bag brackets of the previous years. That was a prime reason why I got the '14. I negotiated the bags as part of my deal & really like the ease of on/off. A full face helmet does fit in both.
No motorcycle is perfect.This one is close. Your cons are all what some M/C journalist came up with. How bout the test that said to put 20 clicks of spring preload in to it that would make it like a rigid frame.
prefaced that in the OP, reason for asking y'all to chime in. Cheers :D
You can upgrade the windshield to your tastes for about $100.

Honestly, I don't understand your final con.
The Ninja 1000 is extremely nimble based on geometry.

23.5 degree / 4.0 inch --> ZX-6R
25.0 degree / 4.2 inch --> ZX-10R
24.5 degree / 4.0 inch --> Ninja 1000 ABS

Based purely on the rake/trail values above, the Ninja 1000 should be better at low speed and a little less stable than the ZX-10R at very high speed.

Considering the sport-tour target of this bike, I think Kawasaki did an amazing job of balancing turning quickness and stability at high speed.

Opinions, facts and figures aside...All I can say is I love my Ninja 1000 and am really glad I bought it!

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Returning to the fold!

Back on a bike for the first time in a while; my last one was a ZX9R-E1, great bike and superb ride. The Ninja "thou" (2013 model) was an obvious choice but did check out others like the FZ-1. Glad I went for the Ninja - great handling, smooth engine and all-round fantastic ride! It's feckin' great!!!

I'm an English rider now living in Orange County, SoCal, and loving the riding weather!
OCBrit: Congratulations!

Great Bike and Great Location! Come on out to Colorado this summer when it gets hot in Cali and I'll show you some beautiful mountain twisties!

I was going to wait until next year but I don't think I can wait any longer this bike from all accounts seems to perfect and I still want one after looking at them for 3 years. I would bet kawi is hitting a home run with the 1000 its really the first bike in ten years that I can't get out of my head. Im 46 and not prone to impulse buys (been driving the same truck for twenty years) and this is the first thing on two or four wheels that has sold me on looks,performance and every review i have read from owners. For long term ownership and satisfaction it seems like a home run.
So why is it not in my garage- Color- love both the blue and the green but am concerned if I ever grow up I will dislike the green machine. Candy blue might be the best long term for me, ridiculous I'm hung up on this small detail.
ken: I too was not impressed with the color selection. I thought the green was neat but that at 49 I felt I was about 20 years past it. LOL! I went with the blue and it has really grown on me. It looks better on the street than in the show room. Really quite nice in my opinion.

Life is short and unpredictable.
My advice to you is DO NOT WAIT!
You will lose another year of ENJOYMENT!

Go for it if you can...You won't be sorry! :)
Everybody raves about blue(maybe because it's rare and unique). If you wanna be the green hornet, go for it.

Scientists tell us that age is an issue of mind over matter...if you don't mind, it don't matter.

Worse case scenario, if you don't like it, sell it or trade it in. Best case, if you love it, you will kick yourself for not getting it sooner.

What do I know, I have the 2011 red/black.
The Red/Black is by far my favorite on the 1000 just beautiful I hope they fired who ever eliminated that selection.
Saw them both in the showroom the blue is it, no question one final insurance check and I'm going to get one.
I looked at all the videos, read the reviews. I finally persuaded the local dealer to service up their one example and let me ride it.
I only had a few issues:

(1) The stock windshield needs to give better weather protection if they intend to sell it as a touring bike.

(2) No heated grips. I like heated grips. I've had them on my previous bike and they're a nice feature.

(3) cost of insurance. I had three quotes pushing $1500 a year. That's a deal breaker for me.

(1) & (2) are fixable. The V-Stream windshield will probably fix the airflow problem, and Kawasaki actually has a heated grip kit, although I don't know what it costs or how much trouble it is to install. (3) The insurance. I found good coverage with Dairyland under 500 per year.
So.... The dealer has some guys across town setting up a blue one for me.
Should have it by the end of next week.
Yee haaa !!!
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Airman: Congratulations! 2 Suggestions when you get your new bike.
1. After riding it awhile you may (maybe not) notice the seat tends to slide you forward into the tank and that the edges are hard on the inner thighs at stop lights, etc. (depends on leg length probably). I replaced the stock seat with a Sargent was amazed at the difference in comfort - for me anyways.
2. Take some time to get your suspension setup. Setting the front and rear sag for your weight and intended purpose ( 1-up, 2-up, very sporty/track days) and adjusting the damping will have a HUGE impact on how the bike steers, handles and feels. Most dealers and mechanics are clueless about this, so don't be surprised LOL!

Enjoy! You made a great decision in my opinion!

Thanks. I had heard that about the seat having hard edges. I'm going on a 1500 mile ride in July, so I'll find out. =)

I'm also clueless about suspension adustment. Most people I've met either think they know and don't, or consider it a black art and chose to ignore it. I do have a friend who's a hard edged sport biker, and who also just may know something about suspension. I can hope at least.

I am going to order the V-Stream windshield at least. I live in the Seattle area and can depend on some rain nine months out of the twelve. The stock windshield isn't too bad for airflow at 60 or below, like I did on my test ride, but I could see that above that the turbulence on the upper body increases a lot. I'll do the shake down in July and see if there's any need for new seats, bar risers, peg lowering and the like.
Right now I just want to get it in the garage !!
For some Great Suspension Info, Check out chapter 15 of the book "Total Control Performance Street Techniques" by Lee Parks ( you can get it for less than $20 from amazon ):

Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques: Lee Parks: 9780760314036: Amazon.com: Books

Hope your garage gets a new tenant soon!
Suspension Set-up

We should have a separate thread for this but:

Did someone write that they were charged $55 for suspension set up?

Rebound, sag and dampening. How long does it take?
Guys..handling. It snot the base geometry at all, its the set up. Kawasaki tends to set all their bikes up liek dragsters for stability. When the rear is soft, and the front firm, you have sharp base geometry that goes away when you sit on the bike.

Most everyone likes a 190/55 rear tire, for its added height, vs the stock 190/50. Since you 14 owners have that adjustable rear preload, give it a few turns, stiffer and see if you dont liek it more.

You wont be using rear peload for its intended purpose, but its all you got, right now.
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