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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

In my attempt to get a test ride on a 2014 or 2015 Ninja 1000, which so far has been pretty much unavailable here in Houston, I found a BMW dealer that has a 2013 Ninja 1000 and took a test ride on it and then also a 2007, 2009, and 2015 R1200GS and a 2015 S1000XR.

What I noticed immediately was the difference in effort required to turn as well as do really tight circles, figure 8's, and weaving. The BMW's, I rode were easier and a lot more nimble...especially the S1000XR. I could turn really tight and lean in with ease on that bike. My question is why is that? What makes a bike turn easy or be nimble? Maybe it is not fair to compare a sport bike with an adventure type bike, but I was just wondering what is the difference? I did not take note of the tire brands on the bikes. Are all sport bikes like that? Generally require more effort to turn due to some type of geometry issue?

I was told by a long time FJR rider that she test rode a Yamaha Tenere, a similar bike to the BMW's, and could not believe how nimble it was and easy to turn compared to her FJR btw.

Also, the up down with auto blipping quick shifter on the S1000XR was a blast as an added note.
 

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There are many factors that influence the steering effort required. Things you dont have much control over, like rake and trail, or things you do , like tire choice.

You could blame rake and trail, but the BMW has a more relaxed fork angle, more trail and longer wheel base. On paper, it should steer slower, with more effort....so, so much for numbers.

The ninja 1000 is VERY sensitive to front tires. If that 13 has a worn, stock tire, that would explain a lot of the issue. Modern bikes need good tires to feel right.

In this specific case, I would first blame tires. Second, the BMW has a wide handlebar. This would also decrease effort. Id also be curious as to how much weight the BMW carries up front. My guess would be less..as in something like 48% front/52% rear...while the ninja is probably closer to 50/50.

The stock ninja 1000 is not a great handling bike. It really needs the 190/55 series rear tire. A longer shock helps even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"The stock ninja 1000 is not a great handling bike. It really needs the 190/55 series rear tire. A longer shock helps even more."

Thanks. I am wondering how a back tire helps the front end on turns and curves? Seems like the front would be more important, but I am not knowledgeable about how a suspension works.
 

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THose bikes all have a higher COG which helps with tip in as they "fall" easier. Also as mentioned the XR has a lighter front end. Those wide bars also provide allot of leverage and negate the need for much weight shift which lends to quicker flicking, whereas the Ninja requires a degree of weight shift and a more pronounced counter steering effort which can slow you down if you're not used to riding that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good info Rock. Thanks. That also would explain what I experienced. Those bikes definitely fell easier into corners. And I am not used to riding that way. I am sure I could adapt. I understand counter steering. Would have to work on the weight shift.
 

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"The stock ninja 1000 is not a great handling bike. It really needs the 190/55 series rear tire. A longer shock helps even more."

Thanks. I am wondering how a back tire helps the front end on turns and curves? Seems like the front would be more important, but I am not knowledgeable about how a suspension works.

Dry. lol, and join the club. About the time you think you know....

The taller rear tire makes the fork angle steeper, as well as placing a little more weight up front.

Thats nice, but not amazing unless the front tire is good, too.

Huge difference in how my ninja steered based on the front tire. A sport oriented tire is more triangle shaped, a touring tire more round.
 
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