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Discussion Starter #1
So I am narrowing down my choices. Obviously pre 2014 bikes do not have traction control. Can someone explain to me how it works and what it feels like. On my 2011 I never felt like I needed traction control- although I am probably one of the larger riders out there-6'3 240lbs. Lot of weight on the rear tire. I never drag race i.e. smoke the tires.
 

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I have not ridden an older model than mine. I own a 2014 with abs and of course the traction control features. The three settings are labeled 1, 2, & 3, 1 being the normal setting and least intrusive, 3 pretty much being rain mode. Honestly, 1 and 2 I can't tell a difference. I will say they keep the front wheel on the ground under heavy throttle. When the rain starts coming down, I'll put it on 3, but honestly I'm comfortable enough riding in the rain that I don't test the limits of the traction control. Now I will say that the two power modes are noticeably different. Low power mode has plenty of power when cruising or even hitting the corners, but when riding in low power awhile and then switching back to full, it is sharper and comes on stronger. Plus it doesn't feel like it gives out near the top end. I hope this helps.
 

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I think it is more useful for bigger riders to be honest. You have 3 settings and off for the TC (traction control). Then you have basically rain and normal mode for the power settings.

With the TC set to off, it will wheelie and potentially flip over backwards. Starting with setting 1 and progressing to 3, it gets progressively more "invasive" so to speak. With it set to 1, it will wheelie but it is limited to about a foot off the ground on my bike. You can get some wheelspin as well but when it becomes significant, it dials back the power and does it pretty quickly. Just for the heck of it, I did a pretty hard launch and in setting 1 it kept if from flipping over but I was prepared just in case.

For the power mode, it reduced the power to about 70% of peak AND softens the throttle response a bit as well. Even at 70% the bike will easily outrun most cars on the road. I have found slightly better fuel economy in the "rain" mode. The bike will still easily go over 100 mph. You think like you are riding maybe a 600 or 750 instead of a liter bike.

Most of the time, I am running full power and TC in 1. I have used rain w/TC setting 3 on some particularly slick conditions (think a lot of mud on the road). Think of TC as like ABS, you may not need it all the time but can be very nice to have when you do need it.

One other plus is you get the new computer readouts for instant & avg mpg as well as the range (DTE - distance to empty). I use the range setting a lot as it is pretty close to being accurate though a bit optimistic. Much more detail to see 30 miles left on the tank than one bar that has been flashing for 15 min...

The ABS is on fulltime and can't easily be defeated. The brakes are amazing though on the 2014+ models. Ok, I should qualify that, my rear brake sucks but the front is amazing. Most of the time though the engine braking is about as much as it can handle without locking up anyway (on the stock POS tires). I have to REALLY jam on the rear brake to even remotely approach rear wheel lockup.

Hope this helps. I'd say go for the newer model to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help guys! So it accomplished by limiting the amount of power to the rear wheel. Almost seems a little silly. I thought it was something similar to what happens when the wheel breaks traction and the clutch would slip. Almost like the opposite of abs in a car.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The ABS is on fulltime and can't easily be defeated. The brakes are amazing though on the 2014+ models. Ok, I should qualify that, my rear brake sucks but the front is amazing. Most of the time though the engine braking is about as much as it can handle without locking up anyway (on the stock POS tires). I have to REALLY jam on the rear brake to even remotely approach rear wheel lockup.
I remember this from 2011. The engine worked almost as well as my rear brake, but the front was excellent.
 

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I noticed a difference between my 12 Ninja 1000 and my 14 in downshifting... occasionally I would downshift on the 12 and the rear wheel would skid a bit. Not a problem really as I got used to it but on the 14 it doesn't skid even during aggressive downshifting.
 

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I think you want the newer bike. I already own an older model and am not really interested in "upgrading", but if I were buying today, there would be no question as to which model I'd buy.

The fueling is better, the front brakes are better and suspension settings are upgraded. You'll get all this for just a bit more money, and its an improved bike.
 

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It all depends on the type of riding you do I haven't had any need for the TC so far and I'm only about 160-170lbs (depending on the time of the year :D ).

I think ABS is much more useful since you never know when you'll need that emergency stop or will brake on a slick surface. That said, I haven't had the ABS kick in either :)

So, in short, the TC would not be my decision point to pick up a newer bike. Some other features (like the upgraded side bags or amazing brakes) may be more interesting.
 
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