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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,
Well this faired Ninja is so different to my Naked GSX-S1K in so many ways. Straight up, I've only done 218 km by today, and that's just been a long test drive in reality.

The bike feels and rides like my 2016 Honda VFR1200F with the exception of the V4 soundtrack. So very prim and precise, like an English Rose where the GSX-S is more rough and workman like. No throaty induction sound in the air box, but I am limited in running in revs to no more than 4,000 for the first 350 km. Then 6K to 600 km.
So different from Suzuki's instructions of not exceeding 6000 rpm initially. That mean's I am constantly changing gear like a car with a CVT transmission.

The motor is torquey enough, so I short change up from first to third to fifth or six. The RBW tuning is spot on, constant linear power delivery at least to 4K. 4K in 6th = 93kmh.
Zero jerkiness nor snatch in the throttle so far (a new chain helps with this) and fuel cut on deceleration, I haven't noticed any sign of that, just smooth carby like engine braking.

I get the feeling that Euro 5 has not done any favour's to the engine's exhaust. The only noise I hear is wind noise swirling under the helmet.
That's where the 4 way adjustable windscreen dumps it on the most raked down position, and angling it up doesn't make much if any difference.
My 2017 V Strom 1000 is closer in a few ways to this Ninja 1000 than the GSX-S1000.

The Ninja has a suspension that is like riding on pillows of air.The spring rate is just like the VS had.
Where the GSX-S felt it had spring rates made for a track, this Ninja rides like it could comfortably tour off the bitumen road as per the V strom does on dirt roads.
I've got one road I ride that's well tarred, but is full of lumps and dips. The GSX-S had to be ridden carefully on parts in the turns, the Ninja just sails over them without a care in the World. The front and back suspension's are well matched, and this rear shock with remote adjuster certainly won't be going in the bin (sorry, Cain).

I can foresee the same personal issue for me when I had the 2016 GSX-S in the garage with the VFR1200F. The VFR was too refined, too well made for it's own good.
The GSX-S put a smile on the dial with every ride, where the VFR just became transport. The VFR had far better suspension, a more powerful motor, but felt sterile and sanitised of emotion in comparison.
My plan initially, was keep the 2019 GSX-S1000 for a while longer than sell it as is happening now.
I originally placed an order for a 2020 Gloss Black Suzuki SV650X to be a garage mate to the GSX-S1000.

But not to be, Suzuki Au while still showing it on the web as available even today, have sold all stock in their Warehouse, and they quoted Dealers having no stock either.
Down to COVID I was told. Motorbike sales, new and used, are going well here in Australia.

Worse still, the SV650X version will not be restocked as the earlier Black/Silver one's were a sales flop here, and only a few 20's were brought into Australia under their future ordered Contract, and they just flew out the door as you get an improved braking package with this 2020 one.
So my decision on the fly was get this Ninja 1000 (my second choice) and lose the GSX-S as I didn't want to repeat the GSX-S vs VFR experience again.

In hindsight, today I think I would have been ordering a Kawasaki Z900 RS Cafe as It's more like the GSX-S physically in size, but from my ride on the Z900RS standard bike, it would have been a tame ride too. To me at this stage, both the Z and Ninja lacked and lack the 2 booster rocket feel of the GSX-S above 3,500 rpm - I miss that rawness in the Ninja for now at least. Kawasaki, has gone to extreme lengths to eliminate vibrations on the Ninja. Lumps of steel hanging of behind the riders rear sets bash plates for instance.

I was amazed when I took off the pillion seat. No plastic there, an all die cast aluminum plate used a bracing where Suzuki would have use black plastic for the inner liner with a steel plate or tube to brace the side rails. The tool kit is minuscule, the usual 2 piece screwdriver, 1 Allen key and the black PVC pouch. That's it.
The last Kawa (ZX6R) I had in 1996 gave you a pencil type tyre pressure gauge.

What is raw, is the so called 'Comfort' seat fitted as stock. I know it's the comfort accessory one (now fitted as stock) as it branded into the foam with COM in two places.
It's hard as granite, and is uncomfortable after 15 minutes. This seat has 20 mm more foam than the lower old year models, so that one will keep Corbin/Sargeants in the black.

Funny, it's the same seat height as the V Strom, 835 mm. It's too high, even though I can place both feet flat on the deck.
This higher seat does not make the bike feel as a Sports Tourer should.
There's now too much down pressure through Riders trunk onto the bars - it has a GSX-R feel to it.
There's an accessory windshield available that's 25mm higher (to match the higher seat, I guess), but I am thinking Kawa Au did not order it as stock, further enhancing the racer look.

The clutch feel is a lot easier to pull in than the GSX-S (about 1/2 the effort), but I find it more difficult to use, as I so far struggle adapt to the invisible bite point.
While I haven't stalled it like a Learner yet, I don't trust it to lane filter between cars. There's no Suzuki rev up as you let the clutch out feature for us Green Newbies

The TFT dash speedo head is a work of art out of the smart phone factory. So many 'gimmicky' features to wow the Buyer that you really won't bother to use after a period of time.
Like do you really need to see displayed lean angles left and right going around a corner ? I've seen 30 deg so far recorded. Keep your eyes on the road, perhaps?

You have a choice to 2 screens, the fairly standard type 1, but the type 2 is for the Racer types.
It has coloured bands that show how much the throttle bodies are wound open, and another little graph showing how much front brake pressure you are applying, both in real time.
Then there's also on Type 2 a little drawing of the bike, showing how much accelerating and braking your doing in real time, as per MotoGP.
I think the software was lifted straight of the Kawasaki Race bike Z1000. I am sure it would be of added benefit to have real time tyre air sensors fitted over some of this stuff.

I've joined the Ninja 1000 Forum ( Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum) with my S & S, but my Introduction post has not appeared as yet.
It seems a quieter place than here with regards to posting activity.

Rob.
 

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Thanks for the detailed first impressions Rob. I've also toyed with replacing the gsxs with a slightly more sedate tourer style bike but my riding has changed from commute to a fun get around bike. I'm not ready to give up the 50 ponies to a vstrom just yet. There's also little to gain with my premium suspension, seat and other accessories fitted.
There's a reason why those sv650 are always out of stock, such a great little package.
Hope to hear more from you as you discover what your new bike has to offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It sounds like your in love:love:
I am still in love with the GSX-S1000, Jeff.

Done 400 km on the Ninja now.
I think the F and the Ninja would do a similar role for a few people here, but the the GSX-S would be the extrovert bike type where the Ninja is more for the more introverted bike. (not intentionally disparaging anyone riding an F here)
The two bikes are poles apart in character Iam trying to say, one rowdy the other the silent type. Both achieving the same task, but from different directions.

Just bought some Black Ninja clothes and cutting and filing away to make some steel Ninja flying stars, but I am to old to jump backwards up into the ceiling manhole (lol):
.jpg

Rob.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was going to mention Old Mate Shintaro in my post above yours Jeff, but I thought it would be lost on the American audience here.
We Aussie Kids all wanted to flick those Ninja stars into tree's, didn't we ?
Remember Monkey Magic ? Another great Japanese Kids show that had a subtle deeper meaning.

Rob.
 

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Thanks for the writeup, especially the details on the Ninja 1000. I too am considering replacing my Gixxus with a Ninja 1000, mainly to get the integrated hard cases. Did you get those? Also, did you get the quickshifter?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the writeup, especially the details on the Ninja 1000. I too am considering replacing my Gixxus with a Ninja 1000, mainly to get the integrated hard cases. Did you get those? Also, did you get the quickshifter?
No to the cases.
The quickshifter (in Aust anyway) is fitted as stock to the SX & SX SE. Works OK, but there's built in no auto blipper, you have to do that action yourself.
The gearbox is light as, I've had 2 shifts happen going down in gear for the one action if I keep the gear lever kicked up too long.

Rob.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a 2,200 km update on the Ninja 1000.
Hopefully I won't repeat too much what I have said at the top opener.

There's little comparison between the GSX-S and Ninja 1000 (N1K). I think now they are very different bikes. You know what the GSX-S is, and would be the same in F variant as with my Naked.
I've developed a love/hate relationship with the N1K, so some day's it's great, others it just a bike unsuited for me.

The reality is it's a bike built by a Committee with Marketing the Leader over Engineering. Passion ? What's that ? - go see the Italians and Ducati. Were Japanese.
The result is a camel of a bike that succeeds depending on your own wants and if there been fulfilled. If you loved the Honda VFR 750/800/1000 concept, you'll like the N1K.
Straight up, it's a very soft ZX10R/GSX-R sort of bike. Too heavy for a R and too uncomfortable for a Tourer.

If the weather is good, I can ride it like a 600/750/1000 R type, because the seat is too high up on the rear sub frame and rear sets too far back.
I expect this is to fit panniers to market it as a sporting Gold Wing which it is not.
The bars are lifted up above the tank height, but they are still too low for me. There's always weight on the hand grips. There's no real slack to lift up the bar mounts, just like the GSX-S.

Suspension is a smooth as a 50 year old Malt Whiskey, but the trade off is lack of any feel what the front end is doing. It never goes bad, but unlike the GSX-S where every ripple is transmitted to the bars, with such loving care; the N1K just deletes that feedback. The Kwaka suspension will not toss you out of the saddle or bounce you up at the bars over bumps. Marketing said No to that foolishness.
Back to the suspension again,ALL the adjusters are very progressive - a little goes a very long way. Stock setting are very close to ideal.

I gave the forks a few degrees of extra preload to steady the front bobbing over bumps (same with GSX-S), a smidge of rebound and a small amount of more compression.
I was surprised to see compression adjustment is only available for the right fork leg. The previous model there was feedback that the forks were too hard, so Kwawa for this model (2020/2021) removed some -well I put it back, so there, you riders in Olkahoma on your concrete freeways !

The fuel average is a stuck 4.9L/100 KM, but the 19 L tank for me has a range of 260 KM before the last of 5 fuel segments flashes. I expect 300 KM would be the safe max range.
The gauge is linear, but She always like a good drink at the servo, it seems like I am always filling it up, but I have ridden it a lot almost every second day since new.
The L/100 KM agree's with the Ododmeter and servo fuel pump, but it's good knowing that an Arab Prince's Family is benefiting too. No shale oil in Australia.

For me today, the bike's ergo's mean I have revisited R Land, not the more relaxed Roadster Land of the GSX-S.
I didn't want this bike as a first choice, the Z900 Naked was, but I didn't go that way as I knew in my waters it was not going to be a good choice after a beaut GSX-S1000.

The Z900 has a lot of the GSX-S characteristics, induction air roar, heavier suspension, more race directed, but in a roadster frame. AND cheap too.
The N1K is a magic carpet on 2 wheels. It's neither fish nor foul.
Unfortunately, not every bike series has demo's on offer, but we are better off the the USA. I just had a sit on N1K months before I got it, no test ride.

Last week, I sat on a ZX10R in the shop, and no way could I ride one now - the bars, why are they so low - better still, why am I so old for it, Sonny ?
Sat on a Z900RS Cafe there alongside, the ergo triangle fell much the same as the N1K. As it's a demo, I hope to have a test ride on it soon if it's not sold before hand.

The paint, at least the gloss Black is soft, it marks easily. Contact with good quality riding denim on the side panel paint around the knee is a sure fire matte maker, and the bike should not be ridden from new without a tank protector as the trouser fly area will rub into the paint finish very quickly.

That's about it, the rooms run out of oxygen. I expect the N1K to move on mid next year, it's not a keeper.

With the GSX-S just now sold, I am cashed up at the Bank; I am thinking of the 2021 Suzuki V Strom 650 to sit next to the N1K. I had demo ride a few months back and it was sweet as.
I think one of three colour's we get for 2021, the white gloss tank with yellow & black flashes, those yellow anodised spoked wheels looks very attractive to my eye.
But the fly in the soup, is the screen. I's always the screen with faired bikes.

I am hoping Suzuki will drop that matte black only colour offered from the SV650 for 2021, as that too is a bike that I would like to revisit.
It looks like our 2021 Z900 has also been afflicted with matte black disease as well. On both colour of frames, who said you can't have too much of the same thing (Spare Parts Dept, that's who)?

Rob.
 

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Thanks for the feedback after some miles on it. Like you alluded to, the right bike is the one that meets the needs for the purpose you have it for.

For me, my bike is a weekend mostly toy that I ride to give me the enjoyment and thrill I seek now and then. It can also loaf & cruise around no problem but when the little devil on my shoulder goads me on it's all smiles!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My Short Test Ride of the Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe (8 KM),

I took the opportunity to ride a brand new zero KM bike today for a very short spin.
Well, it's different again from the Z900RS old school Roadster that I rode a few months back.
The ride triangle is OK for old Fella's like me - I could ride it all day. The pipe handle bars have just the right set in them. The Mummy Bear position between too low, too high, or the wrong bend for the hands.
The Cafe screen was no better or worse than what I have now from the Ninja 1000 SX, and at our most common open road 100KPH speed limit was perfectly acceptable for me.
Seat shape is different to the standard Roadster, but is more rounded, as in a round loaf of bread. The pegs are a reasonable lower height. So basically, a relaxed ride, more so that the GSX-S or N1K.

The Cafe screen makes the standard look like it's missing a lot of something that pulls the front view together as a practical open road high miles Tourer.
The bum on seat placement is still vague as there's no sitting in a bucket feel about it, but it's a lot preferable than the standard Roadsters very straight and flat plank.
The seat has about 25 mm of gap between the family jewels and about the same behind from the bump stop of the pillion place. Very roomy for the larger Adult frame.

The suspension is very wanting, that's the downside.
The front end is fully adjustable and feels composed and very stable. Compressing the forks via the handlebar feels there is enough compression and rebound as stock.
The Cafe has more compression than the Standard Roadster ex Factory set up.
The rear shock won't please though. Like the GSX-S1000, there's way tooooo much compression and of course, that's nonadjustable.

A very Budget shock as per the lower price point, is the Fly in the Soup here.
The sag's feels right, and there's about three unused threads for slackening off the turns of the damper spring locked preload castellated lock nuts.

I think lowering the shock preload will spoil the ride every where on more good roads. 1,000+ miles could see it bed in and become a lot better before any swapping it for an Ohlins escape route.
It's competition is the Suzuki GSX-S750, and that had an over compression of the damper too.
Price paid for low investment in R & D of budget bikes, and makes dearer bikes appear to worth their higher price point and it certainly wouldn't do to lose that sale by the cheap one being just as good or better. Any Marketing Dept would never let that happen.

The bike's engine is quite punchy with lots of low torque between 3 and 4.000 RPM and a strong pull north of that. I didn't go above 5,000 as it was brand spanking new.
The air intake sounded OK, but it isn't built to make a loud intake growl like the Z900 Naked Sports is said to be. I presume this bike is Euro 5, but could be still a 4; don't know which.
The seat is bolted in place, I could not see any keyed lock.

Throttle is by cable, (not ride by wire as the N1K). It has a mild gap between On /Off and back ON. I would NOT call it a snatchy as per the 2016 GSX-S, but is something that you quickly ride around.
The hand grip slack was properly set up in Pre Delivery of the bike, so that was not a fiddle fix. The clutch action was fine and smooth engagement and quite light as per Kwaka's are now.
No heat from the motor, and it's a modest engine in HP anyway; the radiator depth would be between 250 to 300 mm (10 -12 ").

The Cafe in lime green is quite the part - the black chrome on the mud guard to the forks looks a lot better than the bright chrome on the standard, and Cafe fairing shield the instruments from the overhead sun glare too. Removing the fairing to convert the Cafe bike to the Standard looks at first glace not to be just unbolting it. The bracing sub frame looks like it's welded in places to the mounts.

I must say that the N1K feels very up market than the Z900RS series and well worth the extra thousands of $$$.
The Z900 is an affordable stepping stone model from the 600 class of bikes OR great second bike if you did a commuting journey and wanted to spare the 'good' bike for the weekends.
I wouldn't knock it just over that shock, that's fixable of course, (but unfortunately the great Suzuki stock GSX-1K damper won't fit - **** it, said my Old Mate Cain!).:LOL:

Rob.
 

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Nice write up. I've resisted the urge to test ride anything, I have too many expensive hobbies as it is. I will live vicariously through your experiences.
That suzuki shock wouldn't even make a decent anchor. After fitting the Wilbers I threw it in the garbage, it's not worth trying to sell.
 
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