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After my first long(ish) ride on my new Ninja 1000, I wanted to introduce myself and provide my initial impressions.

I am from the Bath/Brunswick area in Maine. I bought my leftover 2011 Black/Red Ninja 1000 for $10,400 OTD from a dealership here in Maine on March 22nd of this year. It has been cold here in Maine but I finally had the chance to go for a long ride.

n1k.jpg

My prior bikes are an 1998 EX-500 and a 2007 SV650/S. The N1k is infinitely more comfortable than the clipons of the SV650. I could never really enjoy that bike purely from the numb hands and cramped leg positioning. After riding 2 hours straight (yeah okay, not the longest ride but about all I could handle in 45-50 degree weather with crappy gloves) , my wrists, hands and knees felt no discomfort. The seat isn't the most comfortable after some saddle time, but it's not as bad as I have heard from posts on this forum. Later on down the road I will likely get another seat, but for now its not completely necessary. There are a couple of distinct riding positions on the Ninja to freshen your back and butt; right up on the tank and back against the rear seat.

The N1K inspires much more confidence in the corners than my SV650 ever did, probably due to the stronger suspension and possibly better OEM tires. I did replace the front springs on the SV but I never did replace the tires (only put 5000 miles on it). I definitely notice the lack of turn-in as some have described on the OEM tires, but it isn't terrible. When I replace my tires I will try the 55 rear tire.

At first, there was a definite WOW factor to the engine compared to the SV, but I am getting more used to it. Granted, I am still on the break-in period so I haven't opened it up past 7 or 8k RPMs and that was only for very brief periods. The N1K has almost twice the horsepower of the SV, so I am sure there is a pleasant surprise in the higher RPMs waiting for be opened up after break-in. Initially I was couldn't see wanting to increase the horsepower with an aftermarket exhaust, but I can see the potential.

Aesthetically, the only 2 things I don't care for on the Ninja are the windshield and the exhaust (which has actually slightly grown on me from my initial impression.) The windshield seems very cheap and looks like it isn't really the right size for the bike. I am hesitant to pick up an aftermarket until further research; I don't want a large gaudy looking screen, but I don't want to lose any wind protection either. The exhaust doesn't look as bad as I originally thought, but they could certainly be improved upon. Maine has cracked down on loud exhausts, so I am a little leery about buying cheap slip-ons such as the V&H Urban Brawlers even though I do enjoy the look for the black ones. The OEM exhaust is loud enough, the V&H would seem obnoxiously loud. I don't have the funds to buy a full set of Akropovics at the moment, but I can't imagine they would be all that quiet, either.

Overall I am very happy with the bike. It sucks to be stuck in a loan on a bike you don't enjoy riding, but I don't think I will ever have that problem with this bike.
 

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Congrats and welcome to the club. The Ninja is a fine motorcyle. You could leave it completely stock and it would be just fine. I did a 6 hundred mile day on the stock seat. It definitely can be better but it's not terrible. My Akrapovic exhaust with the inserts in place is barely louder than stock.
 

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very nice motorcycle you got there!!
 

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Welcome. There are a number of real fanatics here who have done good stuff to fix what they don't like about the bike. I learned a lot in a short time.
 

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Welcome! I see you got the fast color. Good choice. :)

There are a couple long windshield threads you should read through. Good info there. A couple seat threads too. As mentioned, the bike is great in stock form but who keeps anything stock? That's just wrong...
 

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Hi Debremus,

Thanks a lot for the description. I returned my 2009 650R to the dealership a few weeks ago and I am awaiting delivery of a new Ninja 1000 in a few days. I can't wait to ride it for the first time!

I am a little apprehensive of the bike's power and trying to shake that off. How easy was the adaptation to the N1K's power, did you ever feel overwhelmed by the machine? One person here on the forum reported involuntary wheelies on the way back from the dealership with his new bike, did you experience any of that? Is throttle control for people coming from significantly less powerful bikes like you and me a problem or has this just been blown out of proportion in your opinion?

Thanks,

Pascal
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Debremus,

Thanks a lot for the description. I returned my 2009 650R to the dealership a few weeks ago and I am awaiting delivery of a new Ninja 1000 in a few days. I can't wait to ride it for the first time!

I am a little apprehensive of the bike's power and trying to shake that off. How easy was the adaptation to the N1K's power, did you ever feel overwhelmed by the machine? One person here on the forum reported involuntary wheelies on the way back from the dealership with his new bike, did you experience any of that? Is throttle control for people coming from significantly less powerful bikes like you and me a problem or has this just been blown out of proportion in your opinion?

Thanks,

Pascal
Don't worry yourself about the power. As long as you aren't wringing out everything she has in first, you are not going to feel overwhelmed. Obviously you will start out more cautious and slow on the clutch and throttle, that is only natural. Unless you are a total dub, I don't see how involuntary wheelies can happen. I still have yet to ever do a wheelie on any bike. I'll admit, I'm afraid of how it will feel and how the landing feels. I only wish I did a wheelie on my old EX500 that I bought for chump change, so I knew how it felt just in case.

You will absolutely love the Ninja. Just respect the power. Once you get to the higher gears you can safely start to play with faster and faster acceleration. I can't imagine going 8+ RPMS in first gear though, that's for sure.

So yeah, don't worry yourself over it. It has plenty of power when you want it, but with good throttle control you will be all set. I wouldn't ever, however, recommend this bike to a newbie. It's far too easy to get yourself in trouble if you don't have good clutch/throttle control down. But that comes very quickly with any amount of riding experience. Enjoy it Pascal, you will love it I'm sure.
 

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What debremus said. You have to try pretty hard to do a wheelie. Unless you are doing full throttle launches, it won't be a problem. You just need to be careful not to grab a handful of throttle at the wrong time cuz this thing does squirt pretty good.
 

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Yeah, the N1K (and I assume the Z1) are tuned to be very street-friendly with no surprises in the power curve. You won't get into trouble unless you're really clumsy with the go-grip.
 

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Thanks all for the replies. I just got news that my new bike has arrived at the dealership, I`ll go pick it up tomorrow.
 

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When I first rode my Ninja the first thing I noticed was how sensitive the throttle was compared to my old bike. The low gearing made it seem doubly so. But it took no time at all to get used to it.

These bikes are really docile if you don't ring them out. If you do, that's where you'll get your next surprise. The power doesn't come in hard at all so it's deceiving how fast they are. But if you ride it like a cruiser or a commuter bike you'll never notice it.
 

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I did an accidental wheelie on my Z1K on my maiden voyage... I previously had a 2001 Katana 600 that was heavy and slow and I was used to blasting past people by dropping to 2nd and nailing the throttle - Katana won't wheelie. Did the same move to pass someone on the Z and suddenly the bars were very light and the tank was touching my chest... so don't do that and you'll be fine!
 
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