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Discussion Starter #1
Just got a brand new 2018. It is much smoother it than the 2012. Guess 30,000 miles will take its toll on a bike.
Seems like there is nothing that is competitive with the Ninja 1000. Test rode FJR, Versys 1000, and BMW R1200RS - they just are not as nimble or quick.
 

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I pretty much agree. And looking through mags and on-line, it seems the N1k gets slighted all the time. Local dealers too.

The only other bike I'd consider is the FJ-09 (now Tracer). I've taken 2 test rides now and it does feel lighter and nimbler than my '14 N1k, has luggage, a decent range, etc. What kept me away was low end and mid-range. Rolling along at highway speeds, twist the throttle on the N1k and things happen. To get the same things to happen on the FJ-09 you have to tap the shifter a time or two when you twist the throttle.

Anyway, a comparison between your old vs new N1k would be nice to see. You mentioned smoother already and that's my main complaint about my '14, it's kind of buzzy at higher RPM.
 

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I'm not in the market again but if I were, the Tracer 900 would be given serious consideration. Power would not be an issue for me and as I get older, I firmly believe in "lighter is better". The amenities- cruise control, hard bags, centerstand, grip heaters, etc- are a huge win in my book too. But I love my '11 N1K; I've got her modded to almost exactly where I always wanted a lightweight ST to be and don't see it leaving the stable anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The weather cooled off so I took the new 2018 out for a ride today. Engine is smoother, almost like a turbine. Maybe Kawasaki is doing a better job in balancing the engine parts. It still revs high (some say it's geared too high, but it makes it more sporty that way) but seems to have more torque. The transmission is amazing; upshifting without using the clutch is much easier than on the 2012 - just preload the shifter a little and let off the gas and it slides right in with no effort. Normally I don't like the stock tires but these grip well and give good road feel. The seat is ok but seems a little longer so you can slide back a little more to adjust your position. It has a temperature bar gauge but is calibrated on the high end (I think it has 5 bars and was showing 4 bars during my ride) so I don't think it will be useful. The display will show cruising range based on how much gas is in the tank, plus you can toggle for your MPG or the outside temperature (down to -4ºF). The gear indicator is a nice feature. It has traction control and a rain power mode and it's easy to select the level you want. The new Bosch six-axis IMU is standard. Measures yaw, pitch, lean angle etc and adjusts the ABS & traction control accordingly. Probably will never need it but nice to have if **** happens and you make a mistake. Overall I am very happy with it, especially since I got it for $9,999.
 

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To get the same things to happen on the FJ-09 you have to tap the shifter a time or two when you twist the throttle.
Sounds like someone is getting ready to move over to automatics. ;) J/K.

Motorcycles and Cars that require shifting to stay in the power band are more engaging and that is what I enjoy about manual transmission vehicles. When I test rode a Mustang V8 GT manual the salesman said the nice thing about the car was that you could pretty much leave it in 5th gear driving a curvy hilly road. I told him that was a negative for me. I guess that is why I have owned a Triumph Spitfire and a Pontiac Solstice instead of a V8 Muscle Car.

I saw a Tracer 900 the other day and sat on it. It does look better in person than it does in photos but it is another tall adventure styled bike. If I were putting down the miles like I had been over the last 12 years I would definitely consider one. Now that I am going from an average of 25,000 miles a year to maybe 5000 that style of bike just doesn't appeal to me.
 

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Just got a brand new 2018. It is much smoother it than the 2012. Guess 30,000 miles will take its toll on a bike.
Seems like there is nothing that is competitive with the Ninja 1000. Test rode FJR, Versys 1000, and BMW R1200RS - they just are not as nimble or quick.
Congrats. 30,000 miles in nothing on a well maintained motorcycle. I found the 2011 Ninja 1000 to be buzzy at a few different RPMs. Glad to hear the '18 is an improvement.
 

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Sounds like someone is getting ready to move over to automatics. ;) J/K.

Motorcycles and Cars that require shifting to stay in the power band are more engaging and that is what I enjoy about manual transmission vehicles. When I test rode a Mustang V8 GT manual the salesman said the nice thing about the car was that you could pretty much leave it in 5th gear driving a curvy hilly road. I told him that was a negative for me. I guess that is why I have owned a Triumph Spitfire and a Pontiac Solstice instead of a V8 Muscle Car.

I saw a Tracer 900 the other day and sat on it. It does look better in person than it does in photos but it is another tall adventure styled bike. If I were putting down the miles like I had been over the last 12 years I would definitely consider one. Now that I am going from an average of 25,000 miles a year to maybe 5000 that style of bike just doesn't appeal to me.
Ya know, for years I rode VFRs and rowed the tranny to stay near redline to keep up with the ZX9's & 10's & GSXR1k's I rode around with. The N1k is SO much easier to go just as fast with a lot less drama and, frankly, I really like it. I guess I am getting lazier in my riding habits as I age. I still like to go fast, I just don't have the energy I use to. Funny thing is, I remember saying the exact same thing about the automatic tranny in a discussion 20 years ago to someone who had to have a literbike for the same reason.

The Tracer looked a lot better on paper to me than it felt in person. That's what got me out on a test ride in the first place. Compared to the Ninja it just kinda felt "cheap". Less protection, more exposed bits, less "refined" (whatever that means). Being taller is a negative for me as well. The included saddlebags are not large, flimsy and I doubt weatherproof. Not a total negative because the FJR bags will fit the brackets and they are fine. And remember, I'm comparing a box stock bike to my Ninja which I've put ~90k miles on (between the '11 and '14) that I've totally fitted to myself with all the options I want.

And as TWA said, thanks for the review. Good to hear they've smoothed out the motor. My '14 only has 50k miles on it so I'm halfway to considering another bike.
 

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Strange, got a server error when I first posted so I reposted and then there was a duplicate.
 

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I read somewhere, that the new ones have a little less power than last gen but are, being sold, as having the same. 'Kinda shady, if you ask me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Y
The Tracer looked a lot better on paper to me than it felt in person. That's what got me out on a test ride in the first place. Compared to the Ninja it just kinda felt "cheap". Less protection, more exposed bits, less "refined" (whatever that means). /QUOTE]

I had the same reaction. I test rode an FJ-09 two years ago and it felt tinny, not sturdy, like it would be falling apart after a couple of years. (Maybe my mistake was test riding the FZ-10 first - it will make any other bike feel 2nd rate). Here is an interesting commentary on the Tracer: https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/paradox-2019-yamaha-tracer-900-gt
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Two thing I forgot to mention in my original review. First the mirrors on the 2018 are a major improvement over the 2012. They provide great visibility for whats behind you. Second, the rectifier is now locate up high under the fairing next to the gas tank - no longer exposed to the dirt & rain thrown up by the rear wheel
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now I know why the '18 is smoother than the '12. A secondary balancer geared to the crankshaft was added in 2017 to reduce vibration. Also Kawasaki made changes that improved throttle response and torque spread.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I previously posted about the 2018's wheelbase being .2" shorter than the 2012, 56.9" versus 56.7". Hard to believe but you can feel the difference. My 2018 definitely feels lighter and nimbler than the old 2012.
 

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The fueling is different, and that can change vibration patterns, but that balancer has been there all along. It is a part of the original design, dating back to the 2010 z 1000 that the ninja was based on.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The fueling is different, and that can change vibration patterns, but that balancer has been there all along. It is a part of the original design, dating back to the 2010 z 1000 that the ninja was based on.
Key word is "secondary." The N1K always had a balancer, but for the 5th gen another one was added. At least thats what the Kawasaki guys told the press at the 5th gen release
 

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No, it really did not change.

I hear what you are saying. The way it was worded was confusing, and misleading. Deceptive, to be real honest about it. I would have never let a press update go out the way that was worded like that. If you did not know the bike, before, it would have sounded like a new addition, but it was not. They mentioned several features in that strange context. Thanks! Now it will drive me insane until I find it...LOL

The concours 14 has that secondary balancer, but the ninja is as it always was. It would require a new motor design to add a secondary balancer, and it would be shown on the parts breakdown, and its not.

Heres the 2017: https://www.genuinekawasakiparts.com/oemparts/a/kaw/5aeca8c387a8660ef49ebc9f/balancer and here's the 2010 z 1000

https://www.genuinekawasakiparts.com/oemparts/a/kaw/500b8374f8700223e4799763/balancer

The article mention things like, "new single shock rear suspension derived from the zx10, new seat, 1043cc engine, LED lighting, secondary balance shaft, 300mm front brakes...."

It was in a context like that. You could see that the lights were a new feature, as was the seat, but the rear suspension and brakes were there all along, as was the engine.

Do you remember where you saw it? I feel like it was just before the bike was released? Late 2016, maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No, it really did not change.

I hear what you are saying. The way it was worded was confusing, and misleading. Deceptive, to be real honest about it. I would have never let a press update go out the way that was worded like that. If you did not know the bike, before, it would have sounded like a new addition, but it was not. They mentioned several features in that strange context. Thanks! Now it will drive me insane until I find it...LOL

The concours 14 has that secondary balancer, but the ninja is as it always was. It would require a new motor design to add a secondary balancer, and it would be shown on the parts breakdown, and its not.

Heres the 2017: https://www.genuinekawasakiparts.com/oemparts/a/kaw/5aeca8c387a8660ef49ebc9f/balancer and here's the 2010 z 1000

https://www.genuinekawasakiparts.com/oemparts/a/kaw/500b8374f8700223e4799763/balancer

The article mention things like, "new single shock rear suspension derived from the zx10, new seat, 1043cc engine, LED lighting, secondary balance shaft, 300mm front brakes...."

It was in a context like that. You could see that the lights were a new feature, as was the seat, but the rear suspension and brakes were there all along, as was the engine.

Do you remember where you saw it? I feel like it was just before the bike was released? Late 2016, maybe?
I can't remember where I saw it but this May 2017 Cycle World review https://www.cycleworld.com/2017-kawasaki-ninja-1000-sport-tourer-first-ride-review#page-2 says "A secondary balancer geared to the crankshaft has been added to reduce vibration." But with the internet, who knows what is true & what is BS. All I know is that my 2018 is a lot smoother than my well maintained 2012. But then again, maybe I abused the 2012 too much since I like to keep the revs up high and use engine braking as much as possible. Maybe that's why the 2012 isn't as smooth
 

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I remember that, and I'll bet they wrote that based on that info we saw......That first briefing, or whatever it was. I wish they had dated that article as it would offer some sort of a timeline to look for.

Was it this release? They mention the balancer, but not really in the "new" column.

https://www.kawasaki.com/Press/Release/2017-Ninja-1000-ABS
 

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The 2017+ Ninja 1000 is an amazing bike. There are so many little advancements over the previous gen that makes considering the 2017+ a very worth while upgrade. The headlights alone are one of the main reasons I urged my dad to go with a 2017 over a 2016.
 
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