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Just Got a 2018 N1K to Replace My 2012

6469 Views 28 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Pltzr
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.
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.
In MCN's review of the '17 Ninja they commented the annoying buzz in earlier models was gone. I've seen it in a few other reviews as well. "New" balancer shaft or not they seem to have fixed one of the things on my list.

edit: Actually two. Higher on my list was the wimpy headlights. Kudos for the new LEDs. Hope they kept the same alternator so now I have more power for my heated gear! And it's something new you can actually SEE. Saw one on the road a couple weeks ago on a dreary day along the coast. Huge improvement. Side by side my '14 Ninja's headlight looked like an old D-cell flashlight.
Guess we weren't the only ones sucked into the hype of a "new" balance system. As I said before, whatever they did, it's smoothed out now and that's a good thing.

auto.ndtv.com 2017 Ninja review:
"The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000's engine may be the same, but now features a secondary balancer on the crankshaft, which is said to eliminate excessive vibration."

Cycle world 2017 Ninja 1000 review:
"A secondary balancer geared to the crankshaft has been added to reduce vibration,"

Sport Rider 2017 Ninja 1000 review:
"The Ninja 1000 ABS features many enhancements that allow for a smoother engine feeling and less vibration to the rider. One major feature is the secondary balancer on the engine crankshaft, which eliminates excessive vibration."

bikewale.com 2017 Ninja 1000 review:
"The bike has been made more refined as Kawasaki has added a secondary balancer to the crankshaft."

edit: The more important thing to me is that when the actual ride tests came out they all commented that the engine vibes had been quelled and it was now smooth. Although, one review I read phrased it something like "the buzz that gave the engine character have now been removed." We're kinda arguing verbal semantics here when when the end result is what most folks really care about. And, truth be told, with the addition of gel grips, +1T on the countershaft sprocket and putting the bar end weights back on, the only time I find the vibes annoying is when the mirror images are fuzzy.
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