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The addition of bags makes for a much more practical, all-round bike. Easy to use everyday, even when not travelling. All this real-world practicality will surely doom the bike to a early death as the squids who rule sport bike sales will immediately label it an uncool old man's bike. And the uncool old men will continue to buy BMWs!

BTW, I know you posters have a need to impress us with your witty quotes, but come on. The quotes have taken over, they're longer than your comments, and add little or nothing to the discourse. Do you really need to....
Ooopps, nevermind
 

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I bought one this past Saturday.

I got the red/black. I ordered the Givi bags and heated grips. OTD $11,240.00

The bike was on sale for $8,298.00

Previous VFR800 owner here. Bike was totaled, not of my doing.

I sat on this at the dealership and the first thing that came to mind was, 'THIS IS WHAT ALL US VFR OWNERS WANTED HONDA TO DO TO THE VFR!!!'

Fully adjustable inverted front forks. 3 way adjustable windscreen, 1,043cc, bags, heated grips, and bars that come to you, not you to them.

Once you sit on the bike it reminds you of sitting on a BMW R1200R, but with a motor! The bike weight is supposedly about that of the VFR but it feels 100 pouinds lighter!

Yeah, ok, I'm 50y/o. FU too squids. I'll take this bike on the backroads and give you a proper spanking. The center of gravity on this bike feels high, the bike falls over to the side without effort. In otherwords, it's VERY FLICKABLE with an motor to shut your mouth up pretty fast.

I've already had guys and gals on 'sportbikes' stop and ask me about it.

I love it. Right now she's sprung really tight, but when I get the bags and grips on it this Saturday I'll adjust to to my touring needs - softer. Right now I can feel every crack in the road.

The Bridgstones, well I think they suck, but give them about 3k miles and they should be cupping and scalloping like all Bridgestones do. After that I'll get my Pirellin Angel ST's again, or perhaps Michelin road 3's.

Downside to me is only having a 5 gallon tank. The low fuel blinked at me at 125miles. That means you have 1.1 gallons left according to the manual.

Yeah, no centerstand available. But I bet someone will figure it out like SW Motech.

The chain adjust is the best. almost as easy as my old VFR.

Mirrors are kinda poor, and small-ish in my opinion. There are aftermarlet options and I will look at a few.

Overall though this bike's awesome. The pull from below 2krpm is STRONG in any gear. I wish it was a 7-speed. It feels at cruising speed like the engine pulls against going faster. That's until you crank it.

If the bike flops in the US it's the fault of PR and Advertising. This bike's a sleeper - but a keeper!

Stan
 

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I got the red/black. I ordered the Givi bags and heated grips. OTD $11,240.00

The bike was on sale for $8,298.00

Previous VFR800 owner here. Bike was totaled, not of my doing.

The Bridgstones, well I think they suck, but give them about 3k miles and they should be cupping and scalloping like all Bridgestones do. After that I'll get my Pirellin Angel ST's again, or perhaps Michelin road 3's.

Stan
Great review Stan, glad to hear the bike is so good. If money were no object, would you choose it over a Concours 14? I had a VFR800 too; great bike, but I couldn't tour on it due to my creaky joints.

About the tires, may I recommend the Continental Road Attack II's? I've been through a dozen sets of sport-touring tires, and these Contis are by far the best I've found. Not that the STs or 3s are bad, but the RAs really are outstanding.
 

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I got 11,000 miles on my last set of Pirelli Angel ST's. The tread design really channels water outstanding if you get caught riding in foul weather. I was doing 80mph with a good inch of rain on the road and yet you could flick the front end fairly strong and it tracked without hesitating. I'm always up to trying new tread, so I may give the Conti's a chance, thanks!

Not sure what the advantage of a 55 over a 50 tire is. Maybe you can enlighten me?

I plan to get the tires on it filled with nitrogen. It makes for a noticeably smoother ride, with less air checks than normal tires. I checked my last set once in 3 months and they only dropped a couple psi.

If I had the money? Hmmmmm... Nah. I have tried the Concours. It's about like the Interceptor but heavier, bulkier. Although you can get a ton of nice toys on it in stock form. Hell, If I wanted the Concours I would have got one. It's only a couple grand more really. I see a lot of them used in dealerships. Probably people that don't do the research before they buy.

VFR 1200 was a turn off for me. And the price for the stock one is IMO a bit out of reality. I see them sitting in showrooms.

I think I'll check out if you can put normal clip-ons on this bike. At 6'2" the bars are actually too close for my tastes and I sit too straight up. The rear would be nicer if it were maybe an inch lower. All these things are minor. The bike rocks. It's a torque beast. I rolled second gear out of a turn in the city and the front end came up! I felt like such a pro...lol. Where's a photographer when you need one?!

I toured plenty on my 2006 Interceptor with stock seat and no bar risers. At the end she had a Sargent seat and Gen Mars for bar risers. Not a really great improvement IMO, but the seat was softer. I still liked the feel of the stock seat though. You felt more 'in' the machine.

I regularly visit my brother across the state of Florida. I'll be taking the Ninja on a 3.5 hour ride in two weeks. I'll let you know how she does.

I've tried the windscreen in all 3 positions and I have to say I am impressed with it in all positions. Very smooth airflow over it since the tip is curled down instead of a flip-lip. The air is very smooth coming off it. Middle and high positions are fine for highway. You really have to play with it to understand how smooth it is. I may even get a laminar lip for it and see what that does.

Honestly, I still miss my VFR. It's like having to put a dog down and someone gives you a new puppy and you really aren't ready. I am sure though given time that she'll grow on me.

Stan
 

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I got 11,000 miles on my last set of Pirelli Angel ST's. The tread design really channels water outstanding if you get caught riding in foul weather. I was doing 80mph with a good inch of rain on the road and yet you could flick the front end fairly strong and it tracked without hesitating. I'm always up to trying new tread, so I may give the Conti's a chance, thanks!

Not sure what the advantage of a 55 over a 50 tire is. Maybe you can enlighten me?

I plan to get the tires on it filled with nitrogen. It makes for a noticeably smoother ride, with less air checks than normal tires. I checked my last set once in 3 months and they only dropped a couple psi.

If I had the money? Hmmmmm... Nah. I have tried the Concours. It's about like the Interceptor but heavier, bulkier. Although you can get a ton of nice toys on it in stock form. Hell, If I wanted the Concours I would have got one. It's only a couple grand more really. I see a lot of them used in dealerships. Probably people that don't do the research before they buy.

VFR 1200 was a turn off for me. And the price for the stock one is IMO a bit out of reality. I see them sitting in showrooms.

I think I'll check out if you can put normal clip-ons on this bike. At 6'2" the bars are actually too close for my tastes and I sit too straight up. The rear would be nicer if it were maybe an inch lower. All these things are minor. The bike rocks. It's a torque beast. I rolled second gear out of a turn in the city and the front end came up! I felt like such a pro...lol. Where's a photographer when you need one?!

I toured plenty on my 2006 Interceptor with stock seat and no bar risers. At the end she had a Sargent seat and Gen Mars for bar risers. Not a really great improvement IMO, but the seat was softer. I still liked the feel of the stock seat though. You felt more 'in' the machine.

I regularly visit my brother across the state of Florida. I'll be taking the Ninja on a 3.5 hour ride in two weeks. I'll let you know how she does.

I've tried the windscreen in all 3 positions and I have to say I am impressed with it in all positions. Very smooth airflow over it since the tip is curled down instead of a flip-lip. The air is very smooth coming off it. Middle and high positions are fine for highway. You really have to play with it to understand how smooth it is. I may even get a laminar lip for it and see what that does.

Honestly, I still miss my VFR. It's like having to put a dog down and someone gives you a new puppy and you really aren't ready. I am sure though given time that she'll grow on me.

Stan
A 55-series tire is a bit taller and pointier than a flatter 50-series tire, which, in our experience, helps a bike turn quicker and with superior linearity.

In case you didn't see our shootout with the Ninja, check it out here: 2011 Gentlemen Sportbike Shootout
 

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When the salesman suggested a Ninja the first thing that came to my mind was, 'No thanks. I don't ride crotch rockets anymore.' He said, 'No, no... this is new. It's a sport touring bike. You can get Givi bags stock.' So he led me over to it and I looked at it, then sat on it. Then a smile came very wide across my face.

I went home, hit YouTube, went back the next week and told him I would buy the bike next Saturday. He said no hurry, they'll be here. They don't seem to be selling. A shame. This is a wolf in a red riding hood cape. I caught their sale on Cycletrader and when I went to them I didn't even have to ask. They aurtomatically priced it at $8,298.00 - How can this be wrong when it feels so right?! I tacked on the bags and heated grips and got OTD for less than the bike's MSRP. Spank me, I'm good!

This bike was COMFY! The reach to the bars for my 6'2", 175# frame was pretty much non-existent. Hell, if I slide forward and tuck into the tank my elbows are almost at 90 degrees! This begs the question to myself if I wouldn't be actually more comfortable with this bike having regular sportbike clip-ons? I do like a little lean forward and as set this bike does not offer that to my long arms and torso. I am not saying that it is not comfortable as-is though! And the weight shift with a set of clip-ons would be noticeable in the handling of the bike. I tend to think the front of the Kaw is a tad light. What's the balance ratio?

Duke - I saw the video weeks ago when I started researching the bike. After reading the article now I find both the video and article spot-on in their assessment of the Ninja. I do find the handling a bit squirrely, but for now I attribute it to breking it in and then after I get the bags installed I'll tune the suspension in. Also, see above about shifting the weight with clip-ons. This bike's a wheelie monster.

The dealership had a Bandit 1250 sitting there and while they prepped my Ninja I sat on it. I couldn't believe how HEAVY the bike felt just straightening it up off the sidestand! I always say that the Bandit reminds me of a heavy FJ1200. I am also not a fan of the Suzuki's thin windscreen. The bike also has probably the most monstrous standard muffler in existence. Definitely aftermarket that and cut a few pounds.

I've owned FZ1000's (2003 black/yellow and a 2005 blue). It's a good bike. You can get aftermarket screens and bottom fairings. The newer FZ's (fuel injected) split seat was more comfy. The tank is snubbed compared to the older versions and that puts the rider closer to the upright bars. I also agree that even my 2003 FZ was the better handler over the Ninja. Very neutral. Does what you tell it to do.

The Kaw is more buzzy than the Yamaha. The FZ was a quite highway ride at 80mph and felt very relaxed. I find that the Kaw does not hold speed steady as easily. The gearing seems to be pulling the bike back against the throttle, if you know what I mean. Even the throttle tension seems tight, fighting the rider a bit. It feels like I'm trailing the rear brake, which btw on the Ninja is totally useless. God, I hope a pad change helps. But then again I am so used to the Honda Interceptor's linked rear brake. I used it a lot in city driving actually.

The other thing I would change? I'd tuck the exhaust of the Ninja undertail. There's GOBS of open air between the tire and the seat! It's almost obscenely naked! Other than that a nice set of Yoshi's might be in the near future.

Duke - You know what I think? I think this bike would make a helluva cafe racer! Clip-ons and a chop here and there and WHOA!

Stan
 

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Duke - I saw the video weeks ago when I started researching the bike. After reading the article now I find both the video and article spot-on in their assessment of the Ninja. I do find the handling a bit squirrely, but for now I attribute it to breking it in and then after I get the bags installed I'll tune the suspension in. Also, see above about shifting the weight with clip-ons. This bike's a wheelie monster.

Duke - You know what I think? I think this bike would make a helluva cafe racer! Clip-ons and a chop here and there and WHOA!

Stan
Glad to hear your impressions agree with ours! If you're a tall guy, a bar reposition might be a good update. And it sounds like you might be a big guy, too, as we didn't have any squirrely handling. Some additional preload might solve that issue for you.
 

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I'm 6'2", 175#, 36" inseam, never measured my reach. I might be 185 in full gear. I'm a tall, thin guy. This bike is sprung tight from either the factory or the way the guy set it up. I tend to thnk the former, not the later.

Remember, I come from 5 years of riding my VFR 800, which is to me a front heavy bike. This thing is light compared to my VFR, at least it feels like a 650 to me. But I think on paper the VFR and this weigh about the same. I find that perplexing, but I ddismiss a lot of it thinking this Ninja has a higher center of gravity, and being thinner than my old VFR.

On the video he addresses that 'floppy' front feel. I agree. I find it harder to just track a straight line in normal riding. This bike wants to lean over. Either direction, it wants to lean over. Riding in a straight line using just the right hand and you are constantly correcting the bike.

If anything, I'll probably soften the preload and suspension a bit. Right now I feel every crack and ripple in the road.

Not to say I still don't love this bike. The motor is just exceptional! I surprised myself coming home from work. I took off behind cars at a left turn and I cut the bike in a bit low and rolled the throttle on a bit in second gear. Coming out of the corner the bike pulled the front end off the ground like I was backroad racing! I hardly gave it maybe 1/3 throttle. This bike pulls hard from even below 2krpm!

The riding position I still compare to when I rode a BMW R1200R. for me, it's almost too sit-up-and-beg. That's why I pondered putting clip-ons on this bike to shift my weight a bit more forward. Even with the lower grips I think it would better emmulate the riding position of my VFR, which was all day comfortable to me as it was. A little lean forward isn't a bad thing.

Maybe I'm just too used to having mastered a heavier, sloppier bike in the VFR all these years, but that bike did what I wanted, when I wanted, and never surprised me.

When I said it felt squirrely I mean that the back tended to bounce around a bit on me, and the front being lighter than I am used to takes a bit of re-figuring on my part. That's why I think it's just sprung too tight for my riding preferences. It's set for track, not city/highway. When I do tuck into the tank the dynamics change noticeably. The front takes on some more weight. The bike has a better, more planted, feel to it. But I tend to do my city riding sitting back in the seat. With more weight toward the back wheel in that position the front feels very light.

Duke. I love your input on this as the bike's still new to me and I am still trying to get used to its characteristics (5 days riding to date). If I was a noob I would be scared of this bike. It's a lot of power in a small package. Definitely a more spirited (hyper) bike than the FZ-1 I knew. Btw, I have been riding for 30 years. Started on an RD400 back in the day.

Stan
 

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its kinda disappointing to hear that its steering is sub par, compared to the others, but i hope these do sell and they can make minor adjustments to make it perfect, i saw one of these with the bags on the other day and i will say it is a head turner, i would love to own one of these in a few years, when all the flaws are worked out.

but job well done on this ninja.
 

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I'm 6'2", 175#, 36" inseam, never measured my reach. I might be 185 in full gear. I'm a tall, thin guy. This bike is sprung tight from either the factory or the way the guy set it up. I tend to thnk the former, not the later.

When I said it felt squirrely I mean that the back tended to bounce around a bit on me, and the front being lighter than I am used to takes a bit of re-figuring on my part. That's why I think it's just sprung too tight for my riding preferences. It's set for track, not city/highway. When I do tuck into the tank the dynamics change noticeably. The front takes on some more weight. The bike has a better, more planted, feel to it. But I tend to do my city riding sitting back in the seat. With more weight toward the back wheel in that position the front feels very light.

Duke. I love your input on this as the bike's still new to me and I am still trying to get used to its characteristics (5 days riding to date). If I was a noob I would be scared of this bike. It's a lot of power in a small package. Definitely a more spirited (hyper) bike than the FZ-1 I knew. Btw, I have been riding for 30 years. Started on an RD400 back in the day.

Stan
At your weight and size, you will be able to set up the suspension to suit. Keep in mind that every suspension setup begins by setting the amount of preload, about 1.2 inches of sag. Adjusting a suspension without first setting the proper sag is the WRONG way to do it. Then you can begin adjusting the damping adjusters. If the ride is still too stiff, then dial back the compression-damping circuits a few clicks at a time. But, please, set your preload first!

BTW, an RD400 was the second streetbike I ever rode. Still a vivid memory...
 

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Just a thought...

At your weight and size, you will be able to set up the suspension to suit. Keep in mind that every suspension setup begins by setting the amount of preload, about 1.2 inches of sag. Adjusting a suspension without first setting the proper sag is the WRONG way to do it. Then you can begin adjusting the damping adjusters. If the ride is still too stiff, then dial back the compression-damping circuits a few clicks at a time. But, please, set your preload first!

BTW, an RD400 was the second streetbike I ever rode. Still a vivid memory...
Duke, has MO done a full article on how to adjust a bike's suspension lately? If not, that might be worthwhile. It could be a two or three part article. Just a thought.
 

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Duke, has MO done a full article on how to adjust a bike's suspension lately? If not, that might be worthwhile. It could be a two or three part article. Just a thought.
Yeah, I thought the same thing as I wrote the above response. It's critical to a rider's enjoyment, so I'll definitely follow up on it when we get more time.
 

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BTW, an RD400 was the second streetbike I ever rode. Still a vivid memory...
My first was the RC350, AKA the R-5E. Yamaha sold a LOT of those 2-stroke twins!

czsummy - These are going to sell well, they just need time for the word to get out. The FZ-8s sat in dealerships for months before they took off. Now I hear they're selling like hotcakes.
 

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Yeah, I thought the same thing as I wrote the above response. It's critical to a rider's enjoyment, so I'll definitely follow up on it when we get more time.
Great! If you do the article, please make it so dummies like me can understand it. :D
 

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they better sell, i'm getting an 2005 ninja 500r for my first bike, and want to enjoy this 1000 maybe 5 years down the road.

i am eager for this suspension tuning article. =]

and since you guy were talking about tires, what do you recommend for a 500 it will need tires when i get it so i found some and it was suggested to me to put a 150 on the back rather than the standard 130 kawi put on
 

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they better sell, i'm getting an 2005 ninja 500r for my first bike, and want to enjoy this 1000 maybe 5 years down the road.

i am eager for this suspension tuning article. =]

and since you guy were talking about tires, what do you recommend for a 500 it will need tires when i get it so i found some and it was suggested to me to put a 150 on the back rather than the standard 130 kawi put on
I have no experience with that tire swap, so I can't really recommend anything. But I can say that fitting a 150 tire on a rim width designed to accommodate a 130 will significantly alter its shape, likely negatively. When you decide on a tire, make sure you check out the company's website to see which size tire fits on your rim width. If someone recommends a fatter tire, it may just be for cosmetic reasons, i.e. "fatter is better." A wider tire will also slow your bike's steering characteristics, so make sure to do your research.
 
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