Ninja 1000 Long Ride Impressions [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

Ninja 1000 Long Ride Impressions

02-23-2012, 11:34 AM
Hi Dudes, what do you think of the Ninja 1000 after using it on a long ride. I just did a couple 550 mile days with the stock windscreen, Sargent Seat and Dunlop tires. What mods have you done for all-day comfort and how do they work?

I just returned from a 1200 mile ride to West Texas for a hike and here are my impressions of the the Sargent seat, Dunlop RoadSmart tires and other stuff.
The Sargent seat is very high quality and light weight. The foam is about 1/2 inch thicker than stock which gives a nice relaxed feel in the knees. The first few hundred miles on the seat were uncomfortable, but as the ride progressed the foam took on the shape of my butt and became very supportive without bottoming out. The seat is wider and has a dished shape which prevents sliding forward. One of my sit-bones protrudes more than the other - which causes a hot spot of discomfort to develop after a few hundred miles, but to the seat's credit the discomfort never escalated and during gas breaks my butt recovered quickly. The seat is a huge improvement over stock and I am very happy with it. I tried a sheep skin on the seat, but frankly it hinders the seat's ability to fully cradle your butt. So I don't use the sheep skin.

After 1600 miles the Dunlop RoadSmarts have a slight flat spot now, but they are holding up really well. I run 36psi front and 42 psi rear and the grip, handling and feedback are superior to stock. They also absorb small road irregularities and give a more comfortable ride. I hope to get 8,000 miles out of the rear which is twice the OEM mileage.

The Ninja 1000 does have some shortcomings as a long distance bike, fiddling with soft luggage is a pain but it is cheap and effective. A day in the rain showed how poorly the minimal fenders protect the bike and rider from road grime and chain lube - the radiator, motor, tail piece and shock were really grungy after only one day in the rain, plus the luggage got fairly nasty. While most riders seem to want to minimize the appearance of the rear hugger and chain guard, I will be looking into ways of extending the fenders to minimize the amount of road slop on the bike.

The OEM front screen provided ample protection in the full up position, I was comfortable and helmet noise was minimal.
But I am only 5'8", larger riders may prefer an aftermarket screen.
I plan on covering even longer distances on the bike, so once I address the fenders and modify the chain guard (to reduce fling from my Scott Oiler) the bike will be easier to clean and maintain after a long wet ride.
I think I got around 35 to 38 mpg depending on how gentle I was on the throttle, the bike loves to cruise at 80mph and the gobs of power make overtaking vehicles a breeze. However, I found myself wanting to pass vehicles sooner and more often. In other words the bikes power was influencing my decisions to pass. So to be safer, I would just chill, as if I was riding my Buell.

02-24-2012, 12:12 AM
What a beautiful bike and ride. Sounds like the experience has taught you what you want out of it. Always the best way to learn.