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Old 10th July 2020, 21:33   #1
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Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Some wild dreams sound so thrilling, every time we fantasize about returning to boyhood, riding a supersports missile. Pure, unadulterated fun!

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-8.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-9.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-13.jpg


But some things about those wild dreams don’t sound practical now. Ouch! That won’t work!

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-10.jpg


No, this is NOT what I want to do! This is a totally different ball game. Although it might solve that pillion comfort problem, no thanks!

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dcthondaafricatwinadvantagesoffroad4.jpg


This is also not how I want to travel. I’d much rather take the car instead if I had so much to carry (hardcore bikers please forgive me )

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-antiadv.jpg


Wait, is there a way to find a middle ground? Can’t I have a small piece of the first cake and eat it too?

Is it really possible to tick boxes from opposite ends of the spectrum?

Turns out……. I CAN! Just that those dreams need to flex a bit!

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-1.jpg


Wait… what is this??

Yeah. I can still have fun and enjoy those short bursts of insanity

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-7.jpg


I can go places

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-2.jpg


I can carry pieces of my world (luggage) along with me

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-12.jpg


And I don’t have to leave HER out of the fun

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-3.jpg


We can have our cake and eat it too!

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-6.jpg


Our friends can join us as well!

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-4.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-11.jpg


So, looks like I can have practicality without compromising on the insanity, after all!


“Cut the promotional ad campaign photographs!! This is supposed to be an ownership review, not a product marketing brochure! What are you doing?!”
Oops, before you start yelling at me, I’m sorry, you’re right - I don’t own any of those shots (copyright respective owners). Those official images of the bikes were so well shot that I couldn’t help using them to illustrate my words and situations better, which led to me buying this guided missile.

And with that I begin the story of my evolved dream - a Metallic Spark Black 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-opening_post.jpg

What is this ‘evolved’ dream? Read on to find out.

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 12:47.
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Old 10th July 2020, 21:46   #2
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

This is going to be one heck of a long and comprehensive review thread. I'm back after a long hiatus on the forum and I’ve been having a lot of free time with all my other regular hobbies cut off during this series of Covid-19 lockdowns . I solemnly promise I will try to bore you to death with a multitude of details that I wanted to cover around various facets of this ownership.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-index_of_contents001.jpg

In this detailed review, I’ll go over the following topics:

Opening post

Introduction - Who am I as a biker? What do I intend to achieve with this review?

Pros and Cons of the Ninja 1000 in a nutshell

My Biker journey so far, and the biking experience under my belt

How did I end up with the Ninja 1000?

Booking and Purchase experience at Rideventur Kawasaki, Bangalore

Should you buy a Ninja 1000? Owner’s perspective with FAQ section


A complete review of the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 including and not limited to

- What did the MY19 'facelift' add over the outgoing MY18 version?
- Styling and Design
- Build quality, Paint quality and Decals
- Engine characteristics & Performance
- Dynamics and Safety
- Rider and pillion ergonomics + Rider controls Part 1
- Rider controls Part 2
- Electronics and Instrument Console


Accessories for Safety and Protection

Accessories for Convenience and Aesthetics

Accessories for Touring

Riding gear from head to toe - rider and pillion

Expenses and costs - How much was spent on everything?


After sales service experience, service expenses and the path ahead

Credits

Last edited by moralfibre : 16th July 2020 at 16:48. Reason: Spacing, index links
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Old 10th July 2020, 22:17   #3
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Introduction - who am I as a biker? Why am I writing this review?

A Big bike? A litre class monster? Ah! Where do I begin? So many mixed thoughts come to my mind when I look back and think of big bikes in their numerous avatars and how they have fascinated me, although I have mostly been a fan of sportbikes and supersports crotch rockets since time immemorial. Speed and track-oriented supersport bikes have always fascinated me the most, way more than other segments. Watching MotoGP didn’t help the cause either.

Who doesn't like to watch this on Sundays? Especially when F1 has become so boring nowadays
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-motogp4.jpg


Long long ago, dad used to own a Jawa / Yezdi back in his prime, but apart from that I had no exposure to bikes of any kind as a young kid. He then used to drive a M800 and later a Swift, and we only had a Kinetic Honda at home for errands. I grew up with no bikes in the house as I entered my late teens, and I learnt to ride bikes after I learnt to drive a car (cars are my first love), mostly by practicing with friends’ bikes inside the college campus.

Unfortunately I don't have a photograph of our Kinetic, so will have to reference one from the internet for the exact same model
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-kh6.jpg


As a teen in the early 2000s, I used to ogle at the occasional rich kids’ grey market R1 or gixxer or ‘busa vrooming by (these bikes were only sold legally here around 2010 onwards IIRC). Of course just like other enthusiast kids of this era, I too had some cliched superbike posters on my room walls. And then I added some scale models to my collection. During the rest of my youth up until now, I largely had to settle for watching youtube videos of droolworthy, large displacement bikes.

Recipe for sweet dreams? Literally
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These formed my only gateway to a glimpse of the big bike world while the rest was mostly left to lusting after these machines in my imagination, postponing that expensive ‘dream’ to a time when it was considered okay (read as insane by middle class terms) to invest in one of these impractical garage queens.


My all time favourite bike even to this day - the timeless 2007 Yamaha R1
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-yamahayzfr120079.jpg


Those droolworthy underseat exhausts still look so classy and butch to this day, 13 years later!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-yamahayzfr120071.jpg


Another beast of the same era which would adorn my desktop wallpaper real estate and browser bookmarks - the mighty Gixxer!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-gixxer.jpg


As a stereotypical middle class enthusiast with limited resources back in the early 2010s, my experience as a biker was largely limited to the budget segment of enthusiast-centric bikes which were faster than commuters. I enjoyed riding numerous kinds of contemporary bikes in the 50k-3L space (either my own or among friend circles) and learning with every different one I rode on. I have done a fair share of roadtripping over the years, but by no means would I refer to myself as an expert or veteran biker. I neither belong to any riding groups or gangs, official or unofficial, nor am I that stereotypical fanatic biker who pooh-poohs cars/cagers and worships only bikes. I have limited knowledge, and have mostly been a lone wolf when it comes to bike trips (of course now my better half always joins me). Barring a few occasions when friends join in, it is almost always just us both doing our own thing exploring new places for many years now.


Weekend timepass explorations
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_2040.jpg


The better half thought I was clicking her pic when I was actually taking the bike's pic. Psst... she better not see this!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_2030.jpg



I am just taking baby steps into this quicksand a.k.a the big bike world where there is so much to learn from peers. Every ride has something new to teach and brings about new experiences. That said, I began a new journey down an unexplored road in 2018 - learning to enjoy a full blown litre class sport tourer - the MY2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000, and trying to make it do the things I think it can do over the next many years.

Black and white makes the black look more black, no?
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-how_did_i.jpg


I love cars and bikes alike, with a bias for cars, and I look at bikes as just another means of travel and satiating the need for petrolhead pleasure via yet another channel.


When we're not travelling on a bike, we are usually travelling by car
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_7154.jpg


It is with these past few sentences that I make my disclaimer clear - I don’t intend to write this thread as a precise review of the bike. I am clearly not so knowledgeable as some of the gifted biking veterans on this forum to pass precise verdicts on all aspects of the bike. Now that I have almost crossed 2 years with it, I will however exhaustively offer my views and opinions on every single bit of this machine and my journey so far with it. If some of the opinions are factually incorrect, please forgive me for that.

In the process of going through this journey, I hope to share my learnings and experiences on this thread and hopefully someone somewhere some time might find this ownership log useful, be it a Ninja 1000 prospective buyer or otherwise. Or maybe reading this thread might open your eyes to something new and turn you away from this bike and set you on the right path to what you might truly need (maybe some other bike).

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-33fbb31a133941469984538aa9339630.jpg.jpg


Sit back and scroll through the next few posts as I pen down my journey with bikes, how I got to buying and riding the Ninja 1000 and all its associated extras, and of course my views on the bike itself. I will also talk about what a prospective buyer should think of before considering this bike

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 22:30.
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Old 10th July 2020, 22:25   #4
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Pros and Cons of the Ninja 1000 in a nutshell:

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-pros-cons001.jpg


Before I dive into the main review content, I thought I should briefly list down the pros and cons of this bike in a bullet-point summary as is the norm on Team-BHP, so here it is

What I liked:
  • Great do-it-all, all-rounder sportbike for spirited riding, comfortable mile munching or relaxed 2-up touring with several well thought out aspects of everyday practicality (such as the integrated OE pannier system)
  • Fantastic power and torque (142hp and 113Nm), linear, easy-to-use power delivery coupled with numerous riding mode combinations and adjustable suspension to cater to a wide variety of riding and road conditions. One really needs nothing more.
  • Flawless mechanical fundamentals - great acceleration and mile munching abilities, ultra smooth refinement, minimal heat, A++ braking, fantastic build quality, bulletproof reliability, superb suspension, versatile ergonomics and nice overall feel and feedback when riding.
  • Stuffed to the gills with all the necessary gizmos and safety features and some more. Apart from maybe a Quickshifter or cruise control, cannot find any glaring omissions (these have been added in the latest 2020 facelift, by the way)
  • Incredible pricing of this litre class monster (roughly 12.5L on-road when I purchased and 13.5L now) thanks to SKD norms increases the affordability factor and makes it a head decision as well, if one were to look across the segments for products with similar features and specifications.

What I didn't like:
  • Low ground clearance of 130mm is a hindrance when touring on Indian highways and going the less travelled path. One has to be extra careful when touring with pillion and panniers. The extra weight will further sag the bike down and needs the rear suspension to be stiffened to avoid bottoming out frequently.
  • The width of the bike with OE panniers fitted is quite large and the rider has to be super careful in toll plazas where bike lanes are usually narrow, or when riding in villages or small towns with cramped traffic.
  • The weight - this bike is quite heavy at 235kg, this can and will be intimidating for many riders, especially shorter riders will find it tough at lower speeds or on bad roads or both.
  • Kawasaki after sales service isn’t exactly the best in town. They are marginally more expensive than other Japanese contemporaries and the service experience is a hit or miss. Only saving grace is their products are very reliable, well built and generally don’t need any intervention, but if one faces issues or has accident-related part replacements, they will feel the heat
  • Horribly overpriced OE luggage system (although the panniers are optional, not mandatory) will turn off a lot of interested owners, no matter how convenient and well integrated they are with the bike. I just mentioned this because the company heavily advertises this feature on all their ads and promotional pictures and videos of this bike.

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 13:29.
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Old 10th July 2020, 23:04   #5
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

My Biker journey so far, and the biking experience under my belt

2006-07: The biking interest begins

I used to ride a 2003 Honda Dio to college and back during my engineering days. One day a stray dog ran across suddenly and got stuck in my front wheel while I was on the move at around 40 kmph, and I had a big crash which left me with a dislocated elbow and some nasty bruises. Nothing happened to the dog - he darted away. Thankfully I had my helmet on and the injuries were limited to those mentioned. After the painful recovery and psychological scars, it took me a full year to even consider getting onto a two wheeler again. The scars were so long lasting, that even to this day I am quite paranoid of stray animals in front of me running across any roads or highways .

My very first two-wheeler - a humble 2003 Honda Dio
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc00105.jpg


Anyway, long story short, I decided to get a proper bike and ditch the scooter world for good, with those tiny tyres and all the safety problems those bring in. Needless to add, my height was anyway a good point to ditch scooters citing ergonomics. Being the bhp-hungry enthusiast that I was, that Dio made way for the (then new) Pulsar 200 DTS-i which I used for a good 25,000 km and 2 years. It became my commuter to office, and occasional highway tool too. And the biking journey started from there.


This is an old snap of my P200. It was a looker back in the days of Pulsar being an enthusiast attraction
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscn3664.jpg


2009-2015: Taking bikes seriously and even travelling a lot with it (solo bachelor days), but not ready (financially and mentally) for a big bike yet

In 2008, I had started working, with no commitments as a fresh grad. Greed eventually got the better of me and I swapped the Pulsar 200 for a Pulsar 220F. That bike stayed with me for another 5 years and 70,000 km. Eventually the P220 was sold off when my decision to get an upgrade materialized. It lacked a lot of things dynamically, but it was a lovely bike back in the nascent days of Indian biking. I treasure tons of roadtrip memories on this bike across south India, done with friends during my bachelor days.

My Pulsar 220F, literally the bike which taught me to enjoy touring on bikes
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscn5314.jpg.jpg


2014-15: Looking at bikes for pure thrill rather than for practicality or for commuting

My needs slightly evolved and the 2 cars at home (Linea + Punto) were mostly used for everything trip related or commute related, so a bike was needed only as a nice-to-have pocket rocket for occasional fun. I did get the KTM RC390 on a limited budget and finally disposed it off because a.) I grew out of it relatively fast and longed for something better and more refined, and b.) It was quite a nigglesome bike, especially because mine was from the first batch of bikes immediately after launch. It got disposed of within 6 months of purchase and I was without a bike for the next couple of years. Did I feel something missing? Kind of. But I was always a car guy back then and it didn’t really matter as long as there was something else in the garage to do errands - the Punto was still doing that well.

My 2015 KTM RC 390
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_2205_1600.jpg


Somewhere deep inside, there was still an itch to get a weekend leisure rocket to replace or better the RC, but it wasn't a priority. During this time, a bike for me was still a solo weekend leisure tool and not a roadtrip steed. I even looked at and test rode the Triumph Daytona 675R briefly, maybe as a Sunday breakfast ride bike. I loved the sheer precision and addictive emotions that bike evoked, only to realize it was too unaffordable for me back then at 12L on-road. And that was perhaps the end of my biking dreams for the next couple of years when other priorities took over.

Taking a test ride of the Triumph Daytona 675R back in 2015. A failed dream for lack of vitamin M back then!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img20150523wa0012.jpg


2017-18: A brief lull, then back to bikes for urban commuting. Finally ended up taking it along for trips also (and loving the newfound taste of 2-up touring!)

After I changed my workplace to an office inside the city and simultaneously my Linea and Punto made way for a pre-worshipped 320d, intra-city errands became an issue - I couldn’t take the bimmer everywhere, and wanted a cheap, fuss-free, urban errand ‘rat’ bike and BHPian rbp suggested I look at a pre-worshipped Karizma R. I bought one for a steal price from some techie bloke going onsite wanting to sell in a hurry, for a princely sum of INR 25k! I had to spend another 20k and resurrect it totally over time, including the entire body kit and some mechanical core parts, but the result was very rewarding and it is in pristine condition even today. I bought it with around 31k km on the clock and it now has around 55k km. My wife and I used to work in the same area for a few years and would commute to work on it together, to save time vis-a-vis taking the car in choc-a-bloc traffic. Eventually we even ended up taking it out on the highway too for multiple trips, and boy were they memorable.

The FNG mechanic with my 2011 Karizma R, which I spent a lot of time on, after purchasing it in a rather lacklustre condition. 2 years and several rejuvenation treatments later, the bike runs beautifully even today
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_6353.jpg


Doing 2-up trips in 2017 to the famous Kolli hills with 70 hairpin bends
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_3214.jpg


Exploring a nondescript place in interior Coorg, mid-2018
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_1702.jpg


It wouldn’t be an understatement to say this was the bike which rekindled the bygone era (for me) of roadtripping on bikes, and triggered the desire to have a big bike at home once again, this time from a serious travel usage perspective instead of just boring breakfast rides.

And that brings me to the next part of this story.

Last edited by KarthikK : 13th July 2020 at 07:46.
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Old 11th July 2020, 11:00   #6
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

How I ended up with the Ninja 1000

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0391.jpg


The Transformation phase:

So what changed my criterion on wanting an insane breakfast ride missile to getting something more ‘practical’? Primarily the fact that after my RC 390 era, I got married and my wife loves to travel just as much as me. Mode of transport is immaterial for both of us - from roughing it out on bicycle overnight trips to resorts outside Bangalore, to motorcycle roadtrips, to using the conventional hatchbacks / sedans or even her rickety Thar. Sometimes, our golden retriever joins us too.

Roughing it out on bicycle trips - discovering a new way of slow travel
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_4431.jpg


Obviously what followed was - we started doing very frequent roadtrips and weekend overnighters, getting out literally almost 2 or 3 of the 4 weekends in a month, sometimes for no apparent reason to Ooty and returning the same evening. Exploring offbeat getaways within south India became a habit every weekend. As a pastime activity, we started building our own private database on all kinds of travel information in the south and west - places to stay, places to eat at, places to visit, GPS trails, etc, so this only fueled the fire to travel even more. Both of us loved the breath of fresh air that simple bike trips brought in, so when we weren’t using the car we did long rides on the puny and basic (for today’s era) Karizma every now and then.

Exploring places off the beaten path
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0061.jpg


At the risk of sounding a bit philosophical, the enthusiast in me slowly started developing an unbiased view of vehicle usage - being open to ride/drive any kind of vehicle suited for any travel type or need, rather than getting polarized towards one type of vehicle and hating the others. Every route/vehicle we chose was yet another way to experience travel and its gamut of associated hobbies which we loved so much (such as driving/riding itself, photography, food, etc) and these together formed the recreational world of our weekends. Learning to respect and love different genres of vehicles allowed me to be more open minded and explore different facets of travel possible.

Loved this blue monster. I let it go a couple of years ago and its replacement will be on the way in some time hopefully *wink wink*
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_1091.jpg


Our current trusted steed in enjoying travel across the country, through all seasons and terrains. Although pretty barebones, it has been supremely reliable and allows us to truly go anywhere without hesitation. We do off-road occasionally in Mahindra's Great Escape events as well.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_6142.jpg


In 2017 September, I had casually dropped in to the Kawasaki showroom with a friend who was buying something else, just looking around, and I had thrown fleeting glances at the Ninja 1000 and all other big bikes on display, admiring them from a distance and had absolutely no intention to buy something so expensive which I thought I wouldn’t be able to do justice to. Over to the backburner for another year, unintentionally. Little did I know I would be at the exact same spot a year later.

Throwing 'wow' glances at the Ninja 1000 in 2017 as an admirer, with no intention of buying such an expensive bike at all
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_2171.jpg


The green sibling was also on display
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_2174.jpg


Meanwhile we were still racking up highway miles on the Karizma through 2017-18 and starting to enjoy 2-up bike trips more and more. We even did longer distances such as Kodaikanal and Dandeli.

BUT…..

There was that devilish desire in me which was still alive, that inner voice which popped up every now and then and asked “You always wanted a fun and insane bike in your garage. If not now, when?”. Truth be told, regardless of how legendary the Karizma was in the early 2000s as a sport tourer, it just isn’t meant for today’s fast highways with fast vehicles all around. It is a 220cc commuter from a bygone era. It obviously struggles on the fast expressways, there was no safety net and there are so many better options nowadays with the latest safety gizmos, so I thought of an upgrade to more comfortable bike trips, with faster average speeds, better safety features such as ABS, TC, slipper clutch, lesser fatigue, etc, and of course, something with enough juice to silence the inner devil for good.


Departing on of our roadtrips aboard the timeless Karizma R sometime in 2018. That instrument console is still contemporary even in this day and age
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_4768.jpg


In 2018 August, we finally made up our minds to revisit that bike upgrade plan once again. I looked at getting a Ninja 300 and even booked one when the facelift came out in 2018 August. However, after a subsequent showroom visit and a test ride with my better half, she was always skeptical if this was going to be a keeper for us. Firstly, it wasn’t as comfortable as even the Karizma for longer trips for both of us. Secondly, she and a few other friends such as CrAzY dRiVeR and rbp felt I looked too big on that small bike due to my height and build. More importantly, she suspected that I will again lose interest in this (N300) bike and start craving for something bigger in no time. This was evident to her from my serial bike changing habits of the past which she found rather amusing and pointless. She was aware of my failed Daytona dream from the 2015 saga by the way.

Attending the Ninja 300 launch and unveil event in August 2018
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_6689.jpg


And subsequently booking the green Ninja 300
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_6693.jpg


During a casual conversation on one of our trips, she suggested that instead of constantly going through these buying-selling cycles with smaller bikes, we should just get that much-desired ‘superbike’ once and for all, and maybe we can then enjoy it for a long time without my constant itch to upgrade. I will forever be grateful to the angel that she was, for helping to prioritize a heart decision over a head decision at 4X the original budget and then chipping in with a bailout plan for me to make that purchase happen. This bike wouldn’t have happened if not for her support

Even before the thought switch occurred from Ninja 300 to Ninja 1000, I knew we had to invest quite a big amount on brand new riding gear and accessories for both of us, but wasn’t sure on how much I would need. Me being totally new to the world of premium bikes, fellow bhpians and Kawasaki gurus CrAzY dRiVeR, rbp and ebmrajesh helped me understand and plan at least a basic budget for accessories and riding gear, and I had a ballpark figure to target. I decided to defer the purchase plan by 3 more months to aggressively save up some moolah and wait for some incoming bonus, etc to be able to afford an exhaustive list of essential accessories and riding gear at purchase time itself.

And so with the financial vision and the plan sorted out, off we went again to the Kawasaki showroom the next weekend to at least check out the Ninja 1000. The sales executive was a bit shocked and looked at us in disbelief when we asked to see the bigger Ninja, especially when we had booked the Ninja 300 a week ago at quarter the budget. Nonetheless, I think he was overjoyed that with zero effort from his side he must have got 4x the incentive for apparently no reason. We both liked the ergonomics after sitting on it (I am 6’1” and she is 5’5”) and she felt it was like a higher version of the karizma’s pillion seat but had well sorted legroom for her height and build.

Checking out the Ninja 1000 seriously this time
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8172.jpg


We asked for a test ride and the sales rep promptly brought the bike home later and asked us both to ride it in different conditions to test whatever I wanted to. We rode it largely within the city and for a short stretch on NICE road. He offered multiple invites to some high speed test ride events they were doing on highways as well, but I declined. I had seen and felt what I had to, there was nothing much to fault anyway, more so coming from a barebones Karizma everything felt plush and high-end. I confirmed to him I will come back in three months, and would be directly booking the facelifted MY’19 Ninja 1000 (the launch of which was just around the corner back then). I eventually booked the N1000 as planned in November 2018.

Yours truly, test riding the demo Ninja 1000 which was brought home by Rideventur Kawasaki
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8194.jpg


I didn't like the green-grey combination though. Looked meh!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8197.jpg


As a supersports fan myself, I loved the sport-tourer balanced concept of having almost sport-bike-like ergonomics and dynamics for the rider, with a little compromise towards practicality in terms of more relaxed ergonomics for the rider and pillion while mile munching, plus the ability to lug along a few days of luggage for faroff trips. Weight is one of the few negatives of this bike (I’ll speak about this later in the review) but it wasn’t a dealbreaker for me since I am 6’1” and well built.


Another view of the black Ninja 1000 which I liked
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_6823.jpg


I forgot to mention our travel pattern all along. Bike trips for us are primarily 2-3-4 day affairs, maybe 500-600 km at the max one way or per day (round trip 1000-1200 km), but we ride all year round, weather is immaterial. These kinds of distances perfectly suited the purpose of the OE Kawasaki Panniers that can be had with this bike, and maybe we could always slap on a tank bag for additional stuff and head out. If we need to do longer / farther trips than that, we take the car because the luggage is more, the distance is more, we tend to carry more camera equipment for bigger trips and we can share the driving if need be. We do a lot of rough terrain trips as well, but the Thar takes care of that department.

The Ninja resting in a Victorian era bungalow atop one of the tea plantation hills in Valparai, TN
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_0505.jpg


When I'm not riding or driving, I might be flying with a remote
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_0511.jpg


I do occasional long solo day trips for 600-800 km with a bunch of friends. And sometimes breakfast rides happen with team-bhp bikers on weekend mornings. The better half only joins if it is a scenic place or an overnight trip though (which is almost always the case) - she is not a fan of breakfast rides. Anyway, putting all our points together, this bike seemed to tick all our boxes perfectly. So the Ninja 300 booking which was made in August was hanging in the balance for 3 months, cancelled and then upgraded to a Ninja 1000 booking in November, thanks to wifey dearest and a few biker friends who reinforced her thoughts!

The booking change from Ninja 300 to Ninja 1000.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8381.jpg


After the booking was done, I just wanted to see some other products in the same category even if I wasn’t going to buy anything else. Listing out some of the pros and cons from my opinion:

Ninja 650 (sport tourer younger sibling from the same stable at a lower cost)

What I liked:
  • Great all-rounder sport-tourer package like the CBR 650F. Does bits of everything well
  • Very nice rideability and strong low end and midrange
  • Looked and felt great in pictures and in person. Very elegant visual design and build quality.
  • Ticked all our boxes and then some more
What I didn't like:
  • No inline-4 engine, I already had another twin in the garage (Interceptor 650). After spending so much the heart craved for something different and more powerful.
  • Power and torque were obviously half of the elder sister’s figures (N1000)
  • Dated engine and dated bike, engine from almost a decade older didn't do much for my interest levels.
This image is not mine, just using for illustration.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-2017_kawasaki_ninja_650_left.jpg


The Ninja 650 in black looked really nice
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_2186.jpg


Verdict: We gave it a pass although it seemed to tick all the boxes. Nothing glaringly wrong with it, but the elder sibling was just too tempting when parked next to this aged bike.


Honda CBR 650F (although this isn’t a fair comparison, I did consider it briefly due to the cost savings and for being a similar sport tourer)

What I liked:
  • There were some good deals going on with the pricing, making it almost 4.5L cheaper than the N1000
  • Very neat inline 4 engine, super refined and fuss-free
  • Honda service experience and maintenance costs are better than Kawasaki.
  • Neutral design and looks. Sleeper sportbike which can pass off as a CBR 250 from a distance. Avoids unnecessary attention, which can sometimes be a hindrance in public places. This can be a bad thing as well, which I highlight below under the cons.
  • No-nonsense ergonomics for 2-up use and purpose built for fuss-free mile munching
What I didn't like:
  • Not many riding aids apart from ABS.
  • Dated looks and features, some feature omissions at this price point and bizarre looking instrument cluster
  • No road presence. With similar decal and paint schemes, can be mistaken for a commuter CBR series such as 150 or 250.
  • At 216 kg and 85 bhp/60Nm, the power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios were almost half of the N1000, plus the low end was weak. Would probably leave me craving for an upgrade after some time
  • The bike felt a tad bit small for my height and build.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-2018hondacbr650fmdridereviewmotorcycledailycom.jpg

Verdict: Nothing fundamentally wrong as such with the bike. Very practical option, but overlooked because of a “Yeh Dil Maange More” effect playing devil’s advocate.


Suzuki Hayabusa

What I liked:
  • Looked good in the Dhoom movie
  • Sounded good in the Dhoom movie
  • Current generation Busa looked awesome too, from outside the showroom.
  • It is a Hayabusa. Who doesn’t know about one?
What I didn't like:
  • The sales staff never let me see or go close to it, they already judged my buying abilities because we were laymen who showed up on a 7-year old karizma
  • They shooed me away due to commuter bike racism, before I could even enquire anything about it. I swore never to go into that Suzuki showroom ever again.
The timeless speed monster once made popular by Bollywood has been a household name for almost two decades now
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-suzukihayabusafullsize.jpg


Why not an adventure bike? you might ask. Both of us personally don’t like huge and bulky adventure bikes, and as a rider I don’t like the upright stance so much for aggressive riding. I'll elaborate on this in a flowchart later in this thread. Anyway I just had a look at and test rode one when I was in the Triumph showroom for timepass. We had actually gone to check out the Street Triple RS for fun, although I knew that bike was too small and impractical for our needs, and then the staff there offered the Tiger for a test ride.

Triumph Tiger 800

What I liked:
  • Great comfort and ride quality.
  • Great road presence and stance
  • Lovely triple motor
  • Superior ground clearance
  • Nice luggage options
What I didn't like:
  • I didn’t like the sluggish dynamics and higher centre of gravity feel of a large Adv bike, I prefer more of lean-down ergonomics personally.
  • Triumph after sales service nightmare stories were also a turnoff
  • Didn’t evoke any feeling of excitement or wow-factor in me.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-2018triumphtiger800xcaadventuremotorcycleoffroad7.jpg


Verdict: Meh. Not a fan of huge and bulky Advs, so there was no point in pursuing these options further. They just don’t evoke the same interest or emotions in me that a sport-biased bike does, both looks-wise and for riding aggressively with a lean-down posture when I want to. I didn’t bother looking at other big adventure tourer options such as Versys, Africa, Multistrada, etc.


Honda Africa DCT - Nice bike but not my cup of tea
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-2018hondaafricatwin13_1600x0w.jpg


The Ducati Multistrada 950 - Great bike but again, not interested
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-mts950my18white02videofull1330x748.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 13th July 2020 at 07:55.
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Old 11th July 2020, 11:36   #7
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Purchase Experience:

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-2019ninja_10004.jpg


I had been to Rideventur Kawasaki at least thrice before this purchase / booking was done. I would say the experience and the staff response was rather cold or lukewarm on all the occasions. The general mindset of the sales executives there is that a person looking to buy a Kawasaki will buy one anyway, so they don’t put too much effort into selling you one. Take it or leave it, they will not try to convince someone on the strengths of the bike(s). They’re just borderline vanilla-courteous and will answer the questions you ask. Even if they take your number down as a prospect, they may not call you again. Of course, from one corner of the eye they will even be judging you if you are really worthy of their sales efforts or just casual time wasters

Checking out the Ninja 1000 in the rather cramped showroom of Rideventur Kawasaki, Bangalore
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_2184.jpg


To be fair to the particular sales executive (one Mr. Dennis, who no longer works there now) who handled our purchase, he was really nice and offered multiple test rides as well as quick responses for any queries over whatsapp. The accessories chap by name Akshay was really sweet as well, he went out of his way to help me get some accessories which I needed, and even delivered some stuff to my home in heavy rains. Later when I purchased the panniers, he had physically come to the service centre during my first service, to bring the parts required and oversee the fitting, then demo’ed and explained to me how to use them. Kudos to both these guys. I cannot say the same about all the other staff there though, they more likely fit into my description of them in the earlier paragraph.

OT - For one of the best showroom experiences, one must visit the Triumph showroom in Bangalore. Those guys are passionate, knowledgeable, patient, non-judgemental and every other adjective you can think of in an ideal salesman/saleswoman. They really want to sell you a bike even if you don’t know what a bike is. I have heard their service support is the polar opposite, but that’s a different issue.

The color choice was still left to me to make, and I had it pretty obvious from the start. The signature Emerald Green here in India (and some other markets where they badge this bike as the Ninja 1000) had some grey panels which made the looks quite awkward to my eyes - dull grey with dull green. I wish they had the Green-Black combo that was present in other western markets where the same bike is badged as the Z1000SX, but alas, it wasn’t around back then. That left me with no option other than their second (and only other) color - Spark Black. Black was very neutral and had no out-of-place looking panels. It looked more superbike-ish and sinister, and the dark color and double exhaust made the black N1000’s road presence somehow very intimidating and imposing on the road. Color choice ticked.


What I would have liked had it existed - the green color with black panels which gives it a mean-green look. This was sold in EU and some other markets where the same bike is badged as the Z1000SX.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-2017kawasakininjafrontthreequarter.jpg


What India got instead - a bizarre combination of green with dull grey panels made the whole bike look very plain-jane to me, so I gave it a pass.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8197.jpg


The metallic spark black appealed to me a lot more than the green
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0516.jpg


The waiting period was approximately 2 weeks after the booking was done in November first week, and the color choice was sealed - they only procure these bikes to the showroom after a booking is done for INR 1 lac for a bike in this price segment, which is understandable.

We used this time frame to purchase riding gear, procure the must-have accessories (more on these later in this review) and complete the financing formalities with their inhouse loan department (they had a tie-up with L&T two wheeler finance back then). That happened pretty quickly and the bank’s loan representative was top notch in timely communication. Finance formalities were closed by us soon after I selected the bike.

Meanwhile two other customers had also booked black Ninja 1000s apparently around the same time frame as me, so the dealership had three incoming black bikes. As promised, the rep called me a fortnight later when the bike(s) landed in the showroom and the rep asked me to come down, do a PDI and select one among the three bikes, after which they would finalize the invoice and send the bike for registration. I asked BHPian rbp to accompany me and we carefully went over the three bikes, but couldn't find any flaws with any of them. Ultimately I did an inky-pinky-ponky and picked one and signed the approval for invoice and registration. I am neither superstitious nor religious, so I neither picked any fancy registration number nor an auspicious date for the delivery.


Choosing my bike during the PDI visit and finalizing it
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8172.jpg


A note of caution on motor insurance - most vehicle dealerships nowadays overcharge for insurance premiums on new vehicles if we blindly sign the dotted line, agreeing to buy the insurance bundled in their on-road cost. More often than not, this happens in our excitement or hurry to get the vehicle home as soon as possible. Please do your research on which insurance companies are better for that particular brand’s service network (reach out to your local service centre to find out), and then consider shopping for an insurance policy privately, outside of your dealership if the premium difference is big. All it takes is for you to supply the vehicle details such as engine number, chassis number and IDV (ex-showroom price of the new vehicle) to the insurance agent and the policy can be created in a matter of minutes. A new vehicle doesn’t even need any inspection. The cost savings can be immense for a few minutes of phone work.

In my case, the showroom-supplied policy on the price list was almost twice the cost of purchasing the same IDV zero-dep policy by myself privately. I went for HDFC Ergo with zero depreciation cover for around 28k, while the showroom quoted me 49k for the same cover and some other provider (IIRC it was Reliance general insurance). I pointed out this difference to my sales rep and he flatly told me the showroom’s insurance provider cannot match those rates, so I am free to buy the insurance policy outside the showroom if I want. He just said I should mail them the copy of the policy / cover note so that they could send the bike for registration (this is a prerequisite for the RTO registration). That is what I ended up doing.

Delivery day: It was a bright November morning, both of us had taken leave to receive the bike on a weekday morning so the dealership had no other delivery scheduled at the same time as ours. BHPian CrAzY dRiVeR joined me for the delivery and helped us shoot the delivery moments for our memory books. After the cliched briefing on the motorcycle controls and service schedule by Dennis, we handed him a small gift, distributed sweets among the staff, and we were off from there.


The bike was ready for delivery with a nice mat and a nice background and lighting setup for the key handover pictures
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8648.jpg


Another view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8680.jpg


A picture for the memory books, clicked by BHPian CrAzY dRiVeR
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-c046511a66bf49fc98c806009211d3b2.jpg


My better half had to attend to some other errands, while I went riding gingerly to BikenBiker / Gear-Gear, the accessories shop + workshop setup in Wilson garden to fit some of the accessories procured for the bike. I had transported the big box to Gear-Gear in my car the previous day so I didn’t have to lug anything. This concluded the purchase experience and delivery day for us.


Back at home, India's first Sports tourer Karizma welcomes one of the world's best sports tourers
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8725.jpg


The Karizma looks like a dwarf in front of this behemoth
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8721.jpg


More details on the accessories and other titbits will follow later on in this review.

Last edited by KarthikK : 13th July 2020 at 07:49.
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Old 11th July 2020, 12:07   #8
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Should you buy the Ninja 1000? Thought process and a logical breakdown of whom this bike might make sense to

Okay, chances are, if you are a prospective buyer of this bike wanting to make a purchase decision sitting on the fence and are reading this thread for some owner’s views, this is the section you were waiting for. Especially after the 90% irrelevant gibberish about my biking journey or me that you had to endure through the last seven posts, I’d think so. Normally I would have been tempted to put this section at the end of the review after harping about all aspects of the bike. On second thoughts, I’ll fast forward that and save you the time and effort of going through those nitty gritties when they may not even matter. Just a disclaimer - I am no expert / veteran biker, so don’t hold me liable for any minor mistakes in judgements.

Spoilt for choice, eh?
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-013380b2df9b418e89cb68e6e9e967bb.jpg


For simplicity, I have gone a bit further and created a flowchart to get an idea of who might want to end up with this bike

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-sporttourerconundrum.jpg


I know, choosing a bike ain't that simple because there are many more aspects involved. But did you observe just how difficult it is for a sport tourer to make sense because adventure bikes (at similar budget points) might always make more sense and prompt a switch to the adv camp when every question related to touring pops up? More luggage? Better long term comfort? Want to be able go anywhere? More road presence? The list is endless. The use case for this (Ninja 1000) kind of sport-biased tourer is really, really narrow here in India, and is something people should seek out knowingly. It doesn’t come as a natural or logical decision unless one is predisposed to the sportbike camp itself and wants to use it for travelling longer distances. I merely tried to picturize my thought process into that diagram. This bike does sell well due to its tempting price, but so many of those riders switch to proper adventure tourer bikes or to ZX-10R and other supersports bikes within the first year of ownership, because of what I said all along about the flowchart.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_3857.jpg


The Ninja 1000 is not for you if you:
  • Want a higher ground clearance or a rugged vehicle to rough it out frequently, without wanting to be careful of speed breakers or potholes
  • Value long duration upright comfort for both rider and pillion, over sportbike dynamics or aesthetics.
  • Travel a lot, go on long multi-day or multi-week trips to all kinds of places and like to carry your world with you, in which case your luggage needs are high. In all the above 3 cases, an adventure bike will fit your needs better.
  • Personally prefer something nimble, compact and agile to chuck around, or you are of a smaller build and are uncomfortable getting something too big and heavy, or both.
  • Ride mostly solo and don’t do long distances apart from the occasional weekend breakfast meets. In both the above cases, a naked or a retro twin or a supersports bike might fit your needs better if thrill is all you seek.
  • Love the sport tourer concept, but aren’t greedy about more horsepower or torque. There are quite a few choices in the sport tourer segment cheaper than this bike, which can serve similar purposes without breaking the bank.
  • You want to sit back upright and cruise and don’t really care about speed, agility, luggage, gizmos or dynamics. Maybe a cruiser such as a Harley will do well for your needs then.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_1488.jpg


FAQs on the Ninja 1000 and related aspects:

I’ll go through a FAQ section now so it is easier to relate to, with simple and common doubts and questions that prospects usually have in their minds about the Ninja 1000 or other such sport tourers. I had similar doubts when I went through the grind, and hopefully now after 2 years and 10,000 km I can answer them to some extent.

Do I really need a big bike?

Please refer to this thread for more advice on the pros and cons of owning and living with a big bike.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super...otorcycle.html (15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle)


Is the Ninja 1000 closer to a sportbike or closer to an adventure tourer in genetics?

I would say it is closer to a sportbike than an adventure bike in most aspects, barring weight and nimbleness. It is neither supersport nor adventure tourer. It is a sportbike which has been compromised to allow some practicality to intrude into its usage - better all round rideability, stuffed with safety gizmos, has more forgiving ergonomics than a supersport, a better pillion seat (than a supersport) and limited (and removable when you want) luggage options which allow it to be polymorphic.


Can I really use this sport tourer bike for multiple purposes as advertised?

You can take it on your office commute, go for solo breakfast rides with your biker pals, or go on longish daytrips riding all day long, take your better half along, go places with some luggage mounted, or heck you could even take it to the track if you wish. The engine is very nice and multi-purpose-friendly. Just mind the weight factor of the bike. Of course, also remember this is a jack-of-all, master-of-few-skills type bike, so you can do a little bit of everything well. It works mainly with short, tarmac-based touring for limited days and shorter distances (<700-800 km per day). Folks looking at more relaxed ergonomics, go-anywhere ruggedness or flexible luggage options should look elsewhere in the adventure tourer camp.


I like this bike but may not have the budget for it. What other options do I have in this sport-tourer segment?

You can look at the Ninja 650 and the Honda CBR 650F (now CBR 650R) at a budget under 10L, preowned examples might be found for as low as 4L onwards. Both are fantastic, proven sport tourers and there are multiple examples of satisfied owners both on the forum and off it. The Ninja 1000 is now around 13.6L onroad (Bangalore pricing, other cities will be cheaper) and at similar pricing you might find the Ducati Supersport S, and preowned examples can be found for 8-9L onwards. If open to preowned bikes (and believe me, a lot of these bikes are babied and well maintained), get a preowned Ninja 1000 for a sweet deal and most of these will already be clad in all the safety accessories - sliders, radiator guards and the works, required to start riding straight away with no additional investment. Or, if you want more options across segments, perhaps you can go through my flowchart all over again


How good or bad are the ergonomics for riders?

It is neither supersports level aggressive / committed, nor is it adventure bike level upright / comfortable. It is somewhere in between, with maybe a 75% bias towards the sportbike spectrum and 25% towards the upright spectrum with a raised handlebar reach. Advantage with this position - you can sit back and cruise when you want to, or you can lean forward and attack some corners if you are in the mood for that. Can you do all-day-long riding on these? Sure you can. Easily.


How good or bad is the pillion seat on the Ninja 1000?


It is obviously a sportbike-styled triangle seat with slightly increased width and cushioning, so the comfort is not close to an upright adventure tourer’s seating posture. The lack of backrest / topbox means the posture is mostly leaning forward. So to be honest, one has to be fit (and most importantly, mentally willing) to sit through extended journeys and multiple hours. The ergonomics aren’t bad as such for the pillion, even with the pannier boxes mounted, just somewhat demanding and will take a few trips to get used to. Taller pillions will definitely have a problem though, while pillions with short or average height should manage just fine. My better half is 5’5” and she manages just fine for upto 500-600 km a day, beyond that fatigue sets in. Both of us are into cycling long distances and that definitely helps with longer bike rides. I'll review the ergonomics later on in this thread.


Is the bike rideable (from the powertrain point of view) in varying conditions? How does the low-end feel?

Yes, the bike is very rider friendly in all kinds of conditions. You can hit 100 in the first gear or you can potter around at 30 kmph in 6th gear. 6th gear can do 30-250 with one flick of the throttle. So yes, the low-end is very powerful, acceleration is linear and the gear ratios are very sorted for relaxed cruising as well as aggressive bursts. It will not kill you unless you do something stupid. Don’t play around with the midrange and top end though unless you know where to try these, in both these zones the thrust is brutal and can be lethal in the wrong environment.


How bad is the weight on the Ninja 1000?

It is 235 kg without the saree guard here in India. That is quite a lot, believe me. While on the move, you won’t feel it because of the high torque and power available even lower down the rev range. You have to be careful on slippery stretches, or tight gaps or turns or any such situation where you are crawling. Needless to add, U-turns have to be planned and executed carefully. The taller and better built you are, the better you can handle the lead weight in those situations. It also boils down to confidence. I know some shorter riders who manage fine, and some taller ones who struggle. But the fact remains that it is quite heavy. Try it for yourself to decide if it is too heavy or manageable for you, but also don’t unnecessarily push yourself to handle the heavyweight if you are shorter or of a smaller build and find it intimidating.


This is a litre class bike. How is the heat? Is it manageable?


Absolutely negligible for the rider. Being a big engine, it does produce heat at lower speeds in the city and in traffic jams, but the vents are very well designed to blast the hot air away from the rider’s legs. You can ride this beast in traffic without getting your legs roasted. You may not even feel the hot air to be honest.


I am interested in this bike because it is the cheapest litre class inline-4. I really love the ZX-10R but that bike is at least 5-6L more. Can I get the Ninja 1000 instead?

It is the cheapest inline 4 litre class bike, but please don’t make the mistake of thinking the Ninja 1000 can be a cheaper ZX-10R. It is not! I have seen many Ninja 1000 owners upgrading to the ZX-10R when they eventually realized the N1000 is not what they wanted (they thought it was a cheaper crotch rocket alternative to the ZX-10R). Sure, both of them have fairings and very powerful 1000cc motors which can thrill or kill, but the similarities end there. The ZX-10R is purpose built to demolish race tracks and lap records, while the Z1000SX (Ninja 1000) is a sport tourer which allows for comfortable 2-up touring with some compromises in dynamics and has a heavier weight and longer wheelbase. The Z1000SX is not as flickable or hyper as the ZX-10R, and it is not meant to be.

The power delivery is also very different between the two - a supersport will have a lukewarm low end and an insane top end which can kill you or thrill you, while a sport tourer will have a more mature, linear power delivery all the way from idle to midrange, and the brutal acceleration takes over from there. Both can be brutal from midrange to redline and have to be dealt with carefully, but they are obviously meant for different purposes. If you want a proper supersports motorcycle and cannot afford the ZX-10R, please look at the ZX-6R which is at a similar price point as the Ninja 1000 and is a hoot to ride. However, if you mostly prefer the practicality and want to occasionally track the Ninja 1000, who says that is not possible either?




I am not used to so much power. My current bike is a commuter and has only <insert a number between 10-20> BHP. Will this bike (140+ bhp) be overkill for me as my first big bike?

If you’re referring to ease of usage, apart from the weight there isn’t much else to worry about. The engine tuning is well sorted and you can potter around town all day long without having to worry about the heat or low-end. There is enough juice all the way from idle rpm, you can even do 6th gear at 30 kmph (or 1st gear 120 kmph if you wish!). Surprised? So was I.

I switched from a Karizma with 17 bhp to the Ninja 1000 with 140 bhp and didn’t really have a hard time adjusting. Unless you whack open the throttle, it is a very forgiving and disciplined bike at low speeds. As with all things, you and your body get used to the new bike and its various intricacies and soon it will feel like second skin.


Wait. I know this is a big bike, but can’t help asking - Kitna Deti Hai?

On an average, for my kind of smooth cruising at triple digit speeds with pillion and luggage in tow, I get around 18-19 km per litre. And since this has a 19 litre fuel tank where we don’t really wait till the last drop to refuel, I realistically manage around 280-300 km on one tank of fuel before I hit the nearest bunk. More aggressive riding such as on the hills will drop the FE to 17ish, and the range to 250+ km. I haven’t seen a lower figure than that personally, and I don’t bother checking with eagle eyes honestly.


Does this bike run on regular fuel? Or do we need to feed it higher octane petrol?

Kawasaki recommends 91 RON or more for this bike, and a sticker on the bike says 95 RON and more, but the ECU adapts itself to regular fuel almost instantly and the difference can be felt in a marginal power cut and marginal drop in refinement and sometimes even idling rpm. Direct answer to the question - Does using regular fuel cause any issues? No. The ECU is smart enough to adapt to regular fuel if you give it only that. Even the service centre and owner’s manual specifically say 91 octane or higher is okay.

I generally tank up on HP’s Power99 (99 octane petrol is available at their 24X7 Coco bunk on HAL airport road) whenever I am in Bangalore or before departing on any trip from here. I prefer Power99 because I genuinely enjoy the instant crisp throttle response and superior refinement over regular fuel, not for fear of the engine running into problems.

As you might have guessed, higher octane fuel is not always available when touring near smaller towns or remote areas. I then generally stick to the nearest Reliance, Shell pumps or other PSU company owned (COCO) bunks and fill up regular fuel (not additive version of power / speed, etc). If that is also not available, just go to any decent looking big bunk from one of these PSU giants.

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 15:48.
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Old 11th July 2020, 13:18   #9
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Complete Review of the Ninja 1000 from an owner's perspective

So you successfully made it past all the recent build-up posts which covered the buying decision and the purchase of the bike. If you thought that was the end of this ownership review, hell no! The review hasn't even begun

Here's where the actual bike review begins. I have a ton of aspects to cover and I have divided the review into 7 posts (first one being this one you're reading), clubbing related aspects into the same post whilst trying to ensure continuity without getting cluttered. Feel free to jump across sections through the links to the constituent review portions.Without further ado, lets jump straight into the review.

What did the MY 2019 'facelift' version add over the 2018 Ninja 1000?

The Ninja 1000 / Z1000 SX undergoes major facelifts once in 3 years generally. In between those, the MY (Motorcycle Year) annual facelifts add cosmetic upgrades if anything. Since the last major facelift was in 2017 and some minor color changes were added in MY18, there are just two differences that the MY19 version added over the previous MY18 model.

One is the instrument console backlight changed from a high contrast color layout to a conventional looking grey background and black text. I’m unsure if this is due to users complaining about the reduced readability on the older model.

The pre-2019 Ninja 1000s have a high contrast display color scheme like this
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-unnamed.jpg


The MY19 model switched it back to the conventional and common black text on grey background. The backlight is light blue in colour now.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-my19_console.jpg


The second difference is even more insignificant. On the black bikes, there is a new sideways “V” shaped decal added on the fairing on both sides.

The grey 'V' shaped decal added on the black fairing to break some color monotony. I personally don't care about it though.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-my19decal002.jpg


The rest of the bike remains unchanged mechanically, electronically and technically for MY19.


Styling and Design

I am no design guru, but this is one butch bike exuding a lot of style and aggression without using any bold colors or decals. It is heavy, long, wide, reasonably tall, has an angry face and makes its presence felt in no uncertain terms from any angle you look at it. Kawasaki has kept the sportbike genetics alive in terms of the design by making it look almost like a taller ZX-10R with a higher set handlebar.


Aggressive stance, accentuated by the black hooligan look
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0596.jpg


The typical twin-headlamp 'Ninja' face is unmistakably Kawasaki in styling
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0583.jpg


The sport tourer stance with raised handlebar and thicker seats show the hybrid 'neither here nor there' character of this bike.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0516.jpg


Getting into the formalities, the physical dimensions of the bike are as follows:

Length: 2100 mm
Width: 790 mm
Overall height: 1185 mm with visor at lowest position, 1235 mm with visor at highest position
Wheelbase: 1440 mm
Seat height: 815 mm
Ground clearance: 130 mm
Kerb weight: 235 kg without the saree guard



There are sharp cuts and creases in the fairing, between the constituent panels. Some of these are in matt finish black, while the rest are the body colored glossy black.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0594.jpg


The matt panels are distinguishable when viewed under bright light
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-fairing_panels.jpg


I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking in the next set of walkaround views.

Side view from the right side
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0494.jpg


Front left three quarter view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0504.jpg


Front right three quarter view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0505.jpg


Rear right three quarter view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0506.jpg


Rear left three quarter view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0510.jpg


Absolute rear view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0515.jpg


Direct front look - the typical Ninja face with dual headlamps. The Ninja 1000 gets dual LED headlamps stock
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0563.jpg


The taillamp is a series of 11 LEDs arranged in a twin-triangle shape and very elegant to look at. I believe this unit is shared with the versys as well.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0568.jpg


The top of the fuel tank proudly wears the Ninja moniker
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0589.jpg


The Kawsaki branding is moved lower down to the bottom of the fairing
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0599.jpg


The front number plate holder was obviously added as an after-thought and sticks out like a sore thumb
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0159.jpg


With a tall rider on this Ninja, it can give an overall good road presence
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0539.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0522.jpg


Do note, this bike is not wearing the OE visor. It has a Puig dark smoke touring visor. The OE visor is a bit shorter and is transparent in color.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0584.jpg


In black, the bike looks quite bigger than it actually is.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0619.jpg


The well sculpted fuel tank blends well with the aggressive face and fairing.

Unmistakeable 'hump' fuel tank differentiating it from its supersports siblings.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0572.jpg


Rear view of the fuel tank and the bulging contours
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0573.jpg


The seats retain the sportbike look while adding some additional thickness to complement the touring nature.
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The grab rails are curved towards the frame on both ends, they also serve other purposes such as acting as a OE pannier harness point (I will come to that later)
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0570.jpg


The chiseled dual 4x2x2 short exhaust layout is supposedly shortened and lowered to centralize and balance the overall weight. They look good and are finished in a brushed steel pattern which will avoid accumulating scratches over a long period.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0600.jpg


The exhausts are short and stocky but the design is simple and elegant
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0590.jpg


The alloys have 6 spokes in 2 x 3 layout. I couldn’t get a perfect shot of the alloys without the photo-bombing components on both front and rear.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0681.jpg


For a pure unhindered view of the alloy pattern, refer to BHPian dkaile’s post here:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super...ml#post4307426 (2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 - The Comprehensive Review)


The rear and front of the bike both wear fat rubber to complete the butch looks. This bike wears 120/70R17 on the front and 190/50R17 on the rear. OE tyres are Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0533.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 22:46.
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Old 11th July 2020, 14:10   #10
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Build quality, Paint quality and Decals

The Ninja 1000 is a solidly built bike from the word go. I really have nothing much to fault in any particular aspect of its build quality. There have been no niggles due to rattling panels, no fading issues on the matt finished panels, or any other areas. I have no complaints with anything to be honest.

The switch gear feels very robustly built, the levers are very sturdily built and there is a generous usage of high quality material and metal all around. All these reflect in the vault-like feel and butch looks when riding the bike or even parking and admiring it from a distance. It really is built as tough as much as it looks tough.

The paint job is top notch and exudes quality. The glitter effect on the black is very pronounced when it is detailed well and shows up on a clean bike. I do have a soft corner for black though.

The decals are mostly nice, a few are average or so-so and could have been better, but I am genuinely nitpicking if I said that.

I'll run through some images describing the build quality, paint quality and decals on this bike.

The bike in general exudes a very nice feel-good factor with a solid build quality. The weight will ensure you feel that too
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0615.jpg


Even the matt grey/black panels are very nicely built and look like they will last the distance
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0578.jpg


The nicely built switchgear feels premium to use.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0662.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0067.jpg


The exhaust end cans are made of a nice brushed steel material and will look age-free over time. Scratches and abrasions don't show up on this material.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0124.jpg


The foot levers and footpegs are built well with good quality rubber and are padded nicely
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0671.jpg


These handlebar bar-ends are OE and came from the factory
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0676.jpg


The paint job is superb
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0576.jpg


Look at that glitter effect under light
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_7671.jpg


Glossmania all over again!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0154.jpg


The 'Ninja' branding decal on the fuel tank is of top notch quality
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0574.jpg


The '1000' badging on the matt panel of the fairing. I feel these could have been better.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0580.jpg


The 'Kawsaki' badging is of good quality. It has been moved to the bottom of the fairing but is very bold and visible from the sides
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0599.jpg


There are these KTRC and ABS decals on both sides of the front fork panels
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0608.jpg


There were a bunch of other stickers like these, for using higher RON petrol and some other basic warnings. They were of good quality but were debadged after delivery.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0575.jpg


These 2 decals are stuck on the chain guard plastic panel, obviously for chain maintenance and tyre pressure reference. They are probably the only decals on the entire bike which feel flimsy and may get peeled off after a few years
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0702.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0700.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 16:10.
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Old 11th July 2020, 15:29   #11
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Engine characteristics and Performance

This is one heck of an all-rounder engine with almost no flaws to boot. There is enough grunt through the entire rev range to either ride peacefully or kill yourself, depending on your mood, your right wrist and your intentions.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0525.jpg


Engine displacement:1043cc, inline 4 cylinder, 4 stroke
Cooling: Liquid cooled
Max power: 140 bhp @ 10,000 rpm
Max torque: 111 Nm @ 7,300 rpm
Compression ratio: 11.8:1

The low end is quite powerful and there is absolutely no hint of struggle in lower rpm ranges. I am not kidding, you can ride around at 30 kmph in 6th gear without feeling any lugging vibes. Not that one should do this though, but just saying. This makes city rideability incredibly easy to accomplish, and it obviously means you won’t find it difficult to ride this bike to your workplace, or even to buy groceries from your local supermarket. Keeping the vehicle between 2000 and 3000 rpm feels so nice and comfortable in the city that you won’t know you are riding something so powerful.

Idling RPM is around 1000-1100 rpm
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0244.jpg


Idling RPM is usually 1100 RPM if I run on higher octane fuel, while I have observed it go and settle at 1000 RPM if I use regular fuel. It can however be adjusted using this screw above the engine oil cap
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0209.jpg


On the low ‘L’ power mode (the bike still puts 100 horses in this mode), the tune moves some grunt lower, and the low end feels a bit better and easier to handle. The heat is also lesser than in the Full ‘F’ power mode where the bike’s full 142 horses are unleashed. This option, coupled with KTRC (Kawasaki TRaction Control) modes with intrusion levels Off-1-2-3 allow for a range of riding combinations suited to different situations. I’ll cover the riding modes a bit later.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0228.jpg


The midrange and top end only build on the powerful low end, and the acceleration can be scary and devastating if one takes things too lightly. You’ve got to watch your right hand after 4000-5000 rpm and only unleash that zone in places and open roads which are safe to do so.

Where this engine shines is on the highways. That is where we encounter all kinds of situations requiring us to slow down and speed up. Overtaking faster vehicles is a breeze with a twist of the throttle, and speeding away from traffic gaps or speed breakers is easy-peasy.

Cruising is relaxed and comfortable. 100 kmph comes up at a relaxed ~4000 RPM and 120 kmph at around 5000 revs. You can cruise all day long with no hint of discomfort, and overtake vehicles at a slight twist of the throttle. This coupled with a bike’s inherent advantage of bypassing toll plazas, reaching your cruise speed quickly after interruptions, and zipping into gaps, tremendously increases average speeds and lessens travel time over longer trips, leaving more time for you to enjoy the journey (breaks en route) or lengthen the time at the destination if you need to.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0670.jpg


I can relate to this directly because we used to tour on the Karizma and immediately switched to this monster. There is so much more comfort and extra time for those extra photo stops or short scenic point hikes en route to a picturesque hilltop homestay for instance. Or we can start the return journey a couple of hours later, knowing that we can make up for that lost time easily. On a smaller bike, every minute matters because we have no speed advantage.


Exhaust note

The note is typically inline-4 smooth, and has a beastly bass to its undertone to distinguish the litre class nature from the 600cc type whiney-ness at higher revs. At lower revs, the stock exhaust note is very smooth and can neither be called loud nor silent. It is silent enough not to get any untoward attention from any cops and the occasional throttle blip on a sunday morning won’t shock your neighbour grandpa into spilling his morning cup of chai on his newspaper. It is however loud enough to draw admiration and attention from all adjacent vehicles on the road, and that will be followed by the occasional “kitna deti hai?” or “kitna top speed hai?” questions when you stop at the next signal.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-exhaust-note.jpg


Stock exhaust note is bassy, refined and slick without being loud
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0591.jpg


Closer look at the 4x2x2 exhaust layout
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0592.jpg


Engine heat

This is one sportbike where the engine heat is absolutely not an issue, and credit needs to be given where it is due. The design of the fairing and the heat vents is such that the hot air is directed away from the rider’s legs in a much forward location on the fairing. The result is one can ride the bike in traffic all day long and not feel the hot blast on the legs directly. Of course, this being such a huge engine there is going to be some heat if you search for it. It won’t roast your legs by itself though.


The hot air vents are further away in the front of the fairing
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0146.jpg


The rider's legs are not anywhere close to the direct hot air blast
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0553.jpg


Refinement and NVH levels

The engine is generally very smooth and refined through the rev range and there are no untoward vibrations or harshness signs in any particular RPM. No vibes are felt anywhere on the handlebar or footpegs or anywhere else you can think of. Refinement is one of the virtues of this engine and it is something buyers will seek when touring longer distances.


Coolant

This being a liquid cooled engine, the bike features a radiator in the conventional location. The coolant tank is concealed below the front seat, next to the rear monoshock, with the minimum and maximum values easily readable. The capacity of the coolant reservoir is 2.9 litres.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0654.jpg


Engine oil

The total oil capacity on this bike is 4 litres when fully drained out (service centres will usually fill 3.8L during routine services) and the stock oil used by the Kawasaki service centre is Motul 10W40 2W full synthetic oil. Generally Kawasaki service schedules require them to carry out the oil change at the first service, and thereafter at every 12,000 km or 1 year from the previous service / oil change date.


Engine oil level gauge on the right side of the bike
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0688.jpg


Oil refill cap
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Gearbox

The shift levers are slick and precise, and the gear ratios are tuned very well to be neither too short nor too tall. Together with the lovely engine, this makes for flawless and flexible rideability in almost any kind of situation, sedate or brutal - be it cruising, pottering, acceleration, aggressive cornering, climbing steep hills or whatever else you want to do. Like I mentioned earlier, one can do 100 kmph in 1st gear or 30 kmph in 6th gear. 0-100 comes up in 3.2 seconds and the bike is electronically limited to 250 kmph, although it is capable of touching 300 in some other countries. I don’t have any such plans or skills to try out these limits though.

Nothing different in the usual O-ring chain. The company recommended lubrication interval is 500 km and once in 1000-1500 km for the chain slack adjustment
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0699.jpg


Clutch

The clutch is very light and is nice to use, be it in the city traffic, hills or on the open roads. I was surprised when I learnt this was a cable operated clutch and not a hydraulic one. It has an ‘Assist’ system and a slipper clutch safety mechanism in-built. I’ll touch on the ergonomics of the clutch lever itself a bit later.

Clutch lever is light and easy to use.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0546.jpg


This is a cable operated clutch. The company recommended change interval for the clutch cable is around 20,000 km or sometimes even later.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0609.jpg


Fuel tank capacity and range

The tank capacity of this beast happens to be 19 litres. Now that may sound like a lot, but when the fuel efficiency of ~18-19 kmpl is taken into account, that translates to an ideal tank range of around 350 km. However, we don’t normally run dry until the last drop of fuel is reached. I for example, watch the fuel gauge bars go down and take a call. When the display reads 1 out of 6 bars, there are still 5-6 litres in the tank. When the 1 remaining bar starts blinking, is when I start hunting for a bunk. At that point I would have covered around 270-300 km on that elapsed tankful and will manage to fill around 14-15 litres.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0623.jpg


Fuel efficiency

It might seem silly to speak about this aspect on a litre class tourer but more than cost-consciousness, it does help to plan refuel stops on long trips because this is the main factor for range calculation. For my kind of riding where I cruise sedately on expressways at lower triple digit speeds and tend to have a bit of fun in the hills, I average around 18-19 km per litre of petrol over the course of the entire trip of say 800-1000 km round trip. This is with a pillion and the loaded OE panniers on the bike. I have rarely seen the FE drop below 17.5 even with spirited riding. The range indicator also is pretty accurate with the fuel quantity and estimation depending on how aggressively I ride.

Standard FE I see on this bike is between 18 and 19 kmpl. The MID is almost perfectly accurate when compared to a manual tankful-to-tankful calculation.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0234.jpg


A note on high octane petrol

As I mentioned in my FAQ section here on whether this machine can survive on regular fuel, the owner’s manual and the service centre suggest to use fuel with RON equal to or greater than 91 octane. In other words, regular fuel won’t cause any harm as long as you stick to decent bunks and avoid adulterated fuel.

That said, I regularly fill up and use HP’s Power99 before any major trip because I genuinely enjoy the improved throttle response, full fledged power and superior refinement over using regular fuel. Regular fuel causes the ECU to cut back on the power a little bit but it isn’t a big deal. When touring, I just stick to company owned bunks or any decent bunks and tank up on regular fuel. This mix with power99 generally keeps the net octane value always above 91.

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 22:53.
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Old 11th July 2020, 16:43   #12
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Dynamics and Safety

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0528.jpg


When it comes to dynamics, it is nice to see how Kawasaki has paid attention to both elements at opposite ends of the biking spectrum - the sportbike type dynamics/aesthetics as well as the touring aspects that a prospective owner expects from this genre of bikes. It can morph into a straightline cruiser or corner carver with equal aplomb. Obviously it does not claim to be the absolute best in either end of the spectrum, but it does both decently well.

The wider design of the fairing accommodates the rider’s legs well and prevents windblast around the legs at higher speeds. The kerb weight is now at 235 kg (without the saree guard in India). While this high weight can be a disadvantage at lower speeds, it actually helps to keep the bike firmly planted on the road even in heavy cross winds and in general improves stability and feel at higher speeds.


Handling

While it is not supersport level nimble, the Ninja 1000 seems to be a very composed handler and willfully turns into any curve I throw it into. Even for a newbie like me, it is a very forgiving package dynamically, and feels delightful to lean down, throw into corners and enjoy trips to the hills, pretending to know the curves like the back of my hand. The footpegs are set high as in a sportbike, so there is no risk of grazing the pegs in the corners even in aggressive leans. The raised handlebars and the heavy weight probably need a firm hand in low speed corners and hairpins but it isn’t bad at all, and can easily be offset with a little more momentum.

The sublime handling for this Ninja is further aided with the presence of the IMU-based KTRC traction control system and KIBS cornering ABS system to gracefully brake into and power out of corners confidently, no matter what the road conditions are - wet, cold, sunny, etc. Adding or removing the loaded OE panniers or pillion does little to unsettle the road manners and thus, I can still have sportbike type fun even with my better half behind me and luggage in tow.


Ride quality

The suspension setup on the Ninja 1000 is very mature and leaves nothing more to desire. It has a firm ride and calmly soaks up all the bumps that our average travel route or city roads throw at it. Do note though, that both front and the rear setups can be adjusted according to the rider's needs.

The front was initially a bit soft out of the factory, but after asking the service rep on the first service he set it up to my liking, towards a stiffer and nicer handling setup. The rear suspension preload adjustment allows a range of settings spread over 15 ‘clicks’ of the adjustment knob. Because I always travel with a pillion and luggage and prefer a stiffer setup at the rear with decent handling, I bump it up to 11 (out of 15) clicks. Any more than this and my wife complains about harshness, any less than 6-7 and the ground clearance suffers when the 2-up loaded bike goes over speedbreakers.

The 41mm upside down front forks
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0666.jpg


A closer look at the well finished groove pattern on the forks
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0667.jpg


The front fork adjustment screws from the rider's view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0070.jpg


Suspension preload adjustment from Soft to Hard on clockwise rotation. Rebound damping force adjustment is on the central screw. This is on the left side fork.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0073.jpg


A similar adjustment mechanism exists on the right side as well
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0074.jpg


The compression damping force can be adjusted through the nut seen just above the fork slider. As usual, clockwise turns increase it from soft to hard
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0132.jpg


Horizontal back-link monoshock suspension does duty at the rear
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0678.jpg


Another view of the rear suspension
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0679.jpg


The rear suspension adjustment is easy and can be bumped up or down to suit a wide variety of riding conditions and load.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0629.jpg


A closer view at the suspension lever which has around 15 'clicks' of adjustment possible. Clockwise turn-clicks bump up (stiffen) the suspension preload factor and anti-clockwise softens it down.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0628.jpg


Braking

The duty of stopping this heavy machine is carried out by a Nissin 4-piston caliper system with dual 300mm petal discs up front, and a single piston caliper on a 250mm petal disc at the rear. It is coupled with KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent Braking System) which makes use of Bosch's 6-axis IMU to provide cornering ABS support, depending on lean angle and various other parameters which are beyond the scope of this review or my detailed understanding.

The front brake setup features a 4-piston caliper system with dual 300mm petal discs
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0602.jpg

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The front brake fluid reservoir looks common just like most other sportbikes. Nothing much to say here.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0663.jpg


The fluid level is easily noticeable within the min and max limits
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0103.jpg


A single piston caliper system with a 250mm petal disc performs braking duty at the rear
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0605.jpg


Note the unique upside-down mounting position of the caliper at the rear
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0128.jpg


The rear brake fluid reservoir is concealed right behind the pillion footpegs near the suspension preload adjustment lever.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0652.jpg


Braking is excellent on the front as well as rear. The pedal feedback is very good on both pedals, the bite is progressive and confidence-inspiring, and the overall braking score for me would be an A++ rating. There have been a few heart-in-the-mouth moments on expressways and the stopping ability has always been reassuring in panic braking situations. Even at other times when I am having fun in the twisties, the bite has been more than adequate.


Weight

This is a double edged sword for the Ninja 1000. It weighs 239 kg here in India with the saree guard attached, and 235kg without it. While it is a good thing to ensure stability in straightlines and keeps the bike firmly planted even in crosswinds and high speeds, the weight is noticeably felt at lower speeds and parking speeds. Due to the lower centre of gravity of being a sportbike, it doesn’t feel as heavy as, say a versys, and it isn’t waiting to pull you down. But U-turns have to be planned and executed slowly and carefully. I am tall and well built so it doesn’t bother me much, but this can definitely trouble shorter riders and can possibly be a dealbreaker for many folks. Do try it out on multiple test rides if weight is a deciding factor for you.


If there was a world heavyweight championship for litre-class sport bikes, this bully would be in the top 3
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0519.jpg


Turning radius

The turning radius of the Ninja 1000 at full handle lock is 3.1m. This, coupled with the lead-heavy weight can add to maneuverability woes in the city if your route involves tight spots and U-turns. Amplify this difficulty if you are a shorter rider.

Left, right, left, right, where do I go? Oh never mind, I can't turn so tightly
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-g0020027.jpg


Ground clearance

Being sport biased, not surprisingly this bike has a low ground clearance of 130mm. If you’re someone who likes to rough it out, this is clearly not the bike for you. You’ll have to watch out for high and unscientific speed breakers. With a pillion and panniers in tow, you have to be even more careful. When the occasional bottoming out does occur, it is the cat-con box which takes the hit just before the rear wheel makes it across the bump.
The box is sturdily built for this but one must remain careful and try to avoid the hit if possible.


If you look closely, the cat-con box just above the rear wheel clearance is the GC victim all the time
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0127.jpg


A closer look at the catalytic converter box which is a hindrance on bigger speed breakers. Many owners have removed this with or without aftermarket exhaust systems. I am sticking by the stock setup though.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0054.jpg

Three ways I use to get around this ground clearance issue -
  • When traveling with my wife and with luggage, I bump up the suspension preload on the rear to 11 or 12 clicks. This offsets the suspension sag due to the additional weight. This solves 90% of ground clearance woes here in my travels. And mind you this includes horrible countryside roads to reach homestays and B&Bs in remote locations.
  • The big speedbreakers can be approached and cleared in an oblique angle (rather than take them head on) similar to how we do in cars with low ground clearance, so that the gap between wheels at the bump is kept minimal.
  • If the speedbreaker is too steep or high, I sometimes have to stand up on the ground while in riding position, to lift my weight off the bike and onto the ground. Generally this is very rare but just a last ditch option.


Wheels and Tyres

Both front and rear are shod with 17” made-in-Japan black alloys with 2x3 pattern 6-spoke design. They seem to be quite rigid and well built and a few occasional high speed bumps and pothole hits have not caused any bends fortunately. One has to be careful with these, at 60,000 INR per alloy they are quite expensive to replace if bent.

The OE tyre setup is as follows:
Front: Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20F in size 120/70 ZR17
Rear: Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20R in size 190/50 ZR17

6 spoke alloys do duty in the front and rear. The front is shod with Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20F

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0681.jpg


Branding and size mentioned
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0684.jpg


Tread pattern on the front tyre. Pardon me for dirtying the tyre on the way to the review shoot point, the path was a bit muddy
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0695.jpg


Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20R on the rear
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0686.jpg


Tread pattern on the rear tyre
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0697.jpg


The OE recommended air pressure for the front tyre is 36 psi and for the rear tyre it is 42 psi.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0700.jpg


While the stock tyres aren’t exactly bad in grip levels and performance, they are only slightly above average and are just ‘get the job done’ level good. While under normal riding conditions they are more than adequate, under aggressive riding they do tend to get a bit jittery especially in the hills. Wet weather grip levels are more or less similar to dry - satisfactory but not superb. I would prefer some more confidence-inspiring grip for sure.

At the time of writing this review I have clocked around 10,000 km on the stock Battlax pair and the service advisor assured me they will run for another 3,000 or 4,000 odd km for my kind of usage. I however do not wish to extract every molecule of it on such a powerful machine. I will accelerate the upgrade process and opt for something with better grip levels to keep me happier and help me enjoy my trips with more peace of mind. Perhaps these Bridgestones will make way for stickier Pirelli Angel GT II or Michelin Pilot Road 5 in the next few months when I am able to use the Ninja again.


Safety

In brief, these are the safety features the Ninja 1000 comes shod with:

Riding modes

The rider can choose between two power modes - L stands for Low (100bhp) and F for full (140bhp). The L power mode moves the grunt into the lower end and smoothens out the delivery some more to enable easier movement in traffic, etc. I use this mode a lot in the hills as well, it is very handy to accelerate out of corners

Observe the power mode next to the temperature gauge - it can be either L or F
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0229.jpg


The bike features a Bosch 6-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to detect lean angle and offer enhanced safety while working in tandem with the braking system and traction control system to offer what Kawasaki calls as KCMF - Kawasaki Cornering Management Function. KCMF consists of 2 more jargon terms used in most online references to this bike.

The first is the Traction control system on many modern Kawasakis which is called KTRC - Kawasaki TRaction Control. It works with the IMU and provides traction control assistance depending on lean angle. There are 3 settings for KTRC for the rider to choose intrusion level depending on what surface or weather he is riding with, 1 being the lowest and 3 being the highest level (say for wet or snow conditions). There is a fourth mode - to switch it OFF completely! With 2 riding modes and 4 KTRC settings, there are 8 combinations the rider can play with to accommodate a wide variety of situations.

I will reference this picture again, to depict the KTRC setting next to the power mode. It can be set anytime even while on the move, using the left hand controls (I'll cover that in the next section)
Click image for larger version

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The dual channel ABS system works with the IMU to provide what Kawasaki calls as KIBS - Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System. It is just marketing jargon and a synonym for Cornering ABS, which helps a lot when leaning and braking through turns.

Dual channel ABS with cornering ABS, aided by KCMF
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0604.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0607.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 22:56.
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Old 11th July 2020, 17:41   #13
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Ergonomics - Rider and Pillion

Overall the rider ergonomics are very sorted for something in this category and the seat is good for a long haul ride of say, 800-900 km a day. This is around the max I have done in a day and the backside is quite tired by then. As mentioned earlier in this review, one cannot and should not expect adventure tourer type ergonomics with this bike because it is simply not poised to be that. For distances that I mentioned, ergonomics won't be an issue.

I'll go over most of the ergonomics aspects a rider will need to bother about:

With a seat height of 815mm, it isn't too tall for shorter riders. The weight will be more of a problem for shorter riders than the seat height
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0525.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0538.jpg


Comparison of height with a rider standing next to the bike. The rider there (yours truly) is slightly over 6'1". Some friends tease me that I manage to make any bike look like a toy, so don't take my word for how manageable I say the bike is!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0550.jpg


Rider standing while on the bike, for reference
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0519.jpg


No, I'm not so fat, that's just the bulky touring jacket with multiple front pockets
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0517.jpg


The riding posture is somewhat true to its sporty genes. Notice the rear seat footpegs which are fit for sporty riding if need be. Also check how the rider's legs tuck into the fairing to minimize windblast around the legs.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0553.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0521.jpg


The wide fairing helps to grip the tank firmly with the legs and cocoon the legs from direct wind blast well
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0615.jpg


Want to invoke the 'insanity' mood and try some sportbike antics? Sure, just lean in and attack those corners. See how naturally sporty this feels, coupled with those rear set footpegs? That's why I say this is 75% sportbike.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0554.jpg


Or do you want to sit back and relax in a somewhat upright posture while cruising along? Sure, that is possible too. Just remember it is not adventure tourer level upright comfort. Manageable but not natural, notice the legs are still in semi-sport position. Also, don't expect any wind blast protection if you are a tall rider, even with the visor at its highest setting (I'll come to this in the next section)
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0555.jpg


The front seat is padded quite nicely, reasonably stiff and wide enough for long journeys without much fatigue
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0111.jpg


This is a pillion friendly bike and that is one big strength for the whole sport touring purpose. The pillion ergonomics are well sorted for short and average height folks. My better half is comfortable even on longer distances of up to 500-600 km in a day on our weekend trips. Beyond that fatigue sets in according to her.


The pillion seat is well padded.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0115.jpg


The pillion seat width is nicely designed and can allow for some longer durations of cruising without a sore backside. Remember though, that window is not as much as upright adventure tourer standards. This is more like 500-600 km per day, or 1200-1300 km per weekend. I reiterate, if your distance needs are more hardcore, you should look at something else and not this bike. On a separate note, the grab rails are easily accessible for the pillion to hold if needed, and they do not interfere with the pillion's hand usage of these grab rails even though the panniers tether under these rails on both sides.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0139.jpg


A picture depicting the rider and pillion ergonomics with the neatly integrated OE Panniers system not at all obstructing her leg space or footpeg access areas. Do note this bike does not have a top box, and I don't have any luggage system or tail rack in the back for pillion to lean back on.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0388.jpg


Another view of our fully loaded 2-up Ninja on a tour to the Western Ghats
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0380.jpg


Rider Controls

A closely related category to the ergonomics of the rider, but this section will touch more on the features themselves. I'll try and include every lever or feature there is on the bike, which the rider might be interested in, barring the electronics and the instrument console which will come a bit later.

Let me start with the key. Pretty basic and similar to other Kawasaki bike keys, nothing wow
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8435.jpg


The ignition key slot has the usual settings from left to right. Only thing extra is - there is one notch more on the anti-clockwise position beyond the regular lock position which allows hazard lights to be switched on when the bike is locked. As the text says, this bike is armed with an engine immobilizer.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0065.jpg


A picture with key inserted. Because this space is so well insulated by the visor, the keychain accessory (the rubber 'Ninja' logo) does not flutter even at high speeds
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0063.jpg


The handlebar is a bit high set to enable touring comfort and provide better reach for the rider when he sits slightly upright
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0502.jpg


The Ninja 1000 features a clip-on handlebar setup
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0194.jpg


The same ignition key operates the fuel tank cap
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0622.jpg


A picture of the fuel tank cap open. There is a warning to only fill fuel up to the metal rim seen at the bottom of the filler neck
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0623.jpg


This lever under the instrument console can be pressed to move the visor position among three levels of upright-ness. There is a warning telling the rider not to try and operate this lever when on the move, because it is a tight spot for fingers to dig in and can result in loss of control.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0690.jpg


This is the lowest setting for the visor and I usually leave it at this for the sporty looks. For my height even the highest position setting doesn't serve any purpose so I as well choose the better looks. I cannot see through the visor for my height anyway, so I changed it to dark smoke tinted visor for enhanced looks.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0587.jpg


This is the second setting, slightly higher than the previous picture
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0589.jpg


This is the third and highest setting. It might help shorter or average height riders with more windblast protection. Notice how awkward this upright visor will look on a sport-biased bike though
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0588.jpg


Peep under the rear of the bike and this keyhole is visible - it is used to unlock and remove the rear seat and provide access to other under-seat areas.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0626.jpg


The pillion seat opens up to reveal a small storage area which can be used to stash away any minor things such as vehicle documents. There is a first aid kit and a tool kit supplied by Kawasaki fastened there.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0631.jpg


The rider seat is fastened by 2 nuts, which can be removed with help of a size-6 allen key wrench (part of the bike's tool kit)
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0166.jpg


The front seat removal opens up the battery and fuse box area. This can be used to trickle charge the battery if parking indoors for long periods. I use a Bosch C7 smart charger to trickle charge or recharge all the vehicle batteries at home if needed.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0167.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 16:50.
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Old 11th July 2020, 20:54   #14
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Rider Controls (continued....)

The mirrors are concealed when they are folded. When the bike is being parked I usually fold them. Completely folding them moves them into a locked position where they don't move around
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0618.jpg


When the mirrors are opened up, they can be quite wide. You'll have to be careful squeezing in traffic gaps with these, it is very easy to nick something.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0583.jpg


Let's take a look at the mirrors from the rear (rider's) view. This is how they look when folded.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0617.jpg


Rider's view when they are opened up
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0616.jpg


The mirrors by themselves are A++ for touring and offer a wide area of vision enough to detect anything behind in the same lane or even adjacent lanes. I couldn't get this particular shot properly due to using a prime lens. In reality that handlebar won't intrude into the vision.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0192.jpg


A POV view from my GoPro helmet chin mount gives a fair idea of the mirror visibility - the rider can easily see what is behind him/her.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-g0030130.jpg


Another GoPro POV view from the same ride to show the mirror view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-g0030097.jpg


Hand levers and controls:

On the left of the rider, this menu offers the KTRC and riding mode controls through the SEL and associated buttons. Then you have the familiar high-low beam switch, turn indicators, horn and the hazard light switches
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0069.jpg


The clutch lever has nice reach and feels really well built
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0086.jpg


The clutch lever is 5-way adjustable depending on hand size and preferred reach position. Also observe the headlight pass switch in the conventional position
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0085.jpg


I have long fingers but I usually set it at position 3
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0547.jpg


Moving over to the right side of the handle bar, this is the usual layout with the engine kill switch and starter button.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0662.jpg


The front brake lever with a slightly different shape when compared to the clutch lever, to allow 2-finger operation of the brakes with the right hand
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0088.jpg


6-way adjustable positions for the front brake lever as opposed to 5 positions for the clutch lever!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0092.jpg


I set this lever also at position 3 for my usage and prefer the 2-finger practice
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0548.jpg


Foot levers

The left side rider footpeg with thick rubber padding

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0671.jpg


The gear lever is nice and slick and the shifts are precise and easy. No hint of clunky behaviour or hardness.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0109.jpg


The exhausts on both sides have the grey protection area for the boot heels. I am guessing this area will get dull with abrasion over a period of many years
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0107.jpg


I wear a size 47 (EU) boot and the ergonomics of the lever and footpeg are perfect for me.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0182.jpg


Gear shift lever ergonomics when upshifting. Notice how well the dedicated protection pad area on the boot latches on to the toe lever.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0184.jpg


Over to the right side. The footpeg is similar, but the rear brake lever is fully metal and doesn't have any rubber.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0600.jpg


Rear brake lever ergonomics. Just about right for me with a size 47 boot.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0186.jpg


There is enough space on the boot if I don't want to accidentally ride the rear brake lever, which is quite sensitive
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0187.jpg


The pillion footpeg is nice and spacious as well. Notice how the exhaust slider slots in just under the pillion footpeg. It does not come into contact with the footpeg though.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0636.jpg


The pillion footpeg can be folded when not in use. The exhaust slider still looks like another additional pillion footpeg which can't be folded!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0634.jpg.jpg


And who can forget the guardian angel of the bike when the rider isn't using the bike - the side stand! The Ninja 1000's OE side stand looks a bit disproportionately slim when compared to the rest of the bulky bike, but it does the job. If the side stand is not lifted up, slotting into first gear with the stand down shuts off the engine as a safety feature.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0673.jpg



Other Miscellaneous controls

This one obviously isn't my bike and it isn't a 'control' as such, but I am re-using this image to show a picture of Kawasaki's artistic 'Barbeque grill' Saree guard . Obviously it is an eyesore and was discarded on delivery day itself. Paneer Tikka anyone?

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8506.jpg


This lever under the seat controls the rear suspension preload. I have mentioned about this in more detail in the dynamics section of the review, but I am adding it here too because it is also a control / lever for the rider to use.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0627.jpg


Idling RPM override adjustment screw. Mentioned elsewhere on this review as well, but adding here in the controls section for completeness. Clockwise rotation bumps up the idling and anti-clockwise drops the idling, by 50-100 RPM on rotating.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0609.jpg


Swingarm spool slider screw thread slot - this is used for jacking up the bike on paddock stands which use spool slider screws. Look closely to spot the screw with '12' written on it. The paddock stand that I use at home however, is of the rubber pad holder and not this spool screw type. Many service centres and tyre shops use this type of spool to jack up the bikes onto paddock stands.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0607.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 21st August 2020 at 10:07. Reason: Image orientation
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Old 11th July 2020, 22:21   #15
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re: Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!

Electronics and Electricals

I'll go over the entire set of electronics on this bike with a review of the features and provide additional information where possible.

Removing the front seat reveals the battery access area
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0168.jpg


The OE-supplied battery is Yuasa YTX9-BS 8.4Ah
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0170.jpg


The fuseboxes are also found in the same area for easy access
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0171.jpg


All of the electrical controls are on the left panel, including the hazard switch
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0215.jpg


The headlamps on the Ninja 1000 consist of an all-LED setup and are very powerful for a stock setup, easily among the best stock setups I have seen in recent times. We do a lot of early morning departures to get headstarts into all of our roadtrips, so visibility in the dark is a hardcore requirement for me. This perfectly solved that problem and in fact after getting used to these lights on highways, I upgraded the headlights on all the other vehicles at home.

Unlike older twin light Kawasakis which used to have low beam on one side always on and high beam on the other side, the Ninja 1000 headlights have a symmetric structure and both sides have 3 divisions in the layout - one is the parking light LEDs, the highest part houses the low beam LEDs and the central area is for the high beam LEDs
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0558.jpg


When the key is in the ON position but engine is not yet started, the parking lights are ON by default. In this particular snap, I had switched on the hazard lights as well.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0221.jpg


Fire up the engine and the low beams turn on
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0199.jpg


The lights are pure white, bloody bright and the headlamp glass has a bluish tinge when the lights are on
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0198.jpg


Low beam view at night
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0200.jpg


Low beam throw on a dark, unlit road. The dead end is over 180 metres away from the bike, but the throw is beautifully cut off in height and the dead end can be seen faintly despite being quite far.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-ninja_low_beam.jpg


Hit the high beam button and that adds on to the illumination blast of the low beam which is still turned on. This is similar to H1/H7 combo in cars where high beam is low beam + high beam
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0203.jpg


Another view of the lights with low and high beam both active. Notice how the glass turns into a noticeable blue shade when viewed from the side
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0204.jpg


High beam night view
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0202.jpg


High beam (+ low beam) throw on the same unlit road with a dead end 180m away. Who needs aux lights with a throw like this?
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-ninja_high_beam.jpg


The taillamp features a 11-LED setup always turned on, elegant and simple. The glass of the taillamp is also smoked from factory and this is how it looks in daylight when the bike is running.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dsc_0568.jpg


Another view in low daylight
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0205.jpg


With the brake light activated the taillight is very bright and easily visible from a distance
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0243.jpg


The front indicators are neatly integrated into the fairing and don't stick out at all. They are very bright but they are not LEDs
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0223.jpg

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0226.jpg


No-nonsense rear turn indicators. Again conventional bulbs and not LEDs on the indicators, not sure why.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0220.jpg


The rear number plate is illuminated by a C-shaped light concealed in the tail of the motorcycle. The rear number plate is OE.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0197.jpg


The stock horn is hidden above the radiator under the instrument console. It is pathetic, weak and sounds worse than the horn on a 100cc commuter scooter. So bad that blipping this inline-4 machine's throttle works better to catch the attention of your target than honking!
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-img_8341.jpg


Instrument Console

Ah, finally we enter the last section of the review. Perhaps the simplest of sections as well. I'll just walk through the instrument console on this bike and show a few illustrative pictures. Obviously the permutations and combinations of features and displays are too many to capture. Most things are self-explanatory after a point, anyway here we go.

I can't obviously get this shot on my own bike with all lights illuminated at the same time, so I'll use this one from the internet. Like I showed earlier, the MY19 version switched to a conventional font and backlight color and doesn't look like this high-contrast layout anymore.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-q4urz5brzoad5n45gtmtwj76m4.jpg


The layout might seem a little old school but I am a sucker for analog tachos with the needle bouncing around when having fun. This bike's console is a clean, no-frills design but very legible and practical. The design features space for a bunch of warning lights on the extreme left, an analog tacho which occupies the central portion, a digital speedometer and 2 information panels above and below the speedo layout. Sandwiched between the speedo and tacho are the temperature gauge and the fuel gauge. dial The gear indicator and clock are packed into the tachometer dial. The yellow light is a customizable shift light which the rider can set to whatever RPM he/she wishes, it will then rapidly blink when the set RPM is reached in any gear.
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0244.jpg


The console obviously has the mode and set buttons to operate the counters and set any parameters. Alternatively, the up and down buttons next to the KTRC and riding mode controls (SEL) on the handlebar can be used to toggle through the lower and upper display data on the instrument console.

Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0069.jpg


The upper button cycles through the odometer and the 2 tripmeter readings.

The lower button cycles through outside temperature, fuel range left, fuel efficiency on the current tripmeter distance, and instantaneous FE readings.

The SEL button toggles through the riding modes and the KTRC traction level setting
Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0233.jpg


Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review. Edit: 5 years up!-dscf0234.jpg


There are a few more options that can be set and reset, I will skip those for now.

That ends the review section of this thread, but not the thread itself . Turn over to page 2, we aren't done yet.

Last edited by KarthikK : 12th July 2020 at 17:17.
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