2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

Editor Score: 91.0%
Engine 18.5/20
Suspension/Handling 13.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 9.5/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 10/10
Overall Score91/100

In an era in which adventure-styled motorcycles seem to be taking over the sport-touring class, the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS stands out as a great example of a traditional sport-tourer. Kawasaki has taken the heart of a sportbike and wrapped it with a package that can tackle almost any task a rider could want, from commuting to canyon scratching to touring to the occasional track day. Outfit it with the optional $1165 saddlebags, and you’ve got a mount that would be a great multi-state companion for less than $14,000.

2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS Review – First Ride

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Preview

Touring the spec sheet

At first blush, one might be tempted to say that not too much has changed functionally in the 2017 update. Well, that’s both partially right and wrong. Yes, whole sections of the motorcycle remain mechanically the same, which points to the overall strength of the platform prior to the update. However, the changes were designed to improve specific areas of the Ninja 1000’s utility.

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For example, the new bodywork looks like it was merely to bring it in line with the current Kawasaki sportbike family resemblance. This may be true and is fairly obvious when one looks at the chin spoiler which traces its heritage to the ZX-10R and H2. The aggressively angular headlights also point to shared DNA with the rest of Kawasaki’s sportbike line. For a touch of modern, the Ninja 1000’s headlights are now LED units which Kawasaki claims throws light 1.4 times further than last year’s halogens. The rest of the fairing is as utilitarian as it is swoopy. Up to 28mm wider in places, the fairing helps direct heat from the radiator away from the rider’s legs while also increasing the pocket of calmer air at speed. Like its ZX-6R brethren, the Ninja 1000’s turnsignals are built-in units which are significantly less bulbous when compared to the previous generation 1000.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

The prescription for getting out of town: a romping engine, a comfortable riding position, and integrated saddlebags. See ya!

The windscreen deserves a little special attention. It retains its three-position adjustability but gains 15mm in height and a double-bubble design. In its lower position, the line of clear air hits me mid-chest which is perfect for sport-riding in warm weather. In its highest position, the windscreen directs the air at the top of my shoulders providing additional protection in colder weather – a feature I was able to experience firsthand as our first-day ride featured a 50° temperature swing all the way up to 100°. Additionally, while not offering the massive protection of a more touring-oriented machine, the Ninja 1000’s screen helped make a 35-mph headwind much more bearable during a freeway drone on the second day of our ride. Kawasaki claims the windscreen helps to deliver 30% less wind drag to the rider’s body. Although Kawasaki’s lawyers recommend against it, the windscreen can be adjusted quickly on-the-fly but does require both hands – one to press the release below the instrument cluster and the other to lift/lower the windscreen.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS front profile

The Ninja 1000’s aggressive new face fits right in with the members of the family with ZX in their names. Note the cool air duct just above the turn signal.

Underneath that swoopy, new bodywork, the engine remains mechanically unchanged. Fed by cool air intakes on either side of the fairing, the 1,043cc engine puts out mountains of torque and mid-range power. Kawasaki claims it chose the 77.0mm x 56.0mm bore and stroke to deliver a specific engine character; I can say that its character is a kick in the pants.

For 2017, the ECU settings were revised for smoother throttle response and cleaner emissions. The power delivery feels directly connected to the rider’s right wrist with smooth, hiccup-free response, no matter what the input. I could tell you about the downdraft 38mm throttle bodies and how their oval sub-throttles help to make the engine slim, but really, once out on the open road, the hows and whys fail to matter anymore and are replaced with wows!

The big changes for the 2017 Ninja 1000 affect both power delivery and braking and come in the form of a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). Weighing in at just 40 grams, the IMU allows additional precision in both the Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) and the Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS). Using information gathered on five data points (longitudinal acceleration, transverse acceleration, vertical acceleration, roll rate, and pitch rate) plus a calculated yaw rate, the Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF) crunches those numbers and gives riders a helping hand with both acceleration and braking when needed.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS Bosch IMU

The Bosch IMU provides the data points necessary for the KCMF to do its job.

Under acceleration, the KTRC can be set to one of three settings (plus off). Modes 1 and 2 are designed for maximum acceleration while mode three is designed to provide stability in slippery conditions. Over the bike’s two-day introductory ride, I left the KTRC set to 1. Although I never felt it intervene in a corner, I did feel it smoothly intercede on my behalf over a series of whoop-de-dos, first modulating front-wheel lift cresting a hill and then flashing the KTRC indicator as both wheels became slightly airborne on the next whoop. Good times.

When it comes to braking, the KCMF’s role is even more pronounced. While the KIBS is the same base system as on both the Ninja H2 and ZX-10R, the settings are specific to the Ninja 1000. The KCMF overseas the KTRC and KIBS with the goal of helping riders smooth their braking and accelerating forces. Its tracking of the IMU data helps it to determine when it is needed. For example, if a rider who is already in a turn notices that the radius is tightening up, requiring more slowing, the KIBS will intervene if the rider applies the brakes too abruptly and smooth out the hydraulic pressure, preventing the bike from standing up and running off line.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS instrument cluster

The new instrument cluster delivers all the important information at a glance in any lighting condition.

A few other small updates are also worth noting. The instrument cluster received a complete makeover. While retaining the large, central analog tachometer, the warning lights have been moved to a line down the left side of the cluster. The LCD portion to the right of the tachometer is a negative display, featuring white characters on a black background for improved visibility in all lighting conditions. The readout includes speedometer, odometer/dual tripmeters, clock, ambient/coolant temperature, fuel level, fuel range and average/instant fuel consumption. Additionally, gear indicator, power modes, and KTRC setting are also displayed.

Both the rider and passenger seats received updates. The rider’s seat has a new shape and updated foam, while the passenger’s seat is 25mm thicker and features a slight rise in the front of the padding to help prevent the passenger from sliding into the rider. The grab rail has been located slightly higher than before and contains the bag-mounting slots. The previous generation required that the grab rail be changed and the bodywork cut to accommodate the accessory bags.

Since I was flying solo at the introduction, I can’t comment on the comfort of the passenger, but the rider’s seat is hard enough to be uncomfortable long before a tankful of gas has been finished. The good news is that Kawasaki is also selling an accessory gel seat. My prediction is that the company will sell a bunch of them to Ninja 1000 buyers.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

Where the rubber meets the road

Whether you love or hate its looks, the Ninja 1000’s exhaust puts out a pleasant growl at idle. The song continues, switching over to the resonator-augmented intake growl as the engine speed increases. With the previous generation 1000, we noted that the clutch engaged very early in the lever travel and was, on occasion, grabby. While the engagement is still early, the grabbiness has been exorcised, making clutch engagement buttery-smooth. Add that to the light pull of the slip/assist clutch, and you have a great mount for navigating the urban bump and grind. While we’re considering low-speed character, the engine is a pussycat that doesn’t unleash its claws until the rpm increase. Then look out!

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS engine

The Ninja 1000 engine is one of the best sport-touring powerplants out there.

On those occasions where you’re lucky enough to have enough open road in front of you to run the big Ninja up through redline for most of its gears, you’ll be greeted with a noticeable bump in power above 7,000 rpm but not the rocketship rush of, say, the ZX-10R. Still, the acceleration is open-class fast, just not mind-bendingly so. When it’s time to shift, a short throw of the left boot gets you into the next gear, which is surprisingly close to the previous one. I found this somewhat odd on a sport-touring bike that really has no racing intent. With the broad power delivery of the mill, I expected a larger gap between gears. This is not a complaint, but simply an observation.

When the time comes to slow down, the radial-mount monoblock calipers and the 300mm semi-floating petal discs get the job done, offering plenty of power and excellent feel. This level of feel in conjunction with the KIBS should allow riders to trail brake towards an apex with confidence. The wide handlebar gives the rider leverage to bend the Ninja 1000 into corners. Where the version we tested in 2014 had the tendency to understeer and required constant pressure on the inside grip to hold a line, the 2017 model has no such issues, and I credit the revised rear suspension settings and new linkage for this change. I could toss it into a corner and stop precisely at the lean angle I wanted, and the bike would stay on that line until I told it to do something different. Our route took us over one of my favorite remote central California highways, and when I got to the end, I wanted to turn around and go do it again. The Ninja 1000 was that much fun.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS suspension preload adjuster

A hydraulic preload adjuster is a pretty nice piece on a bike in this price range. The shock also has rebound adjustment while the fork has the full compliment of controls.

The only time the fun was interrupted was when the road/gear selection placed the tachometer into the 6,000–8,000 rpm range. While the high-frequency vibration is easy to ignore when you’re just powering through it, if you find yourself stuck in that range for more than a couple corners, you’ll find yourself hunting for the gearshift lever. Fortunately, the broad power delivery is amenable to running in a higher gear and just riding the torque curve. This vibration is really the only shortcoming of this amazingly fun powerplant. It has the ability to happily run from the bottom of the tachometer all the way to its rev-limit – which is a great feature for a sport-touring mount.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS ergonomics

The Ninja 1000 looks great without the bags. The only signs that it can carry bags are the slots in the grab rails and the rubber pads on the backs of the passenger pegs.

So what about the bags?

I’ll begin with my one complaint about the Ninja 1000’s bags. I don’t think they should be accessory items. Although the Ninja 1000 looks great without the bags, they are what make the bike a sport-tourer. According to Kawasaki, more than half of the 1000’s buyers choose to add the bags at the time of purchase. However, they can be ordered at a later date. Holding 28 liters per side, the saddlebags are color-matched, keyed to the ignition, and capacious enough to hold a full-face helmet. While the bags on the test unit I rode needed a light thwack on the side to mount/unmount the bags, I suspect that this would get easier with use. When mounted, the bags tuck in closely to the tail section, giving the rear of the bike a finished look. I wouldn’t even consider buying the Ninja 1000 without the bags.

For 2017, Kawasaki refined the Ninja 1000 in all the right places. The fairing clearly marks it as a member of the Ninja family. The electronic upgrades go about as far as possible without switching over to ride-by-wire (which explains the lack of cruise control). The only place where Kawasaki truly missed the mark is on the rider’s seat – an issue possibly remedied by the aftermarket or Kawasaki’s own accessory gel seat.

The Ninja 1000 is one of those bikes we’ve loved from the moment we first twisted its throttle – even with that 6,000–8,000 rpm buzz. At $12,199 (without bags), the Ninja 1000 compares more than favorably to the bikes featured in our recent BMW S1000XR Vs. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT Vs. MV Agusta Turismo Veloce for thousands less – even when the accessory bags are added to the out-the-door cost. All you’ll really be missing is the cruise control. If you’re in the market for a sport-touring motorcycle, you owe yourself a serious look at the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS.

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS
+ Highs

  • Killer engine!
  • Looks great with or without bags
  • Tremendous value
– Sighs

  • Saddlebags are a $1,300 option
  • Engine buzz between 6,000–8,000 rpm
  • Hard seat

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Kawasaki Communities

  • Chris

    RPM at speed, in top gear? Always been a problem w/this bike for me. Otherwise, a bit heavy, but very nice.

    • Eric

      Gearingcommander (dot) com answers all your technical gearing/rpm/drivetrain needs.

      1200 rpm idle, moves at 7.6 mph in 1st.
      In 6th gear @ 60mph, it’s turning 4,056 rpm.

      Sprockets are 15/41.
      162.7 mph 11,000 rpm redline 6th gear.

      Weight? 516 pounds. Akrapovic 4-2-1 exhaust system, drops a whopping 21 pounds (verified on Akra’s site). Lithium battery would drop another easy 5-6 pounds. That’s around 489 pounds. And with exhaust you’d be tuning it. A good tuner (Ivan’s) has made 140 rwhp with the exhaust, ECU flash, and filter.

      • Chris

        Thanks. Familiar w/the site, just didn’t think of it. And problem confirmed (for me): 60 mph @ 4K’ish just won’t get it on a litre (plus) ST’ish bike; even a sporty one. I don’t want that for any bike, actually. Accept it for some? Yes.

        And, yes, I’ve done a lot of modding over the years. All the weight loss is good, but the bike should still start well lighter than that…IMHO, of course.

        I’ve gotten increasingly demanding and opinionated over time (Pretty much started that way. Ha!). For those whom it works, awesome bike, I have no doubt.

        Thanks, again, and press on!

        • Eric

          You’re welcome.

          Well in the case of RPM issues, 4K is only about 1/3 of the total range this engine is designed to function within. Plenty of torque would be available at that speed for decent roll-ons. These motors just don’t sound stressed at all. Took a GSX-S1000 for a spin today and that one turns 4500 at 60. That is ridiculous. However, 42+ mpg at those r’s simply makes them a non issue for 999cc.

          The Ninja motor should run basically forever negating any wear concerns.

          If you want grunty i-4 smoothness and low rpm, the 1250S Bandit has that in spades. 2016 was last year of production, short of anything new Suzuki might be making with the engine in the future. But the Bandit is much less sophisticated in every other way relative to the Ninja. In a horsepower war the Ninja will run away from it. In a torque war, the Bandit is king of the bottom end.

          Yeah I’m picky too. So much so I almost don’t want to buy a bike because the idea tool isnt’ produced. Mechanical engineering is my career too, so that ‘helps.’ 😛

          • Chris

            Yeh, I’ve had a bunch of ’em, including a Bandit 1250. I know the Ninja is more than capable of pulling the gearing. It’s a me thing: OCD is not an easy master. I’m used to big-bore and V8, so I can’t stand to hear the revving, whilst just cruising along. I like “composed and relaxed” at steady cruising speed. It’s all good.

          • Eric

            Cool. Bet you’d like a big L-twin sportbike. Monster 1200? xDiavel? Maybe a V4 like a Vmax?

  • Gabriel Owens

    I’ve just reached a point I need cruise control on a bike like this.

    • Fivespeed302

      In this day of electronics, there’s no excuse for it to be omitted from a non-budget bike.

      • Born to Ride

        It doesn’t have a RbW throttle. Which means it would need a mechanical control system that either held the butterflies open on the throttle bodies, or locked the cables in their position and manipulated the throttle itself. Both methods would require quite a bit of engineering and testing as the system can easily become a major safety hazard. Why do you think very few bikes had cruise before this decade?

        • Fivespeed302

          I have bar end weights that are also a throttle lock. They weren’t exactly cheap but they work fairly well and operate using basic mechanical concepts. I see no reason why it couldn’t be included. Liability I know, but swinging a leg over a bike is a liability. Besides, I’ve got to find something to complain about in the spirit of internet trolldom.

          • Born to Ride

            Throttlemeisters, I wanted to buy a set for my monster but I could never stomach spending 250$ on bar ends.

          • Fivespeed302

            Yeah I think that’s the brand I have on my R1. I seem to remember paying around $150 for mine.

          • ADB

            Actually $129 plus shipping. Throttlemeisters are built better than a Swiss watch. Superb quality, easy installation. Work perfect.

            http://throttlemeister.com/shop/uncategorized/ak1-kit/

          • Born to Ride

            Now that I think about it I remember them being 189$ or 199$ years ago when they were pitched to my at the Ducati dealership, and for some reason they were 50$ cheaper for my dad’s bike.

          • Born to Ride

            The one that fits my monster is 175$, which is still cheaper than they were a few years ago.

        • Kevin Duke

          I think they should’ve invested the money in this redesign to include RbW, thereby allowing an easy addition of cruise control.

          • Stuki Moi

            Problem is, there is not one single RbW system out there that is not either annoyingly coarse (Yamaha), or a complete buzzkill of a dullification device (the Euros.)

            I’m sure even the Big4 will eventually have to cave in and go RbW, due to emissions. But the longer they can hold off, the better.

            McCruise sells Ninja 1000 cruise control units that (ought to, based on my experience with VFR ones and others) work well, and aren’t that hard to install.

            I’d personally happily add $2500 to any touringish bike to have factory cruise, without having to endure the insult to my throttle hand that is RbW. But I suppose most riders in the bigger motorcycle markets, aren’t stuck on endless freeways as much as we are out here in the West and in Australia.

          • Kevin Duke

            Careful about describing RbW throttle response as if it is a constant. Just because a system you’ve tried sucked doesn’t mean they all do. And let’s not forget how horrid the off-throttle response was on early EFI bikes – the 1998 Gixxer 750’s response was horribly abrupt. But then they got better, and now some are wishing we could go back to those days. No thanks. I’ll take S1000R and Super Duke throttles any day.

          • DickRuble

            And thus create muchos problemas with off the throttle abruptness… sure.. why not.. Yamaha has that “feature”.. why not Kawasaki

          • Kevin Duke

            You’re talking about RbW throttles as if they are all bad. The most recent ones are not.

          • Evans Brasfield

            I’m with Kevin on this. RbW throttles have gotten much better.

          • DickRuble

            Much better is relative.. It’s like my saying you’ve gotten better with excel spreadsheets… The FZ-09 still has issues.. and I got that from someone reviewing it less than two months ago.

          • Old MOron

            Maybe so, but it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. The S1000R’s rbw is fooking awesome.

          • Kevin Duke

            Yup, and it’s not the only one. The 390 Duke’s throttle response is waaaaay better with RbW. Humans are often reluctant to consider changing their minds once they’ve already made them up.

          • Born to Ride

            I test ride bikes often because certain idiots at certain dealerships like to toss me keys to shiny new bikes after ten minutes blabbing(Probably to get rid of me). My opinion is one from a standpoint of personal experience and what I read from publications like MO. With all the electronic riding aids and stupidly stringent emissions standards causing leaner and leaner factory tuning, I will admit it is hard to truly tell if bad throttle response is a symptom of fuel mapping, rider “aid” intervention, or the digital throttle itself. I know that when I rode the Superduke, the throttle response felt vague and imprecise to me. However, the dash was also consistently lighting up like a Christmas tree when I was in the twisties with it so it’s possible it just didn’t like my throttle inputs. I just have yet to ride a RbW bike with as smooth and direct feeling throttle response throughout the rev range as my Desmodue Ducatis. That being said, my Sprint ST also had a snatchy throttle on and off at low RPM, so I am well aware the problem can be caused by many factors. I have high hopes for the Street RS. Should be test riding that one one of these days when I get a minute.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Especially DickRuble. My KTM 1190 R has smooth RbW response. I don’t even think about it. Except it doesn’t have cruise control. But I don’t miss it anymore. Just came back from Yosemite and didn’t even think about it. Too busy strafing the traffic.

          • Stuki Moi

            I had an 1190 (non R.) Then a Superduke. KTM’s RbW is smooth. That’s not the problem. Rather, the problem is that it is smooth even when I am not. Even when trying to upset the bike, it’s still just boringly smooth. It’s so completely distant, there is virtually no correlation between what the throttle hand and engine is doing. Making the bike feel almost entirely dead (And then, throwing in a steering damper goes the rest of the way, making it entirely dead…) Complete buzzkill to the point of making the bike flat out boring, which is quite a feat for a bike with Superduke specs…. The newer BMWs I have ridden are similar, if not as egregiously bad.

            After a week in LA staying with a 636 riding friend and switching back and forth between that and the Superduke, it’s flat out shocking how invigorating it was to get on the cramped little Kawi, from the supposedly world conquering KTM. So now I ride a 636 as well…. Al Gore and the KTM bean counters, can pry the cable throttle from my cold dead hands, as I sure won’t give it up voluntarily.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            You can always turn TC and ABS off if you want to have some fun. The steering damper on the 1190 is very mild. Most people replace it with a Scotts.

          • Born to Ride

            I have hated nearly every RbW throttle I have tried in sporting use. The highest praise I can give any of them is that it *almost* feels like a cable. The M1200R in sport mode so far has been the closest to a real throttle, so I have hope for the future but right now I’ll take the cable.

          • TriumphRider87

            Have you ridden the new Street Triple?

          • Born to Ride

            I have not. That will be my next test ride though because I am strongly considering purchasing the bike.

      • appliance5000

        For about 13k you get a bike that not so long ago would have been a dream and you’re all over cruise control? Get a camry.

        • Fivespeed302

          You mean virtually the exact same bike for how many years? Maybe you’re ok with paying extra for bold new graphics and body work, I guess the transformer look would have been a “dream” not too long ago. Remember the Ninja 1000 is really just a faired Z1000, which is basically unchanged since 2010. It’s 2017 now just in case you forgot.

          • Born to Ride

            I like the aesthetic updates to the bike personally. Remember that the price bump from 11,000$ in 2010 to 12,200$ in 2017 not only includes BNG and BNF, but also ABS, TC, and 7 years of inflation.

          • Fivespeed302

            True, but those are just add-ons. They’ve had 7ish years to recover development costs. It’s a good bike. I’d proudly own one. I’d rather have the Ducati SS though if I were buying a new bike. The payments wouldn’t be much different.

    • Born to Ride

      Cruise would’ve been nice, but not worth giving up the cable throttle in my book.

      • Gabriel Owens

        I have no problems with ride by wire systems. Most of the newer models get it right.

  • DickRuble

    Why don’t they just sell it without handle bars? They could make the handle bars optional and charge $3000 for them. Or even better, sell it without the ECU and charge $5K for the ECU. You can buy the ECU any time later.

    • Born to Ride

      The master of hyperbolic outrage. Are you William Shatner?

      • DickRuble

        $1300 for the bags is almost as outrageous as $2000 for insurance.

        • Born to Ride

          A set of Givis and the requisite hardware will set you back 7-800$ on most bikes, and aftermarket parts are always cheaper than factory.

    • Old MOron

      If only you could write your sarcasm in rhyme and meter.

  • mikstr

    Nice bike. Would love to see this category make a comeback…

  • Born to Ride

    You didn’t address the biggest problem with the bike in the “sighs” section– the fact that insurance companies believe that it is more dangerous than a turbo Hayabusa. I can insure a Superduke and a Tuono 1100 simultaneously for less per year than the premium they charge for one of these bikes(Yes I DID look that up…). I was seconds away from signing on the dotted line for a then 2 year old ninja 1000, but then in a moment of uncharacteristic foresight, I decided to call the insurance company. 2500$ a year for full coverage. Called 2 more insurance companies and the price was within 50$ for all three quotes. Needless to say, I did not buy a ninja 1000 on that day, and that’s a terrible shame because it is a wonderful bike with incredible potential with a little bit of work and investment.

    • ADB

      Amen.

    • SerSamsquamsh

      Same here. Insurance 700% higher than the VFR I ended up with. WHAT!!!!

    • BDan75

      That’s incredible to me. Are you sure they weren’t accidentally quoting the ZX-10R? The loss experience on these bikes can’t be anywhere near a superbike…

      • Born to Ride

        After arguing in circles and trying to tell them it wasn’t the superbike, I made them run the VIN because I didn’t believe them. There was no mistake.

        • BDan75

          Yeesh. Asinine that they’d literally just say “Anything with ‘Ninja’ in the name add 500%.” I wonder what they charge for a Ninja 300…

      • Dan Rossi

        No mistake , Toronto area . My Frind who has been actively and safety riding for 42 years was shocked ‘after’ he bought his . He couldn’t believe it. Too bad there is some king of confusion because it is a beautiful bike!

    • Warprints

      Shop around. I’m paying just under 2x as much for my 2014 Ninja 1000 as I am for my 2007 Suzuki Wee-Strom.

  • Tennisfreak

    My issue is the curb weight, this thing is heavy.
    I’m shopping for a “comfortable” sporty bike and I moved right past the Ninja considering I can get a Tuono 1100, FZ-10, heck even the new Ducati SuperSport which I feel all outclass this Ninja.

    • Born to Ride

      Buy a full system exhaust and shorai battery. 30 lbs off the bike right there. That exhaust is not only hideous, it weighs a metric ton as well. This ninja will outgun the FZ10 in power production once the ECU is unlocked and a non-strangling exhaust is fitted. Peak power will be somewhere 50 hp north of the supersport and the weight difference negligible. But you will pay half as much for insurance for any of those bikes, making the cost of ownership significantly less.

      • Fivespeed302

        The Ninja motor unleashed is a beast, no doubt. But…the same could be said for the FZ10. Slap a pipe, filter and re flash the ECU, and now we’ve got ourselves a race! Neither are a slouch.

        • Born to Ride

          We have yet to see what the tuners can do with it, but you’re right. Maybe there is an extra 20 hp lurking in that crossplane mill too. I just know that stock it puts down high 130s to low 140s, and the unlocked ninja will do 145-50 pretty regularly.

      • GenghisT

        I disagree. On paper, this Ninja wouldn’t “outgun” the FZ10 in the power department. Most likely would be on par with each other- they’re both offering about 150hp and 81 ft-lbs of torque stock, yet the Ninja has a 45cc displacement advantage, while the FZ has a 53lb weight advantage. Both bikes w/ flashed ECUs and an exhaust (slip-on or full) would be mean SOBs, one more suited to highway and the other more suited for twisties (53lbs is a lot of weight when you’re transitioning from max lean to max lean). I’m with you on the insurance rates though- I think the reason you can insure an APE or KTM for less than a Jap bike comes down to affordability and the novice riders who would be buying Japanese bikes. Don’t know any kids running a KTM SD1290, RSV4s, or Tuonos, but see plenty on CBRs, Ninjas, and GSXRs.

        • Born to Ride

          I recently had a chance to ride the FZ10 on Mt. Palomar, the power delivery is solid and smooth, but it has an abrupt throttle on reapplication and very deliberate/stable handling. I remember the Ninja 1000 steering quicker, but to be honest I rode the bikes years apart in very different environments. I would love to see what the FZ10 motor can do with a pipe and a tune, but something tells me that Yamaha doesnt have it as corked up as Kawi has the Ninja motor. I think they will be very similar in performance due to the Yami being cammed for midrange and the Ninja having a few extra ccs. I’d love to test both back to back!

          • GenghisT

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19e2a930d5a28c4cdb76bbe26663df9af03f4c301a365820d14fb71adf78134e.jpg

            Different dynos will generally show different results, air-flow, ambient, calibration, etc all come into play. Motorcycle.com doesn’t have a 2017 Ninja 1000 dyno chart yet, but I imagine it would be close to the FZ considering the 2014 Ninja was putting down 123hp at the wheel. That abrupt on/off throttle you experienced on the FZ10 is the bike switching two different ECU maps. Ride-by-wire allows manufacturers to not only have ride modes, but different fuel maps to pass emissions. The FZ10 and FZ09 have a closed-loop fuel map that is very emissions friendly, netting an AFR around 14.7:1, which is great for burning unwanted hydro-carbons, not so good for power delivery. It’s modulated via a signal received by the O2 sensor and can’t be tuned by any ECU flash or PC3. The open-loop map kicks in around 6K RPM and has an AFR closer to 13.4:1, which is also the map that gets tuned when you flash or install a PC3. Luckily, there is a gent (Kevxtx) out of Australia that made an O2 controller that plugs in-line with the stock O2 sensor and that on/off throttle twitch combined with reduced fuel-injector cut via ECU tune has pretty much eliminated the surging/twitching that I experienced in the slower speed stuff.

          • Born to Ride

            Nope, that dyno of the Ninja is after you put a pipe and an ECU flash on it. They dyno 125ish horsepower stock, which is undoubtedly what MO’s dynojet will read next time they have one for testing. That particular bike dynoed at 125.9 hp before the exhaust and flash. That’s the cruxt of my argument, that the Ninja with bolt-on mods will put out more power with vastly better throttle response than a stock FZ10. That being said, we don’t know what the Yamaha is capable of yet. The tuners will eventually dial out the suboptimal factory settings like you said.

          • Eric

            I’m wondering how a full Akrapovic, ECU flash, and good fuel tune would affect the Ninja1000.

            I had a 2011 FZ1 with a full Ivan’s Performance treatment. Full Yoshi R77, ECU flash, PC5 with Ivan’s personal well-developed map, air box cutting, and K&N. According to Ivan’s dyno, 150 rwhp 77 torque. I figured around 475 pounds after the mods. What I noticed besides a buttery smooth power delivery, superb throttle control, and zero dips in power from bottom to top, was that about 70% felt vibration on the motorcycle simply had vanished. The buzz in the seat, bars, and pegs just dropped off in a HUGE way with the modifications.

            Which makes me wonder if the exhaust systems and/or ECU tuning have an affect on how much vibration an engine may produce, especially at certain rpm related resonances. That FZ1 cleaned up in a very big way. Sadly it was saddled with stupidly tall low-gear ratios, something this Ninja1000 doesn’t have a problem with.

        • Born to Ride

          For reference, these are the dyno pulls I was comparing, which seem to be pretty good/accurate numbers from multiple sources. Top is the Ninja.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd9d68c4ff6e14d539d1898615433538759fbb76b0cc63173aed41fca9957cb2.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e314252645f218107d452a4bcd043c4e2b8e1d3f366d1533f6c9d0e7dd0827f.jpg

      • Tennisfreak

        So you are saying I just need to buy the Kawi then invest another $3k to improve weight and power?
        I could get similar improvements on any of the bikes by investing $3k aftermarket so that is a terrible argument.
        Sorry but Kawi is a pig and yes 40-60lbs makes a huge difference.

        • Born to Ride

          Who else makes a sport touring bike that weighs 40-60 lbs less than this bike? You realize that the bags and requisite hardware add weight and so does the reinforcement to the subframe to accommodate them plus a passenger. Sure if you compare it to the Tuono you can find your 40 lbs, but the Tuono costs more stock than this bike would with the bags, exhaust, lithium battery, and tune. And after installing those items the performance differential is 10 lbs and 10 hp instead of 40, figures you are very unlikely to notice on the road. But even still, this bike was never built to compete with the Tuono as a sportbike, completely different philosophy of use. The Tuono isn’t even fully faired.

          • Tennisfreak

            Look the Kawi’s weight is without the bags, adding those is ~25lbs more to an already heavy pig.

            The FZ-10 and Ducati Supersport S are capable of sport touring and both have available saddle bags.
            And both of those bikes weigh less than the Kawi.

            And for the record brand new Tuono 1100 RR in my area are advertised at $12999, and it comes stock with a quickshifter.

          • Born to Ride

            That 12999 is the sale price of a leftover model, which will apply to the ninja as well if you went in to a Kawi dealership and looked at a 2016 model. MSRP to MSRP there is a 3000 difference between those two bikes. The Ducati SS shouldn’t even be mentioned in the discussion of open class bikes because it doesn’t compete on power production. With termis and factory race ECU, you’ll be lucky to crack triple digit horsepower. Neither bike has an option for key matched, locking hard bags from the factory, and the FZ10 is unfaired and about a grand more expensive. All I’m saying is that you are comparing it to bikes that it doesn’t even compete with. It’s like saying the FZ10 is a pig because the CBR1000rr is 40 lbs lighter and makes more power. Horses for courses man.

          • Eric

            Exactly. The FZ-10 is a supernaked. The Ninja1000 is not built for the same category whatsoever. The only real close competition in the same category is the GSX-S1000F and even that machine is a supernaked with fairing popped on it (much less functional or pretty as the Ninja 1000). If Suzuki had paid as much attention to making the GSX-S1000 into a sports tour like the Ninja 1000 has been made out of the Z1000, it would have cost more than it did. Suzuki has a cracking bike, but they’ve fallen very short in a few key areas. Gearing is garbage on that bike for any sort of touring. Fairings are ugly on the F model from most angles and aren’t much wider than the actual bike itself. Tank capacity is no larger. Subframe is a joke for passengers, luggage, or basically anything. The engine is a beast, smooth as butter, astonishingly powerful. I’ve not ridden the Z/Ninja engine yet but from everything I’ve read it’s less smooth than the K5-derived mill (which I have ridden).

          • Born to Ride

            The GSXS-1000f is directly in competition with the Ducati SS for the crown of streetable sport bike. I would love to see a comparison between the two.

          • Eric

            The f-model is 472 pounds wet. I read someplace on an overseas publication site (or heard it on a Youtube review video, I forget which) that 2017 brings improved throttle fueling to help smooth out that lurchy throttle and they’ve opened up crankcase breathing passages somewhat to reduce pumping losses. That sort of thing just means more power is sent to the wheel.

            Full exhaust would drop 14+ pounds with Arrow header. Dale Walker at Holeshot has gotten 153 hp and 79 torque at 4500 foot altitude. I’ve seen more than those on other tuning sites.

            I think the Suzuki would run away from the SS frankly. I’ve demo-ridden the naked model myself and the chassis is solid, suspension planted and confidence inspiring. Engine is a gem. Gear ratios are very dumb (tall 1st, short 6th).

            Naked model fully modified would achieve about 1 hp per 2.85 pounds per all my obsessive compulsive research on these bikes and others. That’s a really good ratio. That’s S1000R territory or better for about $12 grand after mods.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I am glad I got the red 2007 Suzuki GSF-1250S Bandit in like-new condition for only $2500 7 weeks ago. Love the bike. Runs smooth as butter and flies like a stealth fighter. Comfortable seat. 100 hp, 80 ft-lb torque, 140 mph (177 mph on YouTube). Voted #2 best value motorcycle of 2017 on MO. Ordered the gear position indicator from Holeshot Performance today.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8ccc14dc89a35603bc77d9ca41f66d0a180c5d7e24c98f4e5d945a0c20a9bbc0.jpg

          • Eric

            Yeah I agree with you Sayyed. I’ve demo’d the Bandit last year and found the engine to be a real gem. Just ridiculous torque right off idle and turbine-smooth. You get the sense that this “only 100 hp” engine has a lot more than 100. With a little help, that turns into 94 ft-lb and 129 hp at the wheel, while dropping about 20 pounds overall. I’ve considered it myself as there are left over 2016 models around. But, I’m a little tempted by newer chassis, suspension, brakes, electronics in similar stuff. Ninja1000 (Z1000SX), V-Strom 1000, Versys 1000, etc.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Dale Walker’s 2007 Bandit 1250 ‘Igor’ has 150 hp and 96 ft-lbs of torque, is 52 lbs lighter, and has a top speed of 141 mph.

          • Eric

            Yep I’m aware. That’s a lot of modifications most people won’t want to bother with. High comp pistons, different cam, Carrozzeria wheels (not available for the B1250 anymore), ECU flash for ignition and rev limit, lots of parts to make it lighter, besides all the other normal mods.

            My 2011 FZ1 made 150 rwhp and weighed 475. Less torque but equal power and still 33 pounds lighter than his modded Bandit. I don’t have the bike anymore. These days I’m more about overall balance with somewhat less power. Thinking Z900.

          • Eric

            Yeah Walker’s Bandit is a real beast. But he’s done a TON of R&D on the project and the modifications are quite extensive and expensive. For instance, the forged Carrozzeria wheels are a one-off and won’t be available for any future 1250 bikes.

      • Eric

        As far as mods go on the new Ninja1000, a full Akrapovic 4-2-1 system drops a whopping 21 pounds according to Akra’s site. Also a lithium battery would lose another 5-6 pounds depending on the duty of the OEM. If you really want to get crazy with weight loss, a set of forged aluminum wheels or carbon fiber wheels would also help a lot (Brock’s Performance has them for this model, or Z1000). Maybe a hybrid rear sprocket like Supersprox to cut more. Rearsets would eliminate big pegs with buzz weights hanging under them. Clean up the tail with a tidy drops a bit more. Things add up.

        Since 2017 has no changes from 2016, this map should be the same.
        http://www.ivansperformanceproducts.com/2014%20Z1000%20All%20Stock%20vs%20full%20Akra%20abmod%20pkg.GIF

        In 2014 they dropped in a different intake cam for less valve timing overlap and more torque-laden midrange. That dropped about 6 hp off the top.

  • Vrooom

    It’s not a sport tourer in the traditional sense of a FJR, Concours 14, R1200RT, etc. but more in the sense of the old Ducati ST. 5 gals is a bit too small, the screen is a bit too small, and the seating just a bit committed for 500 mile days in the saddle. But, you can tour on anything, and I’ll bet this would be a hoot when the road got twisty.

    • Born to Ride

      In my mind, the bikes you listed have always just been “Tourers”. I mean, when your bike weighs over 600lbs and has a saddle that emulates the origin of the term, what kind of sport aspirations do you really have? Sure the Goldwing and K1600 are even more touring focused, but they are in a class of their own. YMMV

  • DickRuble

    Too heavy, too blah… For $5K, with less than 3000 miles and bags included .. maybe.. otherwise pass.

    Edit: Waaay too heavy. Give it two years and buy it used for less than $5K.

    • Born to Ride

      Get an exhaust, 190/55 rear tire, and a tune. Nothing blah about a bike that weighs under 500lbs, makes 150 rwhp with fat midrange, and handles like a proper sport bike.

      • DickRuble

        It weighs 510lbs without the luggage. Add 25 lbs for that. How much for the fat tire? $200? How much for the tune? $1000 minimum? We now have a $14700 bike that weighs 535lbs, that is still blah.. I don’t know where you got 150hp at the wheel… but it’s mostly irrelevant..

        • Born to Ride

          The first thing I would do is ditch that boat anchor of an exhaust system and install a lithium battery, that’s a 30lb weight reduction on this bike. As far as price goes, what bike are you even comparing it to? Compared to the cost of a superduke GT, you can have a bike that is undoubtedly more reliable, perfectly set up for you with premium suspension components, tuned engine and exhaust with perfect throttle response, AND lighter by at least 10 lbs with luggage(not that you’d ever notice that difference). And after spending all that money on the bike, you’d probably still have a grand left over compared to the cost of the stock SDGT, which is the only direct competitor to this bike at the moment. Also, I posted a dyno chart lower down and with a little looking around you can confirm those dyno numbers are pretty standard on a properly tuned ninja 1000.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            The Super Duke GT is a different class of motorcycle. It is more of a naked sport bike than a sport tourer. It is 1301cc vs 1043cc, 173hp vs 138hp, v-twin vs inline four, and has a lot more electronic goodies such as a quickshifter, ride by wire, cruise control, semi-active suspension, steering damper, cornering lights, heated grips, MSC, MTC, C-ABS, MSR, TPMS, HHC, Supermoto mode, etc. You get what you pay for.

          • Born to Ride

            There is no replacement for displacement as far as power goes, but the ninja is no slouch. My point is that if you spent the same amount of cash on the ninja as a SDGT, you’d have a seriously awesome bike. 8 grand goes a looong way in the aftermarket. For that kind of money you could have professionally tuned ohlins suspension, forged wheels, a quickshifter, full system exhaust, 20 more horsepower, and 30-40 lbs of weight reduction. Personally I don’t need a bike that makes unusable amounts of power just to say that it has it. I’d rather have a bike that is set up perfectly to my riding style and performance needs.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Some things you cannot have at all because the Ninja is not ride-by-wire. So you cannot add any of the electronic goodies I listed, no matter how much money you spend. The Super Duke GT is not a track bike. It is more of a Super Hooligan. The power is not unusable. You just have to know how to use it.

          • Born to Ride

            Sorry dude, I don’t believe for a second that you could ride that bike in my neck of the woods with all the electronics turned off and ever use full throttle. 155rwhp with almost 100 ft-lbs of torque is excessive for a street bike, any way you slice it.

          • Born to Ride

            Sorry dude, I don’t believe for a second that if YOU or anyone not named Rossi took this thing to a twisty road and turned off all the electronics, that you would ever have the throttle at the the stop. You’d either highside or wheelie uncontrollably. 155hp with nearly 100 ft-lbs of torque is excessive on a street bike any way you slice it. Additionally, this ninja comes with an IMU and wheel speed sensors. Meaning that it has TC, cornering abs, “stability control”, and a slipper clutch. Why do I care about tire pressure monitors and hill control? Superfluous crap. As far as semi-active suspension goes, you realize that the fork is massively overdamped when the system is disengaged right? So if the control system faults out you are SOL. Heated grips are a hundred bucks. RbW is not an upgrade in my book. Quickshifters are available aftermarket as well. So what exactly am I missing out on?

          • Sayyed Bashir

            All I meant was the Ninja 1000 and Super Duke GT are two different motorcycles. You are comparing apples and oranges. A Ninja 1000 cannot be converted into a SDGT for any amount of money. People who want a Super Duke GT will buy a SDGT, not a Ninja 1000. And the insurance savings will more than pay for the difference in price.

  • halfkidding

    The last version, or this, would have been my bike up to the age of 40. Instead I rode ZZR 1200’s for a decade. Heavy sure, but for full combat on the busy highways or blasting across the continent it was great. Now, retired, I have an enormous pig of a Stelvio NTX, for completely loaded, outfitted and self contained touring to wherever there is a road.

  • Bill Hawley

    I just bought a new charcoal gray 2016 at a fire sale price (paid less than I did for my 2007 Daytona new!). It seems that almost all insurance agents/ companies get it wrong, and will quote the wrong model. You must be very specific in telling them it’s a ZX1000MG, or you will get a rate for a ZX10. I pay less than $550 (in NY state) with full coverage and a $500 deductible. Could be why they don’t sell a lot more of them – due to bad rate quotes..

    I’ve seen the press whine about bad mirrors and seat, but I can assure you the mirrors are much better than my Daytona, which only allow you to see what’s directly behind you if you look between your arm and body. The seat suffers only because it is not dense foam. It’s too soft and takes a “set”, unlike the very dense/ firm foam on my Daytona – which has (surprisingly) been all day comfortable to me. Nothing a sheepskin wouldn’t cure though. I was going to get a Triumph Sprint GT in 2012, but they only brought it in for 2011, because they don’t want to cannibalize their Trophy sales here. This bike is essentially that, but with optional luggage instead of standard, and about 25 more HP. Triumph would be wise to bring the Sprint GT back here. You can get it anywhere else. As to the weight, while it’s heavier than my Daytona, it has close to the same power-to-weight ratio, and 509 lbs wet is not exactly enormous. It is very stable in high winds, and handles very well – obviously not like my Daytona, but I wouldn’t expect it to. The engine is a bit buzzier than the triple though, but nothing annoying. Who needs cruise or Cruisemeisters?A $30 Go-Cruz goes on in seconds and offers one finger deployment, and instalnt disengagement with a brake application or roll of the throttle.

    I didn’t buy the bags, as I figured I could add them later. But my enormous soft luggage goes right over the seat, and ties down with no problem. I do miss the gear indicator that my Triumph and old Suzuki have, but I see they’ve remedied that for 2017. The fuel gauge is ridiculously pessimistic on mine, going to a 1 bar reading at about 100 miles, while there’s still a lot of fuel left in the tank. What’s wrong with having a reserve setting on a fuel tap, and a mechanical float, rather than this digital crap? While I’m at it – all bikes should have kick start levers too! Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!!

    • ADB

      Hi Bill,

      Great post. Can we ask, who is your insurance carrier, and did you have to go above your agent and to their ratings dept to get the realistic rate?

      Thanks

      • Bill Hawley

        I just called my local agent, and got a quote. When I heard him say “Wow”… I explained that it wasn’t the hypersport 1000 – to look for Ninja 1000 ABS, and then he said words to the effect of “that’s better”. Company is Progressive. Probably helps that I’m an old phart (61), and was adding it to existing coverage (3rd bike).

    • Born to Ride

      Seems odd that when they run the VIN they still charge you the ZX10r rates. What insurance carrier do you have?

  • ADB

    This is probably the greatest motorcycle ever made. However, no one ever buys one. You guys should have run the VIN of the test bike through Geico, Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Dairyland, Nationwide, esurance, Farmers, et al. You will (would) be shocked. Insure this particular model Kawasaki for full coverage with a clean driving record, 40 years of street riding, and no claims, and you will pay thousands of dollars per year. I know, I tried. There is no sense in ever testing this model again until Kawasaki gets out of there offices and physically visits the insurance carriers that cover their products for their customers to show them that this is not a Ninja, it is is a sport touring bike.

    I love you guys, but for this test, you should have added another rating field to your chart – “Insurability” Had you done this, you would have given it a zero grade here, then the overall score would have dropped below 90. No matter how good this bike is, it does not deserve a high score when none of your readers have the desire to pay triple insurance rates. My son’s EBR 1190 RX costs less to insure.

    Shame on Kawasaki (and I am a strong Kawasaki advocate with two JetSkis in the garage).

    • Born to Ride

      I’m not so sure that it is Kawasaki’s fault. Short of renaming the bike the Z1000GT or something like that, there isn’t much they can do about insurance premiums.

      • John B.

        I agree this is not Kawasaki’s fault, but they could send representatives to meet with the underwriters at various insurance companies, and work to convince them to bring insurance rates for the Ninja in line with comparable motorcycles. I would do it for them, if they would agree to pay me a reasonable hourly rate and cover my reasonable travel expenses.

      • DickRuble

        One way would be for Kawasaki to take one insurance company to trial and ask them to provide evidence of casualties by the Ninja that justify the premium hike. Kawasaki can claim loss of revenue due to the unfair/incompetent treatment of their product and their customers. Maybe some owners would care to join a class action lawsuit. After Kawa wipes the floor with one insurance company, the others will be more inclined to use comparables instead of simply racketeering motorcyclists.

        Of course, changing the stupid name would be more reasonable, maybe to Kawasaki Taikutsuna.

        • ADB

          Dick, touche! I keep thinking something simple – something along the lines of “Kawasaki ST”. You know, ST for “Sport Touring”. Worked for both Ducati and Buell in the old days – both the S3T and the ST2, ST3, and ST4 were dirt cheap to insure. Product sold, customers happy. Even little Buell was selling 1,000 S3T’s a year. I can’t imagine Kawasaki moving a thousand Ninja 1000’s per year with the insurance rates so high.

          If Kawasaki would have had this insurance issue fixed, I would have one in my garage right now. Instead I went for a new Moto Guzzi Norge – superb bike that does everything well at 1/5 the insurance rate for full coverage.

        • ADB

          (Taikutsuna)
          Boring uninspiring wearisome tiresome tedious uninspired stodgy dreary

          • Born to Ride

            If you know dick, you would known what it meant before punching it into google translate. But thanks for confirming what I had assumed. Lol

      • BDan75

        Well, apparently, that’s all it takes if you guys are right about the rates. I have a ’14 Z1000, which is basically the same bike minus some plastic (and probably much more likely to be hooned), and full-coverage insurance is very much in line with other bikes of similar age/value I own. 39 y/o at time of purchase, clean record.

        • Born to Ride

          The Z1000 would cost me 1/5 the premium for the same coverage. I also looked that up.

    • Don McDaniel

      Insurability is a problem with some sport tourers for sure. I think it’s largely because of their relative scarcity. Insurance companies lump them in with “similar” vehicles because they don’t have sufficient statistics on the model. I’ve faced this with my BMW K1300S with multi thousand dollar quotes. I’ve managed to find a company by using an insurance broker, but it’s tough. I believe the bike is lumped in with the “similar” Hayabusa and ZX14R as though BMW riders have a lot in common with hyperbike riders. I’m not sure renaming the bike will help; without sufficient statistics, the tendency will be to lump them in with bikes of similar displacement, engine configuration and HP.

    • Warprints

      I guess I lucked out. I have four bikes, insured at $250/$500 liability and UM, plus $250 ded collision and comp, with emergency road service, and pay less than $2,500 per year total.

    • Nick Danielsson

      Strange, the bike doesn’t have the Ninja moniker here in europe, it’s instead called Z1000SX. I bought one 3 weeks ago and love it to bits. The insurance is just over 1/3 of what i paid for the 2013 Daytona 675 i traded in for it, i pay $1030 for full coverage through Kawasakis insurance partner here in Sweden. They should get their act together like you suggest and make it clear that this is far from their line of sportsbikes, they should also partner up with a carrier as they do over here to be able to offer Kawasaki branded insurance with rebates. Still though, even without the K branded insurance i didn’t get any qoutes above $1250 annually.

  • mugwump

    So despite the 2 other Kawi’s in the driveway I went with a new ’15 FJR $14.2K out the door, which it seems there are plenty of still available. It came with the bags, just like my Gen 1 and the insurance, $219 annually.

  • John B.

    I do not think it’s MO.com’s job to include insurance rate analysis in a motorcycle review. That said, if you buy and keep this motorcycle for 5 years, you will likely pay more for insurance than you paid for the motorcycle. That’s a deal breaker.

    I don’t blame Kawasaki for this anomaly, however, they could send company representatives to the insurance carriers to make a pitch to the underwriters to bring insurance rates for the Ninja 1000 into line with similar motorcycles. Otherwise, this is a great all-around motorcycle. I wish Kawasaki would update the Concours to include the the Ninja 1000’s electronics package plus cruise control.

    FYI – The highest volume Kawasaki dealer in the U.S. is in Irving, Texas, and you can get a 2017 Ninja 1000 out the door for several hundred dollars below MSRP. Quite a value.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I think Kawasaki would have to change the name of the bike to lower the insurance rates.

  • Gary

    “All you’ll really be missing is cruise control.”

    That’s a pretty big miss in a sport tourer.

  • kenneth_moore

    I’ll jump on the insurance complaint bandwagon here too. I rode a demo Ninja 1000 at Daytona Bike Week the year before last and absolutely loved it. I got home and called my Progressive agent and found that the monthly insurance payment would be almost the same as my estimated bike payment. I checked a few other companies and their quotes were all within a few dollars.

    I had also demo’d the FJ09 that week. It has about 20-25 less hp and comes very close to the Ninja’s torque output. My annual premium for the FJ in the very expensive South FL market is under $700. As much as I loved the Ninja, literally double the cost of ownership for such a minor performance delta made no sense to me.

  • ADB

    And I bet no one from Kawasaki will ever read these comments. And since they are always riding demo bikes (I assume), no Kawasaki employee will ever go looking for personal insurance for a new Ninja 1000. I think they just plain don’t know about the insurance rating given by all the carriers.

  • spiff

    Anyone with insurance concerns. Did you give the agent the VIN? Just wondering if the high qoute is due to the agent mixing up models. Someone below mentioned this.

    • kenneth_moore

      I never got as far as having a VIN myself. I did make it clear to the agents that the bike was a sport touring model and not a supersport. For comparison I asked the Progressive agent to quote a 1300 FJR. I don’t recall the exact number, but it was only marginally more than the 09, compared to the Ninja 1000’s exponentially higher rate. Obviously the FJR has significantly more hp and torque than either (albeit with more weight).

      Maybe those folks know what they’re doing. Perhaps any bright green Kawi with the word “Ninja” in it’s name and more than 650 cc’s displacement is an accident looking for a place to have itself.

      • spiff

        Kawasaki is to blame for this. I have seen these concerns brought up more than once. Kawasaki should have people researching every aspect of the buying experiance. If they are not, they are dropping the ball. Seems elementary to me.

    • Born to Ride

      I did. No mistake on their end according to them.

    • ADB

      Great question, but yes, I gave four different insurance carriers the actual VIN. I did this two times, once in mid 2014, and again in mid 2015 (thinking that Kawasaki would somehow come to life and fix this dilemma. I then bought a brand new Norge (and very happy that I did). I did get a quote on a Z1000 ABS, thinking I could buy one of those, then convert it to a Ninja 1000. I went so far as getting quotes on the conversion parts.

      Run this one: JKAZXCM15GA009248

      I’m on the Progressive sight right now. Full coverage, $500.00 deductable, $500,000 CSL, uninsured motorist. $10,000 medical (a helicopter flight out of the North Georgia mountains God forbid), Georgia, suburbs, clean record, excellent credit score:

      Pay in Full
      $2489.00
      Or
      Start today for $423.00 + 11 payments of $218.91 (Total $2831.00*)

      • ADB

        It gets better – here is the Progressive quote for a new Tuono V4 1100 RR:

        Pay in Full
        $1,377.00
        Or
        Start today for $233.70 + 11 payments of $121.39 (Total $1569.00*)

        Same maximum coverage, literally half the price.

        • spiff

          Wow.

  • Dan Rossi

    Call it the ‘Tai Chi’ . ‘Ninja’ too expensive on insurance .

  • Randy Brooks

    The OEM Gel seat will not help.

  • djenter

    All those electronics and no cruise control? Me no understand. Why factory CC is not standard (at least an option) on any decent sized “ride by wire” bike these days puzzles me. Cars have had it for ages.