Some initial riding impressions...
Looking at the bike, you think "It's a sportbike, bleh" and that's exactly what I did when I first saw it in the show room. However, Fit and finish are amazing and the bike looks every bit as good in person as it does in the pics. The exhaust, although abit "off-putting" in the pics is much better in person. And I like the sound it makes. I had to take some of the plastics off the bike to install the grips and found it very easy to work with and re-install everything. Although the "3 position" windscreen is a nice feature, you won't get near the coverage the stock screen on the FJR gives. And that goes for the bodywork as well. The Ninja is a lot narrower, so you lose some wind protection. What I really liked was not stretching out over the tank to get to those bars, though. The FJR left me feeling a bit more stretched out than I liked.
So, riding it...There is gobs and gobs of torque from this thing. Lugging it down to 40mph in 6th gear is effortless. The power delivery is amazing, and there is no "buzz" from the bars or the pegs. Cruising in 6th gear at 60 mph the bike is cruising at 4K Rpms. Running the bike through the twisties is effortless. Although it weighs 500 pounds, the weight is carried low and you don't seem to notice it, especially after coming off the FJR. I'm late apexing damned near every corner. And I really am enjoying the more upright "over the steerer" position. Want to play hooligan? 2nd to 3rd shifts will get the front end up if you get your arse over the rear of the seat. Transitioning from right handers to left handers you don't get slowed by the 190 tire on the rear. The tires seem to suit the bike well. And the suspension is very adjustable with its triple adjustable inverted fork. The brake pads don't have the initial bite I prefer, but I'm hoping they'll come in with time. So far I like a lot about the bike and don't like very little. As would be expected, I did have to add the heated grips ($80 and every bit as warm as the FJRs) and the cost of the OEM bags is pricey at $1000 for the pair with the hardware. It's on back-order so I've bought the SW motecs for light use for now, at $280. I will buy the hardbags for sure, though. I'll also wire in an AC outlet so I can power my GPS and charge my phone. According to the specs, the Ninja 1000 makes 138HP and with its 5 gallon tank you can get 40mpg of mixed riding. So as a sport touring bike, it should do well enough for most.
So this is an FJR owners site, why am I still here?
The main reason I got rid of my FJR is that it just lost its draw on me. It became an appliance, and nothing more. It has zero to do with the bike, as it was a great bike for its intended design. I just found that the long wheel base and the added weight are something I just don't click with. If not for that, I would have kept the FJR, as I still think its a better bike than the ST1300 or the C14. It's got better fit/finish and had the problems of heat soak and ergo adjustment sorted long before the C14. The standard and optional features are better and the luggage works far better on the FJR... how many threads are there of C14 bags flying off from improper installation? Quite a few actually... The valve adjustment intervals are longer on the FJR, and the bike does everything the C14 and St1300 do, equally well with more fuel range. I'm just not a sport "TOURER". I've found I'm more of a "SPORT" tourer.
Two wheels up and safe riding!
Edited by Mike Kelly, 26 January 2012 - 03:08 AM.