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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still not sure if I'll change my old ZX11 but I'm currently looking at at I could get. Ninja 1000 is on my list for sure and I would like to know a bit more about it.

1- What are the generations? I think they are 2011, 2014 and 2016 or 2017 but not sure.
2- Is there somewhere a list of the changes introduced on each generation?
3- I know the newer the better but because of the higher asking price for the latest model, I must ask, money wise, what is the "best" generation to look at?

I'm very anal when it is time to buy something and I want to know everything that will help to make the better possible buy... Thanks for any info!

4- Being an old fart, Versys is also on my list as I take for granted its comfort level will be better (mainly upper riding position and more legroom). Any comment about Ninja vs Versys?
 

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1990 Kawasaki ZX1100C1
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For me, there is only one 'true' Ninja 1000 and that is the 86' - 87' GPz1000R.

A Big, heavy, 'Brutal' (in an 'old-school' kinda way) bitch-on-wheels, if ever there was one.

Has been quite a few yrs since I've seen any on the road, or for sale.
 

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I test rode a Ninja 1000 when they first came out and thought it was a bit buzzy. I hear guys re-gear to move the power band (and buzz) to a different road speed. The Versys 1000 is similar with a larger fairing, slightly longer suspension, more upright handlebars and comes re-geared from the factory. Hard bags are optional on the N1K, but come standard with US-model V1Ks.

I personally would take the V over the N for the fairing and riding position alone. I doubt there's much difference performance-and handling-wise.
 

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I own a 2014 Ninja 1000. One of the best bikes I have owned.

2014 was the first year for hard bags with only a few changes other that a taller 6th gear (barely taller) and less power. The 2016 got the slipper/assist clutch that continues on the 2017+. Nice improvement

The new generation, 2017, has some good and bad changes. All of the Ninja 1000s were geared too low, having a quite high RPM on the highway. Most people change out the front (+1) or rear (-2) sprocket and step up to the 190/55-17 tire to improve this. The 2017 will not allow sprocket changes as the it will throw an error code for the ECU. On the positive side, I hear the electronics package on the 17 has some nice improvements.

The one big complaint I have on the Ninja 1000 is the gearing is just to close on the upper gears. They "claim" to have made that better in 2014, but 3rd-6th gears are nearly identical. I almost always shift from 3rd to 6th gear all at once. Changing the sprockets makes this better, but still there. The Versys with a much more spread out gearing. I hate the height of the Versys or otherwise might think about it. Having that one complaint on the gearing, it is a great bike. I have had it two years and have over 17K miles on it. As I tell many people, the Ninja 1000 is not great and anything and not bad at anything. A very nice compromise.

If you buy one of these, the single best improvement you can do is installing an Akrapovic header and get an Ivan's flash. You can use the stock can on the Akrapovic header, or run some other aftermarket cans of your choice. The Ivan's tune does not add much power, but makes this bike smooth a butter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
...If you buy one of these, the single best improvement you can do is installing an Akrapovic header and get an Ivan's flash. You can use the stock can on the Akrapovic header, or run some other aftermarket cans of your choice. The Ivan's tune does not add much power, but makes this bike smooth a butter.
Just curious but what are the pros of Akrapovic header if to be used with stock can?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
...The one big complaint I have on the Ninja 1000 is the gearing is just to close on the upper gears. They "claim" to have made that better in 2014, but 3rd-6th gears are nearly identical. I almost always shift from 3rd to 6th gear all at once. Changing the sprockets makes this better, but still there. The Versys with a much more spread out gearing...
Again, just curious. Have you (or someone else) ever thought at swapping a Versys' tranny inside Ninja's crankcase?
 

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For me, there is only one 'true' Ninja 1000 and that is the 86' - 87' GPz1000R.

A Big, heavy, 'Brutal' (in an 'old-school' kinda way) bitch-on-wheels, if ever there was one.

Has been quite a few yrs since I've seen any on the road, or for sale.
Thats a fact Jack! I worked at Kawasaki in Vegas in 85 and that bike will always be the ultimate to me. We slapped coke can Yoshis on em back then and wot it sounded like no other 2 wheeled machine on earth.
 

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When the 86 1000r came out it hit the bike world like a sledgehammer. I had an 84 900r at the time and it kinda looked silly after that. Even the 86 600r was badass. I currently got a 91 zx 11... If a 86 1000r ever shows up around me, I'll be all over it.
 

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When the 86 1000r came out it hit the bike world like a sledgehammer. I had an 84 900r at the time and it kinda looked silly after that. Even the 86 600r was badass. I currently got a 91 zx 11... If a 86 1000r ever shows up around me, I'll be all over it.
2 on feebay right now and the 1st I've seen there in over a decade that are worth a shit.
Red 86 1000R $5K
Black 86 1000R $7K
Very hard to find these old brutes though with stock plastic intact.
Keep in mind if you have these or if you plan on getting one a very lit of the 1000R motors blew the #3 rod, often right through the case behind the header which caught a few on fire. Mine did so but luckily not on fire. I was able to save it after it punched a hole through the case on the freeway doing 75mph in 5th which created a smokescreen that covered all 4 lanes for a 1/4 mile back. It also locked up the trans which I quickly pulled in the clutch and blindly glided 4 lanes over to the E lane safely parking and grabbed my 5'0 stripper companion off the back while we both ran for cover waiting for it to explode. An empty school bus pulled up in front of us and tossed me a fire ext. and I saved the big beast. It never did catch fire but I've never seen a smokecloud that large in my life. The oil just poured out onto the 4/1 Yoshimura. Definitely an experience we'll both remember, wherever the gal is now I'm sure :ROFLMAO: As I mentioned I saved it and picked up a Gpz900 case out of a cycle salvage yard in Fontana California and rebuilt it but it was never the same after that.
Still looking for another when my $ is right. Had more good memories than bad. I remember in 87 running the Illegals back in Vegas the only bike that would beat it was the 87 GSXR-1100 which was my next bike.
But thats another story(y)
 

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I own a 2014 Ninja 1000. One of the best bikes I have owned.

2014 was the first year for hard bags with only a few changes other that a taller 6th gear (barely taller) and less power. The 2016 got the slipper/assist clutch that continues on the 2017+. Nice improvement

The new generation, 2017, has some good and bad changes. All of the Ninja 1000s were geared too low, having a quite high RPM on the highway. Most people change out the front (+1) or rear (-2) sprocket and step up to the 190/55-17 tire to improve this. The 2017 will not allow sprocket changes as the it will throw an error code for the ECU. On the positive side, I hear the electronics package on the 17 has some nice improvements.

The one big complaint I have on the Ninja 1000 is the gearing is just to close on the upper gears. They "claim" to have made that better in 2014, but 3rd-6th gears are nearly identical. I almost always shift from 3rd to 6th gear all at once. Changing the sprockets makes this better, but still there. The Versys with a much more spread out gearing. I hate the height of the Versys or otherwise might think about it. Having that one complaint on the gearing, it is a great bike. I have had it two years and have over 17K miles on it. As I tell many people, the Ninja 1000 is not great and anything and not bad at anything. A very nice compromise.

If you buy one of these, the single best improvement you can do is installing an Akrapovic header and get an Ivan's flash. You can use the stock can on the Akrapovic header, or run some other aftermarket cans of your choice. The Ivan's tune does not add much power, but makes this bike smooth a butter.
I got my ecu flashed by Ivan and can confirm yes it’s worth every penny. The bike’s natural “on/off” feeling of the throttle gets smoothes out so you can roll on the throttle like a normal bike instead of barely rolling it and going 30 mph 😂 but if I can remove an ecu and reinstall, literally anyone can.
 
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