Kawasaki Ninja 1000 First Ride Review Video
2014 KAWASAKI NINJA® 1000 ABS
Review: By Jamie Robinson
Stylishly slicing through to the sharp end of the Touring Sportbike market is the new 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS. Having just ridden over 400 miles back from the World Superbike at Laguna Seca on one, I’ve put it seriously through its paces on some of California’s finest roads and its just truly been an awesome ride all the way.
This model is from the Ninja family, this means that it has a racer feel and look to it, design and influence passed down from the racetrack.
But what Kawasaki have cleverly done for this years bike is design the bike with the panniers in mind, they are now not an after thought, awkward looking or sticking out a mile. Now the side panniers click and lock in place super quickly, stay close to the bike and the Ninja 1000 ABS looks just the part, with or with-out them.
The exhaust system and shorter silencer gets a new upgrade, now allowing the real grunt and sound of the Kawasaki motor to growl as you power away and the new Intake cam and funnels improve acceleration and make sure you get there quickly. This years model comes with more horse-power and a higher 6th gear, improving overall acceleration and 6th gear Freeway type riding.
To get all this power safely to the ground, Kawasaki have got 3 modes of traction-control which cover all road and riding conditions or you also have the option to turn TC off if you are really experienced. As I was traveling down Highway 1’s heavenly turns I had plenty of time to play around with the modes, test their capabilities and get the traction-control working. Once Highway 1 was over, it was time to turn into the countryside and wiggle through wine country as I headed home. The smaller roads offered many unexpected hazards like loose gravel, pot-holes and bumps in the road. Another good time to test the modes as well as the suspension and brakes in different environments.
What I can tell you is if you want the TC security, its there and on max (3) it allows minimum slip and will catch the wheel the moment it breaks away, great in damp or wet conditions. On the other side if you to feel the wheels and the ground beneath you plus you’ve the skills to control a possible slide then level 1 would be more suited, I guess most will be best in the middle if the road go for (2) which will work when needed and also allow you some feedback through the tires. Personally I enjoyed the bike when I had all the TC off and relied on my own input, but each to their own and its great that the Ninja 1000 ABS has useable and workable options.
Coming to a stop of slowing for turns was down with lots of feel and power thanks to the new four-piston radial Monobloc front calipers and together with the improved pad compound, braking was effortless and very efficient.
That positive feedback it is because of the well designed chassis and suspension. The lightweight sub-frame, upgraded throttle bodies and exhaust all help the mass centralization and make the Ninja 1000 lighter and sharper handling than ever. This is further aided by the stiffer rear spring and revised front-fork damping settings which help give responsive feedback to the rider. To help with finding your own personal set-up or even adjusting the suspension when you add the panniers or take on a passenger onboard, the pre-load adjuster is now located on the rear sub-frame, no tools needed, further racetrack technology being passed down.
Power modes can also be changes with Full and Low power available. Having tried both on different types of roads I can say that i enjoyed having Full power at my finger tips on the twisty corners, I felt like the bike responded quicker and I was able to go places quickly. For what its worth on the Freeway, I liked the Low power mode, it was easier to ride, seemed to get better gas mileage and suited the road and traffic conditions.
Low power has a much tamer surge of acceleration, as well as capping the maximum power to 70%, its easier to ride as it is less aggressive. Full power mode on the other hand gives you instant throttle response, a wide and strong power-band and more HP than you probably can handle.
To go with the changeable modes and panniers the Ninja 1000 also has a 3-position 20° adjustable windscreen that goes from super Sporty to Touring style in seconds. Personally I preferred the middle setting for the sportier riding, while the more upright setting helped with those Freeway miles and the wind hitting me directly in the face.
There are lots of options to suit rider preferences and riding conditions and the options don’t stop as they have a quality range of Kawasaki accessories to add to the bike that really look the part. The only option I can say I wanted and didn’t get would be the option to turn the ABS off or possibly have levels of ABS input, however in most cases and for most riders this would not be an issue or desired. Its just I grew up without ABS and like the On/Off option.
Overall the new 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS is a serious machine that oozes the Ninja spirit and appeal. And with the powerfully smooth Kawasaki engine, well-designed chassis, and all accommodated with an aggressive design throughout, it makes this a machine that blasts pasts its class rivals on performance, handling and style alone.
Now Sportier than ever and with major touring potential, the Ninja 1000 ABS adds class and speed to the sport touring market in a mean green flash, if green isn’t your color, then you’ve the option of candy blue.
Review by Jamie Robinson #motogeo
Moto + Review + MotoGeo
Video coming soon……
Here is what Kawasaki Say:
A Stylish and Comfortable Sportbike Upgraded for Today’s Rider
Riders who want real world, open class performance need to look no further than the upgraded 2014 Kawasaki Ninja® 1000 ABS sportbike. With an unmistakably aggressive profile that could only come from the Ninja family tree, this premium quality sportbike has the perfect combination of power, handling, looks, technology and rideability.
For 2014, Kawasaki engineers concentrated on making the Ninja 1000 ABS even more usable. Its advanced new KTRC Traction Control system features three different modes to deliver maximum performance and increased rider confidence, regardless of the riding conditions. Similarly, the dual selectable Power Modes serve to match engine performance to conditions, further expanding the rider’s confidence. Great looking one-piece “monobloc” radial-mount front brake calipers offer world-class power and feel. A new, taller 6th gear drops the RPMs at highway speeds for improved comfort when covering miles on a long ride. Since riders will probably want to take their Ninja 1000 everywhere, its subframe was redesigned to allow the cleanly integrated fitment of stylish and functional Kawasaki Genuine Accessory hard luggage.
Ninja 1000’s impressive thrust comes by way of an even more powerful inline-four – a 1,043cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 16-valve engine that features revised intake cams that boost its low-to-midrange torque—where most street bikes spend their time. When the road opens up, this big Ninja can better stretch its legs thanks to additional airbox vents and new cylinder connecting passageways that strengthen mid-to-high RPM performance by improving breathing and reducing the pumping losses associated with displacing air inside the crankcase.
The more pronounced growl of the intake at low-RPM and intoxicating howl at full-song will put a smile on even the most jaded rider’s face. This engine’s all-around performance allows it to excel at almost any street-going activity, be it commuting, sport riding, touring, or eating up the miles on the freeway.
But this engine’s magic is more about flexibility and easy-to-use oomph than simply peak horsepower numbers. The extremely reliable inline-four produces the sort of power that launches you out of corners and away from stops in a way that’ll keep you entertained – and your riding buddies impressed – for years to come. At seemingly every RPM level, the Ninja 1000 engine produces smooth, instant-on thrust that many hardcore sportbikes simply can’t match.
Kawasaki’s perfectly calibrated electronic fuel injection helps make this so. The four 38mm Keihin downdraft throttle bodies inject a perfect mix of fuel and air into each combustion chamber with help from an advanced ECU, oval sub-throttles and an updated cool air intake system that routes fresh air to the airbox via extra ducts at the front of the bike. A new, non-woven air filter element increases air flow for stouter high-RPM performance. For 2014, equal-length velocity stacks provide snappier throttle response, increasing the engine’s fun factor. Digital Timing Advance contributes to the increased low- and mid-range power, while spark plug-mounted ignition coils help ensure perfect timing for each cylinder. Warm up is easy—regardless of the temperature—thanks to the ECU’s idle speed control system.
A three-mode KTRC traction control system combines with a two-mode power selector system to give the rider the best possible performance in varied conditions. The Power Modes give the rider the choice between full power and low power, allows the rider to set power delivery to suit their preference. The first two KTRC modes are intended to maximize acceleration similar to the ZX™-10R’s S-KTRC. The third mode is tuned for low-traction (wet/slippery) conditions, similar to the Concours® 14 sport tourer’s KTRC. The KTRC system can be turned-off by the rider, and its settings and the Power Mode ignition maps can be selected with the bar-mounted switch. The KTRC and power modes—as well as ABS and Economical Riding (ECO) status—are indicated on the updated LCD instrument display for at-a-glance monitoring of settings.
A balance shaft driven off the crankshaft keeps the solidly mounted engine operating smoothly, while a beautifully styled 4-into-2-into-2 catalyzer-equipped exhaust system offers a pleasing growl without being overly loud. It’s a perfect engine for a road-going sportbike – smooth, powerful, flexible and blessed with the legendary reliability associated with Kawasaki sportbikes.
The Ninja 1000 sportbike features an advanced aluminum frame similar in design to the Ninja ZX-10R’s. The lightweight assembly curves over the engine, cradling it from above and bolting solidly to it in three places, with a rubber-backed fourth mount provided for added vibration isolation and torsional rigidity. This design allowed engineers to keep the bike’s waist narrow for superb rider interface and maximum comfort and control. The main frame and swingarm pivot pieces are cast as a single unit, with welds eliminated wherever possible for seamless aesthetics. The new sub-frame allows for dealer installation of accessory Kawasaki Quick Release (KQR) 29 liter hard saddlebags. Those new KQR accessory bags also feature aggressive styling that is more suited to the Ninja 1000 than previous bag options. The sub-frame design eliminates the need for side covers thus allowing a narrower midsection for an easier reach to the ground.
The wheels, brakes and suspension bits that allow the Ninja to move so gracefully and swiftly are truly state-of-the-art. Suspension is handled by a fully adjustable 41mm inverted fork up front and a preload- and rebound-adjustable single-shock system in back with a new remote preload adjuster, the ideal scenario for dialing in the perfect settings for your weight and riding style or quickly adjusting settings for adding a passenger and/or luggage. The single-shock system features a damper mounted nearly horizontally above the swingarm for optimal mass centralization and heat resistance. The gas/oil shock offers superb wheel control whether you’re hammering along deserted backroads or navigating across pothole-infested city streets. On the Ninja 1000, you’ll always know what’s happening at the contact patches.
Stopping power is provided by ABS equipped disc brakes – 300mm petal-type rotors up front squeezed by new ultra-rigid radially mounted “monobloc” calipers fed hydraulic pressure by an equally race-spec radial pump master cylinder. The new, monobloc front calipers are machined from a single piece of aluminum delivering both increased caliper stiffness and lower weight. Riders will love the responsive braking power and improved feel at the lever. Out back is another tech-savvy disc. The power and feel of the brakes at both ends is amazing, giving rookies, pros and everyone in between supreme confidence hauling the bike down from speed. The Ninja 1000 ABS’ anti-lock brake system (ABS) offers additional rider confidence when riding in slippery situations.
The wheels working with those brakes – lightweight six-spoke supersport-style units – are also the latest in lightweight production technology. They not only reduce unsprung weight, which allows the suspension to function optimally, but also carry the latest in radial tire technology. The result is superb grip, precise handling and reasonably long tread life.
But easily the most stunning aspect of the Ninja 1000 is its sleek, wraparound bodywork. Designed with an eye on Kawasaki’s race-ready ZX-6R and ZX-10R, the Ninja offers a thoroughly radical look, but one that’s unique and memorable. Despite its edgy, rakish demeanor, the bodywork carves a surprisingly large hole in the atmosphere, giving riders a quiet cocoon in which to work. A manually adjustable, 3-position windscreen helps, allowing riders to pick just the right setting for their height and riding style. Integrated front turn signals, a ZX-6R-spec front fender, a stylish tail-section and an updated, full-featured instrument panel complete the look.
And despite its radical look, the Ninja 1000 offers surprisingly comfortable ergonomics. The handlebars are mounted higher than on race-oriented machines, the rubber-topped pegs a touch lower, all of which makes the Ninja 1000 a capable sport tourer, and certainly a sportbike you can spend the day aboard without undue strain. Passenger comfort and security are improved with new grab-rails. To sweeten the day- or weekend-trekking deal even more, Kawasaki offers a line of optional touring-oriented accessories, including redesigned hard-case saddlebags and top trunk, heated grips and more.
It’s rare to find such all-around functionality in a sporting motorcycle today. But the 2014 Ninja 1000 is a different beast – one with wide-ranging talent in sport, sport-touring and commuting roles. As Motorcyclist magazine wrote recently: “In the real world we ride through every day, it doesn’t get much better than the Ninja 1000.”
A large selection of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories is available through authorized Kawasaki dealers.
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2014 Kawasaki Ninja® 1000 ABS
Features and Benefits
- UPGRADED 1,043cc inline-four with DFI® offers even more power and torque for effortless passing and backroads entertainment
- NEW KTRC Traction Control system features three different modes, plus “off” for maximum performance and enhanced rider confidence in varying conditions
- NEW Selectable Power Modes offer a choice between full power and approximately 70 percent power output to help suit changing conditions
- NEW One-piece “monobloc” radial-mount front brake calipers offer superb braking power and control, along with a premium laser-etched Kawasaki logo and black alumite finish
- NEW Taller 6th gear provides a more relaxed ride when covering highway miles
- NEW Analog + Digital instrument cluster includes a large tachometer and a digital display offering a wealth of information on current bike conditions and settings
- NEW Remote rear spring preload adjuster allows quick tuning for passenger and luggage weight
- NEW Subframe with built-in compatibility for Kawasaki’s new accessory saddlebag mounts
- NEW Optional Kawasaki Quick Release (KQR) 29 liter hard saddlebags are cleanly integrated with the new subframe and can be removed in seconds to leave a clean, rack-free tail section
- Relaxed, upright riding position contributes to all-day comfort and impressive maneuverability
- Lightweight aluminum frame is narrow and tuned to transmit optimal feedback to the rider
- Fully adjustable inverted fork has settings designed for sporty performance and ride quality
- Design of horizontal back-link rear suspension contributes to mass centralization
- Sleek styling gives the Ninja® 1000 a distinctive sportbike look
- Large 5-gallon fuel capacity offers substantial range
- Windscreen is adjustable to three positions, allowing for optimum wind and weather protection
DOHC, 16-valve, 1,043cc Engine
- 1,043cc liquid-cooled inline-four offers true open-class power from idle to redline
- NEW Cylinder connecting passageways reduce pumping losses and improve mid-to-high RPM performance
- NEW Intake cams provide improved low-to-midrange torque
- Easily accessible torque offers instant thrust for maximum rider satisfaction
- Bore and stroke dimensions of 77.0 x 56.0mm offer an ideal balance of peak power and low- and mid-range flexibility
- 38mm Keihin throttle bodies cram the air/fuel mixture directly into combustion chambers via downdraft intakes for maximum power
- Oval sub-throttles help keep the engine slim, and a slim midsection allows an ideal bike/rider interface for maximum comfort and control
- Engine’s rev limiter comes into play “softly,” providing usable overrev character because power doesn’t drop off suddenly at high RPM
- The engine’s relatively low crankshaft position allows a moderately long stroke without adding engine height
- A secondary engine balancer, driven off a gear on the sixth web of the crankshaft, eliminates excess vibration and contributes to rider comfort
UPGRADED Cool Air System
- Intake system routes cool air to the airbox via ducts in the fairing, minimizing performance loss due to heated intake air
- UPGRADED Airbox features additional atmospheric intakes to further enhance the engine’s intoxicating intake howl
- NEW Non-woven air filter element provides better flow for enhanced high-RPM performance
- REVISED Velocity stacks are now equal-length and provide improved throttle response and a more exciting engine character
- Intake ducts are positioned close to the rider to allow the intake howl to be heard and enjoyed
NEW Selectable 2-Mode Digital Ignition
- Rider selectable Full & Low maps offer a choice between full power and approximately 70 percent power output to help suit changing conditions
- Digital Timing Advance enhances low- and mid-range power
- Individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each of the four spark plugs independently to achieve the optimum timing for that cylinder
- ECU includes an idle speed control system for easier starting and warm-up
NEW KTRC TRaction Control
- KTRC traction-control system features three different modes for varying conditions
- System can also be switched-off by the rider to disable traction control
- Modes are controlled by a handy switch assembly on the left handlebar
- Modes are indicated on the LCD cockpit display
- The exhaust system features a 4-into-2-pre-chamber-into-2 layout to provide ample silencer volume without requiring excess bulk in the rear mufflers
- Main and pre-catalyzers ensure cleaner emissions
- Exhaust system offers excellent mass centralization and contributes to a low center of gravity
Large 5-Gallon Fuel Tank
- UPGRADED Slim-type fuel pump features an integral fuel level sensor with enhanced accuracy for 2014
- Supersport-style flared edges with a trim shape at the rear help make it easy for the rider to grip the tank with their knees
- Flared top and steel construction are well-suited to magnetic tank bags
- 5.0 gallon fuel capacity offers enough range for longer legs that most other sportbikes
NEW Monobloc ABS Brakes with Petal-type Rotors
- NEW One-piece “monobloc” radial-mount front brake calipers offer superb braking power and control, along with a premium quality look from their laser-etched Kawasaki logo and black alumite finish
- NEW ABS pump features a fluid pressure sensor that allows more precise control of line pressures and also provides data to the ECU to help suppress rear lift under braking
- A low-battery mode helps preserve ABS effectiveness when the battery charge is low. (although riders may notice that ABS operation is less smooth than in normal mode)
- Petal-type 300mm front brake rotors are full-on sportbike hardware
- A radial-pump front brake master cylinder contributes to the superb control and feel offered by these high-end monobloc calipers
- NEW pad compound has a higher coefficient of friction that contributes to the enhanced brake feeling
- A single-piston rear caliper grips a 250mm petal-type disc. This compact caliper is mounted below the swingarm, and located by a torque rod
- Supersport-style full-fairing bodywork gives the Ninja 1000 a distinctive, head-turning look, and also offers plenty of wind and weather protection for short-tour ability
- The fairing’s slat-style leading edges direct wind around the bike, allowing the fairing to be narrower at the middle
- The fairing flares at the rear, keeping hot engine air off the rider’s legs
- Front turn signals are integrated into the fairing and are attached to the inside of the fairing with rubber mounts that minimize damage if the bike falls over
- Front fender design contributes to excellent aerodynamics and racy looks
- Slim and compact tail cowl moves mass physically and visually toward the front of the bike
- LED taillight features red bulbs and a red transparent lens
- Slim rear fender gives the bike a light-looking rear end
- Windscreen is manually adjustable for optimum wind/weather protection
- Windscreen has three available positions spanning approximately 20 degrees and ranging from sporty to maximum wind protection. Adjustment can be done by hand (no tools required) by depressing the release button below the instrument panel. Windscreen adjustment should always be done with the bike stopped
Aluminum Backbone Frame
- Aluminum backbone frame is similar in concept to the Ninja ZX-10R’s, and helps make the bike narrow and easy to grip with the knees for maximum rider comfort and feedback
- The frame is lightweight and highly rigid, and uses the engine as a stressed member for solid handling and optimum stability
- Frame elements are tuned to transmit optimal engine feedback to the rider
- The frame uses four engine mounts, three of which are rigid, one of which (the upper rear crankcase mount) is rubber
- NEW Subframe features built-in compatibility for Kawasaki’s new accessory saddlebag mounts
- The sub-frame is an example of form and function combined, negating the need for side covers and allowing underseat narrowness for a shorter reach to the ground
UPGRADED Horizontal Back-Link Rear Suspension
- Rear suspension design positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm where it’s less exposed to exhaust heat and contributes to mass centralization
- NEW Remote rear spring preload adjuster allows quick tuning for passenger and luggage weight
- Stepless rebound damping adjuster allows damping characteristics to be tuned to suit spring preload and passenger/luggage weights
Fully Adjustable 41mm Fork
- The Ninja 1000’s inverted fork is adjustable for compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload – and is protected from harm by a cool-looking shroud
- Settings are designed for both sporty performance and ride quality
Rider / Passenger Interface
- Separate, raised handlebars contribute to the sporty, comfortable riding position; bar stays are mounted to the fork tube tops, which extend above the top clamp
- A thick urethane seat provides a high level of rider and passenger comfort
- Tapered grips, like those used on supersport models, offer a more direct feel than traditional designs
- Rubber-topped footpegs help isolate unwanted vibration and provide comfortable foot support on long rides
- NEW Grab-bars are redesigned to provide a more comfortable hand-hold for the passenger
- The passenger footpeg brackets incorporate convenient luggage hooks
- Left handlebar features switches for KTRC Traction Control, Power Mode Selector, High/Low Beam and headlight flasher
- NEW LCD functions include KTRC, Power Mode, ABS and Economical Riding (ECO) indicators
- Additional LCD functions include a digital speedometer, odometer, dual trip meter, clock, instant and average fuel consumption, coolant temperature, and low-fuel warning lamps
Large-volume Fuel Tank
- Five-gallon (19L) fuel tank offers substantial range
- Steel construction facilitates use of magnetic tank bag
- Tank shape (flared edges and a trim shape at the back) allows riders to easily grip tank with their knees
2014 Kawasaki Ninja® 1000 ABS Specifications*
*Specifications are subject to change.
Visit www.kawasaki.com for most current specifications & further information.