The Kawasaki Ninja 1000 is a good-looking superbike with a fair share of riding aids working effortlessly to enhance your confidence
A quick look at the Ninja 1000 could remind you of the similar looking Ninja 650, yes, but that’s where the resemblance ends between these two very different motorcycles. Closer scrutiny portrays the bigger Ninja’s more substantial tank, with neatly embedded air-intakes on the fairing looking like claws, along with flowing body lines and an LED powered tail section, similar to the 2013 version, giving the new bike a thoroughly masculine look.
There’s a three-stage adjustable windscreen that enables the N1 rider to clock three-digit speeds effortlessly, with ample wind protection. The headlight provides good visibility at night, while both mirrors are perfectly positioned and designed, to provide excellent rear view vision. Riders are provided with an instrument bay consisting of both analogue and digital displays. Fit-finish and overall quality are top notch.
The Ninja 1000’s four-stroke, 1043cc, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected engine generates 140bhp at 10000rpm, and 11.3kgm of torque at 7300rpm, which is managed and kept in check by Kawasaki’s brilliantly programmed three-stage traction control system (KTRC), helping the rider as he wants to deliver the big bike's brutal thrust back to the rear wheel. Two power mode selections are offered, with Low mode delivering gentler power for more tricky conditions, and Full power mode enables you to enjoy all the motorcycle's power, with sharp, lightning quick throttle response, always just a twist of the wrist away. The N1’s gearbox, just as with the Z1000 we recently rode, feels equally precise and accurate to shift up or down. Performance is zippy on the Ninja 1000, and yet as simple to come to terms with as possible on a powerful litre-class bike like this.
The big new Ninja comes with a riding posture that’s upright, and reasonably comfortable to live with when covering long distances. The saddle is 5mm higher and wider than on the Z1000, and feel so immediately, with both the rider and pillion seated in comfort. Ride quality is decent, better than available on the more firm, tauter feeling Z1000, and the N1 comes with a remote preload adjuster for quick, simple tool-free tweaking of the rear suspension, a simple feature that works out as big bonus.
The heavy bike handles with neutral feel to steering inputs, but requires a bit of effort to manoeuvre around in city. Straight line stability is excellent and the Ninja 1000 corners smartly, with reassuring feel and grip from the Bridgestone tyres. There’s also sharp and responsive ABS-enabled brakes with ample bite, engaging to bring the bike down to manageable speeds without excessive lever play.
Overall, the Ninja 1000 is an easy, practical motorcycle with more than enough power and performance for even the best of Indian roads, a handsome looking superbike to get along with on a regular basis, with its fair share of riding aids all working effortlessly to enhance your riding confidence.