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Is Kawasaki Replacing The Ninja 1000 With A New Model?

Current Kawasaki Ninja 1000


We like Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000, and applaud the combination of sensible ergonomics with sport bike levels of performance. Now, a Norwegian couple appears to have caught a possible replacement model being filmed and photographed on the famous, and stunningly picturesque Atlantic Road in Norway. You can see the pictures at this link. We can’t tell too much about performance upgrades, but cosmetic changes, new saddlebags and brakes are all apparent. Can we expect an official announcement from Kawasaki soon? We will see.


  1. motojavaphil says:

    2008 ZX10R with Helibars, Sport Touring windscreen, a BMW Power Point to charge the cell phone, radar etc., soft luggage, tank bag and capable of carrying a sleeping bag, tent, sleeping mat, chair and other incidentals as needed at 100 mph x’s 50 mpg. Stock exhaust was kept due to noise and will add heated handgrips. I do have a cruise control of sorts on the throttle. It is fast, handles and rocks.

  2. Gronde says:

    This Kawi makes sense. Bucketloads of performance and handling with enough comfort to go the distance. For the sportbike riders than get tired of “assuming the position” after 50 miles, this bike is like a dream. You won’t notice any deficiencies in performance due to a little extra weight when you’re cranking the throttle wide open…

  3. Neutron73 says:

    The Ninja name will stay. Period. As it should.

    It is the most recognizable name in sportbikes, bar none. I mean, I was reading a traffic report of an accident near my home and the description of the bike read “the male (name not released) crashed while riding a Ninja style motorcycle.” You see that? The name itself has come to define an entire market, and it only helps Kawasaki to keep it that way. YOu don’t see news reports saying the rider was riding a “CBR style bike” or “Ducati style” or what have you.

    Either way…I like the Ninja 1000. Seriously considering trading my ZX10R in for one. Much more comfortable and useful.

    • mickey says:

      For those that own these, does having the moniker Ninja, penalize when it comes to buying insurance?

      • MGNorge says:

        Yes, it most likely is a double-edged sword in that regard. Understandable the comments on recognition of the Ninja brand but the age-old CBR moniker and Ducati rising to awareness even among the non-riding public have nothing to be ashamed of. Today’s spotbikes have risen to such a fine tuned level it is truly the rare rider that can extract all that they possess.

        As for news reports in general, it’s either a Harley or it’s a “motorcycle” typically. Very little middle ground.

        • Gronde says:

          “Crotch-rocket” seems to be the word used by the non-riding public to describe any sportbike. The riders of such machines are often called “organ donors” by the folks too scared to mount a bike, even for a short ride. “Squid” has not yet entered their vocabulary.

      • Pete says:

        No, I bought one and as soon as the insurance company runs the vIN number, it shows as a sports tourer, not a race replica or R designation. I am only paying $7 more than my previous cruiser.

  4. Sentinel says:

    Now the real question is; have the remedied the clutch lubrication issues the bike has which are caused by a design flaw in that area restricting oil flow?

    • Bob says:

      Tell me more about this issue? 2 years on and I’ve not heard of this before.

      Only issues I’ve had was the thing shutting down after quickly closing down the throttle after high rpms. Fixed by simply resetting the TPS and static timing. And a broken swingarm spool tab, twice. I actually don’t keep spools on the bike. I just install them on tire change day then remove them when done. Both times, the chain side tab broke when putting the bike back down, almost dumping the bike on it’s side.

  5. rapier says:

    As an old man riding a too large ZZR1200, but never something bigger still like a Concours or FJR, I wanted to love the Ninja 1000. It’s just too small. It’s too small for my kind of travel anyway. I guess the problem is with me. My mind wants something smaller than the ZZR but the body doesn’t agree.

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      you just have to admit…the ZZR 1200 is a timeless machine and not easily replaced

      • Bob says:

        Agreed, the ZZR is a might fine machine. But Rapier might like a Sprint GT which is physically in between the ZZR and N1k.

  6. Colors says:

    Why won’t they 86 that horrible looking exhaust system, and save some of that tonnage in the process? I’m considering the Ninja 1000 on a short list for a new bike next spring but I have to admit it would go way up on my list if I didn’t have to spend an extra grand removing the eye sore those cans are. The new bags look great though. Also why is this motorcycle over 500lbs without bags? Too much weight for a 1000 that isn’t a full on sport touring bike. If this is indeed the new Ninja 1000 I hope they put it on a diet.

    • Bob says:

      Since it isn’t a race replica, it doesn’t need every gram shaved off for the track. So, 505 lbs wet for the ABS model is fairly respectable for a bike that needs to also be durable for many years of rough roads and throttle abuse…maybe even a passenger.

      BTW, it is a full on sport touring bike unlike the 650 lb pigs that the FJR and Connie are. Those are actually touring bikes that just happen to also be pretty fast…not really a sport tourer at those weights.

      Also, even a RSV4 APRC is 440 lbs wet. So an extra 65 lbs for this is decent.

      And that extra 1000 bucks for an exhaust will shave off 27 lbs. That was the difference in weight between a full Akro with carbon cans and the stock exhaust. So now you’re down to 478 lbs wet. Happy?

      • Colors says:

        That’ll do. Still can’t really get too worked up about spending a grand to do it.

        • Black Sheep says:

          You can get slip-ons for about $500. I got the M4 GP style for $476… and yes, that is for dual slip-ons! This is the best bike I have ever owned, I can ride in the twisty roads like a true sport bike all day, but not be sore when I finally get back home. A better windscreen, and a set of slip-on and your good to go.

    • thmisawa says:

      If you look at the 1000 as a ST instead of a super-sport then the weight is much lower than pretty much every other ST out there (at least as far as I am aware). The closest is probably the new VFR and that is 580 lbs. I believe. For sure though, losing the stock exhaust would cut 20+ pounds.

      • thmisawa says:

        After clicking the above Ninja 1000 link, replacing the cans with Akropovic titanium drops only 11 lbs. So not too much help there. If you add the hard bags you would need to put on new cans just to stay around the 500 mark.

      • Colors says:

        I’m not looking at it as a super sport. I’m looking at it as what it is a 1000cc street sport. its not an S/T, and it could weigh less. 11 lbs on a exhaust system alone is signicant to me. Address that and some other area’s I don’t think 20 or 25lbs diet is out of the question. I’m not looking for a 420lbs race bike, but 5 bills is abit much for a sporting motorcycle. Get the wet weight without bags down to about 480 and they’d have my attention. I don’t know what the wheels weight but I bet they could save some tonnage there. A pound here and a pound there adds up. Honda all the way back in 02 got the factory wet weight of a CBR 954 down to 434lbs. Ten years later we should be able to do better than 500 lbs on a realitively stripped down sport bike.

        • Selecter says:

          You are too looking at it like a supersport. CBR954? Seriously? Right here – you’re comparing it directly to a supersport, that’s neither roomy nor comfortable. The Ninja 1000 is. Also, nearly any modern 1000cc supersport retails for North of $14,000. The Ninja 1000 does not. Weight savings cost money, you know.

          There is one bike I can think of designed from the ground-up as a “sport tourer” that makes it under 500 lbs, even without luggage, and that’s the F800GT/F800ST. Any bike that could conceivably fit in the same category as the Ninja 1000 in recent memory is at least 500 lbs. VFR800? Over 500 lbs. Sprint ST? Over 500 lbs. Aprilia Futura, also over 500 lbs.

          And just a few years back (okay, closer to 15 years back), a sportbike could very well also weigh over the 500 lb. mark. Look at the old Katana 600/750, or YZF600R – both over 500 lbs.

          Sure, it’d be *nice* if bikes like this could weigh as little as a Daytona 675, but given the demand for more comfortable accommodations and a price that’s quite a bit less expensive than any race-replica style bike, it’s really not so feasible.

          • VLJ says:

            Even the R1200R Roadster clocks in right at 500 fully fueled pounds. Despite the additions of a two-inch longer wheelbase, a full-sized bench seat, shaft drive, a centerstand, ABS/traction control/TPS/heated grips/etc., it’s basically the exact same wet weight as the Ninja 1000. No body work, though, so there’s the wash.

            Another sport-tourer besides the F800 that’s well under 500 lbs (460 lbs or so) is the Triumph Tiger 800. It may not be classified as a sport-tourer, but that’s really what it is.

          • Colors says:

            The parallel to the 954 was that of technology. I’m looking for a little of it to trickle down to a set below SS. 10 years is ample time. And all of the bikes you mentioned could loose to weight as well which is why I’m not considering them. VFR could get a lot lighter if it didn’t have that stupid V Tec. I hardly consider shooting for an under 500 pound mark a stretch. And if throwing bags on a sport bike is all that makes it an S/T then all of my bikes have been that.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          480lbs WITH bags? Exactly how much are you willing to pay for this hypothetical motorcycle? If you stuck hard cases on an S1000RR, you’d be close to 480 lbs if you factor in the added weight of a stronger subframe needed to even be able to do it.

          I think that is totally unreasonable to expect that weight from a bike in this price range with a design goal of being multifunctional. It can be done, but it would cost a fortune. Exhaust and a lithium battery will keep the weight with bags around the 500lb mark. And that is very good for a 1000cc bike designed to be sporty, comfortable, and attainable.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “Also why is this motorcycle over 500lbs without bags? ”

      Because virtually all 1000cc+ bikes that aren’t SS/race replica bikes are over 500lbs. Most SS bikes are closer to 450lb, despite what the marketing materials say. With this bike, you trade a few $k’s for 40-50lbs. and a lot more comfort/versatility.

    • paulysr says:

      You can only have two, it’s a law of Nature.

  7. Bud says:

    Judging by the video, it looks like the exhaust is pointed right at the lower front corner of the bags. Am I seeing it wrong?

  8. Dan says:

    While dismounting one of these bikes in a dealer showroom I failed to put the kickstand down completely and the bike fell over with me on it. They provided me a list of parts and a bill for $2200 (yes, two thousand two hundred dollars) for repairs. As far as I’m concerned those bikes are cheap plastic crap and as durable as eggshells.

    • Gronde says:

      Sounds like they’re charging you full retail! What dealer is it so we can all avoid them? Ripping off a potential customer is bad business.

    • Tom K. says:

      Did they ask you to sign a release from damages, should you otherwise choose to sue due to that stretched and painful ligament in your knee from the accident caused by their slippery showroom floor?

      I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take responsibility for an accident of your own making, but if you truly think the dealer is gouging you for the repair of the bike, fight fire with fire. At the very least, I’d run their estimate by your insurance company, or maybe a different dealer. The dealer should not lose money on the incident, but neither should it present a windfall for him – IMHO, everyone involved needs to play “fair”.

      • Gronde says:

        Kid dropped a bike on a test ride at the local Triumph dealer AFTER signing a release form for the ride. They charged him their cost for the parts. If they don’t want damage done to their bikes on the showroom floor they should provide a safe means for people to mount the bikes, like center stands or race stands. Perhaps dropped bikes are a big part of ther retail parts business?

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “If they don’t want damage done to their bikes on the showroom floor they should provide a safe means for people to mount the bikes”


    • MeatRocket says:

      Stealerships have insurance on their bikes & facilities just for this sort of thing. I think you got screwed.

  9. SecaKid says:

    Just bring back the Eliminator. I know it didn’t sell well, but these are different times. A lot of people want the cruiser look with a real motor. Enough with the V-twins.

    • Tom K. says:

      The original Eliminator was a very sharp bike. It gained performance but lost some of its visual “oomph” when it turned into the ZL1000 – I’ve got a buddy with an ’87 in the garage gathering dust, it’s still in very nice condition. Personally, I’d rather have a Z-Rex 1400, re-tuned for torque – that’s where they send the power band out to the speed shop, and make it perform like a steam engine down low and a turbofan up high.

  10. Vrooom says:

    Bags on a sporting bike, exactly what I need!

    • Bob says:

      What’s wrong with that? My Ninja 1000 has hard cases and I use them every day on my 80 mph commute to work and the gym. Been on a couple 6000+ mile trips too. Bags quickly detach too for weekend fun.

      It’s a sport touring bike, not a race replica anyway. In Europe, Kawasaki sells this bike with cases from the factory…and without cases too. It’s the only ST that weighs 500# too. To be an ST, it doesn’t need to be a 650# barge like the PC1300, Connie or FJR.

  11. Craig says:

    If I rode double up a lot and then wanted to go out and play on my own… this would be a great bike…

    However, I ride alone most of the time, so the Street Triple 675R got my money and after 9 months… I am happy to have spent it… 🙂

  12. PatrickD says:

    It could just as likely be an upgrade to the Z750, to make it more of a usable bike day to day. Cheaper looking forks, albeit USD.

    • Selecter says:

      The Z800 is already availble in Europe and elsewhere, just not the US. A “Ninja 800” model would be interesting, but definitely not necessary in Kawasaki’s lineup. It’d be a great replacement for my Z750S, though!

  13. WillieB says:

    When I saw the final version of the Ninja 1k with the Givi V35 cases on it, I thought Kawi messed up, the bags stick WAAY out from the bike and ruin the looks, in my opinion. This looks much better with the custom fit luggage. If it only had a center stand…

  14. brad says:

    Looks more like an upgrade to the Z-1000

    doubt it would come with the bags, though that would be new….probably just for the photos in the accessories gallery

  15. Starmag says:

    BNG – in this case – Bold New Bags

  16. Bill says:

    Beautiful motorcycle.

  17. MGNorge says:

    Being of an age where my children grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on TV and had video games of same I find myself disliking the Ninja moniker the longer they keep it. Yes I know that it’s become a brand within a brand and as long as it attracts buyers it’ll stay. Still, I guess in my mind I wish Kawasaki used something a little more “adult”.

    • jake says:

      Yea, if you associate Ninja with teen-age mutant turtle cartoons. But “Ninja” has other associations. What about the “Batman” association? The Dark Knight is just a modernized version of a Ninja. The Ninja label has been around for close to 30 years now. Few other bike names have had such staying power in the market place. Kawa would be crazy to give up its calling card.

      Give the new bike asymmetrical headlights and it looks like a BMW or a bike BMW should have built.

    • TimC says:

      WP: “A ninja (忍者?) or shinobi (忍び?) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan who specialized in unorthodox warfare.” Not “adult” at all!

    • Honyock says:

      A coworker commented on the civilized and very adult low noise level of the factory exhaust on my Ninja 650. I was glad to be able to tell him “you never hear the Ninja that’s coming for you.”

    • SmokinRZ says:

      Being of the age that my roommate in college bought one of the first ninja 600s in Texas, i have to agree with MGNorge. But then I just sold my zx10r with no plans to replace it with another racer replica or as the laymen would say “Ninja”.

    • MGNorge says:

      To explain, the Ninja brand name showed itself at just about the same time as the Turtles. This has nothing to do with the bikes themselves but it seemed to capitalize on the popularity then of the Ninja name. I thought it was silly then and it still sits wrong with me today. The bikes are worthy of more I’ve always felt. Oh well!

  18. skytzo says:

    Looks like the same basic bike to me. I really wish this bike came out a year earlier because I would’ve bought one instead of the Concours 14 I ended up buying.

  19. BillyGoat says:

    Looks like they dumped the fork coating to pay for the bags?

  20. I see revised saddlebags, and a new exhaust finish. Not sure about brakes. Looks like a minor styling update. Love the ninja 1k too, though the ergos are too tight for a 6-footer

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