Ok, so now I'm on bike #15........sounds weird even when I type it. Owned the Ninja 1000 for 5 summers and 46,000kms and it was one of the best bikes I have owned. Granted, I sunk $6000 in to it in power and suspension upgrades and it would probably dyno at around 145hp. As more and more of my riding is touring on multi-day rides, I just felt like I wasn't getting enough wind protection with the Ninja 1000, plus there were still some little things about the bike that always annoyed me:
- No ambient temp gauge
- No gear indicator
- No kms to empty gauge
- Always hated reaching in to the dash to reset the trip
Ridiculous, I know, but those that owned a few bikes know what I am getting at
I've owned a Concourse 1400, and I ride with Chia here from time to time, and have ridden his FJR. Both are amazing bikes, but I'm still stuck on needing to ride a "Sport Bike".....chalk it up to the need to be cool I guess.
So a little more than a year ago I started looking at new bikes. The KTM 1290 Superduke was high on my list, as was the Aprilia Tuona Factory. I looked at all the other Euro bikes and really wanted to buy one, but my practicality won in the end. Bottom line, I'm not paying $25K for a bike that (1) might leave me stranded, and (2) has a dealer support network that I don't trust and is too far away from home. Add to that that the Euro bikes all had less wind protection, and about the same power as my N1K. The FZ-10 falls smack in to the "same power, less wind protection, and the looks are debatable"
Burnaby Kawasaki has been so good to me over the past 10 years servicing and selling 4 of my bikes, that I just could not NOT consider them.
So there is a new N1K expected in 2017. A new GSX-R1000, and a Honda Fireblade, all very exciting, but there is always the challenge of zero aftermarket parts availability. I hate waiting a year just to buy a damn windscreen.
My riding buddy TMR on a our 5 day burn through Idaho and Oregon last month couldnt stop talking about the crazy deal that BK had on 2014 ZX14's, and there were daily conversations about 190 rear wheel HP, slipper clutches, amazing lighting, etc etc.
You all saw the prices, so I am not going to expose them here, lets just say it was too difficult to say No. The only question was....
"Is this thing really as ugly as I think it is?"
In the end it was "who cares?" My N1K is easily the nicest one I have ever seen, but it would never turn heads. So I got past the need for a sexy machine.
A month of reading every ZX14r forum out there, building a list of "Must Do" mods, and Burnaby Kawasaki doing an amazing job of handling me, put pen to paper, and the deal was done.
First step was to swap half the bodywork that was orange for black. Second, install a full stainless and carbon Yosh exhaust on it which dropped 44lbs from the bike and reduced the ugly by about 30%. Speaking with Yoshimura's technical department, they confirmed that the 14 is one of the few bikes that they have tested that does not need a remap, or a power commander. They come from the factory rich. Plug the hoses and she's good. True enough, it runs great. Bike drops from 490lbs to 450lbs. A stock N1k is 450lbs, so we are golden.
Some stomp grip pads, 1" riser bars, rearset relocator plates that push everything back 1.5", an SW Motech tail rack, tail tidy, and swapping over my PR4's as well as my fuse block and all the wiring for heated grips, GPS, Radar, heated jacket, and USB power, and I was rolling. Still have a few bits to put on it like a ZG Corsa windscreen and a shifter arm from a Kawasaki Ninja 650 which is exactly 1.5" longer, and perhaps a shock, but I need to see how well I can dial in the suspension with the stock bouncy bits first. A 55 rear tire helped with the handling, but I still need to jack the ass up alot.
Maiden voyage was a 500km rip up the Cascades, and to no suprise, the passing power is just mind bending. It turns really well, and man does it block wind. Lee, Dean, and Jon were all plugged in, and me, usually the coldest of any group, never did. Even my hands were warm, which is weird, because when you look at the faring you can't imagine why there is no wind on your hands. It's basically a Connie, less 170lbs, with more sporty bike ergos, and electric motor like torque.
On to the pics of my new ugly bike.
The day I picked it up
The $85 USD Rearset relocator blocks FTW
My Radar "Tree"
Ridonculous lighting, especially swapping the bulbs for LED's in the two outer most lamps
Gettting back on the 14 after everyone else took it for a rip near the top of the Cascades this past Sunday