|May 30, 2011
Okay, so I rode the two bikes that are currently occupying space in the garage back to back and there are some differences that jump out right away. Wow! What a weight difference between the two. I don’t consider the Sprint to be a heavy bike but the Ninja makes it feel that way. The Ninja is a lot lighter, where I notice it the most is during quick transitions. What some might call flick-ability. There is a nice section of road just down from the house that requires quick side to side transitions and the weight difference during spirited riding is very evident. I’ll need to get the Contour camera on the bike and shoot some video of the area.
Second difference that jumps out at me is the chassis. It’s very stable when riding at a good pace, the Ninja feels very planted underneath me. The suspension is very compliant, straight out of the box. I will need to do a little fine tuning for my weight, stiffen things up a bit.
Thirdly, the engine is great! I’m surprised at the amount of torque down low in the powerband. The Ninja pulls great out of the corners. Right now I’m having to short shift to keep the bike under the rev numbers for the break-in period, but because of the torque, it’s fine. It reminds me of the BMW 1000 RR engine and how it makes it’s power. Now don’t read into that statement, it doesn’t have the power of the BMW, it has the characteristics of the BMW’s engine. Now as the engine breaks in I assume that the vibration that I feel through the pegs and seat will go away, for now that’s one of the only complaints that I have. The other being the seat, for me it’s no bueno. Maybe I’ve gotten too use to my custom seats, but the Ninja’s feels like a plank after a couple of hours. But I find this true of most stock seats that I’ve ridden (working at a BMW, Ducati, Buell, H-D, MV Agusta, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi dealership) for any long period of time.
So next, finish the break-in time. With family time over the holiday weekend done it’s time to rack up some miles. Maybe meet up with Gary and film both bikes carving up the mountains.
Until then, get out and ride….
May 28, 2011
Today was a good day to get out and put some more miles on the bike, and try to get closure to the 600 mile service and break-in period being done. Some of the guys at the dealership that I used to work at wanted to see the bike, so I rode down to Colorado Springs. I think the ninja somehow manipulates time. What usually takes 35 minutes to get there only took 25 hmmmm. Since this was a freeway blast down to the Springs I tried out the different windshield positions. The fully upright position definitely blocks a lot of the wind from off the chest. With me being 5’ 11” the windshield in the full upright position sent air flow directly into my top vent on my helmet. It was a funny feeling having the air forced into the vent like it was, I haven’t experienced anything like it before. With the windshield in the low position you get the full wind blast on your upper chest and shoulders, just like my shield on the Triumph Sprint ST. This is the position that I prefer, so if the weather is good the shield will probably stay in the down position.
After a little more time in the seat, I defiantly like the riding position. It’s got a nice upright but still slightly forward riding position, with your feet in the right placement for a sporty stance.
Tomorrow I’ll ride the Ninja back to back with the Sprint to compare a couple of things.
May 25, 2011
Well the day has finally arrived, after weeks of anticipation the Ninja 1000 was ready for pick up at Fay Myers Cycle World. First off, Zach Rissler and the guys at Fay Myers where awesome to deal with. The bike was all set up and ready to go. Zach went over the bike with me and made sure to answer all my question, thanks Zach see you in 600 miles (next week J). Also big thanks to Michael Gibbons over there for taking some pictures for me.
Now the awesome thing about my delivery of the bike was that the keys where handed to me by AMA rider and former Daytona 200 champ Steve Rapp. Steve’s a great guy; we had met previously several years ago when I worked for the CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs. I used to cover the AMA races at PPIR. Well long story short he did a media event and took me on the back of a GSXR race bike for hot laps around the track (fast enough to qualify for the superbike race, tells you how good he is to qualify with an extra 185 lbs. on the back). After some quick photos Steve and I got to go on a short ride around the dealership to break in the Ninja. He was on a new Z1000 and me on the Ninja. Is there a better way to put the first miles on a bike than riding with a Daytona 200 champ, I DON’T THINK SO! Too bad the go-cart track down the street was closed; we could have had some real fun.
Now, what we’re all her for, the bike it’s self. I only got to put 70 miles on her today on the way home from the dealer. The break-in period is 600 miles and the rpm limit is 4k, so I’m trying to abide by those guidelines. Having this much restraint on my right wrist is very difficult, it’s like wearing handcuffs and trying to run very fast from someone in the position of authority (not that I would know, just herd). So I’m going to try and get passed these first 600 miles quickly, so I can start using what I think will be a great powerband. The motor feels tight right out of the box, so I going to massage it until it’s ready to be flogged. It’s also been awhile since I’ve ridden on Bridgestone tires, so I’m taking it easy on them to get reacquainted with how they handle. In those quick 70 miles I feel the bike is lighter than my Triumph Sprint ST, handles better, and defiantly has a more upright riding position. The riding position reminds me of the BMW R1200RT, it’s a very good position to be in.
So I hope to get some miles in this holiday weekend and get a good feel for the new steed. Until next time, get out and ride….
May 16, 2011
I would be a great choice to be a guest editor for Cycle World for the following reasons. One, I LOVE to ride. I've been riding since I was eight, everything from dirt bikes to street bikes to four wheelers and snowmobiles. Two, I quit my job as a managing editor at a CBS affiliate to go work in the motorcycle industry, because of the passion I have for the sport. Three, I'm a graduate of the school of Broadcast Journalism from the University of Montana (go Griz!!), and have 13 years working as a photojournalist and editor. Four, I live in Colorado, is there a better state for riding than here (of course when the weather cooperates, i.e. snow)? Five, I ride a Triumph Sprint ST (although much older) which is very similar to the Ninja 1000. Both bikes lend themselves to the type of riding I like to do; canyon carving, commuting to work, day/overnight trips to the mountains, back road bashing, or just going for a quick trip to the grocery store. In conclusion I think that I would be your key demo; 36 years old, knows how to ride (not a squid), has experience in writing and photography/video, and has a passion for our sport. Lets ride, Aaron