2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 High Speed

The new Cycle World Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Experience blog gives readers valuable insight on the real life experiences and observations of ten different veteran riders. Chosen to spend 90 days of quality time with a new Ninja 1000 sportbike, these riders provide an unfiltered look into what it’s really like to live with this powerful, yet practical sportbike in the real world. They’ve been a staple of the sporting motorcycle world for decades: sportbikes that blend top-shelf engine and handling performance with a high degree of comfort, practicality and devastating good looks.  Kawasaki has built plenty over the years, from the original Ninja 900R of the 1980s, to the ZX-11 of the ’90s, and the ZZR 1200 of the '00s standout performers that are also easy to live with, day in and day out.

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
For 2012, an all-new model slots into this legendary and ultra-capable category Kawasaki’s new Kawasaki Ninja 1000. Like the original, which debuted to an amazing chorus of press and customer kudos back in 1986, the new Ninja 1000 offers an alluring blend of capability and technology, from the very latest racetrack components, to astounding engine and chassis performance, and to cutting-edge styling that’ll stop you in your tracks the instant you lay your eyes on one.

It all starts with a core motorcycle frame, engine, suspension that’s so good, so flexible and so downright capable it’s been wowing press and customers worldwide all year long: Kawasaki’s amazing Z1000 super-standard. Using the Z1000’s new-think engine and chassis package as a starting point, Kawasaki engineers added radical, knife-edged bodywork along with a host of cool features that push the Ninja 1000’s performance, capability and flexibility envelopes to amazing heights.

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
Kawasaki Ninja 1000 motivation comes by way of a highly advanced open-class powerplant a 1,043cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 16-valve inline-four featuring a long-stroke design for instantaneous power, a slick-shifting six-speed gearbox, and no-fuss electronic fuel injection for the type of seamless throttle response warm or cold that makes short work of tricky traffic, higher-speed backroad situations and everything in between. Power? There’s a ton of the stuff, but the real magic of this engine is its flexible, midrange-heavy thrust that accelerates you out of corners and away from stops in a satisfying manner that’s sure to keep you entertained and your riding buddies impressed – for years to come. At seemingly every rpm, the Ninja 1000 engine produces the sort of smooth, instant-on thrust many hard-core sportbikes just can’t match.

Digital fuel injection helps, and the quartet of 38mm Keihin downdraft throttle bodies slam the perfect mix of fuel and air into the combustion chambers with help from an advanced ECU, oval sub-throttles and a cool air intake system that routes fresh air to the airbox via ducts at the front of the bike. A balance shaft driven off the crankshaft keeps the solidly mounted engine as smooth as possible, while a radically designed 4-into-2-into-2 catalyzer-equipped exhaust system offers a pleasing growl without being overly loud along with the cleanest possible emissions. It’s a perfect engine for a road-going sportbike smooth, powerful, flexible and blessed with the sort of legendary reliability Kawasaki motorcycles are known for.

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
Like the superb-handling Z1000, the new Ninja 1000 features an advanced aluminum frame similar in design to that of the all-conquering Ninja ZX-10R sportbike. The lightweight cage 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 waist of the bike very narrow for superb rider interface and high levels of 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 wheels, brakes and suspension parts that control that frame/engine duo are thoroughly advanced. Up front is a stout 41mm inverted fork that’s fully adjustable for spring preload, rebound and compression damping just what you need for dialing things in perfectly for your weight and riding style. In back is a horizontal back-link shock system featuring a damper mounted nearly horizontally above the swingarm for optimal mass centralization and excellent heat resistance. The gas/oil shock is adjustable for both spring preload and rebound damping, and tuned for effective performance everywhere from backroad sport riding to bopping along a pothole-infested city street. As a package, the Ninja 1000’s suspension is designed to provide the rider with clear communication of what’s happening at the contact patches, while still taking enough edge off the bumps to provide a comfortable ride on longer trips.

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Feature
• 1,043cc inline-four with DFI offers serious torque
• Lightweight aluminum frame is narrow and tuned to transmit optimal feedback to the rider
• Fully adjustable inverted front fork has settings designed for sporty performance and ride quality
• Placement of horizontal back-link rear suspension contributes to mass centralization
• Radial-mounted front brake calipers combine with the radial-pump front brake master cylinder to offer superb control and feel
• Sleek, supersport styling gives the Ninja1000 a distinctive look
• Relaxed, upright riding position contributes to all-day comfort
• Larger fuel capacity offers substantial range
• Windscreen is adjustable to three positions, allowing for optimum wind and weather protection

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Engine
• Liquid-cooled inline-four offers true open-class power from idle to redline, making it easy to harness for experts and novices alike
• 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 since 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


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