Arriving at Manassas Honda Kawasaki Suzuki this morning I was greeted by the very friendly and curious sales staff. After talking about the Ninja 1000 experience and the bike itself I filled out the paperwork, had a run through of the bike, and then I was handed the keys. My first obstacle to overcome was to get my lap top bag strapped to back seat. Once that was accomplished I was ready to go.
Right off the bat, there are many things so drastically different from my Harley, that I think I’ve got the next months’ worth of blog posts all ready to go. I’ll spare you the details for now, but there’s going to be a lot to write about. My first impression is that this is a really smooth and easy to ride bike. I took the really long way into work. Several cars were gracious enough to drive slowly in front of me, allowing me the time I needed to get used to the power delivery, shifting and even to adjust the mirrors. About 25 -30 miles into the ride I was feeling pretty comfortable with the bike in general, but It’s going to take some time to become proficient in shifting and to get used to the throttle and the lean angle that are possible.
I will say this though, I’ve read a lot of reviews of bikes over the years and there’s a phrase that, being a Harley owner, I’ve never understood. It goes something like this “…bike XXX is a little buzzy when you …” I always laughed at this because if you’ve ever pulled up next to a Harley at a stoplight and looked at the handle bars or the engine you understand how much these bikes shimmy and shake at idle. So, when I read that this bike was “buzzy” around 75 I wanted to see how that compared to the Harley ‘stoplight shake’. It didn’t. That’s the short answer. I actually had to strain to feel the buzz … any buzz … at all. In fact the bike was so glass smooth at idle that I had to keep checking the tach at the first few stop lights to see if it was still on or if I’d stalled it out.
One last thing I had to get used to that I think no one else in the N1K 10 will, is that the mirrors and windshield don’t move when you turn the handle bars! This totally threw me the first few turns (the first being out of the dealers parking lot) I took. I am so used to the fork mounted front fairing on the H-D that I was taken totally by surprise when the mirrors and windshield didn’t move on the Ninja when I turned the handlebars. Now, rationally I knew they wouldn’t, but instinctively I guess my mind just expected that they would like they have for the past 3 years I’ve been on the H-D.
I expect to be writing a lot more about the differences between the Ninja and my bike, but I’ll also be writing about the Ninja and where her and I get to go. Oh, and I’m very excited the my Ninja is all black. All of my bikes have been black. They’ve also all been named Betty (long story that I’m sure I’ll get to in a future post … maybe). So the Ninja, since we’re just dating for a while, will be Miss Betty … we’ll see if things get less formal as we get to know each other.