Kawasaki Motor Corp. USA confirmed its 2017 line-up yesterday, confirming new motorcycles like the Z650 and Z900 will debut Stateside alongside updates to more established models. The Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS is one of the Japanese brand’s tried-and-true machines getting some attention for the coming model year, receiving a new electronics suite and ergonomics updates.
Six years ago Kawasaki announced it would repackage its Z1000 engine, dropping it into a faired motorcycle with a more relaxed ride position than a fully-fledged sportbike. The resulting Ninja 1000 became a sport-touring hit and the 2017 edition will be the most sophisticated version to-date.
That’s because the Ninja 1000 now comes with many of the electronics systems found on the ZX-10R. There’s a new Bosch IMU with six-axis measurement, which tracks acceleration along longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes along with roll, pitch and yaw rates.
There’s also the Kawasaki Cornering Management Function that adjusts brake force and engine power through corners. The KCMF system has three modes, with the first and second levels putting priority on forward acceleration and allowing a degree of slip to occur. Mode 3 is intended for slick or wet conditions. Riders may also choose to turn the KCMF system off as well.
ABS is upgraded also, making use of the Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System in 2017. KIBS measures front and rear wheel speed, front caliper hydraulic pressure and other elements like throttle position, engine speed, clutch actuation and gear position.
Rider Comfort and Convenience
As for ergonomics, the new Ninja 1000 has broader fairings and a taller windscreen for improved wind protection. It comes with an adjustable clutch lever, re-positioned rear view mirrors and a new seat for the rider and passenger to enhance comfort and help reduced vibration.
Kawasaki also gave the Ninja 1000 a new headlight, to bring its look closer to the sportier offerings in the brand’s Ninja line.
The bike has a revised instrument panel with LCD screen in 2017. In addition to standard items like speedometer, odometer, fuel level, trip meters and the like, Kawasaki includes a gear position indicator, a gear shift light (which can be turned off) and external temperature readouts.
The Remaining Nuts and Bolts
The 2017 Ninja 1000 still features the same liquid-cooled 1043cc Inline Four as before, but comes with updated ECU settings to ensure proper function with the new range of electronics. The six-speed, chain driven bike is built around an aluminum backbone frame and is suspended by an inverted 41mm fork with adjustable preload, stepless compression and rebound damping. The rear horizontal shock provides stepless rebound damping and remote preload adjustment. There’s 4.7 inches travel available at the front and 5.4 inches at the back. As for brake set-up, dual 300mm petal rotors and radial-mount four-piston calipers are on the front wheel and a single 250mm petal rotor with single-piston caliper are on the back.
Color options include Candy Lime Green/Metallic Graphite Grey or Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Graphite Grey. The new Ninja 1000 ABS will hit dealerships March 2017 and carry a $12,199 price tag. That’s $200 more than the outgoing 2016 model.
As always, there’s also a wide range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories available take the Ninja 1000 to the next level. Things like color-matched saddlebags and top cases, frame sliders, seat upgrades and more.