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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just took the Ninja out for her very first real drive, did about 50 miles on mountain roads and took the highway on the way back to get a taste of how she handles in different conditions. Unfortunately it started to rain when I got on the highway so I can't say I really enjoyed that part.

As a disclaimer, I have to say that I have yet to get used to the bike, to really be able to enjoy her full potential. As I mentioned in my member introduction, I started riding a 50cc when I was 14, but switched to a car as soon as I turned 18. It wasn't until a year ago that I got back on a bike, on a 125cc Daelim Roadwin, which is as similar to a Ninja as the 50cc.

I have to admit I was a bit scared when I got the bike (last week). When I saw it in the dealership I knew I wanted that one. I wanted a starter bike but I really didn't like the naked, custom or other models aesthetically. I loved the Z series from Kawasaki but I didn't want to start with a 600/750, regardless of whether or not it was limited to fit my license requirements (plus, it also meant spending $2500 more). Ironically, the day I wired the money for the Ninja, Kawa announced the Z300. In hindsight, I probably would have gone for that one instead of the Ninja, but I'm in love with my bike and I wouldn't change it for the world now.

As soon as I got on the bike I noticed a couple of things that I'm still getting used to. First of all, the weight of the bike. Although most people say this bike is really light and nimble (which it is, I'm not arguing with that) it's going to take a while for me to get used to this weight. Although it's only 65 lbs. heavier than the Daelim, because of the driving position and the way you drive it, it's something that shocked me. The second thing I inmediately noticed (and I know I'll get letters from the true hardcore bikers here) was that I loved the exhaust! I've been on the back of R6, R1, GSX-R, etc and I know what custom exhausts sound like, but personally I really enjoy the little Ninja's grunt. I agree that it could sound better, but for a stock exhaust I think they did pretty well (plus I've only revved the bike to 9k and I love the way it gurgles around 6k, so I've yet to hear her scream at 11-13k).

As a daily commuter, I think this bike is perfect. Of course, you don't have the versatility, trunk space, etc you get on other more "practical" bikes, but it serves its purpose perfectly and when you leave work on Friday and head out to open road, you remember exactly why you went for a Ninja and not a Burgman.

Today's ride was basically 15mi. highway + 35 mi. on mountain roads, and 50mi. highway on the way back. I still have a lot to learn before I can truly enjoy this bike's full potential on the twisties the mountain roads have to offer, but even with my amateur level of riding, I think I had never smiled for 50 miles straight before I have to admit that this ride was not the best example of an easy break-in (as I mentioned in my introduction post, the guy at the dealership agreed that Kawa's break-in guidelines are ridiculous, and recommended I try to keep her under 6k for the first 600mi, except for when I'm in 6th gear where I should try and make sure the engine goes through the 6-10k range without staying in a specific set of revs for too long....I don't want to start yet another debate on which way is the best to break in your bike, there are already too many posts dedicated specifically to that and both soft and hard break-in theories make sense and have pros / cons, so let's not get into that here). I tried to keep her under 6k in the mountain roads and that was more than enough to average a decent speed and get to enjoy the bike while I got to know her.

I took a couple of pics, here they are, I hope you like them (I'm including some of the ones from the introduction post plus the new ones I took today) Sorry for the effect of the flash in the first few pics, I really do look like IronMan By the way, I'm using TinyPic to upload them and some of them come out rotated, does anyone know how to rotate them once they're uploaded? The originals are fine, but the uploaded ones are on their side:

























 

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Congrats!!! That's one nice looking bike. When I got my first bike (CBR250R), I never felt that it was light. I was like you, it felt heavy to me. When I upgrade to a bigger bike and came back to ride the CBR in a couple weeks, I was shocked at how "light" it is. If the Ninja300 is the heavier bike you own/ride then it will feel heavy to you....unless you are 6'5 and 300lbs :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just came back from another 60mi ride on mountain roads. I noticed a couple of things I had already read about the bike. First of all, it was kind of windy and I was surprised by how much the bike was affected by crosswinds. There I remembered why people say the bike is pretty light :)

I haven't ridden more powerful bikes, and I can't really compare it with the Daelim Roadwin I had before, but I noticed that the engine brake was really powerful (I don't know if I'm explaining this correctly, what I mean is that when you let go of the throttle, the response is relatively sudden, and instead of gliding you stumble to a stop rather - this is easily corrected by giving it some gas when you downshift, even if you are coming to a full stop, to avoid the sudden jolt).

I agree with those who said that the throttle handles themselves are a bit small, I could use some larger ones.

Here's a new picture I took while stopping for gas :)



p.s. If someone knows how to rotate the pictures while uploading the, please let me know. The pictures are right side up in the original file but when I upload them to TinyPic they come out on their side :(
 

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Grats for the new bike!

the day I wired the money for the Ninja, Kawa announced the Z300. In hindsight, I probably would have gone for that one instead of the Ninja
Noooo! Kawasaki made the z300 hidious!

Then again, the z1000 looks goofy to me, so no love for the Knakeds here.

:tongue:
 

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Great looking bike!
 

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Nice pics, but you should fix those sideways photos! ;)
 

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Not really a fan of the mix of white & green & black.

Where'd the front reflectors go?
 

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I love the new color. I never liked the classic Kawi solid green. It's why I prefer the SE version in green because the stickers lessen the bright green effect. This takes the SE to a whole new level. Would look amazing with white and/or black gear.
 
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