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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I went on a 300 km group ride to a British motorcycle meet that's held once a year at a small airfield in my province. There was a good display of machinery and the weather was perfect, low twenties and not much breeze.

The Ninja drew a bit of attention, a few folk realising it to be a brand new model. One R3 rider even slung a leg over it as he's thinking of getting one.

The group was mostly travelling at 110 - 130 Kph (70 - 80MPH) and one thing I realised is that the final gearing on the bike is too low for my liking. It's revving too hard at these speeds. Should improve my fuel economy if I change it too. I didnt find the seat too bad for comfort, perhaps a bit narrow which is a manufacturers trick so that shorter people can flat foot it.

It was a good day out on the whole, great to be back on two wheels again. :)

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Discussion Starter #2
Winter blast

It was un-seasonally warm here today compared to the winter weather we've had lately. Sunny, calm and 12 degrees C (54F).

So myself and a riding buddy capitalized on the fine conditions and went for a quick 100km blast up a good stretch of local road. My left wrist is still recovering from a recent bicycling mishap so that was about all I was up for.

The road was damp in a lot of places and grit has been laid on shaded areas for ice so we kept a lid on our cornering speeds but still enjoyed ourselves. Just great to get out on two wheels and ride some curves plus get a bit of wind in the hair.

We swapped bikes on the way back, me on the KTM 690 Duke and Dom's first ride on the Ninja. Although the bikes are chalk and cheese to ride he really seemed to enjoy it. He commented that it was peppy and comfortable esp the handle bar position. I found I was catching a bit much wind for my liking on the Duke but good fun all the same, it fair stomps down low. :biggrin:

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Discussion Starter #3
Not long till spring!

The sun was out today so I took the Ninja out for a strop in the interests of keeping my oils turning and my battery charged. No not at all, I was just itching to go for a blast!

The bikes going really well, a joy to ride. I definitely notice the 10 kg I removed every time I ride it, so easy to flick around and it was no whale for a start off. Pulling really strongly too, I saw 180kph on one short straight in no time at all. Can't wait to get the Scorpion pipe on and tune to suit.
The braided line up front has improved the stopping bite as well, the fairing dips quite sharply now when I pull the lever.

Didn't do a heap of K's today as the air temp is still chilly but just good to be out and about on two wheels and I took a couple of snaps.

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Discussion Starter #5
Spring has sprung!

Yesterday was the first day of spring here officially and on cue we got a corker of a day.
This coincided nicely with an Annual group ride from my local town that circum-navigates a mountain range. About 300km with lots of food and drink stops. Lots of time to look at the bikes and chat etc. Other riders from towns around the province join in and depart at different spots and at the peak there was about 60 bikes.

Good to have a big run on the bike after winter and i enjoyed the aural delights of the new slip on. :D
Lots of un-policed sections where we could sit on 80 - 90 MPH with no worries. Good fun.

I took one lame photo early on in the day:
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Yesterday was the first day of spring here officially and on cue we got a corker of a day.
This coincided nicely with an Annual group ride from my local town that circum-navigates a mountain range. About 300km with lots of food and drink stops. Lots of time to look at the bikes and chat etc. Other riders from towns around the province join in and depart at different spots and at the peak there was about 60 bikes.

Good to have a big run on the bike after winter and i enjoyed the aural delights of the new slip on. :D
Lots of un-policed sections where we could sit on 80 - 90 MPH with no worries. Good fun.

I took one lame photo early on in the day:
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Nothing lame there. Wishing I could make the September 11th first responder ride but unfortunately have to work. Thank you for posting. This is the next best thing getting to read about get togethers and different adventures.
 

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I took one lame photo early on in the day:
View attachment 3755

With you entering Spring while us poor folk in America are entering Fall.. I expect more pictures and eventually some Video riding/motovlogging from you when our Winter hits and "winter is coming".. :grin::devil::grin:

BTW, what was ya'll doing in those Snowmobile suits? :goodjob:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
With you entering Spring while us poor folk in America are entering Fall.. I expect more pictures and eventually some Video riding/motovlogging from you when our Winter hits and "winter is coming".. :grin::devil::grin:
https://youtu.be/gxhknGARGt4

BTW, what was ya'll doing in those Snowmobile suits? :goodjob:
I didn't want to rub that little fact in, but dont worry I was thinking it! :grin:
All good southern riders here have a whole wardrobe full of bulky riding attire. I was wearing a merino wool top and 'long johns' plus had the liners zipped into both my jacket and pants.
It's OK as long as the sun is out, which it was. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Summer is coming...

We're working on it down here, it is on the way just a bit shy at this stage. :biggrin:

This afternoon I set off with my usual two riding buddies (Triumph 675 & Yammie MT-07) for a ride but unfortunately about 50km up the road we hit light rain and one of the guys just had kevlar jeans on so we turned back and retreated to a cafe bar not far from home.
Bit of a shame as we were all itching for a good ride. My bike felt like it was going really well. Funny how some days they feel stronger than others. Even the el cheapo rear shock on the bumpy road wasn't bugging me too much.

Not much of a ride report eh, probably more of a what did you do with your N400 today. Oh well.

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Kiwi, You had snow again last week I gather.? One of my boys was in Cromwell, staying with a mate, they were to walk the Routeburn track Wednesday to Friday, but it got closed by Doc with snow... He wasn't pleased after booking flights, huts, rental cars an stuff...
Meantime we are and have been having big wet weather, storms an rain, Hope to get my first N400 ride the end of the coming week, after Ive finished fitting a few bits :)

W
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kiwi, You had snow again last week I gather.? One of my boys was in Cromwell, staying with a mate, they were to walk the Routeburn track Wednesday to Friday, but it got closed by Doc with snow... He wasn't pleased after booking flights, huts, rental cars an stuff...
Meantime we are and have been having big wet weather, storms an rain, Hope to get my first N400 ride the end of the coming week, after Ive finished fitting a few bits :)

W
Yep, we had snow on Monday. I got pulled off my work site to help with traffic management on the Milford road. Had to close the road for an hr or two while we got stuck vehicles out the way. It was 1 deg C at the homer tunnel which is 900 odd meters above sea level.
9 months of winter and 3 of summer down here!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gravel bashing

I was supposed to go out to the lakes this weekend in my van to join some friends for a camp over and I was going to take my trail bike etc.
But the van has some front end issues (wheel bearing, drive shaft seal and suspect drive/half shaft inner CV joint) so it was a case of ride the Ninja with just the basics for a day trip like lunch and a fishing rod or don't go at all.

The only catch was there is about 90km of gravel riding involved... Not something I have done a lot of on the Ninja but enough in the past on previous road bikes to know that it pretty much sucks as a riding experience.

Luckily the road was in reasonable shape and hadn't been recently graded so there were wheel tracks formed for me to ride in and I could mostly keep out of the loose rolling stuff.
I started off gingerly then got up some confidence and was soon bombing along at a steady 80kph (50mph) when I hit a series of deep corrugations that sent the front end into half a tank slapper :eek:
End of confidence and back to 50kph for the rest of the journey into the lakes. I also stopped and took a few pics which I will tack on at the bottom.

After a pleasant but unsuccessful days fishing I trundled out late afternoon and got into the groove a bit, relaxing my death grip on the bars and just let the bike move around underneath me while keeping my knees locked nicely around the tank. I even hit 100kph at one stage in a moment of bravery before remembering the aforementioned incident on the way in and backed off again. Discretion is the better part of valor and all that :biggrin:

Overall I would say that the N400 has reasonable manners in the gravel despite it's reasonably steep steering rake angle (24.7 degrees), but I cant say I will be looking to repeat the experience too often.
It was still a good day out on the bike though and I managed to up the fun factor by sneaking in a couple of semi controlled power slides just for the thrill of it. Yee ha!

Badly in need of a clean now, myself and the bike.

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the post. Beautiful area. Trout? Our place in Colorado is 5mi up a gravel road, great for our dirt bikes but we might have to keep the Ninjas in a storage in town. After seeing this..maybe not.
Anything is do-able if your keen!
Yep, trout. Rainbow mainly but there are some browns in there too. Unusual for us to have a day without a catch. It's getting towards the end of the season so those fish have had a fair bit of hardware thrown at them by now so if they're still circulating at this stage then they have a few smarts about them!

If it was easy it would be called 'catching' rather than 'fishing'. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Blowing out the cobwebs

The weather was reasonably mild today considering we are into the final weeks of Autumn/fall down here now so I took a break from painting the outside of my house and wheeled out the Ninja. A much more exciting proposition!
Although I have riding friends in my town, sometimes it's nice just to go out alone so you can ride at your own random pace and today was one of those days.
I started off in cruise mode, travelling the winding road that bumps it's way up the side of Lake Te Anau to a place called the Downs. Quick photo stop of bike by lake and sign then carry on over the hills away from the lake and into native beech forest. Eyes peeled the whole time for tourists on the wrong side of the road which is unfortunately reasonably common, but I've never encountered it first hand yet and hope it stays that way.
There's very little straight bits on this road so it's an engaging ride if not a bit bumpy due to slumps and what not, but it was a good test for the new rear shock set up with a softer spring now.
I turned back before crossing the divide as I knew it was wet in the west today and this put the wind behind me for the return run. That was all I needed to ignite the inner racer in me for a quick trip home! I did stop on the hill for another couple of snaps in the fading light but other than that it was mostly throttle pegged, head down, knees tight on tank and enjoy the ride. :biggrin:

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Bike looks great!! That road looks great also. Are you happy with your suspension set up on the road?

Are your mirrors easily adjustable? I love the way they look on the bike but I lane split often, could I fold them back when needed?

Sometimes a good solo ride clears the head. You are very fortunate to live in a postcard made for motorcycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Bike looks great!! That road looks great also. Are you happy with your suspension set up on the road?

Are your mirrors easily adjustable? I love the way they look on the bike but I lane split often, could I fold them back when needed?

Sometimes a good solo ride clears the head. You are very fortunate to live in a postcard made for motorcycles.
Cheers mate, never get sick of my back yard scenery!

The mirrors are easily adjustable on the fly and even better have not lost their stiffness and gone floppy like dog ears.
The glass has a blue tint which I dont care for though.

Happy with suspension now. I feel like the front and the back are more in sync and I've taken a lot of the kick out of the rear end on sharp bumps. It is still a firmly sprung sports bike though so the Milford road is always going to test it compared to an adventure bike with long travel which most of the tourists ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Late winter weekender

Last weekend I needed to travel to the neighboring province to visit my ageing parents which is a 520km round trip and the thought of taking the van didnt appeal at all. Luckily the forecast for the weekend wasn't too bad so I decided to chance my arm with the Ninja despite there still being a lot of snow on the hills keeping the temps down to single figures most days.
I've got a new RST rain suit so I put that on to keep the worst of the chill out and pulled on my warmest winter gloves.
There was a bit of mud and loose gravel on the road in places but no ice so i had an enjoyable ride and it was just great to be back out on the bike again.
Was also a good chance to try some different damping settings on the new rear shock I fitted late last season as the clickers are easily accessible even with gloved hands, so I got that dialed in for 'touring' mode and appreciated the smooth ride.
The bike didnt miss a beat and I'm happy with the tuning and mods I've done to get it how I want it. Cant think of anything i really want to change now.

Looking forward to the riding season ahead now. There is a local 'around the mountain' social ride in a fortnights time that is always a good blast and a long weekend away with a couple of riding buddies is planned for October.

I packed my good camera along for the ride but it turned out the battery was flat - Doh! So I resorted to a couple of crappy snaps taken on my aging iphone 5 that really needs to be retired:

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