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Discussion Starter #1
What are your impressions? I had been planning on getting a gen 5 early on, but after reading some earlier reviews I decided to hold off for a while to see what others thought.

One of the biggest things I was excited for was the new braking hardware, and had hoped they would feel similar to the s1000rr brakes since they were using the same hardware, (iirc) however reviewers stated that they felt close to the old bike. Now that people have had them for a while, got to bed in/Change the pads, how do you guys feel about them?


Much has been said about the "flickability" of the new bike with the reduced crank weight and new geometry, has that lived up to your expectations? The gen 4 front end feel was sometimes vague in my opinion (learned to just trust it and hold on, lol) Has the front end feel been much improved?

Mid range power. I've read some reviews that say it feels a good deal stronger than the Gen 4 stock to stock, then others that say it seems the same or weaker? My current Gen 4 has a full exhaust system on it which improved my mid range to an acceptable level in my opinion, would you say it feels similar to a gen 4 with full exhaust?

I read that some people were a bit off put by the way the electronics needed to be selected, that things like launch control were a pain in the ass to activate. Now that you guys have had some time to learn the system, what do you think? How does the new quickshifter work? I currently have a bazzaz quick shifter and I am very happy with it. Shifts great, feels smooth, is it about the same on the new bike? Pretty smooth?

How does the new TC system compare to the old one? Is wheelie control selectable? Like can you have TC on but still rip a wheelie, or are they connected?

Anything else that yo could tell me about the differences between them would be helpful. Do you think it was a worthwhile upgrade that you are happy with? Thanks, Turbo.
 

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I will preface this by saying my gen 5 has an issue with the throttle where it'll give gas when turning the throttle the wrong way... So when you stop and put pressure on bars it gives gas... Shitty and it's been a week at the shop with no word.. Having said this I out around 150 miles on bike and went back and forth between gen 4-5.
Take with grain of salt since I have little seat time.. My gen 5 is totally stock where's gen 4 has flash and qs no exhaust.

Ok brakes, at first they felt wooden and didn't work well to ME but over time I felt that the new bike requires more pressure that prev bike. The gen 4 (both are non abs) had good initial bite but seemed to fade where's the new bike has less bite but you can really squeeze them. In short you'll get use to new brakes imo.

Flick ability, no comparison. I haven't done real high speed shit yet but corner for corner the new bike just falls over and requires less bar input to me.

Suspension, it's awesome, I did back to back runs down same road with both bikes and the gen 4 pogos and hops around where the gen 5 just soaks it up. (I did stiffen stock settings on gen 4 and gen 5 is stock but I don't think this will really make the difference) edge gen 5

It's hard for me to be totally sure stock vs stock in power with gen 4 having flash but the mid seems as stout as flashed gen 4 and if memory serves me it's got more nut in mid. 1-3k rpm there is no power on new bike (maybe flash will help?) the gen 4 could muscle it's way through the bottom end if you by mistake stay in 2nd gear or start on a hill but with the new bike you really need to get the revs up and slip the clutch. Gearin is the same for 1st gear but shorter from 2-6 which is noticeable.

Electronics are a bit of a pita. I had woolich qs on gen 4 and it was awesome. I haven't done any wot up shifts n new bike, qs works ok at lesser revs but may be a bit long on the kill times for lower rpm

I think the wheelie control works along with tc, so 5 is less slip and no wheelies and 1 lets drifts and wheelies. Although I think the gyro handles the wheelie. It's similar to bmw and unfortunetly not like the r1 which is selectable.

I'm 6'1" tall and I think I like ergo on new bike better. The pegs are HIGH buuuut the reach to the bars seems a lot less, the reach is what kills me.

The new bike unflashed seems to turn on faster, it starts to I'll at lower rpm than gen 4, it's got a real nice hit around 7k. The bike is also a lot louder. My gen 4 has servo off and I can't hear it next to gen 5 (both stock exhaust)

Like I said I'm waiting for dealer to figure out wtf is wrong with my bike but I hope to get it back soon.

When I first saw gen 5 I thought it was the same bike as prev model. But after seeing it in person it's very different.
 

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I have both a 2014 and a 2016. After having had this 2016 since March I must say I'm not totally convinced I like the 2016 more than the 2014. In fact in some ways I am almost regretting the purchase. It's got more power but so far the engine in the 2014 is SO much smoother and runs way better. I am hoping it's just a case of getting it tuned properly. I initially flashed with FTECU and put it on the dyno and just did a WOT tune, then I flashed with Woolich and added the data logger, but had trouble with a surge issue (we're still not sure why). I then flashed back to FTECU and In fact I just took it over yesterday to the Evansville Superbike Shop to have Gary try and work some magic on it. I am much more interested in a smooth running bike than getting every last HP out of it, but he's gotten phenomenal HP numbers out of these things if that's what you're looking for.

Regarding new features:
Launch control
: Tried it, don't use it. My launches are pretty awesome the way they are and trying to fiddle with button combinations on the starting grid is more than I want to deal with at that exact moment in time.
KEBC: Used it for a while but turned it back off. I can live with or without it. I do know there are maps that can be adjusted for KEBC when flashing if you want more or less engine braking.
Traction Control: Seems to be better than the 2014 but I've been running with it completely off "most" of the time because I like to ride on the back wheel occasionally (too much). For racing I think level 2 is the best out of the box setting. One thing that really pisses me off about the traction control is there is no way (yet) to get it so it can be turned off on the fly, or keep the off setting when bike is turned off and back on, even when flashed. The TC definitely works better in combination with the new IMU though. In TC mode 1 it will hold a good wheelie about 8-10" off the ground. TC 2 barely lets the front lift (which I think is best for racing).
Brakes: Come with Brembos and braided lines. Definitely better than the GEN4 out of the box. Braided lines on the GEN4 are a MUST.
ABS: This is the first bike I've had with ABS. For me, the rear ABS is useless and MUST be disabled via the dongle from the race kit. I actually want to have the ability to completely lock the rear. With the ABS on you can provide very little braking at all out of the rear and might have caused me more damage to my bike when I took it off track and into the tire wall (didn't have the dongle at the time and I KNOW I would have been able to get the bike slowed more than I did after leaving the pavement without that rear ABS). Like the traction control, the front cannot be turned off by default and must be turned off every time you start the bike (also requires dongle from race kit). This too pisses me off. :) Having said that I think the front ABS is pretty good. It's not too intrusive like the rear.
KEQS: The quick shifter is EXTREMELY smooth. It does have behavior built in that after the shift it reduces power for a fraction of a second (in addition to the cut). That probably makes it easier on the transmission, but I think it could result in a small amount of lost time. Of course the GEN4 doesn't even come with this (I have Bazzaz system on my GEN4).
Auto-Blip downshift: I turned this on for a little while in Woolich. Decided I didn't like it and turned it back off. I have heard people say they really like this feature for racing but I can live without it.
Transmission: GEN5 is better out of the box by far over my GEN4. I don't get any false neutrals on the new bike where I used to get them all the time on the GEN4 even after putting a completely separate transmission in it. You can shim the transmission with race kit parts that is supposed to help prevent that, but I have not done that.
Suspension: On paper the GEN5 should be better than the GEN4. I didn't have any problem with the stock GEN4 suspension. It's definitely not "bad".
Ergonomics: I'm a bit shorter (5'8.5) and I think it's a farther reach to the clipons on the new bike which results in more weight on the hands/wrists/arms. I am more comfortable on the GEN4.

GEN5 definitely handles differently than the GEN4, but I'm not convinced it's "better" out of the box than the GEN4.

So the only things I can think of about the GEN5 that I like more than the GEN4 is the transmission, the traction control for the the times I choose to turn it on, the brakes, and the QS. Of course the brakes and quick shifter can be resolved on the GEN4 by adding braided lines and an aftermarket QS. Don't get me wrong though, both the GEN4 and GEN5 make me smile. :) I just paid WAY more for the GEN5 than I did for the GEN4 and so far have put a LOT more money into trying to make it right. So far the return on investment is I have been slower on the track with it than I am on my GEN4. :( But I'll continue to ride it and hope I eventually get in tune with it and that it in the end will shorten my lap times.
 

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Subbed. I'm in the same boat as Turbodc2. Been contemplating upgrading to the G5 and there's a lot I like about it. Just not that drastic of a difference for me to run right out and grab one. If I can find a "smokin' deal" on one, I'd probably do it. Otherwise I may just wait to see what the '17 color schemes are.

Not much else on the market that interests me though. Outside of going to an RSV4, the rest of the literbike market seems like shitty options to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will preface this by saying my gen 5 has an issue with the throttle where it'll give gas when turning the throttle the wrong way... So when you stop and put pressure on bars it gives gas... Shitty and it's been a week at the shop with no word.. Having said this I out around 150 miles on bike and went back and forth between gen 4-5.
Take with grain of salt since I have little seat time.. My gen 5 is totally stock where's gen 4 has flash and qs no exhaust.

Ok brakes, at first they felt wooden and didn't work well to ME but over time I felt that the new bike requires more pressure that prev bike. The gen 4 (both are non abs) had good initial bite but seemed to fade where's the new bike has less bite but you can really squeeze them. In short you'll get use to new brakes imo.

Flick ability, no comparison. I haven't done real high speed shit yet but corner for corner the new bike just falls over and requires less bar input to me.

Suspension, it's awesome, I did back to back runs down same road with both bikes and the gen 4 pogos and hops around where the gen 5 just soaks it up. (I did stiffen stock settings on gen 4 and gen 5 is stock but I don't think this will really make the difference) edge gen 5

It's hard for me to be totally sure stock vs stock in power with gen 4 having flash but the mid seems as stout as flashed gen 4 and if memory serves me it's got more nut in mid. 1-3k rpm there is no power on new bike (maybe flash will help?) the gen 4 could muscle it's way through the bottom end if you by mistake stay in 2nd gear or start on a hill but with the new bike you really need to get the revs up and slip the clutch. Gearin is the same for 1st gear but shorter from 2-6 which is noticeable.

Electronics are a bit of a pita. I had woolich qs on gen 4 and it was awesome. I haven't done any wot up shifts n new bike, qs works ok at lesser revs but may be a bit long on the kill times for lower rpm

I think the wheelie control works along with tc, so 5 is less slip and no wheelies and 1 lets drifts and wheelies. Although I think the gyro handles the wheelie. It's similar to bmw and unfortunetly not like the r1 which is selectable.

I'm 6'1" tall and I think I like ergo on new bike better. The pegs are HIGH buuuut the reach to the bars seems a lot less, the reach is what kills me.

The new bike unflashed seems to turn on faster, it starts to I'll at lower rpm than gen 4, it's got a real nice hit around 7k. The bike is also a lot louder. My gen 4 has servo off and I can't hear it next to gen 5 (both stock exhaust)

Like I said I'm waiting for dealer to figure out wtf is wrong with my bike but I hope to get it back soon.

When I first saw gen 5 I thought it was the same bike as prev model. But after seeing it in person it's very different.
I have both a 2014 and a 2016. After having had this 2016 since March I must say I'm not totally convinced I like the 2016 more than the 2014. In fact in some ways I am almost regretting the purchase. It's got more power but so far the engine in the 2014 is SO much smoother and runs way better. I am hoping it's just a case of getting it tuned properly. I initially flashed with FTECU and put it on the dyno and just did a WOT tune, then I flashed with Woolich and added the data logger, but had trouble with a surge issue (we're still not sure why). I then flashed back to FTECU and In fact I just took it over yesterday to the Evansville Superbike Shop to have Gary try and work some magic on it. I am much more interested in a smooth running bike than getting every last HP out of it, but he's gotten phenomenal HP numbers out of these things if that's what you're looking for.

Regarding new features:
Launch control
: Tried it, don't use it. My launches are pretty awesome the way they are and trying to fiddle with button combinations on the starting grid is more than I want to deal with at that exact moment in time.
KEBC: Used it for a while but turned it back off. I can live with or without it. I do know there are maps that can be adjusted for KEBC when flashing if you want more or less engine braking.
Traction Control: Seems to be better than the 2014 but I've been running with it completely off "most" of the time because I like to ride on the back wheel occasionally (too much). For racing I think level 2 is the best out of the box setting. One thing that really pisses me off about the traction control is there is no way (yet) to get it so it can be turned off on the fly, or keep the off setting when bike is turned off and back on, even when flashed. The TC definitely works better in combination with the new IMU though. In TC mode 1 it will hold a good wheelie about 8-10" off the ground. TC 2 barely lets the front lift (which I think is best for racing).
Brakes: Come with Brembos and braided lines. Definitely better than the GEN4 out of the box. Braided lines on the GEN4 are a MUST.
ABS: This is the first bike I've had with ABS. For me, the rear ABS is useless and MUST be disabled via the dongle from the race kit. I actually want to have the ability to completely lock the rear. With the ABS on you can provide very little braking at all out of the rear and might have caused me more damage to my bike when I took it off track and into the tire wall (didn't have the dongle at the time and I KNOW I would have been able to get the bike slowed more than I did after leaving the pavement without that rear ABS). Like the traction control, the front cannot be turned off by default and must be turned off every time you start the bike (also requires dongle from race kit). This too pisses me off. :) Having said that I think the front ABS is pretty good. It's not too intrusive like the rear.
KEQS: The quick shifter is EXTREMELY smooth. It does have behavior built in that after the shift it reduces power for a fraction of a second (in addition to the cut). That probably makes it easier on the transmission, but I think it could result in a small amount of lost time. Of course the GEN4 doesn't even come with this (I have Bazzaz system on my GEN4).
Auto-Blip downshift: I turned this on for a little while in Woolich. Decided I didn't like it and turned it back off. I have heard people say they really like this feature for racing but I can live without it.
Transmission: GEN5 is better out of the box by far over my GEN4. I don't get any false neutrals on the new bike where I used to get them all the time on the GEN4 even after putting a completely separate transmission in it. You can shim the transmission with race kit parts that is supposed to help prevent that, but I have not done that.
Suspension: On paper the GEN5 should be better than the GEN4. I didn't have any problem with the stock GEN4 suspension. It's definitely not "bad".
Ergonomics: I'm a bit shorter (5'8.5) and I think it's a farther reach to the clipons on the new bike which results in more weight on the hands/wrists/arms. I am more comfortable on the GEN4.

GEN5 definitely handles differently than the GEN4, but I'm not convinced it's "better" out of the box than the GEN4.

So the only things I can think of about the GEN5 that I like more than the GEN4 is the transmission, the traction control for the the times I choose to turn it on, the brakes, and the QS. Of course the brakes and quick shifter can be resolved on the GEN4 by adding braided lines and an aftermarket QS. Don't get me wrong though, both the GEN4 and GEN5 make me smile. :) I just paid WAY more for the GEN5 than I did for the GEN4 and so far have put a LOT more money into trying to make it right. So far the return on investment is I have been slower on the track with it than I am on my GEN4. :( But I'll continue to ride it and hope I eventually get in tune with it and that it in the end will shorten my lap times.
Thank you guys for your opinions. Really sucks not being able to take one out and put it through it's paces yourself to see how you feel about it before buying one. I think I may just end up keeping my gen 4 for another year or so as the only other bike that I want would be a 15+ s1krr, and they are out of my price range at the moment, unless I can find one used. I'm sure the new 10r is probably a better bike everywhere, however I'm not sure it would be enough to justify the extra cost. Not sure it would put a bigger smile on my face vs. the gen 4. Maybe I'll change my mind if I ride one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Subbed. I'm in the same boat as Turbodc2. Been contemplating upgrading to the G5 and there's a lot I like about it. Just not that drastic of a difference for me to run right out and grab one. If I can find a "smokin' deal" on one, I'd probably do it. Otherwise I may just wait to see what the '17 color schemes are.

Not much else on the market that interests me though. Outside of going to an RSV4, the rest of the literbike market seems like shitty options to me.
I thought about the rsv4 myself, the dealer down the street has 3 of them, but I'm honestly not really a fan of the current color scheme that they have. Lol. Plus,really don't like the look of the polished frame. I'd like to try one out though just to see what the v4 is like on something other than a vfr. I think I really want a bmw. I've ridden a couple and I think they are pretty comfortable, they look sharp, got power, and maybe I'm just starting to get old, but I want that cruise control. :thefinger_red:
 

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I owned a Gen4 (2011) but it's been several years. I've owned every Gen however. Gen 1 was my favorite by far.

My opinion on the Gen 5 is still being formed. It is to me anyway, clearly an awesome chassis. It turns incredibly well out of the box. I used to spend one weekend a month (for about 4 years) at the track. So I have a lot of experience with setting up a bike for track. I plan to take the 16' out to the track this year. Just haven't had the time or opportunity yet. I know that going really fast is easy on the 16'. Normally getting a knee down isn't an issue for me, but even carrying a lot of corner speed and lean angle, the knee is still not down.

The power delivery leaves me wanting a lot more under 7K. Everyone here has mirrored that statement. If you are tracking the bike it's not an issue. The power over 8K is ridiculous. I'm not crazy about anything fly by wire, but you'd be used to that with a Gen 4. I knew what I was getting when I bought it though. All the new bikes are geared towards the track and high RPM's. I think the Kawi is probably the worst in the "almost 600 power band" thing however. I plan a slipon, mid pipe and Woolich flash. Just waiting on a small bonus check, then it's mine.

Transmission = flawless thus far. QS works great. Has a slightly longer than acceptable kill time. I can live with it.

Brakes (mine is non ABS). They bite, but not like track bike bite. Lever feel is decent, but not great. I bled and bled again. Still cannot get that 2 finger 1/4" pull. Which surprises me quite a bit considering the hardware involved. Pads will help with feel and bite, but not on the master cylinder pressure. I spent a few hundred miles on her 3 weeks ago in Arkansas. We were hauling the mail and after a good 10 mins of hot corner entry, I started seeing a bit of fade. Reminiscent of the Gen 1 issues actually.

Overall I haven't really tested the electronics. I had TC on 2 in Arkansas. Never triggered it. I did get issues with wheelies as you'd expect. Haven't moved the EBC off of 1 yet. I'll leave that for the track

I think the ergo's are a bit cramped (6'1" 205). I lowered my pegs and it still feels pretty tight. But I'm getting old, lol. Seat is flat'ter than most which I like. I don't feel like I'm being slid forward all the time.

Overall It's a "good" bike. Not my favorite unfortunately. I love Kawi's. I've owned 9 of them. I feel like I'm still chasing that Gen 1 feeling. Funny thing is.. for "fun factor" my Monster 1200S is a f**king blast and I can hang with most mortal riders.

I almost bought a 14' S1000RR with 2200 miles. I passed it up because the guy was being a bit of a PITA. I bought the ZX10 like 6 weeks ago, then happen to be cruising craigslist last week... he's still selling it. AND he dropped the price another $1500. Sad face...

This probably won't help your decision, but it's some real world info on the 16'.

Good luck!
 
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I thought about the rsv4 myself, the dealer down the street has 3 of them, but I'm honestly not really a fan of the current color scheme that they have. Lol. Plus,really don't like the look of the polished frame. I'd like to try one out though just to see what the v4 is like on something other than a vfr. I think I really want a bmw. I've ridden a couple and I think they are pretty comfortable, they look sharp, got power, and maybe I'm just starting to get old, but I want that cruise control. :thefinger_red:

The RSV4 is really the only one that interests me at all. I like the way it looks, color scheme is hot (for not being green), the V4 power is sweet, the handling is awesome, the electronics, etc, etc. I've ridden the older model Beemer and wasn't overly impressed. The high frequency vibes made my hands numb in 20 mins. The power was nice, but not really a major leap over what I have now. Hate, hate, hate the looks of it with that asymmetric crap.

Honda has nothing.

I'm not a squid and can't fathom legging over a Suzuki.

The new R1 looks great, but I don't like the Crossplane. Not my thing.

MV is outta my price range.

Nope, RSV4 or a gen 5 for me. Decisions, decisions. All my gear is green though.:wink:
 

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RSV4 is an incredible machine. It is Italian however!
 
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Yeah, I rode my GEN4 to a bike night tonight while my GEN5 is in the shop and I just love that bike. Of course I also still have 2 ZX6Rs I can't get rid of because I have them priced way too high to sell because I don't "actually" want to let them go. :)
 

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I did write a little review after testing a gen5 then getting back on my gen4.
The long and short of it was the gen5 needs to be going fast to feel good and if i was doing trackdays only id have a gen5.
Suspension didnt feel much better if any at the front but the rear felt good hence why ive just custom fitted a gen5 shock in my gen4.
Gen5 brakes are not as good as gen 4 at slow speeds. At 80mph they didnt feel any different. But At 140mph they felt stronger for sure.
I loved the quickshifter/ transmition of gen5. I think its possibly slower at changing gear that some racers would want but its probably because the gearbox isnt the greatest on kawasakis so that is what is required to make sure it change gear without false nuturals. It was super smooth gearchange too. Smooth as silk engine compared to gen4.
Oh and the throttle isnt perfect for slow riding or traffic riding.
But personally i think im sticking gen4 and just tweaking it.
Maybe i will fit gen5 plastics one day though.
One last thing...
If i was doing road riding only id have kept my gen1. I had that setup so good i recon i was faster on the road than any other gen lol
 

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I've had both Gen 4 and Gen 5 among numerous Kawasaki's..
The Gen 5 is one awesome machine, ask Tom Sykes. LoL.
Don't even think there is a better machine for both street and track.
Go buy a 2016 ZX10R!
You wanna try riding it on the uk roads. Where i live its not good for the road. Even my gen4 is too focussed for our roads
 

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I've had both Gen 4 and Gen 5 among numerous Kawasaki's..
The Gen 5 is one awesome machine, ask Tom Sykes. LoL.
Don't even think there is a better machine for both street and track.
Go buy a 2016 ZX10R!
You wanna try riding it on the uk roads. Where i live its not good for the road. Even my gen4 is too focussed for our roads
 
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