919 First Ride Impressions - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-23-2018, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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919 First Ride Impressions

Finally got my recently purchased 2004 919 registered and insured and on the road.
For those that didn't see my intro post, I picked up an 04 919 off a one owner, with 36,000 Km's. Pretty much stock, except for a drop in K&N air filter and the PO gutted the stock mufflers a tad (bit more of a throatier note). Oh and a custom back rest for 2-up riding.
The bike needed a new front tire and fork seals. The rear tire was a pretty much brand new Pilot Road 3, so I matched the front with the same style of tire. Fork seals and fork oil replaced, suspension settings set a couple down from stiffest (both sides were not the same before I started).

Ride Impressions:
First off, my previous bike was a 2000 ZRX1100 that was modified quite a bit. So I've been doing allot of comparing...or basing the 919 on how the ZRX rode.
The 919 is extremely smooth and quiet (compared to my previous bike). Upright seating position is comfortable and a must for any bike I ride. I didn't feel much wind on my chest that others have reported. I mean, there is a bit, but not crazy, for a naked bike. I did order an F-16 Sport windscreen for it, but in no rush to install it.
Bike feels light and nimble and responsive handling. The ZRX was a steel tubed bike and heavy. The 919 feels very light in comparison. Even when pushing the 919 in the driveway, it feels lighter.
This is my first EFI bike and I love it. I'm so done with messing with carbs. Throttle response is quick and smooth. Nice and even all the way through the rev range. I had ZX10 cams in my ZRX and larger ZX11 carbs, so there was a very noticeable kick with it around the 6000 RPM mark. I don't feel that with the 919. Just nice and even.
I do notice the stronger exhaust smell, due to the location of the stock exhaust.
I also noticed that it took quite a while for the temp gauge to move, and it really didn't move much past the first notch. Because it took so long to register a temp, I thought maybe the gauge wasn't working, at first.

Overall, I'm very happy with the bike. Its the perfect 'old guy' (naked) sport bike. Well at least this mid 40's guy loves it.

p.s. This is the first bike I've owned with no gas gauge. My co-workers who ride Hardleys are like: "Welcome to the club"...LOL

Cheers!

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post #2 of 9 Old 05-24-2018, 01:38 AM
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My prior bike was the "baby ZRX" AKA the Nighthawk 700S. It too had the carb and I had them running great, then they started flooding and I'm too done with them after EFI.

I've always loved the look of the ZRX, but wanted something more modern and also the ZRX seems pretty rare (not that the 919 is common).

I've never liked the look of the faring, but I don't have a problem with head wind, it's the big gusts of side wind I don't like so much

I'm 5+ years into my 919 and haven't had any problems yet. The fork seals were way overdue on mine, the fluid was slush and the difference was dramatic after I cleaned everything up. I kept mine bone stock except for the K&N filter I just did a month ago. I don't even run the filter cover, kinda like the sound.

Welcome to the club.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-24-2018, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Ah yes, I had a red '85 Nighthawk S before my ZRX, the Canadian 750 version. Great bike...low maintenance. K&N cone filter, jet kit and cam timing mod really woke that bike up.

The ZRX is sort of rare. They are basically a de-tuned ZX11, which there was a tonne of zx11's. A stock ZRX comes in at just under 100 HP, but put ZX11 cams (or ZX10 cams), ZX11 carbs (CVK40) and ZX11 pistons (higher compression) and you have a ZX11 engine stuffed into a ZRX frame. In the 90's the ZX11 was the fastest production bike. That's one of the addictive things about a ZRX...modding it. Lots of parts for it and it seems like anything you bolt to it would make it more powerful. Also the ZZR1100 was the same motor too. But the ZRX is a heavy bike. Some folks describe them as "handling like your riding a rhino". Weisco makes a big bore kit for them too, which turned it into an 1109.

I haven't seen much about mods for the 919, other than running a PCIII usb. But to be honest, that's part of the reason why I got away from the ZRX. I just want something I can hop on and go. And the 919 has been perfect for that. With the ZRX I always felt like I needed to do something to it. And that hurts the pocket book.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-24-2018, 03:35 PM
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I remember the 750 S, only outside the US. We probably crossed paths before, I remember some 750S people from Canada on the old NightHawk Forum years ago. Haven't been active there in like about 5 years.

I did the K&N and the jet kit on mine, then got an oil leak and finally just parked it.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-24-2018, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Back when I had my NH-S I pretty much lived on the Nighthawk Forum. That forum is now defunct. The UJM forum took over, but didn't quite get the same following.


BTW, Does anyone actually use the choke on their 919? I didn't think a choke we necessary on EFI? Mine seems to start fine without the choke, when cold.

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post #6 of 9 Old 05-24-2018, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gammer View Post
Back when I had my NH-S I pretty much lived on the Nighthawk Forum. That forum is now defunct. The UJM forum took over, but didn't quite get the same following.


BTW, Does anyone actually use the choke on their 919? I didn't think a choke we necessary on EFI? Mine seems to start fine without the choke, when cold.
I think I remember you from that forum, sad to see it go. We got at least one other here from there... small world.

I've never used the choke, but I'm in California. I just fire it up, wait a bit while I gear up and then ride.

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post #7 of 9 Old 05-25-2018, 02:03 PM
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I've had my '07 919 for 6 years now and have never touched the "choke." I don't ride in sub 40 deg (F) weather so I don't know if it would start without the choke in really cold weather but what difference does it make if you're not going to ride then anyway.


The temp gauge on most of these bikes seems to live at the very bottom of the range. Letting it idle in traffic on a 90 deg day will cause it to rise up to about the 3/4 mark at which point the cooling fan will come on. Not to worry.


One of the nice features of the 919 (in my opinion at least) is that it has lots of power if you care to run up in the 7000 - 9000 RPM range but is very linear and docile if you stay down in the 3000-5000 RPM range. Why anyone would mess with the engine control computer to get "more power" is beyond me. Honda had it set just about perfectly.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-25-2018, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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I did experience some stop and go traffic on my commute this morning and the temp gauge came up to the mid way point, but that was a high as it got. As soon as I got moving and some air started flowing through the rad, it dropped back down.

Yeah, its very linear, but I find the low end very smooth and nice for navigating in traffic. I might get the RPM's up to 7-9K on a 'spirited' accel, but I don't consistently ride like that. I'm a conservative rider for the most part and plan my spirited times when safe to do so.

I think I will try the starter valve sync this weekend to help with the idle burble. But honestly, I probably would have left it alone had I not read the post about it and how easy it is to do.

I will post a pic of the custom back rest the PO made for it. Its very simple and neat.

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-25-2018, 08:03 PM
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I had my ZRX 1200 more than 10 years ago so time has clouded my impression of riding it.I will try to be as fair as i can.I bought the ZRX [ green ] for one reason. I liked the way it looked.I was all in. I belonged to the ZRX club and was always on the web site. I had one of the Joe rocket Eddie Lawson racing jackets. When i sold it i missed that bike for a few years, wanting another one.
WELL i saw a tricked out 2003 Kawasaki Z1000 and fell in love. Found a mint green 2002. I did all the usual minor mods turn signals, full MUZZY exhaust system and a fender eliminator kit. At 460 lbs and dyno readings of 126 HP at the rear wheel it out classed the ZRX in every way. The handling was way better, and i liked the looks.
Fast forward to now and my 2007 red 919' I love the styling and comfort. The two slight negatives are engine vibration and a
clunky shifting transmission. . Their a got that over-with I really do love this 919 and i am sure i will be happy with it.

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