Kawasaki’s sporty and powerful Ninja 1000 ABS was first introduced as a 2014 model — and it’s still a fine machine! With standard ABS brakes and available color-matched saddlebags, it can be a sportbike and a sport-touring machine; your call.Power comes from a potent 16-valve, 1,043cc inline four which has been proven in prior Ninja 1000 and Z1000 models. Minor intake and exhaust tweaks were made, and the computer has been remapped to widen the torque band. With just 0.3mm less intake camshaft lift, plus six degrees less duration, the Ninja’s torque peak arrives 500 rpm sooner. Electronic Keihin fuel injection works under the control of throttle by wire. KTRC traction control and two-mode power selection help keep you in control. The lower-power mode reduces power to about 70 percent and slows throttle response for slippery conditions.The Ninja’s potent but silky engine can lug down to 2,000 rpm in sixth gear, which is about 30 mph. Try that on other sport bikes! Power climbs fiercely as the rpms head from about five grand toward the 11K redline, yet for normal riding you’ll find ample midrange zip. A little buzziness can be detected around 5,500 rpm, typical of inline fours, but it’s so slight most riders won’t notice it. Otherwise, it’s almost turbine smooth.Thanks to the wide torque range, you can leave the six speed gearbox in one gear much of the time; constant down shifting isn’t needed. At an actual 70 mph in sixth gear, the tach shows about 5,000 revs. This nimble Ninja is easy to get acquainted with, and feels like an old friend within minutes. Clutch pull effort is light and operation is chatter free with easy modulation. Shifting is also smooth and quick, and neutral is easy to access.A high-tech lightweight aluminum frame provides torsional stiffness and a solid feel. At the front is an inverted, fully adjustable fork. An aluminum double-sided swingarm with a nearly horizontal shock and stepless rebound adjustment controls the rear wheel. A remote rear preload adjuster on the right side makes setting changes a breeze.Thanks to a sporty 24.5 degrees of rake and four inches of trail, steering is light for quick turns and effortless transitions. The handling is confidence inspiring and there’s enough clearance for steep lean angles, so this Ninja is happy in the twisties. Wheels are lightweight six-spoke alloy. Standard fitment on our test bike was a pair of Bridgestone Battlax 520R tires, 120/70 ZR17 front and a beefy 190/50 ZR17 at the rear. They provide good grip and have a good neutral turn-in feel along with nice high-speed stability. A pair of radial front calipers grab the big 300mm discs and provide powerful, consistent braking with little lever effort and easy modulation. The standard ABS delivers up fast, safe stops even on slick surfaces.