2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX | First Look Review

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX

Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000 sport tourer is getting a host of updates for 2020, enough in fact that it’s been given a new (sort of) name: the Ninja 1000SX. When we last tested it back in 2017 (read the review here), we were impressed with the tour-ready Ninja’s comfort and handling, so we’re looking forward to getting a ride on this updated model.

The Ninja 1000 already included modern electronic rider aids such as an IMU-based KTRC traction control system, ABS and power modes. But for 2020 the Ninja 1000SX also gets an electronic throttle, a.k.a. throttle-by-wire, cruise control and new integrated riding modes — Sport, Road, Rain or Rider (manual) — which link the KTRC and power modes for easy on-the-fly adjustments.

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
New electronic throttle also enables the addition of cruise control. All functions on the new TFT display are also accessible via the switchgear.

It also comes equipped with an up and down quickshifter (KQS) as standard, the latest Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires, a revised windscreen with three rather than two positions, a light restyle and a new TFT display with two modes (one for touring and one for sport riding) and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity via Kawasaki’s Rideology app.


Kawasaki also says it’s tweaked the potent engine with revised cam profiles for quieter operation, shorter intake funnels for cylinders 1 and 4 to help reduce emissions and a new exhaust system with a single right-side muffler rather than the previous dual-sided design, reducing the Ninja 1000SX’s weight by a claimed 4.5 pounds. Suspension also received a tweak in the form of a new low-speed slit on the fork’s damping pistons for smoother fork action.

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
The 2020 Ninja 1000SX cuts a more svelte profile thanks to the switch to a single muffler.

Best of all, the 2020 Ninja 1000SX is priced just $200 more than last year’s model, coming in at $12,399. It’s available in one color option: Metallic Graphite Gray/Metallic Diablo Black. Kawasaki accessory 28-liter quick-release bags are an $899.95 option.

Keep scrolling for more photos….

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Hard 28-liter saddlebags start at $899.95.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
New TFT display in sport mode, showing lean angle.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
This graphic shows the change in the intake funnels for cylinders 1 and 4.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Cockpit of the 2020 Ninja 1000SX. Tall clip-ons haven’t changed, but the TFT display and new three-position adjustable windscreen are new.


  1. This will be my 3rd Ninja 1000 and I am SO looking forward to cruise control, comfy seating, a better dash and slipper clutch. I wonder if they have done anything about the gear between 1st and 2nd that both my bikes loved to find sometimes when shifting up or down. Usually when the change isn’t firmly applied. Had a few interesting corners with the engine reving high like a prat. Not that it happens all the time, but enough times to be a pain in the — especially when needing to let it rev down for a second or two before dropping into gear, to avoid the nasty clunk of unhappy gears catching.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here