Having finally killed my stock YUASA YT12A-BS battery through a combination of discharges and winter neglect, I decided it was time to replace it with upgraded technology in the form of a lithium iron phosphate Ballistic battery.  These batteries are not only significantly lighter (saving 7 pounds), and optionally smaller, but also have the significant benefit of negligible self-discharge, as compared to the old lead acid batteries which needed to be constantly recharged or put on a battery tender!  I posted a video on YouTube about the swap:

These are impressive little batteries, and I’ve ran them in my SV650 as well as my FJR 1300 with great results.  There’s a video of a guy starting a high compression diesel v8 engine off one of these, which is pretty amazing.  I was concerned about potential issues with the lower “amp hours” noted for these batteries vs. lead acid batteries, but after watching this video really testing the technology differences between the 2 battery types, I’ve realized this shouldn’t be any significant concern.  Comparing the $60 dollar cost difference of the larger 102-014 12-cell battery to the 100-011 8-cell battery I got for a small gain in amp hours just doesn’t seem worth it.  The little 8-cell has plenty of power for kicking over and starting the Ninja 1000, and if I really need to charge accessories I could simply buy one of these portable power banks for about $30 and easily stash it in a pocket or on the bike.  Really the only negatives of these batteries is the slightly higher cost, and the cold starting characteristics exampled in this video, but as I’m generally a fair weather rider these days this isn’t something I need to worry about!

It’s important if you do your own maintenance to adhere to the designed torque specifications for the various bolts and nuts that keep your motorcycle held together.  Many of us do-it-yourself mechanics have at times used the tried and true method of tightening items by “feel”.  Depending on the amount of primate ancestry in your DNA, you’ve also either:

  • Missed the mark in tightening those 95 ft-lb bolts because of your weenie Monkey arms and low leverage open-end wrench


  • You’ve twisted the heads right off the butter soft bolts that called for 24 in-lbs of torque from your Gorilla strength and premise that “tighter is better”

With a new set of tires ready for mounting, it’s time to take the wheels off the 2014 Ninja 1000!

pilot road 4 and pilot power 3


The Service Manual has you do a bunch of steps which really aren’t needed (though a couple of them may make reinstall easier but is more work overall). Most of this can be done with the tools in your kit under the passenger seat, except for pliers to get the rear clips off and a 14mm hex wrench for the front axle. This is just about the minimum number of steps needed to get your wheels off and reinstalled on the 2014 Ninja 1000…

fabulous motorcycle

This is the 3rd and final part of 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Motorcycle Riding, where we wrap up our commentary on motorcycle riding and talk a bit about the crazy motorcycle culture you may not be aware of if you don’t yet ride a motorcycle.


  1. Motorcycle Voodoo: There’s an awful lot of “mystery” when it comes to riding motorcycles and motorcycle maintenance. Likewise there is often what seems like “voodoo” or “mojo” when it comes to topics like:  Motorcycle riding techniques, Law enforcement, and other drivers.

nyc road rage incident

This is part 2 of part of 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Motorcycle Riding, where we continue our commentary on motorcycle riding and everything involved with that which you may not realize if you don’t yet ride a motorcycle.

  1. Automobile Drivers: Many of us are familiar with unfortunate sensational incidents like that pictured above (where a group of bikers in New York City harassed a family in an SUV until the driver panicked, and sped off hitting and injuring one of the bikers, only to later get pulled from his vehicle and beaten by some of those now angered bikers).
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