In 1988, Kawasaki unleashed an amazing motorcycle, the Ninja 1000 or ZX10. The motorcycle press flat ran out of words to describe this thing, everyone was sure it was the ne plus ultra of super bikes. Who could imagine any factory topping what this bike could do right off the showroom floor, of course, as time went on, they did, but the reaction at the time was simply shock and awe. I owned the 1989 version of this bike, the only real difference was color, the broad red stripe was now black, and I can tell you from personal experience the Ninja ZX10 was crazy fast, but it was also a really comfortable sport touring machine and you could cover hundreds of miles with ease.
This particular 1988 Ninja 1000 is extremely clean, a rare quality in any vintage Japanese inline four, with the same owner since ’89, always garaged and well maintained. New tires, jet kit and a Vance and Hines 4 into 1 exhaust system in place of the original dual exhaust. Interestingly, it’s been re-geared to reduce the top end slightly while increasing acceleration to match today’s bikes which is where you want the performance anyway, how often do you run over 150 mph?
These classic early Ninjas, like so many of their siblings from Yamaha and Suzuki, used to depreciate rapidly, but as they become more and more rare and previous owners remember what great bikes they really were, we’re likely to see prices stabilize and rise again, especially for really nice examples like this one. If you ride a bike like this, the casual bystander won’t know what he’s looking at, but the more knowledgeable biker will pause and smile as he looks over what is still a beautiful and fast ride that’s getting more desirable every day. This Ninja is for sale on eBay and if you so choose, you can experience what we fell in love with almost 30 years ago.