Kawasaki take it the following step in the battle to find that perfect balance in between displacement, performance, and also affordability through the new-in-2018 Ninja 400. This journey delivers the wild styling the you expect from the Ninja family members with a organize of enhancements over the vault generation. An ext power, less weight, and a mature presentation should hold the brand-new Ninja in good stead in the highly-competitive small-displacement sportbike industry that serves together the key battlefield in the contest to instill some brand loyalty in the progressively important brand-new buyer base.

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wild Ninja styling architecture elements native the H2 and also 10R pair LED headlights Multifunction dash instrumentation

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By bumping the displacement up to 399 cc, the manufacturing facility gave us sufficient power for both comfort and also fun.
After a race to the bottom with the Ninja 250 and 300, that looks prefer Kawi has determined the sweet spot lies what uphill because that American riders through the Ninja 400. Through bumping the displacement approximately 399 cc, the factory gave us enough strength for both comfort and fun.

Bodywork on the Ninja 400 witnessed an improvement over its precursors as it strikes an ext of a big-bike ton with aspects from the H2 and 10R big brothers. A break-up headlight leader the way in an angular prior fairing the mounts a vented balloon screen up top and a chin spoiler incorporated with the also-vented engine cowl. Recessed revolve signals journey in the fairing too for a super-clean look and good penetration.

The angular theme continues ago through the tank and the remainder of the body for a bit of distinct style come go with the acquainted flylines. To rise comfort, the handlebar has a bit of rise that provides a more-vertical talk position possible with lot of of room to tuck in and also throw about some body English. A narrow waist and saddle-to-tank union leaves the pilot through an easy shot indigenous hip come ground and a useful seat, however the passenger isn’t for this reason lucky through a thin “I’d-really-rather-ride-alone” p-pad the end back.

As usual, the taillight comes tucked up under the tail through a hang-down turn-signal/tagholder assembly, and also as usual, ns think it would certainly look far better with a hugger and side-mount tag. I will confess come liking the paint packages this year, the Metallic Matte Twilight Blue/Metallic Graphite Gray is sharp together a tack. Oh and also of course, the green and also black KRT livery, back again after a hiatus in 2021, prices an honorable point out as well.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Chassis


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The brand-new Trellis frame is strictly in every the right areas for a nimble nature and also eagerness in the corners the fans that the marque expect.
It wasn’t sufficient to merely tuck in some much more cubes; the factory tweaked the structure on the Ninja 400 for an all at once beefier appearance. Ns mean, just ’cause you can be an entry-level rider doesn’t necessarily mean you need to look prefer one, right? The brand-new Trellis frame is strictly in all the right areas (no giggety) for a nimble nature that delivers the taking care of that fans of the marque expect, and that eagerness in the corners is due mainly to the 24.7-degree rake and short, 3.6-inch trail.


Even though the wheelbase has been shortened to 53.9-inches, the rectangle-shaped cross-section swingarm rocks a bit more length and also helps reduce weight by connecting directly to the engine/transmission assembly. This eliminates a couple of of the frame components. It seems to have helped some due to the fact that the 400 weighs nearly 20-pounds much less than the 300, which equates into more nimble handling, yet the manufacturing facility nickel-and-dimed the overall mass in a number of places to incorporate the tripletree, wheels, and seat.

Surprisingly, standard forks float the front end. I intend the manufacturing facility opted for the non-adjustable, rwu prior forks quite than going for inverted/adjustable stems to keep expense down, but I think the civilization is all set for tuneable suspension top top the lower-tier bikes guys. Simply sayin’.

The behind shock comes through nothing past the obligatory five-way preload adjustment, for this reason it’s just as lick-a-windshield level as the front. Disappointing, yet really not all the surprising. At 362-pounds wet (366 because that the ABS model) the single 310 mm prior disc is adequate for the project with a 220 mm key out back and twin-pot calipers all around. Cast- alloy, 17-inch five-spoke wheels store unsprung weight down and mount a 110/70 up front and also 150/70 out back to round out the rolling chassis.


Even despite Kawasaki designers weren't exactly putting with each other what girlfriend might speak to a stupidfast engine, they paid due diligence to performance-enhancing details.
Kawasaki designers went ago to the illustration board because that the Ninja 400’s parallel-twin powerplant. regardless of the fact that castle weren’t exactly putting with each other what girlfriend might speak to a stupidfast engine, they payment due diligence to performance-enhancing details. that starts out with a 70 mm bore and 51.8 mm hit that gives us the 399 cc displacement and flatter pistons that increase compression to 11.5-to-1 with less squish area. Oil jet cool the piston crowns from listed below which in turn allows them to survive with a lighter building for less reciprocating mass. Staggered input funnels smooth the end torque generation through a larger air crate that helps increase volumetric effectiveness a tad with oval-shaped 32 mm accelerator bodies to manage the fuel delivery.


What does every this give us? Well because that starters, the mill turns in a predictable, user-friendly performance that must be manageable for the target group. The full 28 pound-feet of torque come on in ~ 8 grand v a slip-and-assist clutch to assist limit backtorque and also prevent loss of rear traction throughout aggressive maneuvers. No TC or rider modes, but that’s to be supposed at this pricing point.


At the bottom the the list for 2022 is the basic Ninja 400 for $5,199 there is no ABS or $5,599 through ABS. The KRT Edition easily accessible again because that 2022 runs $5,799 and is only accessible with ABS now. Kawasaki covers your Ninja v a 12-month limited warranty that you can prolong up come 48 months.


Model:Ninja 400Ninja 400 KRT Edition
Warranty:12 Month limited Warranty (optional Kawasaki protection Plus™ 12, 24, 36 or 48 months12 Month restricted Warranty (optional Kawasaki protection Plus™ 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
Colors:
└ 2018:Pearl Solar Yellow/Pearl Storm Gray/Ebony, Metallic Spark Black, candy Plasma BlueLime Green/Ebony
└ 2019:Metallic Spark Black, Pearl Storm Gray/Metallic Magnetic Dark Gray, candy Persimmon Red/Metallic Magnetic Dark Gray (non-ABS in Metallic Spark black only)
└ 2020:Pearl Blizzard White, Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Magnetic Dark Gray/Phantom BlueEbony/Lime Green
└ 2021:Passion Red, Pearl Nightshade Teal/Metallic Spark Black, ABS only: Metallic Graphite Gray/Metallic Magnetic Dark GrayNA
└ 2022:Metallic Carbon Gray/Metallic flat Spark Black, Metallic Matte Twilight Blue/Metallic Graphite GrayLime Green/Ebony/Pearl Blizzard White
Price:
└ 2018:$4,999, ABS: $5,299$5,499
└ 2019:$4,999, ABS: $5,299NA
└ 2020:$4,999, ABS: $5,299$5,199, ABS: 5,499
└ 2021:$4,999, ABS: $5,399NA
└ 2022:$5,199, ABS: $5,599$5,799 (ABS only)

Kawi is creeping increase in the cubeage, however Yamaha sticks come its guns with that is 321 cc YZF-R3 as its entry-level sportbike.

Yamaha YZF-R3


The YZF carries chin with lot the same sporty demeanor, and also like the Ninja, the displays countless of the same hereditary markers as its bigger brothers and hits every the common high points with a vented engine cowl, minimal windscreen, and also I’d-rather-not-class pillion pad.

Honestly, the cosmetic distinctions are quite minimal and also tend come come down to an individual taste/brand commitment anyway, despite the Tuning Fork agency did brush increase its plastic last year through details obtained from the M1 racebike that add some curb appeal along with much better penetration.

A steel-tube skeleton supports the R3 v KYB suspension contents all around, and also much favor its worthy adversary, has actually plain vanilla trunk with flexible preload in back as the just ride tweak. Yamaha falls behind simply a tad in the brakes through a single, 298 mm disc increase front, despite it likewise offered both an ABS and non-ABS model to select from in recent years.


At 321 cc, Yamaha surrenders some cubeage come Kawi through a concurrent reduction in power. The R3’s mill cranks the end 21.8 pound-feet of torque versus 28 pounds o’ grunt from the Ninja, and that’s a difference that will certainly register on even the most poorly-tuned heinie dyno. Despite that strength deficit, Yamaha finishes neck-and-neck at the checkout through a $5,299 sticker ~ above the YZF-R3 v ABS.

Read our full review of the Yamaha YZF-R3.

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He Said

“Cool stuff, however I still need to wonder at the wisdom of jumping approximately so rapidly. I know they have marketing geniuses that figure all this ingredient out, but what’s the allude of having a small-displacement sector if you store bumping the displacement up? Yeah, it’s a rhetorical question, we’ll have our answer once the sales numbers start rojo in.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “You know, those brakes should be rather adequate since it’s the exact same front brake together the Ninja ZX-14R. The 400 has much more torque than the 300, which makes for a snappier ride. Ns didn’t obtain sucked into the ’which is faster, i beg your pardon has much more hp-per-liter, which has the much better torque-to-hp ratio’ debate. That cares? It has much more torque, which method it’ll traction harder as soon as you twisted the throttle. If you’re trying to find a stupidfast height speed, why look at a small-displacement cycle anyway? gain something v an ’RR’ in the version designation and be done v it. Together for the Ninja 400, I’m a little disappointed through the plain-Jane suspension, but it is a decent bike for the price, let’s not shed sight of that. Together a gutsy commuter, a sportbike trainer, or simply a bicycle to have actually fun on, that is what it is.”