I headed out to Penrith Motorcycle center to test ride and review the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400, and I wasn’t let down.
This is a great little Learner Legal bike, but with enough punch to please even the seasoned riders around.
The Ninja 400 all-new 399 cm³ engine delivers a balance of performance and controllability. The new engine offers increased performance at all rpm compared to its predecessor, with good power feeling. Smooth, predictable response contributes to an easy-to-control engine character. Thanks to its efficient design, the compact, lightweight engine has a size on par with 250cc engines.
Relaxed rider triangle accommodates a wide range of rider sizes and riding situations. Compared to some other models (whose somewhat extreme riding position compromises comfort), the elevated handle position and slightly foot forward footpeg position put the rider in a position to control the bike while also offering rider comfort.
In addition to contributing to the Ninja 400’s sharper looks, slim dual LED headlamps (each featuring low and high beams, as well as a LED position lamp) are highly visible and offer significantly increased brightness. Chin spoilers at the bottom of the front cowl were inspired by the Ninja H2 and Ninja ZX-10R.
More compact Assist & Slipper Clutch (ø139 mm >> ø125 mm) with less rigid operating plates offers a 20% lighter lever pull. Complementing the extremely light feel at the lever, the new clutch has a wider engagement range, facilitating control.
A more rigid 41 mm telescopic fork (previously ø37 mm) delivers better suspension action. The front wheel feels really planted, direction changes are made easily (even when the bike is fairly upright – handy when navigating traffic jams), and overall the suspension offers the plushness of a larger model.
The Ninja 400 is equipped with the same instrument cluster as the Ninja 650, contributing to the high-grade feel of the tidy cockpit. The sophisticated instrument design features a large analogue tachometer flanked by warning lamps on one side, and a gear position indicator and multi-function LCD screen on the other.
The front seat can be easily removed by pulling a cable located under the rear seat, greatly facilitating access to the battery. Under-seat storage space has two levels for a more efficient use of the space. A handy Tool Kit is located in the lower level of storage.
|Model||NINJA 400 (EX400GJF)|
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, Parallel Twin|
|Bore x Stroke||70.0 x 51.8 mm|
|Valve System||DOHC 8 valves|
|Fuel System||Fuel Injection 32 mm x 2|
|Transmission||6-speed with Positive Neutral finder|
|Suspension – front||41 mm telescopic fork|
|Suspension – rear||Bottom-Link Uni-Trak, gas-charged shock with adjustable preload|
|Wheel travel – f/r||120/130 mm|
|Ground Clearance||140 mm|
|Brakes – front||Single semi-floating 310 mm petal disc, Single Balanced Actuation Dual Piston Caliper with ABS|
|Brakes – rear||Single 220 mm petal disc with twin piston caliper with ABS|
|Wheel Size Front Rear||3.00-17.0 4.00-17.0|
|Tyre Size- Front Rear||110/70R17 54H 150/60R17 66H|
|L x W x H||1,990 x 710 x 1,125 mm|
|Seat height||785 mm|
|Fuel capacity||14.0 litres|
|Curb Mass||168 kg|
|Max Power||33.4 kW @ 10,000 rpm|
|Max Torque||38.0 N-m @ 8,000 rpm|
|Colour/s||Metallic Spark Black|
|Warranty||24 Months Unlimited Kilometres|
|Service Intervals||1,000 and 6,000 then every additional 6,000 kilometres major service every 12,000 kilometres|