The Kawasaki Ninja 400 offers an entry-level sportbike which will certainly appeal to new riders looking for new riders as well as riders looking to upgrade their sport riding skills. The Ninja 400 promises to address just those requirements - promising to be accessible, versatile and forgiving, and now gets a displacement jump in the engine from the Ninja 300 as well as more power. Also new is the styling, inspired by Kawasaki's larger sport siblings, better brakes and new suspension as well. If you're looking for an entry-level sportbike, here's a look at all you need to know about the new Kawasaki Ninja 400.
New styling inspired by bigger Kawasaki supersport models
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 gets updated styling which is more in line with the rest of the Kawasaki supersport family, taking design cues from several of the larger Ninjas, including the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, and even the Kawasaki Ninja H2. With new LED headlights and H2-inspired chin spoiler, the new Ninja 400 certainly looks appealing and more like a middleweight sportbike. The instrument panel is new too, and is shared with the Ninja 650. The large volume bodywork makes the Ninja 400 look like a bigger machine than it actually is. At the rear is a LED taillight design inspired by the ZX-10R. The bike will be available only in one colour, the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) green shade.
Bigger engine with more power
The 399 cc, parallel-twin engine makes 44.4 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 38 Nm of peak torque kicking in at 8,000 rpm. According to Kawasaki, the new Ninja 400's engine offers increased performance at all rpms, compared to the Ninja 300, with smooth and predictable throttle response. The engine has new bore and stroke measurements, an updated intake and exhaust system, lighter forged cams, and a lighter and smaller slip and assist clutch.
New chassis and suspension
The Ninja 400's new trellis frame is lighter, stiffer and stronger, and is expected to contribute to making the 400 a better handler than the 300. The wheelbase is shorter while the swingarm is longer to aid rear wheel traction and suspension action. The suspension is new as well, and employs a 41 mm telescopic front fork at the front and a gas-charged shock with adjustable preload at the rear. At 168 kg kerb weight, the Ninja 400 is lighter than the Ninja 300 by 6 kg.
The brakes on the Ninja 400 have been updated too, and now get a big 310 mm petal disc at the front gripped by a dual-piston caliper. It's the largest front disc in its class, and at the rear is a single 220 mm disc. Dual-channel ABS is standard.
Price and market position
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 is assembled in India at Kawasaki's plant in Chakan and priced at ₹ 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom) and that makes it a slightly pricey proposition compared to the likes of the Yamaha YZF-R3, the KTM RC 390, and the Benelli 302R, which are its closest rivals, even though the Kawasaki is the most expensive among these four bikes. With tremendous road presence and superport styling inspired by Kawasaki's bigger models from the Ninja range, the Ninja 400 promises a beginner's sportbike with everyday versatility. But in pricing, it's still very close to the next in the Ninja hierarchy, the Kawasaki Ninja 650, which is priced at ₹ 5.49 lakh (ex-showroom) and gets an even more powerful, 650 cc parallel-twin engine.