To say the 400 is an improvement over the 300 in almost every way is a fair statement. The bike feels bigger but lighter, is more stylish and the engine is really fantastic for a 400cc twin-cylinder four-banger. I spent some time on the bike up on some open country roads around the Hunter Valley and having a fang on some local twisties and was impressed.
The engine is eager from the bottom, with plenty of torque now where the 300 was asthmatic. Once revving, there is a fun top-end, making the 400 feel sporty and exciting. Handling is brilliant, with high corner speeds giving a thrilling experience, while stability is still rock solid.
As a quick refresher, the Ninja 400 gained almost 6hp on the 300, with a healthy boost of mid-range torque, while weight is down to 168kg (fully fueled) according to Kawasaki. Forks are upgraded 41mm units and it looks to me like they’ve come off last year’s updated Ninja 650, alongside the braking package, with a slightly larger rotor at 310mm.
Claimed power: 33.4kW [45hp] @ 10000RPM
Claimed torque: 38Nm [28ft-lbs] @ 8000RPM
Dry weight: 168kg
Fuel capacity: 14L
Engine: Liquid cooled, parallel twin-cylinder, four-stroke, 8-valve, DOHC, 399cc, 11.5:1 compression ratio, 70.0 x 51.8mm bore and stroke, single injector per cylinder
Gearbox: Six speed, constant mesh
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate with dual action slipper clutch, cable actuation
Chassis: High-tensile steel tube trellis frame with engine as fully stressed member, box-section steel swingarm, Rake: 24.7°, Trail: 92mm
Suspension: 41mm fork, 120mm travel, Unitrack gas-charged rear shock absorber, preload adjustable, 130mm travel
Brakes: Single Nissin 310mm semi-floating front disc, two-piston caliper, Nissin 220mm rear disc, two-piston caliper. Nissin ABS
Wheels & Tyres: Aluminium alloy, 110/70 – 17 (ff), 150/60 – 17 (rr)
Seat height: 785mm
Overall length: 1990mm
Overall width: 710mm