The new 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 is finally out.
Kawasaki ups the ante in the entry-level sport segment, with an overhauled sportbike, in the form of the Ninja 400 ABS.
Starting with the engine, the new baby Ninja’s engine is not only larger, it’s an entirely new design from the inside out. New riders will continue to appreciate a friendly power band that progressively gains steam with revs. As expected, power through the middle and top of the rev range is more peppy, and dare we say, a bit exciting! This adds versatility and lets it cruise competently at freeway speeds. Engine vibration creeps through the controls north of 7,000 rpm, but considering the Ninja 400’s bargain basement price of 4.69 lakh we won’t deem this a knock.
A thicker fork pays big dividends in the handling department offering superior road holding than ever before.
kawasaki 400 put down 43.4 horsepower and 38 Nm torque @ 8000 rpm at the rear wheel. The digital fuel-injection provides clean, accurate throttle response that’s neither too aggressive, nor too mild—a benefit for all riders. Adjustable engine power modes and traction control are absent but we never missed these features.
Ninjas are renowned for a powerful engine shriek that keeps things fun behind the windscreen. This attribute is alive in the 400, and it offering more fun-loving flavor than we ever remember. The higher the rpm the more enjoyable the cockpit sound, making you feel like you’re riding the mightiest Ninja of them all—the ZX-10R—only in a smaller, safer, (relatively speaking), and more manageable package.
The neatly integrated negative-lit LCD instrument panel (white numbers on black background) is easy to read, even during the sun’s high noon rays. It comes complete with all the goodies you expect in a modern motorcycle Intrument cluster, including speed and fuel economy. A swept-face tachometer is front and center and includes a gear position indicator that comes in extremely handy for both newbies and experienced riders. 400 has better fuel efficiency. it has Mileage from 23-26 Km/l and the fuel tank capacity is 14 litres which have the range over 320 km on good speed. The six-speed manual gearbox gives positive shifts, so you know when you’re making a gear change, and riders with modest hand strength will appreciate the clutch’s easier one-finger squeeze. On the other hand, its action feels a tad dainty for more experienced folks. Regardless, it works well. Another benefit that all should appreciate is the slipper/back-torque limiting function that inhibits rear wheel instability.
The liquid-cooled twin sits in a fresh steel-trellis frame equipped with a new swingarm. The bike’s wheelbase is nearly inch-shorter than the 300’s for added maneuverability— a trait that the previous Ninja 300 certainly didn’t lack. A thicker fork along with a larger, 310mm rotor round out the list of chassis improvements. All told, the Ninja 400 is 8 kg lighter than its predecessor, with a fully fueled claimed curb weight of 166.015 kilograms
The front brake rotor grows to 310mm. This along with the upgraded master cylinder offer a more substantial feel when the front lever is squeezed.
The ergonomics were tweaked a bit—the clip-ons moved rearward along with the rider’s foot controls. Seated at the helm, the Ninja remains in the smaller street bike spectrum—especially with its low 785mm seat height (unchanged from the 300). However, its cockpit is more aptly proportioned and will be appreciated by tall and short folks alike.
Whether on the road or the track, the Ninja proved a capable platform. Although we never recall the 300 lacking any maneuverability, we were surprised by how much sharper the 400 steers. This was especially noticeable through sweeping low-to-medium speed bends. The improved turning breeds confidence, allowing you to place the Ninja exactly where your eyes desire. Stability and road holding during fast paced rides was a noticeable improvement thanks to the stiffer frame’s unwillingness to flex. This was especially apparent at the circuit.
the 400 offers even more nimble, and accurate handling.
The bike’s suspension is rather limited, with adjustment reduced to preload only at the rear. You’ll certainly feel some jolts when rolling over beat up pavement on the way to work or school, though. Sporty, five-spoke cast alloy wheels are shod with Dunlop Sportmax GPR-300 tires. The rubber is a nice upgrade from the IRC Road Winners, and they offer comparable grip with elevated road feel. Despite some niggling flaws, the new Ninja handled the twisties pretty well, and thanks to its respectable ground clearance we rarely touched foot peg feelers to pavement during aggressive riding.
The Ninja 400 more closely resembles its big brother, the Ninja ZX-10R.
The ABS makes the most of the hardware’s braking power without having to worry about skids, regardless of surface conditions or lever pressure. I enjoy the front brake’s more substantial feel when squeezed, it gives the 400 a big bike type of feel. One gripe though, the lever doesn’t offer position adjustment. To be fair, the fixed position was ideal for our medium-sized hand, but those with larger hands may think otherwise.
The 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 gets LED lighting front and back— impressive
Styling-wise the Ninja 400 has a lot in common with the rest of the Kawasaki sport family. We’re especially fond of the H2-inspired tail and the LED headlamps and tail light. Although i didn’t ride at night, i rode through a dark, tree-canopied stretch of road and could see the headlight’s light stream a few bike length ahead.
We appreciate Kawasaki’s attention to detail in the styling department, including this H2 inspired tail lamp.
The Ninja 400 is a would-be sport rider’s dream come true. Lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, the new machine adds a layer of versatility that’s often missing in the entry-level sportbike class. It’s a low-risk way to test the waters of motorcycling while offering enough satisfaction for owner’s.