The all-new Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS and Ninja 400 is raising the bar for the super competitive small displacement sportbike class. The new “baby Ninja” is not so small anymore with its 399cc engine and host of other features aimed at a broad range of riders. The sporty, lightweight, nimble handling platform of the Ninja 400 should offer riders plenty of excitement for riders of all levels.
Kawasaki pioneered the small bike market with its Ninja 250R motorcycle and is banking on the Ninja 400 to follow the same formula as its predecessors. The power delivery was designed to be smooth and manageable, with abundant low-end torque to give smooth throttle control for all riders. Complementing the performance and handling of the new Ninja 400 looks the part of a proper sports bike, which the company thinks will catch the eye of even the most seasoned of riders.
The Ninja 400 is packed with premium components and advanced technology, such as the 310 mm front disc and 41mm inverted fork. Supplying the power to let the good times roll is an all-new 399cc parallel twin four-stroke engine, which is paired with an all-new lightweight trellis frame.
The engine design contributes to the lightweight of the bike and was achieved through a number of components. The aluminum die-cast cylinder with an open-deck design offers excellent heat dissipation and contributes to low engine weight; it is also sleeveless and features plated bores. The cylinder has been tilted forward 20 degrees to aid in achieving a short engine. A flatter piston crown with reduced squish bumps the compression ratio to 11.5:1. Oil jets help cool the underside of the pistons to allow for a lighter piston design. Also aiding in the creation of a lighter and shorter engine was the decision to move the cam chain to the outside of the engine and the primary reduction gear line inside; it also shifts engine volume forward so that the rear of the engine could be slim. Forged camshafts, were also utilized to contribute to the weight reduction efforts for the Ninja 400, saving nearly a half-pound. Additionally, a completely revised layout for the cooling system minimizes external piping and saves weight.
There are four models in the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 motorcycle family. These include the standard (non-ABS) model which are available in two colors: Candy Plasma Blue or Metallic Spark Black. The Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS, which comes in Metallic Spark Black or Pearl Solar Yellow/Pearl Storm Grey/Ebony. The Ninja 400 ABS Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) Edition is available in a striking combination of Lime Green and Ebony. The KRT Edition offers an exclusive look inspired by the World Superbike racing team and features Lime Green/Ebony bodywork.
MSRP: Ninja 400 $4,999; Ninja 400 ABS $5,299; Ninja 400 ABS Pearl Solar Yellow/Pearl Storm Grey/Ebony $5,499; Ninja 400 ABS KRT Edition $5,499.