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As far as I know they're all the same length regardless of which brand you go with. I think you'll find no problems with it though. I'm seeing guys running near lap record pace (MA Junior Cup pace) without any additional height.
We build our race spec Penske shocks significantly longer than OEM or any of the "off the shelf" shocks like Ktech and Ohlins, the bike needs more ride height and swingarm angle. Rocco was actually dragging foot pegs and shift/brake levers with his Woodcraft rearsets, which are slightly higher than Vortex. Raising the shock more lowered his lap times and subsquently helped ground clearance. win-win
 

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We build our race spec Penske shocks significantly longer than OEM or any of the "off the shelf" shocks like Ktech and Ohlins, the bike needs more ride height and swingarm angle. Rocco was actually dragging foot pegs and shift/brake levers with his Woodcraft rearsets, which are slightly higher than Vortex. Raising the shock more lowered his lap times and subsquently helped ground clearance. win-win
Out of curiosity...how much longer? I believe the Ohlins is 320mm standard and can be raised to 326 max (if I recall...I'd have to check the specs again).

Also, Rocco is an alien. That kid carries an insane amount of speed around turns!
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Rocco was actually dragging foot pegs and shift/brake levers with his Woodcraft rearsets, which are slightly higher than Vortex. Raising the shock more lowered his lap times and subsquently helped ground clearance. win-win
For me to get to dragging pegs, I need to have much more corner speeds / lean angle. I'm long ways from that now (maybe a year or two and I get close to there). For my pace, I dont think the shock will limit me from going faster. Until it limits me, I'll stick to the cheaper Ohlins shock, lol
 
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For me to get to dragging pegs, I need to have much more corner speeds / lean angle. I'm long ways from that now (maybe a year or two and I get close to there). For my pace, I dont think the shock will limit me from going faster. Until it limits me, I'll stick to the cheaper Ohlins shock, lol
For sure, makes sense. But it does come faster than you think because at the same time you go faster and lean angle increases, the suspension also compresses more which reduces clearance. And often times rumble strips are raised so you have to be careful if you're at max lean at an apex that you don't pass your peg over a raised rumble strip...
 

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Discussion Starter #47
For sure, makes sense. But it does come faster than you think because at the same time you go faster and lean angle increases, the suspension also compresses more which reduces clearance. And often times rumble strips are raised so you have to be careful if you're at max lean at an apex that you don't pass your peg over a raised rumble strip...
so true about rumble strips. Even with current leans, there's a few corners in the AFM calendar where, if not careful, scraping pegs on curbing will lift the rear. Few corners at Buttonwillow, Turns 4, 6, 9, 10 at Thunderhill and few more at Sonoma come to mind. I usually stay ~2 feet off those curbs, only knee on those curbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Finally, an update to this thread....

AFM Round 6, Thunderhill raceway was my first stop with the 400 race bike.

Friday trackday: Right off the first lap, clutch started slipping bad. I was in 6th gear, pinned throttle, look down...80mph :( and it kept slipping the whole session. Didnt want to risk burning it up, so after 3 laps, I pulled out of the track back into the pits.

Talked to a couple experts at the track, they recommended me to check the plates stack again. Opened up the case cover, puller apart the plates, sure enough, the last (on top), friction and metal plates were mixed up (friction-friction-metal-metal). Catalyst reaction Jim corrected that for me, but it took until after lunch to get it done. Went out the next session very skeptical, but it worked good :)

Started putting in some laps (maybe total 20 laps as lots of red flags cut down laps for everyone), got down to 2:06-2:08 pace, slightly faster than my pace on my R3 in races. I still felt slow in the corners, with just the 400 motor to thank for in achieving the same lap times.

Saturday practice and qualifying: Started putting together some consistent laps in the 2:06-2:07 range. Qualified 7th for Formula 3 (only class that has qualifying), not bad for first time out (2:06.7 without a tow or slipstream to follow).

Races: Race starts were horrible with this clutch. Couldnt get a feel during launch and always ended up behind even all novices. I worked my way around them and dropped down to 2:04's in the race (fairly decent), but only one lap on Saturday (only clear lap). On Sunday race, had a slightly better start, so hung around hte experts. Was able to pass a couple that have been racing this bike all season. I ended up mid-pack pace, consistent 2:04's, should've made at least one more pass, but I chickened out. This was my fastest ever lap time at this track, regardless of what bike I've ridden there, lol.

Next up, I'll probably need to start practicing starts/launches with this bike a lot more, to get clutch feel. Suspension/tire pressures needs more test/tuning sessions, rear tire was chewed up a bit where I get on the gas, and shiny edges.

Will post pics when they are ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Couple of other notes:

N400 feels no different to the R3, just more grunt coming out of corners, but easily manageable. Whole bike height needs to be raised a bit imho, maybe by ~5mm or so. I started scraping toes very soon, even when pulled up (Woodcraft rearsets). With these rearsets and Graves exhaust/hangar bracket, my right boot keeps getting stuck in the hangar all the right turns :(. Spears hangar bracket was worse for this issue. Chuck Graves got me a bracket off one of his bikes at the track when I complained to him.

Catalyst reaction Jim also helped me clear out the error codes, they didn't come back on, YAY!!
 

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Couple of other notes:

N400 feels no different to the R3, just more grunt coming out of corners, but easily manageable. Whole bike height needs to be raised a bit imho, maybe by ~5mm or so. I started scraping toes very soon, even when pulled up (Woodcraft rearsets). With these rearsets and Graves exhaust/hangar bracket, my right boot keeps getting stuck in the hangar all the right turns :(. Spears hangar bracket was worse for this issue. Chuck Graves got me a bracket off one of his bikes at the track when I complained to him.

Catalyst reaction Jim also helped me clear out the error codes, they didn't come back on, YAY!!
Going faster on it right off the bat. Sounds familiar to my experience ;)

The clutch and the issue of these bikes popping out of 5th gear are really the only negative things I found about the 400. The clutch is pretty soft, doesn't have much feel and is just too slippery IMO compared to the R3, however it can be made better without spending money on an aftermarket one. Spears plates, springs, and adding a spring to the clutch arm (whatever that pieces is called that the clutch cable attaches to) to pull back on it gives it a much better feel. The starts may just need a bit more practice. I've seen some people that get killer good starts and still using the bone stock clutch.

I agree about raising the bike a bit. What is your current front and rear height and what tires are you using? My rear is set as high as the shock length allows it to go, and I've raised my front a bit from where it was before, although I forgot what the stock front height is. I need to figure out a way to just get my foot pegs higher up a bit. Just 10-12 mm higher would be great I think. Right now they're as high as they go so I'll have to improvise.

How did you get the error codes cleared??
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Going faster on it right off the bat. Sounds familiar to my experience ;)

The clutch and the issue of these bikes popping out of 5th gear are really the only negative things I found about the 400. The clutch is pretty soft, doesn't have much feel and is just too slippery IMO compared to the R3, however it can be made better without spending money on an aftermarket one. Spears plates, springs, and adding a spring to the clutch arm (whatever that pieces is called that the clutch cable attaches to) to pull back on it gives it a much better feel. The starts may just need a bit more practice. I've seen some people that get killer good starts and still using the bone stock clutch.

I agree about raising the bike a bit. What is your current front and rear height and what tires are you using? My rear is set as high as the shock length allows it to go, and I've raised my front a bit from where it was before, although I forgot what the stock front height is. I need to figure out a way to just get my foot pegs higher up a bit. Just 10-12 mm higher would be great I think. Right now they're as high as they go so I'll have to improvise.

How did you get the error codes cleared??
There was a novice getting killer starts (I'd kill for those starts), but not sure what has been done to his bike. He looked like he has long dirt racing background (really good on the throttle, but couldnt get his body off correctly off the bike in turns).

I already have all the clutch upgrades from Norton installed, still slipping off gear occasionally, not a fan of those though.

Front: GP cartridge kit, at stock height
Rear: Ohlins KA744, raised right up to the notch in the shock
Tires: Pirelli DOT Supercorsa race tires, SC1 front and SC2 rear (140 rear)

Jim had a snap-on reader thingie, used that to clear the codes. They never popped back up as I disabled the PAIR valve and resistored the EVAP thingamajig, lol
 

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There was a novice getting killer starts (I'd kill for those starts), but not sure what has been done to his bike. He looked like he has long dirt racing background (really good on the throttle, but couldnt get his body off correctly off the bike in turns).

I already have all the clutch upgrades from Norton installed, still slipping off gear occasionally, not a fan of those though.

Front: GP cartridge kit, at stock height
Rear: Ohlins KA744, raised right up to the notch in the shock
Tires: Pirelli DOT Supercorsa race tires, SC1 front and SC2 rear (140 rear)

Jim had a snap-on reader thingie, used that to clear the codes. They never popped back up as I disabled the PAIR valve and resistored the EVAP thingamajig, lol

What is stock front height. My forks are set at 20mm above the top triple. Used to be at 25 before. My rear is probably pretty similar to yours then. I run the same tire and used to have the same shock. The Bitubo I have now is like 1 or 2 mm longer so not a big difference.
 

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Nicely done.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
What is stock front height. My forks are set at 20mm above the top triple. Used to be at 25 before. My rear is probably pretty similar to yours then. I run the same tire and used to have the same shock. The Bitubo I have now is like 1 or 2 mm longer so not a big difference.
Need to check/measure front height (likely closer to 25mm chrome tune on top of the upper triple). I'm gonna spend a weekend to evaluate geometry at Thudnerhill later in October. This is an attempt to improve rear tire wear and grip coming out of the corner (feel like rear is still too stiff when getting back on the gas, not loading the rear enough).
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Nicely done.
Thx. Getting to 2:04.0 was very sweet, especially on the first day I'm riding this bike. I feel with better setup work and bit more time, I can get to low to sub 2:03's next time out.

That said, I do love this bike more than my R3 :grin:
 

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Need to check/measure front height (likely closer to 25mm chrome tune on top of the upper triple). I'm gonna spend a weekend to evaluate geometry at Thudnerhill later in October. This is an attempt to improve rear tire wear and grip coming out of the corner (feel like rear is still too stiff when getting back on the gas, not loading the rear enough).

Doesn't surprise me if you have the Ohlins. That thing comes with a 105 spring, which was a bit too stiff even for me and I weigh 230 lbs without gear! From what I recall, you're a lot lighter than that, so that shock is way too stiff for you out of the box. I now have a 100 spring on my Bitubo and it feels a bit better.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Doesn't surprise me if you have the Ohlins. That thing comes with a 105 spring, which was a bit too stiff even for me and I weigh 230 lbs without gear! From what I recall, you're a lot lighter than that, so that shock is way too stiff for you out of the box. I now have a 100 spring on my Bitubo and it feels a bit better.
Yup, a lot lighter, lol.

I've got 2-day Carter's school lined up on Oct 14/15 to get to work on trying different geometries and setup. Hoping to dial the bike in during that time. It always helps to have one of the best, if not the best, suspension guru trackside for this (Dave Moss), for free on Monday (cost is covered by the school).

Apart from that, I've ordered the blue printed shift shaft and 5-spring Yoyodyne clutch from @Norton-motorsports. Will install that as soon as I get it in (hope before those trackdays). Last race of the year is the following weekend Oct 19/20. Gotto smash my PB in that event for sure (wishlist).
 

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Yup, a lot lighter, lol.

I've got 2-day Carter's school lined up on Oct 14/15 to get to work on trying different geometries and setup. Hoping to dial the bike in during that time. It always helps to have one of the best, if not the best, suspension guru trackside for this (Dave Moss), for free on Monday (cost is covered by the school).

Apart from that, I've ordered the blue printed shift shaft and 5-spring Yoyodyne clutch from @Norton-motorsports. Will install that as soon as I get it in (hope before those trackdays). Last race of the year is the following weekend Oct 19/20. Gotto smash my PB in that event for sure (wishlist).

I just saw the shift shaft from Norton the other day. Seem interesting. I already made a list for winter upgrades and had the Spears washer kit on there, but have a modified shaft is probably a better solution. Of course it's more expensive but if it completely solves the popping out of gear issues, it would be worth the money.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
I just saw the shift shaft from Norton the other day. Seem interesting. I already made a list for winter upgrades and had the Spears washer kit on there, but have a modified shaft is probably a better solution. Of course it's more expensive but if it completely solves the popping out of gear issues, it would be worth the money.
you know how it is....everything's the final solution until it isn't, lol
 
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