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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a grey/gold ABS 400 today for my wife for her first bike. Got a **** of a deal on it; dealer said it was the first unit sold in CA. Not sure if that's true or not, but seems plausible given they just got them yesterday. Walked out the door with the bike for MSRP + tax.

Wife is really excited about it, bike handled great (can you say featherweight) but looking forward to when aftermarket parts start hitting the shelves. Will upload pics later.
 

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Hey Pat, welcome to the forum and congrats on being the first member to actually get one of the new 400's. Your wife is a lucky lady!
I hope you dont mind me making a new thread about this but I felt it warranted it. We've been waiting a while! :D
Lots of us are jealous I'm sure. Feel free to tell us more of your observations having ridden the bike and what you are comparing it to that you have ridden previously. Some pics would be great too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Seems like there is a great group of people on here; I appreciate the warm welcome. Meant to write a brief review and upload some pics earlier but we are in a huge push at work so I only recently got home. Phone camera is broken so I'll use the wife's and get some pictures later on. For now I'll write a brief review based on my initial experiences with the bike. My riding background: I've been riding a heavily modified '15 FZ-07 for the past two years that doesn't resemble the original bike; everything from the headlight, suspension, bars, grips, fueling, exhaust, chain/sprocket, and bodywork has been modified or upgraded. I've gotten accustomed to the low end grunt of the FZ, but it's also ready to sing it's heart out to 9k and pull the whole time. I'm very particular about how my bikes are set up and I do all of my own work; with that in mind, I plan on making a good number of modifications to the Ninja 400. I am in no means saying the 400 is in dire need of fixing, but there are several things I would like to tweak.

Fit and Finish
Especially given the price of the bike, I'm happy with the fit and finish all around. I have (or rather the wife has) the grey/black/gold model, and the fairing and plastics have high quality paint and look quite sharp in person. The analog tach looks great next to the LCD cluster and in general the whole instrument layout feels very high end. Main gripes would be the boxy swing arm; I feel it looks cheap and kind of distracts from the overall sporty aesthetic. The license plate mount/rear turn signals are pretty ugly as well, but that's the norm with new bikes these days and is easily fixed with a tail tidy.

Ergonomics
Seat height is extremely manageable unless you happen to be really short. My wife, who is 5' 5" finds the height to be perfect. The bike is narrow so it doesn't feel like your legs are straddling a cow. I can't say I'm too happy with the stock levers and throttle feel; I'll be swapping those out shortly. For smaller hands, the clutch pull is quite short and insanely easy to pull. I've never ridden a bike with such a light and short clutch pull. In terms of seating position, it is a mix between comfy and sporty, but not too sporty. You can definitely get down on the tank, but to do so properly you are going to need a new pair of rearsets.

Ride
I was pleased with the bike's suspension action on my initial ride. No jarring from high speed suspension events (bumps and pot holes) and no significant brake dive or squatting under acceleration (low speed suspension events). This surprised me since damping rod forks typically dive hard under braking, as was the case with my FZ until I swapped for cartridges. Given the price point of the bike I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised. Brake feel was decent and I have a feeling will become a good bit better after some modifications. This bike is extraordinarily light and the low CG makes it easy to maneuver. I almost felt like I was riding a bicycle through the few turns I took on the way home from the dealer and I mean that in the best way possible. Seems like this machine has some great canyon carving potential, which is where most of my riding takes place. Power delivery was smooth, but I wasn't too happy with the throttle feel. That's an easy fix, as I suspect that the throttle cables are stretching and need to be tightened. My other complaint is just how quiet the 399 cc motor is. Granted, I didn't wind it up past 8k (and I have no plans of doing so until it is properly broken in), but it sounded like a sewing machine to me, and I wasn't even wearing ear plugs. My FZ is loud as **** and sounds like a straight piped V8 racing boat motor, so I'm probably a bit biased here. I think a good quality exhaust system (not just a slip on) and an ECU reflash could do wonders in improving the visceral feel of the bike, as well as getting some more oomph out of it. That being said, I haven't given the motor a fair shot yet, and I could feel its potential picking up as I reached the 8k RPM threshold. It seems like this bike will reward you for wringing its neck, just like a two stoke or a 600 cc class sport bike.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the Ninja 400, but I can't wait to start modifying it. Hope this helps anyone who is interested in purchasing this motorcycle. Like I said I'll upload some pics and probably a modification list at a later time. Given that this is the wife's bike I can't get too carried away. My intention is to set it up for her quite nicely while also pacifying my inner perfectionist when it's my turn to ride it. The good news is that while there are few direct fit parts available for the Ninja 400 at the moment, there are a good deal of universal and Ninja 300 parts that will fit and can be had now. I'm sure the aftermarket will be picking up steadily over the next few months as the bike sells.
 

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Awesome review, thanks for taking the time Pat. :)

As a sports rider I'm very pleased to hear it is a sweet handling bike with well damped suspension. Front end dive has been an issue with most of the 300 class bikes historically.

Agree on the cheap box section swing arm. But when I saw that the price was the same as the 300 I felt less bothered!
 

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Thanks for sharing man, appreciate your early impressions of the bike. Glad to hear its lived up to your expectations, and most the changes you plan on making are relatively minor. I definitely see it being a little difficult to take the bike for what it is stock, as what your comparing it to, seems to be a highly tuned machine. Look forward to seeing pictures and hearing about your modification plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pearl Yellow/Grey/Black bike pics

Here's some photos of the bike, really digging this color scheme. So far I've removed the front reflectors and swapped the stock battery with a Shorai Lithium LFX14A4-BS12. It was just about drop in but required a some minor modifications. I'll post a quick DIY for anyone who is interested. Bunch more parts incoming, I'll update as I install/modify.







 

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Here's some photos of the bike, really digging this color scheme. So far I've removed the front reflectors and swapped the stock battery with a Shorai Lithium LFX14A4-BS12. It was just about drop in but required a some minor modifications. I'll post a quick DIY for anyone who is interested. Bunch more parts incoming, I'll update as I install/modify.







Gorgeous bike! The front signals look to be the same as the 300 and the tail light looks to be the same as the 2016+ zx10. Any insight into either of these?
 

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Thanks for the pics Pat, I really like that color, solid choice, love the yellow accents throughout. Do we know if this color variation is available across all markets? Not sure if I remember seeing it available in Canada. I've seen there is an exclusive red/black color scheme in Thailand.
 

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Appreciate your taking the time to add the excellent photos. This color does stand out in a really nice way! Audi calls that "Aviator Grey". The bike looks like a work of art! Definitely keep us posted on your upcoming mods....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the pics Pat, I really like that color, solid choice, love the yellow accents throughout. Do we know if this color variation is available across all markets? Not sure if I remember seeing it available in Canada. I've seen there is an exclusive red/black color scheme in Thailand.
I haven't seen the grey/yellow/black for Canada yet. Only black and the KRT version linked below. But who knows, might be an option...
https://www.kawasaki.ca/product/ninja-400-kawasaki-racing-team
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Appreciate your taking the time to add the excellent photos. This color does stand out in a really nice way! Audi calls that "Aviator Grey". The bike looks like a work of art! Definitely keep us posted on your upcoming mods....
Just got new grips, brake and clutch levers that match the color scheme, axle block sliders, bar ends, tank gripper, and spools. Also dropped the new Li Ion battery in. Will take pics after everything is installed. There will be some retrofitting since some of the parts are specific to the Ninja 300/250.

After that, waiting until the following aftermarket parts are released, then will install with a vengence:
Full exhaust system
Tail tidy (can't come soon enough)
Radiator guard (might machine my own)
Front axle sliders (tried to retrofit the Ninja 300 axle sliders from R&G but the axle nut size is just too large on the 400)

Might also consider adding a high flow air filter and deleting the intake snorkel as a final mod. If I go that route, I'll need to do a tune to prevent a lean condition. Not sure I want to get that carried away. Maybe if the wife wants a little more power.

Talked with a guy from Yoshimura earlier today, he says there will be both a slip on and a full exhaust system, as well as a tail tidy and possibly some other parts. I'd like to try a Yoshi exhaust on this bike; it sounds like they've been working on development for a while now and are close to releasing something "soon." I wouldn't be surprised if that's a month or two from now. Bike's barely been out on the streets.
 

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Congratulations on your new purchase. Nice to have the review from you as I am thinking to order one as well. Was considering either the CBR 500R or Ninja 400. Seems 500R is kind of outdated but cost a lot more with that extra 100 cc. Nice yellow/grey colour combo but I don't think this colour scheme is available in Canada. Looking forward to see more pics with mods on your new N400!
 
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