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Discussion Starter #1
So I just got back from my first proper ride (80km) on my new Ninja 400 and I thought I would give a quick overview on my thoughts. Bear in mind that I'm not a very experienced rider and I've only owned one bike prior to this, a Honda CBR250R. With that in mind here are my thoughts...

1) Breaking in the engine....the manual suggests that you shouldn't exceed 4000RPM for the first 800 km. On the motorway in 6th gear I was doing 80 kph in a 100 kph speed zone. Obviously not very safe so I quickly discarded the manuals advice and carried on at 100kph. Googling for the best way to break in an engine brings up a whole plethora of differing advice so I just rode the bike gently keeping it below about 7k RPM.

2) Handling...I was expecting the Ninja to be nimble and handle very well through traffic and into corners based on what others have said but I was still surprised by how good it is. This thing feels more agile than my Honda... 10/10 here

3) Power...as mentioned above I didn't really push the bike but when I did twist the throttle a little bit I felt like the bike really wanted to get up and go. There is definitely enough low down power and torque to make commuting easy and I can't wait to see how the top end feels once Ive run the engine in.

3) Ergonomics....I'm about 5ft9 and the bike felt pretty comfy to me. I did feel a little bit more squished up compared with my Honda but nothing major. The seat is comfortable but my ass was starting to hurt a bit by the time I got back from my 80k ride. I also had to adjust my gear lever quite a bit (thanks youtube for showing me how to do this) as the setup from the shop meant I could hardly fit my boot between the footpeg and gear lever to change up. I'll have to work out how to do the rear brake lever as well.

4) Other stuff....the dash on this thing is very tricked out and it was cool playing around with the different settings. I like having a gear indicator on a new bike while I get used to it as well.

Also, the bike seemed to either be running hot or the normal operating temperature is only 1 or 2 bars from the top of the gauge. My Honda's normal temp is exactly 1/2 way so I was surprised to see the temp gauge moving so far up. Having said that it is a really hot day here so that is probably affecting the bike a bit.

The mirrors on the bike are good and I had good visibility behind me. If anything the mirrors might stick out a little bit too far and might make filtering through tight traffic a bit harder but I guess we'll see.

Thats about all I can think of. Hope that helps someone out a bit :)
 

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Thanks for the review. What other settings can you do on the gauge? I didn't find any videos on it on youtube.
 

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Nice one mate. Yeah I remember the temp bars on my CBR's sitting bang on half way regardless of what the day was like so I guessed those bikes had a very good temperature regulation system. Will be interesting to see what the consensus is on where the gauge sits on the Ninja when we get a few more members with bikes.

I'm 5ft 10.5 so will be interesting to see if I feel a bit cramped too. It appears the seat height is low and the pegs reasonably high, not a good combo for long legs.

The seat seems to be getting a few mentions in reviews, I'm wondering if it is not as good as the CBR250/300 which is a good long distance seat IMO.

Anyways, glad the weather cleared enough for you to get a ride in.
 

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Can anyone think of reason on why the temp gauge would be reading so hot for several different new owners? From what I've been reading across different threads, it seems most new buyers plan on utilizing a pretty tough break in process, so curious if these high temperature readings are normal, or something to be concerned about.
 

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My brand new N650 with the same gauge cluster, it too runs 1-2 bar from the top. Seems like a poor electronic gauge implementation vs actual problem to me. The entire world is trained to look for these types of gauges to be centered when all is well. I've only noticed the cooling fan once in a hundred miles, so it sure ain't overheating. *shrug*
 

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" so it sure ain't overheating. *shrug* I have to agree since the last couple of Kawi's I've owned all seemed to read a bit high on the gauge but they never overheated. I don't think the gauges are designed so that normal is right in the middle of the range but slightly higher. After I get my 400 I'll chime in again if it's any different than how my ZX-6R was. As long as the fan is running and no coolant is seen, then it's not overheating.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the review. What other settings can you do on the gauge? I didn't find any videos on it on youtube.
The gauge has odometer, trip meter 1, trip meter 2, clock, economical riding indicator, fuel and temp gauge, gear position, current fuel mileage, average mileage and cruising range. Along with the gear indicator there is a green light that lights up when you are in neutral which is easier to see if you are directly in the sun. Hope that helps :)
 

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Ninja 1000 also has the same gauge cluster as someone else pointed out ... guess what? From the N1000 forum: "... the digital temp gauge went up to one bar below the top. Is that normal?"
 

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First Ride on my Ninja 400

I just bought the Bike on Feb 3 and did the Paperwork and rolled this out of the Dealership. I started the Engine and it was running fast and sound a little rough at first and then it Idled down and started running really smooth. I had to adjust the mirrors and they seemed to be really stiff and had to tweak them kinda hard. So afterward I pulled in the Clutch and it was really easy with a really light touch, shifted to first gear and took off on the service road behind the shop. The engine had a really smooth sound and the stock exhaust sounded a little louder and throatier than most stock Bikes that I have ridden before. It seemed a little more louder than the Ninja 300 that I bought, when it first came out about 5 years ago. The Transmission shifted really smooth and really precise both up and down shifting and seemed really firm because of the New Engine. I took the Bike about 1/2 mile down the service road and went all the way up to 6th gear and down really easy not to go past about 4500rs for the Engine Break In. But even in the low RPM range this bike seemed to have more Punch and Thrust than my Ninja 300 that I had, that was all Modified. The Bike seemed a lot lighter and had more precise GYRO type of feel. But was really careful because of the new Tires. It was 30F outside and it was windy and COLD to say the least. The Bike did really well under these conditions. The Fairing seemed to really cut the wind pretty well

All in All, The looks of the Bike, the Paint and the finish, the Frame, the Engine, the Speedo Cluster, and the seat. Both rider and passenger seemed to be really great and smooth and by the numbers.... I do plan on doing the Mods as soon as the manufacturers start producing these soon. I will probably go with a Full System Yoshimura with the R11 Can or go with the Full System Akrapovic with either the Computer Flash or the Power Commander 5 with Ignition Advancer like my Ninja 300 that I used to have. I also really want to get a light black smoked Zero Gravity Corsa windscreen like the one that I had on my 300 too. But for now I will do a very easy Break In and do the service right at 500 miles for sure... This Bike says in the manual that it has a 2.4 quart oil capacity with the filter. And you can get these filters at Wal Mart for a really good price. It appears to be the same filter as the Ninja 300. For gearing it has a 14 tooth countershaft sprocket in the front and a 41 tooth in the rear. The Gear Ratio seemed to be okay during my Test Run, but that could change later on when I do the Mods. The Gas Tank seemed to be more narrow and carries less fuel than the Ninja 300. But it still goes over 200 miles on a tank before going empty.

After a week of ownership (Feb 12). All is going very well on my Bike. The weather is cold and windy and have not had much chance of going really far at all. I have right at 70 Miles on the Odometer. And just put some fresh fuel in the Tank, (No Ethanol 87 grade). And when it is broken in..I will go higher to 89 Octane. The Bike seems to be really solid and really takes the road bumps and irregularities really well. Better than my Ninja 300 as a comparison. I just ordered my first Mod today. A TST Fender Eliminator and will be contacting Zero Gravity by Phone tomorrow to ask about a Smoked Black CORSA Windscreen and try to prime them to produce one really soon. It still may take awhile on the Full System Exhaust... Just one step at a time and hopefully I can have all the Mods by Summer Including the Full System Exhaust and the Tune...... But for now. My Ninja 400 is operating very Prime and even much better than the Ninja 300. :smile: Have a great Day
 

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Well I have had the chance to get almost a week's worth of commuting in before the remnants of Cyclone Gita called a halt to play.


FWIW I'm 168cm, and about 70kg (and 59 years old). For me the bike is really comfortable.


Running in is always a pain, but the new bike has substantially more power and torque than my old Ninja 300. Even having to keep the 4k rpm limit is no problem around town and in the suburbs. On the motorway 100kph (62 mph) is 6k rpm rather than 7k on the 300, and really doesn't seem to stress the motor in any way.


The 400 feels very stable with its new frame and larger diameter front forks. Turn in may be a wee bit slower than the 300, but it still feels quicker than most bikes.


So far I'm more than happy with my Ninja 400. Even Mrs Pwalo likes the SE colours, which is probably all that really counts.


Post some more comments when I have some more saddle time.
 

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Good evening!

I'm brand new to the site and originally Google searched coolant temps running high on ninja 400 and this post popped up. I am having the Same "issue" with my bike as well...it's reading one, sometimes two bars below the top. Maybe it's just the instrumentation like others have said but I guess only time will tell...figured I'd say something on here just to tally another.
 

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Good evening!

I'm brand new to the site and originally Google searched coolant temps running high on ninja 400 and this post popped up. I am having the Same "issue" with my bike as well...it's reading one, sometimes two bars below the top. Maybe it's just the instrumentation like others have said but I guess only time will tell...figured I'd say something on here just to tally another.
Interesting... what sort of a climate do you live in? I'm thinking if these bikes can handle the humid heat of Bangkok city, Thailand where they are made then they should be able to handle anything outside of that.
I've just clocked up 1000km / 600 miles today and it hasn't gone above three bars in that time. Sometimes drops to two bars. But I live in a coolish climate and havent ridden it in more than 25 degrees C.
 

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Interesting... what sort of a climate do you live in? I'm thinking if these bikes can handle the humid heat of Bangkok city, Thailand where they are made then they should be able to handle anything outside of that.
I've just clocked up 1000km / 600 miles today and it hasn't gone above three bars in that time. Sometimes drops to two bars. But I live in a coolish climate and havent ridden it in more than 25 degrees C.
Kiwi you're right and normally this shouldn't be an issue.
Only one thing is important to say, when the temperature is showing at the last bar then the fan should (must) turn on.
When the fan doesn't turn on then there could be a problem.
 

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Kiwi you're right and normally this shouldn't be an issue.
Only one thing is important to say, when the temperature is showing at the last bar then the fan should (must) turn on.
When the fan doesn't turn on then there could be a problem.


I live in FL and yesterday when I noticed it, it was probably around 74 degrees. There is only about 40 miles on the bike so I won't be too concerned until after the break in period. I'll keep y'all posted.
 

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I live in the Northeast USA and my temperature gauge has only hit 3 bars one time. The ambient temperature has only been a high of 53f today, which has been the warmest day I have ridden in.
 

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Don't worry about it, as long as the fans turn on at the second to last or last bar, then you're fine. Overthinking is just going to stress you out, if reservoir seems fine, fluid is filled to the right level, and no leaks, then just let the bike worry about the rest. ;)
 

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First Ride review =

:grin:

Today is the first day I have used my new Ninja for the daily commute to work. It is only 15 miles and the temps this morning were 39 f, with a set of chaps and a leather jacket I was good to go. I have been very light on the throttle up until the 140 mile mark on the speedometer as the initial 50 miles reminded me of a sewing machine. After about 80 miles the engine started smoothing out.
During the morning commute I did notice the 5000 rpm vibration in the handlebars, but it seemed to smooth out after 5800 rpms. I will keep a watch on the vibration to see if it calms down with more miles on the engine.
The handling of the bike is spot on, I really enjoyed flicking it through the traffic. I have ridden many bikes over the years, but the 400 seems to be the most refined in handling. With the weather being cold thus far while I have been riding, I am sure the suspension fluids are cold and the viscosity is thick, which is attributing to a very tight suspension.
The performance of the engine (up to 7k rpm's) does bring a smile to my face. I could just blip the throttle and pass around cars with ease. Mind you I have been riding a 250 ninja for a few years, which can easily pass around cars up to about 85 mph, but slower at passing than the 400. I have had a few 1000cc Guzzi twins that I don't believe would hold a candle to the Ninja 400. Though the Guzzi's I could put the speedometer on 90 mph and just cruise all day if the opportunity existed. I am looking forward to getting the break-in completed and run the bike up to full throttle. I noticed the engine did hit 7700 rpm's at one point, (well I was attempting to pass up a moving road block in all 3 lanes, which the 400 made it by them with ease). The engine really has some punch. I will have to agree, it is a pocket rocket.
Speedometer seems to be a bit exaggerated from the actual speed. I will check that out during my "Big Ride" planned in April with a GPS.
The brakes are impressive for just slowing down when needed. Though I didn't have the bike on a track, pressing the bike above 100 mph, and having to jam on the brakes to make a hairpin turn multiple times. With that said, they didn't fade on me during the commute.
I worked 8 hrs today and had different people come and ask me about my new bike, as this was the first time they had seen it. I couldn't wait to complete my day, clock out, and enjoy a few miles traveling back home. It was an enjoyable commute back home, I am looking forward to making quite a few more commutes on it.
I am scheduled to ride this weekend with a couple of BMW's (one is a 1200r, the other BMW model I will find out when I get to the meet up location.)
I will compare the performance to them while riding this weekend.

Wishing all a very safe riding season!
 

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@rde09 A good collection of observations there. Yes the vibes do smooth out above 6k RPM but I can't say mine has changed much now that I'm the high side of 1000 miles on the clock.
The little amount of input it takes on the bars to get this thing to turn in is incredible , esp with a low fuel tank. A very nimble machine.
I wouldn't say it's a revvy motor either, I find I just use the midrange and change up before 8K rpm usually.
Yes the speedo reads fast. I need to do a run with a GPS but it appears to read 5 or 6 kph fast at 100 kph.
Enjoy your commutes. Hope it warms up a bit!
 
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