Ninja 400 Riders Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy everyone,

I'm in a bit of quandary with regards to choosing my next bike and was hoping to solicit some feedback on these forums. Especially from those who have taken the step down in displacement like I'm currently considering doing.

Here's the low down: I currently ride a Suzuki V-Strom 650 but find it a little...well...boring. I originally got it to do some long distance touring, but some recent life changes put an end to those plans for the time being. So I currently just use it for my daily back-road commute to work. And since I no longer need a super comfortable highway tourer, I've been considering getting rid of it and getting a Ninja 400 instead. Mainly for the fun factor. Not only is the V-Strom a little too 'tame' for lack of a better word, it's also a top heavy pig. I've always liked small, light bikes, but up until the N400 came around, felt that the current crop of "beginner bikes" (I hate that term) still seemed a little under powered for my needs.

My only concern is the power and amount thereof. I've been riding for quite a few years and the smallest bike, displacement wise I've ever had was a 550, and even that was an inline 4 screamer. I've seen the Ninja's specs on paper but the biggest problem is there are no dealerships that allow test rides (or have any demos available due to the global supply chain situation) in my neck of the woods, so was hoping to use this forum to hear some real life experiences from members who've taken a similar step down in displacement. (And of course always happy to hear from first time owners/riders as well) Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
2017 Suzuki GSXR1000 2010 Suzuki GSXR600 x2 2018/19 N400
Joined
·
859 Posts
well the one thing I can say and attest to as many "veteran" riders,this bike won't disappoint ! there are some of that have and still ride 200+hp superbikes and this thing hands down it waaaaaaay more fun,agile and easy on tyres !!! end of the day it's what type of riding you will do and as far as power...well that's an endless discussion to few and to other of us....there are many on the track and street on bigger sportbikes that get a good lickn from us "veteran" riders on the N400 !
 

·
Registered
2020 Kawasaki EX400HJF Ninja, 2020 Kawasaki Z400
Joined
·
14 Posts
Howdy everyone,

I'm in a bit of quandary with regards to choosing my next bike and was hoping to solicit some feedback on these forums. Especially from those who have taken the step down in displacement like I'm currently considering doing.

Here's the low down: I currently ride a Suzuki V-Strom 650 but find it a little...well...boring. I originally got it to do some long distance touring, but some recent life changes put an end to those plans for the time being. So I currently just use it for my daily back-road commute to work. And since I no longer need a super comfortable highway tourer, I've been considering getting rid of it and getting a Ninja 400 instead. Mainly for the fun factor. Not only is the V-Strom a little too 'tame' for lack of a better word, it's also a top heavy pig. I've always liked small, light bikes, but up until the N400 came around, felt that the current crop of "beginner bikes" (I hate that term) still seemed a little under powered for my needs.

My only concern is the power and amount thereof. I've been riding for quite a few years and the smallest bike, displacement wise I've ever had was a 550, and even that was an inline 4 screamer. I've seen the Ninja's specs on paper but the biggest problem is there are no dealerships that allow test rides (or have any demos available due to the global supply chain situation) in my neck of the woods, so was hoping to use this forum to hear some real life experiences from members who've taken a similar step down in displacement. (And of course always happy to hear from first time owners/riders as well) Thanks in advance.
I traded in my 2017 Ninja 650 ABS for a 2020 Z400. The 650 was about 65 lbs.(30kgs) heavier and felt noticeably top-heavy, especially in slow in-town traffic. If you don't ride two-up most of the time, you may consider it a worthwhile trade-off to get the flickability and light weight. However, the 400 is much slower at highway speeds (as one would expect) and requires a little more planning for merging and passing. The two main criteria would be A) how often do you ride two-up? and B) how much do you ride on Interstate-type highways? Best solution would be to keep your DL650 AND buy a 400. One can never have too many bikes, LOL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Go for it! The N400 has plenty of power to have fun with. The light weight and flickability make up for the lack in HP. It's probably just as fast 0-60 and the 1/4 mile as your DL. But when the roads get twisty it will feel much faster...

I've had many high HP bikes over the years and I was pleasantly surprised with the N400...
 

·
Registered
2017 Suzuki GSXR1000 2010 Suzuki GSXR600 x2 2018/19 N400
Joined
·
859 Posts
@Qwank127 squids I don't know don't like it when I shoot by them as they try to enter a corner !!! they can pass in a straight and park in the corners :sleep::sleep: I don't even consider the OPs bike a BIG bike...never the less,have to ride..I mean REALLY ride one to get the most enjoyment outa it !! not for everyone that's for sure
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
I have a S1KRR, since end of 2018, and a Ninja 400, since start of 2021. Street Triple 660 before that for 4 years. The Ninja 400 is a lot more fun to ride. The relatively low weight makes it super easy to chuck around, and makes you feel a lot more confident. I went from being on a faster bike, trying to keep up, but generally losing a friend on a ZX636 to leading and losing him in a short period of time.

The only time I miss the S1KRR is when stuck behind slow cars, as it requires much less planning to overtake.

That being said, pushing the Ninja 400 a bunch has made me a better/faster rider on the S1KRR, which has also increased the fun factor on that side of things.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ninja 400 ABS in Candy Red
Joined
·
89 Posts
I have a ‘20 R1250R, which has 136hp and 105 ft. lbs. of monstrous boxer-engine torque, and a ‘18 N400 that I bought several months ago. While the BMW is admittedly my favorite and main bike, I still have a great time on the Ninja and have put around 1500 miles on it. There’s a great deal of fun to have with a bike that’s so light and nimble and has a decent power/weight ratio if you keep it above 7K.

After riding for decades, since the age of ten, would I be satisfied with the N400 as my only bike? No, I honestly wouldn’t…there’s no getting away from its comparatively modest torque, lack of power to consistently pass safely, highway stability issues with its light weight, relative lack of suspension fine tuning, and no real pillion comfort.

But if judged within the lightweight, small-cc group in which it belongs, I don’t believe there’s a better option to be had. That said, if you find your larger bike “too tame” and are looking for a ”screamer” to match or exceed the bigger bikes you’ve had, I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment by stepping down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment! Really good info.

A couple points about passing power gives me pause... I don’t do highways (if I can at all avoid it) but the back roads I take are generally high speed and require overtaking when there’s slower vehicles/trailers/farm equipment etc. So this is something I’ll have to take into consideration. Also the cross winds can be quite gusty sometimes & I’ve heard some conflicting info as to how the light weight Ninja might handle this.

To be clear, I’m no speed freak and though big torque and acceleration is always addictive, I think what it really comes down to for me are the handling characteristics of light bikes (and cars for that matter). The “flickability factor”, if you will. This is why the N400 appeals to me at the moment.

The DL is not a bad bike by any means; it does everything asked of it perfectly adequately and makes for a comfortable commuter. But since I’m taking a temporary hiatus from long distance riding for the time being, might as well experiment with a bike I can really wring out and squirrel through the gears on. But also has to be one I can live with on a daily basis (as opposed to just canyon carving with on Sundays) That’s where my head is at the moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
A couple points about passing power gives me pause... I don’t do highways (if I can at all avoid it) but the back roads I take are generally high speed and require overtaking when there’s slower vehicles/trailers/farm equipment etc. So this is something I’ll have to take into consideration. Also the cross winds can be quite gusty sometimes & I’ve heard some conflicting info as to how the light weight Ninja might handle this.
To be fair, my comparison was to a superbike, and my overtaking areas where it gets to me are fairly short. Still manage it, but it requires a bit more planning than something that hits dumb speeds very quickly. I never really end up held up for significant periods of time, but can be a little annoying if you're riding with someone on a beast bike that has pulled off an overtake you can't do safely.

Never really had issues with wind, but I live in a particularly windy area so have a bit of experience with it. I only used it on the road for 2000km/something though, before letting registration lapse because a race ready bike is annoying to get dressed up for road again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
914 Posts
I have a GSXR 600 & 750 along with the 400 in my current stable. I ride them all on the track.
The 400 is hands down the most comfortable and fun bike too ride on the track. If back roads and twisties are your thing, you can’t go wrong with the 400. Sure you might have too plan your car passes on the back roads but the 400 is very capable and it’s lite weight make it a blast on back roads. Ok I am gonna throw a curve ball at you, how about the Yamaha R7. Haven’t ridden one yet nor seen one in person. But all the reviews I have seen say it’s another fun bike!!! 🤔🤔🤔
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Yes. Just plain yes. Do it. For the price point, you will not regret it. Guarantee. As far as weight and power on all conditions, yes, some extra planning. BUT, in the fun zone of 30 to 70 mph, the N400 is just ridiculous fun. Honestly, passing on route 1 twisties not a problem. High winds, not a problem, just be loose. Get it! It is currently my only, and love it. While the rear seat is a bit lacking, not bad for a couple hours for the lady. Depending on the lady of course!
 

·
Registered
21 N400, USB, Air delete, full exhaust,Hi flow filter/snorkel delete, Clutch springs
Joined
·
62 Posts
Here are my thoughts after putting about 1200 miles on my Ninja 400.
Overall power: great for around town and commuting. No problem pulling away from traffic and staying ahead of the pack.
Highway power: It’s all relative. It’s still faster than most cars on the road and acceleration is strong up to about 100 mph. After that it kind of hits a wall and creeps up to a top speed of 110-120 depending on road conditions and rider weight. It obviously doesn’t have superbike power so acceleration isn’t instantaneous, but it’s plenty to stay with and ahead of traffic. You do need to keep the revs up to ride it fast, don’t be afraid of higher rpms it won’t hurt it!
Handling: excellent, it’s light and flickable and is very confidence inspiring in that regard.
Stability and wind resistance: yes it’s light, and you’ll feel wind a bit more than a heavier bike, but I regularly take mine on the highway at 80-90 (or more lol) speeds and I’ve never felt unsafe at all.
If you want superbike power and acceleration, don’t get the 400 because that’s not what it is. But if you have realistic expectations of what the bike is for and what it can do then it’s a great choice and won’t disappoint even experienced riders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Man, you guys will have me parting with my cash in no time. I think based everything I’ve seen here, the feedback is sort of lining up with my expectations of the bike. It’s not as if I’m stepping down from an S1000RR and come to think of it, I’ve had some fairly gnarly experiences on the V-Strom, having to pin the throttle to pass a vehicle that suddenly sped up. So I think it’s about managing expectations like many of you already said...

All this to say you might be seeing me in the new members section soon :) thanks again for the all the feedback, it’s much appreciated!
 

·
Registered
2017 Suzuki GSXR1000 2010 Suzuki GSXR600 x2 2018/19 N400
Joined
·
859 Posts
I'm reading a lot of "passing" issues....one thing I have to ask is, what type of riding are you doing on the highways that you are having to pass people?!!!! this makes no sense to me as on my spirited Sunday ride,I'm on a stretch of hwy for a short time and for me I'm ok doing 70 75 stuck behind someone keeping me safe from on coming idiots. no when I'm riding with the "idiot" group on liter bikes that have to do 200mph every chance they take,ya my lil turtle struggles,but like I said is this a hwy commuter bike,it can be....if you want fast get fast if you want something fun and will do the job in a safe manner....again there are really really fast track riders that have these and are having the times of our lives on it on and off the track !!! my 205rwhp gsxr100 "big bike" which I love to death collects dusts next to it's lil brother in the garage !!
 

·
Registered
21 N400, USB, Air delete, full exhaust,Hi flow filter/snorkel delete, Clutch springs
Joined
·
62 Posts
My very first bike was a 250 that could barely hit 90 mph downhill with a tailwind. But, it could easily cruise at 70-75 mph and I took it on the highway with no problem and never felt unsafe. I couldn’t zip in and out of traffic like an idiot, but I could definitely keep up with traffic safely and even pass slower drivers as needed. Motorcycles tend to skew our perception of what is fast and what kind of passing speed is necessary, and everyone gets this idea that if they can’t pass a whole line of cars in 5 seconds at 130 mph then their bike is slow and lacks passing power lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I sold my 2016 Ducati SuperSport S and love the 400, it's the most natural feeling and easy bike to ride on the street. I had a 2015 ZX10R before the Duc and though it's the most phenomenal track machine, it's wasted on the streets. I have a fully built up FZ-07 in the garage next to the 400, I really think 300-700cc inline twins are the ideal street bikes. Anything with an I4 is happiest at the track with an advanced rider aboard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
I'm reading a lot of "passing" issues....one thing I have to ask is, what type of riding are you doing on the highways that you are having to pass people?!!!!
Oh, I don't care about highway passing. They generally have a ton of vision and a lot of room. I'm more concerned about the twisty back road overtakes between corners / the one or two small straight stretches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Not sure why so many people have “passing issues” with this bike. It may be due to me being a bit lighter than most, but I dont even need to downshift shift or tuck (lol) when passing on the highway at 6th gear and im already at 80mph (not often). And in the canyon, if in the correct gear and if youre actually faster than the dude in front of you, passing wont be an issue either. If you need the power to pass someone in the canyons, you probably need to work on your riding. My personal riding experience aside, ive seen ninja 250s & 300s/R3s smoke countless liter bikes. That applies to both 30-70mph technical twisties, to 100mph+ canyons full of sweepers. But if you actually maxed out the bikes limit and cant pass the big bikes, id say take it to the track before you inevitably lose the gamble with death.
Tl;dr you will be more than happy with the 400 imo
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top