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Hello all

2350 Views 23 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  justjoshin
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Thought I'd say hello to everyone as I just put a down payment on a 2021 non abs Ninja 400.
Im an over the road truck driver so when I get home in about 3 weeks I'll be picking up the bike and giving it her maiden voyage. 馃榿

A little history about me if that's alright.
My first bike was a 1973 Kawasaki KZ400 that I restored and rode for a year before I eventually out grew its capability.
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I sold the 400 and didn't ride again for over 25 years and missed riding 2 wheels until I came upon a good deal on a gem of a ride a 1998 Honda VTR1000 SuperHawk. 馃槏
What a beast she is and after a first ride which was quite intimidating I had to replace the cam chain tensioners which is an issue with these 'Hawks and wound up doing a full restoration and major upgrades to it. She's completely tore down and to the frame and coming along nicely. 馃憤
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I was rusty when I rode the 'Hawk so decided to take an MSF riding course at NOLA Motorsports in New Orleans and got the chance to ride the Ninja400 and the 400R by Yamaha. Awesome bikes, sweet handling, and enough power to keep the smiles permanently on my face. 馃榿
Both the Yamaha and Ninja were track prepped bikes using the Dunlop Q3+ tires which I'll be going with when the time comes. 馃槈
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I couldn't wait any longer to finish the bike to ride so I bought the Ninja400 as it's one of the top rated 400 bikes in its category.
The aftermarket is insane with parts but for now she'll be ridden stock until the 'Hawk is done.
Im very excited for this.
Sorry for the long post but I am a veteran of various forums from bikes to cars and thought I'd say hi in my own way. 馃憤
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Nice! I also started on a KZ400 -- 1975 and blue/black/gold with the "ohc 400" on the side panel -- the first thing I did was tear it all apart because it had low compression and an oil leak thru the cylinder studs! It's super exciting to see what has changed (and some things that have not, like the steering head ball bearings!). Valve adjustments are a bit harder now (they used to be 10 minutes, thru the leaking cam covers!) -- but we did ours at 1k miles so my daughter could learn -- we just took the shims out, measured them, and put them back, then upgraded our clutch components to 2020 parts! Next we'll be replacing the coolant o-ring with a norton part out of an abundance of caution. The best thing since the old days is you can order all the oem parts right to your house! :) Enjoy your new ride!
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Nice! I also started on a KZ400 -- 1975 and blue/black/gold with the "ohc 400" on the side panel -- the first thing I did was tear it all apart because it had low compression and an oil leak thru the cylinder studs! It's super exciting to see what has changed (and some things that have not, like the steering head roller bearings!). Valve adjustments are a bit harder now (they used to be 10 minutes, thru the leaking cam covers!) -- but we did ours at 1k miles so my daughter could learn -- we just took the shims out, measured them, and put them back, then upgraded our clutch components to 2020 parts! Next we'll be replacing the coolant o-ring with a norton part out of an abundance of caution. The best thing since the old days is you can order all the oem parts right to your house! :) Enjoy your new ride!
It took a while to find some parts for my KZ because back in those days we had no internet to browse for parts and had a thing called a motorcycle salvage yard for anything you needed. 馃槀馃し馃徏鈥嶁檪锔忦煒
Rummaging through salvage yards was always an enjoyable experience though and even to this day I still enjoy hitting up the upullit yards to get ideas of custom tidbits and maybe find something that will work on whatever build I'm doing at the time.

Thanks for the welcome and I'm so excited for this bike. It'll be a great trainer and experience for me to eventually be riding the VTR again at a much more comfortable pace and less intimidating to ride. 馃
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Hello and welcome!

It took a while to find some parts for my KZ because back in those days we had no internet to browse for parts and had a thing called a motorcycle salvage yard for anything you needed. 馃槀馃し馃徏鈥嶁檪锔忦煒
Rummaging through salvage yards was always an enjoyable experience though and even to this day I still enjoy hitting up the upullit yards to get ideas of custom tidbits and maybe find something that will work on whatever build I'm doing at the time.
I totally miss these days......when things were cheap because everyone had similar goals to either get a bike back on the road or upgrades to improve it, or you could do some horse trading, and make some real friends that you now rode with or hung out with.

Focus was more on the passion and joy of riding and the sport, and if you made a few bucks off something you no longer needed great(instead of a few hundred....and a few bucks shy of brand new retail), or got something else instead, service, work, friend etc.

Seems today too many people trying to get into it to get rich, to find someone who still lives by that and turn around and make a big profit off of it with no intention of building the community and the future of riding and enjoying the sport.
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I thought I'd update this post with some good news.
Got to see the bike today and paid it off. 馃嵕馃挵馃榿
I'll be picking it up next Monday to ride it off into the sunset. 馃槏
I'm excited and here's some pics at the stealership.
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It felt good sitting on it and swinging my leg over the bike like the klutz I am almost kicked the bike over. 馃槀馃し馃徏鈥嶁檪锔忦煠︹嶁檪锔
I'll get used to the leg over and feel less the newb in no time. 馃榿
More to come. 馃
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Picked it up today and went on her maiden voyage.
It's an amazingly easy bike to ride and had a nice 20 mile run to break the motor in and tires.

She's a beaut. 馃槏馃槑
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I'm bored at the moment so I thought I'd update this post.

It took a while but I finally got the folding Ace trailer I've been eyeing way before I got the N400.
Now I'll be able to tow either bike anywhere I feel like going and have some fun with fellow N409 riders etc.
See first pic. 馃榿

Next I installed the Curt trailer hitch to the car but felt that the way they install these things wasn't the way I thought would be strong as it should.
So I set about doing it my way to reinforce the hitch to the car and utilize a hopefully stronger method.

I went through the frame instead of utilizing just a hole in the bottom of the frame to install the hitch.
We'll see how it works when I get home.

Everything fit perfect and the hitch seems strong for pulling but I've still got to install the light harness to the car for the trailer lights to work.

I bought led trailer lights and keeping the Ace lights for spares as led draws less power from an already weak tail light circuit. Should work fine and be brighter too.

Enjoy the pics and let me know what you think about how I did on the installation with good or bad feedback. 馃憤
It's unorthodox but my thinking said it will work and be stronger than how most class1 trailers are installed.

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Im an over the road truck driver
Truck drivers are awesome. They deliver really cool things like Kawasaki Ninjas. Without them, all we'd have are a bunch of rocks and sticks and we'd be living in tents and caves.
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Truck drivers are awesome. They deliver really cool things like Kawasaki Ninjas. Without them, all we'd have are a bunch of rocks and sticks and we'd be living in tents and caves.
Funny you say that because I've delivered Kawasaki 4 wheelers and bikes to Georgia from Utah a few times.
I got a sticker pack from them as I told them I e got a 400. 馃榿
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Funny you say that because I've delivered Kawasaki 4 wheelers and bikes to Georgia from Utah a few times.
I got a sticker pack from them as I told them I e got a 400. 馃榿
You've delivered Kawasakis!!!?
So cool! Even though they weren't Ninjas, that makes you a hero around this place.
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You've delivered Kawasakis!!!?
So cool! Even though they weren't Ninjas, that makes you a hero around this place.
I would t go that far. 馃槀
Peoe have realization that EVERYTHING they own is delivered by truck in one way or another.

The real heros are the tankers that provide the fuel so everyone can get around and commerce can keep going. 馃檹馃憤
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Probably the last update on the bike as it is complete and built the way I had envisioned.

First I finally got the ecu tuned by Norton MotorSports so I completely tore the bike down to install it and finish up some other things needed for this to complete.

Since I have a decatted OEM header I bought from @b0Xcrash 馃檹馃徑it was time to modify it for the CSRacing exhaust, install it, and cap off the O2 sensor bung as it's no longer needed with the tune.
The header was Jet Hot coated to keep some of the heat down and look amazing too. 馃グ
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Now that this was done I could remove the exhaust hanger from the bike as it was no longer needed, fabbed up a bracket for the brake reservoir, and installed the CSRacing exhaust. 馃榿
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It very well made and sounds as good as the LV10 it replaced while also cleaning up the tail section of the bike.

The air box had to be reinstalled after adding the BMC air filter and velocity stacks and I also swapped out the stock clutch cable with the Norton straight cable from the N300.
Clutch is velvety smooth now and not that hard to install. Excellent feel to the clutch now. 馃憤

I had to drill the coolant drain plug to safety wire it and feel better about it not coming loose and swapped the 14 tooth front sprocket with the lightened 13 tooth Norton sprocket for a bit better gearing on the bike mainly for track use.
No issues with that install as the sprocket nut came right off with my electric power tool as it zipped it right off. 馃榿

Even though I don't get to ride that much street or track I did buy a lap timer from @jetpilot01 馃檹馃徑 and the install came out great with another fabbed bracket to ensure it stays put on the track.
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Don't mind the Honda keychain as it's there to remind me to finish up the other bike. 馃槀
More pics on the next post. 馃
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And some pictures of the bike as it now stands.
It's a far cry from when I rode it out of the dealer parking lot completely stock.

I've never liked keeping anything stock and this bike is another example of how I like to make it personal, better, and something that turns heads. 馃グ

I would like to thank all the OG's for taking the time to have such an archive as there is here on these forums.
I literally could not have taken it to this length without all the information presented. 馃檹馃徑

Also nothing was painted or wrapped on this build as I was inspired by by the previous generations of the Ninja 400 colors to create the color combinations you see here. 馃槏
Thanks to all that helped with my questions and you know who you are. 馃憤
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I'll be off to Champ School to be the rider that this bike deserves in October. 馃
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Whoa, dang that header looks good and so does that exhaust, slip on dang that is sweet
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Whoa, dang that header looks good and so does that exhaust, slip on dang that is sweet
Thank you Nolan and yeah it's a pretty sweet setup from most of the standard exhaust out there for the N400. 馃憤

I also wanted the exhaust because it's low profile and tucked so it won't be damaged in a crash which I hope never occurs.

Jet Hot did a great job in the header and I thank you again to have it on my bike. 馃檹馃
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Great job on the build! Bike looks so good.
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Hey Blu!
That 400 build is way different. The exhaust is unexpected. Did not even know they made one like it.

With all your upgrades what other bike could you compare the power and weight to including the old school bikes like the 1985 600r Ninja that I had when I was in my 20's? I'm looking out for one in great condition. Love to go back in time like that!

Stay safe Bro,
Max
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Hey Blu!
That 400 build is way different. The exhaust is unexpected. Did not even know they made one like it.

With all your upgrades what other bike could you compare the power and weight to including the old school bikes like the 1985 600r Ninja that I had when I was in my 20's? I'm looking out for one in great condition. Love to go back in time like that!

Stay safe Bro,
Max
First I thank you very much for the kind words and I appreciate you for them. 馃檹馃

On the other bikes I've only had 3 total so I can't say what would be similar as you described. 馃様
My Ninja and VTR1000 are my most recent purchases and my first bike was the 1973 KZ400 with only about 30hp.

The Ninja build is likened to the cars Ive built where nonformity to the standards were what I was best at.
Too much 'me too' out there where people follow the main stream for their builds.

Good luck looking for that bike you're wanting. 馃
In patience you'll eventually find the prize. 馃憤
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Yeah, my school buddy Tony had a KZ400 like that one. That's when I rode my first street bike a Honda VT 500 Ascot that helped me enjoy my 11th and 12th grade. I know the 600 was an inline 4 馃榿 and heavier, but your bike must be approaching the rush that a strong old school middleweight used to induce because it is much lighter.

I'm keeping this 400 also because I listen to the twin low rpm purring, and then the 4 cylinder like scream when it gets higher up the rev range. Almost like two different bikes in one and perfectly balanced.

Bet the Hawk can pull some effortless power wheelies. :)

Thanks for your time,
Peace,
Max
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Bike looks killer! You are in Louisiana, too?
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