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Hey guys im new to motorycycles and just got a ninja 400 i have some questions please bare with me. I just got my license today and im riding and want to know if i am riding correctly? As the manual states Im supposed to be under 4k rpm for 500 miles which I do very well once in a while I go just a tad above 4k. When riding right before or at 4k rpm i change gears for example im in 2nd gear about to hit 4k so i switch to 3rd and so on. I just dont want to damage my bike, another thing is when im in a lower gear the whole ride is very jittery or shakey maybe because im in the wrong gear I just dont want to break anything? Because today i heard a noise but wasent sure if it was gravel or a rock hitting the bike or something popped on the bike. Also when downshifting i shift lower when i need to brake does it matter at what rpm i shift
can someone also make me a grpah saying when to upshit gears at what speed and what speed to downshift at? So sorry guys :crying::kiss:
 

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Hi there. You've just got your licence so wasn't there some sort of MSF type training course involved with that? If so surely they taught you these fundamental things that your asking??

My advice would be just relax, take note of the section 3.55 - 4.20min in the clip that Hoser kindly posted and above all do not run it at too lower revs or you will make it 'jittery and shakey' as you say. Don't worry about the 4K max thing (oh god, know I'm in for it :rolleyes:) These engines are pretty well put together, you have to work pretty hard to damage one!
They have a rev limiter built into the ECU so you cant over-rev them and if you let it rev too low it will just stall after some severe lugging. Not ideal but you wont break it in one go.
Have fun out there. :)
 

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Welcome to the forum! Definitely sign up and take a training course if you have not already and ride safe.
 
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Hi there. You've just got your licence so wasn't there some sort of MSF type training course involved with that? If so surely they taught you these fundamental things that your asking??

My advice would be just relax, take note of the section 3.55 - 4.20min in the clip that Hoser kindly posted and above all do not run it at too lower revs or you will make it 'jittery and shakey' as you say. Don't worry about the 4K max thing (oh god, know I'm in for it :rolleyes:) These engines are pretty well put together, you have to work pretty hard to damage one!
They have a rev limiter built into the ECU so you cant over-rev them and if you let it rev too low it will just stall after some severe lugging. Not ideal but you wont break it in one go.
Have fun out there. :)
Those courses are not required over here, they're highly recommended, but optional (and a way to bypass taking your skills test at the DMV, but more costly)
 

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When I took the MSF two day course in California (San Francisco) in 2016, I paid $258 USD. I understand it's optional but if you are a complete newbie and have never rode a bike before, it's definitely worth the relatively low cost to learn the basics. I also recall getting an insurance discount since I completed this course so that helps offset the cost. Also depending on the state and city the MSF course could be cheaper. I'm curious how much the courses are overseas.
 

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I wouldn't worry about going over 4k rpm. Lugging your engine, applying a large amount of throttle at low revs is really tough on the engine. Personally I did a hard break in and the bike is running great. There's a big debate on soft vs. hard break in.

I think this is a good video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u74jYkItdD8
Absolutely agree. Hard break-in with varying the revs is the way to go. Also, I think avoiding a prolonged break-in period is beneficial because then you're not so self-conscious about riding a certain way. When I first got my Ninja 300 back in 2013, I took care of my initial 600mi over a period of only 2 weeks, and never looked back on that. Bike lasted me 48,000mi over a period of 2 years, without issues.

Sadly, I have been unable to do it with my Ninja 400 due to other commitments on the weekends in April and May, so I've just had to break-in ride it on my commutes and a few long rides that I've done. I'm only 250mi away from hitting the 600 mark though, and anxious to get there as soon as I can so I can resume my regular maniac riding :devil:
 

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@High Side Hoser and @Kiwi Rider are suggesting you should full-throttle your brand new Ninja 400 "from just above the lug line all the way to the red line", and then keep doing that over and over for "about ten minutes" at a time.

That advice goes against conventional wisdom and the advice of Kawasaki.

On the bright side, people seem to get away with doing stuff like that, so momentarily exceeding the 4K limit certainly seems harmless by comparison.

In other words, you can relax and not worry. The process is forgiving.

Here's another video with more conventional break-in advice:

 

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@High Side Hoser and @Kiwi Rider are suggesting you should full-throttle your brand new Ninja 400 "from just above the lug line all the way to the red line", and then keep doing that over and over for "about ten minutes" at a time.

That advice goes against conventional wisdom and the advice of Kawasaki.

On the bright side, people seem to get away with doing stuff like that, so momentarily exceeding the 4K limit certainly seems harmless by comparison.

In other words, you can relax and not worry. The process is forgiving.

Here's another video with more conventional break-in advice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oklqJnm7_TY
The “by the book” method implies that you can’t even ride above 40 mph on this bike for the first 600 miles. If you look into it, bikes with lower redlines (Harley’s are a good example) have the same generic rpm limit for the first 600 miles. The difference is that the Harley redlines at 6k. So it’s okay for your new V-twin Harley to get pretty close to redline in comparison but you have to lug your sport bike for proper break in?
 

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Only Kawasaki knows for sure

The “by the book” method implies that you can’t even ride above 40 mph on this bike for the first 600 miles. If you look into it, bikes with lower redlines (Harley’s are a good example) have the same generic rpm limit for the first 600 miles. The difference is that the Harley redlines at 6k. So it’s okay for your new V-twin Harley to get pretty close to redline in comparison but you have to lug your sport bike for proper break in?
Staying below the 4K and 6K limits doesn't require lugging the engine.

"Conventional Break-In Wisdom" has recommended avoiding highway speeds during the initial break-in period since forever.

A 4K limit doesn't leave much RPM range to work with. Kawasaki knew that when they put the 4K limit in the owner's manual, but they did it anyway.
 

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Imo, just ride it. But....make sure it is warm, and drive it for about 10 road miles before high rpm/hard operation (10 miles will get the oil to temp...which allows for proper oil pressure/flow). Don't focus on the rpm. You won't harm it, as long as it has enough oil and coolant in it, and is warmed up!
 

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If the combination of a low 4K rev limit and your skills as a brand-new rider are forcing you to lug the engine, then choose over-revving (exceeding the 4K limit) over lugging (described next).

Lugging an engine means you're giving the engine too much throttle while the engine speed is low. If you're lugging the engine, additional throttle doesn't add power and it will become "very jittery or shakey".

The cure for lugging is very simple: switch to a lower gear.

The art of shifting into the correct gear at all times will become second nature if you pay attention and do some deliberate practice. Believe it or not, a lot of the learning of this type of skill happens during sleep.
 

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This is one of the trolling topics of every automotive page....number one being "what oil is best?" lol...
+1 Yes you get people who dont even own a motorcycle indulging their pet theories. I'm going to try and limit my input into such topics as it only encourages.
 

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I'm going to try and limit my input into such topics as it only encourages.
Indeed it does.

ProTip: If someone advises you to "ignore all of the arguments", they probably have a weak argument and are trying to persuade you to ignore the stronger one.

The stronger break-in argument for your street vehicle(*) is to follow conventional wisdom and do what's best for your motorcycle in the long run. This argument is backed by millions of dollars of R&D and manufacturers' experiences. Break-in according to conventional wisdom requires some self-restraint and delay of gratification. You'll choose a gentle and prolonged break-in procedure if what you are trying to achieve are things like reliability and longevity.

If your bike is a street vehicle, the weaker break-in argument is to do what you feel like doing and go ahead run your new bike hard. This argument requires belief in conspiracy theories about manufacturers that are lying to you when they tell you to take it easy on your new bike. Choose this argument if you think someone with a clickbait page on the Internet knows "secrets" an entire industry is trying to hide from you.

Think of it this way:

Hard break-in: Fast Food! Yum yum nom nom!
Conventional break-in: Nutritious home-cooked meal made with fresh ingredients

The process is forgiving. You bought the motorcycle to enjoy, so do whatever provides the most overall enjoyment for you.


(*) Racers want Moar Power and are willing to trade away some other attributes like reliability and longevity to gain an edge in power compared to their competition. For racers a hard break-in, done correctly, is the way to go.


Despite the way it may appear, I don't care about this topic very much. I'm just Countering the Effect of That Clickbait Page because it might help prevent some poorly-informed and gullible newbies from ruining their bikes.
 
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