Ninja 400 Riders Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know the z400 is a small displacement hike and I’ve read all the reviews. However, how many of you actually bought this as a first bike and had never owned or ridden a motorcycle before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
bought it for my son. He has not owned a bike before and I had him on my larger bikes (Speed Triple, Ducati Streetfighter1098) and realized though he was proficient enough- it was not a good platform for establishing his riding skills.

I won a championship in 94 on an FZ 400 in the CMRA Formula 2 class- and this bike, after riding it is way more torquey and ridable- and with ABS and slipper clutch- also a lot of bang for the buck!

He loves it too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
My first bike. Very happy I chose it. I would buy the ABS version if a new rider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
First real bike for me. I took the MSF course a few years ago and fell in love with zipping around on the bikes in the course. I briefly tried riding a larger cruiser and hated it. I let it slide a couple years, then got the urge again to get out there and actually ride.

I picked up the Z400 after a lot of research. For reference, I'm a software engineer in my 40's. My criteria was something big enough that I wouldn't immediately outgrow, a relaxed riding style (nothing too tucked), ABS standard, and relatively inexpensive (in case I hated riding). The Z400 checks all those boxes and then some. Great machine. I've ridden mine for about 7 weeks now. After an initial issue with the bike during delivery, I've ridden every single day. Just had the 1st service done on it and I'm a little over 700 miles in now.

If anyone is reading this and is on the fence, get the bike. Great fun and unless you're a pro rider, you will have plenty to grow into with this bike. That said, there's plenty of power to get into trouble with, so make sure you respect it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
My first motorcycle. I had almost no motorcycle background in the past, riding my friend's soviet heavy cruiser for couple of summer weeks when I was 15 doesn't count.

Got my cat.A license some 3 weeks ago and bought this bike the same day, riding every single day from then and did some 400 miles already (mostly in the city + a little bit of highway).

I got quite a powerful car, which does 60mph in 5 sec, but the feeling of same dynamics on Z400 is something completely different. I would say it has just enough power to give fun, but not yet enough to be dangerous or unsafe. It means that you can barely do a wheelie unless you really want to, but still you are the first one to start from the traffic light and you've got sufficient horsepower to be active in dense traffic.

The other good thing is that the engine allows you to go on low rpm easily, which is very good for the newbie when you move slow in traffic. Here you are unofficially allowed to drive between the lanes or on the left shoulder (like on the attached pics), and with that narrow naked bike I often use these options, cutting the travel time by ⅓ to ½ easily comparing to the cars.

Still there is something I already don't like, though I knew it in advance when I decided to buy this bike. At speeds over 50mph the wind strongly hits you, and at 80mph+ it becomes really unsafe, as even some reasonable "turbulence" can make you unstable... However, this is probably a good "feature" for the newbie, as it gives the understanding when you drive really fast. Next season I'll install the meter tall windshield to make fast driving more comfortable. Not necessarily it solves the issue, and if so, I'll leave Z400 to my wife who's going to get her license in just a month from now (when it's already off season here), and buy myself some 600-900cc sport.

Summary: I definitely recommend Z400 as a bike for the beginner, but if you do well and like speed, you'd probably like to change it to something larger right after the first season.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
First bike and am loving it! It's definitely a good first bike if you are looking for more of a sporty style but don't want a crotch rocket or cruiser. I've had it since May and so far no issues . Recently just started getting comfortable enough to take it on the hwy. And as stated before the faster you go that wind definitely hits you going fast. I've heard if you buy the screen extension it helps with the wind a lot. I've also taken it up into the mountains on some back really twisty roads and it handles the turns leaned over really far awesome. No issues hugging the concrete and gives you the confidence when going into a sharp turn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have the same criteria. While I want something i won’t outgrow quickly, I don’t want to feel that there’s more power than I can handle either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I have the same criteria. While I want something i won’t outgrow quickly, I don’t want to feel that there’s more power than I can handle either.
I think power wise it's perfect. There's enough if you want to take it on the hwy you can. I've never felt it was to much power for me. If you get up on the gas fast it won't feel like you are hanging on for dear life trying not to fly off the back. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Definitely not my first bike. I went from a 600, and then a 750, to this and I still love it. I had an extended break from riding between this and my earlier bikes though. I wanted something quick enough, but not something that would be getting me constantly chased by the law again like my previous bikes did. I also love how peppy this bike is for it's light weight. It's like riding a bicycle with a big motor on it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,498 Posts
Not my first bike. Ninja 600's and BMW K100 before this. As much as I love this bike, I will add a Ducati 848 later. I will keep the N400 for most of my riding. Today I had a blast driving to long beach for breakfast. Many chances to let her rip wide open...including a fun romp with a CHP motorcycle bike. He was totally cool on his slow arse HD. I grinned for 3 hours straight today thanks to the green machine!!

PS a Dyno or ECU swap...priceless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
First bike ever for me. It was an 8 year war with a lot of battles in between with the wife! I’ve had it just over 2 months. Getting very comfortable and confident with it. I’m 44 so I don’t get too crazy. I did throw a LeoVince LV10 Slip On onto it. Stock exhaust is way too quiet. Now I ride with ear plugs which I should do regardless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Not my first bike. So far after 2 weeks, I'm pretty happy with it. I need to tweak a few things I think but overall I love it, and although it isn't my main form of transportation, I try and ride it every day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
The Z400 ABS is my first real motorcycle. I took a beginner motorcycle course to bypass the DMV skills test for my license. I'm very glad I did that because I learned some important things like which foot to put down at a light, why you should not cover the brakes all the time and how to counter-steer without thinking about it. I also learned in the motorcycle course that lane splitting is technically NOT ILLEGAL in California but at the same time is is NOT LEGAL. Does that make sense? Nope, not really! There's no vehicle code specifically addressing "lane splitting". It was explained that as long as you don't cross over a double yellow area (which would be illegal exit / entry of the carpool lane) and as long as you're not riding like an idiot, you probably won't be pulled over. But if you do get pulled over, the ticket would be for the catch-all: "unsafe driving".

I've been riding the Z400 a couple months on a 25 mile (one-way) commute to work on city streets with hills and a few stretches of 60 MPH (+) road. I upgraded the front windshield with the OEM 3" high version which helps a little on the wind in the face. Just last week I finally got on the freeway with it in rush hour traffic and did a little bit of lane splitting between the carpool / fast lane at low speeds.

I'm glad I waited a couple months to get on the freeway just to be sure I was totally comfortable handling the bike. I had plenty of quick stops on those commutes to work, avoiding obstacles, car doors, etc. Around here when there's no traffic people tend to do 80 MPH. I'm not there yet. Not sure I want to be riding 80 MPH on this bike. I know it can do it but boy is it windy when you hit 60 MPH+.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Definitely not my first. I have had more than a dozen bikes over the last 35 years, including a CBR600, and most recently a Versys 650. I love this bike (4000km on the clock now) more than ANY of them. The combination of light and flickable with a decent amount of power is by far the best combination for me and the mountain roads that I love. Just fine on highways too, but who enjoys them! I think Kawasaki nailed it with this one. Not that more power wouldn't be welcome - but not at the expense of the other characteristics...

The crazy 4 pot 250 that they are releasing may be some competition though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
My first bike; the motorcycle saftey course being the only other time I was on a bike. Was set to buy a 18 CBR500R when they were on clearance sale back in march but life happened. Another dealer was having a Fathers Day sale and ninja 400's were marked way down; went in to check them out saw the Z400 for the first time. It was a tough decision because the ninja 400 was actually cheaper than the Z but told them if they could get me a green one Id take it.

I'm happy with my purchase. Ive made mistakes on this bike that probably would've been bad on a bigger heavier bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,979 Posts
My first bike; the motorcycle saftey course being the only other time I was on a bike. Was set to buy a 18 CBR500R when they were on clearance sale back in march but life happened. Another dealer was having a Fathers Day sale and ninja 400's were marked way down; went in to check them out saw the Z400 for the first time. It was a tough decision because the ninja 400 was actually cheaper than the Z but told them if they could get me a green one Id take it.

I'm happy with my purchase. Ive made mistakes on this bike that probably would've been bad on a bigger heavier bike.
You ended up with the better bike. I've ridden the CB500 quite a bit and can tell you it's heavy and a bit boring compared to the Ninja. It doesn't rev out like the Ninja, redline is at 9,000 RPM. The Ninja has a much better power to weight ratio and is the more fun bike of the two to ride IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Z400 is my first road specific bike. ridden lots of dirt bikes and a DR650 for many years after that.

I love it. I can nail it at the lights and keep my license. its tiny and filters amazingly well, yet sits at 100km/h on the freeway without stress. since i've lost 20kgs, I get about 30km more per tank, which is nice. It did scare me a bit when it spun up in second on a wet road the other day, but that was more user error than bike problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Just bought the Ninja 400. Took the MSF course 30 Years ago in college. Had a 89 Suzuki Katana 600 for a couple of years, then sold it and stopped riding. Just re-took the MSF course 4 months ago. Got my M-license and the 400. Have been basically in a parking lot for 3 months and gradually have gone out on the road. So I consider this my first bike. Way more cautious with age no close calls yet and I feel pretty good with low speed maneuvers, emergency breaking, u-turns, figure 8's etc. I have to imagine this is the easiest motorcycle to move at low speeds because of the weight. I feel a little wind on the highway but don't think I will get tired of this motorcycle anytime soon. I would love to jump on the 600 Katana again and compare the speed, po
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top