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Discussion Starter #1
Quick rundown of my ninja 400 experience so far.
Picked the bike up brand new the day the motoamerica rules were announced. Disassembled it down to the frame to fly it into Florida to race at Daytona. After getting the forks/shock/wheels/body/etc off, we had those parts sent with a buddy to drive down to florida as he didn't have room to take the whole bike. We planned to fly the frame and engine however we realized (after he left) we would be overweight in the plane to get it down there. So we threw it in the back of a truck and drove the engine/frame to Florida.
Reassembled the bike once we were down and got ride of a few unnecessary parts like the kickstand/passanger seat/fan/etc and everything else that was easy to remove weight.
Kyle at m4 was able to expedite an exhaust to us that came in just before the race. I never even got a chance to ride the bike with the stock exhaust on. After a few street miles to feel out the bike we threw it in the trailer and headed to Daytona.
First practice out the bike had maybe 10 miles on it, what a way to break it in lol
Won the CCS GT500, Superbike 500 and Supersport 500.
Following week I headed over to Barber Motorsports park for the motoamerica tire test. Threw on k-tech front and rear suspension. Still need to get that dialed in. First day I was 3rd (second excluding the dunlop test rider Taylor Knapp) and on the second day I wound up with a 6th with room to improve. I unfortunately had to sit out the last session as my dad/mechanic flew out early. Didn't want to have a crash and not be able to get the trailer home in a worst case scenario.

Just ordered rearsets/case savers/ and a fuel cap thanks to MOTO-D (bonamici parts). Looking forward to developing this platform and see what we can do with it.
 

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Good stuff, I can see your serious about racing this thing. Congratulations on your success thus far.
Tsk Tsk regarding not running your motor in the Kawasaki way. You do realise your motor is ruined now :D
Once you get your suspension dialled in you will be set.
Thanks for the tip on the moto D fuel cap too, Im after one of those.
Keep us in the loop on your racing endeavours.
 

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Quick rundown of my ninja 400 experience so far.
Picked the bike up brand new the day the motoamerica rules were announced. Disassembled it down to the frame to fly it into Florida to race at Daytona. After getting the forks/shock/wheels/body/etc off, we had those parts sent with a buddy to drive down to florida as he didn't have room to take the whole bike. We planned to fly the frame and engine however we realized (after he left) we would be overweight in the plane to get it down there. So we threw it in the back of a truck and drove the engine/frame to Florida.
Reassembled the bike once we were down and got ride of a few unnecessary parts like the kickstand/passanger seat/fan/etc and everything else that was easy to remove weight.
Kyle at m4 was able to expedite an exhaust to us that came in just before the race. I never even got a chance to ride the bike with the stock exhaust on. After a few street miles to feel out the bike we threw it in the trailer and headed to Daytona.
First practice out the bike had maybe 10 miles on it, what a way to break it in lol
Won the CCS GT500, Superbike 500 and Supersport 500.
Following week I headed over to Barber Motorsports park for the motoamerica tire test. Threw on k-tech front and rear suspension. Still need to get that dialed in. First day I was 3rd (second excluding the dunlop test rider Taylor Knapp) and on the second day I wound up with a 6th with room to improve. I unfortunately had to sit out the last session as my dad/mechanic flew out early. Didn't want to have a crash and not be able to get the trailer home in a worst case scenario.

Just ordered rearsets/case savers/ and a fuel cap thanks to MOTO-D (bonamici parts). Looking forward to developing this platform and see what we can do with it.
Sounds like you enjoyed it right out of the gate. How did you get the K-tech suspension so fast? You must have friends in very high places. Good luck on the season!
 

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Thanks for the heads-up, @jonesn. I was unaware MotoAmerica's KTM RC Cup is now the Junior Cup with these eligible bikes:

Kawasaki Ninja 400 and Ninja 300
KTM RC 390 and RC 390 R
Yamaha YZF-R3
Honda CBR500R
BMW G 310 R
Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
Suzuki’s GSX250R Katana

Best of luck, enjoy the races, and please keep us posted about your Ninja 400 racing experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the kind words guys, looking forward to seeing what this bike can do!

The k-tech suspension is awesome. Stock isn't bad by any means I just wasn't 100% confident with it to really push like I wanted for a track day. My first time at Barber and first time on dunlops I was running around 1:47's on stock suspension, by the end of the testing I was down to a 1:41.3 with the k-tech We still didn't get it 100% dialed in so there's room to improve for sure. With that said Yates was on a stock ninja 400, suspension/shock etc, think it even still had the headlight/taillight etc on it and was throwing down some low 1:39's by the end of the test days. He's an animal on 2 wheels no doubt and I think has turned quite a few laps at that track.


For those curious you can run the ninja 300 fairings on the 400. This is an armor bodies kit, not sure if the others will work as you have to stretch the upper fairing a little to reach the windscreen mounts. Armor bodies is a bit forgiving. The lower wants to hit the front tire but using the stock mounts you can sort of pull it back a bit and bolt it in place. Wasn't fun but once it's all on it isn't terrible. The windscreen on the bike is also made for a ninja 300, same deal had to stretch it. A cheap one would shatter for sure, this is a SkidMarx windscreen that is pretty flexible.
edit- one pictured is the stock windshield, the one currently on the bike is the skidmarx.
 

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Thanks for the kind words guys, looking forward to seeing what this bike can do!

The k-tech suspension is awesome. Stock isn't bad by any means I just wasn't 100% confident with it to really push like I wanted for a track day. My first time at Barber and first time on dunlops I was running around 1:47's on stock suspension, by the end of the testing I was down to a 1:41.3 with the k-tech We still didn't get it 100% dialed in so there's room to improve for sure. With that said Yates was on a stock ninja 400, suspension/shock etc, think it even still had the headlight/taillight etc on it and was throwing down some low 1:39's by the end of the test days. He's an animal on 2 wheels no doubt and I think has turned quite a few laps at that track.


For those curious you can run the ninja 300 fairings on the 400. This is an armor bodies kit, not sure if the others will work as you have to stretch the upper fairing a little to reach the windscreen mounts. Armor bodies is a bit forgiving. The lower wants to hit the front tire but using the stock mounts you can sort of pull it back a bit and bolt it in place. Wasn't fun but once it's all on it isn't terrible. The windscreen on the bike is also made for a ninja 300, same deal had to stretch it. A cheap one would shatter for sure, this is a SkidMarx windscreen that is pretty flexible.
edit- one pictured is the stock windshield, the one currently on the bike is the skidmarx.
Great report and photo mate. Your really getting that sucker laid over there. :D
Good to hear your thoughts on the K Tech suspension. What spring rate did you go for and what is your own weight if you don't mind me asking.
 

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Quick rundown of my ninja 400 experience so far.
Picked the bike up brand new the day the motoamerica rules were announced. Disassembled it down to the frame to fly it into Florida to race at Daytona. After getting the forks/shock/wheels/body/etc off, we had those parts sent with a buddy to drive down to florida as he didn't have room to take the whole bike. We planned to fly the frame and engine however we realized (after he left) we would be overweight in the plane to get it down there. So we threw it in the back of a truck and drove the engine/frame to Florida.
Reassembled the bike once we were down and got ride of a few unnecessary parts like the kickstand/passanger seat/fan/etc and everything else that was easy to remove weight.
Kyle at m4 was able to expedite an exhaust to us that came in just before the race. I never even got a chance to ride the bike with the stock exhaust on. After a few street miles to feel out the bike we threw it in the trailer and headed to Daytona.
First practice out the bike had maybe 10 miles on it, what a way to break it in lol
Won the CCS GT500, Superbike 500 and Supersport 500.
Following week I headed over to Barber Motorsports park for the motoamerica tire test. Threw on k-tech front and rear suspension. Still need to get that dialed in. First day I was 3rd (second excluding the dunlop test rider Taylor Knapp) and on the second day I wound up with a 6th with room to improve. I unfortunately had to sit out the last session as my dad/mechanic flew out early. Didn't want to have a crash and not be able to get the trailer home in a worst case scenario.

Just ordered rearsets/case savers/ and a fuel cap thanks to MOTO-D (bonamici parts). Looking forward to developing this platform and see what we can do with it.
Great post! This is by far the best bike I have ever owned. Please keep up the post!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My race report up from today.
https://www.facebook.com/cjracing23...vETSA-1L-dG25hVCoLRI_z1_j8l9Z1-AHbTXypiSWJ9ro

For those without facebook -

Had a good day of racing today with MotoAmerica for the Road Atlanta opening round! Here’s a link to the race to watch it.

Race summary -
Didn’t get off the line very well as I would have liked and dropped back a few from my 3rd row spot. I was right in the mix of 4th-12th and started working my way up into 7th/8th ish. Halfway mark in the race I was getting a bit of brake fade and backed off some to save it for the end while I let them dice it out ahead. Unfortunately it bit me as I came around a few laps later for the final lap, I was thinking we had a few more left. I put my head down to get tight with the pack and see if I couldn’t make some last lap moves. On the long back stretch I got a killer draft and was able to move up a few positions. I came in hard on the brakes into turn 10 with a defensive line and caught a gnarly bump while the rear was skating all over. I was unable to throw it into the corner in time and overshot the turn barely keeping myself out of the gravel pit. That mistake pushed me to the back of that pack for a 12th place on the day. Tomorrow looks like rain so I’m looking to improve from today and come out strong!
 

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My race report up from today.
https://www.facebook.com/cjracing23...vETSA-1L-dG25hVCoLRI_z1_j8l9Z1-AHbTXypiSWJ9ro

For those without facebook -

Had a good day of racing today with MotoAmerica for the Road Atlanta opening round! Here’s a link to the race to watch it.

Race summary -
Didn’t get off the line very well as I would have liked and dropped back a few from my 3rd row spot. I was right in the mix of 4th-12th and started working my way up into 7th/8th ish. Halfway mark in the race I was getting a bit of brake fade and backed off some to save it for the end while I let them dice it out ahead. Unfortunately it bit me as I came around a few laps later for the final lap, I was thinking we had a few more left. I put my head down to get tight with the pack and see if I couldn’t make some last lap moves. On the long back stretch I got a killer draft and was able to move up a few positions. I came in hard on the brakes into turn 10 with a defensive line and caught a gnarly bump while the rear was skating all over. I was unable to throw it into the corner in time and overshot the turn barely keeping myself out of the gravel pit. That mistake pushed me to the back of that pack for a 12th place on the day. Tomorrow looks like rain so I’m looking to improve from today and come out strong!
Unfortunately I cant watch the race as I get the old 'The uploader has not made this video available in your country.' pop up. Life at the bottom of the world... :D

Read your facebook report tho. Sounds like you gave it your best out there but things didnt go so well for you. Must be a bit frustrating as it appears you have the potential.

How many laps are your races? What was the issue with the stands and warmers, just new bike set up teething problems?
All the best for tomorrow.
 

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Unfortunately I cant watch the race as I get the old 'The uploader has not made this video available in your country.' pop up. Life at the bottom of the world... :D

Read your facebook report tho. Sounds like you gave it your best out there but things didnt go so well for you. Must be a bit frustrating as it appears you have the potential.

How many laps are your races? What was the issue with the stands and warmers, just new bike set up teething problems?
All the best for tomorrow.
Get a VPN, it will solve the censorship issue...
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Unfortunately I cant watch the race as I get the old 'The uploader has not made this video available in your country.' pop up. Life at the bottom of the world... :D

Read your facebook report tho. Sounds like you gave it your best out there but things didnt go so well for you. Must be a bit frustrating as it appears you have the potential.

How many laps are your races? What was the issue with the stands and warmers, just new bike set up teething problems?
All the best for tomorrow.
I definitely didn't feel near 100%, wound up pretty disappointed in my performance over the weekend. At least learned all the procedures and got a taste of what the events will be like for the year, what I'm up against too anyway. We ran 11 laps the first day and 10 laps the second day during the rain. The suspension is getting better and better as now it's starting to feel a lot like my 300 did. Should've softened it up for the rain today but I felt confident I'd be fine with the settings it was on. Finding I need to get my weight down a bit as I sit in at 160-165lbs. I'm on identical mods as the other ninja 400's and they can walk away from me in the draft with the 115-120lbs riders. Even getting into the 150, maybe 145 range would really help. Every now and then I'd get a really good draft and can time it right to get them on the brakes into a corner after the long straight but usually they'd just pull me along.

Noticed today they have a lap counter while coming down the front stretch so I don't see myself having that issue again like race 1 of losing track of the laps. During the start I was waiting for a green light, however MA does a red light and when the light goes out the race begins. Just a few dumb mistakes over the weekend that added up. Going to recoup and try and come out strong at VIR.

Recap from race 2 - 2nd time ever racing in the rain
"Had a repeat of race 1 as I was caught sleeping off the line and had a terrible start. I wound up moving back to the middle of the pack going into turn 1. I was able to work up a few spots early on as I had a lot of ground to make up to catch onto a group of 7 riders ahead. I put in a few consistent laps and felt like I was making up some ground. Unfortunately just over half way through the race I made an error and ran off track in turn 3. As I came into the chicane I clicked two downshifts while heavy on the front brake and locked up the rear causing me to stand it up and slide straight through the grass and back on the track. Shortly after I had a similar mistake into turn 7 which cost me a position and really killed my drive. The remaining 3 laps I fought fog in my visor and struggled to see as I know a lot other riders had the same issues. I did my best to recover given the circumstances however it wasn't quite enough to get the job done as I settled into a 10th place finish. I didn't feel my riding is near what I'm capable of so I have a lot of work to do over these next few weeks to get myself back up to pace while we prepare for VIR at on May 6th.

Overall a 12th and 10th place puts me into 11th for overall points to start the season."

To answer your question previously - spring wise I found we were running a 9.0 up front which is too stiff, thinking of dropping that down to an 8.0 or 8.5 at the least. We had a 9.5 on the rear and dropped down to an 8.5 for a massive improvement. Going to start keeping some f/r springs with us to change around and see what works best at different tracks.
 

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I'm $hit in the wet, I freely admit it. I can be in podium contention (not literally - we dont even have one :D) in the dry, but if it's wet I'm a tail ender every time. I haven't enough experience on wets to know how far I can push them. Even with my road riding I've always been super cautious in the wet.
My last meeting we had two wet races out of three. My standings in the championship took a bit of a hit.

Hey regarding your spring rates: I'm a 130lb rider using .85's up front and an 8.5 on the rear but on a bike that's probably 20 kg at least heavier than yours, so yeah you sound like you might be erring on the stiff side for a lightweight machine like the N400. What are your rider sag measurements?

Foot note: You had your decimal point in the wrong place on your fork spring rating. Forks springs are way way softer because there's two of them holding up the lighter end of the bike and they aren't compressed by a rising rate linkage system like the short travel rear spring is. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm $hit in the wet, I freely admit it. I can be in podium contention (not literally - we dont even have one :D) in the dry, but if it's wet I'm a tail ender every time. I haven't enough experience on wets to know how far I can push them. Even with my road riding I've always been super cautious in the wet.
My last meeting we had two wet races out of three. My standings in the championship took a bit of a hit.

Hey regarding your spring rates: I'm a 130lb rider using .85's up front and an 8.5 on the rear but on a bike that's probably 20 kg at least heavier than yours, so yeah you sound like you might be erring on the stiff side for a lightweight machine like the N400. What are your rider sag measurements?

Foot note: You had your decimal point in the wrong place on your fork spring rating. Forks springs are way way softer because there's two of them holding up the lighter end of the bike and they aren't compressed by a rising rate linkage system like the short travel rear spring is. :)
I usually feel great in the wet and race time came and it just wasn't there. Oops, wasn't even paying attention on my spring rate there, typing how I pronounced it (nine-oh) -_- I'll have to check my notes on sag when I get home.

It may not be too bad considering the extra weight I have as it felt good in the dry. Weight wise we were sitting around 329-331 with no fuel. After we stripped the bike I think it sat around 315-319ish and we really didn't even remove all that much, nothing severe anyway. Had to bolt some lead under the bike to get it legal weight. We'll be throwing it on the suspension machine when we get back home along with pulling the engine to take a look at the transmission. Had some goofy shifting issues with both up and downshifts while I was out there.
 

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... along with pulling the engine to take a look at the transmission. Had some goofy shifting issues with both up and downshifts while I was out there.
Seems to be a bit of a theme emerging on the forum around possible transmission gremlins. Time will tell. Are you running reverse shift?
Are quick shifters allowed in your racing class?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Seems to be a bit of a theme emerging on the forum around possible transmission gremlins. Time will tell. Are you running reverse shift?
Are quick shifters allowed in your racing class?
I'm one of the few that run std shift unfortunately, really need to make that switch. HM Quickshifters are required in our class as they use those to monitor and set our rev limit
 

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Perhaps a silly question, but, do you have more pictures from the racing, the bike, build etc.? :smile:

Be safe!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'll try and get some up soon. My camera on the phone has been busted for awhile but should be getting repaired this week.

Road America Round 4 - Wound up with a 6th place qualifying position. Had a good battle with the 2nd pack and brought home a 7th place finish. Was 10th on the last lap, was able to pick one off going into turn 12 and catch the last two right at the line by .020 and .037 of a second on Saturday along with third fastest lap of the weekend of a 2:45.1. Felt great on the bike as we finally have it really dialed in after a rough start to the season.

Made a few changes for Sunday and I knew I had the pace for the front but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. Swapped pads from the SBS DC as they were getting pretty thin. Only person who had a spare were some ferodo's. We sanded the disc and got everything cleaned up and seated in during morning practice. For the first lap as I went to make a pass into turn 12 I had an issue with my brakes. Grabbed a handful and the nose of the bike barely even dropped down. I did everything I could to get it slowed down enough and as tipped in for the corner I had made contact with another rider which took us both out. After the race we took a look at the pads and they had glazed over pretty bad. Was quite the bummer. We'll be getting everything patched up and ready for laguna seca in a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Did you do any tuning of the Engine?
Just an ECU flash since the start of the season but the gains from the flash were only above 10k rpm. Dead even for power with stock ecu but better AFR under the curve on our dyno. With the 10,000 rpm limit we have we can't really take advantage of the additional power it makes.
 
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