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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've not long returned home with the new bike after 225km of rain, strong winds and generally cool temps on a mix of flat fast roads and a few twisties but mostly pretty straight and fast. So a reasonable test to formulate a few thoughts, 90% of them positive :D

First observation from sitting on the bike was 'heck the seats low' (I'm 5ft 10.5") Then I started it up and it sounded dreadful as I expected ha! And then when I rode away I almost found it a bit cramped. It is a compact bike. But then the fun started when I managed to break the rear wheel lose changing from 2nd to third as I had forgot about the brand new tyres on the wet road. :surprise:

A few flicks from side to side soon confirmed that it is indeed a nimble beast even with the tank full. I spent the first 30km on my way to Invercargill (the provincial capital) just going up to speed and then decelerating, varying the revs and engine loading basically but giving it heaps of throttle. I kept it under 10K RPM tho.
After calling on a friend to show off the new machine and purchasing a new helmet which gave the engine another couple of heating and cooling cycles I headed for home at speed sitting on 140kph most of the way with a couple of bursts up to 160 (the ton!) just for a bit of 'variation' ha ha. Every now and then I let it decelerate right down as well.

So she's a sprightly little beast eh! Much quicker than my CBR300 but still with a low weight so it's a good combo. A few times it surprised me how fast I was going when I saw the speedo, it's very smooth and deceptive. I didnt find the vibration a problem but that's not too surprising after riding a single. However when I did stop after about 150km I had some numbness in my throttle hand.
I had some really strong side winds at times and for a light bike it was impressively stable and held it's line well. Much better than the CBR in this respect. Again, very stable through fast corners too. I had to hit some real rough bits to upset the suspension and induce a little wallowing.

It's a personal thing but I hate the high bars. They will have to go, then I may find the pegs too far forward and they will be replaced with rear sets. I'm also not a fan of the bug antennae mirrors but at least they are wide enough to see past your shoulders with. Will fit a bar end mirror once I get some block off plates.

So I've saved the best bit till last: There was section of road about 3/4 of the way home where you climb over a 500m hill with a mix of fast and slow twisties. By this time the road was dry and the wind had eased. My general feeling of the handling up to this point was positive but it had been masked by high wind buffeting and fairly straight roads. As I biffed the little Ninja hard into the first left hander at pace the smile that spread across my mug nearly split my helmet in two :D Yep, this thing can hold a line alright! And then happily be thrown over the other way without getting all upset and do it well again. Good to see. Kudos to the Sportmax tyres too, once I'd scrubbed the slippery stuff off they were faultless.

Tomorrow I will have a play with the rear preload adjustment and work out whats best for me. I've already added 2 PSI front and rear to the tyres. 28 in the front is surprisingly low. I'm on 30/34 F/R now.

Ah yes, I nearly forgot about the brakes. It's kinda hard to be unbiased as I've only been riding my race bike the last 7 months and it has braided lines and sintered pads etc so bites really well.
I was unimpressed with the Ninja, the braking power IS there but it doesn't have any initial bite and is spongy getting there. Probably ideal for learners encase they panic and grab a big handful but not for experienced sports riders. I dont believe the front brake to be as good as the CBR and I'm not really bothered about the rear as I hardly use it. Will see how I go with it, not sure about an upgrade at this stage. Will check there's no air in the system first.

But on the whole I'm really happy with the bike, very good value for money in particular.
What's the expression - 'It does what it says on the box'. :)

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yeh I find it weird how more stable it is than the 300 and yet the 300 was much heavier, either way I agree with everything you said, the brakes on mine felt good the first 50km then they just got super spongy I think they need to go, I also find the 300 a lot more comfortable so lower clip ons are a must. the engine is like a woman, she changes her mind all the time only for the better...unlike a woman.. right now at 1550km I cannot recognise it at all from the first day I got her and I have the mate that did the test ride with me say the same thing, its crazy how its changed so I guess engine break in is definitely a real thing haha I wouldnt know as I always purchased my bikes with a couple thousand km on them, so far I like everything about the bike besides the terrible stock exhaust, clip ons "seat actually gets more comfortable over time" brakes "dont find the rear brake to bad and I use it a fair bit due to never having abs before so i like to 80% front and 20% rear on braking" and last I think the 160/60 battelax tyre was a awesome upgrade really highly recommended "just make sure its running at 36psi"
 

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Great review! I think the 400 sits low so new riders can easily flat foot the bike for stability. Luckily, you're tall and can add extra padding to the seat to raise yourself up a bit; more comfort and you won't have to cut into the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great review! I think the 400 sits low so new riders can easily flat foot the bike for stability. Luckily, you're tall and can add extra padding to the seat to raise yourself up a bit; more comfort and you won't have to cut into the seat.
Yes it's a clever marketing move as they know a lot of beginners will be riding this bike - and wives by the sound of things! :D
I think I heard someone mention a taller seat option available? I found it a bit narrow at the tank junction initially but this is good for moving from side to side in the twisties. I didnt get a sore bum though and there's not a lot of padding on mine! I was happy with the seat comfort.
 

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Good write up! Have any of you guys taken note of what RPM the bike sits at in 6th gear while at various speeds? Just wondering what it's revving at while at highway speeds, etc.
 

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Good write up! Have any of you guys taken note of what RPM the bike sits at in 6th gear while at various speeds? Just wondering what it's revving at while at highway speeds, etc.
Here's a sheet where you can see the speed @ rpm (calculated up to reliable 11,000 rpm)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good write up! Have any of you guys taken note of what RPM the bike sits at in 6th gear while at various speeds? Just wondering what it's revving at while at highway speeds, etc.
Revving too much in 6th gear if you ask me, will talk about this in a new thread.
 

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Nice write up Mr Kiwi.


I must admit I am still surprise how stable the 400 is, and how neutral it is cornering. It's also not too badly affected by heavy winds, which I am sure you have experienced in the last few days!


Yes there is a bit more vibration than the 300. May be something with how the engine is mounted in the frame, but it's not really an issue, and I think it gets less with a few kms on.


I've usually run 33/36 front and rear on my 300, and my 650 prior to that. I hate to admit it but haven't played with my pressures yet.
 
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