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Discussion Starter #1
This is a tad bit late as this is the first day I’ve actually been able to ride but figured I’d make this anyway.

First off, a little about my riding experience. I started riding dirt bikes when I was around 13 and picked up my first street bike at 15 (I’m 24 now). My first bike was a 2003 Yamaha R6 and it probably wasn’t the smartest way to go about learning a proper street bike. Nevertheless, I was fortunate enough to not kill myself on it or even lay it down. Shoot, I never even got a ticket all though I’m not sure how. Since then I have owned quite a few sport bikes including an 07 ninja 250, 15 ninja 300, 04 cbr600rr, 01 gsxr750, 06 gsxr600, 08 zx6r and an amazing 2013 bmw s1000rr. There’s a 2017 grom as well but I didn’t keep that too long.

As for the Ninja 400, I ended up with a black ABS version and I just put about 120 miles on it today. If I had to sum it up, wow. This bike is better than I expected even after watching/reading reviews. The seat isn’t the most comfortable but it isn’t the worst either. It looks way better in person, especially in the sunlight. Handling is absolutely amazing and is extremely easy to maneuver at low speeds. Clutch pull is very light and it’s really easy to find the friction zone. Brakes are not the best by any means but they stop the bike, this is something I will be upgrading in the future. The seating position is more upright than I like so I have ordered clip ons and will install those soon, I might even order a pair of $30 eBay clip ons just to try them out and review them before putting my Gilles clip ons on. Shifting has a very nice click going up and down and I noticed that it will go from first to second when you’re stopped unlike the 300 where it wouldn’t go past neutral until you were moving. Lastly, the power.....oh boy does this thing scream for such a small bike. I hit 100 mph with ease while entering the highway from an on ramp. To give you an idea, I’m 5’11” and 160 lbs. this bike is surprisingly quick and you honestly can’t tell how good until you ride it for yourself.

A side note, there is quite a bit of vibration at highway speed and found my hands going a little numb towards the end. The engine breaking is very strong in all gears. It almost seems just as strong in 6th as it is in 1st.

I’m sure I missed quite a bit so I’ll be happy to answer any question that I can. Overall, I give it a solid 9/10.

A2ED6AF2-60A5-4B1B-A3AA-2E5862475D71.jpg
 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us mate. If you survived that R6 at such a tender age then I would say your all set now!

It's great that you love the bike and, as someone who still hasn't received his bike, it was pleasing to hear that it still exceeded your expectations after having read all the same favorable reviews that I have.

I'm picking up on a trend of comments on some aspects of the bike. Probably the most disappointing one for me as a sports rider is the average brakes. I dont really get that as they upped the front rotor diameter by 20mm over the N300. Possibly the master cylinder and lines are not up to the job?
Vibration has also been mentioned a few times but I wonder if this will reduce with a few miles on the clock.
And lastly the seat, which again has apparently been increased in thickness over the N300. Any N300 owners care to comment on which is better?

But I don't want to dwell on negatives. Just great to hear it's a real screamer, handles well and that the box is slick, most important!

Bodes well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us mate. If you survived that R6 at such a tender age then I would say your all set now!

It's great that you love the bike and, as someone who still hasn't received his bike, it was pleasing to hear that it still exceeded your expectations after having read all the same favorable reviews that I have.

I'm picking up on a trend of comments on some aspects of the bike. Probably the most disappointing one for me as a sports rider is the average brakes. I dont really get that as they upped the front rotor diameter by 20mm over the N300. Possibly the master cylinder and lines are not up to the job?
Vibration has also been mentioned a few times but I wonder if this will reduce with a few miles on the clock.
And lastly the seat, which again has apparently been increased in thickness over the N300. Any N300 owners care to comment on which is better?

But I don't want to dwell on negatives. Just great to hear it's a real screamer, handles well and that the box is slick, most important!

Bodes well. :)
The brakes are somewhat disappointing but I guess you can’t have everything on a bike this cheap. Lol
With that being said, the engine braking does make up a lot for stopping power as long as it isn’t an emergency. I’ll be upgrading the lines first and go from there.
The vibration may lessen over the break in period but who knows and I remember the 300 seat being a little more comfortable. It has been over a year since I owned the 300 though so I’m probably not the best person to tune in on that.
 

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I agree with your review. I have the Solar grey abs model. Although I haven't done any interstate riding yet I find it's handling in the twisties to be amazing. I'm in my late 50s now and no longer have the need for super speed and power. I've had half a dozen or so bikes mostly high displacement and I find this bikes handling just what the doctor ordered. The brakes are a little soft but not enough to mess with them. The bike is a little too quiet for me so an exhaust is a must. I've ordered the taller windscreen. Kawasaki from EBay made an offer of $100 w/free shipping, it should be here in a couple of days. I haven't really noticed much vibration but like I said no interstate. The seat is ok but I may order the 1" taller seat just for a bit more padding. I was on the fence between the Ninja 650 and the Cbr500r. I found the 650 had wonderful power and handling but the vibration was excessive and annoying. The 500 was very comfortable but didn't seem to have any more power than the 400 so in the end I picked the Ninja 400. I love the styling and I'm very satisfied with my choice.
 

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... The seat is ok but I may order the 1" taller seat just for a bit more padding. I was on the fence between the Ninja 650 and the Cbr500r. I found the 650 had wonderful power and handling but the vibration was excessive and annoying...
I may consider the taller seat option too as long as it does indeed have more padding and not just the same amount of padding on a higher base.
Regarding your comment on the vibration of the 650, would you say the 400 is better in the vibration department?
 

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I may consider the taller seat option too as long as it does indeed have more padding and not just the same amount of padding on a higher base.
Regarding your comment on the vibration of the 650, would you say the 400 is better in the vibration department?
Yes. Mine is sewing machine smooth. But since I still have just under 100 miles on it I haven't ridden it enough to say It's smooth in all types of riding, like prolonged interstate rides. But that's not my intended use. I live just 20 miles from the North Ga. Mountains which is full of wonderful curved roads. And only a couple of hours from "The dragons tail" so that will be my primary riding areas. But within a couple of weeks I'll be able to give a much better report.
 

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Yes. Mine is sewing machine smooth. But since I still have just under 100 miles on it I haven't ridden it enough to say It's smooth in all types of riding, like prolonged interstate rides. But that's not my intended use. I live just 20 miles from the North Ga. Mountains which is full of wonderful curved roads. And only a couple of hours from "The dragons tail" so that will be my primary riding areas. But within a couple of weeks I'll be able to give a much better report.
Glad to hear that because I will be riding in similar conditions and duration as you and one of the main things i'm after is a smooth bike that doesn't take much to wind out.
 

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Well I've had my Ninja 400 since Valentine's Day and managed to get about 300 kilometres on the odometer, so I guess it's time to give my thoughts FWIW.

First off I'm 168 cm, and 72 kg, so probably the ideal size to fit the Ninja. The seat can be a little hard, but no worse than many sporty bikes. The reach to the handlebars is spot on for me, and the foot pegs are likewise. My previous bike was a Ninja 300, which I'd downsized to.

The Ninja 400 is a massive improvement over the older 300. This isn't too surprising as it's slightly lighter, and a third larger in engine size. However I personally think it's the new frame, larger fork tubes, and up rated brakes and suspension that also make a difference.

The frame geometry is much more standard sport bike fare, with a steeper steering angle and a longer swing arm which is mounted in the rear of the engine cases. As well as being lighter the frame is appreciably stiffer and flexes less when cornering. It really is noticeable how much more stable the Ninja 400 is over the Ninja 300. I would say that it's as stiff as my old SV650S.

Cornering is pretty well telepathic, with minimal input required. I initially thought that the Ninja 400 wasn't as sharp as the Ninja 300, but this isn't the case. The Ninja 400 is very settled when leaned over. It's certainly very confidence inspiring, and seems to allow you to change your line with minimum panic. I really like the 150 rear tyre which I think makes the bike feel a bit less flighty (if that makes sense).

Engine wise for me the Ninja 400 strikes a really good balance. It's powerful enough to be interesting, but it's not in any sense intimidating. Putting a larger air box under the fuel tank should help the engine breath a bit better.

The Ninja 400 also has better gear ratios. The Ninja 300 first gear was ultra low, and pretty well redundant. First gear on the Ninja 400 is a lot longer, and makes the bike feel more 'grown up'.

I am still running the bike in, but it does feel like it'll be a little ripper when I have a chance to use some serious revs.

In summary I really like this bike. I've always enjoyed 350 to 500 cc twins, and the new Ninja is the best one that I have ridden.

I wouldn't have any problems heading away for a road trip (if Mrs Pwalo were to giving planning permission of course), and I reckon it will make a great race bike. Can't ask for anything more really.
 

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@pwalo Nice review there mate, sounds like a good match. Any thoughts on vibration compared to the 300 and brakes? These seem to be the two sticking points in some reviews.
 

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@pwalo Nice review there mate, sounds like a good match. Any thoughts on vibration compared to the 300 and brakes? These seem to be the two sticking points in some reviews.

Good questions. There is a bit of vibration. I'd say it's about the same as the Ninja 300 from the foot pegs, and perhaps a bit more through the bars. It doesn't worry me, and I expect it'll getter better with a few kms added.


On the Ninja 300 I did the old trick of putting a section of old inner tube in the foot peg pivot. Certainly made a difference on the 300.


I think the brakes are better than the 300. I must admit that I tend to use engine braking as well as the brakes. On the road I don't tend to use the brakes in anger much anyway. if you are worried, I'm sure a set of braided lines and perhaps more aggressive pads would help. personally I think the standard set up gives a decent degree of feedback for road use.


I have a sneaky suspicion you will find the vibration and braking a step up from your Honda.
 

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Good questions. There is a bit of vibration. I'd say it's about the same as the Ninja 300 from the foot pegs, and perhaps a bit more through the bars. It doesn't worry me, and I expect it'll getter better with a few kms added.


On the Ninja 300 I did the old trick of putting a section of old inner tube in the foot peg pivot. Certainly made a difference on the 300.


I think the brakes are better than the 300. I must admit that I tend to use engine braking as well as the brakes. On the road I don't tend to use the brakes in anger much anyway. if you are worried, I'm sure a set of braided lines and perhaps more aggressive pads would help. personally I think the standard set up gives a decent degree of feedback for road use.


I have a sneaky suspicion you will find the vibration and braking a step up from your Honda.
so i heard from Ninja 300 riders that ride often in the city, apparently for some people it still posed a risk due to how responsive you need brakes to be compared to not being in the city.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
so i heard from Ninja 300 riders that ride often in the city, apparently for some people it still posed a risk due to how responsive you need brakes to be compared to not being in the city.
I’d like to amend the brake part of my review. The brakes feel better than the 300 did and the 400 brakes seem to feel better if braking harder, they just aren’t as good as I’d like them. This could be my s1000rr spoiling me.
 

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I’d like to amend the brake part of my review. The brakes feel better than the 300 did and the 400 brakes seem to feel better if braking harder, they just aren’t as good as I’d like them. This could be my s1000rr spoiling me.
Not bad at all.
Do you see yourself getting better brake pads in the future even with how good the Ninja 400 brakes were?
 

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I’d like to amend the brake part of my review. The brakes feel better than the 300 did and the 400 brakes seem to feel better if braking harder, they just aren’t as good as I’d like them. This could be my s1000rr spoiling me.
I think you might be right. I have a sneaking suspicion that the power may be a bit underwhelming as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think you might be right. I have a sneaking suspicion that the power may be a bit underwhelming as well!
Yes, power is underwhelming compared to the s1000 but for the size, it's great! Straight line fun doesn't compare to the BMW but the two aren't very comparable to begin with so it's pretty unfair.
 

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I think you might be right. I have a sneaking suspicion that the power may be a bit underwhelming as well!
Have to bear in mind that our bikes are 8% down on HP compared to the unrestricted North American models. That's LAMS for ya!
 

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The bad vibration could become safety and health issues. This bad vibration should be reported to Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I have been riding my 2018 Ninja 400 at 3000-3500 rpm and I don't see the same problem yet.
 
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