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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay so i was invited to a ninja 400 demo day here in western Australia, the bike goes on sale on the 19th of February but you're allowed to test before release so that's what I did, first of all you should know I have a ninja 300 that I have been riding for almost 2 years, and due to selling my car back in july 2017 all I do for transport is ride.I usually ride around 30-40 minutes a day and have stacked up 20k on the clock. I also went to the demo day with a close friend who owns a yamaha r3 which I also ride a lot and we did the test ride together, I have some footage from the test ride but my camera died about 3 minutes into it and we rode a decent 60 minutes on our own all around the city, highway and twistie roads ect. Okay so here's how everything went down,

As soon as I arrived at the kawasaki dealership I saw the 400's lined up at the front of the store, it was around 7:30pm so there was a solid 30 minutes left of sun light which is perfect because we left while the sun was up and returned at night, first thing I noticed is the quality of the ninja 400, It looks much better in person, the material on the black one is not as silver flaky as shown in photos which is a small turn off for me :/ but in its defence the plastic feels very high end along with everything and just the way it is put together feels very well built. the bikes look very clean and 2018 looking. after doing some paper work me and my buddy where given the key and off we went while we still had sun light, we both rode the black 400 as we chose them ourselves "I dont like the other colors, I like black because it fits my soul ;)" There was also one more fella who asked to tag along with us for the ride which we politely allowed and he rode the krt green edition. as soon as I got on the bike I noticed how bad the clutch levers are, Either I forgot how far the stock levers are out from the grip when I first got my ninja 300 or the ninja 400 levers are just way worse? Im thinking I have just forgotten since im most likely just used to the shorty levers on my and my friends 300/r3 But man oh man these ninja 400 levers are almost 3x as far distanced from the grips than my and my friends shorty lever "taking note I do have little hands :/"


The sitting position was actually really comfortable and only got better as we started moving, It's more upright but the way the tank and handle bars work together allow it to go from "Mmm nice relaxing ride" to "here we go, get down and move forward" I saw a few reviews where people where all saying how the handle bars are higher but what i noticed is they where on a much closer angle towards the rider compared to the 300, as in the bars where bent closer towards the fuel tank and I really loved that. as we moved I wasn't feeling it at all, felt way to mellow and quiet, I was getting nervous thinking the ninja 400 was not as powerful as I hoped for, but..I was dead wrong, I have gotten so used to riding the 300 and R3 that when I looked down I saw I was in 5th gear going 40mph/60kph which is perfect on the 300 while on the 400 its way WAY to high of a gear, it was at 2-3k rpm and almost stalling, once i dropped into 3rd gear it was nice and powerful.. a lot more than I imaged but it was a very smooth power. it felt almost electric but comfortable at the same time but gave you small hints that there was more to this engine then you think.

the more I rode it the better and better it felt, I was nervous at first but the more I rode it the more I felt like this bike couldn't betray me, the next major and weird thing was the turn at the stop lights, I went to do a very tight turn and it almost felt like the bike was falling... but it wasn't, it was putting itself into a deep dive into the corner, It was beautiful, it cornered like it was impossible to fall off, I felt no fear at all doing very tight turns, the tires where amazing, a lot better than what I was expecting, the next thing that I really loved that people don't talk about are the dual led headlights, man they do the job very well and look very high quality as I could see my friend in the rear view from a far distance and it just looked like a big ass expensive bike in the rear view "sorta like the led headlamped version of the panigale" it lit up the road in front of me a lot better than my 300 and was alot more even in spreading the light around.

okay so after 10 minutes of riding around we hit the highway and thats where this thing shined, since we where alone "no one supervising" we let this thing unleash, and man oh man it can kick, first of all it feels for its weight like a cruiser on the highway, it was so stable and smooth I really loved it, the windscreen is 10x better in terms of wind reduction compared to the ninja 300 and r3 and thank the lord that I was on the highway.. in 3rd and 4th gear... in the lower rpms "amazing right" in 4th and around 3-4k rpm in 3rd it was around 5-6k rpm which is a lot better than the ninja 300s 6th gear 7k rpm. also on the high way when wanting to pass someone this thing accelerates like a beast even at the higher speeds and gears, in fact I was going around 70mph in 4th on the highway, than to pass a truck in front I dropped to 3rd not thinking much and when i went to accelerate it through me back a little and i loved that.

now the brakes, WOW. I have the ninja 300 without abs so I like to slide a little at the lights when coming to a stop, but this thing...the breaks are a instant stop but a very nice confidence inspiring instant stop, on the 300 when I hit the front brake it throws u forward a bit which is very uncomfortable while this thing has none of that, the brakes are very confident inspiring, I felt like i could come to a complete stop at any second without the fear of sliding or throwing myself over the handle bars. also I saw a few people on reviews say the breaks are "spongy" not at all, in fact I have ridden the 300,r3, fz07, honda cbr 600rr, ninja 250 and a 07 honda 600cbr and this thing had the best breaks feed back out of all of those, I loved the breaks.

when we finished up on the highway we went home through the twisties/zigzag rode, man this thing was quality, I have never felt more safe and more like I could do what ever I wanted on a bike, I was leaning like I have owned this bike for years its that confidence inspiring,I was at the point of knee scrapping and felt I had more room to go "was wearing shorts so didnt really want to push it" then I looked down at the dash and realised i was going over 60mph on very tight rodes leaning this thing likes its made of air, it was such a confidence builder, once again really surprised with the stock tires.

so after 1 hour of riding what I found out is that this has more than enough power than ever needed, if you're not planing to go over 120mph this thing is perfect, it gives you power very smoothly like its a inline 4, tho when u turn that throttle to max its will remind you that its a ninja, it feels bigger than it is, even tho its 103cc more then the 300, it feel like a 600cc bike in a small package with a very well balanced power band. I didnt feel sore from riding at all, a lot better than the 300, the brakes blew me away I really loved them, the engine breaking was very smooth "again felt like a inline 4" the tires are awesome, the bike felt very balanced I couldn't fall off the bike if I tried, the first turn was a little scary on how much the bike just wanted to dive into the turn as if it had a mind of its own but I trusted it and it repaid me with a smile, the power is very nice for commuting, you look and realise you have so much room, going over 70mph in 3rd gear is great, but so smooth at the same time, then a quick flick of the rist and the things turns into a lion thats about to pounce on its pray, its very satisfying. all in all the video's do no justice, the bike looks much better in person, it feels like a completely different machine when compared to all the other 250/300's and even the honda 500, you can really feel that the bike is built from ground up and it really feels like a 2018 game changing bike, only thing I hated was the clutch and brake levers other than that its the best bike I have ever ridden and I have as soon as getting of it walked in and purchased it :) pick up is on the 24th and I cannot wait to take this thing for a long drive around the beach

engine 10/10
brakes 9/10
clutch 7/10 "very light to pull in but the distance in pull in with stock levers is wayyyy to far but easy fix"
tires 9/10 "million times better than the 300's stock tires"
design 9/10 "feels like a much higher quality bike compared to the 300 and r3"
comfort 9/10 "felt like a cruiser though the way the bars and seat and tank are positioned it also felt more sporty when compared to the 300 which is a weird and hard to explain but its a very satisfying feeling, definitely more comfortable"

all in all great great bike, good beginner bike, I thought how the **** can this much power be good for begginers? But I now see how its done, kawasaki have been very smart, The power Band is like this 2-3k rpm is mellow but still slightly more than the ninja 300 but not by much, 4-6k rmp you can get a taste that it has much more to it than you think while being smooth and making the ninja 300 and r3 look like kids toys, then 7-10k rpm is a kick to your ass, doing the gearing and power band this way is excellent and I wouldnt have it any other way though I have lost my license before due to speed and seen friends die due to speed I will get this thing knowing I can ride and relax at smaller RPM while still at a nice high "not illegal" speed and yet have the power to jump and move when needed, Team green has hit the nail on the head and its the best bike I Have ever rode on

final verdict : Makes everything else including its preDecessor "the ninja 300" look like it belongs in a museum, Well done Kawasaki, You have removed all excuses from the other big bike names that you cant make a quality bike for a low price tag :)
 

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Yep a great review, and thanks for the effort you put into it. Great to know that you have spent time on both the Ninja 300 and the R3 so you can compare directly. Let me ask if I may, how much do you weigh approximately with all your kit on and how did the suspension feel to you over bumps and road imperfections especially mid-corner, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep a great review, and thanks for the effort you put into it. Great to know that you have spent time on both the Ninja 300 and the R3 so you can compare directly. Let me ask if I may, how much do you weigh approximately with all your kit on and how did the suspension feel to you over bumps and road imperfections especially mid-corner, etc?
I edited the review since it was done on my phone at first and had many spelling mistakes and things worded incorrectly, mid corner is where this thing shined, its a very strange feeling at first, you almost feel like "wow should I really be going this low?" then you just hit a point where its smooth sailing and everything just works, The suspension is night and day over the ninja 300 and R3 it finaly felt like i could ride on the highway all day while sometimes on the 300 it just feels shaky if you know what I mean, and I know on the 300 pulling into gas stations you can feel the smallest of rocks this thing cleared that up. I recently dropped 20kgs for summer "the ladies" and am currently at 70kgs 155lbs "72 kgs with gear and bag" and am 5'11 ft or 6" dont know anymore lol depends on the shoe I wear, I am also 23 "turning 24 on the 16th feb" aka ninja 400 is a birthday present to myself.
 

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please take another look over the review, I have edited it to represent my thoughts a little better.
Wow thanks so much for your quick reply. I'm starting to understand why the local Yamaha dealers dropped the price of the R3 by a thousand dollars starting in December. Guess they got early word through industry channels how good the new Ninja was!

edit - and what a great birthday present to yourself :D
 

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Nice one mate, enjoyed that. Funny, just last night I was on the Kawasaki Australia site and saw the list of dates for the demo ride days. Looked to me like WA was first on the list, excellent!

Always good to hear a review from someone who has good riding knowledge of other 300cc class bikes. Great to hear the headlights are a winner too.

First Kiwis got their bikes last Saturday, not often we are ahead of you guys! :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice one mate, enjoyed that. Funny, just last night I was on the Kawasaki Australia site and saw the list of dates for the demo ride days. Looked to me like WA was first on the list, excellent!

Always good to hear a review from someone who has good riding knowledge of other 300cc class bikes. Great to hear the headlights are a winner too.

First Kiwis got their bikes last Saturday, not often we are ahead of you guys! :grin:
Yeh it releases here in western Australia on Monday aka the 19th but I gotta wait to pick mine up on the 24th since its a demo model they cant sell right away due to some laws, NZ might have gotten the bikes earlier but I saw those accessory price's haha so i dont mind waiting if it means cheaper prices
 

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Thanks for the super in depth first impressions! Glad to hear its comfortable to ride and powerful enough to not have to worry about outgrowing it. Congrats on getting your order in, and I look forward to seeing and hearing more about your new purchase :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the super in depth first impressions! Glad to hear its comfortable to ride and powerful enough to not have to worry about outgrowing it. Congrats on getting your order in, and I look forward to seeing and hearing more about your new purchase :)
Glad you enjoyed the read, already have over 10 mods ready for install, levers, exhaust, custom tail light, custom mini mirrors "dont know if i will install the mirrors though as the stock mirrors frew on me" 160 rear tire, headlight bottom covers, short bar ends and more, will post photos as soon as I pick up the bike :)
 

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Glad you enjoyed the read, already have over 10 mods ready for install, levers, exhaust, custom tail light, custom mini mirrors "dont know if i will install the mirrors though as the stock mirrors frew on me" 160 rear tire, headlight bottom covers, short bar ends and more, will post photos as soon as I pick up the bike :)
Can’t wait! What exhaust and levers did you get?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I had you pegged for a hard break in sort of guy :grin:
well...You are right haha first 100km i was redlining how can you not god damnit it all these rules haha especially on the highway with my friend and his r3 i cant just let him pass me like im 12 haha but seriously dont speed people
 

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I think its hard to expect anyone to be soft with a break in. Even the folks I know that are known to be "soft" riders intermittently get into the higher rev range just for the fact they want to build pressure in the engine.
 

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Awesome review. I had the 300 and now have the 400. The 400 is better. The 400 has a noticeably smoother transmission just as much as the more powerful engine. Plus the 400 has the handlebars that don't need to be swapped out. The 400 also responds much better to a slipon exhaust in that it doesn't backfire and pop all the time on decelleration as it did on my Ninja 300.

 

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You said you were going 70 in 3rd gear? I’m still in the break in period and would love to know if my bike will be able to handle 70 in 3rd gear. Awesome review man.
 
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