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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anybody ridden both bikes and can compare the pros and cons?

I am looking for a commuter that can handle up to 95 mph on the highway comfortably. Although I normally cruise at 80 mph.

Also I am concerned with available aftermarket parts and the cost of maintenence because i want to keep the bike for over 50k miles. So I am trying to calculate total long-term cost of ownership.

I tell you in my city it is not easy to find a used Ninja 400, as soon as the ad goes up they get sold within 1 or 2 days and its mostly dealers buying them and then marking them up to over $4500 when they flip them.

I have been riding for 1.5 years on a 300cc sportbike. I was going 60 mph and a very fast car on the highway almost ran me down, now I want something with more torque to get away from these maniacs.
 

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I have both bikes but the SV is in race trim so not a good comparison! The SV motor is a proven bullet proof number and the N400 is looking good so far too, so I wouldn't worry too much about reliability.
The biggest difference you will notice swinging a leg over them is the weight difference 168kg vs 195Kg curb weight is significant. You will find the 400 easier to manhandle on the road, in tight parking spots, wheeling in and out of your garage etc etc. Something to consider if this is going to be a daily runner.
The Ninja will be better on gas, $$$ saved.
But... If you want a torquey bike that will leave the traffic behind quickly then the SV is the obvious choice. The Ninja will do the same esp compared to a 300ccc bike (what did you have?) but you will have to wind it up a bit more and use the gear box rather than just twist your wrist.
Can you secure any demo rides on either bike?

Edit: The SV sounds better with the V twin motor!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you kindly for this detailed information. I like the ninja 400 better but it is tough to find a used one around here and i feel the bike is such a hot seller right now that i dont think the dealers are going to want to give me very much of a discount.

Which of the 2 bikes would be more likely stolen by a thief? That is the main reason i crossed the FZ-07 off of my list, the risk of theft is too great.

I wish I could find a "sleeper" bike that will perform well but that wont be so attractive to the thieves. My current bike is Honda CBR300. I was happy with the bike for many months but today I rode with a group (all of them with bigger bikes) and I had to pin the throttle just to catch up to them. And then on the way home (by myself) was when the scary event happened to me that this idiot in a car was barreling down the expressway in a Dodge Charger (must have been over 95 mph) this stupid jerk almost ran me down as if i wasnt even there.

My heart was beating out of my chest in fear, I had the throttle absolutely pinned. I dont want to find myself in a situation like that again where my life is in the hands of another person and that I have zero control of my own fate in such a scenario like that.

The CBR300 has been fine in 95% of the time but the other 5% could wind up with me dead and now I am afraid of such an event happening.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Kiwi,

I read on another thread that you used to own the CBR300. How would you compare the ergonomics of the 2 bikes? Are they quite similar?
 

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Hi Kiwi,

I read on another thread that you used to own the CBR300. How would you compare the ergonomics of the 2 bikes? Are they quite similar?
Pretty much, both have reasonably high bars and the pegs are not massively rear set. Even though they market the Ninja a bit as a supersports it's not and the ergo's are user friendly. The main diff I noticed is the fairing is a lot lower on the Ninja so you dont have as much wind protection. I live in a cool climate so i like a bit of a wind break.
Coming off a 31HP bike you will find the Ninja significantly quicker (48HP) so that may be enough to give you that extra acceleration your after. I had similar issue with the CBR, passing quickly and safely was not always possible.
The biggest diff I noticed riding the Ninja over the CBR (other than the power) was how stable and planted on the road it felt. It has more of a bike bike feel to it even though it's only 7kg heavier.

I cant comment on theft appeal, I'm lucky enough to live somewhere I dont have to factor that in.

If you cant find a Ninja at the right price then go for the SV, they're both great bikes and I'm sure you'd be happy with either. There are some really good deals going here in NZ on the SV650X at present. It's a smart looking bike.
 

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Thank you kindly for this detailed information. I like the ninja 400 better but it is tough to find a used one around here and i feel the bike is such a hot seller right now that i dont think the dealers are going to want to give me very much of a discount.

Which of the 2 bikes would be more likely stolen by a thief? That is the main reason i crossed the FZ-07 off of my list, the risk of theft is too great.

I wish I could find a "sleeper" bike that will perform well but that wont be so attractive to the thieves. My current bike is Honda CBR300. I was happy with the bike for many months but today I rode with a group (all of them with bigger bikes) and I had to pin the throttle just to catch up to them. And then on the way home (by myself) was when the scary event happened to me that this idiot in a car was barreling down the expressway in a Dodge Charger (must have been over 95 mph) this stupid jerk almost ran me down as if i wasnt even there.

My heart was beating out of my chest in fear, I had the throttle absolutely pinned. I dont want to find myself in a situation like that again where my life is in the hands of another person and that I have zero control of my own fate in such a scenario like that.

The CBR300 has been fine in 95% of the time but the other 5% could wind up with me dead and now I am afraid of such an event happening.
Sounds like riding in Atlanta traffic! Your not around Atlanta, are you?
 

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I have both bikes but the SV is in race trim so not a good comparison! The SV motor is a proven bullet proof number and the N400 is looking good so far too, so I wouldn't worry too much about reliability.
The biggest difference you will notice swinging a leg over them is the weight difference 168kg vs 195Kg curb weight is significant. You will find the 400 easier to manhandle on the road, in tight parking spots, wheeling in and out of your garage etc etc. Something to consider if this is going to be a daily runner.
The Ninja will be better on gas, $$$ saved.
But... If you want a torquey bike that will leave the traffic behind quickly then the SV is the obvious choice. The Ninja will do the same esp compared to a 300ccc bike (what did you have?) but you will have to wind it up a bit more and use the gear box rather than just twist your wrist.
Can you secure any demo rides on either bike?

Edit: The SV sounds better with the V twin motor!
What is your opinion of the SV650 as a beginner bike.
 

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What is your opinion of the SV650 as a beginner bike.
Too much too soon IMO. The rider would also need to be of a reasonable stature and strength so they could easily hold the bike up flat footed. Last thing you want to be worrying about when trying to sort out your throttle/clutch co-ordination is the bike falling over on you.
 

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Has anybody ridden both bikes and can compare the pros and cons?

I am looking for a commuter that can handle up to 95 mph on the highway comfortably. Although I normally cruise at 80 mph.

Also I am concerned with available aftermarket parts and the cost of maintenence because i want to keep the bike for over 50k miles. So I am trying to calculate total long-term cost of ownership.

I tell you in my city it is not easy to find a used Ninja 400, as soon as the ad goes up they get sold within 1 or 2 days and its mostly dealers buying them and then marking them up to over $4500 when they flip them.

I have been riding for 1.5 years on a 300cc sportbike. I was going 60 mph and a very fast car on the highway almost ran me down, now I want something with more torque to get away from these maniacs.

I have not ridden the SV 650 so I can not give you advice there, however, I have commuted over 27K miles in the past year on my N400. I travel about 80% on the highway, and have observed the following related to commuting on highway: my commute is about 60 miles in one direction.



Rider and bike info: I'm 5'8", 155lbs, 32" inseam, and the only mod on the bike is a ZG Corsa windscreen.





The sweet spot for speed and vibration on my N400 is 70 to 74MPH. The vibes are reduced to the lowest point at that speed, and the wind is acceptable. That's the speed I cruse for most of my commute. At that speed the revs are at about 7K. I can cruse at 80 and the bike handles it fine, however, it revs at 8K and the vibs come back and the wind is much more substantial. The N400 will then accelerate past 100MPH easily, however, again its viby and the wind is substantial. I do not enjoy riding at 80 and above for much longer than sprints, passing, or short distances mainly due to wind.



More about the wind, the stock windscreen is rubbish for me. I experienced a lot of buffeting from the shoulders up to the helmet. With the Corsa windscreen, it's better, but still there. I plan on getting the ZG Sport Touring windscreen to hopefully further reduce the wind and buffeting. For me, it's the buffeting that is annoying. Its very loud. If I stand up and put my helmet in clean non-buffeting wind, the noise goes down quite a bit.



With that said, I like the bike and will keep it for a long time. Riding on back roads and Mtn. roads is where it shines, it is just a blast on weekend rides. Long commutes at 80 MPH, may be more than some can endure. Eventually, I will upgrade to different bike for my commute, one that is long legged and handles wind better.



Hope that helps.
 

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Has anybody ridden both bikes and can compare the pros and cons?

I am looking for a commuter that can handle up to 95 mph on the highway comfortably. Although I normally cruise at 80 mph.

Also I am concerned with available aftermarket parts and the cost of maintenence because i want to keep the bike for over 50k miles. So I am trying to calculate total long-term cost of ownership.

I tell you in my city it is not easy to find a used Ninja 400, as soon as the ad goes up they get sold within 1 or 2 days and its mostly dealers buying them and then marking them up to over $4500 when they flip them.

I have been riding for 1.5 years on a 300cc sportbike. I was going 60 mph and a very fast car on the highway almost ran me down, now I want something with more torque to get away from these maniacs.
I've owned both. The SV will be better suited for your speeds and is bullet proof with plenty of clean used examples available here in the states. It is also a popular cult racer with lot of information available on modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys for all this helpful advice.

I went to a dealership yesterday and they said they did not have Ninja 400 on the floor to show me because someone had just bought it. Then I sat on a SV650 and also on a Z400 and a Z650.

Compared to my Honda CB300F the SV650 and the Z650 felt like boats. I mean HUGE and heavy monsters of a bike. Then when I was about to leave a salesman said they had a used 2016 Ninja 400 in the back so I went over to check it out. But the bike did not say "400" on the body at all and it was a BIG bike that I would have sworn was a 600 or above. I mean is the Ninja 400 supposed to look like a full sized super sport? The Ninja 400 (Salesman insisted it was a 300) that I sat on was much, much wider than my CB300F.

The dealership was closing 6pm so I did not have a chance to examine or ride it. I did like that Z400 however but also the 2016 Ninja 400 seemed to be wider also than the 2019 Z400 so I dont even know what to think.

For now I am just going to stick with my CB300F. I bought a pack of 3 oil filters so I am basically committed to 3 oil changes before selling the bike anyhow. Also I have to save up more money because I cant sell my Cb300F and then wait around 2 or 3 weeks without a bike until I find a good deal on Ninja 400.

I would probably go into motorcycle "withdrawals" if i could not ride for 3 weeks. And I would end up probably overpaying and buying the first thing I see on craigslist. Around here I cannot find a used Z400 at ANY PRICE. Its weird.

I think I like the Z400 better then the Ninja at least as far as sitting on it.
 

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Thanks guys for all this helpful advice.

I went to a dealership yesterday and they said they did not have Ninja 400 on the floor to show me because someone had just bought it. Then I sat on a SV650 and also on a Z400 and a Z650.

Compared to my Honda CB300F the SV650 and the Z650 felt like boats. I mean HUGE and heavy monsters of a bike. Then when I was about to leave a salesman said they had a used 2016 Ninja 400 in the back so I went over to check it out. But the bike did not say "400" on the body at all and it was a BIG bike that I would have sworn was a 600 or above. I mean is the Ninja 400 supposed to look like a full sized super sport? The Ninja 400 (Salesman insisted it was a 300) that I sat on was much, much wider than my CB300F.

The dealership was closing 6pm so I did not have a chance to examine or ride it. I did like that Z400 however but also the 2016 Ninja 400 seemed to be wider also than the 2019 Z400 so I dont even know what to think.

For now I am just going to stick with my CB300F. I bought a pack of 3 oil filters so I am basically committed to 3 oil changes before selling the bike anyhow. Also I have to save up more money because I cant sell my Cb300F and then wait around 2 or 3 weeks without a bike until I find a good deal on Ninja 400.

I would probably go into motorcycle "withdrawals" if i could not ride for 3 weeks. And I would end up probably overpaying and buying the first thing I see on craigslist. Around here I cannot find a used Z400 at ANY PRICE. Its weird.

I think I like the Z400 better then the Ninja at least as far as sitting on it.


What country are you in? In the US, we did not have a 2016 n400. I believe there may have been a ninja 400 in other countries though, which was based on the ninja 650 sleeved down to a 400. So yes that would be a big heavy bike with a low powered engine. That is NOT the N400 2018/2019. And if they were passing that off as the same bike they are either ignorant or misleading. The N400 and Z400 are the same bike with different bars (instead of clip ons) . Plus a few other changes that don’t affect the ergos.
 

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Bryan has covered it. I'm also curious to know where you live as not many places have those old Ninja 400s. Yes they are basically a 650cc bike with different engine internals to meet Japanese market requirements.
The sales man was trying you on there but it's good that you clearly know what your looking for and walked away. Good move.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi i am in United States. Aha!

The dealership was selling 2016 Ninja 400 (but it looked too big to be a 400) for $3500 with 7000 miles on it.

Update:

https://www.browardmotorsportshollywood.com/default.asp?page=xPreOwnedInventoryDetail&id=7603551&p=1&make=kawasaki&s=Year&d=D&l=hollywood, fl&fr=xPreOwnedInventory


Looks like we got to the bottom of the mystery. It was actually a Ninja 300. What a clueless salesman. But I am quite surprised at how much bigger the Ninja 300 seems when compared to my CB300F. It is so "wide"
 

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Based on your needs I would say to go with the SV650. I've never ridden one, but no replacement for displacement. Fastest I've gone on the freeway with my N400 is 90mph. The bike feels fine but you can tell it's working to stay at that pace. I feel vibrations mostly on the footpegs which gets uncomfortable after a short while. I mean I absolutely love my N400, but I wouldn't want to be commuting at freeway speeds on it on a daily basis. My .02 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks I looked at Versys but its too heavy. I want something small. lightweight and flickable. I like the Z650 better than the SV650.

or the Z400 if I can ever find a used one.
 

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Looks like we got to the bottom of the mystery. It was actually a Ninja 300. What a clueless salesman. But I am quite surprised at how much bigger the Ninja 300 seems when compared to my CB300F. It is so "wide"
For future reference this is what a 2016 Ninja 400 looks like:
kawasaki-ninja-400 2016.jpg

The give away is the angle of the rear shock and the banana swing arm with the underslung exhaust. We have them here in NZ but they're not real common.

It sounds like you know what you like in a bike and if lightweight is right up there then stay away from the 650's. Those CB/CBR Honda's are lightest in class so if your used to that and you like it then stick with it.
A 400 will come up in time and you have wheels presently so patience will reward you in time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
For future reference this is what a 2016 Ninja 400 looks like:
View attachment 8857

The give away is the angle of the rear shock and the banana swing arm with the underslung exhaust. We have them here in NZ but they're not real common.

It sounds like you know what you like in a bike and if lightweight is right up there then stay away from the 650's. Those CB/CBR Honda's are lightest in class so if your used to that and you like it then stick with it.
A 400 will come up in time and you have wheels presently so patience will reward you in time. :)
The also had a Honda CB500F at that dealer and I sat on it but also it was SIGNIFICANTLY bulkier than the CB300F. The gas tank was much larger and wider, I could feel that when I straddled my legs around it.

Thank you for your advice and I have learned alot from what you guys have told me. This is a very high quality forum community you have here. God bless you all
 

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The also had a Honda CB500F at that dealer and I sat on it but also it was SIGNIFICANTLY bulkier than the CB300F. The gas tank was much larger and wider, I could feel that when I straddled my legs around it.

Thank you for your advice and I have learned alot from what you guys have told me. This is a very high quality forum community you have here. God bless you all
I too owned both SV 650 SF and Ninja 400, actually I just sold my SV 650 about 2 months ago after having it for about 3 years and kept the 400(you can see mine in my garage)
Mine I upgraded for more of a track bike, but did ride it on the street. I swapped over the front end to a GSXR front, bigger more power brakes, better shock out back, etc.

The 650 had more torque, and how I had it setup braked way better. I rode it for a bit stock, but the front end felt heavy and pushed alot in the corners in stock trim, and the rear was too plush and no adjustments. The stock brakes were also not the best, and about as good as the 400 brakes, even with dual rotors up front, but it was a heavier bike, and felt heavier. I really liked the sound of the SV v-twin, and the torque, but the SV being a smaller motor fell flat early on in the RPM's where the 400 keeps building. The SV will run about 125-127 in stock gearing and trim, and the Ninja 400 does about 115-120, so they are very close. Big difference is the SV comes in at 72hp and about 45ft lbs torque.

Obviously I prefer the 400 as I kept it, in stock trim the SV was not bad, but I feel the 400 does everything just a little better or the same. The flick-ability and agile-ness of the 400 I prefer over stock SV, also the SV likes to eat up tires compared to the 400...granted the SV is no liter bike or large Ducati twin, but still it ate them up quicker.

I would pick the 400 over the SV, with the SV's current setup. Now the way I had it modified, I loved the SV it felt heavier at slower speeds and the faster you rode it the better it performed and lighter it felt, but with the adjustable rear sets, 09 GSXR forks and clip-ons and the tail up about 5mm you were really on your wrists and shoulders. I had a 06 GSXR 750 also at the time and getting on the 750 felt like a break on the back and shoulders cause it was not as aggressive forward, and riding the 750 was not a distance bike.
I like to use them to commute to work, or take trips, or hit the track, and the 400 seems to do enough of each area to be good at it. Where the SV how I had it setup was very niche.

Also 2018 was the first year for the Ninja 400 in the USA, the Ninja 400 prior to that 2011- was Canada and Japan only. They looked and felt like the older 650, but with a 400 motor in them, and not based on the 2018- motor either. So if they claim its a 2016 Ninja 400, its from Canada or that salesman is a tire-kicker salesman that knows nothing about what he sells(you know like the kids that come in and see 200mph on the R6 gauges and believe an R6 can go 200mph, when in reality there "actual" top speed is 155-160 on its very best day with the stars aligned, yes the speedo is lying at those speeds)
 
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