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In about a month, we will be stuffing the entirety of our worldly belonging into a few small suitcases and relocating back to the USA. Yes, sadly the little Black/Red Ninja has been sold.
A question comes to mind: Would I buy another Ninja 400 or possibly a Zed?
In order to answer that question one must review the last 22 months on the Ninjette. (Sorry if this gets a bit long)

Dislikes:
The instrument panel is the absolute worst. In combination of it being located below my line of sight, the reflections and glare, it's practically useless. There is little worse than catching a glimpse of that flashing white dot when you're miles from nowhere and not knowing how long it's been blinking. I've become accustom to checking the fuel level before leaving the house. At least the tach and speedo are big enough to see at a glance, if the sun is just right, and if I think to look down. And what is with that ridiculously huge gear indicator? (Sorry, ranting) Maybe I just need new bifocals, and an open face helmet.
The foot pegs are further aft than I'm accustomed. But then, it is a sport(y) bike and I'm an old GS rider so pay no attention to the lunatic.
The bars are ok for every day, too high for the track and a pain in the neck for touring.
After reading all the reviews about how great the N4 handled, it was disappointing to find it handled no better than the bikes of yesteryear. Particularly for something marketed as a sport bike. I did enjoy the challenge of upgrading the suspension a piece at a time and feeling the before and after handling aspects of each component installed.
The transmission and clutch get a little funky when the oil gets below 1/4 of the window. I just watch the window and keep her topped up. The disappointment is the times I've had to top up the oil, in the amount of over a quart in 7500 km.

Likes & Life on a Ninja 400

The Ninja was the logical choice over the Z400 for the added protection of the fairing as I was really tired of getting soaked in the rain.
The seat is average to above average for OEM. I can't recall a motorcycle seat that I didn't replace or modify in the past 40 years. The N4 was no different. I got the Kawasaki ergo seat and took out about 10-15mm of foam from the back half. Now it's perfect for me. And I still have the original for track days and for eventual sale.
The fairing mounted mirrors are better than handlebar mount mirrors that vibrate constantly. They might stick out like antennae on a big black & red bug but they work great and fold quickly for filtering traffic.
I was never a fan of small twins, but the EX400 has excellent balance of power, torque and weight for the local highways, mountain roads and city traffic.
She'll drift the rear Dunlop when launching from a stop, so easily in fact, one must be careful accelerating into traffic. No clutch issues just slick Thai road surfaces.
Suspension mods were pretty straight forward. Add about 10mm fork preload and replace the factory shock with a quality one. I went with the Thai brand YSS. Also had the race shop install a steering damper. The little ninja finally handles the way it should. The before and after suspension mods are two different machines. I don't even consider the foot pegs and handle bars awkward anymore. They are right where they belong.
There is no more 00sssh!!t feeling when hitting potholes, road construction, jumping speed bumps, or accelerating out of the hairpin at T3. Even drifting is less unnerving.

The last few rides have been a bit sad. Rider and machine have finally reached that intuitive connection when all is right with the world. And now we must say goodbye.
I'm already starting to miss the kid. Ending with a happy thought; she has gone to another lady rider.

But would I get another? Would I purchase another EX400 knowing it will need over a thousand dollars in suspension upgrades?

Without hesitation.
 

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i've never had to top my oil off, but i do not go the full mileage before changing the oil. if you didnt like the fuel gauge on this bike, dont buy a supersport. my old gsxr didnt have a fuel gauge, it had a low fuel light, you just had to keep track of your tank mileage. yeah its a sport bike, a budget priced sport bike. glad you would buy another, considering your amount of unhappiness with this bike. a cheap option for a rear shock is to swap it to a gsxr 600 shock, less than 100 bucks, and makes a moderate level of improvement.
 

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Good Luck with the move. Gosh, I could pick apart any bike after nothing more than reading the reviews from reputable moto sources. All of these bikes are pretty awesome compared to previous generations. What's not to like? Most of us end up getting a different bike next time around... not because we're disappointed in it's performance.. We just want something different. Enjoy the move and I hope you land softly. Enjoy your search for a new bike.. I'll bet you find it.:)
 

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Hey Jene Fives, good luck on the move. Thanks for the exit review. All bikes are "perfect" when you first buy them. It's only after you get over the post purchase high that the reality exposes itself. Fortunately, the N400 is a really strong bike. It can easily be molded into a great bike for so many styles of riding. It says a lot that you would't hesitate to buy it again. Cheers!
 

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I hope your move goes well. Welcome back!

"Maybe I just need new bifocals, and an open face helmet." Bifocals are good. I have experience in this. 🧓 Open face helmets, well, not so good. There's bugs, flying rocks or debris, and the fact that it does nothing if you crash face forward.

Which brings me to a funny story. Once upon a time I managed to have a little get off and landed face first at a very slow speed. There were deep scratches in my visor and a big scrape where the top of the helmet met the curb. I showed the helmet to the impressionable youngsters in my life hoping to encourage helmet use if motorcycles were in their futures (in a non-preachy way--just show-n-tell about the crash). The youngest, who was still learning to speak, touched the visor scratches with her fingers, and then silently touched her face. She didn't say anything, but the expression on her face after comparing how hard the visor was with how soft her face is was enough to show that she understood the point I was making. She probably has no specific memory of that, but she wears a helmet when riding her mini-bike these days.
 
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