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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
TLDR, My new 400 is in the shop because shifting between gears failed to engage a few times in heavy traffic, I feel it's unsafe to ride because once while going uphill I hit neutral up shifting between 4th and 5th gear causing the bike to abruptly slow down with traffic directly behind me.

Please Post here If you are having or have had shifting issues with your new Ninja 400.
What is/was your shifting Issue..? How many miles on your bike..? Has it been resolved..?

I posted in the introductory forums the shifting Issues I've been having with my Ninja 400. A couple people responded they have had issues too, since a few but not many people read introductory posts and a couple responded they had an issue, I thought it might be a good idea to create a thread just for shifting issues in a more visible part of the forums.

The long story.! " Reprint "

I'm trying to following the " break in " instructions as stated by not exceeding the 4k rpm limit for the first 500 miles, It is very hard to do. Only riding on the streets with posted speed limits of 45 MPH or less, No highway or freeway riding. I find it hard to baby the bike with cars in rush hour traffic, I have to accelerate and change gears quickly to achieve the posted speed limit in order to keep up with traffic while keeping the engine RPMs under 4k.

The worst event that has happened so far was a little scary.. I was quickly accelerating from a stop light right at the start of an overpass trying to get up to speed, while shifting from 4th to 5th gear I heard a grinding noise going up the incline - and as I let out the clutch and gave it throttle I realized immediately I was no longer in any gear and had to up shift again to get back in gear.

Several times today while changing from 5th to 6th gear while accelerating it poped back to 5th, Some times its as if 5th gear was not fully engaged previously because when you up shift from 5th to 6th gear you find out you haven't changed gears a all and must up shift once more to get in 6th gear.

I was originally thinking it has to be me, Its a new bike.. But after it happened a 3rd time during a single 40 min riding session I took it to the dealer to get it looked at and on the record. The mechanic rode it for maybe 10 minutes and did not duplicate the issue, but felt that 6th gear was not fully engaging after shifting, He said he didn't get that distinct click feel.

End " Reprint ".

They kept the bike at the shop and said they would contact Kawasaki and get back to me, they even gave me a ride home which was nice. that was yesterday the 5th. Today I called before they closed because I was eager to get info on the bike - they told me that Kawasaki had not called them back yet. I left it at that, no fun this weekend oh well.

Thats my story, Thanks for reading - Also Kawasaki customer care number is 866-802-9381 7:30 am to 5:00 pm M-F.
 

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Sorry to hear that and hope that does not happen to my bike. But it would be good to know what the shop found when you get your bike back -- something to be aware just in case. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Yeah I've hit a couple half gears/random neutrals. I had one between 5/6 gear @~130km/h and it scared the **** outta me. There was also a problem getting into first at traffic lights, I couldn't downshift so I rocked the bike until it worked. Now that I've got >2500km in my bike I haven't really had a problem.
 

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I've experienced the same problems. Shifting gets stuck sometimes between gear changes, especially N - 1. Downshifting is also problematic, especially when you want to get into 1st at the traffic lights! Gear 5-6 sometimes does not engage properly and results in getting back to 5th.

What I've found is if your gears lock up, try to shift and slowly ease the clutch into the biting point. I've just come back from the bike's 1st service and they said to run her in for a few more miles. In the meantime, they will check with Kawasaki to see if others have had the same issues (they do from the looks of it!)

At least I'm not the only one!
 

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I have had it go into neutral between 5th and 6th several times recently. The first few hundred km were fine, but this shitty behaviour has started since about 400km on the clock (now at 600km). I do pull up firmly on the lever between gears, and it's interesting how sometimes you feel the click, sometimes not.. I hope this improves with time and/or an oil change. I'm really dissapointed with the consistancy of the feel/feedback from the gear lever.

The wife couldn't get from N - 1 once during a lesson I was giving her and we had to rock the bike. Also I've had it stay in 3rd and not upshift to 4th a couple of times.
 

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I've had a few issues from 5th to 6th, once it "popped" back to 5th and the other times it's displayed -- and was in neutral. No other shifting issues, seems solid from N-1 and 1-2.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
@Mr Mike Have you had any update from the shop or Kawasaki about your bike?
Thanks for asking sir.

Unfortunately No.. I called fri & sat, and stopped in there today on my way home from work. The shop hasn't got a response from the Kawasaki Tech people, So the shop manager sent off an email to a Kawasaki area rep.

I was antsy all weekend needing a ride fix - but hitting random neutrals I feel is a hazard so it stayed there.

On the plus side I found out while I was there that my purchase during the sale event, makes me eligible for a Kawasaki promo race jacket and a $200.00 Kawasaki debit card :grin:

I'm thinking of using the $200.00 for a INNOVV K1 Dash cam - What you think bout that ..?
 

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Sorry you haven't heard anything positive yet, I'm sure there must be a lot more people out there with gear changing issues.

I've had the neutral problem when going up a hill as well -with my wife on the back! Scared the crap outta me, so I avoid the hills at the moment and tend to leave it in 1st at intersections.

I totally understand you being antsy for a ride over the weekend, I'm taking all the gear changes slowly at the moment but this does affect the enjoyment of the ride. Maybe if we gave it a hard break in we might skip the problem??

I do hope they look at this problem carefully because this is a serious safety issue as well as killing the enjoyment of the ride. Lucky you with the jacket and ca$h card! Wish we in NZ got something.. Anything! Well that Innov dash cam setup looks like a nice piece of kit, let us know if you get it and keep posting about how your bike is getting on at the dealers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
At least my complaint is on record..

I called today, Kawasaki told the shop they had absolutely no reports of shifting issues with the 400s, That this is the first they heard of this issue. So I'm Heading to the shop to pick up the bike.. They told me on the phone that I should hold the clutch in the whole time I'm up-shifting then let it out.. Lol thats borderline insulting.

Ill update this after I get home with the bike - Making sure I hold the clutch lever ( in ) the whole time I'm up shifting. :grin:

Its Home, Yay.. kinda, It just sat at their shop - they didn't find, adjust or fix anything.. but at least its a documented issue.
had a couple shift issues but no random neutrals riding home, think I'm going to try shifting @ 3500 to 4500 rpm and see if that makes a difference.
 

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Thanks for the update @Mr Mike we'll just have to see how it pans out. Gotta laugh at the advice they gave you -who knew that motorbikes had a clutch :surprise:

I'm going to do an oil change soonish and increase the break in rev limit that I've been adhering to, so we'll see how that goes. Oh and I'll use that clutch lever thingy before I pull up strongly on the gear lever...
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for the update @Mr Mike we'll just have to see how it pans out. Gotta laugh at the advice they gave you -who knew that motorbikes had a clutch :surprise:

I'm going to do an oil change soonish and increase the break in rev limit that I've been adhering to, so we'll see how that goes. Oh and I'll use that clutch lever thingy before I pull up strongly on the gear lever...
Fallowing in your your foot steps I too am trying out that clutch thiny, On the latest ride of 40 Miles It worked wonders... Cause I only had one Shifting Issue of 6Th dropping back to 5th. So either the clutch thingy or changing the rpm range I was shifting at from 3000/4000 to 3500/4500 made a good difference, It also made keeping up with traffic less stressful. The extra 500 Rpm made a huge difference or seemed to... Or maybe it was just pulling in the clutch thingy the whole time I was shifting :) We may never know.!

I'm not joking they even wrote that on the my work order, I should copy the receipt and post it here. You're lucky your half way thru your break in... I'm jealous.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I rode the crap out of the bike this last couple days, bike now has 174 miles on it but had a gut wrenching gear grind today, completely my fault cause I was starting to get a bit frustrated after the bike popped back to 5th gear immediately after shifting to 6th twice, then I lane split 4 sets of cars to be first at the stop light... When the light turned green, Murphy's law was right there for me... The bike refused to go into first gear, I was like you haaaave to be kidding me.. finally in gear Ego smashed, frustrated and embarrassed I quickly ran thru the gears to get up to speed, while shifting from 4th to 5th I let out the clutch mid way thru the shift - Tick, Ding, POP, Clank Clank Clank - Pull the clutch, completed the shift and continue home.

After a short break and cool down at home I found the need to make another trip to the store that was uneventful there and back. After getting home from watching the races this evening I took it for another spin to double check the bike for any issues and thankfully found none... Tomorrow Ill do a little extra maintenance such as re-tension the chain and cables before I heading out.

While it wasn't the best day I did manage to get 65 more miles on it :)
 

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@Mr Mike Sorry to hear you are still having problems with the bike, just keep on the dealer to resolve it. An update on my earlier post, I've had no more 5th to 6th issues since pushing the revs a little more before shifting - although it still feels a little more "clunky" than all the other shifts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@Mr Mike Sorry to hear you are still having problems with the bike, just keep on the dealer to resolve it. An update on my earlier post, I've had no more 5th to 6th issues since pushing the revs a little more before shifting - although it still feels a little more "clunky" than all the other shifts.
When you say clunky do you mean while you shift you hear and feel positive gear feed back - thats a good sign. Kinda like when you shift to first gear at a stop light you feel and hear it click in.?

For my bike no worries man It will all work out in the end man, its just annoying is all.... Not my first rodeo.

Just for fun I put on thinner shoes so I could feel every shift and took the bike for a Sunday ride ( End of ride miles is @ 205 now ) to see if there would be any change. Nope.. still had a couple shift backs from 5th and a completely missed up shift from 3... I was thinking it might be my other shoes weren't letting the shift lever fully return. It was a good slow traffic day so I could really pay attention to my shifting, on a good note its not getting worse but it ain't getting better either - the bikes been running pretty well other then this shifting nuance.
 

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When you say clunky do you mean while you shift you hear and feel positive gear feed back - thats a good sign.
It's like it doesn't correctly engage (only happens shifting to 6th) and when letting the clutch out it would sometimes "kick back" to 5th or neutral. I'm plenty firm with it and have been riding nearly 30 years.

Also I spoke too soon, during a ride today it did exactly that and went to neutral.

I'm at 240 miles ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
It's like it doesn't correctly engage (only happens shifting to 6th) and when letting the clutch out it would sometimes "kick back" to 5th or neutral. I'm plenty firm with it and have been riding nearly 30 years.

Also I spoke too soon, during a ride today it did exactly that and went to neutral.

I'm at 240 miles ;)
Its the shifting back from 6th hitting a random neutral that I feel is a safety issue... Make sure you take it in and document it with your dealer man, it may come in handy down the road, they will tell you to just keep breaking it in but if your gears lock up one day and you didn't document previous events, they'll give you a lame excuse that your oil was low causing the gears to mesh wrong, and my not be covered by your warranty.

This Issue may or may not pass with time, It just bothers me I get NO positive feed back shifting to 6th. I'm always waiting for it wondering - When not If it will happen again.

Keep positive man our bikes are fine, Just being stubborn is all.
 

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Same issue on occasion. I think it's just the nature of the budget bike unfortunately. I know the ninja 300 was known for the same thing. My grom is very notorious for it as well. There's things that can be done to improve it and smooth things out but until we crack this engine open I won't know exactly just what for sure. With the 300's there was a shift detent kit and you could undercut the transmission, most likely a similar job on these.
 
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