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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In Summary

Pro's: Great engine, both sound and power delivery; feels like it has lots of potential
Cons: I am a 5'8" rider, and I have to spend money just to get this bike to a place where I feel like I'm bonding with it.

I have owned over a dozen motorbikes. Last year I bought a Honda CBR250R, after about 50km of taking it easy, feeling it out, I was throwing it into the corners. I have had my Zed now for 350km and I still haven't got to that place where I trust it. We have not become one. I am a human sat on a machine.

This morning I splashed out on some Rox risers, and I already have purchased the Ergo seat. This is in an attempt to make it rideable and comfortable. It is the first time I have ever had to spend money on a bike to get a good riding position. FFS I didn't even have to spend money on a 1976 moped to feel ok with it.

I am lucky because I paid a total of $6700 for a bike with 8km on it - out of a dealership's door it would have been closer to $8500.

The engine on this bike is wonderful, and I have a feeling that once it has been set up, with a good set of tires it will be an awesome all rounder, and I will be slicing through traffic like a hot knife through butter.

But my friend, if you are around 5'8", don't buy this bike unless you have another four or five hundred dollars to spare to make it fit you...

Biggest gripe (as with others) being pushed into the tank/ handlebars when braking.

Just my opinion (I'm not saying I am "right") - I just know that in the past I have gone a bit overbudget buying new bikes, and it would be awful to buy an ill fitting bike without the money to fix it.

Ride safe, look over your shoulder before turning.
 

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I'm 5'8" 195 and I think it works well for me. I do have to pull my junk up when I sit down and ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs. When I do freeway, I lay my chest on tank I have cheap riser's and got an aftermarket seat that is softer and a Puig windscreen. I am one with my bike.
 

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2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400
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In Summary

Pro's: Great engine, both sound and power delivery; feels like it has lots of potential
Cons: I am a 5'8" rider, and I have to spend money just to get this bike to a place where I feel like I'm bonding with it.

I have owned over a dozen motorbikes. Last year I bought a Honda CBR250R, after about 50km of taking it easy, feeling it out, I was throwing it into the corners. I have had my Zed now for 350km and I still haven't got to that place where I trust it. We have not become one. I am a human sat on a machine.

This morning I splashed out on some Rox risers, and I already have purchased the Ergo seat. This is in an attempt to make it rideable and comfortable. It is the first time I have ever had to spend money on a bike to get a good riding position. FFS I didn't even have to spend money on a 1976 moped to feel ok with it.

I am lucky because I paid a total of $6700 for a bike with 8km on it - out of a dealership's door it would have been closer to $8500.

The engine on this bike is wonderful, and I have a feeling that once it has been set up, with a good set of tires it will be an awesome all rounder, and I will be slicing through traffic like a hot knife through butter.

But my friend, if you are around 5'8", don't buy this bike unless you have another four or five hundred dollars to spare to make it fit you...

Biggest gripe (as with others) being pushed into the tank/ handlebars when braking.

Just my opinion (I'm not saying I am "right") - I just know that in the past I have gone a bit overbudget buying new bikes, and it would be awful to buy an ill fitting bike without the money to fix it.

Ride safe, look over your shoulder before turning.
This will be basically any motorcycle you ever buy. Do you get into a new car and leave the seat where the last person set it? Do you leave the steering wheel where they set it?

Ergonomics on a motorcycle will always need to be setup to you as a rider, for most people that means you will need to spend time and money in varying degrees to accommodate them as a rider. Many new riders don't realize this, and a lot of new riders will go for years without so much as changing basics such as levers, or even to a better tire, and then will blame the bike for bing uncomfortable, or even for crashing.

If you buy a motorcycle because you think it's ready to go out of the box, and won't cost much, you're setting yourself up for failure, or at least disappointment.
 

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Forundred, You are correct. My 2019 Z400 took some doing to get it right for me. The seat definitely needed replacing (Norton Motorsports) and I had to raise the bars (Zeta Racing). A 15 tooth front sprocket lowered the RPMs on the freeway but a windscreen is questionable as it is a naked motorcycle. Lowered the weight with a Musarri exhaust and Sharai lithium battery, 346 lbs with a full tank. So as of now my Z400 is dialed in just for me, I can't even think of another machine that checks all the boxes for me. I'm 5' 3" at 145 lbs fully suited. So give it a chance with a few upgrades, you can always sell it.
 

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2018 Ninja 400 ABS KRT
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I'm 220 pounds at 5'8" but I think my legs are a little on the longer side with my 32 inch inseam. I can comfortably put both feet flat on the ground and have room to spare between my crotch and the stock height seat at the stock suspension preload, second notch from the bottom. I generally only put my left foot down at stops, if I stand on that one foot I'm pretty well towering over the bike. I think my legs are about as long as you'd want for a Ninja 400, there isn't much room left in the tank cutouts. I generally have problems putting my feet on the pegs comfortably, on my balls feels like my feet are too angled down, in my arches is painful during my hour plus commute one way, on my heels is also painful but gives me the best access to the for controls. I had problems with being pushed into the tank on heavy braking, solved that with tank grips. I got my levers in a position that's comfortable to reach. I feel as if I'd like taller bars though, I'm leaned forward and having to put a lot of weight on my arms at any sort of decline, even just a gutter. For now all I've done is a super cheap knock off seat that I was going to redo for comfort, ended up being fine as is, and a zero gravity tall windscreen. It's been fine for my freeway riding, but due to the size of the bike and me feeling like I'm too big for it, I've been putting the feelers out for another machine. I do enjoy this bike though, it's small size helps lane splitting here in SoCal, I can fit in some pretty tight gaps and I like that about the little Ninja.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This will be basically any motorcycle you ever buy. Do you get into a new car and leave the seat where the last person set it? Do you leave the steering wheel where they set it?

Ergonomics on a motorcycle will always need to be setup to you as a rider, for most people that means you will need to spend time and money in varying degrees to accommodate them as a rider. Many new riders don't realize this, and a lot of new riders will go for years without so much as changing basics such as levers, or even to a better tire, and then will blame the bike for bing uncomfortable, or even for crashing.

If you buy a motorcycle because you think it's ready to go out of the box, and won't cost much, you're setting yourself up for failure, or at least disappointment.
I don't agree, and it hasn't been my experience with the last dozen or so bikes I've owned but it doesn't really matter - your opinion is just as valid as mine. There is some validity to it - race bikes are set up for the individual. If I'm really honest about it in 2003 I was riding around on a Honda CB250rs, that bike was a delight to ride - and until the Zed, the last bike i have ridden with straight bars. When I got the Zed I thought it was going to handle as well as that little Honda - thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The seat can be improved, like others pointed out (it will cost money) but about the handlebar thing, you're supposed to brace with your arms when braking.
Hi Teorist, Thanks for your response. Sigh, sorry about this, but......... How did you do the selective {small} quote in your reply? It seems when I reply it cuts and pastes the whole posting - not just a couple of sentances. Thank you. Next time I have a problem I will ask someone else. tx
 

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For me the fun in owning motorcycles, aside from #1 reason to own one is for riding it, has always been making it my own.
Rearsets, exhausts, flashing the ECU, racing bodywork with different color schemes, decals, wheel colors or choices, carb work, replacing jets, moving needles, rebuilding bikes from basket cases into track or race bikes and people amazed its the same bike, and the list goes on and on.

Also yes, it is a struggle as well to spend so much money on the sport or passion, because $$ is always a struggle for those of us sending kids to private schools, colleges, etc. on a single person workings income, although I work two jobs, lol :)
But riding and owning many, many motorcycles and dirtbikes over the last almost 40 years there is no such thing as a 100% perfect motorcycle from the factory that I do not change something about and I end up pouring money into, New or used. Mint or binned, exotic or not.

Not saying I have owned some that were very close, but there was always something I wanted to change to make it fit me better or my own.

Not saying you cannot buy a bike and never change anything about it and still enjoy it for many years, but at some point the pads need replacing, the tires needs replacing, the grips need replacing, the seats need recovering or replaced, the shift lever rubber pad/grommet is worn out or just gone, wheel bearings are toast, clutches worn out, rotors are beyond limits, rubber brake lines are older than 5 year lifespan, pegs worn out, chain and sprocket gone, shock is toast and not serviceable, master cylinders needs rebuild or replacing, it is during those times you have to spend money on maintenance and upkeep so make it your own and change something you do not like, or doing it sooner with an upgrade that lasts much longer and requires less or much easier service.
 

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there is no such thing as a 100% perfect motorcycle from the factory that I do not change something about and I end up pouring money into
The few new bikes I've bought usually got some sort of modification/farkle within a couple of days of bringing them home. I can't afford a new bike that didn't have some compromises to hit a price point, and even if I could I suspect that there'd still be some little thing that would nag at me until I changed it.
 

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Hi Teorist, Thanks for your response. Sigh, sorry about this, but......... How did you do the selective {small} quote in your reply? It seems when I reply it cuts and pastes the whole posting - not just a couple of sentances. Thank you. Next time I have a problem I will ask someone else. tx
Exactly, what he said. There is even a multiple quote feature on the site, it took me some getting used to as I took a very long break from online forums and back in the day we did not have all these shiny features.
 

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I'm starting to bond with my bike,and it occurred to me that in a small way I am devaluing everyone's Z400
Is there a way I can delete this thread? (I started it)
And I'm sorry.
Don't be sorry......You are entitled to your opinion and feelings where I live in the USA.
This is the freedom of speech, just like any of these people disagreeing are also entitle to theirs as well.
 

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Don't be sorry......You are entitled to your opinion and feelings where I live in the USA.
This is the freedom of speech, just like any of these people disagreeing are also entitle to theirs as well.
Hey, he has to fulfill his duty as a Canadian! Lol but yeah for real, no need to apologize.
 

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It's your bike, make it your own. For seating you don't have to spend bucks unless you want to. Hack the factory seat, glue some foam, shave it with an electric carving knife, and re-cover it with a staple gun. I'm 6' and 210 lbs when suited up. Fits OK I guess. I also need to put foam up in my crotch for hard braking. It's not a 'full race' ergo, since to do that makes it uncomfy for commuter use.
The problems you are going to find that a bit more tricky:
  • The front brake will fade in under 15 minutes of track use (needs steel braid lines like KTM)
  • The clutch will slip for no reason in under 5 min (needs stronger springs and a return spring on the cable)
  • Powerband is flat up top, acceleration doesn't change in 4/5/6 gear at 100+. (needs breathing restriction mods).
Other than that, I love the little beetch.
 

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Forget the braided lines. Money better spent on Vesrah RJL pads, maybe some RBF660 and pulling the ABS fuses (if you're a seasoned rider, so best leave alone in your case).
The stock clutch is weak, but will be fine for most of the casuals that use this bike. Just make sure you've got plenty of slop at the clutch lever.

It's funny, the riding position of the ninja 400 was already silly upright, so I spent money lowering the bars which are still too high thanks to the body work blocking them going any lower.
Let alone the Z which is already upright. So everyone is different.
 

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One engine, 2 wheels, reformed squid rider 😂🐙
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I went back to the Norton seat and set aside the Corbin seat for sale later.
The Corbin seat is not for the track and had difficulty getting body position as that seat is slippery and puts you to the tank every time. 😡

Norton seat when I was at Jennings was so much more comfortable for body transitions and getting that lean on with no issues. 👍
 

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It's your bike, make it your own. For seating you don't have to spend bucks unless you want to. Hack the factory seat, glue some foam, shave it with an electric carving knife, and re-cover it with a staple gun. I'm 6' and 210 lbs when suited up. Fits OK I guess. I also need to put foam up in my crotch for hard braking. It's not a 'full race' ergo, since to do that makes it uncomfy for commuter use.
The problems you are going to find that a bit more tricky:
  • The front brake will fade in under 15 minutes of track use (needs steel braid lines like KTM)
  • The clutch will slip for no reason in under 5 min (needs stronger springs and a return spring on the cable)
  • Powerband is flat up top, acceleration doesn't change in 4/5/6 gear at 100+. (needs breathing restriction mods).
Other than that, I love the little beetch.
For track use you really need an aftermarket rotor, better pads, and braided lines for the N400. Bare minimum, an aftermarket rotor.

Need a lot more than that to actually fix the mess of a clutch, and anything pre-2020 will need the updated clutch rod and pull bearing.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 / Z400 Critical Issues

Kawasaki Ninja 400 / Z400 Clutch Slipping, Poor Shifting, False Neutrals, and Dropping Gears – Explained and Fixed!

Also, I highly recommend DP over Vesrah. I've used EBC, Galfer, Vesrah, and DP. Just have SBS to try next. The DP pads I now run on both my R3 and N400 and they're the best pads I've ever used, especially for the price. On my R3 easily can do stoppies with superbike lines and OEM rotor. On the 400 I have the Brembo front rotor, Norton Spec Superbike Lines and DP pads, feels even better than my R3.

DP Brakes RDP Sintered Racing Front Brake Pads – Kawasaki Ninja 250 / 300 / 400
 
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