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I'm excited about picking up a Ninja 400 (prob Grey/Solar Yellow) in the next few weeks but have one main hesitation: I've owned Suzukis, Hondas, and Triumphs and have never had any significant problems; however, I've never bought a 1st-year bike of a new model because I generally think it's a good idea to let the manufacturer work out any kinks and fix any significant issues.

With that said, I really don't want to wait for the 2019 N400 to come out, so I'm curious as to what sort of Kawasaki and their dealer network have provided in the past regarding recalls and acknowledging & fixing known issues. I know I'm asking for feedback from a fairly pro-Kawi biased group (and that's totally cool), but I'm interested in hearing how Kawasaki has helped its customers with problems.

Cheers!
 

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I'm excited about picking up a Ninja 400 (prob Grey/Solar Yellow) in the next few weeks but have one main hesitation: I've owned Suzukis, Hondas, and Triumphs and have never had any significant problems; however, I've never bought a 1st-year bike of a new model because I generally think it's a good idea to let the manufacturer work out any kinks and fix any significant issues.

With that said, I really don't want to wait for the 2019 N400 to come out, so I'm curious as to what sort of Kawasaki and their dealer network have provided in the past regarding recalls and acknowledging & fixing known issues. I know I'm asking for feedback from a fairly pro-Kawi biased group (and that's totally cool), but I'm interested in hearing how Kawasaki has helped its customers with problems.

Cheers!
I own both the first release ninja 300 2013 and a ninja 400 2018, the 300 has 30k on the clock with not a single problem, infact my buddy with the r3 2016 has had way more problems than I have had with the 300 ninja, the only problem i can remember is when the 300 first came out people where having problems with gaps in the fairing which I myself also had, I just poped the side fairing off and reinstalled it on and taa daaa good as new but with the 400 everything seems smooth sailing so far 800km on the clock" take note the yamaha r3 and honda 500r both had problems with there bikes and thats not just first year, i remember clutch and fuel tank issues, never had a problem with my 300 :) either way I purchased the dmeo bike "I was the only one who rode it aka 20km on the clock" and i only paid $6500 Australian for it and got free oil and a free tire change a long with 2 years warranty so im happy, as long as the bike aint italian it should work forever lol
 

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however, I've never bought a 1st-year bike of a new model because I generally think it's a good idea to let the manufacturer work out any kinks and fix any significant issues.
You are right when you think that way, but there's also no big reason to worry about that.
Kwaki is doing it's job just as well as all the other manufacturers.
For example the Ninja 300 had 3 important recalls, read the following links.
ECU: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recall/kawasaki-kawasaki-ninja-300-motorcycles-0
ABS unit: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recall/kawasaki-kawasaki-ninja-300-abs-and-z800-abs-motorcycles
Hose guide rear brake: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recall/kawasaki-kawasaki-ninja-300-motorcycles

But one thing is very important to keep in mind:
When you have a problem with your bike then go to your dealer and ask them for a solution, even when they many times for the given moment don't have one.
But all the dealer collect the problems and they are 'ordered' to report them to the importeur and they report them to the manufacturer.
Kwaki by itself has all the equipement for testing and they start testing when some of the same problems occur.
So this gives them the chance to find a solution, fix it and make you a happy rider again, after the dealer has done his job for a recall or a hidden service.
About hidden service: In many cases you as the rider don't even realise that there's a problem, but Kwaki by itself finds out that there's the need to make a fix for anything and that's what they do when you go for a service to your dealer, maybe for an oil-service only and they replace any part what you don't even have to pay for (I guess you know about the many patches in the IT-Industry, which is just the same).
So if you have a problem with your bike, don't try to find a fix by yourself but give them the chance to fix it for you and everybody else.
 

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2013 Ninja 300 wasn't really a first series or a new bike. It was mainly the 2012 Ninja 250 with a bigger engine and a fuel injection system. And I'm almost sure it was the same engine sleeved up.

Ninja 400 instead, is a new bike. New engine, new frame and different suspension.

Let's hope there are no big recalls, and if there are, let's hope that Kawasaki handles them decently.

Buying a first series is always a bit risky. And even if there are no recalls, at the moment of selling, second hand buyers are always picky about getting a first series model, so the price may go down a bit more.
 

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I have the first line of ninja 300 released in 2013 and my mates have a few as well, **** even my friends first edition of the r3 hasnt really had problems so i say just go for it :) i never even did the ecu recall
 

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Most problems usually crop up in the first year or two and that period of time is still covered by the factory warranty so they should fix and manufacturer defects. My old 300 has been going strong for years without any problems.
 

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I would like to add that a few recent transmission issues have popped up lately. I'm interested how Kawasaki addresses these...
 

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I'm more concerned about first model year cars than motorcycles. The majority of the folks on this forum have not experienced any major issues but there are some exceptions. The dealer I purchased from, threw in the Kawasaki 2 year extended warranty for free so I'm less concerned if any issues come up after the 1 year limited warranty. This is my first Kawasaki bike so if any issues come up, I'm confident dealer and Kawasaki will covered with warranty or recall.
 
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Based on my first experience with Kawasaki customer service, I would hesitate to buy from then again. I needed a paint code or a recommendation on paint to touch-up frame and engine cover scuffs a Ninja 400. I made a total of 7 phone calls between Kawasaki customer support and the Kawasaki dealer to get a resolution lead or advice on this simple matter. Customer service did not have any information on frame paint and would not connect me to someone within the company to talk to about the matter. They kept telling me that they could not help me and that I had to go thru the dealer to contact Kawasaki. The dealer contacted Kawasaki and got nowhere with them advising me that I had to continue to press customer service for support on this issue as Kawasaki always try to make the dealer look like the "bad guy". After 7 back and forth phone calls to get frame paint information, I got nowhere. If they can't even research and respond to a simple request, how would they handle a "big" problem or recall? I would not consider Kawasaki in the future at this point.
 

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Some 2016's and 17's Kawi ZX10R came out with a bad transmission. Although owners were obviously not happy about it, the comments on their forum don't show a lack of interest from Kawi to do the right thing.

From what I've read, as soon as Kawi knew the problem was real they issued a recall and prevented as many failures as possible, and the people who got their transmission busted got a new one.

Then the N300 had a couple of no big deal recalls in 2013 that were addressed properly. One with the ECU stalling, I guess it was software. One with fairing not aligning properly and one with some problem with the ABS, which I don't know much about.

I don't know of other Kawi bike recalls. From these I know, I get the feeling that Kawi was at least 'up to the task'. Surely, nobody is happy with a recalled vehicle, no vehicle is perfect, and you can always get a lemon, but compared with other brands, I think Kawi is doing well in both reliability and customer service.


On the other hand, when I was deciding between the N300 and the RC390, I read all those long threads about quality issues with the RC390. Half of the frustration was coming from the quality of the bike, but the other half of the frustration was coming from KTM itself not accepting the problem was real, not honoring the warranty, or the dealers taking too long to solve the issues and keeping the bikes in the shop for weeks because of delays in parts delivery or approval from KTM to do the job.
In the end I opted for Kawi for its reliability and I'm happy.
 

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so far on this forum 3 people have had coolant leaking issues. One had the dealership tell them it was the head gasket, I and one other person have a leaking base gasket that I have seen....the dealership is currently fixing my bike under warranty. Ive seen lots of complaints of shifting problems but they all seem to clear up after break in....the gasket issue does not appear to be wide spread...and while frustrating to have to take it in for a few weeks, I still feel great about this bike long term
 
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