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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good day all, I am acquiring a Ninja 400 for strictly track use. I am doing this because my first 2 weekends at the track have convinced me that my 636 is wasted on me and is only extra weight to someone who lacks the very basics required of someone who has potential to progress and gain skill on the track. Because I will only keep this bike until I can get out of the back end of novice and gain those skills mentioned, as well as because I'll still be maintaining my 636 meticulously for street use, I want to build a salvage 400 for the absolute bottom dollar possible. I have got a salvage 2022 400 and have hotbodies bodywork on the way. I don't care about speed/hp mods, only reliability and handling. With all of this in mind, here is the build as I have it planned currently:
Bike:
2022 400
Hotbodies bodywork
Gb racing engine cover set
Swingarm spools
Axle sliders
Clutch:
Heavy duty clutch springs
Clutch cable spring
Barnett heavy duty Clutch plates
Suspension:
Traxxion .80 springs (165lb rider w/o gear)
15w fork oil
Gsxr 600 shock swap w/ bracket
Brakes:
Steel front lines
Front pads
Motul 660 fluid

There are a few other things I've been advised to buy, these include
Shift change shaft $120
Heavy duty shift star $170
Front rotor $300
Preload adjusters $70
Rearset risers $160
Riser clipons $205
Norton racing cylinder coolant seal $50
Altogether, these additional mods total more than 1100 after tax. This is more than half what I paid for the bike and would more than double my cost of mods on the build. Which of these are truly necessary for the upcoming season for someone who is at the back of novice, will only be doing 10-15 track days in 2023, and is going to sell the bike within 1-2 seasons? Is there anything not on the list I'm missing? I'm excited to learn what this bike has to teach me. Advice appreciated.
 

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Good day all, I am acquiring a Ninja 400 for strictly track use. I am doing this because my first 2 weekends at the track have convinced me that my 636 is wasted on me and is only extra weight to someone who lacks the very basics required of someone who has potential to progress and gain skill on the track. Because I will only keep this bike until I can get out of the back end of novice and gain those skills mentioned, as well as because I'll still be maintaining my 636 meticulously for street use, I want to build a salvage 400 for the absolute bottom dollar possible. I have got a salvage 2022 400 and have hotbodies bodywork on the way. I don't care about speed/hp mods, only reliability and handling. With all of this in mind, here is the build as I have it planned currently:
Bike:
2022 400
Hotbodies bodywork
Gb racing engine cover set
Swingarm spools
Axle sliders
Clutch:
Heavy duty clutch springs
Clutch cable spring
Barnett heavy duty Clutch plates
Suspension:
Traxxion .80 springs (165lb rider w/o gear)
15w fork oil
Gsxr 600 shock swap w/ bracket
Brakes:
Steel front lines
Front pads
Motul 660 fluid

There are a few other things I've been advised to buy, these include
Shift change shaft $120
Heavy duty shift star $170
Front rotor $300
Preload adjusters $70
Rearset risers $160
Riser clipons $205
Norton racing cylinder coolant seal $50
Altogether, these additional mods total more than 1100 after tax. This is more than half what I paid for the bike and would more than double my cost of mods on the build. Which of these are truly necessary for the upcoming season for someone who is at the back of novice, will only be doing 10-15 track days in 2023, and is going to sell the bike within 1-2 seasons? Is there anything not on the list I'm missing? I'm excited to learn what this bike has to teach me. Advice appreciated.
I rode and raced on a pretty budget build last season and it worked out well for me. I’ll put together some notes for you tonight.
 

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2018 krt
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Suspension and tires. Everything else is not absolutely necessary. Your core list is spot on. You need nothing in that extra list. Rearsets probably, or at least the risers. Rarely does the shift star become a problem, don't need a new rotor until you warp or service life oem rotor. Just make sure brake pads are the dp-1 or rjl and you will have plenty of braking.

If you are back of group c, beginners, this should be good through to class A. You WILL want some of those extra upgrades later on, but my opinion is wait until you experience the why. If you do.

I just did a track day and was solid group A, on a similar setup to your core changes. Great moto until skill is no longer the limiting factor.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Suspension and tires. Everything else is not absolutely necessary. Your core list is spot on.
Thanks so much! To make sure I'm understanding you correctly, I should get everything I have in the core list plus tires and which additional suspension parts in particular? Or did you mean everything except the suspension and tires, meaning the brake mods and clutch springs/plates, aren't necessary for my 2023 season? Good lines in that vid! I've only been to NCM so far myself but thunder hill looks fun!
 

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Everything on your core list, plus tires. When you start scraping foot pegs, get the risers or full rearsets. The Dunlop qp3+ tires are about as good as you can get before slicks and tire warmers. Your core list of clutch plates, steel lines, etc is all spot on. The biggest pain is the coolant gasket. But you Def need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome! I'll probably go with Q3+, they don't make S22's in 110/70 & 150/70 apparently.
And that's no worries I'll add the coolant gasket to the list. Pulling the head shouldn't be too bad, I'd hate to have the oem gasket blow in the middle of a weekend though!
 

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Hello,

I have been track only starting in Novice last year and intermediate all this year with a 2018 Ninja 400.

My comments follow, based on your list:

Bike:
2022 400
Hotbodies bodywork - Plenty of folks running stock bodywork. There were probably 5 at Tallladega GP last weekend.
Gb racing engine cover set - Good idea.
Swingarm spools - Absolutely,
Axle sliders - Just running spools myself.
Clutch:
Heavy duty clutch springs - HIghly advised. Will save you from a wasted weekend. Have run two seasons with same HD springs (from Spears) and no changes in plates or frictions.
Clutch cable spring - I've run two seasons without this. No problems.
Barnett heavy duty Clutch plates - All I added was the springs (and the rod/bearing, but that doesn't apply to your year)
Suspension:
Traxxion .80 springs (165lb rider w/o gear) - Good idea. I am on second year on stock suspension. However, I took an unusual approach and focused on weight reduction rather than suspension upgrades. I run right along with many guys with high $ suspension. Maybe you will progress faster than I have, but so far, I don't really think it has held me back too much.
15w fork oil - probably a good idea. Mine is still stock.
Gsxr 600 shock swap w/ bracket - This is on my list, but have run two years with stock shock.
Brakes:
Steel front lines - Love this upgrade. Mine was an ABS model. Got rid of all that and went with nice lines. I replaced rear as well, but mainly because I was eliminating the ABS extra lines. I rarely use the rear. Mostly when I have gone off-road when I ran out of talent at a track.
Front pads - I ran the stock pads until they wore out about a month ago. Put in Vesrah RJH? I think was the type.
Motul 660 fluid - Run whatever JASO MA rated oil you prefer.

There are a few other things I've been advised to buy, these include
Shift change shaft $120 - Haven't needed this myself. If your particular bike exhibits symptoms , by all means. I get an occasional shift problem, but it has not been a big problem yet for me.
Heavy duty shift star $170 - see answer immediately above.
Front rotor $300 - Still on stock rotor. Doubt it will hold you back in Novice, or Intermediate for that matter. Fishtailing rear on entry to turns no problem with my setup. Plenty of power.
Preload adjusters $70 - I know diddly about suspension. Figure I'd probably screw up more than I fix. Haven't done this.
Rearset risers $160 - You will drag boots or pegs. Highly recommend. Worth doing.
Riser clipons $205 - I have not done this. Again. I know nothing about proper setup of suspension. Have read a lot. But no "do" experience.
Norton racing cylinder coolant seal $50 - My 2018 has not had this problem yet. Will replace when problem occurs.

Where are you located / What tracks are you anticipating running?

Best of Success!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@kpier883 Thanks! The reason I got the hotbodies is its a salvage bike with all front end fairings beyond repair and headlights completely gone. Stg is having a sale so they were $570 with shipping!
As for which tracks, I've only ridden NCM in Bowling Green KY so far, possibly gonna hit Putnam as well in the upcoming year. Maybe a trip to CMP but I'll probably save that one for when I'm good enough to justify the extra driving!
 

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Chiming in here with my own .02. There are a ton of opinions here, and I fully respect everyone else's. I started racing last year, and put a total of 21 days (track days and raced days) on my 400 last season. I was on a budget and focused on seat time over parts. It paid off well in the form of steady improvement. The 400 taught me so much about how to ride better and faster. I think you'll be stoked on it.

I agree with everything on your core list and @kpier883's notes. I raced all season on a stock front end and gsxr rear shock and it worked well. Cartridges will be a nice upgrade for me next season, but I worked with what I had. I really like DP brake pads up front and I did not warp my front rotor. Q3+ worked great for me, although I much preferred the 140 rear over the 150. The profile of the 140 is closer to that of the dunlop slick and I felt like it turned in much better.
Of your secondary list - rear set risers and clip ons would probably be next on my list. The coolant gasket looks like a big project to replace, so I'm not touching that myself unless/until it starts leaking.
For crash protection I'm a big fan of woodcraft, but I've also seen GB covers work well for others. If you're looking for two more affordable nice to haves I'd consider R6 throttle mod (not necessary but nice) and a cheap slip on (save some weight). Shameless plug, I'm selling a used Leo Vince here in the classifieds.
Again, there is a ton of knowledge here and I'm certainly no expert. take what you like from the above, disregard the rest, and hit me up if you have any questions.


cheers!
hanna
 

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Norton racing cylinder coolant seal $50 - My 2018 has not had this problem yet. Will replace when problem occurs.
Yeah my 2018 never leaked but I replaced it last winter with 8-10k miles on it for piece of mind before going into the 2022 track season.
It had done several track days, mostly at NCM prior to that. When I pulled it down it did not look horrible, but one side started to curl and buckle every so slightly so I probably could have got another 10-20 before leaking I would think, but its hard to tell of course when it would have failed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input! If y'all have had the coolant gasket last that long I'll probably wait. It doesn't look too tough a job, but this bike only has 2500 mi and I can't see myself crossing 5000 in 2023. I probably will go with the DP pads. I've seen a few people talk about going with 140/70 on the rear, if it's easier to tip in I'd likely be wise to go with that since I need all the help I can get with turning. I might end up doing the r6 throttle mod as well with the money saved not doing the coolant gasket!
 

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Thanks for the input! If y'all have had the coolant gasket last that long I'll probably wait. It doesn't look too tough a job, but this bike only has 2500 mi and I can't see myself crossing 5000 in 2023. I probably will go with the DP pads. I've seen a few people talk about going with 140/70 on the rear, if it's easier to tip in I'd likely be wise to go with that since I need all the help I can get with turning. I might end up doing the r6 throttle mod as well with the money saved not doing the coolant gasket!
Yep, I went with the Pirelli TD(SC3) 140 and love them. Never ran out of grip with them but I did on the stock Dunlops
 

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2017 Suzuki GSXR1000 2010 Suzuki GSXR600 x2 2018/19 N400
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yoyodyne slipper clutch, you eliminate all the cost of all the "band aids" that are just that

undercut trans, it's a matter of when not if

seat time is your best friend, tires (140r110f), suspension ...the faster you are the more you will invest

also if you're a novice or a slow inter, don't waste money on race tyres, a good road/track tyre will suffice
 

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@thegreatergood97 - NCM is definitely going to be on my short list of tracks for 2023. I am in Alabama and will primarily go to Barber and Talladega GP. I think Atlanta Motorsports Park (Dawsonville, Ga) will be on my list again in 2023 as well. In the hottest part of the summer there may be a trip to Michigan or someplace a good bit cooler than the deep South. Did that in 2022 (Grattan) and was a great trip.
 

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@thegreatergood97 - NCM is definitely going to be on my short list of tracks for 2023. I am in Alabama and will primarily go to Barber and Talladega GP. I think Atlanta Motorsports Park (Dawsonville, Ga) will be on my list again in 2023 as well. In the hottest part of the summer there may be a trip to Michigan or someplace a good bit cooler than the deep South. Did that in 2022 (Grattan) and was a great trip.
Yeah AMP is suppose to be pretty sweet. If you are that close you need to come over to PTC(Polecat Training Center) for sure on the 400 with Pmack and I :)

NCM is a fun'ish track on the 400, I mean most every track is fun on the 400. Since NCM has alot of decent straight sections though (more than Barber) it makes it tough on a smaller bike when the 600's and 1000's rip by you like you are sitting still. Of course its pretty easy to catch back up in the corners though.
3 places where they really rip, obviously main straight past pit(especially since they skip the sink hole and give us a little more straightaway) coming out of 3 into 4 and 5 is fast and then the table top which the bigger bikes usually lift cresting....at least on the 400 I have found holding it wide open or even shifting on the table does very little to unsettle the front end in a way its not manageable 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Since NCM has alot of decent straight sections though (more than Barber) it makes it tough on a smaller bike when the 600's and 1000's rip by you like you are sitting still.
They rip by me like I'm sitting still on my zx6r anyway lmfao. Thanks for the input I'm excited to try Putnam. Barber is a drive for me but everyone seems to like it so I'll have to try it eventually
 

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yoyodyne slipper clutch, you eliminate all the cost of all the "band aids" that are just that

undercut trans, it's a matter of when not if

seat time is your best friend, tires (140r110f), suspension ...the faster you are the more you will invest

also if you're a novice or a slow inter, don't waste money on race tyres, a good road/track tyre will suffice
Having issues with my clutch, I was told I may need/will need the tranny under cut. 🥺🥺🥺
@thegreatergood97, the clip ons and rearsets will help you with your BP( body position). You don’t need a name brand. Since you are getting springs in the front, the pre load adjusters aren’t expensive. I highly recommend the R6 throttle mod, it’s less than $20 and helps WOT immensely. I race and coach on my 400 and I prefer it on the more technical tracks. The faster less technical tracks I prefer the 600 & 750.
 

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I could find Q3+'s anywhere in the U.S. in stock and that front 110 is not widely covered by most manu's. I went with the highly praised Metzler M9 RR, I just spooned on. Have yet to track them. I spoke with Dunlop and found out the Q3+ and the Q4 have been discontinued and being replaced with a Q5. If the 3 and 4 are not on a shelf you won't get it. Bummer!!
 
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