Ninja 400 Riders Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Driving on the highway earlier this week, the bike failed to shift into 6th gear, just stayed in 5th. Happened twice, but I thought I was just being too easy with my shifting. I changed oil today (300kms), oil was very dirty. Went for an easy ride and the failure happened again. On the way back, I focused on pushing the revs up past 6k when shifting 5-6 and had no issues. Still early days, burns quick search on the ninja 400 forum shows that this issue has occurred with other bikes. 5th to 6th has a more vague shift feel to it- so my strategy will be to only shift to 6th when the rpms are 6k or more, and to really focus on my foot lift. All other gears shift well....so far....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,473 Posts
If I ever miss a gear on my SV it's always 5th to 6th too. Happened just this afternoon but luckily it was just a practice day.
Can anyone on here who knows how gear boxes work explain why this seems to be the most commonly missed shift point?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
Jesse posted this write-up a while ago which has a lot of explanations of the common issues with clutch and shifting on the 400:


https://www.norton-motorsports.com/2019/12/kawasaki-ninja-400-clutch-slipping-poor-shifting-false-neutrals-and-dropping-gears-explained-and-fixed/


For me the issue has always been popping out of 5th gear, back into 4th. 5th to 6th has been fine every time. Why it happens in a particular gear and not the others...that's a good question. I suspect it has something to do with a flaw in the shift star, or some dimensional tolerance issue which is greater when shifting to one of the gears, but I've always wondered why it's always the same gear as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ok so I have to spend iber 1000 US to fix a known issue? I dont farking think so
I'll be asking Kawasaki NZ to either fix the problem or the bike goes back for full refund. Time for a legal challenge on my part if they refuse. I live a good fight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
It is indeed a budget bike, designed for sport/touring/beginner. Would you rather have Kawi redesign the entire transmission+clutch and then pay for it up front?

I'm gonna throw all the Norton fixes (come spring) on the bike, except the transmission undercutting. Not too keen on weakening the gear dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Really, the Z400 clutch in the 2019 appears to be a total POS. I'm going out for a ride shortly, and will try to be very deliberate with my shifting, if I have any issues the bike goes back to the shop tommorow..given that the clutch is going to only get worse (assuming the Norton team data is reliable), my new Z400 receives a 'epic fail' rating. Hmmm, so- what will my next bike be? Z650?🤣🤣
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've written to Kawasaki Nz requesting immediate refund or replacement of the clutch. They will be open tommorow. I'll post their response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,473 Posts
I've written to Kawasaki Nz requesting immediate refund or replacement of the clutch. They will be open tommorow. I'll post their response.
I wouldn't expect much from them. It would be different if your clutch was actually stuffed but if your just hitting them up on the grounds of some info off the internet about a potential problem then there's not much onus on them to do anything.
How many K's you got on the bike? I'd give the gearbox a bit more time to settle in first.
FWIW worth I've got 12,000 k's on mine and haven't had any gear box or clutch issues bar the odd missed shift that you have occasionally on any bike.
It's not the slickest of shifters but it's OK. The clutch feel is abysmal though, as we all know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Really, the Z400 clutch in the 2019 appears to be a total POS. I'm going out for a ride shortly, and will try to be very deliberate with my shifting, if I have any issues the bike goes back to the shop tommorow..given that the clutch is going to only get worse (assuming the Norton team data is reliable), my new Z400 receives a 'epic fail' rating. Hmmm, so- what will my next bike be? Z650?🤣🤣
My 2012 ninja 650 clutch started slipping within 1200 miles after I bought it. The build quality on the 400 vs 650 are the same. To get higher quality you have to go with a super sport usually.

Not to mention your bike is new, and there is a certain amount of break in required to get the parts to work together better.
Upgrade the clutch basket springs for 30 bucks and add the cable return spring for another 20 and you’ll likely be happy with the bike at that point.
I have almost 4K miles on mine and ride it pretty hard. After I solved the weak clutch and slack in the cable issue I dint have much to complain about. I rarely miss a gear change.
With or without the quick shifter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Right- I like the cheaper option of upgrading the clutch basket springs- what manufacturer? Yeah, still early days with only 300kms but I cant resist the urge to push the issue with Kawasaki.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Right- I like the cheaper option of upgrading the clutch basket springs- what manufacturer? Yeah, still early days with only 300kms but I cant resist the urge to push the issue with Kawasaki.
Barnett springs for the clutch. That will stiffen the clutch up and prevent slippage. Also gives a firmer feel in the lever. And look at the clutch cable spring kit from Norton Motorsports. That keeps the cable and lever from having slack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
I wouldn't expect much from them. It would be different if your clutch was actually stuffed but if your just hitting them up on the grounds of some info off the internet about a potential problem then there's not much onus on them to do anything.
How many K's you got on the bike? I'd give the gearbox a bit more time to settle in first.
FWIW worth I've got 12,000 k's on mine and haven't had any gear box or clutch issues bar the odd missed shift that you have occasionally on any bike.
It's not the slickest of shifters but it's OK. The clutch feel is abysmal though, as we all know.
Ok so I have to spend iber 1000 US to fix a known issue? I dont farking think so
I'll be asking Kawasaki NZ to either fix the problem or the bike goes back for full refund. Time for a legal challenge on my part if they refuse. I live a good fight.

A known issue is not 100% failure. There are a few different levels usually with failures and what a manufacturer will do about it.


1. If there are multiple cases and it's considered a safety issue because people could die or get injured -> recall
2. If it's not really a safety issue, but the failure rate is very high (thresholds might very but maybe over 20% roughly) -> recall

3. If the failure rate is mediocre, so definitely noticeable, but not terribly high, they may have a service bulletin where they'll fix the issue for free regardless of warranty period, when the failure does happen to you
4. If the failure rate is considered low, despite being a known issue among other people you've talked to, or what you saw on the internet, then they'll tell you to kick rocks and they won't do anything. Kawasaki would have the data by now of what their failure rate is on this, and if it's just a few percent, then they won't bother. A lot of us here have noticed some of these issues, as have a lot of people who race these bikes, but that's a small amount of people relative to the amount that have bought these bikes. For all we know, there may be 100 people out there that have never had any issues with their 400s for every one of us that has. We don't know what the statistical data is, but Kawasaki does.
5. If you do actually have some issue, they'll fix it under warranty, but it'll be fixed with the same parts unless they've already come up with a change in design or manufacturing, so there's no guarantee it'll be better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Yeah, I highly doubt they are going to give me a new bike of my choice given the issue. It is an awesome bike though- just ride for an hour through the twisties of Highway 22 and really focused on only shifting to 6th when I hit 6k plus on the tach. Zero issues through the twisties, but pretty sure it happened going up a long hill. I was ready for it so no big deal. I'll buy the Barnett springs and cable thing- I'll have them installed when I change oil next- at 1500kms. What a fun bike...despite the clutch made of recycled tin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I had 5th go back to 4th on the way back today- however, I hadn't pushed the revs up so I blame my technique. That's the only clutch issue today- man this bike is awesome despite the clutch. Perfect bike weather today, 25 Celsius, light wind, blue skies and Highway 22. The Z400 excels on twisty bumpy roads like Highway 22. Continuously working the gears 4,5 and 6 is really helping the break in. I can only hope the clutch doesn't get any worser while I wait for the upgrades ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I experienced the same problem during the first few hundred miles before breakin.

After the breakin, you should feel how smooth and balanced the bike is.

The situation is like the first time your girlfriend with you. It may not be enjoyable at the beginning but it is an experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
The situation is like the first time your girlfriend with you. It may not be enjoyable at the beginning but it is an experience.
🤣🤣🤣🤣. I almost spit out my coffee......👏🏼

I was having the slipping issue when I shifted from 4th to 5th at high rpms at the track. Very annoying. I did the Spears cable spring and the Barnett clutch springs and the issue pretty much went away. The clutch lever feels better now. Easy fix less than 50 bucks!
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top