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Discussion Starter #1
I would be interested in hearing from perspective buyers what else they have or are considering as an alternative to the Ninja 400. Whats the main competition in your opinion?

For me it boiled down to a toss up between the Ninja and the KTM duke 390. I've always liked the styling of the dukes and they look like a hoot to ride with that aggressive riding position and light weight. Also the HP figures are similar to the Ninja at 44HP. The Duke received an upgrade for 2017 addressing some of the issues of the first model like the small tank capacity, hard seat and average brakes. There are reports of engine reliability issues with the 390's but I found it hard to get a handle on whether these rumors were warranted or not. One of the main things I like about the Duke is it's naked look, but in reality I prefer a faired bike on the road for comfort and a bit of weather protection. I live in a small country town with a cool, wet climate. I'm sure the KTM would make a great urban blaster but at the end of the day that's not what I do.

The Yamaha R3 is probably more similar to the Ninja than the KTM but despite a nice paint job for 2017 it failed to excite me as much as the 400 does.
So the Ninja 400 gets the vote. :wink:
 

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Those three are pretty much the main three models competing against each other for bikes around this cc. Going by engine numbers alone, the Ninja 400 came out as the winner with 45.6PS of power and 38Nm of torque at 8000rpm. That slightly edges out the KTM RC 390 but power aside, the 400 has a few nice features like it assist and slipper clutch along with those very attractive dual LED headlamps. Heard those were borrowed from their super bike the H2.

Yamaha just lags behind in everything. :D
 

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I was in the same boat, the new 2017 duke 390 really seemed to be the best bike in class, imo. Only thing is I've read about people having issues with the TFT display not working properly, and after last years model had so many issues I just can't help but think all that performance is coming at a cost to reliability.

The ninja 400 should have matching performance and much better reliability, so it gets my vote.
 

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The competitors (in my opinion)
Ninja 400
CBR 500R
R3
KTM RC390


If you want to stretch it further, you have the BMW G310R, Husqvarna SVARTPILEN 401, Duke 390 ... but now we are moving away from racing, so no need to stretch it even thinner :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The competitors (in my opinion)
Ninja 400
CBR 500R
R3
KTM RC390


If you want to stretch it further, you have the BMW G310R, Husqvarna SVARTPILEN 401, Duke 390 ... but now we are moving away from racing, so no need to stretch it even thinner :p
From the comments I've read on this forum it appears the R3 and the CBR500 are the most common competitors. Both smart looking bikes and style matters!
 

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Honestly, I'm also still looking at the newest Ninja 650 ABS. The N650 actually doesn't pack that much more punch than the N400, but it should offer notably more low-end torque. Estimating that the N400 is 41 whp, then it would be 41 vs 58 whp, and 26 vs 41 ft-lb (at the wheel). The N650 is packing an extra 60 pounds but for freeway commuting that's not necessarily a bad thing. I just feel that the N650 is somewhat over-priced. In terms of dimensions, the N650 bore/stroke is only an average 10.5 mm larger (so it's not like the engine is much larger physically), and there's an extra disc brake up front. 110+150 tires vs 120+160. Rear disc same, front disc +10mm on N400 (correction!). Those minor features rack up $2500 extra (or +47%) over the N400. For a typical rider, this may translate to 10% more all-up weight, with 57% more torque in the mid-range (by the numbers the engine is 62% larger by volume).

edit: Yeah, there's that underslung exhaust, the paint tends to be pearl, and adjustable levers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Honestly, I'm also still looking at the newest Ninja 650 ABS. The N650 actually doesn't pack that much more punch than the N400, but it should offer notably more low-end torque. Estimating that the N400 is 41 whp, then it would be 41 vs 58 whp, and 26 vs 41 ft-lb (at the wheel). The N650 is packing an extra 60 pounds but for freeway commuting that's not necessarily a bad thing. I just feel that the N650 is somewhat over-priced. In terms of dimensions, the N650 bore/stroke is only an average 10.5 mm larger (so it's not like the engine is much larger physically), and there's an extra disc brake up front. 110+150 tires vs 120+160. Rear disc same, front disc +10mm on 650. Those minor features rack up $2500 extra (or +47%) over the N400. For a typical rider, this may translate to 10% more all-up weight, with 57% more torque in the mid-range (by the numbers the engine is 62% larger by volume).
Same pricing issue here in NZ but worse even. N400 = 8K (NZD) , N650 = 13K.
So that's a 5K ($3,600 USD) premium. The numbers dont crunch in it's favor at all.

Also I read a couple of reviews where the testers were unimpressed with the suspension, in particular the rear shock.

I do like the styling though, esp the under slung exhaust.
 

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My first option was with the r3 2018, since I have other smaller displacement yamaha bikes. But I didn't wanna rush things and instead thought and wait it all through. Since I wanted a bigger but not too big bike. And a stronger but not too strong one, so I waited and browsed thru the internet what could possibly be better than the r3. So I came by the kawasaki's site and saw the Ninja 400, and what I was looking for just perfectly fit it. I mean, in every aspect I wanted my next 'bigger' bike to-be. But even then, I still waited a couple more months to give it thoughts and maybe, just maybe, there might be an upgrade to the r3 which was my initial go-to bike. Though, when I saw the bike and had a feel for it - sat on it for quite a long time, inspect it. I was quite disappointed on the r3. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice bike and all but, even the tank cover is plastic-ish. It's like, there's too many plastic in it rather than steel. Gladly though, I had the Ninja 400 already when I had the chance to see the remodeled r3 and it just gave me reassurance that what I chose is the best choice I've made.

I've looked into the new cb650r as well for it's neo-sport theme because in photos, it just looks too awesome. But once I got the chance to see one of those, I was let down. xD

The thing I love about the Ninja 400 is it's clutch. It's really pretty **** good when you're using the bike in the city. You're fingers aren't gonna be tired pressing those clutch levers all the time. It's really forgiving for the hands when riding in and out of the city on a daily basis.
 

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For me I was looking at the Honda Rebel 500, or used Ninja 300. I did a ton of research and watched a ton of youtube videos reviewing motorcycles, beginner bikes, etc. The Ninja 400 got the best reviews and people would just not shut up about how awesome this bike was. Plus I'm going to show my age here, I wanted a Ninja ever since I was a kid and saw Top Gun. I wanted Mavericks bike lol!
 

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The Honda rebel 500 choice, I feel like, is like out of the line with the [super bikes] category. But anyhow, congrats on your choice! Proud n400 owner here, as well! :D
 

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I almost got a used 2015 BMW 800R with low mileage and super clean condition. It was heavier and taller, but probably twice the N400 in terms of power and features (Traction control, steering damper, grip heaters). It was $500 more for a used bike.
Finally went with the N400, due to it’s popularity, weight, reach and new condition and closer dealership. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years of riding under my belt, I will take a look at a more exotic option.
 
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