Although the suspension is non adjustable (barring rear preload) it’s no real loss as Kawasaki have got the set up spot on. The forks have been beefed up from 37mm to 41mm giving a firm and precise ride that verges on plush around town and overall balance is excellent thanks to the new weight saving trellis frame.
The new 399cc engine is the Ninja’s raison d’etre and it’s a gem. Along with extra cubes comes a hike in performance to 44.3 bhp and 38 Nm of torque, which adds up to an eager, flexible mill with bags of character. There’s enough grunt for overtaking (just) and with a top speed over the ton, it can hold its own on the motorway too.
Kawasaki’s reliability is practically beyond question these days, and looked after the Ninja 400 should be pretty much bomb proof. Fit and finish is in line with far more expensive models and the overall feel is of a quality item.
The pricing sits neatly within Kawasaki’s model range and puts the Ninja 400 on a par with its closest rival, the R3, at the top end of the lightweight/A2 friendly class. Build quality, performance and fun should make it a solid buy for the money.
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As an entry-level sports bike the Ninja 400 may not have everything, but what it does have is top notch, such as lightweight Nissin brakes and an LCD panel to display speed, fuel, trip, mpg and a very useful gear indicator. A taller screen and similar seat are available as extras, as is a tank bag and 12v accessory socket.