The Inevitable Ninja 400 – It was Going to Happen

What was the Ninja 250 missing? What what was the Ninja 300 missing? For that matter what was the Suzuki’s new GSX250R missing? The answer is just a little bit of displacement. Not much but just a little more squish space at the top of the cylinder.  It is what makes a bike that is entry level into a bike that is enjoyable for a far greater audience and, with the exception of a few riders, a bike that doesn’t have an expiry date because it is powerful enough to cover all the bases from commuter to weekend touring machine. The Suzuki GSX250R in some ways knew what was needed. The bike was big. It didn’t feel like a small bike but the engine – as fun as it was – had its limitations. But small displacement bikes were getting bigger …. 250, 300, 320, 390 and now 400 (399 to be specific). But this is going to be the sweet spot.  Where can you go from here without bumping into the already existing middleweight Ninja models. But here is the rub – we don’t know as of today whether Kawasaki will be bringing the new Ninja 400 with it new motor into Canada. We hope so but we also hope that it is still priced in the small displacement range. If it does arrive at Canadian dealers  expect to see the other manufacturers bump the displacement of their smaller offering.

UPDATE

The Ninja 400 is coming to Canada with a starting price of $5799 for the base model ranging up to $6399 for the ABS KRT edition. Kawasaki’s Canadian specs are:

Displacement               399cc
Type                                   4-stroke Parallel Twin
Bore and stroke          70.0 x 51.8 mm
Cooling                            Liquid-cooled
Compression ratio   11.5:1
Valve system                DOHC, 8 valves
Fuel system                   Fuel Injection: 32mm x 2 (Keihin)
Ignition                            Digital
Lubrication                   Forced Lubrication, wet sump
Brakes
Front: type                    Single semi-floating 310 mm petal disc
Front: calipers             Single balanced actuation dual-piston
Rear: type                     Single 220 mm petal disc
Rear: calipers             Dual-piston
Overall length           1,990 mm
Overall width            710 mm
Overall height          1,120 mm
Wheelbase                1,370 mm
Ground clearance 140mm
Seat height               785mm
Curb mass**            164 kg
Fuel capacity         14 litres
Transmission          6-speed, return
Final drive                Chain
Primary reduction ratio 2.219 (71/32)
Gear ratio: 1st           2.929 (41/14)
Gear ratio: 2nd         2.056 (37/18) [
Gear ratio: 3rd         1.619 (34/21)
Gear ratio: 4th         1.333 (32/24)
Gear ratio: 5th          1.154 (30/26)
Gear ratio: 6th          1.037 (28/27)
Final reduction ratio 2.929 (41/14)
Clutch                        Wet multi-disc, manual
Frame                         Trellis, high-tensile steel
Wheel travel:front 120mm
Tire: front                    110/70-17 M/C 54S
Wheel travel: rear 130 mm
Tire: rear                     150/60R17 M/C 66H
Caster (rake)              24.7°
Trail                               92 mm
Steering angle (left/right) 35° / 35°
Performance
Maximum Power‡      36 kW {49 PS} / 10,000 rpm
Maximum Torque‡    38 N.m {3.9 kgf.m} / 8,000 rpm
Suspension, front        41 mm telescopic fork
Suspension, rear          Bottom-Link Uni-Trak, gas-charged shock with adjustable preload