Great beginner/intermediate Sportbike

On paper, the Ninja 400 is a rock star in its class. Kawasaki claims an output of 44.8 horsepower and 28 lb-ft of torque, which is on par with the racy KTM RC 390 and should handily best any of the Japanese 300s. Verification will have to wait until we can pull together a comparison test, but Kawi brags that the Ninja 400 will out-accelerate Yamaha’s R3 to the tune of seven bike lengths from zero to 200 meters, and in a 6th-gear roll-on from 75 mph, it will be 4.5 bike lengths ahead after 200 meters.

A largest-in-class 310mm brake disc, the same size as that used on the Ninja ZX-14R, provides stopping power up front, and a 2-piston caliper squeezes the 220mm rear disc rather than the single piston used on its Japanese competition.

The bike’s suspension was upgraded as well, with a 41mm Showa fork and a new bottom-link rear shock with 5-position preload adjustment (requires the toolkit, which is included). I found it to be stiffer but more compliant than the previous model—ideal for the track and much better on gnarly roads than before, although larger testers still managed to bottom out over the worst bumps.

This being a sensible, beginner-friendly bike, Kawasaki paid some attention to everyday comfort and ergonomics. The rider triangle is fairly neutral for a sportbike, with clip-ons mounted to the top of the fork tubes, and handlebars that sit 15mm closer to the rider than the Ninja 300 for a shorter reach and easier handling when riding aggressively. Supersport-style aluminum footpegs are 9mm farther forward and 9mm farther down than the 300’s, contributing to a riding position that should be more welcoming to riders of all sizes.

  • Stock #: U9234
  • Color: Grey/Black/Orange
  • Miles: 620


*Vehicle Sales Price excludes a $495 reconditioning fee, taxes, title and licensing.

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