It hasn’t been much time since the return of Yamaha YZF-R3 to India. However, its arrival has motivated Kawasaki India to bring the Ninja 400 to the country for the price of Rs 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom). Curiously, this bike will go on sale alongside the Ninja 300, which Kawasaki India has not pulled from the market yet. What separates the Kawasaki Ninja 400 from Ninja 300? What does Kawasaki India intend to prove with the launch of Ninja 400? What are the chances of Ninja 400’s success in India? The fact that Ninja 400 and the Ninja 300 will be sold alongside begs answers to these questions.
|Specifications||Kawasaki Ninja 400|
|Price||Rs 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom)|
|Engine||Liquid-cooled fuel-injected 399c parallel-twin|
|Front Suspension||41mm telescopic fork|
|Rear Suspension||Link-type Uni Trak monoshock; preload adjustable|
|Front Brake||310mm petal disc, twin-piston calliper|
|Rear Brake||220mm petal disc, twin-piston calliper|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||14 litres|
What’s new about the Kawasaki Ninja 400?
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 is a different beast from the Ninja 300. To that end, it has a DOHC fuel-injected 399cc parallel twin engine making 49HP power and 38Nm torque. This engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox. The bike has a 41mm telescopic fork up front and a preload-adjustable link-type monoshock at the rear for suspension duties. There is a single 310mm disc with dual-piston caliper at the front and a single 220mm brake disc at the rear with dual-piston caliper. The bike also gets dual-channel ABS from Nissin. The Ninja 400 has a steel trellis frame and measures 2,020mm x 710mm x 1,120mm (l x b x h) with its wheelbase spanning 1,370mm.
Design-wise, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 looks quite sharp and shark-like, especially from the front. Its bodywork makes it look like a much larger bike than it is. The short front fender makes it look athletic. The thin five-spoke wheels make the bike look agile and light-footed. The front indicators of the bike have been neatly integrated into the full fairing. Moving on back, there is split-seating for a rider and a co-rider on the bike. The brushed aluminium bits on the exhaust looks expensive. Lastly, the lack of a rear tire hugger makes the rear end of the bike look clean and clutter-free.
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 has an analogue tachometer and digital readouts for speed, total distance, trip distance, fuel, engine temperature, gear position, clock, and mileage. The bike has LED taillamps and the from the pictures, the headlamps seem to be of LED variety too. The bike has a 14-litre fuel tank and its kerb weight stands at 173kg.
Is the Kawasaki Ninja 400 worth consideration?
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 enters a highly-competitive segment that features bikes like the RC 390, Yamaha YZF-R3, and Benelli 302R (not to forget Kawasaki’s own Ninja 300). Coupled with its Rs 4.69 lakh price tag, this bike feels overpriced. Kawasaki India mentions that this bike is positioned between the Ninja 300 and Ninja 650. Moreover, it also says that this bike will be assembled in limited numbers (exactly how many is not known yet) at its Chakan facility. Making it more exclusive is the only colour option available for the bike – Kawasaki Racing Team Green.
In short, there isn’t much going in the Ninja 400’s favour except two things – it is newer, and it is more exclusive than the Ninja 300. The presence of this bike makes the Ninja 300 seem like a better purchase proposition, if it is a small Kawasaki sportbike (by displacement) one is looking for.
What is Kawasaki India trying to prove here? That depends on whether the Ninja 400 replaces the Ninja 300 as Kawasaki’s smallest sportbike (displacement wise) in India in near future or not. The absence of the Ninja 300 will allow Kawasaki India to price the Ninja 400 more competitively, making it a (hopefully) better value-for-money product than it is now. Till then, the Ninja 400, for all its merits, will not feel like a bike that one should consider, unless exclusivity ranks high on a buyer’s list of requirements.
Kawasaki Ninja 400 India Launch – Synopsis
- Priced at Rs 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom)
- To be sold alongside Ninja 300 in India
- Positioned between the Ninja 300 and the Ninja 650
- Assembled in limited quantities in Kawasaki India’s Chakan facility
- Has a fuel-injected 399cc parallel-twin engine with 49HP/38Nm power/torque
- Telescopic suspension up front and preload-adjustable monoshock at the rear
- Disc brakes at both ends with dual-channel ABS
- Underpinned by a steel trellis frame
- Only colour option available is Kawasaki Racing Team Green