It is about time Kawasaki woke up. The Ninja 300 has been around since 2013 and since then the likes of Yamaha and KTM have threatened its existence with better performance. Well fear no more fans of the Japanese manufacturer as the new Ninja 400 has broken covers at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. While the Ninja 300 adhered to BS IV emission norms, it sadly failed to meet Euro IV and thus had to make way for a larger cubic capacity motor. Thank goodness.
Styling cues of the Ninja 400 have been derived from the supercharged Ninja H2 given the baby Ninja gets sweeping lights, chunky chiselled body panels and tank, a trellis frame and a narrow pillion seat. Speaking of the trellis frame, it helps saving nearly six kilos over the outgoing 300. The overall kerb weight of the 400 now stands at 168kg, 4kg lighter than the 300.
The 399cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled motor is new ground-up. There has been a massive boost in the performance numbers as the new motor makes 44.8bhp and 38Nm of torque, a rise of nearly six horses and 11Nm. Kawasaki claim that more torque will be spread around the lower rpm, making for a more all-round performance package. The Ninja 300 had taken a massive stride in that department from the old Ninja 250, yet it was not as neutrally geared as the Yamaha R3. The Ninja 400 gets an assist-with-slipper clutch which is said to make the lever 20 per cent lighter during operation.
Seat height is raised by a single mm from the Ninja 300 to 786mm while the fuel tank capacity has been reduced to 14litres from 17. It may not prove to be that big of a hassle, given that Kawasaki claims the bike will do nearly 340km on a tankful.
The Ninja 400 still uses conventional forks instead of USDs, however running new 41mm stiffer units. Braking duties are carried out by a dual-piston Nissin calliper on a 310mm rotor which comes standard with Nissin ABS.
Given that the motorcycle has just been revealed at Tokyo, expect it to make it to the Indian shores by 2018.