2018 Motorcycle Previews 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 First Look | 13 Fast Facts

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 First Look | 13 Fast Facts

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 Preview

Kawasaki created the quarter-liter sport bike class in 1983 when it released the Ninja 250. The bike remained relatively unchanged until 2008 when Kawasaki launched the first major redesign of its entry-level sportbike.

With pressure arriving from the 2011 Honda CBR250R, Kawasaki went one step bigger, offering the Ninja 300 for 2013. Honda followed suit with the CBR300R, the more powerful CBR launched for 2015, and the entry-level supersport rivalry began.

For 2018, Kawasaki’s smallest Ninja has grown once again. Meet the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400, the newest edition to the “sport” Kawasaki Ninja family that also features the Ninja 1000 and Ninja 650, all cousins to the “supersport” Ninja family of the ZX-14R, ZX-10R and ZX-6R.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 racingFollowing are the essential Fast Facts of the all-new Kawasaki, which was unveiled at New York City International Motorcycle Show.

1. Powering the new Ninja is a 399cc parallel twin with a 70mm bore x 51.8mm stroke. The engine, built from lightweight components to keep the Ninja 400’s weight a low 362 pounds wet, has 11.5:1 compression ratio, and a completely revised cooling system.

2. At 362 pounds, the new Ninja 400 is nearly 20 pounds lighter than the Ninja 300.

3. The supersport arrives with a six-speed transmission with a close-ratio gear pattern and a slipper clutch. Kawasaki claims a much lighter feel at the clutch lever.

4. For better handling, the Ninja 400 has a shorter wheelbase of 53.9 inches, which is nearly an inch shorter than the outgoing and discontinued Ninja 300. The aluminum swingarm is also longer, which Kawasaki claims enhances handling.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 top speed5. The 400 has a larger 41mm telescopic fork, and rear shock that features five-way preload adjustability. Kawasaki says “overall the suspension of the Ninja 400 offers the plushness of a much larger displacement bike.”

6. Stopping the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 is a 310mm disc up front squeezed by a two-piston caliper, and a rear 220mm disc out back squeezed by a dual-piston caliper. ABS is standard.

7. The five-spoke wheels contribute to the bikes lightweight, and were designed using World Superbike technology. The wheels don 110/70 and 150/70 17-inch tires.

8. The new Ninja’s ergonomics are more aggressive for sport-oriented. Kawasaki says the elevated handlebar and more forward footpeg position allow the rider to control the bike while also offering rider comfort. T

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 mpg9. The Ninja 400’s bodywork was completely redesigned, taking cues from its older siblings. The fairings now provide more protection from the elements, and the new radiator fan cover, which is located behind the radiator, directs hot air out to the sides away from the rider, reducing rider discomfort.

10. Just like the Ninja 300, gas capacity remains at 3.7 gallons. Riders can expect around 65 mpg.

11. The seat height also remains the same as the Ninja 300 at 30.9 inches.

12. The Kawasaki Ninja 400 has large analog tachometer flanked by warning lamps on the right side, a gear position indicator, and a multi-function negative display LCD screen on the left. In addition to the digital speedometer and gear position indicator, display functions include: odometer, dual trip meters, remaining range, current and average fuel consumption, external temperature, coolant temperature, clock and the Economical Riding Indicator to indicate fuel consumption based on riding conditions.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 track13. The 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 starts at $4,999 (MSRP), and is available in the following color options:

  • Ninja 400 – Metallic Spark Black ($4,999)
  • Ninja 400 – Candy Plasma Blue ($4,999)
  • Ninja 400 ABS – Metallic Spark Black ($5,299)
  • Ninja 400 ABS – Candy Plasma Blue ($5,299)
  • Ninja 400 ABS KRT – Lime Green/Ebony ($5,499)
  • Ninja 400 – a Pearl Solar Yellow/Pearl Storm Grey/Ebony ($5,499)

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 Specs:

  • Type: 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, DOHC, water-cooled
  • Displacement: 399cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 70.0 x 51.8mm
  • Compression ratio 11.5:1
  • Fuel System DFI® with 32mm throttle bodies (2)
  • Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
  • Transmission: 6-speed, return shift
  • Final Drive: Sealed Chain
  • Electronic Rider Aids: ABS


  • Frame Type: Trellis, high-tensile steel
  • Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 41mm Telescopic fork/4.7 in
  • Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: Bottom-link Uni-Trak®, swingarm adjustable preload/5.1 in
  • Front Tire: 110/70×17
  • Rear Tire: 150/70×17
  • Front Brakes: 310mm semi-floating single disc
  • Rear Brakes: 220mm single disc

Dimensions & Capacities

  • Overall Length: 78.3 in
  • Overall Width: 28.0 in
  • Overall Height: 44.1 in
  • Rake/Trail: 24.7°/3.6 in
  • Wheelbase: 53.9 in
  • Ground Clearance: 5.5 in
  • Seat Height: 30.9 in
  • Curb Weight: 366 pounds (368.2 CA model)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 First Look | Photo Gallery

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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