A highly versatile motorcycle, the 2021 Kawasaki Ninja 400 is here with both ABS and non-ABS versions. There are no changes to the parallel-twin powered sportbike, as the 28 ft-lbs of torque that it puts out at 8000 rpm is deemed enough for the time being. The agile trellis-style frame returns, along with the capable non-adjustable suspension (except for shock spring preload).We’re not concerned with the lack of updates, as the Ninja 400 remains an excellent motorcycle. It is at home in the local canyon, on the track, commuting to work, or just riding around town looking cool. Speaking of looking cool, the new Passion Red and Pearl Nightshade Teal/Metallic Spark Black hues are absolute head-turners.
Although track-friendly, the ergonomics of the Ninja 400 are semi-upright, and the clip-ons rise above the top triple-clamp, rather than drop below. The 54-inch wheelbase, 31-inch seat height, Dunlop Sportmax GPR-300 tires, and 362-pound curb weight all conspire to welcome new riders to the fold, and reward experienced riders with responsive handling.Kawasaki Ninja 400 Review2021 Kawasaki Ninja 400 (and Ninja 400 ABS) SpecsENGINE
Type: Parallel twin
Bore x stroke: 70.0 x 51.8mm
Maximum torque: 28 ft-lbs @ 8000 rpm
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Valvetrain: DOHC; 4 vpc
Fueling: EFI w/ twin 32mm throttle bodies
Transmission: 6-speed w/ Positive Neutral Finder
Final drive: Sealed chain
Frame: Steel trellis
Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 4.7 inches
This Podcast is also brought to you by the new modular helmet from Schuberth, the C5. The C5 blends safety with light weight and amazing quietness. Visit Schuberth.com for more information.
This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!