The Kawasaki Ninja 400 could be just what the Japanese manufacturer needs to get its most popular learner-approved motorcycle back on the top-seller’s list.
The Ninja 300 ruled in Australia for a few years from its introduction in 2013.
However, it has been surpassed in recent years by other small-capacity learner bikes from the other Japanese manufacturers, plus KTM and BMW.
Now Kawasaki hits back with a bigger looking and slightly bigger engine capacity Ninja 400.
It was unveiled today at the Tokyo Motor Show, but Kawasaki Motors Australia is tight-lipped about its arrival schedule and pricing.
The new Ninja 400 is powered by a 399cc parallel twin with much more power and torque.
The original 296cc engine had 29kW of power at 11,000rpm and 27Nm of torque at 10,000rpm.
Now, the Ninja 400 has 33kW of power and 38Nm with more of that torque available lower in the rev range.
Learners will appreciate the 20% lighter clutch pull and the assist-and-slipper clutch to prevent rear-wheel lock-ups on novice ham-fisted gear downshifts.
The styling has been revamped so it looks like its bigger Ninja siblings and a chin-spoiler. Fuel is down to three litres from the original model to 14 litres.
Kawasaki claims the new steel trellis frame which uses the engine as a stressed member makes it 6kg lighter at 162kW fully fuelled.
It also comes with LED headlights, a 310mm front disc and Nissin ABS.
Kawasaki Ninja 400
- Engine: 399cc liquid-cooled parallel twin
- Bore x stroke: 70mm × 51.8mm
- Power: 33kW @ 10,000rpm
- Torque: 38Nm @ 8000rpm
- Dimensions: 1990mm × 710mm × 1120mm
- Seat: 785mm
- Kerb mass: 168kg
- Tank: 14 litres