By Dennis Chung and seeing it again in Milan at EICMA, Kawasaki officially announced the new 399cc sportbike for the U.S. market. Impressively, American pricing starts at $4,999 for the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400, the same MSRP as the outgoing Ninja 300 (the ABS version is also priced similarly, at $5,299). We’ll also see a KRT edition and a special edition color option (both with ABS) in dealerships, each carrying a $5,499 price tag.
The Ninja 400’s U.S. availability doesn’t come as a surprise. We already know it was coming thanks to filings with the California Air Resources Board, but we didn’t need government certification documents to tell us Kawasaki would bring the Ninja 300’s replacement here, given how many American motorcyclists first learned to ride on the 400’s predecessor.
As previously announced, the Ninja 400’s parallel-Twin engine has a 70.0 mm bore and a 51.8 mm stroke (compared to 62.0 mm by 49 mm for the 296cc Ninja 300). The compression ratio is also higher at 11.5:1 versus the 300’s 10.6.1 ratio. Kawasaki added a larger air box with a new downdraft intake, claiming increased performance at high rpms and increased efficiency. The 5.8 liter airbox is more rigid at the top, reducing unwanted noise to produce a clearer intake note during acceleration. New intake funnels with different heights help to smooth engine response. Kawasaki hasn’t released any figures for the U.S.-spec model, but the European version claims a peak output of 44.8 hp at 10,000 rpm and 28.0 lb-ft. at 8000 rpm.