The California Air Assets Board has issued an govt order certifying a 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 with a 399cc engine. The certification confirms what we assumed earlier this yr after an area tv information program aired a narrative about Kawasaki filming a industrial in Milwaukee, revealing the Ninja 400 title.
Associated: Oops! Milwaukee Information Crew Outs 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400
Since that story broke, Kawasaki introduced most of its returning 2018 U.S. fashions, which noticeably omitted the Ninja 300. We will now safely assume that the brand new Ninja 400 shall be changing the 300 in Kawasaki’s lineup as its entry-level sportbike.
The brand new Ninja 400 continues a pattern of newbie bikes rising bigger and bigger lately. The 249cc Ninja 250 had been round for years, and you’ll nonetheless repeatedly discover them on the used bike market lengthy after it was changed in 2013 by the Ninja 300. The impetus for that displacement enhance was the introduction of a brand new rival within the Honda CBR250R. Since then, the Ninjette has seen extra new rivals sporting even bigger engines within the KTM RC390 and the Yamaha YZF-R3. Honda’s CBR250R was later changed by the CBR300R (and hopefully quickly, a bigger model of the new CBR250RR presently supplied in Asia). It’s additionally possible only a matter of time earlier than BMW places its G310 motor in a fairing. Other than the late-to-the-party Suzuki GSX-250R and choices from smaller producers like Hyosung, the entry-level sportbike market has lengthy outgrown the quarter-liter displacement that 1000’s of latest riders began out on for years.
Whereas the CARB certification confirms the engine displaces 399cc, the doc doesn’t inform us the way it reaches that dimension. Kawasaki had beforehand produced a Ninja 400 in Asia (and briefly, Canada) that was primarily a smaller model of the Ninja 650’s powerplant nevertheless it’s extra possible we’re both a sized-up model of the Ninja 300’s engine, if not a brand new motor all-together.
To maintain prices manageable for the newbie market, Kawasaki is probably going preserving its littlest Ninja a Twin, so these hoping to see a small-displacement Inline-4 must maintain dreaming. Rising the 300 engine’s bore from 62.zero mm to 72.zero mm whereas preserving the stroke at 49.zero mm will produce a 399cc engine, however a extra reasonable enhance in piston dimension mixed with an extended stroke could also be extra possible.
With a 399cc displacement, the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 qualifies for Japan’s sub-400cc license class, so it’s potential we’ll see it subsequent week on the Tokyo Motor Present. It’s extra possible, nonetheless, that Kawasaki will await EICMA subsequent month. As all the time, Bike.com may have the newest data because it turns into accessible.