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Kawasaki Ninja 300 or Ninja 400: Which One’s The Smarter Choice?

Kawasaki 400-300

Both the siblings are closely stacked in terms of hardware and performance, but one’s significantly cheaper

With the arrival of the new Ninja 400 after a brief absence, Kawasaki now has six Ninjas for India. Until now, each Ninja offered a proper jump to the top, starting from the Ninja 300 and stopping at the H2R. But now, there’s an extra step. Is it good enough to be one, though? Especially for Rs 1,62,000 more?  

In essence, both these bikes are Ninjas, their DNA is Kawasaki, but one has Indian roots. Localisation helps the Ninja 300 enjoy a sweeter price tag. The Ninja 400 employs Kawasaki’s modern sportbike design language, and as a result also gets modern bits like LED headlights and a semi-digital console. The Ninja 300 has started to show its age and feels rather meh in contrast.

Both bikes are powered by a liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine mated to a six-speed gearbox. The Ninja 300 has a 296cc unit, and the Ninja 400 gets a 399cc mill. While the 300 makes 39PS and 26.1Nm, the Ninja 400, thanks to extra displacement, makes 45PS and 37Nm. However, like most modern Ninjas, with the RAM air effect, the Ninja 400’s twin-potter is capable of producing a few more horses, enough to make it the most powerful bike in the class.

While both have frames made of steel, it is the larger Ninja that gets a tubular steel trellis frame that’s lighter and more rigid. The Ninja 400 gets a non-adjustable 41mm fork with 120mm wheel travel, and a preload adjustable mono-shock shock with 130mm wheel travel. On the other hand, the Ninja 300 gets a thinner 37mm fork and its rear is preload adjustable too.

Thanks to bigger brake rotors on the Ninja 400, it gets superior stopping power over its younger sibling. You get 310mm and 220mm single discs at the front and rear respectively. The Ninja 300 gets a smaller 290mm front disc and the same 220mm rear disc. The 300 weighs 179kg and the 400 tips the scale at 168kg. That’s a significant weight advantage.

Finally, the Ninja 300 is available in three colours, whereas the Ninja 400 only gets two. Both the siblings are almost equally matched; and hence when you compare price tags, the Ninja 400 at Rs 4,99,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) struggles to justify its premium, at least on paper. The tough decision would be not to look beyond these two Kawasakis, as this space has quite a lot of good bikes, like the TVS Apache RR 310 and the KTM RC 390, each one offering a far richer and economical experience than these Kwackers.

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