2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 Photo Gallery

Kawasaki is already calling this parallel twin “the new leader” of the small-displacement sportbike category. Upping displacement pretty much hedges its bets.

Kawasaki has been good to three-time World Superbike champ Jonathan Rea. It’s only fair he does some contractually obligated photo shoots for his big green benefactor. Here, Rea rides the Ninja 400 ABS KRT Edition ($5,499), which features ABS and a superbike-inspired livery.Courtesy of Kawasaki

Remember when the littlest Ninja was a 250? Never afraid to play the displacement game, Kawasaki has taken the wraps off the 2018 Ninja 400 and announced pricing, available colors, and even supplied nice pictures of three-time World Superbike champ Jonathan Rea wringing its wee neck at Road America. Or should we say "tween neck," given the 399cc parallel twin is inching ever closer to 600cc-size machines? (Hey, aren't those supposed to be on the way out? Say it ain't so…)

Replacing the outgoing Ninja 300, the Ninja 400 (MSRP $4,999) gets a host of engine, chassis, and bodywork updates. If you've ever sheepishly exclaimed, "Look, a ZX-10R!" as a Ninja 300 rolled past, the latest updates will only confound you more, as the 400 bears an even stronger resemblance to its bigger brothers than did its predecessor. Check out the photos below to familiarize yourself with the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 in Metallic Spark Black ($4,999). Also available with ABS ($5,299).Courtesy of Kawasaki
2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 in Candy Plasma Blue ($4,999)Courtesy of Kawasaki
2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS SE in Pearl Solar Yellow/Pearl Storm Grey/Ebony ($5,499)Courtesy of Kawasaki
As is the norm in the small-displacement sportbike category, ergonomics are more sensible than those of race-replica machines. Higher bars (and comparatively forward-mounted pegs) for a more relaxed riding position mean the Ninja 400 can do double duty as a commuter bike and track weapon.Courtesy of Kawasaki
Weighing a claimed 362 pounds, the ’18 Ninja 400 is nearly 20 pounds lighter than the 300. A new trellis frame uses the engine as a stressed member. The bike’s 53.9-inch wheelbase is nearly an inch shorter than that of its predecessor.Courtesy of Kawasaki
It’s easy to see the extent to which Kawasaki has gone to increase performance and shave weight. Kawasaki says the engine is a clean-sheet design. User-friendly tech like a slipper clutch with a light lever pull and a broad range of engagement shows Team Green means business.Courtesy of Kawasaki
Analog and LCD dash features a gear-position indicator, a nice touch regardless of your riding experience.Courtesy of Kawasaki
The redesigned 3.7-gallon fuel tank, like the twin-cylinder engine, is narrower than that fitted to the outgoing Ninja 300, which should help rider dynamics and make it easy to put a boot down at stops.Courtesy of Kawasaki
A single 310mm front disc brake up front and a 220mm disc out back are responsible for bringing the Ninja 400 to a halt. Five-spoke rims are shod with Dunlop radials. The 400 features a beefy 41mm conventional fork.Courtesy of Kawasaki
A claimed 30.9-inch seat height is suitable for shorter riders. Kawasaki also offers a 1-inch-taller seat as an accessory.Courtesy of Kawasaki
A 150/70-17 rear tire is tasked with managing the claimed 45 hp and 28 pound-feet of torque output of the Ninja 400’s parallel twin.Courtesy of Kawasaki
The 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 in its natural habitat: a two-lane back road.Courtesy of Kawasaki