Family Feud: Kawasaki Ninja 400 Vs Z650 - Spec Comparison

Modified On Mar 20, 2019 By Praveen M. for Kawasaki Ninja 400

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Two completely different breed of motorcycles for a price gap of just Rs 60,000. Which one would you choose?

Kawasaki India offers a diverse range of motorcycles for enthusiasts with different tastes. However, when it comes to pricing, the brand has quite a lot of hits and misses. The Japanese auto major nailed the pricing of the Ninja 300 with localisation and Ninja ZX-10R by bringing it via the CKD route. On the flip side, Kawasaki failed to make a mark in the market with the absurd pricing of the Versys-X 300 and the Z900RS, to name a few. And on the same note comes the Kawasaki Ninja 400, which has been priced at an astronomical Rs 4.69 lakh, while the larger Kawasaki Z650 carries a price tag of Rs 5.29 lakh (both prices are ex-showroom, Delhi). So if you have a budget of around Rs 5 lakh and are in the market for a new Kawasaki motorcycle, we help you select the better bike for you, at least on paper.

Design & Features:

The Ninja 400 is a supersport motorcycle, and the design is also in line with its intention. Kawasaki has incorporated certain design elements from the legendary Ninja H2 on to the Ninja 400. Its bodywork is generously large but doesn’t look too out of place either. The overall dimension feels like a proper middleweight than a small-capacity bike. You get full-LED headlamps and tail lamp, a Ninja 650-derived analogue-digital combo cluster and reasonably-comfortable ergonomics. 

The Z650, on the other hand, is a naked street bike, and its design language is inspired by Kawasaki’s trademark ‘Sugomi’ styling. The front end features a sleek-looking halogen headlamp complemented by a small flyscreen and rather bulbous, muscular tank extensions. The tail section is stubby, which goes really well with the underslung exhaust. The feature list includes adjustable brake and clutch levers, all-digital instrument cluster, and standard dual-channel ABS. Being a streetbike, the Z650 is comfortable enough for long distance riding, and also packs a fuel tank that’s 1-litre bigger than the Ninja, at 15 litres.

Powertrain:

Specifications

Kawasaki Ninja 400

Kawasaki Z650

Engine

399cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled

649cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled motor

Peak Power

49PS at 10,000rpm

68PS at 8000rpm

Maximum torque

38Nm at 8000rpm

65.7Nm at 6500rpm

Transmission

6-speed

6-speed

The Z650 is obviously the more powerful bike of the two. That’s thanks to its much bigger engine. It also offers plenty of low- to mid-range grunt, which helps in effortless city riding - so much so that it actually feels like a 250cc motorcycle! It also has enough power to let you cruise comfortably at 150kmph, and if needed, even touch the 200kmph mark, although such high speeds on Indian roads is highly risky. 

The Ninja 400 isn’t left behind either. It is, in fact, the most powerful motorcycle in its segment, and the quickest as well, with a 0-100kmph acceleration time of just 5.4 seconds. However, the engine is peaky, and the low- and mid-range isn’t that exciting. It comes alive only after the 4000rpm mark, and can easily cruise at 120kmph without breaking a sweat. Its tested top speed stands at 159.8kmph. Devoid of any rider aids, both the bikes are properly old-school.

Underpinnings:

Specifications

Kawasaki Ninja 400

Kawasaki Z650

Front suspension

41mm telescopic forks

41mm telescopic forks

Rear suspension

Bottom-link Uni-Trak gas-charged monoshock with adjustable preload

Horizontal back-link rear monoshock with adjustable preload

Front brake

310mm petal disc with ABS

Dual 300mm petal discs with ABS

Rear brake

220mm petal disc with ABS

220mm petal disc with ABS

Front tyre size

110/70 R17

120/70 ZR17

Rear tyre size

150/60 R17

160/60 ZR17

The Ninja 400’s handling is sharp as a razor, obeying the rider’s commands with almost telepathic precision. The bike’s Dunlop’s Sportmax rubber also helps in enhancing the dynamics on corners. Though the braking is good, we just feel it should have had a bit more initial bite, especially at the front. The nicely-balanced suspension offers good ride quality, soaking up most of the bumps in our roads. The Ninja 400 is a proper supersport that feels equally poised on mountain twisties as on a race track, though it’s on the racetrack that the bikes comes into its element. 

The Kawasaki Z650’s suspension setup offers really good ride quality over bad roads, but the softness does make it a bit nervous mid-corner, especially over rough patches. The brakes offer plenty of bite but the front end tends to dive under hard braking. This one also rolls on Dunlop Sportmax rubber, which offers good grip levels. While the Z650 isn’t as swift as the Ninja 400, the streetbike isn’t lazy around corners. 

Verdict:

The Kawasaki Ninja 400 costs Rs 4.69 lakh, while the Z650 is priced at Rs 5.29 lakh (both, ex-showroom Delhi). If you’re really particular about sharp dynamics and attend frequent trackdays, the Ninja 400 is the one to go for. But if you want a good all-rounder with both city and touring-friendly capabilities, the Z650 makes better sense, and is actually worth the Rs 60,000 premium over the Ninja.

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