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Kawasaki Ninja 400




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Engine: 399cc parallel twin | Weight (with fuel and fluids): 366 lb.

Lightweight, affordable, practical, and with cool looks, the Ninja comes with the ideal engine for newbies who want to learn to ride skillfully without earning too many speeding tickets. There are other sporty, road-focused motorcycles like it, but most have single-cylinder engines, which can vibrate at highway speeds. The Ninja’s twin-cylinder, however, is smooth on highways but still light enough to be manageable in real-world traffic and parking lots. It’s exemplary of a formula that Kawi has been perfecting for decades. Just make sure to spend the $300 extra for ABS. The 2020 model is unchanged from the 2019 version, so a used Ninja 400 (or nearly identical Z400) can work just as well.

Others to consider
We also would consider the Suzuki SV650 ABS ($7,499), which has enough power for almost any level rider, plus Low RPM Assist, which helps prevent you stalling out. And there’s the Honda NC750X ($8,099). It has even more power, plus a storage compartment above the gas tank, and an optional automatic transmission for $800 more.