Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400: Difference & Which Is Better? - Big Bike Reviews (2024)

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The Kawasaki Ninja lineup has long been celebrated for its inherent sportiness and iconic design. Among its incarnations, the Ninja 300 and Ninja 400 are two popular choices for riders seeking a thrilling yet accessible riding experience. In this article, we will delve into their key differences, highlights, and drawbacks and determine which option might be better.

The main differences between the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and 400 are their engine displacement, styling, performance figures, and target market. The Ninja 400 is faster and more proficient for freeway driving. Meanwhile, the Ninja 300 is better suited for cruising and as a daily driver.

Before diving into the detailed comparison, note that the Ninja 300 and Ninja 400 have their individual strengths and target different segments of riders. Understanding these differences will help you decide based on your riding style, experience, and preferences.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400: Difference & Which Is Better? - Big Bike Reviews (1)

Battle of the LightweightNinjas

The Kawasaki Ninja 300 or EX300 comes from the renowned ‘Kawasaki Ninja’ series inspired by the1984 GPZ900R. It was initially introduced in 2012 as a 2013 model and made available in several markets, including Europe, Asia, and North America.

The 300cc machine succeeded the 30-year reign of the 250R and was sold in India until 2019 before being discontinued. Six years later, the 400cc Ninja followed in its footsteps.

2018 saw the release of the Kawasaki Ninja 400 in the market, which many believed to have taken its design from its predecessor. While this is true to an extent, the EX300 did not entirely lay the groundwork for its bigger-displacement incarnation.

Kawasaki created the Ninja 400 to address the shortcomings of the EX300 — reason the former received significant upgrades to its power mill, suspension, and frame.

Both have stellar track records, with the Ninja 300 frequently gracing racing events such as the MOPAR CSBK National Tour, the Ninja Cup, and the Ninja 400 boasting a 2018 FIM World Championship win by Ana Carrasco. This inherent sportiness led to the creation of the KRT (Kawasaki Racing Team) trim — one of the Kawasaki EX400’s best offerings since 2017.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400 Specs & Features (EX300A/B/SE vs. EX400G/H)


Kawasaki Ninja 300 and 400 motorcycles have a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder DOHC engine. To add, both employ DFI® (Digital Fuel Injection) with dual 32-mm throttle bodies and an electric starter.

Despite these similarities, everything else about their power mill layout differs—from the air filter used down to performance figures. Given its higher piston displacement, the 400cc Ninja will naturally have the upper hand in the latter. Interestingly, however, the bigger bike cannot seem to pull away from its sibling in top speed despite boasting superior torque and power output.

Displacement296 cm³ (18.1 in³)399 cm³ (24.3 in³)
Bore-Stroke Ratio62 × 49 mm (2.44 × 1.93 inches)70 × 51.8 mm (2.76 × 2.04 inches)
Compression Ratio10.6:111.5:1
Air FiltrationPolyurethane foam filterWet paper filter
Top Speed106—119 mph (171—192 km/h)100—121 mph (160—194.7 km/h)*
Horsepower39 PS (29 kW) @ 11,000 RPM43.4 hp (31.9 kW) @ 9,900 RPM**
Torque27 Nm (2.8 kgf-m, 20 lb-ft) @ 10,000 RPM33.3 Nm (3.4 kgf-m, 24.6 lb-ft) @ 8,250 RPM**

Fuel & Lubrication

Although both motorcycles have a Forced lubrication (wet sump) system and feed on unleaded gasoline with a minimum rating of PON 87 or 90 (R+M)/2, the EX300 stands out with its higher fuel and lubrication requirements. That 3-L difference in tank capacity renders the Ninja 300 more fuel-efficient than the EX400.

Tank Capacity17 L (4.5 USgal)14 L (3.7 USgal)
Fuel Mileage54—74 mpg (3.2—4.4 L/100 km)51—65 mpg (3.6—4.6 L/100 km)
Oil Type & Capacity)*2 L (2.1 US qt, filter change) 2.2 L (2.3 US qt, without filter) 2.4 L (2.5 US qt, after disassembly)1.6 L (1.7 US qt, at draining) 2.0 L (2.1 US qt, filter change)


Both Ninjas roar to life via a 6-speed constant-mesh, close-ratio transmission. A multi-disc wet clutch assembly assists in delivering power to the rear wheel, with ABS and SE models having an FCC assist & slipper clutch assembly (although for different model years, i.e.2014 for the EX300and 2018 onward for the EX400).

Furthermore, gear settings differ between the two Ninjas, with the EX400’s gear ratios optimized to provide improved acceleration and top speed.

Primary Reduction Ratio3.087 (71/23)2.219 (71/32)
Gear Ratio — 1st2.714 (38/14)2.929 (41/14)
Gear Ratio — 2nd1.789 (34/19)2.056 (37/18)
Gear Ratio — 3rd1.409 (31/22)1.619 (34/21)
Gear Ratio — 4th1.160 (29/25)1.333 (32/24)
Gear Ratio — 5th1.000 (27/27)1.154 (30/26)
Gear Ratio — 6th0.857 (24/28)1.037 (28/27)
Final Reduction Ratio3.000 (42/14T)2.929 (41T/14T)
Overall Drive Ratio7.938 @ Top gear6.738 @ Top gear

Ignition & Electricals

These lightweights have battery & coil ignition (transistorized, TCBI w/ digital advance) systems and three-phase A.C. alternators serving as their charging system. They also utilize a 12V 8 Ah/(10 HR)FTX9-BS battery(view on Amazon). The more recent EX400 ditched the old assembly for LED lights, except for the license plate and turn signal lights.

Ignition TimingFrom 10° BTDC @ 1,300 RPM to 31° BTDC @ 7,000 RPMFrom 10° BTDC @ 1,300 RPM to 40° BTDC @ 10,000 RPM
Spark Plug, Electrode GapNGK CR8E, 0.7–0.8 mm (0.028–0.031 inch)NGK LMAR9G, 0.7–0.8 mm (0.028–0.031 inch)
Charging System, OutputTriple-phase A.C. alternator, 35V or more @ 4,000 RPMTriple-phase A.C. alternator, Unspecified in manual
Headlight12 V 55 W/55 W (high/low beam)LED
Tail/Brake Light12 V 21/5 WLED
Parking LightN/ALED
Turn Signal Light (F/R)Unspecified in manual12V 10 W (RY10W, front); 12V 10 W (WY10W, rear)
License Plate LightUnspecified in manual12V 5 W (W5W)

Tires & Brakes

Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400: Difference & Which Is Better? - Big Bike Reviews (2)

The Kawasaki Ninja 300 and 400 comes equipped with factory-installed tubeless radials. The front tires have a size of110/70R17(view on Amazon) M/C 54S/54H, while the rear tires measure 150/60R17 M/C 66S/66H.

These knobbies are mounted on 17-inch aluminum rims, with the Ninja 400 boasting a stronger tire-and-wheel assembly — thanks to its Sportmax tires that perform much better than the problematic Road Winners.

Recommended cold-tire pressure for the pair is 200 kPa (2.00 kgf/cm², 28 psi — front) and 225 kPa (2.25 kgf/cm², 32 psi — rear). Tweaking these values is permissible but contingent on the terrain type and payload.

Rim Size (F/R)J17M/C × MT2.75 / J17M/C × MT4.0017M/C × MT3.00 / 17M/C × MT4.00 (R)
Front Brakes290-mm (11.4-inch) discs w/ petal-type rotors & dual-piston calipers310-mm semi-floating disc w/ two-piston balanced actuation caliper
Rear Brakes220-mm (8.7-inch) discs w/ petal-type rotors & dual-piston calipers220-mm petal disc w/ dual-piston calipers
Engine BrakingOptional: ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)

It is worth noting that, in certain trim variations, the front wheel of the EX300 is 0.25 inches thinner than that of the EX400. Additionally, some of its limited-edition iterations swap out the standard aluminum rims for chrome.


Enclosed in a tubular diamond steel frame are front and rear suspension units with a minimum ground clearance of 140 mm (5.51 inches) and suspension travel. The turning radius for both bikes is not that far from each other (disparity in measurement is only shy of 2 inches).

The EX300, in particular, boasts a slightly steeper rake angle that lends to increased maneuverability and quicker steering response. Conversely, the EX400’s shallower caster angle increases stability, especially during high-speed riding.

Wheelbase1,405 mm (55.31 inches)1,370 mm (53.94 inches)
Turning Radius2.4 m (7.9 feet)2.5 m (8.2 feet)
Caster Angle / Trail27°; 93 mm (3.7 inches)24.7°; 92 mm (3.6 inches)
Front Suspension, Travel37-mm telescopic fork, 120 mm (4.72 inches)41-mm telescopic fork, 120 mm (4.72 inches)
Rear Suspension, TravelUni-Trak® swingarm w/ 5-way preload-adjustable gas shocks, 130 mm (5.1 inches)Uni-Trak® swingarm, 130 mm (5.1 inches)

Dimensions & Capacities

In terms of overall dimensions, the 300cc Ninja is a tad stockier than its bigger-displacement namesake — despite having a shared saddle height of 785 mm (30.9 inches). It is also heavier by approximately 6 Kg (curb weight, unladen), partly due to its 17-L fuel tank and engine oil capacities.

Surprisingly, the Ninja EX300 has a better payload rating than the EX400 and, subsequently, a higher GVWR. All other variances in measurement, however, are within 5% — including the EX300B SE trim standing at 1,170 mm (46.06 inches).

Dimensions (L x W x H)2,015 x 715 x 1,110 mm (79.3 x 28.1 x 43.7 inches)1,990 x 710 x 1,120 mm (78.3 x 28 x 44.1 inches)
Curb Weight (Combined)172—175 Kg (379—386 lbs.)166 Kg (366 lbs., EX400G); 164 Kg (362 lbs., EX400H)
Payload Capacity180 Kg (397 lbs.)176.9 Kg (390 lbs.)
Estimated GVWR352—355 Kg (776—782 lbs.)340.9—342.9 Kg (751—755 lbs.)


While both motorcycles share sport-oriented styling cues, the Ninja 400 features a more angular and aggressive bodywork design over its smaller namesake. The fairings, headlights, and overall body lines of the EX400 are typically sharper, augmented by a modern and more advanced LCD instrument panel.

Moreover, the 400cc Ninja features a more contoured and sport-oriented seat, providing better support during aggressive riding. Meanwhile, the 300cc Ninja’s saddle is slightly wider and more comfortable — suitable for longer rides or daily commutes.

The Ninja 300 and 400 received respective styling enhancements during their production run. While some of these upgrades are subtle, others are distinct and actually helped riders (especially beginners) tell these two-wheeled machines apart. Here are some of these enhancements:

Ninja 400:

  • Kawasaki introduced updated fairing designs for the Ninja 400 starting from its debut.
  • The Ninja 400 receivedLED headlights and taillights(view on Amazon), offering improved visibility and a modern look.
  • Kawasaki periodically introduced new color options and graphics to refresh the bike’s aesthetics.

Ninja 300:

  • The Ninja 300’s updated bodywork incorporated sharper lines and a more streamlined look.
  • Like the EX400, the EX300 had various color options, providing consumers with fresh styling options.
  • Various model years, particularly special and limited-edition trims, featured unique graphics and decals that added to the bike’s visual appeal.

Cost of a Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400

Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400: Difference & Which Is Better? - Big Bike Reviews (3)

The tables below show a rundown of MSRPs for the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and 400 base models. Note that these figures only show list prices at the time of the bikes’ initial release and their most recent production year in North America and do not include units sold in other regions:

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Year – Model – TrimList PriceRetail/Trade-In Values
2013 Kawasaki EX300ADF$4,799$2,260 — $2,975
2017 Kawasaki EX300AHF$4,999$2,920 — $3,845

Kawasaki Ninja 400

Year – Model – TrimList PriceRetail/Trade-In Values
2018 Kawasaki EX400HJF$4,999$3,220 — $4,240
2023 Kawasaki EX400HPFNN$5,499$4,175 — $5,495

The most expensive trim of the Ninja 300 was the 2017 Kawasaki EX300BHFBL Ninja Winter Test Edition, which sold for $5,599. Meanwhile, the 2023 Kawasaki EX400GPFAN KRT Edition (ABS) sells for $5,899 for the Ninja 400.

You can get a decent Ninja 300 or 400 motorcycle in good working condition and with little to moderate cosmetic damage in the used-bike market. These pre-owned units typically have a low-to-average retail value of $910—$5,490(bikesales.com.au) for the Ninja 300 and$3,000—$5,890 (motorsportsuniverse.com) for the 400cc incarnation.

Pros and Cons — Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400

Ninja 300


  • The EX300 is a versatile motorcycle suitable for urban, mountain, and highway riding, meeting strict Euro 3 emission standards.
  • Its impressive transmission and FCC assist & slipper clutch design provide effortless shifting and reduce the back-torque effect.
  • The Uni-Trak® rear suspension and sturdy swingarm bracket ensure predictable handling on rough terrain, complementing the strong frame.
  • Additionally, the bike offers fuel efficiency, optional gel seats for comfort, and a convenient hinged fuel cap.


  • Its parallel twin engine feels limited at high speeds, causing noticeable vibrations and compromising rider comfort. Also, stock IRC Road Winner bias tires hinder performance and stability, especially when cornering.
  • The Ninja also faces challenges with limited ground clearance, subpar suspension control, stability issues, inadequate seat comfort, flimsy components, and vulnerable fairings and decals.
  • Some production models favor smooth surfaces, limiting the bike’s suitability for rough road conditions.
  • Depending on the year and trim, getting ABS means an extra $300 — $500 on the base price of the motorcycle.

Ninja 400


  • The sportbike underwent improvements in both its bodywork and color options, offering a wider selection compared to the Ninja 650.
  • With front brakes borrowed from the Ninja ZX-14R, the Ninja 400 provides reassurance for novice riders and is more forgiving than its larger counterpart.
  • Although not extremely fast, its top speed is ample for daily commutes, highway driving, and weekend canyon rides, making for ease of maneuvering around obstacles and through stop-and-go traffic.


  • Despite targeting beginners, the 400cc Ninja lacks traction control features and rider modes.
  • Rear shocks offer only a 5-way preload adjustment, leaving them unimpressive.
  • The difference in power delivery becomes noticeable at higher speeds, with the two-wheeler more likely to stumble compared to higher-displacement counterparts.
  • Some Ninja owners would also prefer a side-mounted tag/license plate holder, and the rear passenger seat may be too skinny and uncomfortable.

For a more extensive rundown of highlights and drawbacks for each motorcycle, refer to my articles on the2014 Kawasaki Ninja 300andKawasaki Ninja 400 vs 650.

Conclusion — Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400

In summary, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and 300 share numerous attributes — reliability, agility, and a sporty nature. Both motorcycles boast sleek styling characterized by clean lines and an aggressive, edgy appeal. As versatile all-rounders, they are favored by riders for daily commuting and weekend adventures.

Similarities aside, it is the bikes’ subtle differences that truly count. In terms of ergos, speed, and rider comfort, one or the other is the clear winner. That said, either the Kawasaki Ninja 300 or 400 will make a great beginner bike. Whichever you choose, remember to temper your decision with your needs and whims and take into account where you will ride.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400: Difference & Which Is Better? - Big Bike Reviews (2024)


Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs. 400: Difference & Which Is Better? - Big Bike Reviews? ›

Out of 12 user reviews, Ninja 400 scores 4.3 whereas the Kawasaki Ninja 300 tallies 4.2 out of 5 based on 80 user reviews.. TheKawasaki Ninja 300 Mileage is around 30 kmpl, while the Kawasaki Ninja 400 Mileage is around 24.18 kmpl.

Is Ninja 300 better than 400? ›

Q: Which bike is better Kawasaki Ninja 300 or Kawasaki Ninja 400? According to our average user rating, Kawasaki Ninja 300 has a score of 4.7/5 while Kawasaki Ninja 400 is rated 3.8/5.

Which is the best model of Kawasaki Ninja? ›

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is one of the top Sports bikes in India , Kawasaki W175 is one of the top Commuter bikes in India and. The company has also plans to launch several upcoming bikes such as Kawasaki Z500 and Kawasaki Z400.

Is Kawasaki Ninja 400 good for long ride? ›

Is the Kawasaki Ninja 400 suitable for long-distance riding? Yes, it is a good option for long-distance riding due to its comfortable ergonomics and fuel efficiency. However, it is still a sportbike and may not be as comfortable as a touring bike.

Why Ninja 400 is best? ›

Ergonomics and Comfort

Well, unlike a typical sportbike, the Ninja 400's seating ergonomics are pretty relaxed- more so because it is a sport-touring motorcycle rather than a track tool. The clip-ons are higher and the pegs are only slightly rear-set.

How far can a Ninja 400 go on a full tank? ›

Its fuel tank has a capacity of 3.7 gallons, providing a range of around 170 miles on a single tank of gas.

What is the top speed of the Ninja 400? ›

The Kawasaki Ninja 400 has a top speed of around 105 mph (169 km/h), which is among the highest in its class.

What is Kawasaki strongest bike? ›

Its Ninja H2R track-only variant is the fastest and most powerful production motorcycle on the market, producing a maximum of 310 horsepower (230 kW) and 326 horsepower (243 kW) with ram-air.

Is Ninja 400 worth it? ›

More Reviews on Ninja 400. I loved this bike it has awesome average in this price range not only average is some everything from handling to break system speed proper management of everything... Value for money, I am going to buy this bike as soon as possible. If you think, it's too pricey then have a ride in it.

Is Ninja 400 heavy? ›

The Ninja 400 features a trellis frame similar to the Ninja H2. Weighing at only 164 kgs (lighter than the Ninja 300). Its slim design facilitates control and ease of riding, making the Ninja 400 an easy choice for both new and experienced riders.

What is the difference between Ninja 300 and 400 engine? ›

The engine in the Ninja 300 makes 39 PS and 26.1 Nm . On the other hand, the power and torque of Ninja 400 stand at 45 PS and 37 Nm respectively. Kawasaki offers the Ninja 300 in 3 colours whereas the Kawasaki Ninja 400 comes in 1 colours.

Are Ninja 400s reliable? ›

Reliability and durability aren't issues, so the only thing to look for when buying used is general condition and a full Kawasaki service history. Our Kawasaki Ninja 400 owners' reviews show very positive reports, with no build quality concerns reported.

What is the best alternative to the Ninja 400? ›

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Competitors

R3 and RS 457 are top competitors of Ninja 400. Kawasaki Ninja 300 and KTM Duke 390 are also among popular Ninja 400 rivals and have compariable features and specifications. Ninja 500, RC 390, Ninja 650 are similar Bikes like Ninja 400 and can be good alternative choices.

How fast will a 300cc Ninja go? ›

In terms of performance, the 300cc sportbike can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in around 5.6 seconds. Kawasaki Ninja 300 top speed is 182 kmph (approximate).

How fast will a Ninja 400 go? ›

The Kawasaki Ninja 400 has a top speed of around 105 mph (169 km/h), which is among the highest in its class. It can easily keep up with highway traffic and offers enough top-end speed for most riders.

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