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You have no idea how psyched I am about this Ninja 400.
My favorite (and second) bike was a Yamaha 400 back in the 1980s and I've always loved 400s. They disappeared over here for a long time thanks to American dealers pushing liter bikes, but with Honda & Kawasaki moving from 250cc to 300cc and now Kawasaki taking the next step to a Ninja 400...
Not only is this good news for the possibility of getting a CBR350 or 400RR over here soon, but maybe Yamaha will eventually follow suit and give me the bike I really want. A freakin' YZF-R400.
 

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You have no idea how psyched I am about this Ninja 400.
My favorite (and second) bike was a Yamaha 400 back in the 1980s and I've always loved 400s. They disappeared over here for a long time thanks to American dealers pushing liter bikes, but with Honda & Kawasaki moving from 250cc to 300cc and now Kawasaki taking the next step to a Ninja 400...
Not only is this good news for the possibility of getting a CBR350 or 400RR over here soon, but maybe Yamaha will eventually follow suit and give me the bike I really want. A freakin' YZF-R400.
Yeah 400 is a nice size for sure. Decent amount of power yet still light enough to be able to be flicked around through the twisties and ease of maneuverability in and out of the garage etc. Ive only had one ( a GSXR) but are looking forward to owning another shortly.
Should be some exciting model releases in this class again this time nxt year I'd say. Might see that R4 from Yamaha!
 

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I wouldn't hold my breath for any exciting 350/400s from Honda. They already have several 400s in the home market line up; small bore versions of the CB/CBR twins the rest of us get and a pair of retro styled 4 cylinder bikes. Otherwise they seem to be either sticking with traditional and relatively heavy 4 cylinder machines or pushing the convenience/alternative/workhorse routes with stuff like their dual clutch automatic transmissions and all the variations on their NC700/750 twins which appear to have been popular despite being heavy and underpowered by most standards.

The Kawasaki 400 does look interesting and appears to be a lot more (or less in terms of weight) than just a sleeved down Ninja 650. Kawasaki can justify it because 400cc is still an important tier in their home market. Their recent moves to reduce weight across the board are to be applauded and the Z900 I sat on really did feel quite 'hollow' and easy to move around with a dead engine.

Suzuki just aren't trying in the light to mid-weight sector, relying on styling reworks to sell bikes that fundamentally haven't changed for a good few years.

And finally, Yamaha. They've been putting the effort in recently with their twins and triples. Personally I'd like to see conventional sports tourer versions along the lines of Honda's VFRs (only far less weighty) rather than the high barred Tracers but there's as yet no hint of that and if the motorcycling press is correct the next variants we'll be seeing will be adventure bikes. I'd be surprised if the R3 motor, having already been developed from a 250 unit, is capable of being taken to anywhere near 400cc and I can't see them being inclined to develop a new engine to fill the gap between their 325cc twins and the MT/FZ07 series.


There you go, that's my take on the current thinking of the big four Japs. The common theme is economy of manufacturing and development, either by recycling existing engineering or by utilising new product across as many styles as possible.

It's all starting to look a bit academic for me now as our central heating boiler was condemned by the service engineer yesterday and the replacement for that will be eating up a large part of my new bike budget.
 

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While I've got time on my hands I'll carry on a bit......

The European 35kW power restriction for new licence holders (A2) has been in place for some time, accompanied by a maximum power to weight ratio. This has led to many mid to large capacity models being sold with their power outputs artificially restricted but capable of being returned to full power once their owners qualify for a full licence. The recent Euro 4 regulations now include anti-tamper legislation which stops that conversion being done.
The effects of this remain to be seen.

Will new riders balk at buying low power versions of bigger bikes that they don't expect to keep long term and may have limited resale value?

Will the market for smaller, designated 35kW bikes as the 400 Ninja appears to be, expand?

I'm sure a lot of riders holders will see the A2 category as no more than a stepping stone on their way to a litre bike and will look to the secondhand market for bikes to fill that slot in their riding career. Hence, if you live in Europe, buying a lightly used Honda 500 should be a pretty safe bet for owning a modern bike and not losing too much in depreciation over a couple of years.
 

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I like the Ninja 400, but a CBR350RR (or whatever size...) has some better components like USD forks and an aluminum swingarm that make it more appealing (and serious) to me.

Not sure what the hold-up is for Honda. The bike is in production in Indonesia so you would think it would be that much trouble to punch it out a bit and sell it elsewhere. I mean, you would think you could get a lot better return on your design/engineering dollars by expanding the market where it's offered - especially considering the renewed interest in smaller bikes outside Europe and Asia.

It should be a done deal if Honda is paying attention...
 

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I like the Ninja 400, but a CBR350RR (or whatever size...) has some better components like USD forks and an aluminum swingarm that make it more appealing (and serious) to me.

Not sure what the hold-up is for Honda. The bike is in production in Indonesia so you would think it would be that much trouble to punch it out a bit and sell it elsewhere. I mean, you would think you could get a lot better return on your design/engineering dollars by expanding the market where it's offered - especially considering the renewed interest in smaller bikes outside Europe and Asia.

It should be a done deal if Honda is paying attention...
Yeah they seem to have potentially lost a whole year of sales IMO. The CBR250RR was out of the factory about this time last year so they had a whole year to get the boring bar out and turn that mean, lean and trick little machine into something even better for a world wide release in 2018.
So now folk like myself who are ready for a new bike start looking at KTM's and Ninjas. :frown2:
 

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I like the Ninja 400, but a CBR350RR (or whatever size...) has some better components like USD forks and an aluminum swingarm that make it more appealing (and serious) to me.

Not sure what the hold-up is for Honda. The bike is in production in Indonesia so you would think it would be that much trouble to punch it out a bit and sell it elsewhere. I mean, you would think you could get a lot better return on your design/engineering dollars by expanding the market where it's offered - especially considering the renewed interest in smaller bikes outside Europe and Asia.

It should be a done deal if Honda is paying attention...
I could imagine that they want to keep a gap to the 500 line of bikes. Actually over here in Germany I don't see many small bikes. Bigger = Better is the mantra here and there has been very little interest in the CBR 250 / 300 from what I can tell. The shops support that by trying to sell the largest, most expensive bikes possible. On another forum a guy asked me about my CBR 250 because he wanted to buy one himself, he then went to a Honda demo, test rode it and returned home with a CBR 600f...That's how things work here.:wink2:
 

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I could imagine that they want to keep a gap to the 500 line of bikes. Actually over here in Germany I don't see many small bikes. Bigger = Better is the mantra here and there has been very little interest in the CBR 250 / 300 from what I can tell. The shops support that by trying to sell the largest, most expensive bikes possible. On another forum a guy asked me about my CBR 250 because he wanted to buy one himself, he then went to a Honda demo, test rode it and returned home with a CBR 600f...That's how things work here.:wink2:
That's how it's been here for some time. Dealers pushing buyers to bigger bikes for more commission. Ragging on smaller bikes until people came into dealerships with pre-conceived disdain for small bikes, buying 600RRs and liter bikes as their first bike and subsequently crashing them in their first month.
It wasn't until Kawasaki finally acknowledged that the Ninja 250 was their overall best-selling model and brought out a new version that things finally (and thankfully) started swinging the other way again. Honda, Yamaha and even Suzuki got on board, but now we're creeping back up the displacement scale again. I see a limited window of opportunity for 400cc bikes coming in the next few years, before dealers start getting greedy and start pushing R1s and GTX-1000Rs on customers in earnest again. Hopefully it doesn't result in another decades-long drought of 400s as happened after the 1980s.
If the Ninja 400 does well (and I sure hope it does) with options like the titanium Akrapovic exhaust, then that should be a clear signal to Honda that the states are ready for a CBR350RR or CBR400RR. I can't see them ignoring the segment for long with a bike already designed that could lead the class. And if Yamaha introduces a YZF-R4 they will have completely run out of excuses not to offer it in the US.
 

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Part of the difference is the customer base. If dealers in Germany and the US were selling _mainly_ to people looking for practical transportation rather than "hobby riders", it would be a different story. 100-250 cc sized bikes are terribly practical. My wife's first bike was a 50 cc Honda Cub. The one that she loved the best was a CB160.

I rode 250 and smaller sized bikes for 54 years before up sizing to a CB500XA for street riding in my later retirement years.
 

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Way down here in New Zealand we seem to almost have a built in resistance to the 'bigger is better' way of thinking. Possibly because we are a small island nation of limited population and infrastructure. We dont tend to have the biggest of things or aspire to it.

So... on that note the biggest selling bike in NZ last year was the Yamaha MT-03 followed very closely by the R3.
Way to go! :grin2:
 

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While I was in Japan this year on a business trip, I had an opportunity to see the new CBR250RR in the flesh.

I must say I was pretty impressed with the looks, and the overall package. I sure hope to see Honda release a variant of the new RR here in the US. I'm told that the RR was a big seller in Japan when released there, and sold out pretty quick. I'm guessing Honda might be limiting sales on a broader market basis until it gets its production ramp up ready.

I have several bikes already, but I would seriously consider adding the RR if it comes out here.
 

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While I was in Japan this year on a business trip, I had an opportunity to see the new CBR250RR in the flesh.

I must say I was pretty impressed with the looks, and the overall package. I sure hope to see Honda release a variant of the new RR here in the US. I'm told that the RR was a big seller in Japan when released there, and sold out pretty quick. I'm guessing Honda might be limiting sales on a broader market basis until it gets its production ramp up ready.

I have several bikes already, but I would seriously consider adding the RR if it comes out here.
There's a guy on the 300 forum based in India who seems to have insider knowledge some how and he doesn't appear to be full of BS.
Anyhoo, he reckons Honda are building a new plant in Thailand at present to manufacture the new RR, what ever size it will be. As u prob know the 250RR has been built in Indonesia thus far.
I recently looked into importing a 250RR into NZ, there's tons of them for sale on the Goobike website. It got too complicated and expensive. There was no guarantee I would be able to get it road registered here so it may have become an expensive (yet fun) track bike only. The killer expense wise was that I was going to have to pay 15% import duties.
 

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That Neo Sport really does look as cool as............. and equally impractical for anything more than an hour's riding on a sunny day, which will most likely be enough for a good many buyers.
It'll be interesting to see how they can mount indicators and a number plate without spoiling the lines of it.
 

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That Neo Sport really does look as cool as............. and equally impractical for anything more than an hour's riding on a sunny day, which will most likely be enough for a good many buyers.
It'll be interesting to see how they can mount indicators and a number plate without spoiling the lines of it.
The prototypes always look way cooler without the road going gear and generally have a trick exhaust system that your never going to get on a production model. Generally I find by the time these bikes make it into production they are so watered down they have lost the 'cool' edge they had at the prototype stage.
It is a sexy lookin beast tho!
Honda's biggest news at the show this year seemed to be the new Goldwing which is about as far removed from what bikings all about for me as it gets. Yawn.
 

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I think it is worth the money to fix your CBR. That bike is worth no less than $2k in good running condition.
 
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