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And the 2 things you mentioned is the reason why I bought a 2017 instead of 2016. :)
 

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I hate that the ninja 400 has a better looking dash than I have on a 1000 that's just 2 years older....

I have no idea why they didn't put a gear indicator in to the '16.....and LED lights......whereas Honda started treating some of their bikes to these as standard starting in 2015....

https://www.cycleworld.com/kawasaki-blows-lid-off-entry-level-class-with-2018-ninja-400
They really stepped it up with the 400, i cant believe how bright the turn signals are in full sunshine and the headlights are a killer and that big gear indicator is great and easy to see, you wouldnt believe how smooth the transmission is also its like butter, if i had all of that on my nk1 it would be perfect.
 

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I like the looks of the 400. It's probably their best looking bike.

A good way to deal with the lack of a gear indicator is to really sit down and think about why that's a valuable bit of information. If you know your bike, and pay attention to how it feels, you will know what gear its in.

The eBay indicator works pretty well, and is 45.00, so it's not a money issue. It will work exactly like the one fitted to the 17 bike.

But, once you get one, it's interesting to ride with. At 60mph, you are covering 88feet, per second. Rarely is it going to be worth the 88 feet you will miss, to look down and see you are in 4th gear. Especially considering the bike is electronically protected against over reving.
 

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Never look at my dash anyways, so no biggie. I always know what gear I am in.

Was out at a track day on Saturday and my good friend put his brand new 400 SE on it and it did awesome. It's a fantastic looking "little bike"
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like the looks of the 400. It's probably their best looking bike.

A good way to deal with the lack of a gear indicator is to really sit down and think about why that's a valuable bit of information. If you know your bike, and pay attention to how it feels, you will know what gear its in.

The eBay indicator works pretty well, and is 45.00, so it's not a money issue. It will work exactly like the one fitted to the 17 bike.

But, once you get one, it's interesting to ride with. At 60mph, you are covering 88feet, per second. Rarely is it going to be worth the 88 feet you will miss, to look down and see you are in 4th gear. Especially considering the bike is electronically protected against over reving.
I have the Ebay one on... and I love it... it's most valuable when downshifting and more unfamiliar roads...

It would be nice to have it in the gauges though...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
And the 2 things you mentioned is the reason why I bought a 2017 instead of 2016. /forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
I got a deal too good on a brand new 16 to pay the difference....like 4500 under msrp
 

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The 400 appears to be a good bike for the money, but personally I'm pissed off at kawasaki and other manufacturers for not maintaining a lightweight standard for racing classes. 600's and 1000's have been standard for 30 years, why can't 300 be? Instead the manufacturers try to one up each other in CC's every year. Pretty sure next year Yamaha will come out with a 420 cc R4.

But griping about race classes doesn't change he fact that it's a lot of bike for $5K.

On the subject of gear indicators, even my Z125 has one. :D
 

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Its funny how they have always done this.....the 250 becomes the 300, and now 400....For 2020, Zaphs Yamaha 420.....


Which will leave a nice opening for the 250 class to start up again. Some how people forget just how cool the small bikes are. As nice as the 400 is, its still not a 250, which was its point in the first place.
 

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I think it's cool that we're seeing more interesting features on "base" model bikes. That being said, with a motorcycle I really don't see why you would want a gear indicator, other than to have a cooler looking dash. Since bikes have sequential gearboxes, you just go up if you need a longer ratio and down if you need a shorter one for whatever you're doing. 1/2 are really easy to tell because changing between those gears is noticeably different than any other change.

That being said, I *do* think it's valuable to have ABS/TC on bikes, and would love to ride something that has those features (never have) to see what it'd be like. I also thikn manus are sort of exploring how each displacement does. 250s, at least in the US, I think are generally too small. We just have too many long, straight roads with high speed limits, and let's be honest, the population is substantially heavier than a lot of European/Asian countries on average. A 250 is wheezing and huffing trying to keep a 200-250lb rider rolling at 75MPH. I think the sweet spot for small/beginner bikes in the USA, anyway, is probably 400-500CC. Plenty of bike to be a "real bike" but not so much as to get people in trouble. Then again, it seems that a lot of 600cc fours are "good" beginner bikes because they have no power at lower RPM and a lot of beginning rider don't have the chutzpah to use it. :p

I'm still excited about the market being saturated with all these newer, smaller bikes. I might have to pick one up soon for a commuter, since the N1K isn't exactly tiny or agile on city streets (or good for curb hopping).
 

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The gear indicator is very nice to me. As I transition from open road to tight corners I often look at what gear I am in on my H2 SX. I know for a given road type I need to be in either 2nd or 3rd gear. It is nice not to have to remember or guess. I will not understand the negativity on this.
 

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Well, you can feel the amount of power you have through the bike's engine. A gear is just a ratio. If you know what RPM you're at, you know roughly what kind of power you'll have. If you need more power, you just go down another gear. I just feel like if you're having to glance at your dash or concerned about what gear you're in all the time you may not be focused on the right thing, that's all.
 
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I guess you are also able to know your current speed through telepathy then. I don't know about you guys, but I have to look at my dash to see how fast I am going from time to time. Oddly, I am able to look at my gear indicator at the same time I look at my speed. Go figure. I don't know how it is where you live, but the cops here are brutal and target motorcycles. I have to keep an eye on the dash to keep out of trouble.

I'm done with this pissing contest. I am too busy watching my gear indicator. Back to the originally scheduled program .............
 

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57x, I like the way you said that, and for sure what you said rings true, and makes sense.


If a person has ridden, offroad, typically you have zero in the way of instruments. We will pretend we are riding converted motocross bikes. In that case no instruments.


In that case, all we would do is turn your comment around and say soemthing like, " If my bike feels right for this open road to tight corners , I must be in second or third." Meaning, you were able to determine the gear you were in, or close enough, without ever having to take your eves off the road.
 

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I don't "need" a gear indicator but it is nice to have. There are times on the track when I get a mis-shift and it takes me a little while to figure out what gear I'm in exactly; being able to just quickly glance down rather than guessing, would be nice :). On the other hand, I never look at my speed (on the track).
 

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Today's trend is for iPhone-style TFT (Too Fvcking Tiny) instrument panels, with splashy start-up and shutdown animations, but they crowd so many bits of information into a small area that's very challenging to read at a glance. I'm DELIGHTED the '18 Ninja 1000 still uses a hybrid panel with a big analog tach. There might be a gear indicator in there somewhere, but my bottom line is a neutral light.
 

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I guess you are also able to know your current speed through telepathy then. I don't know about you guys, but I have to look at my dash to see how fast I am going from time to time. Oddly, I am able to look at my gear indicator at the same time I look at my speed. Go figure. I don't know how it is where you live, but the cops here are brutal and target motorcycles. I have to keep an eye on the dash to keep out of trouble.

I'm done with this pissing contest. I am too busy watching my gear indicator. Back to the originally scheduled program .............
A gear indicator would be nice for the times I forget what I'm in and try to hit 7th or 0 gear by accident. Usually I know where I'm at and don't have issues.

I'm with you though, I'm glancing at my speedo often because the bike is always saying "just go a bit faster, it won't hurt anything" and cops are around every corner. I rode past a speed trap where they like to stand behind a sign, radar cars coming down a hill, and then walk out in the street to wave them onto a side road. I was doing 5 under, going the opposite way, but as soon as they heard me their heads snapped around (3 of them) and the one with the radar pointed right at me.
 

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A gear indicator would be nice for the times I forget what I'm in and try to hit 7th or 0 gear by accident. Usually I know where I'm at and don't have issues.

I'm with you though, I'm glancing at my speedo often because the bike is always saying "just go a bit faster, it won't hurt anything" and cops are around every corner. I rode past a speed trap where they like to stand behind a sign, radar cars coming down a hill, and then walk out in the street to wave them onto a side road. I was doing 5 under, going the opposite way, but as soon as they heard me their heads snapped around (3 of them) and the one with the radar pointed right at me.
Did you salute them lol
 
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I didn't even look at them. Didn't want to give them a reason to consider it.
 

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I test rode the Ninja 400 for shits and giggles but I was seriously thinking of replacing my DR650 with it. I almost did. The N400 was a ton of fun and surprisingly capable for being only 400cc. Kawasaki did a great job of giving the N400 nice low end grunt, midrange punch, and a fun top end. It was also surprisingly capable on the highway. I could cruise easily at 80 mph without beating on the engine. It could also burst from 70-95 without a downshift. It also had great wind protection, plus that very light, nimble handling. It would make for a great 2nd or 3rd bike. I wouldn't consider it as my only bike though because I always feel the need for more speed. Having said that I wouldn't be unhappy if the N400 was all I could get. Just need to understand that I can't beat EVERYTHING off the line.
 
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