This is the full maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Ninja 400 — when to change your air filter, spark plugs, and more.
The Ninja 400 is the successor to the Ninja 300, but it is better in every way. Well, in two important ways — it’s more powerful, and lighter.
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 is also the sibling to the Z400, which is the same fundamental bike but in naked format.
The Ninja 400 is still an entry-level bike but is the kind of bike many people find themselves downsizing to and having the time of their lives on it. It’s powered by a 399cm dual overhead cam water-cooled parallel twin, putting its power down through a six-speed transmission and a chain drive.
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What you need to service your Kawasaki Ninja 400
Servicing your Ninja 400 is easy! You just need a bunch of basic motorcycle maintenance tools, some floor space, and of course the following consumables.
|Part||Kawasaki Ninja 400 & Z400 Spec|
|Oil||You need 2.0L (2.1 US qt) of SAE 10W-40 engine oil “with API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2 rating”, preferably Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil, or another multigrade synthetic like Motul 7100 or Mobil 1 Synthetic|
Don’t over-torque the drain bolt (spec is 30 Nm/22 lb-ft per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
|Oil filter||Oil filter is part 16097-0008, or you can use Hiflofiltro HF303RC. Torque for oil filter is 17.5 Nm (12.9 ft-lb) (use a torque wrench, and it’s easier on the aftermarket one)|
|Front brake pads||Genuine part number for front brake pads is 43082-0081 for Ninja or Z 300/400. Get double-sintered EBC brake pads for better bite and wear — code FA197HH.|
|Rear brake pads||Genuine part number for rear brake pads is 43082-0128 (or same as front… same pads!). Get double-sintered EBC brake pads for better bite and wear — code FA197HH.|
|Spark plugs||NGK LMAR9G, with a spark plug gap of 0.7-0.8mm, torqued to 13 Nm or 9 ft-lb (use a torque wrench)|
|Air filter||Use the K&N air filter KA-4018.|
|Cable lubricant||Remember to lubricate your clutch cable (and brake cables if you have them) with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.|
|Chain lubricant||The chain needs to be lubricated every 600 km/400 miles (or more, if it gets wet/dirty). Motul chain paste is cheap and well-loved.|
|Brake fluid||Spec is to use DOT-4 brake fluid.|
|Coolant||Use nitrate-free, phosphate-free, ethylene glycol-based coolant with anti-corrosion inhibitors, e.g. Valvoline Zerex G05|
|Grease||Use a lithium soap-based grease for all the important greasing points.|
Maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Ninja 400
Below is the full maintenance schedule for the Ninja 400.
Basic service intervals for the Ninja 400 are either every 7.6K miles (12K km) OR ever year. At any of those periods, check to see what you need to adjust inspect, lubricate, or replace.
The valve clearance inspection interval is a generous 24000 km (15K miles).
- I = Inspect
- R = Replace
- L = Lubricate
- (C) Service more frequently in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy, high speed, or frequent starting/stopping
|km x 1000||1||12||24||36||48|
|mi x 1000||0.6||7.6||15.2||22.8||30.4||Every|
|Air cleaner element (*C) (KA-4018)||R||R||R||R|
|Throttle control system (play, smooth return, no drag)||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Engine vacuum synchronization||I||I||I||I|
|Fuel system||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Fuel hoses||5 years, R|
|Evaporative emission control system (CA only)||I||I|
|Coolant level (Zerex G05)||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Cooling system||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Coolant, water hoses, and O-rings||R||3 years, R|
|Air suction system||I||I||I||I|
|Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement)||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Engine oil(*C) and oil filter (Motul 5100 10W-40, HF303RC)||R||R||R||R||R||Year, R|
|Tire air pressure||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Wheels and tires||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Wheel bearing damage||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Drive chain lubrication condition (*C) (Motul chain care kit)||600 km (400 mi), I/L|
|Drive chain slack (*C)||1000 km (600 mi), I|
|Drive chain wear (*C)||I||I||I||I|
|Drive chain guide wear||I||I||I||I|
|Brake system||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Brake operation (effectiveness, play, no drag)||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Brake fluid level||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Brake fluid (front and rear) (Castrol DOT 4)||R||R||2 years, R|
|Brake hose||4 years, R|
|Rubber parts of brake master cylinder and caliper||R||4 years, R|
|Brake pad wear (*C)||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Brake light switch operation||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Suspension system||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Lubrication of rear suspension||L||L|
|Steering play||I||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Steering stem bearings||L||L||2 years, L|
|Electrical system||I||I||I||I||Year, I|
|Spark plug (NGK LMAR9G)||R||R||R||R|
|Chassis parts||L||L||L||L||Year, L|
|Condition of bolts, nuts, and fasteners||I||I||I||I||I|
Tyre sizes and pressures for the Ninja 400
The manual specifies the following tire sizes, pressures, and brands (that it ships with, though people rarely stick with them).
Stock, the Ninja 400 ships with Dunlop Sportmax GPR tyres, but you can fit any street/sport tyres to it.
|Tyre||Size||Tyre pressure (cold)|
|Front||110/70R17 M/C 54H||200 kPa/28 psi|
|Rear||150/60R17 M/C 66H||225 kPa/32 psi|
About the Ninja 400
The Ninja 400 was first released in 2018 (launched a few months earlier), replacing the Ninja 300 that was itself an improvement on the long-lived and much-loved Ninja 250.
It’s a very well loved beginner motorcycle, but also with a few mods makes a great entry-level track motorcycle that is suitable for tighter circuits that don’t really give big bikes the advantage on long straights. (The first mod anyone makes when going to the track, by the way, is modifying the suspension — gold valve emulators or cartridges up front.)
The 399cc water-cooled parallel twin doesn’t make a terribly inspiring sound, as you’d expect from a small engine with a 180 degree crank. It’s a far cry from the lively bark of the CP2 engine in the MT-07, for example.
But what it doesn’t have in character it makes up for in revviness and willingness to fly way up the tachometer to high RPMs. This is where the Ninja 400 is different to competitors like the Honda CBR500R. On paper they have similar specs, though the Ninja is heavier. But in reality, the CBR500R seems to run out of puff when the little 400 keeps going.
The Ninja 400 is still a great everyday motorcycle, though. It is comfortable, with high clip-on style handlebars, and doesn’t force you to crouch way down over the tank. They come standard with ABS in most markets (or with it as an option for pennies more), are frugal on gas, and very low on maintenance — see above, if you don’t believe us, with maintenance intervals every 12,000 km (7,500 mi) and mostly requiring “inspecting” things.
In fact, the Ninja 400 is such a practical, fun motorcycle, that it’s a popular target for people who decide they’ve had enough of pottering around on superbikes and want something they can really fly with. It’s a real rider’s bike, for the right kind of roads.
Just keep the fluids up to date, check the valves, replace brakes pads and the chain occasionally, and it’ll go forever… until you crash it.
Manual for the Kawasaki Ninja 400
The above maintenance schedule was transcribed from the manual for the Ninja 400, with reference to parts diagrams.
You can download it from Kawasaki’s website here.