CARB certification tips off arrival of Kawasaki Ninja 400 in the US in 2018

Article by Christian A., on November 2, 2017

Is the Kawasaki Ninja 400 coming to the United States? There has been no official confirmation from Japanese motorcycle maker Kawasaki, but there have been indications that such a cool bike would be soon arriving in America.

The most obvious clue could be the fact that, according to, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has already published certification forms for the 399cc engine of Kawasaki Ninja 400. According to the document, CARB certified two model codes for Kawasaki -- the EX400GJ and EX400HJ. Since the bike maker’s previous small-displacement Ninja motorcycles employ the EX designation, the models certified by CARB are certainly the Ninja 400.

Furthermore, the G and H letters may refer to color options -- green (G) and white (H) while the J stands for the 2018 model year.

And in July 2017, the new Kawasaki Ninja 400 was spied on the streets of Milwaukee, Winconsin. Unfortunately for Kawasaki, the ones that managed to get a glimpse – or a video -- of the new Ninja 400 was a local Milwaukee TV news crew, Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV. On that day, several streets in Milwaukee were closed for shooting an ad for the new Kawasaki Ninja 400, and incidentally, WTMJ-TV news crew was on the spot.

Essentially, the Ninja 400 is believed to be the replacement model for the Ninja 300. When it announced its returning lineup for 2018, Kawasaki didn’t include the high-performance Ninja ZX-10RR and the Ninja 300. Kawasaki did announce the return of the KLX250 dual sport and quite a number of models as well as the availability of new colors. There could be a good reason Kawasaki didn’t announce a 2018 model for the Ninja 300 – the impending arrival of a high-displacement and a more powerful engine.

With the CARB certification, the arrival of a larger engine is as good as confirmed. However, while the certification divulged the displacement (399 cc), it didn’t tell how this size was achieved. It could be a larger version of the engine in the Ninja 300, and it could also be a downsized variant of the powerplant found in the Ninja 650. Nonetheless, scaling up the engine of Ninja 300 would be a more logical approach for Kawasaki, since increasing its bore and stroke would result to a bump in power output and torque as well as offer higher level of performance than the high-revving engine of the Ninja 650. To achieve a 399-cc displacement, the bore of Ninja 300 engine could have been increased from 62 mm to 72 mm – with the same stroke of 49 mm.

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