The Ninja 400R is a 650R with smaller barrel, shorter crank throws and a lighter clutch. Weight savings is 2 lbs. That being the case it would be just like riding a Ninja 650R with a governor on it. …not to say that would be a bad thing, but it does still weigh in at 448 lbs. which makes it very heavy for a lightweight, total beginner.
I think they borrowed this strategy straight from Trials bikes, but I’m not sure it will fly with street bikes.
…I’m guessing they hope to leverage a Canadian insurance bracket wrinkle ?
There are 2 scenarios where the ‘big 4’ bike manufacturers could bring a decent 350 – 450 class machine to market. #1 – convert the existing 450cc motocross class bikes to road rockets. #2 – design a new multi-cylinder platform from scratch.
#1 they could nearly do with the stroke of a pen, #2 would be driven by overwhelming competition or divine intervention.