When it comes to 400cc motorcycles, it can be quite tricky to choose exactly what the right bike for you will be. With so many options from so many manufacturers, it boils down to a multitude of factors, when it comes to the final choice you make as your first big bike, or a new middleweight machine for your daily commutes. If practicality and versatility are what you’re looking for, then chances are you’re shopping in the naked sportbike segment.
Here in the Philippines, the 400cc segment is dominated by the CFMOTO 400NK. However, other bikes such as the KTM 390 Duke, Husqvarna Svartpilen 401, and of course, the Kawasaki Z400, are also popular choices in this segment. Today, let’s pit the CFMOTO 400 NK against one of its most technologically similar Japanese counterparts, the Kawasaki Z400, and determine which bike is the better choice for you.
Let’s kick things off with performance. After all, this tends to be the most considered aspect when it comes to purchasing a big bike. The CFMOTO 400 NK employs a barebones, 400.4cc parallel twin motor. This engine, although made in China, sports Bosch electronic fuel injection, liquid cooling, and dual-overhead-cams. As such, it churns out a decent 41 horsepower and 34 Nm of torque. While it isn’t the most powerful in its class, it certainly is enough power to make for an exciting ride, as well as a confidence-inspiring experience on the expressways.
The Kawasaki Z400, on the other hand, boasts just a tad more performance. It gets a 399cc parallel-twin engine equipped with dual-overhead-cams, liquid-cooling, and electronic fuel-injection, and pumps out a maximum output of 45 horsepower and 38 Nm of torque. While it’s only four horsepower more than the CFMOTO, it’ll certainly provide a more exhilarating ride thanks to its lower overall weight, and more nimble handling characteristics.
When it comes to features, both the CFMOTO 400NK and Kawasaki Z400 are rather barebones machines. Both bikes are equipped with all the standard safety features you’d expect from an entry-level machine. For the CFMOTO, we find J.Juan brakes equipped with ABS. It uses a dual front disc brake setup, which, apart from providing impressive stopping performance, gives the bike an undeniable big bike aura. It gets KYB-sourced standard telescopic forks and a rear monoshock with preload adjustability. For excellent nighttime visibility, the 400 NK is equipped with a full set of LED lights. Instrumentation consists of a standard LCD display.
The story is pretty much the same with the Kawasaki Z400, however, it does miss out on the dual front disc brake setup. Instead, we find a single Nissin brake caliper at front, and one in the back—both ABS-equipped. It also runs KYB-sourced suspension, LED lights, and a semi analogue/digital instrument panel.
At this point, you may be thinking that the Kawasaki Z400 has the CFMOTO 400 NK beat in terms of performance. While this may be the case, CFMOTO undoubtedly takes the upper hand when it comes to pricing. The 400 NK retails for just P219,800, making it one of the most affordable big bikes in the market today. Considering the level of tech and performance you get for the money, there’s no going wrong with this machine. On top of that, CFMOTO has proven itself as a strong contender, even in the midst of Japanese and European competitors, both in terms of reliability and performance.
The Kawasaki Z400, on the other hand, which retails for P298,000, is also an excellent choice, as it boasts the instantly recognizable Z styling, and of course, Kawasaki’s stellar track record when it comes to longevity and reliability. It’s also a lighter bike which packs just a bit more performance, making it a more versatile machine, be it for daily commuting, or spirited rides up and down the mountains.