Aprilia RS 457 vs Kawasaki Ninja 400: Two Super sports Battle It Out!
Reviews by Team Drivio | 19th Dec 23
The Aprilia’s engine is the more modern of the two and sounds amazing
- In terms of design, both bikes look like their older siblings
- Their parallel-twin engines too, are quite similar in terms of output
- The Ninja 400 takes more of a sports tourer route, while the RS 457 is a proper track machine
The twin-cylinder small capacity supersport segment in India has always been a rather dry one. One of our first experiences of a bike of this segment was the Yamaha R3, a couple of years ago. And while the R3 recently did make a comeback in India, its extremely expensive price tag will probably ensure that it doesn’t have many buyers. And it has made it very hard for us to justify the R3 and MT-03’s price.
And that has mainly left us with two options: the Aprilia RS 457 and the Kawasaki Ninja 400. So if you too, had finalised between these two, here’s all you need to know about the two of these, which should help you make the final buying decision:
Aprilia RS 457 vs Kawasaki Ninja 400: Design & Features
The Aprilia RS 457 boasts a genuine supersport design characterized by its sharp body panels, full fairing, and a striking LED headlamp setup. Notably, its RS-like design draws inspiration from Aprilia's larger RS models, the RS 660 and RS V4. This scaled-down version maintains the captivating aesthetics of its predecessors while offering an affordable option for prospective buyers.
In typical Ninja fashion, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 emanates aggression with its unchanged yet striking styling. The angular fairing, twin-LED headlamps, and a slim tail section featuring an attractive LED tail-lamp contribute to its menacing appearance. A notable update for this model year is the adoption of a new livery inspired by Kawasaki’s WSBK-spec ZX-10R, featuring a vibrant green basecolor, red and black accents, and KRT logos, making it a head-turner.
The riding position on the Ninja 400 strikes a balance between comfort and sportiness. With a manageable 785mm seat height and handlebars within easy reach, the bike welcomes riders without a demanding stretch. The foot pegs, though a bit high for taller riders, maintain a comfortable angle. The overall build quality and switchgear contribute to a positive riding experience.
Aprilia RS 457 vs Kawasaki Ninja 400: Engines
|Aprilia RS 457
|Kawasaki Ninja 400
The RS 457 is equipped with a host of impressive features. Its instrument panel boasts a 5-inch TFT display, providing access to three distinct riding modes and three levels of traction control. Additionally, buyers have the option to enhance connectivity with Bluetooth, and a quickshifter is available as an optional accessory.
The Ninja 400 retains its power from the 399cc parallel-twin motor but undergoes a transition to BS6, resulting in a slightly reduced output—45hp and 37Nm. Despite this, it remains the most powerful motorcycle in its class. The BS6 Ninja 400 outpaces the KTM RC 390 in performance tests, achieving 0-100kph in 5.25s. The engine exhibits tractability, refined performance, and a sweet-sounding top-end. The slip-and-assist clutch enhances seamless operation, although a quickshifter is notably absent.
What stands out the most about the Ninja 400 is undoubtedly its versatility. This engine doesn’t mind commuting around in the city at lower speeds in higher gears and does that absolutely effortlessly. That said, if you are riding up a twisty road, the bike doesn’t mind revving up to its redline and does so absolutely smoothly. Its power is located at the top of the rev band so revving it up to its near 12,000rpm limit doesn’t feel stressed orvibey.
Aprilia RS 457 vs Kawasaki Ninja 400: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes
|Aprilia RS 457
|Kawasaki Ninja 400
Powered by a 457cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine, the RS 457 delivers an impressive output of 47.6PS. The suspension system allows for preload adjustability, ensuring a personalized and comfortable riding experience. Braking is robust, with a 320mm front disc and a 230mm rear disc, both equipped with dual-channel ABS. Riders can disable the rear ABS for a supermoto-style ride.
The parallel-twin engine of the RS 457 delivers robust low-end torque, starting around 4,000rpm. This results in formidable performance even in higher gears, making it maneuverable in traffic. While mileage may be a trade-off due to the multiple cylinders, the RS 457 compensates with power.
However, riders should be aware of the slightly more committed riding posture, potentially causing discomfort during extended commutes. Additionally, the absence of tank grips makes securing a firm hold challenging, prompting consideration for investing in tank grips.
Impressively, the Ninja 400 excels in corner-carving with its existing trellis frame, suspension setup, and Dunlop tyres. The bike feels light, agile, and effortlessly leans into corners, providing stability and instilling confidence. The Dunlop tyres offer adequate grip but lack feedback, leaving room for improvement. Suspension features a non-adjustable telescopic fork and a preload-adjustable monoshock, maintaining good ride quality with compliance to various road conditions. Braking performance is noteworthy, bringing the bike to a stop from 60kph in an impressive 17.13m.
However, in the equipment department, the Ninja 400 falls short of expectations for its market positioning. While it includes LED headlights, a slip-and-assist clutch, dual-channel ABS, and a semi-digital instrument cluster, it lacks advanced features such as traction control, adjustable levers, TFT display, or Bluetooth connectivity—features increasingly expected in this price range in 2022.
Aprilia RS 457 vs Kawasaki Ninja 400: Dimensions
The agility of the Aprilia RS 457 is exceptional, reminiscent of 350-400cc single-cylinder sport bikes. Noteworthy is the TFT console, which exudes a premium feel and excels in readability compared to competitors like KTM. The uncluttered layout facilitates easy access to essential information for riders.
Whether on a race track or the road, the Aprilia RS 457 exhibits remarkable agility, facilitating seamless navigation through corners. Its weight advantage contributes to overall nimbleness, enhancing the riding experience.
The Ninja 400's agility extends beyond cornering, making it adept on both road and track. Its well-balanced weight contributes to nimble handling and an overall enjoyable riding experience.
Aprilia RS 457 vs Kawasaki Ninja 400: Price
|Aprilia RS 457
|Kawasaki Ninja 400
|Rs 4.10 lakh
|Rs 5.24 lakh
Aprilia has positioned the RS 457 competitively in the Indian market, with a price tag of Rs 4.10 lakh. This pricing strategy aligns with the brand's reputation while offering a sensible and reasonable option for enthusiasts seeking the Aprilia experience.
Kawasaki, meanwhile, has priced the Ninja 400 at an exorbitant Rs 5.24 lakh, ex-showroom.
So yes, while both bikes have turned out to be lovely bikes, they’re lovely in their own ways. The Ninja 400 is a lot more versatile and will be nice and easy going when you want it to, despite having the capability to go extremely fast if needed as well. Our only issue with it, once again, is its Rs 5.24 lakh ex-showroom price tag. That’s not only expensive, but unjustifiable. Hence, we can’t really ask anyone to go out there and spend that much money on it.
The RS 457, on the other hand, is beautifully quick and wants to go fast a lot. So we’d recommend you to check your skills first before actually getting yourself this bike. Once you do though, there’s no denying that the RS 457 is the more value for money of the two. Its Rs 4.10 lakh ex-showroom price tag is a lot easier to justify and it does make sense, given that it’s an Aprilia at the end of the day.