Motorcycle technology has evolved so much, such that smaller displacement engines can attain the performance of bigger engines. With motorcycle manufacturers equipping smaller and midsize bikes with impressive and power-packed features, many enthusiasts who are intimidated by the bigger 600cc to 1,000cc sportsbikes tend to go for these modest ones, mainly for maneuverability, handling, comfort and, for many Filipinos, the price. The smaller variants offer the same good looks, they go the distance, they got powerful engines―what's not to like? Of these smaller displacement machines, 400cc motorcycles are often the choice of many big bike riders, primarily because they can zip past tollways. In the Philippines, 400cc is the minimum limit for motorcycles to be considered highway-legal.
(Image credit: kawasakileisurebikes.ph)
Many will argue that there are now small-displacement bikes that are capable of treading on local speedways. But one of the biggest arguments in favor of keeping the 400cc minimum is that smaller motorbikes, being typically lightweight, may be unable to handle wind turbulence when larger vehicles such as a truck or bus go past them on the highway. This wind turbulence may push or blow the motorcycle to the side, which could lead to loss of control and possibly an accident.
Many, however, also argue that this is just a theory as some brave individuals who have dared to enter the expressway on their smaller bikes―most likely illegally or on speedways with limited restrictions―have attested that the presumed turbulence have not really had any impact.
Until the Philippine law on highway-legal motorbikes is changed, 400cc is the best bet for tollway riders. The good thing is that in the Philippines, rounding off is not an issue; so, if a motorcycle model runs on only 373cc, but is declared on paper by the manufacturer as 400cc, then the motorbike is considered legal on the highways despite being slightly under the mark. This was confirmed by the Executive Director of the Toll Regulatory Board Abraham Sales, who said: "What is shown in the LTO registration will prevail. That's what is being observed."
Now that the 400cc rule has been cleared, we, at Priceprice.com, present to you seven of the best 400cc motorcycles in the Philippines to guide you in your highway-legal bike purchase. We've provided comprehensive details as well as the pros and cons of each bike for you to weigh before making a final decision. Read on!
Best 400cc Motorcycles in the Philippines 2021
7. KYMCO Xciting S 400i
- High-speed stability and maneuverability
- Agile handling
- Powerful but smooth and quiet engine
- Spacious floorboard
- Underseat storage space is small
- Powerful engine is not as fuel-efficient as claimed
The recently updated KYMCO Xciting S 400i is a maxi scooter that lets riders enjoy a good, fun romp in both urban and rural suburbs. Being highway-legal, crossing from the city to the countryside is also easy and convenient with this scooter.
The KYMCO Xciting S 400i was built with the Taiwanese motorcycle maker's "Win My Heart" philosophy in mind; hence, its feisty good looks showcase a distinct fascia with sporty LED headlights, the first daytime running light (DRL) that's ECE-approved for a scooter, and an adjustable windscreen. Its rear profile is adorned by an LED taillight that perfectly matches the maxi scoot's long tail, contoured seat and backrest. The roomy, knee-friendly step board that allows riders to extend their legs in a feet-forward riding position makes the KYMCO Xciting S 400i a very comfortable companion even on the longest rides.
Powering the Xciting S 400i is a mighty but quiet 400.1cc 4S 4-valve liquid-cooled SOHC engine that churns a maximum output of 35.53hp at 7,500rpm and a peak torque of 37.7Nm at 6,000rpm, paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that smoothly distributes power. Acceleration is responsive whether in traffic situations or during instantaneous high-speed sprints.
The maxi scoot boasts increased rigidity courtesy of its suspension layout that consists of a front telescopic fork and rear adjustable twin-shock absorbers. Pulling to a stop is easy with the dual disc Bosch brakes in front and single disc at the rear. An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) feature enhances the braking power even more.
The KYMCO Xciting S 400i packs a good set of features for a scooter, particularly the brand's newly developed Noodoe Navigation technology, which is reportedly the world's first rider-centric navigation, with focus on rider safety. Readability of the dashboard is good, thanks to the V-shaped handlebar. A duo of power outlets, a 12V car-charger-type socket, an automatically lockable USB port on the compartment, an ignition shutter, a hazard indicator, a center stand and a handbrake are the Xciting S 400i's other noteworthy features.
The standard retail price (SRP) of the current model KYMCO Xciting S 400i is PHP 359,000.
6. Suzuki Burgman 400
- Strikingly good looks and road presence
- Comfortable ride quality
- Ample storage
- Instrument cluster is not fully digital
- No built-in navigation connectivity tech
- Price point is not for many
Suzuki refers to the Suzuki Burgman 400 as an "elegant athlete" and rightfully so as this maxi scooter presents a sleek, stylish visual appeal combined with a solid scooter engineering package. Sitting on top of Suzuki's Burgman maxi scooter lineup, it intermixes the convenience and comfort of a scooter with a sporty profile that allows it to zip past tollways. It comes with a stylish fairing with a huge windscreen and LED headlights and taillights that offer remarkable visibility in dim environments.
Claimed to "perform like a champion" but at the same time delivering superb comfort and performance, this Suzuki maxi scooter priced at PHP 499,000 offers a luxurious and pleasurable ride experience.
At the heart of this 399cc mean scooter is a single-cylinder, 4-stroke fuel-injected, liquid-cooled DOHC engine that delivers a maximum output of 32hp and 36Nm of torque, with a CVT pairing.
The Burgman 400 sits on a telescopic fork suspension layout up front and link-type at the rear. Front discs measuring 260mm and a 210mm rear disc brake, supported by ABS, ensures maximum stopping power. A handbrake helps prevent rolling when parking on hilly areas or inclines.
Intended to support long-distance rides, the Suzuki Burgman 400 comes with nifty amenities such as a 12V DC outlet for convenient charging, not one but two 7L front storage compartments, a 41L-capacity and an underseat storage enough to hide a full-face helmet. The instrument panel, though still having analog speed and rev dials, comes with a digital display that shows the clock, oil-change indicator, and average fuel consumption. A pass switch, shutter lock, side reflectors, and engine-check warning give added safety and security.
5. Bristol Café 400
- Beautiful retro design
- Reliable and powerful engine
- Affordable price point
- Efficient brake setup
- Mileage could be improved
Philippine-based boutique motorcycle brand Bristol's café racer motorcycles made it to our top 400cc motorcycles list, with the Bristol Café 400 that comes in two variants: the Bristol Classic 400i Omega and the Bristol BR 400i Omega (with Omega written as a symbol). The brand, which specializes in vintage-style European motorcycles that cater to riders of all kinds, has been building unique motorcycles since 2018. These motorcycles combine designs, technologies, electronics, components and powertrain from various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), specifically Delphi Technologies USA for the bikes' electronics, Mikuni Corporation injection components and Hartford for powertrain. The Bristol Café 400 is proof of the brand's capability in building good quality, highly customizable motorcycles.
The design of the Bristol Classic 400i and BR 400i is almost identical except for the saddle shape and the handlebars. Styling is retro from the single halogen headlight all the way to the fuel tank, telescopic fork and dual rear shock absorbers suspension setup, analog speedometer and tachometer, and dual stainless-steel exhausts.
Both Classic and BR 400i Omega have a Euro 4-compliant 400cc 4-stroke, 4-valve single-cylinder oil- and air-cooled OHC paired with a 5-speed gearbox, with chain as final drive. This powertrain can thump out as much as 27hp output at 7,200rpm and 33Nm torque at 5,600rpm, and can run at a top speed of 145kmph. Users' feedback even noted up to 147kmph to 150kmph, which is impressive for an air-cooled motorcycle engine.
ABS is equipped on both front dual disc brakes and the rear single disc for maximum stopping power. The fact that the front wheel comes with four pistons makes the bite feel more accurate.
Prices of both the Bristol Classic 400i Omega and the BR 400i Omega start from PHP 258,000.
4. Kawasaki Z400
- Maneuverability and carving corners are remarkable
- Powerful and sporty performance
- Light and nimble enough to fit into tight spaces
- Affordable price point
- Suspension setup tends to be on rough side
- Sporty stance slightly reduces comfort especially in long-distance travels
The youngest of the Kawasaki Z series of motorcycles, having been released barely two years ago, the Kawasaki Z400 immediately received good feedback for being an affordable, reliable, and fun-to-ride naked big bike. Smaller and lighter than most midsize naked big bikes, the Kawasaki Z400 is lightweight, directly in line with the Japanese motorcycle maker's streetfighter objectives for its naked bikes. Its sporty performance is adopted from the brand's massively popular Ninja 400 (which is our top 1 in this list) that runs on a 399cc parallel-twin engine, but styling wise, the Z400 bears the same profile as that of the flagship Z models that have a more upright riding position. This combination makes it a powerful but comfortable and ergonomic naked bike, suitable even for beginners, and highly capable in tackling roads in both urban and rural environments.
Tipping the scales at a very light curb weight of only 165kg, and having a much lower, 31-inch seat height versus its other Z series brothers, the Kawasaki Z400 keeps the rider closer to the center of gravity, thus allowing precise and instant handling.
The current iteration of the Z400 in the Philippines is powered by a 399cc 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected parallel-twin DOHC engine that is capable of spitting 52.3hp of maximum power output at 10,000rpm and 38Nm of peak torque at 8,000rpm, and hooked to a 6-speed manual gearbox. It comes with an assist and slipper (A&S) clutch. Both wheels are equipped with single disc brakes and ABS for extra powerful stopping.
You can get all these features and specs for a MSRP of PHP 279,000.
3. Kawasaki Dominar 400
- Striking good looks
- Comes with modern tech
- Highly reliable performance in both city streets and highways
- Comfortable for riders of all heights
- Very affordable
- Vibrations at higher rpms are hard to control
- Beefy design makes it heavy
- Fonts on digital instrument screen are hard to read
No one can argue that Kawasaki has a motorcycle lineup that boasts attention-grabbing motorcycles, even in the Philippines. Among the crowd favorites, especially in the sports-touring segment, is the Kawasaki Dominar 400(Bajaj). Beefy, aggressive and muscular, the name "Dominar" derived from the English word "dominate" aptly suits this midsize naked bike, which flaunts superior performance and capabilities. The thrills of a sports bike plus the long-distance capabilities of a tourer make the Dominar 400 a perfect companion for adventure-seeking riders.
The Kawasaki Dominar 400(Bajaj) has a strikingly beautiful appearance, just like its Ninja and Z siblings. It is equipped with an LED headlight and taillight, as well as modern features such as a split-reverse LCD display, a digital odometer, speedometer and fuel gauge.
When it comes to powertrain, this sports-touring motorcycle dons the same engine as the KTM Duke 390: a 373cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected DTS-i gasoline engine that's capable of 34.52hp maximum power output at 8,000rpm and 35Nm of highest torque at 6,500rpm. This powerful mill is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
Its suspension layout consists of telescopic fork in front and monoshock at the rear, while stopping power is handled by disc brakes in both front and rear. An ABS enhances braking power and stability, while a pass switch, engine-check warning and slipper clutch provide added safety.
Compared with most 400cc head-turners, the Dominar 400 has a more affordable price tag of PHP 175,000.
2. SYM Maxsym 400i
- Powerful performance
- Supple ride quality
- Lack of modern features for its price
- Price point is not for many
Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturer Sanyang Motor Co., Ltd., more popularly known as SYM, has a 400cc scooter offering that combines artistic integral styling with extraordinary engine power: its top-of-the-line scooter SYM Maxsym 400i. This distinctively designed maxi scooter delivers great performance that complements its athletic and muscular appearance. SYM's range-topper also offers superior ergonomic settings that allow for a comfortable ride quality even on long distances.
The Maxsym 400i boasts sporty but charming good looks, from its dual-projection LED headlights, all the way to its well-cushioned dual stepped seat with backrest, LED taillights, and down to its 15-inch front and 14-inch rear wheels. Behind the wide apron is an adequately sized partitioned floorboard with slim knee recesses.
At the heart of this beefy scooter is a Euro 4-compliant 399cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected gasoline powertrain that produces a maximum output of 35hp at 7,000rpm and peak torque of 36.2Nm of torque at 6,750rpm, connected to a CVT. Top speed is rated to be 145kmph, which is not at all bad for a maxi scoot.
Telescopic front forks and rear unit swingarm suspension layout makes tackling bumps less inconvenient, while dual front discs and a single rear drum with dual-channel ABS take care of braking duties. A pass switch comes handy for extra safety.
Other noteworthy features of the Maxsym 400i are its spacious under-seat compartment, a multiple LCD odometer as well as an analog fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, trip meter, and oil change indicator.
The SYM Maxsym 400i comes in only one variant and has an MSRP of PHP 318,000.
1. Kawasaki Ninja 400
- Head-turning good looks
- Powerful engine with impressive performance
- Precise handling
- Price point is not for many
- Pillion is not so comfortable
- Sporty stance might cause discomfort in long-distance rides
Kawasaki stakes its claim in the 400cc motorcycle segment as the Kawasaki Ninja 400 bags the top 1 ranking in our best 400cc motorcycles in the Philippines in 2021. Despite exuding the racetrack inspirations of its bigger Ninja sportsbike kin, this Ninja is quite approachable with its 399cc engine, so riders must not let its sporty, track-ready looks intimidate them.
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 boasts striking, race-inspired good looks with its angular bodywork, light trellis frame and clip-on handlebars. It also comes with side fairings and a radiator fan as well as LED lighting. Beginner riders will feel confident swinging their legs on this bike with its light 167kg curb mass and 30.9-inch seat height. The Kawasaki Ninja 400 makes for a more flexible streetbike with the powerful Ninja DNA running through its hardy chassis, excellent suspension setup, and well-thought-out ergonomics that contribute to its overall balance and high-performance level.
Living up to its lineage, the current iteration of the Kawasaki Ninja 400 is powered by a 399cc 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected parallel twin DOHC gasoline engine that reaches a maximum power of 48.9hp at 10,000rpm and a maximum torque of 38Nm at 8,000rpm. This mighty engine is hooked to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The streetbike utilizes front telescopic forks and a rear monoshock suspension setup, which it shares with the Ninja 300 and has always been touted to be one of the superior motorcycles that offer balanced ride comfort and smooth handling. Stopping power is courtesy of front and rear disc brakes with ABS as standard. The A&S clutch enables the bike to deliver a lighter lever pull as well as improved deceleration performance.
Other notable features are a digital instrument panel and an immobilizer.
For an MSRP of PHP 331,000, you get powerful performance, superior agility and controllability as well as good riding dynamics.
Like us, you are probably scratching your head as to which of the top 7 best-selling 400cc motorcycles you'd like to take home. All are equally impressive and have their own set of appealing features. In terms of performance, it is crystal clear that the Kawasaki models lead the pack, with the Kawasaki Z400 having outstanding horsepower, followed by the Ninja 400. The Bristol Café models have the lowest, yet still impressive, output of 27hp, and we're sure that for café racer enthusiasts, this model is most likely their bet for the most good-looking one in this list.
Any one of these bikes provide good value for your money and all of them were built by highly-respected motorcycle manufacturers. Whether you go for a racing-oriented bike, a café racer, or a maxi scooter, it all boils down to your preferences, riding objectives and your budget. We, at Priceprice.com, wish you a happy touring, cruising and safe speeding on the highways.