22 March 2023

LEGO® NINJAGO® review: 71783 Kai's Mech Rider EVO

Posted by Kev Levell

I like bikes, I like mechs and I like models that can be configured in different ways, so this LEGO® NINJAGO® set has a few of my boxes ticked. I don't think I've seen a mech on a motorbike in a LEGO set before and I like the quirkiness of that fun idea. 

Hop on for a pillion ride; we'll take this beast for a spin and see if it takes the corners well.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® NINJAGO® 71783 Kai's Mech Rider EVO
US$44.99/ £39.99/ 44.99€/ AU$69.99
312 parts
1 January 2023
Buying from Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

New moulds in 71783

  • 6x Claw Mechanical with Clip in Pearl Gold (6426622 | 3171) also in 80044 Monkie Kid’s Team Hideout, 76242 Thanos Mech Armour and a Black variant comes in 76245 Ghost Rider Mech & Bike 76243 Rocket Mech Armour
  • 1x Large Figure Weapon Sword with Axle Connector in Pearl Gold (6417341 | 2144) in two other sets 71785 Jay’s Titan Mech and 71786 Zane’s Ice Dragon Creature where it also appears in Trans Light Blue
  • 1x Minifig Neckwear Lower Jaw with Fangs in Yellowish Green (6417339 | 2143)
  • 1x Bone Warrior's Weapon pack in White (6417344 (not shown above; for pictures please see our reviews of 71786 and 71782 & 71800)

Exclusive prints and recolours

  • 1x Wedge Plate 4 x 2 Right in Bright Light Orange (6227663 | 41769)
  • 1x Wedge Plate 4 x 2 Left in Bright Light Orange (6227662 | 41770)
  • 1x Tile 2 x 3 with Sand Red Ninjago Focus Banner print in Red (6421045 | 26603)
  • 3x Slope Inverted 45° 4 x 1 Double with 1 x 2 Cutout in Red (6431120 | 32802)

Rare pieces

  • 2x Tyre 68.7 x 27 S in Black (6429788 | 52985) only in 76139 1989 Batmobile
  • 4x PLATE, ROTATED, 45 DEG. in Dark Stone Grey (6395097 | 79846) also in three other sets
  • 1x Brick Special 4 x 5 x 2 with Bar, 4 Studs in Pearl Gold (6371693 | 79896) also in 71757 Lloyd’s Ninja Mech and 71781 Lloyd's Mech Battle EVO
  • 2x Wheel 43.2 x 26 Technic Racing Small with 6 Pinholes in Pearl Gold (6326764 | 51488) only in 71736 Boulder Blaster (see my review from 2021)

Minifigures in LEGO set 71783

The ninja minifigures, Kai and Nya, were previously available in 2022 sets while Bone Hunter and Bone King are new for this year's "Core" wave. 

I like the Green Bone warriors; all of the characters have wonderful detailing.

The new claw/finger, part 3171

With six of the new Claw Mechanical with Clip to hand (or more accurately, three to each hand), I had enough to make a few quick connection experiments. 

A 3.18 bar will clip onto the "clip" end just as it does with the Exo-Force / Bionicle robot arm (both 53989 and the newer 98313). 

The additional interesting connections are along the length of the "finger", which for two of the three sections is a 3.18 bar. A connection is not possible on the third, tapered finger tip section.

The build

The construction is broken down into four bags. The first bag contains everything to build Kai's Mech and I like the scale of it. It's nicely designed, particularly the use of EVO limb (79846) to give some instant dynamism to the overall model. 

My small nit-pick is that I want thumbs on the hands - admittedly that's also because another pair of the claws would be nice to have!

The second bag is the body of the bike that has some lovely economical greeble usage to give it a high powered futuristic superbike feel.

Bag three contains the wheels and LEGO Technic beams for the wheel mounts. The body is set at a mean angle, giving a powerful look to the resultant bike. Instantly though, I want the front wheels to have steering - even if it's only the illusion of steering as per 76245 Ghost Rider Mech & Bike. I'm not really a fan of the Batpod format, it just feels impractical to me.

The final bag contains some adornments for the bike, front fork mandible blades and a massive sword/staff for Kai in his Mech suit. None of this is terrible, but I'm struggling with the unwieldiness of that size staff whilst riding a high powered motorcycle encased in a robotic suit- a bladed joust seems like the wrong choice of weapon - even if it looks cool.

When completed and the mech is on the bike, I feel it's all getting a bit lost and I can't delineate where mech and bike divide. It looks confused and I wonder perhaps whether alternate or adjacent colour choices might have helped that, even keeping within the established palette that has been set by Kai's existing hardware.

As with the other sets with the EVO suffix, the model is built in distinct sections or stages. I feel a difference from the EVO dragons we reviewed recently (71782 & 71800) is that there isn’t quite the same “upgrade” or augmentation in the build. There are distinct and separate builds within the set that, while they do join together, could equally stand alone with small alterations. If the mech really transformed into a bike by adding wheels in some clever way then I might feel differently about that.


At US$44.99 / £39.99 / €44.99 / AU$69.99 I’m torn, because at first look this set seems expensive, but the box is actually fully packed when you open it. The new claw is an exciting piece and the finished model looks very cool. Playability is there in the mech and bike combinations but I would still like more at this price-point.
This set is part of the EVO range and I can see how that fits with the design of the set, but the evolution or upgrade is less obvious to me here than it has been in other EVO sets. 

For a bike of this size, I feel like I really do want steering on the front wheel, however, I can see how it might have been difficult to make working steering within the part count.
Kai's Mech Rider EVO is visually confusing and conceptually flawed in my opinion, but I doubt that will bother most ten year old Ninjago fans. 

As a pack of parts, I can't recommend this at full price. It's a nice source for some larger and rare wheels, and for the new claws in a nice quantity too, but there's little else here that would tempt me. In the end though, it was a fun set to build and it looks cool, so I can really see the target market enjoying the play value represented here. 

READ MORE: LEGO® Disney™ review: 43217 'Up' House

Help New Elementary keep publishing articles like this. Become a Patron!

Huge respect goes to all our patrons, especially our 'Vibrant Coral' tier: Antonio Serra, Beyond the Brick, Huw Millington, Big B Bricks, Dave Schefcik, David and Breda Fennell, Richard Selby, Gerald Lasser, Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark, Baixo LMmodels, Markus Rollbühler, Elspeth De Montes, Megan Lum, Andy Price, Chuck Hagenbuch, Jf, Daniel Church, Wayne R. Tyler, Timo Luehnen, and now Lukas Kurth of StoneWars has raised his pledge to Vibrant Coral! Thank you all for supporting us.

LEGO® Shop at Home
USA: FREE SHIPPING every day on orders over $35!
UK: Free delivery when you spend £50 or more at LEGO!
Australia: Discover the latest promotions and offers on

All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

1 comment:

  1. For these mech-on-a-trek sets, we also have the Marvel set 76245 Ghost Rider Mech & Bike, but it seems that both of them were released in January, so they must be considered concurrent.