It's no secret that Japanese decision-makers over the past few years have been introducing less and less on sporty motorcycles. Kawasaki surprises with the introduction of the new Ninja ZX-4R. A completely new addition to the Ninja legend with a very high-revving straight-four engine and high-quality chassis. Unique in the current motorcycle market.
The Ninja ZX-4R is equipped with a completely newly developed 399cc four-cylinder with an output of 77 hp (80 hp with Ram-Air). Currently, the Ninja ZX-4R is the only supersport model in the 400cc class with a four-cylinder engine. The ultra high-revving engine, with a rev range of over 15,000 rpm, produces an exhaust note that only a high-performance four-cylinder from Kawasaki can. Among other things, a very light forged camshaft and cast aluminum pistons make this high revs possible, while a lightweight flywheel ensures an eager engine response. An Assist & Slipper clutch is linked to the engine block, which makes a locking rear wheel a thing of the past when downshifting quickly. The SE and RR versions are also equipped with an Up/Down Quickshifter as standard.
The four-cylinder block is housed in a steel box girder chassis. Kawasaki says it has used experience gained in the World Superbike Championship to design the ZX-4R's chassis. Together with the long curved swingarm, the chassis has to provide optimal weight distribution and a balance between flexibility and stiffness.
The wheelbase of the new ZX-4R is 1,380 mm, which is just 10 mm more than the current Ninja 400. The equipment level of the four-cylinder is a lot higher. For example, the ZX4-R has a double disc brake of 290 mm at the front. A single 220mm disc brake is mounted at the rear. The dry weight is 188 kg for the ZX-4R basic version and the RR version. On the SE, another kg is added.
The design of the ZX-4R is unmistakably Ninja. The large Ram-Air intake at the front, aggressive twin LED headlights and Kawasaki Racing colors make it instantly recognizable as a member of the sporty Kawasaki family. The higher placed clip-ons and good wind protection make it easier for the rider to enjoy a long time in the saddle. The narrow fuel tank improves the feel of the engine.
A modern, sporty motorcycle must of course be equipped with the necessary electronic riding aids.
Behind the top fairing is a modern 4.3'' TFT color display. In addition to a street mode with a large amount of information, the screen is equipped with a special track mode that only displays lap times, gear positions and engine revolutions over 10,000 rpm. The Kawasaki RIDEOLOGY application can be used to connect to a smartphone for various functions, including capturing GPS route information and important vehicle information.
The driver of the ZX-4R can choose from four different driving modes: Sport, Road, Rain and Rider. Those modes can be used in traction control. Kawasaki's proprietary KTRC system is also switchable.
Three versions available
The Ninja ZX-4R will be available in three different versions; Ninja ZX-4R, Ninja ZX-4R SE and the ultimate Ninja ZX-4RR.
The Ninja ZX-4R SE comes standard with:
two-way quick shifter
Windshield in smoked plexiglass
The Ninja ZX-4RR addes:
SHOWA SFF-BP front fork with adjustable spring preload
Showa BFRC-lite Shock Absorber
two-way quick shifter
Special RR livery
Anyone who is charmed by this secret Ninja scion will have to be patient. In Asia, Canada and the United States, the ZX-4R is expected by Kawasaki dealers as early as this spring, while the Ninja will not come to Europe until the autumn.