Riders in the market for an entry-level sport bike have been clamoring for a 400cc in-line-four option from Team Green for a while now. While the ZX-25R does exist as the brand’s entry-level bike, it fails to appeal to many due to it not being expressway-legal and only packing a little over 40hp.
However, jumping to the next in-line-four in Kawasaki’s lineup, the full-fledged middleweight supersport known as the ZX-6R, would be a little too much. Looking elsewhere is moot, too, because no other manufacturer produces a fully fared 400cc either.
Because of this, there was an obvious gap that Kawasaki needed to bridge. Yes, the Ninja 400 is an option, but its parallel-twin can never provide the same experience. Now, Kawasaki finally succumbs to popular demand and releases the ZX-4R.
The ZX-4R borrows the chassis of its smaller sibling, the ZX-25R, but packs a larger water-cooled 399cc in-line-four capable of 75hp that revs to over 15,000rpm. It also has Kawasaki’s signature Ram Air system, with inlets found on the left side of the fork.
To help riders keep all that power in check, Kawasaki has equipped the bike with traction control and four riding modes: Sport, Road, Rain, and Rider (user-configurable). All electronics are accessed via the 4.3-inch TFT dash that also has smartphone connectivity.
Stopping is taken care of by a pair of 290mm discs up front, and a single 220mm rotor in the back. Showa supplies SFF-BP forks for the ZX-4R, and the rear sports a horizontal back-link suspension system as seen on the ZX-10R.
Two more variants will be released aside from the standard ZX-4R, namely, the ZX-4R SE and the ZX-4RR. Both the SE and RR models get a preload-adjustable fork, a bidirectional quick shifter, and special decals inspired by Team Green’s GP bikes.
In addition, the SE comes with a slew of street-oriented accessories as standard such as a smoked windshield, frame sliders, and a USB accessory outlet. On the other hand, the RR’s rear suspension is upgraded to Showa’s BFRC-lite, a system similar to that seen on the ZX-10R.
As of this writing, local pricing and variants have yet to be announced.