Look, supernaked bikes aren’t exactly for beginners, but a high-quality naked bike can help you get into the segment, and Kawasaki wants to make it as easy as possible with the Z400. The 2022 version of this smallish streetfighter remains an aggressive little beast that still comes with enough safety features and rider aids to accommodate riders who eventually want to venture into supernaked territory.
Of course, Team Green isn’t the only Japanese motorcycle manufacturer making user-friendly nakeds. You’ve also got the Honda CB300R and the Yamaha MT-03—but some of the features on the Z400 give it the edge for riders who want to truly feel like they’re one with the bike.
For instance, you’ve got Kawasaki’s signature ergo-fit technology, which helps riders of many shapes and sizes fit the bike perfectly. That’s important for streetfighters, since the way you sit on the bike is critical for making the most of the performance it offers. Other features include an economical riding indicator, assist & slipper clutch, and an economical riding indicator.
For power, the Z400 uses a 399cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC 8-valve parallel twin engine to produce 44.1 HP @ 9,830 rpm and 25.1 lb-ft of torque @ 8,250 rpm. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is—this bike is essentially the naked version of the Ninja 400, and it has a similarly linear power delivery that makes riding smooth and fun.
It’s nice to see a high-quality naked bike in the 2022 lineup of Kawasaki motorcycles that’s still relatively friendly and affordable. The Z400 starts at $5,199 USD / $6,399 CAD.
Pearl Robotic White/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray, Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black
TCBI with digital advance
Kawasaki Protection Plus
12, 24, or 36 months
2022 Kawasaki Z400 Features
Assist & Slipper Clutch
Based on feedback from racing activities, the Assist & Slipper Clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam) to either drive the clutch hub and operating plate together or apart.
Under normal operation, the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever feel when operating the clutch.
When excessive engine braking occurs – as a result of quick downshifts (or an accidental downshift) – the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and helps prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding. This race-style function is particularly useful when sport or track riding.
Economical Riding Indicator
Using high-precision electronic control for engine management, Kawasaki models can achieve a high level of fuel efficiency. However, fuel consumption is greatly affected by throttle use, gear selection, and other elements under the rider’s control. The Economical Riding Indicator is a function that indicates when current riding conditions are consuming a low amount of fuel. The system continuously monitors fuel consumption, regardless of vehicle speed, engine speed, throttle position and other riding conditions. When fuel consumption is low for a given speed (i.e. fuel efficiency is high), an “ECO” mark appears on the instrument panel’s LCD screen. By riding so that the “ECO” mark remains on, fuel consumption can be reduced.
While effective vehicle speed and engine speed may vary by model, paying attention to conditions that cause the “ECO” mark to appear can help riders improve their fuel efficiency – a handy way to increase cruising range. Further, keeping fuel consumption low also helps minimize negative impact on the environment.
ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
Kawasaki ABS systems use front and rear wheel sensors to constantly monitor wheel speed. Should information from either of the sensors indicate that wheel lock has occurred, the ABS ECU directs the pump in the ABS unit to modulate brake fluid pressure (releasing and reapplying pressure so that traction can be regained) until normal operation resumes. ABS offers rider reassurance that contributes to greater riding enjoyment.