Kawasaki ZX-6R used for representation purpose only.
Back in 2019, Kawasaki took the wraps off the Ninja ZX-25R, which is arguably the most exciting small-capacity motorcycle from the Japanese manufacturer in recent times. Why? Because the ZX-25R was powered by a 249cc, inline-four screamer of an engine that developed 50hp at a stratospheric 15,500rpm, with the redline sitting further up at 17,000rpm.
Unfortunately, the ZX-25R was restricted to only a handful of markets owing to emission regulations, and most of the world did not get to experience all that it had to offer. Now, however, that might just be set to change. Rumors of a similarly engineered 400cc inline-four motorcycle dubbed the ZX-4R have been afloat for a while, and it looks like this motorcycle will see the light of day soon.
Young Machine, a publication that’s quite reliable with information on upcoming Japanese motorcycles, has mentioned in its February print issue that “a test sighting of a new machine that seems to be the Ninja ZX-4R has been sent to the editorial department.” What’s immediately apparent is that the ZX-4R will draw its visual cues from the range-topping ZX-10R.
It’s expected that the ZX-4R will feature a comprehensive suite of premium hardware and electronics, considering that the smaller ZX-25R was very well equipped. The latter came with Showa SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork-Big Piston) forks and Kawasaki’s back-link rear suspension. It also offered traction control, a bi-directional quick-shifter, and riding modes.
There’s still no information on the engine that will power the motorcycle, but we could see a peak power figure of 80hp. As VisorDown mentions in its report, this will put the ZX-4R in the same class as the Yamaha R7 and Aprilia RS 660.