What a scream! Kawasaki reveals rev-happy Ninja ZX-4R

Kawasaki has revealed a modern take on a blast from the past with a high-revving, high-performance, mid-weight supersport bike.

In the 1990s, Japanese manufacturers were turning heads with race-bred 400 motorbikes, inspired by success on the track.

Kawasaki’s ZXR400, launched in 1989, was one of the first and most popular 400, four-cylinder sport bikes of the 1990s.

Now, in a bold move, Kawasaki has revealed its successor – the Ninja ZX-4R.

This premium motorbike features a newly-designed engine and frame and is expected to go on sale this autumn.

Rob Walters, a big fan of the original sporty 400s, said: “It’ll be interesting to see this new take on these 400 fours. I’m looking forward to when we get a demo so I can have a play.”

The ZX-4R is set to create a lot of interest because, like Rob, there are many riders still reminiscing about the heyday of these high-performance 400s.

The heart is a newly-developed 399cc liquid-cooled, parallel four-cylinder DOHC engine, developing 77PS and 80PS when Kawasaki’s acclaimed Ram Air system is pressurised.

The Ram Air intake in the centre of the upper cowl makes the ZX-4R instantly recognisable as part of the Ninja ZX series while the ducts are on the left side of the front forks.

The engine combines strong low and mid-range torque with potent power at high revs, revving above 15,000rpm, accompanied by an exhilarating exhaust sound.

The chassis, inspired by the Ninja ZX-10RR World Superbike, focuses on excellent handling.

The high-tensile steel trellis frame, mated to a curved long-type swingarm, achieves an idealised front-rear weight distribution and balances rigidity and flexibility for nimble handling and great rider feedback.

Showa’s advanced SFF-BP front fork is featured with a horizontal back-link rear suspension system.

The 290mm semi-floating front twin discs, with radial-mounted monobloc calipers, and 220mm rear disc means the ZX-4R stops as well as it goes.

The 120 front and 160 rear tyre combination is designed to match the ZX-4R’s dynamic performance and give excellent high-speed stability.

All lighting is LED, from the twin-light headlight to the tail lamp.

Electronic rider aids include integrated riding modes that link the traction control and four power modes – sport, road, rain and manual rider.

A 4.3in full-digital colour LCD screen integrates a track mode that displays lap times, gear positions and revs from 10,000rpm.

A smartphone can be connected via the Rideology app for various functions including recording GPS route information and riding data.

Two other versions will be available in some markets.

The Ninja ZX-4R SE special edition features original colours and graphics inspired by Kawasaki Racing Team machines and many accessories as standard.

The Ninja ZX-4RR adds upgraded rear suspension, based on that of the Ninja ZX-10R supersport, for a sportier ride.

It’s not yet been confirmed whether they will come to the UK. Nor is there any indication of pricing.

To register your interest visit our website at orwell.co.uk/contact or call our sales team on 01473 257401.