When you’re a fan of small-displacement-but-ridiculously-fun bikes, then the probabilities are glorious that you just received very excited when Kawasaki first launched the ZX-25R on the 2019 Tokyo Motor Present. Fans all around the world adopted bulletins concerning this bike carefully.
These of us within the U.S., after all, hoped that we would ultimately see the ZX-25R right here—however we didn’t precisely maintain our breath. In any case, too-cool, small-displacement bikes that develop cult followings have largely discovered their strategy to our shores solely as soon as they’ve aged into classic car importability. If it did one way or the other come via, probabilities had been glorious that it wouldn’t occur instantly. (I imply, why wouldn’t it? When you’re any OEM, the primary locations you roll out your new bikes are the place they’re going to promote in massive numbers. That math is fairly clear to see.)
Quick-forward to January, 2023, and U.S. followers have motive to hope anew. In accordance with an govt order issued by none apart from the California Air Sources Board, approval has been granted to Kawasaki for a 2023 mannequin with the designation ZX400SP, with engine displacement of 399cc. Kawasaki makes use of ZX to designate sportbikes within the Ninja household, with the 2023 lineup at the moment listed because the Ninja ZX-6R, Ninja ZX-10R, and Ninja ZX-14R.
By these examples, it’s cheap to anticipate that the ZX400SP mannequin listed on the CARB certification is probably going the long-rumored ZX-4R, which is probably going based mostly on the ZX-25R that we’ve been admiring from afar for the higher a part of the previous few years.
CARB issued this govt order on December 21, 2022. Presently, Kawasaki has a brand new mannequin announcement deliberate for February 1, 2022. The teaser picture it’s displaying on its web site and social media reveals two non-motorcycles up entrance (at the very least one and probably each look like watercraft), in addition to two bikes within the again. The entire thriller machines are, after all, beneath covers so we are able to’t inform what they’re.
On the time of writing, February 1, 2023, is simply 11 days away—so we’ve got lower than two weeks to attend to see if the ZX-4R is likely one of the two bikes that Kawasaki plans to disclose for the U.S. market on that day. Whether it is, there’s completely no indication of the way it is likely to be priced. Presently, the Ninja 400 begins at an MSRP of $5,299, whereas the Ninja ZX-6R (which is at the moment the smallest-displacement Ninja ZX supplied within the U.S.) MSRP begins at $10,699. Presumably, the ZX-4R must be priced someplace in between—nevertheless it’s all hypothesis till it isn’t.
Can we anticipate the ZX-4R to seem in different markets sooner or later? It appears possible that it could, notably given how far more pleasant most markets outdoors the U.S. are for small-displacement bikes. Japanese publication Younger Machine speculated that, based on the low emissions numbers listed within the CARB submitting, compliance with present Euro 5 and Reiwa 2 Japanese emissions requirements must be a cinch.