It’s been a few years for the reason that introduction of a sub-650cc machine into Australia which was not LAMS compliant, however right here’s one – the 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R and 4-RR, machines good for journey days.
Australian Street Rider expects it’ll even be a heap of enjoyable on a very good winding highway.
Australia largely missed out on the 400cc Supersport craze which was strongest in Japan, primarily as a consequence of licensing legal guidelines. We scored 600s, which have been nice, however primarily obtained too quick, too excessive tech and due to this fact too costly – 400cc would possibly supply 95 per cent of the enjoyable with much less hazard at half the value.
Not half the price of the bike – though at an estimated 14-15K it’s nicely below half the value of a few of the unique supersports – however half the prices of possession, whenever you begin trying on the entire bundle of shopping for, servicing and crucially shopping for tyres for monitor use. Apparently the entrance tyre dimension is 120/70ZR17 (a quite common sportsbike tyre dimension) whereas the rear is a 160/60ZR17, narrower than you’d discover on most sportsbikes but nicely suited to the efficiency of the Ninja ZX-4R.
Compact, pretty mild and really manoeuvrable, the Ninja ZX-4R is designed to be an incredible stepping stone between the LAMS-approved machines and 600 Supersport class bikes. The Ninja ZX-4RR won’t be LAMS accredited, though will probably be an incredible bike to be taught monitor craft on.
The all-new inline 4 engine is hung in a metal trellis body reasonably than an alloy bean body discovered on the larger and costlier fashions.
Kawasaki declare the brakes and suspension are ‘high-grade’: SFF-BP (Single Perform Forks with Massive Piston) on the entrance, Showa BFRC lite rear shock, twin 290mm entrance discs with a radially mounted caliper.
The tech features a quickshifter, energy modes, ABS, LED lighting and smartphone connectivity.
Kawasaki hasn’t launched energy and torque figures for the bike, however with the 250cc model (which wasn’t imported in Australia) producing round 50 horses, we’d anticipate the ZX-4R to supply round 70-80.
They are going to be top-end horses too: Kawasaki claims “it revs past 15,000rpm”.
Coming in at 188kg moist means it’ll supply a reasonably good flip of pace in the fitting state of affairs – like a race monitor, the place the extremely short-stroke four-potter can do its stuff with out annoying the neighbours – however it received’t be setting efficiency data for the category – even again within the Nineties four-cylinder 400s have been producing 60-odd horsepower whereas weighing in at 160-170kg.
We don’t have these bikes anymore for a complete bunch of causes, with a giant one being how simple the Superbike class grew to become to journey when ABS and particularly traction management arrived on inexpensive equipment – many riders merely skipped the smaller lessons and went straight to massive bikes.
As a pair of ageing monitor junkies, Chief Street Tester Phil James and I can’t wait to journey the ZX-4R and RR. It feels somewhat like a throwback to the times when sportsbikes dominated the roads, when seeing hoards of GSX-Rs and CBRs and Ninjas was nothing uncommon.
Driving quick is a buzz, getting essentially the most out of a motorcycle on a monitor an absolute motorcycling pleasure – and with this bike it’s about to turn out to be inexpensive for a complete new bunch of riders.
– Nigel Paterson
Vital Specs – 2023/24 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R
Engine – Inline 4 cylinder, DOHC, 16 valves, 399cc
Consumption – RAM Air, 39mm x 4 throttle our bodies
Clutch – Moist, Help & Slipper
Curb Mass – 188kg
Seat Top – 800mm
Wheelbase – 1380mm
Rake – 24 levels
Path – 97mm
Pricing and availability TBA.