Kawasaki unwraps the sportbike that you never knew you wanted, the 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR KRT Edition.
Riders of small displacement sportbikes will be one happy bunch right now as Kawasaki has finally announced they will be bringing the four-cylinder Ninja ZX-4RR to the United States for the 2023 model year.
Four-cylinder 400cc sportbikes were all the rage 30 years ago with bikes like the Honda CBR400RR, Kawasaki ZXR400, Suzuki GSX-R400, and Yamaha FZR400 providing a glorious, super high-revving soundtrack to many a rider’s early years, but fell out of favor when the Japanese manufacturers stopped producing them by the end of last century.
That’s about to change as Kawasaki, who has enjoyed incredible success with their Ninja 250/300/400 twin-cylinder platform, ups the ante to their first modern four-cylinder motor for lovers of small displacement sportbikes.
The $9,699 MSRP Ninja ZX-4RR’s, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder motor measures 57mm x 39mm bore and stroke and a screaming 16,000 rpm redline, nearly 1800 rpm up on the ZX-10RR. Kawasaki has fitted ram air induction and dual-length intake funnels and 34mm throttle bodies, and although claimed power hasn’t been quoted, claimed torque is 26.5 lb-ft at 11,000 rpm. The gearbox is the usual six-speed mated to a slip and assist clutch.
Kawasaki has fitted their up/down KQS quick shifter, the KTRC traction control system (three modes, plus off) and incorporated four riding modes of Sport, Road, Rain and Rider, the last of which is a manual mode that lets the rider choose one of two power modes (F for full or L for 80 percent full power with a softer throttle response).
Similar to the twin-cylinder Ninja 400, the ZX-4RR will get a tubular steel trellis but gets a different swingarm in the arched/banana-style unit that has the shock operating directly off it with no linkage. Speaking of suspension, it’s supplied by Showa with the Big Piston Separate Function fork up front and rear shock, both of which are fully adjustable.
Brakes come in the form of dual 290mm semi-floating discs gripped by four-piston monobloc calipers up front and a single piston caliper clamping a 220mm disc at the rear, both fettled by ABS (not Cornering ABS as there’s no IMU) and Dunlop supplies the rubber in their GPR300 radial tires.
As for the electronics, there’s LED lighting front and rear and LED indicators, and a full color TFT display that’s similar to what you’ll find on the Ninja 650 and houses a digital speedometer, digital bar-style tachometer, gear position indicator, shift indicator (tachometer flashes), fuel gauge, odometer, dual trip meters, current and average fuel consumption, remaining range, average speed, riding time, coolant temperature, clock, battery voltage, lap timer (Circuit Mode only), Kawasaki service reminder, oil change reminder, integrated Riding Mode, KTRC, and Power Mode indicators, smartphone call and mail notices, Bluetooth indicator, Economical Riding Indicator, KQS indicator and it pairs with the Rideology smartphone app.
Expect to see and hear the new 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR in dealerships this coming Spring for $9,699 MSRP.