Kawasaki has unveiled the ZX-4R sportbike overseas and the big talking point here is the fact that it is powered by an inline-four engine displacing 399cc. This diminutive screamer of an engine revs to over 15,000rpm and is capable of producing a peak power output of 80hp (with RAM air assistance). The Euro-spec motorcycle's torque figure has not been shared yet. The bike will be available in three variants – standard, SE and RR – all with differing features, equipment and colours.
- All variants get same engine
- SE, RR variants get quickshifter as standard, up-spec suspension, features
- Priced nearly on par with Honda CBR650R overseas
Kawasaki ZX-4R: engine and underpinnings
Powering this diminutive sportbike is a liquid-cooled, 399cc, inline-four engine capable of a peak power output of 77.5hp (which rises to 80hp with RAM air assistance), and it is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Nestling this inline-four engine is a brand-new steel trellis frame that's suspended by Showa suspension at either ends, although the specifications vary depending on the variant chosen.
The standard ZX-4R gets a non-adjustable Showa SFF-BP fork (Separate Function Fork - Big Piston) and a preload-adjustable horizontal monoshock. The SE variant gets the same hardware but features preload adjustability on the front fork as well. On the top-spec RR variant, in addition to the preload-adjustable fork, the shock is a Showa BFRC-lite unit (similar to what’s found on the ZX-10R superbike). The standard and RR variants of the ZX-4R weigh an identical 188kg, while the SE variant tips the scales at 189kg.
Another unique feature for a small-capacity bike such as this is the presence of twin 290mm disc brakes at the front, bitten down upon by beefy Nissin four-piston radial calipers, although the master cylinder is an axial unit. The single rear disc is a 220mm unit, and dual-channel ABS is standard. Tyre sizes, at 120/70-ZR17 (front) and 160/60-ZR17 (rear), are similar to the larger capacity (but less powerful) Ninja 650.
Kawasaki ZX-4R: electronic rider aids, features
The ZX-4R features an extensive list of electronic rider aids that include four riding modes – Sport, Road, Rain (which are preset) and Rider (which is fully customisable). Adjusting the riding modes will also affect the interlinked traction control and power modes. On the SE and RR variants, a bidirectional quickshifter is standard, which can be had as an optional extra on the standard variant.
All this tech is controlled through a 4.3-inch Bluetooth-compatible, colour TFT dash, which enables turn-by-turn navigation and notification alerts. The dash also has a separate Track layout which only shows the gear position indicator, lap timer and revs over 10,000rpm (indicating that the engine is approaching its redline and its peak power).
In the ZX-4R line-up, it's actually the mid-spec SE variant that packs the most features instead of the top-spec RR. The SE comes standard with a smoked front visor, the KRT paint scheme, frame sliders and the bidirectional quickshifter. Save for the last, the rest are optional extras on the top-spec RR. These accessories can also be fitted to the standard model. All LED lighting is standard on all 3 variants.
Kawasaki ZX-4R: price, rivals, India launch?
Currently, Kawasaki has only released pricing for the top-spec RR variant, which costs $9,699 (approx. Rs 7.95 lakh). Considering its unique engine configuration for its displacement category, the ZX-4R sits in a class of one. Closest competition is courtesy of another Japanese inline-four in the form of the Honda CBR650R, which costs $9,899 (approx. Rs 8.11 lakh). The price difference isn’t a whole lot between these two and the CBR is a larger, more powerful (making 95hp overseas, 87hp in India) but heavier bike, at 211kg.
Considering that the Kawasaki ZX-4R is homologated for road use in Europe, unlike the Kawasaki ZX-25R that was retailed only in select markets (which has similar regulations to India) and the fact that Kawasaki retails nearly its entire international line-up in India, it's not entirely impossible for the ZX-4R to make its way here. If so, expect it to be priced significantly higher than the Rs 7.12 lakh parallel-twin Ninja 650 and it could carry a price tag in the region of Rs 8 lakh-8.5 lakh, if not more.
All prices mentioned are ex-showroom, Delhi.
Would you like to see Kawasaki launch the ZX-4R in India? And what do you think would be a fair price for it? Let us know in the comments section below.