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Old August 2nd, 2022, 12:11 PM   #1
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[motorcycle.com] - 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R Confirmed in VIN Submissions

A new Vehicle Identification Number decoder released by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that Kawasaki will be introducing a 399cc Inline-Four Ninja ZX-4R model for 2023. While the VIN decoder does not provide any clue to what the ZX-4R will look like, we expect it will be styled similar to the 249cc Ninja ZX-25R (pictured above) currently offered in Japan and other Asian markets.

We previously wrote about the existence of a ZX-4R a year ago, when we uncovered a Kawasaki patent for the fairing design that was adopted for the ZX-25R. The patent described how intakes built into the fairing would divert air towards the engine for additional cooling. While the design was used on the ZX-25R, the patent describes the invention as being “more preferably applied to a vehicle having four-cylinder 400 cc engine.”

The patent illustrations showed a fairing with an air intake resembling the design of the ZX-25R. The text of the patent, however, describes the intended use as being for a four-cylinder 400cc engine.


Thanks to the VIN decoder, we now know the ZX-4R not only exists, but that it will be offered in the U.S. for 2023. The 2023 Kawasaki VIN decoder was dated March 22 and was an update on a previous version published last December. The changes include the listings below for two models with the codes ZX400PP and a ZX400SP. Per Kawasaki’s model code structure, the ZX codes designate its high-performance sportbike models like the ZX-10R, ZX-6R, and Ninja H2. The 400 indicates an approximate engine displacement, with the letter following indicating a specific model variant. The “P” at the end, as per industry standard, represents the 2023 model year. The name “Ninja ZX-4R” doesn’t actually appear in the VIN decoder, but the engine code leaves little doubt to its commercial name.



The ZX400 is not to be confused with the Ninja 400, which is also included on the VIN decoder under its model codes EX400GP for the ABS version, and EX400HP for non-ABS. The full VIN decoder provides more specific details.

The last five columns in the VIN decoder indicate the engine displacement, number of strokes for the engine cycle, number of cylinders, the claimed engine output in kilowatts, and an embargo date.


It confirms the ZX400 models are powered by a four-stroke 399cc Inline-Four. The engine output remains “to be determined”, but we expect it will be a significant increase over the Ninja 400’s 36 kW (48 hp), which is just slightly more powerful than the ZX-25R which claims a peak output of 44 hp at 15,500 rpm.

We expect the ZX-4R will be offered with or without ABS. Beyond that, we expect a chassis similar to the ZX-25R, with a trellis frame and inverted fork. The ZX-25R makes use of just a single front disc brake, but it remains to be seen if the more powerful ZX-4R requires a second rotor.

Kawasaki announced a number of returning 2023 models today, but of its supersport models, only the ZX-6R has been confirmed thus far. We suspect the ZX-25R will be announced along with the Ninja ZX-10R.

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Old August 2nd, 2022, 04:05 PM   #2
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Old August 2nd, 2022, 06:31 PM   #3
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I came here to post this! I don’t have room in my garage for a fourth bike, but I guess I better make room.
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Old August 2nd, 2022, 07:00 PM   #4
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Woohoo!!!!! Hopefully it won't be porker like ZX25R...
Honda's CBR400R 2-cyl was disappointingly weak and heavy as well...

All the hot 400 bikes from late '80s came in at 390-410lbs wet with ~60 bhp.
Figured improvements in modern technology should at least match those.
https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/...fzr400-vfr400/
https://www.cycleworld.com/2015/09/2...eptember-1990/
https://www.visordown.com/features/t...cles-ever-made
https://www.visordown.com/reviews/us...ers-400cc-test
https://raresportbikesforsale.com/ba...wasaki-zxr400r

Actually been looking at Ninja 400 since that's hottest class @ ASMA roadracing. Maybe I'll buy VFR400R that my brother's been letting sit for way too long... hmm....
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Old August 3rd, 2022, 08:24 AM   #5
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4 cylinder 400cc. Thats not the simplest, cheapest or lightest way to make 50-60 hp.
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Old August 4th, 2022, 02:20 AM   #6
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well.. G-force got ~90bhp from their VFR400R

https://mngforce.typepad.com/nc450vd...come-page.html

They were racing with AFM over 10-yrs before me, but people were still talking about their bikes when I started racing...
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Old August 4th, 2022, 10:03 AM   #7
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Gotta wonder why they are waiting to announce this. Maybe they have another ace in their sleeve. The VIN decoder mentions two variants which some suggest will be ABS and non-ABS. Am I wrong to expect ABS to be standard by now? Could this be a bigger difference?

When petrolhead said “not the simplest, cheapest or lightest way to make 50-60 hp” my thoughts immediately went to “maybe they are making more.”

Kawasaki didn’t develop the world’s smallest supercharger just for the H2, and it’s something they have that the competition still doesn’t have. What if they do something insane and make a supercharged ZX4R to replace the ZX6R? Supposedly they are dropping the ZX-6R in a lot of places and this would really fill that hole.
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Old August 4th, 2022, 10:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
Gotta wonder why they are waiting to announce this. Maybe they have another ace in their sleeve. The VIN decoder mentions two variants which some suggest will be ABS and non-ABS. Am I wrong to expect ABS to be standard by now? Could this be a bigger difference?

When petrolhead said “not the simplest, cheapest or lightest way to make 50-60 hp” my thoughts immediately went to “maybe they are making more.”

Kawasaki didn’t develop the world’s smallest supercharger just for the H2, and it’s something they have that the competition still doesn’t have. What if they do something insane and make a supercharged ZX4R to replace the ZX6R? Supposedly they are dropping the ZX-6R in a lot of places and this would really fill that hole.
Don't mind me. I'm limited in my thinking when it comes to motor vehicles. Motorcycle at it's best is designed to a certain design targets. Cost, simplicity, weight, target horsepower.
4 cyl 400cc is not the optimal configuration for any power figure. You can easily make a 100 hp with 2 cylinders and meet emissions.
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Old August 4th, 2022, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead View Post
Don't mind me. I'm limited in my thinking when it comes to motor vehicles. Motorcycle at it's best is designed to a certain design targets. Cost, simplicity, weight, target horsepower.
4 cyl 400cc is not the optimal configuration for any power figure. You can easily make a 100 hp with 2 cylinders and meet emissions.
Yeah major manufacturers have so many constraints on their designs. I want 2-stroke turbo!!! ... and 150bhp!!!
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Old August 5th, 2022, 12:27 AM   #10
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Yeah major manufacturers have so many constraints on their designs. I want 2-stroke turbo!!! ... and 150bhp!!!
My ability to put the power down to tarmac is very limited. I'm always more concerned about the power delivery than peak numbers. I can get more real world speed with practising my driving/riding technique than adding power.
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Old August 5th, 2022, 01:39 AM   #11
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Exciting news! I had hopes for the 4-cyl/250cc but this sounds like it would work well. Waiting and hoping it's good.
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Old August 5th, 2022, 04:32 PM   #12
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Definitely excited for this one, I’m imagining it’ll make more than 60hp. Having a proper supersport package with lightweight displacement will be awesome.
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Old August 5th, 2022, 11:04 PM   #13
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My hope is 65-70bhp in 380-lbs wet package... might be optimistic though...

Last 400 supersport U.S. got was 1988-1991 FZR400

64bhp
410lbs wet-weight
0-60mph in 3.7s
1/4-mile 12.43sec. @103.57mph
130mph top-speed

Quite bit faster than Ninja 400 currently dominating this class. Hopefully Kawasaki can out-do a 30-yr old bike.
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Old August 6th, 2022, 12:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
My hope is 65-70bhp in 380-lbs wet package... might be optimistic though...

Last 400 supersport U.S. got was 1988-1991 FZR400

64bhp
410lbs wet-weight
0-60mph in 3.7s
1/4-mile 12.43sec. @103.57mph
130mph top-speed

Quite bit faster than Ninja 400 currently dominating this class. Hopefully Kawasaki can out-do a 30-yr old bike.
Surely they can out do anything from the past. The bikes are designed for your everyday Joe and Janet. Small bike is a high volume model. So if 1% of buyers find some aspect of the bike too extreme, you lose 10000 sales. If you're aiming to sell a million units. Modern gadgets add weight, emissions kill the power. The engine has to be made very, very cheaply.
The kind of sub 400cc bike I'd like to see has a very limited market. I'd want a twin with 90° crank, short enough stroke that it can rev past 14000. Closest ratios in the box imaginable.

Last futzed with by petrolhead; August 6th, 2022 at 05:36 AM.
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