Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R Review
Article by Drivio | 20th Oct 23
With 77PS on tap, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R is obviously India’s most powerful 400cc bike
- The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R makes an astronomical 77PS and a measly 39Nm
- In fact, even that figure of torque is made all the way up at 13,000rpm
- In terms of design, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R looks like the Ninja 400 an awful lot
The last time manufacturers regularly made small-capacity four-cylinder bikes was in the 90s when such bikes used to race. After that, we’ve barely seen inline-four bikes below 600cc. But now, Kawasaki is looking to change exactly that. First with the ZX25R and now with the new Ninja ZX-4R, Kawasaki is bringing back inline-four machines with small-capacity engines and that does sound very interesting!
There is no competitor as such at present challenging the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R’s performance supremacy and hefty pricing in the country. However, in terms of displacement, it may be compared to Harley-Davidson X440, Triumph Speed 400, and KTM RC390.
We recently took out the ZX-4R for a spin and here’s how that went:
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R: Design
Unfortunately, as has been the case with many of the bigger Ninjas, the ZX-4R looks a lot like some of its siblings, even some of its younger ones and we’re not sure how many ZX-4R buyers would like that. The ZX-4R looks an awful lot like the Ninja 400, a bike that already looks quite a bit similar to the Ninja 650, while being good-looking bikes, are also a whole lot less expensive.
So those looking for an outlandish design, maybe something like the ZX-10R, will definitely be disappointed a bit. We wish Kawasaki had given the ZX-4R its unique identity or some special livery to stand out among its Ninja siblings. But for now, the prospective buyers will have to make do with the fact that their inline-four looks quite like some parallel twins out there.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R: Engine
|Specifications||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R|
Now this is obviously one aspect where the ZX-4R shines and in fact, it outshines all other bikes in the segment. The 399cc engine, being an inline-four, LOVES being revved and you actually start feeling the performance only once you cross around 7,000rpm. In fact, the bike is quite a meek animal below that and you can chug along in higher gears at lower speeds in the city very comfortably without breaking a sweat.
But once you do cross the 7,000rpm mark, the bike really comes alive and pulls fiercely all the way up to its redline. In fact, the pull is so ferocious that we wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone who’s even remotely inexperienced, for the bike could very, very easily scare them silly.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes
|Specifications||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R|
|Front suspension||Inverted Fork|
|Front tyre||17-inch alloys|
|Rear tyre||17-inch alloys|
|Front brake||Disc Brake|
|Rear brake||Disc Brake|
Despite being a track-focused bike, the ZX-4R is surprisingly easy to use on an everyday basis. The suspension is reasonably soft and will absorb most of the bumps and potholes our roads have to offer very easily. In fact, the suspension can almost be called plush, a lot better than some of the much less powerful bikes of the segment.
As we talked about earlier, the engine is also not unhappy in higher gears and lower speeds. What hurts its commuting roles is the heat from the engine. Being a four-cylinder pot, the engine really heats up in bumper-to-bumper traffic and you will definitely feel the warmth between your legs. Let it be there long enough and there’s a chance that it’ll cook up your thighs if you’re not wearing proper riding pants.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R: Dimensions
|Dimensions||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R|
|Fuel tank capacity||15-litres|
Despite what the spec sheet suggests, the ZX-4R does not feel like a 189kg bike. In fact, it feels more like a 150kg one, even at lower speeds. The sheer ease with which it can be managed to lug around is borderline unnerving. What will definitely be an issue though is the miniscule 135mm ground clearance.
A lot of Kawasaki bikes have been infamous for their notoriously low ground clearance and the ZX-4R is the same. And given the softer suspension, you will end up scraping the ZX-4R’s underbelly over the biggest bumps that are often found on our roads.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R: Price
|Price||Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R|
|Ex-showroom Delhi||Rs 8.49 lakh|
Kawasaki has priced the Ninja ZX-4R at an astounding Rs 8.49 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. What that does is that it makes the ZX-4R India’s most expensive 400cc bike. But that also makes it India’s most affordable inline-four bike. You can view it the way you want to!
All in all, the ZX-4R is definitely a very engaging and exciting motorcycle. But at the end of the day, it’ll remain for the select few, who don’t mind shelling out Rs 8.49 lakh for what is at the end of a day, a 400cc bike.