UPDATED - Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R confirmed in type approval documents

Type approval documents from the USA have confirmed the arrival of a new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R for the North American market

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R

New filings confirm that the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R is confirmed after type approval documents appear in the USA. While the documents don't describe the bike's styling in detail, it's widely reported that the look of the bike will mimic that of the Asian-market Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R.

The filings, denote a couple of new models, the ZX400PP, and ZX400SP. 'ZX' is Kawasaki's code for sports and supersports models, while '400' denotes the approximate engine capacity. The letter directly after the engine capacity denotes the model type, while the final 'P' marks it as a 2023 motorcycle. The American website, Motorcycle.com, has reported that the bike will be landing in the USA in two forms, one with and one without ABS. It's possible that this is the reason for two Ninja ZX-4Rs being listed in the type approval documents. 

To find out for sure if the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R will be landing in the North American roster, we might not have long to wait. Kawasaki USA already has a placeholder for a launch event on February 1st, and clearly, there are two motorcycles getting the covers pulled off them. We'll be keeping a close eye on proceedings and will bring you all the news as we have it.

The original article continues below:

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R teaser released

KAWASAKI Indonesia has released a teaser video that announces that a new motorcycle will be unveiled on October 1st – if rumours are correct it could be the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R!

The rumours of the Kawasaki ZX-4R Ninja have been around for a while now, with Visordown first reporting on them in March of this year – see below for that article. Then it was the mystic crystal-ball gazers at Young Machine breaking the ‘news’. Either that rumour has gained traction, or we are on the cusp of a new-age 400cc sports bike revolution!

You may be wondering what all this has to do with us in the UK, well a couple of things really. First off, we didn’t get our hands on the tiddly ZX-25R Ninja, and that’s a crying shame. Its fizzy little 250cc four-pot motor and sporty chassis would have made it a hoot on Britain’s B-roads.

Could a new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R be revealed on October 1st?

The thing is, the ZX-25R didn’t come to the UK for good reasons, predicted low sales compared to more middleweight machines being probably the biggest. A ZX-4R Ninja thought is a slightly different proposition though. With its slightly larger capacity, yet still inline four-cylinder engine configuration, a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R could be much closer to the established pack of new-age middleweight sports bikes – things like the Aprilia RS660, and Yamaha R7. We aren’t saying it is going to happen, but with some competition already for sale in the UK market, Kawasaki might see it fit to send the ZX-4 to Europe as a kind of sportier incarnation of the venerable Ninja 650.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the presentation as it happens and bring you all the details once they arrive.

A preview of the much rumoured Kawasaki ZX-4R has surfaced in its native Japan as the manufacturer prepares to unleash a new generation of sportsbike for Europe.

Talk of a new 400cc inline-four sportsbike has been rife for some time, ever since Kawasaki invoked the golden era of ‘screamers’ with the launch of its low-capacity, high-revving ZX-25R in Asia in 2020.

With emissions regulations preventing Kawasaki from importing the ZX-25R to Europe as it is, it has instead applied the ethos to a 400cc drivetrain with confirmation of its impending arrival seemingly confirmed by patent documents last year.

Now Young Machine - the authority for forthcoming Japanese motorcycles - has made the ZX-4R its latest cover star with a render that is likely to bear very close relation to the final product. Its headline feature also suggests Kawasaki is gearing up for an official world premiere very soon.

Though it is related to the ZX-25R, the ZX-4R is expected to borrow heavily from the latest generation ZX-10R for design, notably an evolution of the sunken headlight and sharp nose, while the fairing design shows a revision with an addition of a built-in air-duct.

It is also likely to feature premium touches such as Kawasaki Traction Control and anti-wheelspin, upside-down front forks and different power modes. The jury is out, however, on whether Kawasaki will cave to public pressure and launch it in full retro green, white and blue livery following an overwhelmingly positive response to a one-off WorldSBK livery evoking the ZX-7R of the 1990s.

There is no talk of how much power and, well, torque the ZX-4R might produce, but somewhere in the region of the ZX-25R’s 50bhp would be the minimum, though it could also push up towards 75-100bhp to put it in range of the Yamaha R7 and Aprilia RS 660.

What is less clear is whether the ZX-4R is being touted as a replacement for the now out-of-production ZX-6R.

Having quietly slipped off price lists, though there remains stock of the ZX-6R, there have been conflicting reports as to whether it will be replaced like-for-like or whether the combination of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R and the better-selling 650 Ninja will act as de facto successors.

It’s a similar approach adopted by Yamaha, which has discontinued the R6 and launched the much milder, but more mainstream R7. It is expected to launch an R9 - based on the MT-09 - this year, however.