New Ninja ZX-4R-based retro four-cylinder ‘Z400RS’ rumoured

The Japanese motorcycle press has seemingly gotten wind of a new model from Kawasaki, a Z400RS based on the ZX-4R sportsbike

Kawasaki retro modern A2

The Japanese magazine Young Machine has been doing some crystal ball gazing, and it is pointing to a new retro naked from Kawasaki.

The bike that is being touted is a Z400RS, and the theme of the bike should be familiar to fans of the Japanese brand. We’ve already got the Z900RS and Z650RS in the UK range, and like both of those bikes, which rely on the Z900 and Z650 as a starting point, the heart of the Z400RS comes from another model, the ZX-4R sports bike

The Z650RS could become a close competitor to this new bike should it make it to market

Like both of the already available RS models, the formula used to create this potential new bike is fairly simple - remove all the modern trappings of the donor machine, fit an appropriately retro fuel tank and round headlight and create a tail unit/subframe that suits the new styling. All that is left to do then is bless it with a historically accurate paint job from the past and send it out the door. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?


Should the new bike make it to market (something that Young Machine is claiming could be late 2024 or early 2025) it could cause potential new owners a little bit of a headache. In stock trim, the Ninja ZX-4R produces 77bhp and 28 lb-ft of torque, while the already available Z650RS makes a bit less power (67bhp) although considerably more torque with 47 lb-ft on tap. So the question for a potential new owner of this rumoured new model is: do you go for the inline-four Z400RS and its slightly more powerful but less torquey delivery, or the already available (and probably slightly cheaper) parallel twin Z650RS which might actually turn out to be the better bike to ride thanks to that extra low-end grunt?

We are theorising about a theoretical motorcycle, and while Young Machine has been historically very accurate when it comes to predicting what some of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers in the world are going to do, we’ll have to wait and see whether this new retro makes it past the bean counters, and indeed to the UK market! 

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