Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R cleared for California: The sportbike of the future

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R cleared for California: The sportbike of the future

The long-rumoured Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R is one step closer to hitting the streets of California, according to an executive order issued by the state’s Air Resources Board (CARB). The ruling, issued on December 21, 2022, validates a Kawasaki model with the model number “ZX400SP.” As previously reported, Kawasaki has filed Vehicle Identification Number information for a ZX400SP and a ZX400PP to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, describing both as having a 399cc four-cylinder engine.

Because Kawasaki utilises the ZX designation for all of its Ninja ZX sportbikes, including the ZX-6R, ZX-10R, and ZX-14R, it’s simple to assume that “ZX400” refers to a Ninja ZX-4R. The ZX-4R is likely to be based on the Ninja ZX-25R, known as the ZX250 in Asian countries. The ZX400 differs from the existing Ninja 400 and Z400 versions in that they have independent model codes (EX400 and ER400, respectively) and have previously been CARB approved individually.

Interestingly, the CARB executive orders demonstrate that the ZX-4R emits lower emissions than the twin-cylinder variants, although delivering higher performance. The Z400 and Ninja 400 are approved to emit 0.3 g/km of hydrocarbons and 4 g/km of CO2, while the ZX-4R emits 0.1 g/km of hydrocarbons and 0.4 g/km of CO2.

The ZX400SP is listed in the CARB order, but the ZX400PP is not. It’s worth noting that the “SP” designation does not always signify a higher-end model. The “P” at the end represents the 2023 model year, while the letter before that merely denotes a different model version.

In Indonesia, the ZX-25R is accompanied by a ZX-25RR, which has premium Showa suspension and a Kawasaki Racing Team livery, but a ZX-4RR is unlikely to be available in the United States. Kawasaki is more likely to sell the ZX-4R with or without ABS as it does with its previous ZX models.

Pricing for the ZX-4R will be critical. The ZX-25R is priced at 847,000 yen (US$6,600) in Japan, with special edition colours increasing the price to 935,000 yen (US$7,300).

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