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Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR

Updated: Feb 29

Available now

Giant Slayer

Those of us who could loosely be described as ‘older and wiser’ fondly remember cutting our superbike teeth on used 400cc machines imported from the far east. They had to be used because the only new one available was the Kawasaki ZXR 400 RR. It was a beautiful bike, with a lineage that came straight from Superbike racing where legends like the late, great, Anthony Gobert rode the ZX7R like it was some sort of a musical instrument.

 

Now the Japanese giant have decided to re-visit the genre with an all new Ninja ZX-4RR. The bike has arrived in the dealerships across Europe as well as here in Ireland where it’s available exclusively from Bikeworld in Dublin.  

Drawing from a long line of success

Kawasaki aren’t the first manufacturer to put a famous name on a new bike. Suzuki have re used the GSXR in a new 800cc parallel twin last year. While this is a more than acceptable bike, it’s not a GSXR! What the team at Kawasaki have done is, once again, take their lead from their World Superbike machines and give the Ninja name the respect it deserves.

 

To that end they’ve made a bike around an inline four cylinder engine. The new ‘Kwacker’ is the real thing! Even the chassis that it resides in is a piece of art that’s been inspired by the larger capacity race winning machines. Add Showa suspension and the bikes promises start to take shape.

Open wide and say 'R'...

When I say ‘the’ bike, there are actually two. The ZX-4R, or single R, is the one that’s finished in a metallic black. The one that I want is the double R. In its distinctive Kawasaki green and black it’s ready to run on a trackday where, thanks to it’s Ram Air, it makes 79bhp. That’s a number we could only have dreamed of back in the day. One of the other things that makes me all misty eyed is that the rev limiter is set at a staggering 15,000rpm.

 

Both new bikes come with LED lighting. This includes the headlight, stop and tail light and even the indicators. They also have a full-colour LCD screen. From here the rider can see and adjust features such as power modes and traction control.


In track mode the rider can see their lap times, gear position, and the bikes RPM starting at 10,000 rpm. The ZX-4RR comes as standard with a bi-directional quick shifter. While riders seeking something that looks this good to ride on the road will find more than enough to use on a daily basis or on a Sunday morning breakfast run, it’s the RR versions capabilities when it comes to riding it on a circuit.


While the outright power may not look all that impressive to seasoned riders the bike has the significant advantage of putting down its bhp in a way that’s predictable, controllable, and useable.

Living for the twisty bits!

Those of us who ride one litre bikes on track should look out. We’re about to be passed on the inside in turn one!

 

Both the Kawasaki ZX-4R and the ZX-4RR are available from Bikeworld in Dublin. Prices have yet to be confirmed, drop Neil a message on sales@bikeworld.ie

 

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