2024 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R First Look

The less expensive ZX-4 alternative.

The 2024 ZX-4R ($9,399) is billed as a more affordable alternative to the ZX-4RR.Kawasaki

Kawasaki is once again showing its commitment to the small-displacement sportbike category with the introduction of the ZX-4R, which will sit alongside the ZX-4RR that debuted in early 2023. Powered by the same liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve 399cc inline-four engine as the RR, the R is billed as the lower-spec and marginally more affordable option. Admittedly, MSRP is just a few hundred dollars different; the ZX-4RR costs $9,899 ($10,099 for the KRT Edition), while the new R model will sell for $9,399.

The biggest difference between the R and RR models is the suspension. Both use a 37mm Showa Separate Function Fork - Big Piston (SFF-BP) fork, but the R’s front suspension lacks spring preload adjustment. The R’s Showa shock has adjustable spring preload only, whereas the RR’s higher-spec Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) lite shock is fully adjustable.

The ZX-4R’s Showa fork is nonadjustable, whereas the RR’s fork has preload adjustment. The RR’s Showa BFRC lite shock is fully adjustable, while the R’s lower-spec Showa shock is adjustable for preload only.Kawasaki

More money is saved by removing the bidirectional quickshifter that comes standard on the RR. The R is only available in one color option too: Metallic Spark Black.

The rest of the ZX-4R is identical to the ZX-4RR that came before it. That means no changes to the aforementioned 399cc inline-four engine, steel-trellis frame, or radial-mount four-piston front brake calipers that help slow the bike down.

The same is true for the electronics package, which includes four ride modes (Sport, Road, Rain, and Rider), a three-level Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC) system, and two power modes (Full and Low). Sport, Road, and Rain riding modes have preset settings, while Rider allows the rider to choose between the aforementioned settings for KTRC and power modes. All electronic settings are adjusted and confirmed through a 4.3-inch TFT display.

While most of the R’s electronics package is the same as the RR’s, the bike does not come with a bidirectional quickshifter.Kawasaki
The ZX-4R is available in just one color (Metallic Spark Black), while the ZX-4RR is available in the same black paint as well as the KRT Edition color scheme shown here, for $10,099.Kawasaki

2024 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R ABS Specs

MSRP: $9,399
Engine: DOHC, liquid-cooled, inline-four; 4 valves cyl.
Displacement: 399cc
Bore x Stroke: 57.0 x 39.1mm
Compression Ratio: 12.3:1
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Claimed Horsepower: N/A
Claimed Torque: 26.5 lb.-ft. @ 11,000 rpm
Fuel System: DFI w/ 34mm throttle bodies
Clutch: Wet, multiplate assist w/ slipper function
Engine Management/Ignition: TCBI w/ digital advance
Frame: Steel trellis
Front Suspension: 37mm inverted Showa SFF-BP fork; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Showa shock, spring preload adjustable; 4.4 in. travel
Front Brake: Dual radial-mount 4-piston calipers, 290mm discs w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 1-piston caliper, 220mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: 5-spoke cast aluminum; 17 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70-17 / 160/60-17
Rake/Trail: 23.5°/3.8 in.
Wheelbase: 54.3 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in.
Seat Height: 31.5 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight: 415 lb.
Contact: kawasaki.com