Kawasaki Introduces Z400 Entry-Level Naked For 2019 | Cycle World
Courtesy of Kawasaki

Kawasaki Introduces Z400 Entry-Level Naked For 2019

Team Green looks to raise the bar in the lightweight class once again

Kawasaki looks to leave its mark on the lightweight naked-bike market with the introduction of the all-new Z400. The new model is heavily based upon the current Ninja 400 supersport, which promises seriously potent performance in a package that’s confidence inspiring for riders of any level. Really, it’s set to be a Ninja that’s stripped of its bodywork.

2019 Kawasaki Z400

The 2019 Kawasaki Z400 will retail for $4,799.

Courtesy of Kawasaki

The Z400 receives a 399cc parallel-twin engine identical to that of the Ninja 400, meaning it will have the smooth power delivery and low-to-midrange grunt that’s popular on its supersport cousin. How much power should you expect? The Ninja cranked out 43.4 hp at 9,900 rpm and 24.6 pound-feet of torque at 8,250 rpm on the Cycle World dyno—all while regularly getting more than 50 mpg.

dual-piston Nissin front brake caliper

The Z400 comes equipped with a dual-piston Nissin front brake caliper clamping to a 310mm rotor, with ABS coming standard.

Courtesy of Kawasaki

Team Green promises lightweight and nimble handling for the Z400, which is backed up by a list of chassis components exactly the same to the Ninja, including a steel trellis frame and 43mm telescopic fork. That’s good news for the lightweight Z, especially considering that the Ninja 400 is known for its sporting prowess on canyon roads. Even the 310mm front rotor and dual-piston caliper carries over, but it now comes equipped standard with a Nissin ABS control unit—an excellent safety feature for less-experienced riders.

stacked instrument cluster

The Z900 gets a stacked instrument cluster that looks to be easily readable while riding. The bigger the numbers the better; Kawasaki seems to get that.

Courtesy of Kawasaki

Most obvious differences between the Z model and Ninja are seen at a standstill; the Z model being stripped of a full fairing to join the naked-bike class. The Z400 gets aggressive styling that’s familiar with its bloodline, including a low-positioned LED headlight, sharp front fender, and aggressive fuel tank shrouds. Perched above the handlebar is a stacked instrument cluster with a large analog tachometer sitting atop an easily recognizable gear position indicator and speedometer. Quality stuff.

2019 Kawasaki Z400

Kawasaki adjusted the ergonomics on the Z400 to be more relaxed than its supersport cousin, giving it a wider handlebar and forward-positioned pegs for a more upright rider triangle.

Courtesy of Kawasaki

Ergonomics have also been adjusted, Kawasaki emphasizing on relaxing the riding position in comparison to the Ninja. Seat height is claimed to remain the same at 30.9 inches, but the Z is said to be given a wide handlebar and forward-positioned pegs for a more upright riding position; something that will be welcomed by riders looking for the performance of the Ninja 400 but in a more comfortable package.

2019 Kawasaki Z400 in Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black

The 2019 Kawasaki Z400 in Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black.

Courtesy of Kawasaki

The Z400 comes to the 2019 model year available in two colors—Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black and Candy Cardinal Red/Metallic Flat Spark Black—and at a price of $4,799. While there are no details of when the Z400 will make its way Stateside, the existing lightweight naked market can expect serious competition upon its arrival.