Kawasaki is working on a naked version of the Ninja 400, called the Z400, and it could come to India as well. The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has been known to offer sport-naked variants across many of its segments (ranging from the Z125 all the way up to the Z1000). In addition, Visordown – the UK-based motorcycle website – suggests that Kawasaki will showcase the Z400 model later this year when it unveils its 2019 model range.
Recently, Kawasaki filed new emissions documents with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that gave away the Z400’s existence. The documents had two bikes powered by the same 400cc motor. One of these was labelled the Ninja 400, the other as ‘ER400DK’. If you know your Kawasakis, you will know that ER means ‘naked motorcycle’; and the internal code for the Z300 was ‘ER300BG’.
We can expect the Z400 to be mechanically similar, if not identical to its faired sibling. Powering it will likely be the same 399cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that belts out 49hp (international-spec model gets 45hp) and 38Nm of torque; mated to a six-speed transmission and with slipper-clutch as standard. Like the Ninja 400, expect the Z400 to get a conventional telescopic fork and a monoshock. The Z400 is also expected to get the 310mm disc brake at the front with dual-channel ABS is standard.
We can also expect the Z400 to be slightly lighter than the Ninja 400 which has a 168kg kerb weight (Although the Kawasaki India website quotes 173kg probably down to the comically large saree guard and grab rails). The decrease in weight will come thanks to the reduced bodywork on the bike. Speaking of bodywork, the Z400 should be styled along the lines of the Z650 and the Z900, and feature sharp and aggressive design lines.
For now, there is no clarity on an Indian launch. However, given Kawasaki’s push for a larger portfolio, there’s a chance this bike could make it here as well. Hopefully, Kawasaki will have rationalised the Ninja 400’s pricing by then and the Z400 should also be reasonably priced. If launched in India, the bike will take on other sport-naked models available here, like the KTM 390 Duke, Benelli TNT 300 and the BMW G 310 R.
We can expect to see this motorcycle showcased either during the 2018 INTERMOT in October or at the EICMA in November.