2019 Kawasaki Z400 Review – First Ride!

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By John Burns

Photos by Kevin Wing

2019 Kawasaki Z400

Editor Score: 86%

Engine 18.5/20
Suspension/Handling 13.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.0/10
Brakes 8.5/10
Instruments/Controls 4.0/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 8.0/10
Desirability 8.0/10
Value 9.5/10
Overall Score 86/100

Kawasaki admits motorcycles can be a tough sell these days. All the manufacturers perform market research to find out what new buyers want, but when it’s time to sign on the dotted line, all those “intenders” who say they’ll buy if you give them this and this and this – suddenly become as thin on the ground as unicorns. What they say they want is simple design that’s affordable, less plastic, more comfortable than aggressive…

Unsurprisingly, there is growth in “low price point” bikes, also in nakeds/standards – so what better motorcycle than a low price point Sugomi-styled Z400? The ABS version of the newest Z (the only version Kawi’s importing to the US), will retail for just $4,799: That’s $500 less than the Ninja 400 ABS, and all you’re giving up is the plastic, about four pounds, and maybe higher premiums if your insurance company swoons at the sound of the word “Ninja.”

This new Z400 is pretty much exactly a Ninja 400 minus the bodywork, and unlike my naked old R1, it really doesn’t look any the worse for it, depending on how you feel about bodywork. For being a sportbike, the Ninja was pretty dang comfortable already, but Kawasaki replaced its clip-on handlebars with a single bar that places the grips two inches (50mm) higher and at a slightly wider angle, and almost called it a day.

Seat height is the same 30.9 inches, footpegs are in the same spot, and Kawasaki says the Z is 4 pounds lighter than the Ninja, at 364 lbs with 3.7 gallons of go juice. (Actually Kawi likes to make our lives …read more

Source:: 2019 Kawasaki Z400 Review – First Ride!


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