Kawasaki's Actually Making a Four-Cylinder Ninja ZX-25R

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

No, really, it's happening

kawasaki s actually making a four cylinder ninja zx 25r

While the new supercharged Z H2 and retro-styled W800 grabbed the spotlight in western markets, Kawasaki quietly dropped a bombshell for its Asian customers, announcing a new four-cylinder Ninja ZX-25R at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Kawasaki had long been rumored to be working on small-displacement four-cylinder sportbike, long enough to have evolved from rumor to myth. Many people, ourselves included, didn’t think it would actually happen, but it’s true.

The Ninja ZX-25R is powered by a liquid-cooled 249cc DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine mounted in a high-tensile steel trellis frame. Kawasaki didn’t provide any performance figures, but it’s a good bet the ZX-25R will be the most powerful 250-class sportbike every produced. Kawasaki does say the engine provides abundant torque at low and medium speeds with strong power at the high end.

The ZX-25R may be small on displacement, but it’s been outfitted with parts typically found on much larger bikes such as its siblings the ZX-10R and ZX-6R. The front suspension is a Showa Separate Function Fork – Big Piston (SFF-BP) front suspension, similar to the unit on the ZX-6R. The front wheel has a radial-mount monoblock caliper (claimed to be a first for the 250 class), likely from Nissin. Dunlop supplies the Sportmax GPR-300 tires.

Kawasaki also provided the ZX-25R with a number of electronic aids including selectable power modes, traction control, a quick shifter and ABS.

At the moment, it looks like the ZX-25R will only be offered in Asian markets such as Indonesia and Japan, just like how Honda has done with its twin-cylinder CBR250RR. The odds of the bike coming to the U.S. are slim, unfortunately, but we still can’t help but admire Kawasaki’s moxie in actually producing the ZX-25R.

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  • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Oct 26, 2019

    Assuming it’s not notably more cramped than the 636, I for one would buy this if offered in the US. I’m imagining 20k, or thereabouts, redline in an I4 screamer. With world class sfbp suspenders...... Talk about turning every little utility ride into a “race”!

  • Eddie Eddie on Oct 29, 2019

    So, So cool. Light weight bike with small light weight, high revving 4 cylinder. That is the recipe Lambo and Ferrari use in their small block V 12’s! This is a great bike!!