The Kawasaki Ninja 400 will soon be joined by a naked version, as the California Air Resources Board has certified a model bearing the designation ER400DK for 2019. Kawasaki has long used “ER” code for its naked Twins, and the new model will likely be sold as the 2019 Kawasaki Z400.
A new CARB executive order for Kawasaki’s 399cc parallel-Twin engine lists two different models for 2019: the Ninja 400 and ER400DK. This name is likely an internal model code, as it follows the pattern of the Z650 which is designated ER650GK (its ABS version is likewise codenamed ER650HK). In the past, Kawasaki has used the names ER-6n and ER-4n for its naked Twins, but the company has since switched to branding its naked bikes as Z models, which is both more marketable and has a storied history for Kawasaki. When it arrives in showrooms, we should therefore expect it to be the Z400.
The certified emissions remain the same as last year’s, at 0.3 g/km of hydrocarbon emissions, 0.3 g/km of hydrocarbons plus nitrogen oxide and 4 g/km of carbon monoxide. This suggests that the engine remains unchanged, which should not be a surprised as it was only introduced last year.
Those hoping Kawasaki would put the same engine in the Versys-X chassis may be a bit disappointed, as there’s no indication that is happening, at least not for 2019. The Versys-X 300 is still relatively new, so its unlikely to get the larger engine for at least another year or two, if at all.
But if you’re in the market for a small-displacement naked standard such as the Honda CB300R or KTM 390 Duke, you may want to add the 2019 Kawasaki Z400 to your list. Expect the Z400 to debut at either Intermot in October or EICMA in November.