Church Of MO: 1998 Kawasaki ZX-6R
Last week, we posted about how Kawasaki is set to reveal 16 new models on June 6, including a revamped ZX-6R (and probably a ZX-6RR). That's good news for the ailing middleweight sportbike contingent and a sign that 600s aren't dead – at least not yet. So, to appreciate where the ZX-6R is going, we thought it would be appropriate to take a look back to 1998, and our review of the ZX-6R, to see where the bike has been.
Kawasaki to Reveal 16 Models on June 6
Church Of MO: First Impression: 1997 Kawasaki ZX-7R
Kawasaki's ZX-7R is a perfect example of motorcycle engineering refinement. In 1993 Kawasaki designed the new generation ZX-7R that has, to this day, remained virtually unchanged. For 1997 Kawasaki continued to refine rather than redesign. It's hard to argue against this approach as it is obviously working on the racetrack. Doug Chandler's performance on the Muzzy Superbike is proof enough that this machine is extremely competent.
The lack of obvious design changes or a new appearance may make it hard for dealership salesmen to make their pitch, but knowledgeable consumers will recognize the ZX-7R as an impeccable package needing no sales hype.
New 2024 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Revealed in EPA Data
As its competitors in the 600-ish sportbike class stagnate and slowly die off, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R has remained a constant. With its "cheater" 636cc displacement, the ZX-6R has outlasted the Yamaha R6, and received multiple updates since Suzuki refreshed the GSX-R600. Of the Big Four Japanese brands, only Honda's CBR600RR has been updated in recent years, and even then, only for a select few markets. While new Parallel-Twin competitors have redefined the Supersport class, the ZX-6R continues to fight the good fight for Inline-Four supersports. The Ninja will fight on for the foreseeable future, as Motorcycle.com can confirm a new ZX-6R is coming for 2024.
Kawasaki Celebrates Powersports Pioneer in the U.S.
Hamawaki is the reason Kawasaki USA exists today.
Begin press release:
2024 Kawasaki Eliminator 450 Certified by CARB
Last month, Kawasaki announced a new Eliminator for Asian markets, a 398cc model that essentially serves as a smaller Vulcan S. Equipped with a version of the Ninja 400's Parallel-Twin engine, the Eliminator looks to be a potential rival to the Honda Rebel 500. While we were waiting to hear whether Kawasaki would import it to the U.S., we've uncovered evidence that the Eliminator will be coming as a 2024 model, and with a larger engine to boot.
CARB Filings Hint at Updated Kawasaki Z650RS for 2024
The California Air Resources Board has issued an executive order for what we expect to be an updated Kawasaki Z650RS for the 2024 model year. The update is expected to be relatively minor, adding traction control to the Z650RS.
The update would bring the retro RS model in line with the more modern-styled Z650 and the Ninja 650, both of which were updated with traction control for 2023, as well as the Versys 650 which received traction control in 2022.
Below, we present the executive order for 2023 model updates. In past filings, Kawasaki tends to refer to new or updated motorcycles by its model code for engine certifications instead of its marketing name (you know, to keep them secret from the likes of yours truly). For the 2023 executive order, Kawasaki referred to the Z650 and Ninja 650 (plus their ABS-equipped versions) by model codes along with the previously updated Versys 650 ABS.
Friday Forum Foraging: 2022 Kawasaki H2 Carbon
It’s posts like these that helped spawn the idea for these Friday Forum Foraging posts in the first place. This particular one comes from one of our sister sites, NinjaH2.org. We don’t know the seller, nor do we know the life circumstance that has caused them to sell this basically new 2022 Kawasaki H2 Carbon with only four miles on it, but this is definitely out of the ordinary. And that’s what we like around here.
For those who don’t know, the Kawasaki H2 Carbon is basically Kawasaki’s road-legal land missile. Built to go fast in a straight line, the aggressive and streamlined looks are only topped by the 1000cc four-banger strapped with a supercharger. The H2 and its variants are completely wild, and that supercharged engine is one of the coolest powerplants ever to grace a production motorcycle. If the urge to own one speaks to you, and you’re anywhere near Orlando with 35-large in your pocket, maybe give this person a call. His (or her) full listing is below, but follow the link at the bottom for two more pictures and contact information.
2022 H2 Carbon, has 4 miles on it. I purchased it and garaged it at my parents house and flew back to NY for work. I’ve never rode it. it’s basically brand new. I had it transported from the dealer to my mom’s garage. 2 keys included 1 open the other still in blue wrapping Extended warranty included. $35,500
See the post at NinjaH2.org.
Friday Forum Foraging: 2009 Kawasaki ZX14
Kawasaki’s answer to the Suzuki Hayabusa, the ZX-14R was all about straight-line speed – up to 186 mph, or 300 kph – the speed all the Japanese manufacturers had a gentleman’s agreement on for a speed cap. Legendary in drag racing thanks to the likes of Ricky Gadson, the ZX-14 carved quite a niche for itself alongside the ‘Busa for being fast. Like the ‘Busa, the ZX-14 was also an underrated sport-touring bike, too. With some luggage on the back, many found the large ride to be comfortable, and even quite good, at chewing up big miles.
This brings us to our Friday find of the week. With only 2,714 miles on this 2009 ZX-14, chewing up miles doesn’t appear to be what this bike was used for – that comes out to about 200 miles per year! The good news is that, with so little miles on the clock, the bike still looks to be in pristine condition. The seller says it has lowering springs, so that should come out in favor of the stockers if sport-touring is your jam. It’s too bad this poor guy has to let the bike go due to age and injury, but at least he’s still willing to ride if a Gold Wing came along. For $9,000, this seems like a fair price for a virtually untouched motorcycle. See the ad below:
Second owner with 2,714 miles. Stock apart from the Muzzy’s rotor (I have the OEM rotor) installed by the original owner. I have the clear screen, seat hump, radiator guard, all black bodywork inserts if you don’t like green, owners manual, shop manual. It has a Shorai battery and I’ll include the charger. I also have a tail tidy and air filter, and lowering fork springs. I hurt my neck when I bought it and hoped physical therapy and time would make things better but my 62 year old body is not happy. I might trade for well maintained fuel injected Goldwing. I can send more pics if needed.
See the forum post here.
How Much Power Does The 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR Make?
We’ve been covering the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R for a while now, and even up until it was revealed this week, there was skepticism about whether the little four-banger would actually come to America.
Join the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R Forum
After the official announcement, the obvious questions came up: How much does it cost? How much does it weigh? And how much horsepower does it produce? Kawasaki answered the first two, with the 2023 Ninja ZX-4RR priced at $9,699 with a claimed curb weight of 414.5 pounds. Kawasaki USA was less forthcoming about the power output, only describing “a very linear power delivery that provides great street-going performance at lower engine speeds while excelling as the revs climb to its over-15,000 rpm redline.”
It's Official: Kawasaki Announces The 2023 Ninja ZX-4RR KRT
One of the worst-kept secrets in motorcycling is now a secret no more: Kawasaki has announced the Ninja ZX-4RR KRT will be coming to the US in 2023, (hopefully) ushering in a revival of 400cc four-cylinder sportbikes that were all the rage in the 1990s. But unlike the current parallel-twin Ninja 400, which is essentially a budget bike dressed in sportbike clothes, this newest model is worthy of the ZX prefix, as it boasts proper suspension, twin radial brakes, a full electronics suite, and chassis geometry inspired by its ZX-6R and ZX-10R siblings – oh, and let’s not forget – a compact four-banger that will rev to over 15,000 rpm! But more on all those things in a minute.
Join the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R Forum
First, if you’re a longtime MO follower, this shouldn’t surprise you. Our resident sleuth, Dennis Chung, broke ground on this new bike over a year ago – in May of 2021, to be exact, when Kawasaki applied for a patent for an air duct to drive air around the radiator and header pipes to help cool the engine directly. Dennis followed that up in August of 2022 when Kawasaki filed VIN submissions for an upcoming ZX-4. However, in an effort to bring Dennis’ non-existent ego back to Earth, let’s nitpick one little thing: He got the number of Rs wrong (for the US at least – he still suspects a single R will come to other markets). The suffix should include two Rs, along with three more letters: KRT (Kawasaki Racing Team). This suffix matters because a double-R Kawasaki Ninja is meant to be a thoroughbred track weapon.
2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R Receives CARB Approval
The California Air Resources Board has issued an executive order for Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R, clearing the way for the long-rumored sportbike to be sold in the state.
The executive order was issued on Dec. 21, 2022, certifying a Kawasaki model going by the code “ZX400SP”. As we were the first to report last August, Kawasaki had submitted Vehicle Identification Number data for a ZX400SP and a ZX400PP with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, identifying it as being powered by a 399cc four-cylinder engine.
Kawasaki USA to Announce Two Models on Feb. 1
Kawasaki USA and Canada are teasing the launch of two new motorcycles for Feb. 1, and though we don’t 100% know what they are, we can make some educated guesses.
The single teaser image on Kawasaki USA’s homepage depicts two Jet Skis and two motorcycles, all under covers with just the slightest bits visible.
At least one model is expected to be the 2023 Kawasaki H2 SX SE. Kawasaki Europe announced an updated version of the supercharged sport-tourer at EICMA, giving the H2 SX an automatic high beam, but it hasn’t been added to the U.S. lineup yet.
2023 Kawasaki KLX230 S Review - First Ride
Entry level dual-sport has for a very long time existed in the void between categories, particularly when you consider folks who are shorter in the inseam. We all need to start somewhere, but for most who did not grow up riding, or maybe started exclusively on street motorcycles, the reality is that the entry-level engine size is often combined with the inability to comfortably touch the ground at a stop. That’s enough to deter all but the most stubborn of vertically challenged riders. Kawasaki is hoping to change this with the 2023 Kawasaki KLX230 S.
2023 Bimota BX450 First Look
Heading into EICMA, we were expecting Bimota to announce a new motorcycle based off an existing Kawasaki model. After all, that has been the pattern since Kawasaki acquired a stake in the Italian brand in 2019. Last year, we saw the debut of the Ninja 1000SX-based Bimota KB4 and KB4RC in Milan, and so this year, we expected another new mode.
What we didn’t expect was for the new model to be an enduro competition bike based on Kawasaki’s KX450 models, or more specifically, the KX450X, with its 18-inch rear wheel. Yes, Bimota debuted its first ever dirt bike at EICMA, called the BX450. The two bikes are very similar, with the same engine and frame. The engine casings, in fact, still say Kawasaki, so there’s no mistaking the BX450’s lineage. Even the bodywork is similar, with Kawasaki green swapped with Bimota graphics and the Italian Tricolore.