While we see the occasional CBR400RR here on the site, and FZR400s aren’t too hard to find if you go looking, it’s been quite a while since we’ve been able to feature one of Kawasaki’s bantamweight superbikes, the ZXR400. With a liquid-cooled 398cc inline four and a six-speed gearbox to make the most of the high-strung powerband, the ZXR packs serious sportbike credentials into a very compact package. It was introduced in 1989 and produced through 1999. Claimed power for the earlier “H” bikes was slightly higher at 64hp versus the later “L” version at 61hp, and they made that peak figure further up the rev-range by a few hundred rpm. But torque was a bit lower, as you might expect, since the engine is mechanically nearly identical in both versions. The earlier model was also naturally a bit lighter, with a claimed dry weight of just 350lbs, which meant the bike was good for a top speed of over 140mph.
As has been stated in the past, there’s a reason that all this sophisticated technology was included in a bike with such limited displacement. Simply: it wasn’t aimed at new motorcyclists. Here in the USA, bikes under 600cc are generally cheap commuters with decades-old technology, and new riders are often steered towards 600cc sportbikes since there are no limitations for newer riders, insurance is cheap, and the market is saturated with 1000 sportbikes and 2300cc cruisers. But overseas, tiered licenses mean limited access to bigger bikes for many riders, and international racing series didn’t really have a 600cc class at the time, so these 400s were really just a step down from World Superbike displacement 750s.
From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki ZXR400 for Sale
This is the full power Japanese home market version not the usual detuned US market model.
The bike has just been imported in December 2016 and registered on a Florida Title in my name.
These superb looking bikes with ram air induction are now at classic status
This beauty has only covered 35,871 miles in 27 years
Tires are brand new front and rear.
The bike does stert up and run fine and clutch gears and brakes are all good the Carb’s could do with tuning and possibly rejetting for the low grade US fuel.
The bike looks good in the photos, but that’s not saying much, considering their low quality… Certainly, the price is right: the Buy It Now is listed as just $3,000 which, although the mileage is on the high side, seems to make this a pretty good deal if you’re looking for something sporty, unusual, and are working with a limited budget. The seller mentions “the usual detuned US market model” although I’m not sure these were ever officially imported to the States. Either way, if you’re interested in picking this up, be sure to verify that you can legally register it in your home state and request some better images to verify the bike’s condition.