In the pantheon of 400cc sportbikes, a lightweight, rev-happy segment of rippers designed to help aspiring knee draggers stay within foreign tiered-licensing guidelines, the Kawasaki ZXR400 stood out as a hard-edged race replica writ small. The baby brother of the world-class ZX-7 superbike, the ZXR400 turned its tiny displacement and diminutive weight into an advantage.
With 61 horses on tap for the ’89 model year and a sub-400-pound dry weight, the mini Kawi was quick to make fools of detractors. Though capable of the big end of 140 mph, the engine needed revs to make power, and the bike rewarded momentum and bravery with sharp high-speed handling. Reviewers at the time remarked that the precise handling was paid for with a cramped riding position and a harsh ride, but nobody seriously shopping for a 400 should expect the lap of luxury.
The low-mileage example listed here is in excellent shape and will make a beautiful rider, though it carries blemishes commensurate with its years. Tires, too, look like they could use freshening. Bidding is currently below $2,000, but the reserve remains unmet, and if the 1995 example from earlier this month is anything to go on, the winning bid will be well north of the current ask.
Here’s what the seller has to say:
The baby brother to the Kawasaki ZX-7 ZX750H1!
Up for auction is a rarely seen 1989 Kawasaki ZXR400 with only 6,140 kilometers (3815 miles). Its 100% stock. OEM Kawasaki fairings and components in very nice condition. The right lower fairing has been professionally resprayed because of light stress cracks (spider webbing) in the clear coat from age. Bike has light handling marks & scratches throughout from its 28 year ride thru life but overall very clean. No cracks in the fairings, no dents in the tank. Its been very well taken care of. Bike shows patina and light corrosion here and there from time but has very good curb appeal. This bike would make an excellent candidate for a full restoration. Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street motorcycle for road use.
Even though this bike might not be museum quality, it will make a gorgeous rider in any collection.
$500 deposit due immediately after auctions end. Bike to be paid in full within 5 business days by check or wire transfer. For more pictures or questions please text me at 801-358-6537.
While the weight and 14,500 rpm redline might not be super impressive when compared to current sportbike offerings, the ZXR occupies an important chapter of motorcycling history, and is rare enough in this country to stop bike-night enthusiasts in their tracks and embarrass bigger-displacement bikes under less seasoned riders.