Why We Picked It:
Kawasaki has racing pedigree coming out of every pore, as is shown with their already well respected and legendary line of ZX-R bikes. It is only their fastest, most hardcore, most powerful and track-worthy bikes, however, that ever earn the RR designation... which is why the 2023 ZX-4RR is a bit of an enigma.
The biggest surprise is, again, the displacement. Most of the purely track-focused bikes are 600cc inline fours, but the ZX-4RR comes with a tiny 399cc inline-four that reportedly revs so hard and fast that you'll be hitting the 12,000 RPM redline faster than you think. No one really knows how much horsepower will come from it, but it is known that it generates nearly 30 lbs-ft of torque, so between 60 to 80 HP is not out of the question.
It will also be aimed at newer riders, or veterans with a soft spot for 400cc's, as many of us started out learning on 300 and 400cc displacement machinery. It comes with all the rider aids you would want on the street as well, such as an assist and slipper clutch, dynamic electronically controlled throttle valves, traction control,. cornering ABS, and a full up/down quickshifter.
What sets this bike apart from its Ninja 400 cousin, however, and what makes it our #1 supersport pick, is that it brings a proper supersport four-banger down into the beginner friendly market. The Yamaha YZF-R3 also exists here, but that bike is a parallel twin, and as those that have ridden an inline-four know, four cylinders build power in a much different way than two cylinders.
Learning safely on a lower power, smaller displacement bike before jumping headlong into the higher displacement supersport arena is exactly what the ZX-4RR is for, and we all need to thank Kawasaki for making it.