2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS. (Kawasaki/)
- Under $5,000
- Fun to ride for veterans, yet approachable for beginners
- Same 399cc parallel-twin engine and chassis as Ninja 400
- Taller riders may be a little cramped
- Nonadjustable brake/clutch levers
If you’re looking for a no-frills lightweight streetbike with surprising performance at a great price, the Kawasaki Z400 ABS fits the bill.2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS. (Kawasaki/)
Basically unchanged since its debut in 2019, Kawasaki’s Z400 ABS has continued to provide enough performance to satisfy the experienced rider, while remaining friendly enough for beginners. Using the same twin-cylinder engine, frame, and brakes (along with standard ABS) as the Ninja 400 means the Z400 ABS has the same non-apologetic attitude with a slightly cheaper sticker price.
Updates for 2021
The Kawasaki Z400 ABS remains unchanged for 2021.
Pricing and Variants
The 2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS retails for $4,999. Available colorways are Pearl Nightshade Teal/Metallic Flat Spark Black and Candy Cardinal Red/Metallic Flat Spark Black.
The Z400 ABS’ competitors include the Yamaha MT-03, Honda CBR300, as well as the more expensive KTM 390 Duke and Husqvarna Vitpilen 401. Here’s a naked bike comparison test of several competitors.
Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Z400 ABS uses the same 399cc parallel-twin engine from the Ninja 400; for reference, the last stone-stock Z400 strapped to the dyno produced 44.1 hp at 9,800 rpm and 25.1 pound-feet of torque at 8,300 rpm. This means you’ve got more power than any bike in this category, with enough acceleration to easily handle traffic in the city or on the highway. And yet the smaller Z is smooth and amiable enough for new riders to easily learn and gain confidence in their riding skills. The clutch is almost effortless and has gentle engagement, and the transmission shifts crisply and lightly.2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS. (Kawasaki/)
Combine a short 53.9-inch wheelbase with a curb weight of 364 pounds, and the result is the Z400 ABS’ quick and easy steering that makes short work of both urban and canyon pavement. Aiding in this capable handling are well-chosen suspension rates; despite using slightly softer springs than its sport-oriented Ninja 400 brother, the Z400 ABS deals with both bumpy and twisty surfaces equally well. Only when the pace is really ramped up can the difference be noticed, but a prospective Z400 ABS buyer likely won’t be concerned with that relatively minor concern.
Like the engine and chassis, the Z400 ABS shares braking components with the Ninja 400. A nicely oversize single 310mm disc up front is grabbed by a sliding-mount twin-piston Nissin caliper handles the majority of braking power with ease and control, while a smaller 220mm disc and single-piston caliper out back completes the external stopping hardware. ABS comes standard with the Z400 ABS.2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS. (Kawasaki/)
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
During CW testing, the Z400 ABS recorded an average of 45.4 mpg. This equates to an approximate 166-mile range, based on the 3.7-gallon capacity of the Z’s fuel tank.
Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility
The Z400 ABS’ conventional one-piece handlebar provides a natural upright standard-style riding position, versus the Ninja 400′s more forward-biased sport ergonomics. This translates to better comfort over extended riding, even with the lack of the Ninja’s full fairing. The 30.9-inch seat height feels a lot shorter than the numbers suggest, due to the narrow midsection. Taller riders might feel slightly cramped overall, though, and we also noticed that the Z’s side shrouds tended to dig into taller riders’ knees during testing.2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS. (Kawasaki/)
As the model name suggests, ABS comes standard with the Z400 ABS.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Z400 ABS comes with Kawasaki’s usual 12-month limited warranty. Extended warranty options available for 12, 24, 36, and 48 months.
Kawasaki has definitely upped its game quality-wise with the newer models in the past decade. Gone are the sloppy-looking welds and slight detail issues; fit and finish are excellent.2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS. (Kawasaki/)
2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS Claimed Specifications
||399cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin, 8 valves
|Bore x Stroke:
||70.0 x 51.8mm
||Electronic fuel injection w/ 32mm throttle body
||Wet, multiple disc; cable operation
||TCBI with digital advance
||Trellis high-tensile steel tube chassis
||41mm Showa conventional fork, nonadjustable; 4.7 in. travel
||KYB shock, spring preload adjustable; 5.1 in. travel
||Nissin 2-piston caliper, single 310mm disc w/ ABS
||Nissin 2-piston caliper, single 220mm disc w/ ABS
||Cast aluminum; 3.00 x 17 in. / 4.00 x 17 in.
||110/70-17 / 150/60-17
Cycle World Tested Specifications
||44.1 hp @ 9,800 rpm
||25.1 lb.-ft. @ 8,500 rpm
|Braking 30–0 mph:
|Braking 60–0 mph: