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The Kawasaki Z400 is the naked version of the Ninja 400. (Kawasaki/)


Comfortable, upright ergonomicsSame great engine as in the Ninja 400Nimble handlingHello, cheap thrills! Great low price


Side shrouds can cramp taller riders


Kawasaki’s Z400, small streetfighter with aggressive styling, provides cheap thrills with its near $5K price. The bike is well prepared for urban environments but also fun to ride on backroads or on the racetrack. The 400 stands out with nimble handling and a fantastic engine that riders won’t easily outgrow.


Introduced in 2019, the Kawasaki Z400 is a relatively new face to the small-displacement naked bike category. Unveiled a year after the significantly revised Ninja 400, the Z400 combines stripped-down streetfighter styling with the same capable, fun-loving 399cc parallel-twin engine found in its sibling. All the important characteristics of a small-displacement machine remain; the 400 is light and agile and its engine is great for developing riders. And for those who simply aren’t Ninja people, its upright ergonomics make it comfortable for longer commutes. It’s no wonder the Z400 followed on the coattails of its counterpart when it claimed the 2019 and 2020 Cycle World Best Lightweight Sportbike award.

At $5,199, the Z400 is priced competitively for the beginner market.
At $5,199, the Z400 is priced competitively for the beginner market. (Kawasaki/)

Updates for 2022

Kawasaki offers the 2022 models in two color options: Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black and Pearl Robotic White/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray.

Pricing and Variants

The 2022 Z400 is competitively priced for the beginner motorcycle market at $5,199. The only version of this motorcycle is equipped with standard ABS.


The Z400 is not alone in its quest for attracting newer riders. The Austrians have a selection of small-displacement naked bikes with the KTM 390 Duke, Husqvarna Vitpilen 401, and Husqvarna Svartpilen 401. Competition from Japan includes the Honda CB300R and Yamaha MT-03. At the beginner/intermediate level, there’s also the Suzuki SV650.

A chipper 399cc parallel-twin engine powers the Z-four-hundo.
A chipper 399cc parallel-twin engine powers the Z-four-hundo. (Kawasaki/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

When a motorcycle is easy enough for a new rider to tame but still exciting enough to make a veteran rider smile under their helmet, there’s usually a well-balanced engine to blame. Such is the case with the Z400; its parallel twin won’t scare off beginners, but it can be ridden hard when asked. Its assist-and-slipper clutch has an easy pull and aids in smooth deceleration into corners.

On the CW dyno, the engine delivers 44.1 hp at 9,830 rpm and 25.1 lb.-ft. of torque at 8,250 rpm to the rear wheel. The resulting power curve is linear and the torque curve is broad and flat. Power delivery is extra smooth, receiving top marks from our editors.


The nonadjustable 41mm Showa fork and preload adjustable KYB shock have softer spring rates than the Ninja 400′s suspension units. We found that the Z400 performs well over bumpy surfaces with a cushy, well-damped ride. Overall, its nimble chassis and neutral handling make the Z400 easy to control and tip into turns, and its light weight and low mass make maneuvering at low speeds easy.


Nissin calipers grab hold of 310mm and 220mm discs (front/rear). They do not provide a strong initial bite, but that’s OK for beginners. Nonswitchable ABS comes standard.

Aggressive in style, but not so aggressive in ergonomics. On the Z, riders will have a more upright riding posture than if they opted for the Ninja 400.
Aggressive in style, but not so aggressive in ergonomics. On the Z, riders will have a more upright riding posture than if they opted for the Ninja 400. (Kawasaki/)


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By: Cycle World Staff
Title: 2022 Kawasaki Z400 ABS
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Published Date: Tue, 05 Jul 2022 17:45:04 +0000

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2024 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Preview

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The 29th annual Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, powered by O’Gara Coach, will bring a full day of free family fun to Beverly Hills on Sunday, June 16. This year’s Father’s Day car show will feature 100 rare and iconic vehicles, great food and plenty of entertainment. The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, which will take place between Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., is one of the area’s most beloved annual events. Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect to see on California’s most iconic street:

 Ted Seven aka Ted7

Show-stopping cars

This year’s event will host a special celebration of hypercars, supercars, race cars, classics and custom-built showstoppers. Provided by exclusive private collections, passionate car enthusiasts and even some of the world’s most recognized manufacturers, this has become one of the country’s preeminent luxury car shows.


Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Chairman Bruce Meyer, Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman, Rodeo Drive Committee President Kay Monica Rose and renowned car buff Jay Leno will present trophies to 12 award-winning entrants—from “Most Elegant” to “Best in Show”—on the main stage starting at noon.

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: 2024 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Preview
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Published Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:10:18 +0000

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Speed Read: A garage-built Ducati 996 café racer and more

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The latest café racers, flat trackers, and electric scooters.
We kick things off with a feel-good story of a botched Ducati 996 custom job, rescued by a talented garage builder. Then we look at a dazzling Yamaha SR500 flat tracker from 20-year-old Moritz Bree, a dustbin-faired Honda Dax from K-Speed, and a BMW CE 04 scooter from Deus ex Machina.

Ducati 996 café racer by Jaron Hall
Ducati 996 by Jaron Hall Most people would balk at the idea of customizing a Ducati 996, but Utah-based garage builder Jaron Hall’s work on this 996 is nothing short of noble. That’s because when Jaron got his hands on the 996, it was in dire need of saving.

The Ducati’s previous owner had tried to turn it into a scrambler, so it came to Jaron with no fairings, a hacked subframe, and a smorgasbord of sketchy parts. Working after hours (he has a marketing day job), and taking on the entire build solo, Jaron turned the mongrel 996 into a high-class Italian café racer.

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Speed Read: A garage-built Ducati 996 café racer and more
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Published Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2024 20:50:06 +0000

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Rolls-Royce ‘Models of the Marque’: the 1910s

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 04

Of all the famous nameplates borne by Rolls-Royce motor cars since 1904, few are as celebrated, significant, evocative and enduring as the ‘Silver Ghost’. Formally launched in 1906 as the 40/50 H.P., it was the first model to be awarded the soubriquet of ‘the best car in the world’ that Rolls-Royce retains to this day, setting unmatchable standards for performance and reliability, proven in the era’s toughest road trials. It was also a stupendous commercial success, with almost 8,000 examples built in the UK and US over an 18-year period – an unimaginable product lifespan in the modern age. That so many Silver Ghosts still survive in full working order – and, indeed, regularly perform the same feats they achieved more than a century ago – is a lasting monument to Henry Royce’s engineering genius.

Early beginnings

By 1906, just three years after its foundation, Rolls-Royce was already something of a victim of its own success. Demand for its motor cars was such that its line-up had quickly expanded from the original twin-cylinder 10 H.P. to include three-cylinder 15 H.P., four-cylinder 20 H.P. and six-cylinder 30 H.P. models. Henry Royce had even produced the first ever V8 passenger motor car, known as the ‘Lega limit’ since the 3.5-litre engine was governed to keep it below the 20mph speed limit then in force in Britain – only three of these were ever made, and it remains the only Rolls-Royce model of which no examples survive. This proliferation of models reflected a trend across the luxury automotive sector, as competing manufacturers chased an ever more finely segmented client base.

However, for Rolls-Royce, it caused major manufacturing headaches, since many parts were not interchangeable between models. The problem was compounded by Henry Royce’s entirely laudable policy of continuous improvement; his constant adjustments and refinements went all the way down to the smallest components. This created variations between – and even within – production series, to the extent that often only a handful of individual motor cars would be entirely identical.

Simplify Production

As with almost any manufacturing process, more complexity and variability meant increased costs. This was anathema to the highly astute, commercially driven Managing Director, Claude Johnson. Having decided radical change was needed, he proposed the marque should focus all its energies on producing just one model. Charles Rolls enthusiastically agreed, but insisted it should be positioned at the top end of the market, where Rolls-Royce was already gaining a reputation as the very best motor car available. Though a ruthless perfectionist and tireless innovator, Royce was also a pragmatist. He saw the logic of his colleagues’ single-model approach and duly produced a completely new motor car, the 40/50 H.P.

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: Rolls-Royce ‘Models of the Marque’: the 1910s
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Published Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2024 23:23:29 +0000

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