New Kawasaki Models for 2019

. By Bikeland Staff
Kawasaki revealed two all new models at EICMA, the return of the retro W800 and the introduction of the Z400. Several updated models were shown off too, details to come in a follow up story. For info on the two new models, continue below.


The Ninja 400 loses its clothes to produce the smallest member of the naked Z series: the Z400.

2019 Kawasaki Z400

Kawasaki says:
A new entry-lightweight supernaked machine that brings a competitive spirit and small displacement to Kawasaki’s legendary Z series: the all-new Kawasaki Z400 ABS. Powered by the class leading engine of the Ninja® 400 sportbike, the new naked counterpart is lightweight and nimble for every day street riding, and purpose built for merging stylish looks with core performance.

Kawasaki is notorious for paving the way in performance and cutting edge technology in the naked bike class, one which Kawasaki pioneered with the Z1000 motorcycle and the recently introduced Z900 and Z125 PRO. The all-new Z400 model is sure to turn heads navigating through the urban jungle with its compact chassis and aggressive styling.

The Z400 was designed to retain the performance of the widely popular Ninja 400 and suit a wide range of riders. With its finely tuned engine and naked chassis package, it offers lightweight handling and stronger low-end feeling – a rider friendly combination that is ideal for fun. Matching its exhilarating performance, the Z400 is clad in aggressive new styling that is inspired by the Sugomi™ styling of the flagship Z models, and a riding position that enhances the rider’s confidence and control.

The newest addition to the Z family, the Z400 motorcycle is packed with premium class leading components and advanced technology, such as the 310 mm front disc and 41mm inverted fork. Supplying the power to “Let the good times roll®” is its 399cc parallel twin four-stroke engine, which is paired with a lightweight trellis frame.

Highlights of the 2019 Z400
- Aggressive Z Model Sugomi™ Styling
- Relaxed, Upright Riding Position
- Powerful, 399cc Parallel Twin
- Lightweight Trellis Frame, providing easy maneuverability and capability
- Extensive Weight Minimizing Efforts
- Easy Reach to the Ground & Excellent Ride Comfort

Parallel Twin Engine & Transmission
The Z400 features a compact, lightweight, and efficient 399cc liquid-cooled four-stroke parallel twin engine that also powers its Ninja 400 counterpart. The displacement comes by way of the 70.00 mm x 51.8 mm bore & stroke. The high performance of the engine was achieved through careful airbox and intake design, as well as engine internals.

Downdraft intake routing plays a pivotal role in producing performance, especially at high rpms, and a large air box offers intake efficiency. The downdraft intake utilizes the shortest and most direct path for air to enter the cylinder, which helps cylinder-filling efficiency and contributes to engine power. Airbox volume was made as tall as possible to ensure sufficient clearance for the intake funnels at 5.8 liters. The airbox features optimized rigidity at the top of the airbox, which reduces unwanted noise, enabling riders to more clearly hear the engine’s intake note when accelerating. Different height on the left and right intake funnels contribute to the engine’s smooth response by allowing torque valleys to be tuned out.

To enable smooth and seamless shifting, a close gear ratio was chosen for the transmission, with gears progressing easily from one to the next. Complementing the transmission is a compact assist & slipper clutch, with operating plates that feature optimized rigidity to create a lighter feel at the lever; the clutch has a wide engagement range, facilitating control.

When excessive engine braking occurs as a result of quick or accidental downshifts, the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart, which relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and help prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding.

Innovative Kawasaki technology such as the radiator fan cover, which is located behind the radiator, directs hot air out to the sides away from the rider, reducing rider discomfort. Redirecting the hot air also helps keep the tank, frame and other parts that contact the rider cooler. The heat management system was designed using computational fluid dynamics analysis and requires no additional parts to direct airflow inside the engine compartment.

Kawasaki’s advanced dynamic rigidity analysis research was utilized in designing the trellis frame of the Z400 motorcycle to ensure optimum rigidity and produce nimble, lightweight handling characteristics. A rigid mounted engine with short mounting brackets was used as a stressed member in the frame to increase rigidity. The chassis has a supersport-style design with a short-wheelbase and long swingarm, which is complemented by a steep caster angle that delivers sporty natural handling. A short wheelbase on the new Z400 contributes to easy maneuverability and the overall wheelbase measurement for the Z400 is 53.9 inches. The frame & engine design contribute significantly to the bike’s low curb mass.

While it was important to keep the weight down and wheelbase short on the chassis design, it was also crucial to maintain handling characteristics, by adding length to the swingarm. The swingarm and mounting plate design helped contribute to the bike’s overall light weight. The die-cast aluminum swingarm mounting plate eliminates the need to add heavy additional cross member pieces to the frame because it bolts to the back of the engine, allowing the pivot shaft to go through the plate and mount the swingarm directly to the engine. Forming the swingarm from square tubing eliminates the need for additional gusseting, while maintaining rigidity and keeping weight to a minimum.

In addition to the engine and frame, other key lightweight contributions came from a slim seat design, wheel design, and heat management system that requires minimal parts. All of these designs helped to create a bike with a curb weight of 368.1 pounds.

Complementing the ride comfort of the trellis frame is a large 41 mm telescopic front fork, which provides riders with superb front end feel and traction, facilitating direction changes even when the bike is fairly upright – handy in navigating traffic jams. Thanks to design of the fork, the need for a front fender brace has been eliminated, helping save additional weight. A steep caster angle provides nimble handling feeling, while the optimized linkage ratios and rear suspension settings contribute to the high-quality ride feel. The shock features five-way preload adjustability, which allows riders to adjust the stiffness and ride height to suit body weight or when riding two-up. The shock is easily adjustable with the on-board tool kit. The overall suspension of the Z400 offers the plushness found on the larger models in the Z family for everyday riding comfort.

Brakes & Wheels
To enhance handling and performance, the Z400 motorcycle comes equipped with a largest in class 310 mm semi-floating petal front disc, which is gripped by a balanced actuation dual-piston caliper. The front brake master cylinder design helps eliminate ineffective stroke for increased control. Handling the rear braking duties is a 220 mm petal disc, which is slowed by a dual-piston caliper with large 27 mm pistons. The front and rear brake hose material and dimensions were carefully selected to offer excellent brake feedback. The Z400 ABS features Nissin’s latest ABS control unit.

The wheels and tires also follow the same weight savings theme applied throughout the build of the Z400. The stylish and lightweight five-spoke star-pattern wheels offer lateral rigidity and contribute to the bike’s stability and lightweight image. The wheel design is a product of technology gained in World Superbike competition. The lightweight radial tires on the Z400 contribute to both agile handling and riding comfort. The 150 mm rear tire imposes an aggressive looking rear end for the newest member of the Z family.

Kawasaki’s Z styling is known for providing an aggressive and premium look that comes to life with an ideal blend of sporty performance and everyday versatility. The new Z400 boasts the sharp, aggressive styling similar to that found on the Kawasaki Z650 and Z900 and leaves a lasting impression for bystanders. A staple in the Z family, the Sugomi design elements provide a crouching stance, low-positioned head, and upswept tail to give the Z400 motorcycle a silhouette that is instantly recognizable as a Kawasaki supernaked.

This design of the bodywork on the Z400 enhances the appearance of the engine and exhaust and highlights the functional beauty of the engine, elegantly curved exhaust header pipes, and trellis frame. Sharp design of the front cowl is complemented by a compact, dark meter visor that adds to the aggressive and sporty looks. In addition to the sharp looks is an LED headlamp that offers increased brightness in its wide illuminated path. The aggressive front fender design features holes cut into the sides. The bodywork packs the punch of a much larger machine, which is reinforced by its superb fit and finish. Sharp rear turn signals complement the aggressive Z styling; both front and rear turn signals utilize clear lenses for a high-quality look. A sculpted upswept tail cowl and LED taillight design also contribute to a sharp impression from the rear of the bike. Elegant mirror stays mount the mirrors to the wide, flat handlebars. The bike also features a forward-slant of the compact fuel tank to contribute to its distinct design.

The relaxed rider triangle of the Z400 motorcycle accommodates a wide array of riders and riding situations. The Z400 features a relatively upright riding position, wide handlebar, and a more sporty yet forward footpeg position that allow the rider to control the bike while also offering rider comfort. The slightly forward positioning of the sporty aluminum footpegs contributes to direct feel, good controllability, and a comfortable riding position.

The design of the bodywork on the Z400 offers ride comfort. The sleek fuel tank design enables good contact with the bike for increased control, all while helping keep weight to a minimum.

The seat height and narrow design make it even easier for riders to get their feet to the ground. A deep seat pan allows for a 90 mm low-rebound urethane seat cushion, offering excellent ride comfort.

High-grade Cockpit
Kawasaki engineers placed great emphasis on making sure the cockpit of the Z400 was clean and easy to read. The stacked instrument cluster is similar in size to that found on the Z650 model, and features a new large analog tachometer face, and gear position indicator at its center. The instrument cluster sits above a multi-function negative display LCD screen.

The gear position indicator enhances confidence while also contributing to the Z400’s sporty image. In addition to the digital speedometer and gear position indicator, display functions include: odometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge, remaining range, current and average fuel consumption, coolant temperature, clock and the Economical Riding Indicator. The Economical Riding Indicator appears on the LCD screen to indicate favorable fuel consumption, notifying riders when they are operating within the optimal conditions to maximize their fuel efficiency.

Kawasaki offers a full line of accessories for the 2019 Z400 motorcycle, enabling customers to personalize their bikes in a number of different ways. Available Kawasaki Genuine Accessories include a frame slider set, lower cowling, tank pad, knee pad set, radiator screen, and front axle slider set to maintain the fit and finish of the bike. To enhance comfort, Kawasaki also offers an Ergo-Fit™ Extended Reach seat.

The Z400 ABS is available in two colors: Candy Lime Green / Metallic Spark Black and Candy Cardinal Red / Metallic Flat Spark Black.

Z400 ABS: $4,799


The W800 returns after being on haitus for 2 years, but it hasn't just been sitting and waiting. Kawasaki claims the 2019 is essentially an all new bike. The inclusion of a slipper clutch seems like an impressive touch on an inexpensive retro bike, sure to be appreciated by most everyone.

2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe

Kawasaki says:
A Kawasaki Throwback to the Original Japanese Big Bike

The all-new Kawasaki W800 CAFE is Kawasaki’s latest addition to our retro lineup of motorcycles. It’s a true throwback to its 1960’s predecessor, the famed Kawasaki W1. The 1966 Kawasaki W1 is the motorcycle that has come to represent the ethos of Kawasaki’s quest for speed. It had the largest displacement and was most powerful Japanese motorcycle of its time, and inspired the birth of the legendary machines such as the Kawasaki Z1 and Ninja H2™ sportbikes.

For 2019, Kawasaki brings class-leading authentic styling, sound, and feel to the category of retro motorcycles. In building the W800 CAFE, Kawasaki has meticulously crafted one of the most authentic retro bikes in appearance and design, paying homage to the past, all while tastefully incorporating modern technology and features.

Developed for riders in search of a well-rounded bike that is not only rich in history and character, but also packed with modern technology and handling features, the W800 CAFE is powered by an air-cooled 773cc vertical twin engine, and features an updated modern double-cradle frame design and modern suspension components that bring an unmatched level of authenticity and performance to the retro motorcycle category.

The sleek sweeping contours and meticulous fit and finish of the W1 redefined the standards of motorcycle design in the 1960’s. Kawasaki has applied the same meticulous attention to detail in building the W800 CAFE, from the iconic appearance of the air-cooled bevel gear driven vertical twin engine to the elegant gas tank and muffler design, all the way down to the retro themed wheels.

The W800 CAFE motorcycle is packed with plenty of modern technology, such as the clean running Euro4 compliant engine, Assist and Slipper Clutch, Kawasaki advanced analysis designed frame, and an LED headlamp.

Highlights of the 2019 W800 CAFE:
- Iconic W1 Inspired Styling
- Comfortable CAFE Riding Position
- 773cc Air-Cooled Vertical Twin Engine
- Kawasaki Advanced Dynamic Analysis Designed Frame
- Lightweight Sporty Handling
- Assist & Slipper Clutch

Iconic, Powerful Vertical Twin Engine & Transmission
The W800 CAFE motorcycle features an 773cc air-cooled, fuel injected, SOHC, vertical twin-engine configuration, with a bore and stroke of 77.0 mm x 83.0 mm, which offers plenty of low-mid range performance and torque. The engine utilizes a heavy-flywheel that was chosen to create the strong low-mid range torque character. The fuel injection offers precise fuel delivery to the engine, clean emissions, as well as easy starting. A pair of 34 mm throttle bodies have been arranged to ensure a straight line from the airbox to the cylinders. Long, slim intake funnels deliver enhanced low-mid range performance. The engine also utilizes sub-throttles to ensure ideal engine response as well as aiding in reduced noise emissions. To ensure broad, widespread, responsive power a bevel gear cam drive and SOHC four-valve per head configuration was chosen. A slick-shifting five-speed transmission has a gear for any occasion a rider may encounter.

The classic, retro muffler design is comprised of smooth curves and long, straight flowing lines. The peashooter-style silencers with slim chambers and long tailpipes contribute to the bike’s classic look. The mufflers emit the throaty exhaust note for which parallel twin engines are famous. The twin mufflers were carefully tuned to bring out the engine note of the vertical twin 360-degree crankshaft configuration, which was also used in Kawasaki’s original W1 to create a hearty roar that complements every twist of the throttle.

In building the W800 CAFE, creating a beautiful engine was a key concept when designing the air-cooled vertical twin. The classic-styled engine is lightweight, playful, simple and a joy to behold. Iconic bevel-gear-driven cam adds beauty to the cylinder head while also contributing to the engine’s classic retro styling and appearance. The silver bevel-gear cover on the blacked-out engine of the W800 CAFE draws attention to the engine’s unique design while adding a quality accent. The fuel injection components have been cleverly concealed, giving the engine bay a clean, uncluttered appearance. The rich appearance and character of the engine are nicely complemented when coupled with the strong bottom-end response, enhancing the timeless pleasure derived from riding a classic motorcycle.

Assist & Slipper Clutch
Complementing the transmission is an Assist & Slipper Clutch, race-inspired technology that offers both a light feel at the lever as well as a back-torque limiting function.

The assist function is noticed by the lighter pull at the clutch lever, helping to reduce rider fatigue especially in stop and go traffic situations.

The slipper function is noticed when excessive engine braking occurs as a result of quick or accidental downshifts. The slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart, which relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and help reduce rear wheel hop or skidding.

While the double-cradle frame design looks reminiscent of that of its predecessor, it’s in fact all new. The new frame was designed using Kawasaki’s advanced dynamic analysis software to determine the exact required rigidity for each piece of tubing to ensure optimized performance. Then, while keeping the pipe outer diameters unchanged, the pipe thicknesses were adjusted as necessary.

The double-cradle frame configuration uses a sturdy, 50 mm square-section backbone to give the W800 CAFE a very stable ride quality and well-balanced overall design. Complementing the 50 mm square-section backbone, round downtubes were chosen to enhance the retro appearance. Gussets and brackets were kept to a minimum for improved aesthetics and reduced weight. Round tubes with a smooth finish and minimum welds and gussets contribute to the high-quality appearance. A highly rigid swingarm design further enhances handling qualities while minimizing weight.

Staying true to the retro appearance while incorporating modern handling, the W800 CAFE motorcycle is equipped with a large diameter front fork with stiff springs, a highly rigid lower triple-clamp and sturdy dual shocks to complement the more rigid new frame.

A telescopic front fork features 41mm tubes that easily soak up bumps on well-travelled city streets. The dual rear shock absorbers with adjustable spring preload offer a smooth ride and clean look.

Brakes & Wheels
Handling the stopping duties of the W800 CAFE is a full disc brake setup featuring modern ABS. The strong and responsive stopping power comes via a large-diameter 320 mm front disc paired with a 270 mm rear disc.

To maintain the retro appearance as well as ride and feel of a true classic machine, 18” wheels were chosen for both the front and rear, contributing to the dynamic but composed handling of the W800 CAFE. The sturdy, lightweight aluminum rims are highly resistant to corrosion. The spokes and nipples are treated with a coating which allows dirt and grime to be simply wiped off. Tube-type tires offer a traditional tread pattern and plenty of traction.

The W800 CAFE features a sporty, forward leaning riding position, which makes it ideal for a wide range of riding applications. The “M-shaped” clubman-style handlebar contributes to a slightly forward-leaning position. The riding position is optimized for both leisurely rides where comfort and visibility are priority, and yet still allows a natural forward lean when riding at highway speeds. The W800 CAFE also features a stylish two-person cafe seat designed for comfort and sporty good looks. For increased rider comfort, the W800 CAFE has been equipped with a five position adjustable clutch lever and four position adjustable front brake lever to enable riders to fine-tune lever position.

The visual impact from a striking vertical twin engine, classic proportions with large-diameter wheels and a meticulous attention to detail give the W800 CAFE an authentic quality and timeless beauty difficult to find on modern motorcycles.

The chassis of the W800 CAFE follows the design concept of simplicity, functionality, and elegance. Large diameter, spoked wheels and a traditional steel double-cradle frame create a well-balanced package with classic proportions. The stunning contours of the fuel tank make it another point of focus as well as key styling element.

At the front end of the W800 CAFE, a cafe-racer-image front cowl contributes to the classic retro theme of the motorcycle. A blend of retro and modern designs, the W800 CAFE is equipped with a large 170 mm LED headlamp that casts a bright, white light. It features six chambers, four for low beam, and two additional for high beam. Position lamps in the high-beam chambers ensure the whole lamp appears lit, like a retro-style bulb headlamp. Even the smallest details down to the convex lens and chromed headlamp ring were chosen for their high-quality, classic appearance . The front fork uses rubber gaiters to protect the fork tubes and ensure long fork seal life while adding to the retro appearance and styling. Compact turn signals add a custom touch straight from the factory. The black engine and wheels of the W800 CAFE are complemented by the clean, simple lines of the front and rear fenders and contribute to the retro appearance of the bike. The rear fender has an easily removable modular design that makes it easy for riders to customize.

The W800 CAFE is equipped with traditional instrumentation, which includes an individual speedometer and tachometer with classic display. A multi-function LCD screen incorporates an odometer, trip meter, and clock. A full range of indicator lamps include: FI warning lamp, dual turn signal indicators, low fuel level indicator, high beam indicator, neutral indicator, and oil pressure warning lamp. Compact switchgear, designed to add a vintage touch, gives the handlebars a light, uncluttered appearance, but beneath the retro-styled exterior, modern internals ensure the reliable performance of the W800 CAFE.

A number of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories (KGA) will allow riders to personalize the looks of their W800 CAFE or offer added comfort or convenience. Those include chrome trim pieces and engine guards, passenger grab rail, luggage rack, grip heaters, helmet lock, and ERGO-FIT™ reduced reach seat.

The 2019 Kawasaki W800 CAFE is available in Metallic Magnesium Gray / Galaxy Silver.

W800 CAFE: $9,799

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