Kawasaki Z 400

Kawasaki Z400 Review (Baujahr 2023)

What can the new 45 hp naked bike from Japan do?

Kawasaki Z400 im TestPhotos: Motorradtest.de
The Kawasaki Z400 has been around since 1973. At the end of 2020 she flew out of the program, now she is back. Of course, Kawasaki has made many adjustments to the new 2023 model. Tanja and Dietmar found out what came out of it during a test drive through the stormy Dithmarschen.

underrated sweetheart

The Kawasaki Z400 is an A2 motorcycle with 45 horsepower. Like all A2 bikes, it looks a little more delicate than its higher-displacement counterparts, which is why you could underestimate it. For 6.445 euros (plus transfer) you get a simple but well-made naked bike, which stands out from its competitors in terms of price, neither particularly positive nor negative.
It is available in two color combinations: green-black and white-red. The design language is typical Kawasaki: The machine comes in the Sugomi design, which also has the Z650 and the Z900. The silencer could be a bit smaller for ours, but otherwise the proportions and the look are right for our taste.
Farben Z400 2023
Dimensions and seat ergonomics
The seat rehearsal is also free of surprises. The pillion passenger sits very high due to the two-part bench seat and looks over the rider's helmet. There are no grab handles, so you have to hold on to the woman in front. Larger passengers such as Dietmar feel a bit like they are on a launch pad in the back, and the two of you probably won't want to circumnavigate the globe with this bike.
Pilot Tanja has it a little better at the front: she sits well integrated into the machine and, thanks to the low seat height of 785 mm, gets her feet on the ground well. You sit upright with a decent bit of flexion towards the handlebars - typical naked bike. The handlebars are wide and not too high, which fits both of us very well.
Abmessungen und Sitzergonomie
This is how it sits on the Kawasaki Z400 vintage 2023.

360 degree tour around the Kawasaki Z400

CockpitBeleuchtung vorneBeleuchtung hinten

Technology of the Z400: Manageable

Technically, there is not much to say about the Kawasaki Z400. Apart from ABS, there are no features on board. No traction control, no driving modes, no Handy-Connect, no lean angle control, no cruise control, no hazard lights. That all sounds lousy, but let's be honest: All these features are not really necessary on a machine with less than 50 hp. This can also be seen in the fact that almost all competitors are similarly sparsely equipped.

The cockpit causes differences among the testers. Dietmar says: Old-fashioned. Tanja says: Functional. From an objective point of view, unfortunately, it is very reflective and the tachometer (analog digits with a digital arrow) also needs a closer look, but at least there is a two-part on-board computer as well as a gear indicator, fuel level indicator and a temperature gauge for the cooling water.

The headlight and taillight have LED technology, the turn signals do not. These are quite clunky, making them a clear case for the range of accessories. Smaller LED turn signals should look fancier on the Z400 and they are not that expensive. There is no automatic turn signal reset, which would have been a surprise.

Motor der Z400

This is how it drives: Faster than expected

Before we hit the road, we listen briefly to the 399 cc in-line twin (sound check top right). You can actually hear that the engine will be fun. Especially at higher speeds, the Twin seems to feel really comfortable - let's see if it feels that way while driving.
Yes, it does! The Kawa Z400 is a real street sweeper that is incredibly fun. Of course, the 45 hp is a manageable achievement, but strangely enough that doesn't seem to matter with the Z 400. The machine lies firmly on the road and can be circled around the curves with extreme precision. This is surprising in that the chassis is actually very simple: conventional, non-adjustable telescopic fork at the front, box swingarm at the rear - not exactly high-end components. But once you're on the road, it feels very different. Well done, Kawasaki!
Kawasaki Z400 Leistung
Same picture with the brakes: single disc with 2-piston floating caliper at the front, ditto at the rear. Nevertheless, the Z400 brakes very well. Okay, with total emergency braking it gets a little spongy at the front, but overall the brake system is quite sufficient for the light Z400 (167 kg ready to drive).
The Z400 has a small sports disc, you could also call it a fly-screen. So the helmet is completely in the wind, which we personally always like very much, because it does not lead to any turbulence and is therefore rather quiet. The acceleration and pulling data are typical for a light A2 machine. The machine comes out of the hooves properly and the lively and revving engine seems to feel all the more comfortable the higher you rev in. And you do that automatically, because it's just fun and because the performance at the top of a 400 is of course higher than at the bottom.
Since the beginning of 2023, the warranty on all Kawasaki motorcycles has been 4 years with no mileage limit. The service is due every 12,000 kilometers or once a year.

Conclusion: Fun in bags

The Kawasaki Z400 is a simple but very good A2 machine. Due to its agile engine and precise chassis, it conveys a lot of driving pleasure. In any case, it doesn't need to shy away from the comparison to the other A2 naked bikes. It makes a mature and solid impression. The operation is simple and due to the low weight and easy handling, the Z400 is particularly suitable for beginners. But even old hands should have a lot of fun with the Z400, at least that was the case with us.
The test machine was provided to us by Heller & Soltau in Sankt Michaelisdonn . There she stands as a demonstrator and is happy about a lot of test drives. Just around the corner there are great country roads where you can really let it rip! Of course, Heller & Soltau (here in Google Maps) also has all the other Kawasakis in the shop and also sells motorcycles from Husqvarna. A visit is always worthwhile and the coffee is served fresh several times a day.

Price/Availability/Colours/Years of Construction

  • Price: 6.445 €
  • Used (3 years old): 5.000€
  • Year of manufacture: since 1973
  • new model: since 2023
  • Colors: Green, White

Zubehör für die
Z 400

  • Moneta
  • Polo
  • Amazon

Pro & Kontra

  • manoeuvrable, agile and accessible bike
  • revolving motor
  • Precise handling despite simple chassis
  • brakes well because it is light
  • conveys a lot of driving pleasure
  • outdated cockpit
  • limited pillion seating comfort
Von unserem Team geprüft:


6.445 €


1,990 mm
1,055 mm
167 kg
785 mm
1,370 mm

Driving Performance & Range

0 to 100
5.5 s
Tank contents
14 l
3.9 l
358 km
190 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
Four-stroke in-line two-cylinder
Number of cylinders
399 cc
70 mm
51.8 mm
45 HP
38 NM
Number of gears
O-ring chain

Suspension & Brakes

Lattice tube frame
Suspension front
41 mm telescopic fork
120 mm
Strut rear
Uni-Trak gas pressure shock absorber with adjustable spring base
130 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm
Brakes in front
Single disc, two-piston floating saddle
310 mm
Tyres at the front
Brakes rear
Single disc Petal, single piston floating saddle
Rear tyres
ABS Nissin