Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR (2023+) Maintenance Schedule and Service Info

This is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R and ZX-4RR, sourced from the owner’s manual and other online repositories.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / 4RR is a compact supersport-style bike with a high-power liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine. It’s unusual because even though it’s under the maximum capacity restrictions for learners in many places (660 cc), it makes enough peak power that it is not LAMS or A2-legal.

The ZX-4R’s 399 cc inline four-cylinder engine makes nearly 80 hp (50 kW) in standard trim. The ZX-4RR particularly has high-spec components, like an inverted fork (with adjustability) and a fully adjustable high-spec shock, twin disc brakes, and a quick shifter.

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Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR Service Intervals

Both bikes share a platform, so both the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R and ZX-4RR have 7600 mile / 12000 km or annual service intervals. At every service, change the oil and filter, as well as all the spark plugs, and check the list of items to inspect.

Every 15200 miles or 24000 km, check the valve clearances.

You need to change the brake fluid every two years, and the coolant every three years.

As the ZX-4R / RR is a sport bike, it’s likely to spend a lot of time high up on the odometer! If you do tend to wring it out, you need to service it more regularly.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR Maintenance Schedule

Below is a clarified version of the maintenance schedule of the maintenance schedule from the manual.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR maintenance schedule is easier to parse when broken into three separate sections:

  1. A daily maintenance checklist
  2. A periodic maintenance schedule, and
  3. An annual service checklist.

Daily Inspection Checklist

This is the daily inspection checklist for the ZX-4R / RR. Do this before every ride.

Many of these items you’d naturally do by starting to ride, e.g. confirming that the brakes and clutch work. But you should specifically check the fluid levels periodically.

Daily Inspection checklist
Oil level between level lines
Tires — Check the air pressure (when cold), install the air valve cap, and check tire wear
Front min tread: 1mm
Rear min tread: 2mm, or 3mm for track / sport riding
Drive Chain — Check lubrication condition and eyeball the slack (25-35 mm / 1.0-1.4 inches). (See below for drive chain maintenance notes.
Bolt, nuts and fasteners: Check for loose and/or missing bolts, nuts and fasteners
Steering: Action smooth but not loose from lock to lock
Control cables: Check for no binding
Brakes: Check brake pad wear, brake fluid level, and that there’s no brake fluid leakage
Minimum pad thickness: 1mm
Front brake pads part #: 43082-0206
Rear brake pads part #: 43082-0185
Throttle: Make sure throttle grip operates smoothly
Clutch lever: Make sure it operates smoothly, with correct play
Electrical equipment — Check that Al lights (head, city, brake/tail, turn signal, license plate, warning/indicator), meter and horn work
Engine stop switch: Ensure it stops engine
Side stand: Ensure the spring is not weak and that it’s lubricated, and that the side stand returns to and stays in its top position
Rear view mirrors — Check / Adjust
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR daily checks

Service Schedule

Below is the service schedule of major items for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR.

Observe the earlier of time-based or distance-based service intervals.

mi x 10000.67.615.222.830.4
km x 1000112243648Every
Annual inspection checklist (see below) — PerformYear
Engine oil — Change (Motul 7100 10W-40 or another similar grade JASO MA motor oil)Year
Oil filter — Change (HF204RC)Year
Air cleaner (air filter) element — Change
Part: 11013-0812
Spark plugs — Change (NGK LMAR9G)
Valve clearances — Check / Adjust
Idle speed — Check
Target: 1400 +/- 100 rpm
Air suction system — Check
Engine vacuum sync — Check / adjust
Fuel filter — Replace
Rear suspension — Lubricate
Steering stem bearing — Lubricate2 years
Brake fluid — Replace (Castrol DOT 4)2 years
Coolant, hoses, and O-rings — Replace3 years
Brake hoses and rubber parts of brake master cylinder and caliper — Replace4 years
Fuel hoses — replace5 years
Evap emission control system — Check / replace components
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR maintenance schedule

Annual Inspection Checklist

At every regular or annual inspection, first perform every item in the regular inspection checklist (above). This is important if you haven’t ridden the bike, as many of the items above are naturally performed when you use the bike (e.g. checking the brakes and clutch work correctly, and that the clutch and throttle have the right amount of play).

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR Annual Inspection Checklist
Regular / daily inspection checklist — Perform all items
Fuel system — Check for leaks and correct routing
Cooling system — Check for level, leaks and correct hose routing
Brake operation — Check effectiveness, and ensure there’s no drag
Steering — Check bearing for play
Chassis parts — Check for lubrication condition and general condition. Lubricate / Replace if necessary
Front and rear suspension — Check for smooth operation, and that there is no pitting, leaks, or damage
Wheel bearings — Check for smoothness / damage
Bolts, nuts, and fasteners — Check condition and tightness of all bolts, nuts, and fasteners
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR Annual Inspection Checklist

ZX-4R / RR Drive Chain Maintenance

You should regularly clean and lubricate the chain. Kawasaki recommends doing this according to the following schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Clean and lubricate chain (Motul Chain Lubricant)400 mi / 600 km
Check chain slack and adjust if necessary
(See below for notes)
600 mi / 1000 km
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR Chain Maintenance Schedule

On the Ninja ZX-4R / RR, chain slack is measured as free vertical play of the chain.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR Chain maintenance
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR Chain maintenance

To measure chain slack

  1. Put the motorcycle on its side stand on a level surface
  2. Find the center of the bottom part of the chain. Move the chain up and down with something like a screwdriver (or your hand with a glove on it. Ever tried to wash off chain grease?)
  3. Measure the deflection between the top and bottom position — measure from the centre of the chain pins.

Target chain slack for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR: 25-35 mm (1-1.4 inches)

If the chain slack is out of spec, you must adjust it (or replace the chain).

To adjust chain slack:

  1. Remove the rear axle’s cotter pin, and loosen the axle nut.
  2. Loosen the lock nuts on the adjusters.
  3. Tighten or loosen the lock nuts to move the axle back or forth. Check the reference marks, and make sure that the axle is positioned equally on both sides.
  4. Tighten the axle to 98 Nm / 72 lb-ft
  5. Tighten the lock nuts.

Tire Sizes and Pressures

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR both ship with Dunlop Sportmax tires.

Below are the wheel sizes, tire sizes, and the recommended tire pressures (optimising for longevity).

WheelRim sizeTire sizeTire pressure (cold)
Front17 M/C x MT 3.50120/70 ZR 17 M/C (58W)32 psi / 225 kPa / 2.25 bar
Rear17 M /C x MT4.50160/60 ZR 17 M/C (69W)36 psi / 250 kPa / 2.5 bar
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR tire sizes and pressures

Using the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR’s Screen and Controls

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR has a large TFT dash. Both spec bikes have the same electronics. However, it’s useful to know how to use it, especially if you’re just going for a test drive.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR display controls
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR display controls

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR’s display is principally controlled by the big buttons on the left and right, which you can use with a glove on.

Here’s how you use it

Change background colour (black / white)When the mileage, range, voltage, or stopwatch is shown, press and hold the right button.
Toggle between meter to show
* Odometer
* Trip meter A
* Trip meter B
Press the left button.
Toggle between Right display between
* Current mileage
* Average mileage
* Range
* Average speed
* Total time
* Battery voltage (9-16V)
Press the right button.
To reset
– Trip meter A/B
– Average mileage / speed
– Total time
Push the left or right button and hold.
Enter menu mode, to configure
* Vehicle settings (notably: Shift lamp rpm setting)
* Display (layout modes, brightness)
* Date / Clock
* Service (last date / km and next date / km)
* Bluetooth
* Units
Push and hold left and right buttons. Does not work if in motion.
– Use left button to move highlighted item
– Use right button to shift to next screen (set) or go back (cancel)
Controlling the ZX-4R / RR’s TFT Dash

Tightening Torque specs

Below are torque specs that are publicly available. As more become available, more will be added.

Engine drain bolt3022
Oil filter17.512.9
Rear axle nut9872
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR torque specs

About the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R and ZX-4RR

2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR ZX400S RHS 3-4 static on track
2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR

In brief, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR heralds a return of one of the most exciting classes of motorcycles — the 400 cc supersport. Kawasaki announced the bike in February 2023, and it arrived soon afterwards.

The core of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R platform is a high-revving small-bore inline four-cylinder engine. In European spec, it’s tuned for a lot of power, peaking at 77 PS / 57 kW at 16000 rpm. It makes even more power with ram air!

Unfortunately in some markets (e.g. the US) it’s restricted significantly. So a tune (maybe with an exhaust) can unlock it.

The rest of the ZX-4RR is very high-spec. It has dual front discs with radially-mounted, monoblock calipers, fully adjustable rear suspension, and a comprehensive suite of rider aids, even including a standard quick shifter. The ride aids stop short of cornering ABS, though.

The lower-spec single-R ZX-4R foregoes the adjustability in the front suspension and leaves only preload adjustability in the rear. There’s also no quick shifter. While the ZX-4R is great, the RR is the start of the show.

The level of tech and the high power make the ZX-4RR distinct from the other darling of the 400-cc inline four world, the Honda CB400, which is no longer in production.

In terms of weight, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR is lightweight without being as light as the Kawasaki Ninja 400, its learner-legal sibling. In fact, its wet weight is similar to higher-power naked bikes, like the Yamaha MT-09 SP, or Ducati Monster 937.

So if you’re looking for a high power-to-weight ratio, this isn’t the be-all and end-all of sport bikes. But it definitely provides a very unique experience.

The engine has a lot of high technology inside it to enable the ZX-4R / RR to be high-power with linear power delivery from a small engine.

The short 39mm stroke helps the engine rev highly and easily, as do the cast aluminium pistons, molybdenum-coated piston skirts, die-cast cylinders, and chrome-plated cylinder bores.

Kawasaki borrowed tech from the big-sibling ZX motorcycles for the Ninja ZX-4R / RR. Kawasaki took the intake design from the ZX-10R, giving the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR two-stage machining on its intake ports, to create a straighter and wider intake path for smoother airflow.

Kawasaki uses the same ECU platform as the high-power Z H2 motorcycle (one of the Ninja / Z H2 series) to control the rider support systems.

Initial ride reports of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR (in detuned spec) expectedly say that it’s a little lacklustre in the low RPM range as well as high. It weighs and handles like a 600-cc supersport (with maybe 10kg less weight), but it produces significantly less torque through the entire rev range.

However, it can be woken up with some simple modifications and a dyno tune — see below.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR ZX400S static mountains
2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR in the mountains

In regions where the full-power version of the ZX-4R / RR is available (e.g. Australia), it is very well received. The main question becomes whether to invest in the 4R or in the much higher-power and only slightly more expensive ZX-6R.

Nonetheless, the ZX-4RR (with the high-spec components) is sure to be a future classic!

Modifications for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR

The US-delivered tune of the ZX-4R is quite muted, with top-end response restricted through the ECU.

On the US-spec Kawasaki ZX-4R, at the rear wheel, people measure typically around 35 kW / 50 hp at peak. This isn’t a small amount of power, but what’s shocking is that a tune alone increases it significantly. With a couple of simple mods including an air filter, a slip-on exhaust, and a dyno tune, tuners report being able to increase peak power by 50%, as well as increase torque through the whole torque curve.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR modifications
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R modifications. See 2 Wheel Dyno Werks (YouTube)

The ZX-4R / RR as delivered elsewhere does not have the same restrictions, but would still be responsive to a tune with modifications.

Alternatives to the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR

Currently, there are no other high-spec middleweight four-cylinder sportbikes on the market.

The principal alternatives to the ZX-4R / RR are

  • The Kawasaki ZX-6R 636, which was updated in 2024 with a TFT display, ride modes, and re-designed fuelling
  • The Kawasaki ZX-25R, a high-power four-cylinder sport bike with an even smaller engine. Sadly, it’s not available in every market.
2024 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 green rhs 3-4
2024 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636

Previously, Honda made the CB400SF, a naked four-cylinder 400-cc motorcycle, but it’s no longer available outside Japan.

Kove, a Chinese company, has also revealed the 450RR, a similarly high-spec inline four-cylinder sport bike. It’s not available in most markets yet, but on paper it looks promising, with a 443 cc inline four that makes 52 kW / 70 hp at 13000 rpm, with adjustable suspension, and a very light 165 kg / 364 lb kerb weight (wet weight), quite a lot less than the ZX-4R / RR. Also, winglets!

Kove 450RR Pro RHS 3-4
Kove 450RR Pro

Kove re-announced the 450RR at EICMA in 2023, saying it’d ship early 2024 to Europe at least.

Reference — Owner’s Manual for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R / RR

The above information was sourced from the owner’s manual for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R and ZX-4RR. You can browse it online, but you can also download a PDF copy below.

See the screenshots of the maintenance schedule for a second reference.

You can also view or download the manual for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R in pdf form below.

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