Kawasaki Z500 (ER500) Complete Maintenance Schedule

This is the full maintenance schedule for the 2024 Kawasaki Z500 (ER500), a naked bike that’s a successor to the very popular Kawasaki Z400, made between 2018 and 2023, and a sibling to the 2024 Kawasaki Ninja 500.

The Z500, like its predecessor, is an entry-level naked sport bike powered by a feisty parallel twin motor. It makes around the same peak power as the Z400 (slightly less… but who’s counting), but makes significantly more midrange torque thanks to the larger-displacement 451 cc motor that makes peak power of 33.4 kW (45 hp) at 9000 rpm, and peak torque of 42.6 Nm (31.4 lb-ft) at 6000 rpm. Final drive is via a 6-speed box and chain drive, as before.

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Kawasaki Z500 Service Intervals

The Z500’s ervice interval is every 7600 miles (12000 km) OR year. At the earlier of those periods (time or distance) you must change the oil and filter, and check the inspection schedule to see what you need to adjust inspect, lubricate, or replace.

The Kawasaki Z500’s valve clearance inspection intervalis every 15000 miles (24000 km). The parallel-twin engine is easy to service, too, as there’s just one cylinder head, and there’s no need to drop the oil to do a valve service.

Aside from those items, make sure to periodically check and refresh the brake fluid and engine coolant.

Finally, pay attention to the chain. As the Z400 is a bike likely to be a daily commuter used in all kinds of conditions, its chain is bound to be subject to a lot of stress.

What you need to service your Kawasaki Z500

Like other entry-level Kawasaki Z bikes, the Z500 is easy to service. You just need a few motorcycle maintenance tools, some floor space, and of course, the following consumables.

The following parts are shared with the closely-related 2024 Ninja 500.

PartKawasaki Ninja 500 & Z500 Spec
OilUse 2.3L (2.4 US qt) of SAE 10W-40 engine oil “with API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2 rating”, preferably Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil, or another high-grade synthetic like Motul 7100 10W-40.

Don’t over-torque the drain bolt (spec is 30 Nm/22 lb-ft per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
Oil filterYou can use a Hiflofiltro HF303RC oil filter which fits most Kawasaki engines. Torque for oil filter is 17.5 Nm (12.9 lb-ft) (use a torque wrench if unsure, and it’s easier on the aftermarket one)
Spark plugsNGK LMAR9G, with a spark plug gap of 0.7-0.8mm (0.028-0.031 in). On most models, these should be torqued to 13 Nm or 9 ft-lb, but this needs to be confirmed.
Cable lubricantRemember to lubricate your clutch cable (and brake cables if you have them) with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.
Chain lubricantThe chain needs to be lubricated every 600 km/400 miles (or more, if it gets wet/dirty). Motul chain paste is cheap and well-loved.
Brake fluidSpec is to use DOT-4 brake fluid, e.g. Castrol DOT 4.
CoolantUse nitrate-free, phosphate-free, ethylene glycol-based coolant with anti-corrosion inhibitors, e.g. Valvoline Zerex G05
GreaseUse a lithium soap-based grease for all the important greasing points.
Consumables for servicing the Kawasaki Ninja 500 & Z500 motorcycles

Maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Z500

Below is the full maintenance schedule for the 2024 Z500.


  • In the manual for the Kawasaki Z500, some items are marked as “emissions related” (more of a regulatory requirement) or to be inspected by a dealer. However, the bike is easy to service, so all this is left up to you.
  • For clarity, we’ve also separated the “annual inspection” items from the regular items that need replacement less often (other than engine oil).
km x 1000112243648
mi x 10000.67.615.222.830.4Every
Perform annual inspection (see below)Year
Engine oil — Replace (Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine oil)Year
Oil filter — Replace (HF303RC)Year
Spark plugs (NGK LMAR9G) — Replace
Air cleaner element — ReplaceMore often if riding in dusty conditions or rain
Valve clearances — Inspect
Idle speed — Inspect
Target 1300 rpm, +/- 50 rpm
Engine vacuum synchronization — Check
Fuel filter — Replace
Fuel hoses — Replace5 years
Evaporative emission control system (if fitted)
Coolant, water hoses, and O-rings — Replace all3 years
Air suction system — Inspect
Drive chain wear — Inspect
Drive chain guide wear — Inspect
Brake fluid (front and rear) — Replace (Castrol DOT 4)2 years
Brake hoses — Replace4 years
Rubber parts of brake master cylinder and caliper – Replace4 years
Rear suspension system — Lubricate
Steering stem bearing — Lubricate2 years
Kawasaki Z500 Maintenance Schedule

Annual inspection

Below is the list of maintenance items for the Kawasaki Z500 — things to check / lubricate every service (per the schedule above).

Kawasaki Z500 Annual Inspection
Throttle control system — Inspect (play of 2-3mm, smooth return, and no drag)
Brake system — Inspect function / leaks
Brake operation (effectiveness, play, no drag)
Brake fluid level — Check / top up (Castrol DOT 4)
(Brake fluid level drops with pad wear)
Brake pad wear (not as critical at break-in)
Service limit: 1.0mm at front, 1.5mm at rear
Inspect more often if riding in dusty / wet conditions, or aggressively
Brake light switch operation — Check
Fuel system — Inspect (no leaks, kinks, damaged hoses)
Cooling system — Inspect (no leaks, kinks)
Coolant level — Inspect, top up as necessary (Zerex G05)
Clutch operation — Inspect (play, engagement, disengagement)
Free play: 2-3 mm
Wheels and tires — Check condition (no dents, damage)
Wheel bearings — Check for damage / looseness
Tire air pressure — Check / adjust (See specs below)
Suspension system — Check for leaks, smooth operation
Not required at break-in service
Steering play — Check for smooth operation, no notchiness
Electrical system — Check all lights, signals, and switches work
Chassis parts — Lubricate as necessary
Bolts, nuts, and fasteners — Check condition, tighten as necessary, or replace
Kawasaki Z500 Annual Inspection Checklist

Maintaining Your Kawasaki Z500’s Chain

Since you’re likely to ride the Z500 in all kinds of conditions, the chain needs frequent attention — especially cleaning and lubrication.

To clean and lubricate the chain, use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.

Kawasaki recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)400 mi / 600 km
Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary
(See below)
600 mi / 1000 km
Chain maintenance — Kawasaki Z500


  • Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Z500 in dusty or rainy conditions.
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

To check the Z500’s chain slack, put it in neutral, onto its kickstand, and on a level surface.

Check the slack on the lower part of the chain, midway between the sprockets, and check it in multiple places (move the motorcycle forwards and backwards) as chains wear unevenly.

Slack on the Z500 is defined as the free vertical movement of the lower part of the chain. Measure it on the same part of the chain (e.g. the bottom).

Target chain slack for the Z500: 20 – 30 mm (0.8 – 1.2 in)

If the chain slack is out of spec, you need to adjust it.

Adjusting Chain Slack

To adjust the chain slack on the Z500, follow the procedure below. As when measuring chain slack, make sure that the motorcycle is on a level surface on its kickstand, in neutral, with no weight on it (don’t leave your tools there, and make sure any errant cats/children have cleared off!).

  1. Remove the axle’s cotter pin (refer to the image above to see what’s where). Loosen the rear axle and the adjuster lock nuts on both sides of the axle.
  2. Turn the chain tension adjuster nuts to tighten (or loosen, if it was set too tight) the chain. Keep checking the chain tension to see if it has come within spec.
  3. Keep an eye on the adjuster alignment marks on either side of the axle. Make sure that the adjustment is to the same point.
  4. When you’re done, tighten the axle to 98 Nm / 72 lb-ft. You’ll need a large torque wrench.
  5. Re-check the chain slack again to make sure it’s still within spec.

Tire sizes and pressures for the Z500

The Kawasaki Z500’s manual specifies the following tire sizes and pressures.

Stock, the Z500 ships with Dunlop Sportmax GPR tires, but it will take any street / sport tires.

TyreSizeTire pressure (cold)
Front110/70R17 M/C 54H200 kPa (2.0 bar) / 28 psi
Rear150/60R17 M/C 66H225 kPa (2.25 bar) / 32 psi
Tires and tire pressures for the Z500

About the Kawasaki Ninja 500 (2024 model)

2024 Kawasaki Z500 Red action in city
2024 Kawasaki Z500

Kawasaki updated the Z at the same time as they updated the Ninja, replacing the outgoing Ninja 400 with the 500.

The Kawasaki Z500 is powered by a 451 cc parallel twin — it’s not a dramatic change over the 399 cc of the Ninja 400. Yes, it has more midrange torque, and it gets there earlier than the Z400 did, but it actually makes slightly less peak power.

Item2018-2023 Z4002024+ Z500
Engine399 cc parallel twin451 cc parallel twin
Compression ratio11.5:111.3:1
Peak power35 kW / 48 PS @ 10000 rpm33.4 kW / 45 PS at 9000 rpm
Peak torque37 Nm / 28.0 lb-ft @ 8000 rpm42.6 Nm / 31.4 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
Front suspension41mm conventional fork41mm conventional fork
Rear suspensionBottom-link Uni Trak suspension, 5-way preload adjustableBottom-link Uni Trak suspension, 5-way preload adjustable
Front brakesSingle 310 mm disc, dual-piston caliperSingle 310 mm disc, dual-piston caliper
Curb weight166 kg171 kg
Ride aidsABSABS
Kawasaki Z400 vs Z500 specs

The lower peak power of the Z500 isn’t noticeable though — this is a bike that mostly lives in the middle of the rev range when street riding. What’s more noticeable is if you decide to really fang it and rev it out, because while the Z400’s redline starts at 12,000 rpm, the Z500’s rpm ceiling begins at a much lower 10,500 rpm. It might catch you by surprise.

Though as you’ll notice, Kawasaki decided to replace the LCD instruments of the Z400 with the more slick and up-to-date TFT of the 500. The TFT is brighter and easier to read and brings with it some connectivity options that other, bigger bikes have been getting earlier.

The rest of the Kawasaki Z500 is familiar territory. This is an easy-to-ride naked sport bike with a reasonably comfortable riding position (if you don’t mind a little foot bend).

The ride gear of the Z remains basic, with a conventional (non-inverted) fork up front and a single disc brake — ostensibly the same elements as on the outgoing motorcycle. This means fewer points of failure, of course, and also easier maintenance in general.

When looking at the Z500 and Ninja 500, it’s hard for many riders not to favour the Ninja. Both bikes perform effectively the same, but the Ninja 500 gives more protection, which helps with higher-speed riding and when it’s cold or wet.

But the Z500 will remain a favourite of of people who prefer naked bikes — commuters or just those who want the more hooligan-like aesthetic. There are also many who eschew the plastics of sport bike replicas. The Z is more for them.

The build of the Z500 supports people who like to do their own service. The engine is mostly exposed and there’s easy access to the oil filler cap. The dual swing arm means chain lubrication and tension adjustment are easy (no special tools are required). But bodywork still has to come off when it’s time to do a valve clearance adjustment — which, thankfully is infrequent.

Reference — Screenshots from the Manual for the Kawasaki Z500

The above maintenance schedule was transcribed from the manual for the 2024 Z500, with reference to parts diagrams.

You can view the manual online at Kawasaki’s website here.

You can also view the extracted maintenance section of the Z500’s manual below for reference.

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