Kawasaki Introduces New and Returning Ninjas for 2023
Kawasaki Ninja enjoys a legendary reputation among riders who like ripping through mile after mile at blazing speed on the street and track. For 2023, the Japanese company is introducing a new Ninja model and giving an old one an update.
The newcomer is the 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR KRT Edition. This circuit-focused supersport aims to combine both street and track potential into a confidence-inspiring speedster.
Meanwhile, the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE remains mostly unchanged, but receives a new, handy auto-dimming headlight feature.
Let’s take a closed look at these Japanese speed demons.
2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR KRT Edition
The Ninja ZX-4RR KRT Edition is an entirely new addition to Kawasaki’s lineup. It’s a compact and nimble bike that offers respectable cornering performance while serving up speed.
The engine is a brand-new 399cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, in-line four powerplant. The engine has been carefully constructed and fine-tuned to pump out a lot of power and quick-climbing revs to get you up to speed.
Complementing the engine is a six-speed transmission with a dual-direction quickshifter and an assist/slipper clutch. Combined with the Ninja ZX-6R-inspired exhaust, they produce a pleasing, racy engine note.
The chassis, inspired by World Superbike, is a trellis frame made from high-tensile steel. The design of the swingarm, together with the chassis, strikes a balance between rigidity and flex to produce a nimble and composed motorcycle.
In suspension components, the ZX-4RR KRT Edition packs a 37mm Showa SFF-BP fork. In the rear, a Showa BFRC Lite shock—specially tuned for this bike—soaks up bumps with adjustable compression and rebound damping.
A pair of 290mm semi-floating front discs with four-piston radial-mount monobloc calipers in the front bring the bike’s commendable speed to a stop. Their partner in the rear is a 220mm disc with a single 38mm piston caliper.
Like a good ninja, this bike carries a veritable arsenal of tools to help it complete its mission. A three-mode traction control system allows the rider to navigate low-traction surfaces with confidence, and you can also turn the system off entirely.
The bike also has two power modes. An integrated riding mode system with four modes (Sport, Road, Rain, and manual) acts as a mediator to bring the traction control and power modes into compliance.
For controlling the electronics, you get a 4.3-inch TFT color touchscreen, which also displays a speedo, tach, gear position, shift indicators, and more. The bike can connect to a smartphone via Rideology the App, which allows the rider to change various performance settings through their phone.
In looks, the ZX-4RR KRT Edition is an aggressive racer with a bright Lime Green/Ebony colorway. The low-slung fuel tank and tight-fitting bodywork give the minimalist look of a nimble green arrow.
The 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR KRT Edition will be available this spring for an MSRP of 9,699.
2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE
You know what they say — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The 2023 Ninja H2 SX SE remains mostly unchanged, with one new goodie thrown into the package.
The new Auto Hi-Beam (AHB) system features a camera sensor that monitors the brightness of surrounding lights, including the lights of vehicles ahead, streetlights, and more. Based on its observations, the system automatically turns the high beams on or off.
The system requires the rider to activate the high beams and travel above 12.4 mph in a dark environment. A green indicator on the 6.5-inch full-color TFT instrument screen shows the AHB is active.
Otherwise, the bike is the same as it was in 2022. It boasts a 998cc in-line four engine, Brembo Stylema brakes, and an impressive electronics suite.
The Kawasaki Advanced Rider Assist System (ARAS) features plenty of aids, from adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning to tire pressure monitoring and electronically controlled suspension. This is also Kawasaki’s first bike model to integrate the Bosch 10.3ME ABS internal measurement unit (IMU) to inform the onboard electronics.
The bike’s aggressive, sharp Ninja styling is complemented by Emerald Blaze Green/Metallic Diablo Black/Metallic Graphite Gray colorways. As a nice touch, the paint has a special self-healing top coating that can repair small scratches on its own.
The 2023 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE is available now at an MSRP of $28,000.