Wow. Make this please, Japan. We’d be very grateful for a long time if you do.

Our mates over at Young Machine magazine in Japan have been going on about a hot Kawasaki quarter-litre sportsbike for as long as we have – over three years now – and whilst the road-going easy-to-ride A2-friendly bike’s had the momentum so far, it sounds like it’s time for the hot version to appear.

Well, when we say that, we mean that this is what the rumour-mill in the land of the rising sun reckons is going on and it also reckons that something like this illustration from Young Machine will be what we see at the big motorcycle shows throughout the start of winter 2019.

This is the ZXR400. Looked and felt like a superbike back in the middle of the 1990s. Lovely little thing. But you had to rev the nuts off it to get it really going.

Figure on the bike making over 50bhp and revving to something in region of 18,500rpm. Yikes. Anyone remember the 14,500rpm redline of Kawasaki’s road ‘racer’ from 1995, the ZXR400? That wasn’t exactly a mini-superbike, but it did look the part and was a hoot on the road – providing you weren’t too mechanically sympathetic.


Anyway, should this turn out to be true then expect the bike to be revealed in November at Eicma in Italy. As long as the ZX-25R has those ZXR750 H1-esque mini-hoses coming out of the fairing and into the front of the petrol tank area, we’re in!

The Daddy of them all – this is the original Kawasaki ZXR750. Made in 1989, it changed the way the world saw Kawasakis forever. This is the H1. The air hoses looked weird and trick, but did nothing of note when the first model emerged. Never has a pair of hoses meant so much to motorcycling, though.

Tony Carter

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