Kawasaki has been toying with the idea of bringing back four-cylinder engine to the quarter liter segment for quite sometime now. The Japanese motorcycle maker used to have a four-cylinder 249 cc supersports motorcycle called the ZXR250 which had its red line at an insane 19,000 rpm.
Thanks to such a high revving engine, the motorcycle managed an impressive output of 45 hp (capped by regulations) even without modern day technology. This gives us a general idea on why would Kawasaki be interested in a compact displacement four-cylinder engine which clearly has a lot more moving parts than conventional single-cylinder or twin-cylinder engines of same capacity.
While Kawasaki has not announced any plans for a production-ready four-cylinder quarter liter warrior, it was no secret that the company has been studying the prospects of such a model. A recent report from Indonesia suggests that a prototype of a four-cylinder 250 cc motorcycle exists at PT Kawasaki Motor Indonesia’s facilities.
The presence of a prototype indicates that Kawasaki is serious about such an offering. We expect to see this model at least in the form of a concept in the coming months. If at all the four-cylinder Kawasaki ZX-25R (rumored name) receives green signal for production, it would become the most powerful quarter liter motorcycle in the market. Thanks to the inherent advantage of the four-cylinder configuration and latest powertrain technologies, the ZX-25R’s motor can easily dish out over 50 hp. A glorious exhaust note goes without saying.
If launched, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R will be positioned as a more powerful and premium alternative to the existing crop of quarter-liter offerings such as the Honda CBR-250R. It could also be positioned as a more efficient alternative to medium displacement sportsbikes.
The four-cylinder 250 cc Kawasaki motorcycle would be equipped with top-of-the-line equipment to go with its powertrain. LED illumination, fully digital instrument console, multi-step ABS (probably with dual front discs), ride-by-wire with modes, inverted telescopic front fork, and so on are expected to be on board. The uniqueness of its engine configuration and performance on offer would serve as its USP.
The chances of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R actually entering production are not great as of now but we would love to see this project attain fruition.