As you probably know by now, retro will always be in style. Both new and established manufacturers have been leveraging heritage and old-school styling when it comes to their bikes, and we can’t deny that it’s a good aesthetic. That being said, nearly all of the so-called “retro” bikes available today aren’t in fact retro, but rather, completely modern marvels of engineering cosplaying as their forefathers from decades past.

This is, of course, a good thing for most riders who just want a bike that looks old, but don’t want anything to do with the headaches associated with restoring and maintaining an old bike. That being said, Kawasaki just might have a new retro-inspired naked bike up its sleeve, that’s if we’re to believe what Japanese publication Young Machine is saying. For reference, Young Machine seems to have the ability to predict the future, as a lot of the conceptual models it speculated in the past have become a reality. Could the same be true for the Kawasaki Z400RS?

2024 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe - Metallic Diablo Black

2024 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe - Metallic Diablo Black

Kawasaki’s Z series of naked sportbikes is among the best in the business. Catering to riders of all backgrounds, the Z comes in a variety of flavors. Looking for a beginner-friendly naked bike for both spirited rides and commuting duty? The Z400’s got you covered. What about a fire-breathing beast that packs forced-induction and close to 200 ponies? The Z H2 lives to serve. That being said, the Z-RS series, Kawasaki’s retro-themed range of naked bikes, is among the most dapper from the Japanese big four, and the addition of a Z400RS will certainly be a welcome one.

Interestingly, Young Machine speculates that the base of the Z400RS will, in fact, not be the Z400, but rather the ZX-4R. Wait, a small-displacement, retro-inspired, four banger? Sign me up.

2024 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R

The rumored "Z400RS" supposedly shares an engine with the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R.

Should this be the case, then we’d be looking at a retro-style naked bike in a class of its own. After all, the ZX-4R, with its 399cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, inline-four engine, is currently the only one in production today, and with a peak power of 77 ponies, is even more powerful than its bigger Ninja sibling, the Ninja 650. Should the Z400RS become a reality, it’ll be the perfect throwback to UJMs of decades past. Nods to the likes of the Kawasaki Zephyr 400, Yamaha XJR 400, and Honda CB400 Super Four.

The revival of the small-displacement four-cylinder machine is currently owned solely by Kawasaki, at least in the global market. Honda continues to produce the CB400 Super Four, although it’s marketed solely for the Japanese market. It goes without saying that the Kawasaki Z400RS, should it become a reality, and in the form speculated by our friends at Young Machine, will surely strike a chord with the retro crowd, as it’s a bike with all the high-revving charm of bikes of decades past, but with the amenities and reliability of modern-day machines.

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