The menacing-looking Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is every bit a thoroughbred, track-focussed bike. Omar Siddiqui has the details
Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-10R has done the rounds of race tracks around the world for a fair while now. It’s tasted success in various disciplines of road racing, including the World Superbike Championship, MotoGP and the gruelling Isle of Man TT. Kawasaki’s ZX-9R went out of production, making way for the ZX-10R in 2004, since then, the 10R has returned to the drawing board stages several times. The 2013 ZX-10R received its last major makeover in 2011, when Kawasaki revised the engine, frame and brakes to keep pace with competition heating up as rivals poured in from Japan and Europe.
The menacing looking ZX-10R looks every bit a thoroughbred, track-focussed bike. This Ninja’s front nose is aerodynamically sharp enough to cheat the air at any speed. It’s also home to eagle-eyed headlights on either side of ram-air ducts, with an LED strip above. Under the clear visor sits an intelligent digital instrument panel, displaying a speedometer, bar-graph LED tachometer that doubles into a shift indicator (pre-set by rider), odometer, dual trip meters, instant and average fuel consumption, economy riding and low fuel indicators, water temperature, a clock as well as other selected riding mode indicators. This digital instrument also shows its rider the amount of electronic intervention from various onboard riding aids.
A dual-tone bulbous tank flows into the motorcycle’s split-seat, now lower and narrower for shorter riders. At the rear, Kawasaki has given the ZX-10R a nine-bulb tail-light with integrated turn signal indicators and a stubby single-side exhaust. The Kawasaki’s three-spoke alloy wheels, engine and frame have been given the all-black treatment, confirming with its track-focussed nature.
Kawasaki’s 998cc, four-stroke, liquid cooled and in-line four-cylinder engine comes packed with top-drawer tech. The litre-class engine generates 209.9bhp at 13000rpm aided by Kawasaki’s ram-air system, and peak torque is 11.42kgm at 11500rpm. Kawasaki has reworked the existing 998cc engine to give the ZX-10R larger titanium intake and exhaust valves, a redesigned camshaft profile and port shapes, larger throttle bodies, more aggressive camshaft timing, larger nine-litre air box for the ram-air system and titanium exhaust.
And if that wasn’t enough, the ZX-10R offers three riding modes — mode 1 and 2 for quickest acceleration, with Sport- Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) and wheelie control intervention, while mode 3 is better-suited for more careful, wet riding conditions. A slipper clutch is allied to the six-speed, cassette-type transmission.
This 201kg superbike is held together by a twin-spar alloy frame, with fully adjustable suspension front and rear, 43mm inverted telescopic forks and a horizontally mounted gas-charged monoshock, with an alloy swingarm. There’s an electronic steering damper. This track-focussed motorcycle leans its rider into the handlebar, with adjustable footrests.
The ZX-10R offers wide front (120/70) and rear (190/55) tyres and lighter 17-inch wheels. Semi-floating twin 310mm petal discs are deployed in front, with a single 220mm petal disc at the rear. Kawasaki’s anti-lock brake (KIBS) system is standard.
As Kawasaki’s ZX-10R comes into India as a CBU, it carries a hefty price tag of Rs 15.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune), meaning the bike may be out of the reach of many enthusiasts. Currently, the ZX-10R is only available in Pune.