The superbike segment was put on notice this morning. Kawasaki may be a little late in the game, but they’re here now and have a xe đạp with world-class technology và 207 horsepower. Because fuckin’ race bike.

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The previous iteration of the Kawasaki was a great xe đạp. Despite having a rudimentary electronics package in comparison to lớn the European options, it was the only Japanese literbike included in comparisons until Yamaha released the 2015 R1 last year, simply because it made great power, had amazing power delivery, và had a well balanced chassis và great brakes.

The all new 2016 ZX-10R looks a lot lượt thích the previous version, but Kawi clayên ổn they’ve sầu left barely a bolt untouched. Changes were made to the engine, chassis, suspension, fairings, electronics, brakes, và exhaust - và all were done at the requests of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, who’ve sầu been the two to lớn beat in World SuperBike. For you laymen, WSBK is the other motorcycle racing series (not MotoGP) & is the one where they race production-based bikes, not prototypes. If anyone knows these bikes backwards & forwards, it’s those two.

There’s a TL;DR version at the bottom for those who don’t wanmãng cầu dive in. You’re welcome.

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The Engine

The ZX-10R has always made great power but its 998 cc inline four has never made its power as low as the Aprilia’s V4 or Ducati’s v-twin - so Kawasaki have sầu tried to lớn improve low kết thúc power while also increasing peak power (again, because fuckin’ race bike).


The cylinder head & crank are all new and 20 percent lighter. This reduces engine inertia và allows the motor lớn spin up or slow down faster which obviously improves acceleration và deceleration, but has the added benefit of also helping the xe đạp change directions more quickly as crank inertia can blunt steering tốc độ.


The crankshaft also gets a new, lighter balancer, and the connecting rods have a new coating which reduces friction at high rpm.

The new cylinder head’s intake and exhaust ports are now straighter và wider, allowing them to lớn flow more air/fuel mixture inlớn the combustion chamber. Both the intake và exhaust ports are now polished, which helps improve flow, and the valves are now titanium for weight reduction.


Kawasaki has revised the cam profiles in the engine lớn better optimize valve sầu overlap, and the pistons are now shorter, lighter & have revised crowns to lớn help increase power at high RPM. To help with engine rigidity & reliability, they’ve wrapped those pistons in cylinders whose walls have sầu been thickened.


The airbox is now 25 percent larger & has a filter that has 60 percent more surface area. Anyone who’s done an airbox thủ thuật on a xe đạp knows what a massive difference this can make with engine responsiveness and Kawasaki clalặng this improves corner exit acceleration greatly.

All of this equates khổng lồ a claimed power output of 207 HPhường at 13,000 RPM và 84 foot-pounds of torque at 11,500 rpm.

Aprilia RSV4 BMW S1000RR Ducati 1299 Panigale Yamaha R1
201 hp
13,000 rpm
199 hp
13,500 rpm
205 hp
10,500 rpm
197 hp
13,500 rpm
84.8 ft-lbs
10,500 rpm
83 ft-lb.
10,500 rpm
106.7 ft-lbs
8,750 rpm
82.9 ft-lbs

The Transmission

For the năm nhâm thìn ZX-10R, Kawasaki are using a closer ratio transmission, which they feel make it ikhuyến mãi for track riding. Second through sixth have sầu all been shortened to improve sầu corner exit acceleration. With the slipper clutch, Kawasaki clayên the closer rattiện ích ios also give sầu more stable downshifts.


The clutch is also now 130 grams lighter, thanks lớn a thinner primary gear. A new dry-film lubricant has also been applied to lớn the gears to reduce friction, which should improve shifting tốc độ và reliability.


The năm 2016 ZX-10R also gets a new standard Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS). It uses the same contactless sensor as the H2, but only works on upshifts.

The Electronics

Oh boy, Kawasaki have a whole host of electronics they’ve sầu thrown at this bike—which means we’re about lớn dive into acronym hell. All are built around Bosch’s incredible Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which measures five sầu axis of movement và calculates a 6th. This is the same little magic box that made it impossible for me to lớn low side a Ducati Multistradomain authority in the rain.


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The system is able to lớn measure acceleration & braking, lateral forces while cornering, vertical acceleration (lượt thích cresting a hill at speed), lean angle, and pitch (lượt thích during a wheelie or stoppie) và then uses those khổng lồ calculate yaw (like during a powerslide).


It takes those measurements, as well as ones on wheel tốc độ, brake pressure, throttle position, engine rpm, & throttle opening. Kawasaki even go so far as lớn clayên ổn the system’s màn chơi of chassis awareness is so high, it can adapt to lớn changes in tire performance và road camber.


The difference, for better or worse, in this system is that it uses software developed in house by Kawasaki using the experience of their WSBK team rather than an off-the-shelf Bosch system like their competikhổng lồ - so its application will be quality lớn any that have come before it. Guess we’ll just have to ride it lớn see if it’s any good.

All of those fancy measurements give Kawasaki the data they need to implement what they’re claiming are some of the most accurate and appropriately intervening electronic aides. The 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R has traction control (S-KTRC), abs (KIBS), launch control (KLCM), brake control, corner management, và power modes.


Corner management works similar lớn the system on the Ducatis, & distributes brake pressure based on the motorcycle’s lean/pitch angle. While this doesn’t sound sexy, it was maybe the most important thing I experienced on the Multistrada, because it keeps the xe đạp from standing up and running wide in a turn when the brakes are applied. Holding your line while you slow is a game changer.

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Brake management was something Kawasaki implemented on the H2 và is allows the engine braking characteristics to lớn be customized, which can be massively helpful in setting up a bike for different tracks.

nguồn modes are a little different than have sầu been on super sports in the past. Instead of full, full with snappier throttle response, & muted - the 2016 ZX-10R comes with full, middle (80 percent), and low (60 percent). Sounds simple and effective.


The Suspension

Kawasaki worked closely with their WSBk team khổng lồ develop the new Showa Balanced Free Fork (BFF). Each leg is independently adjustable, with each getting its own compressed nitrogen canister at the bottom of the fork. This allows the entire surface of the main piston to push oil towards the valves, which keeps pressure more constant. Kawasaki clalặng the new BFF offers improved feel, braking stability, & ride comfort.


The rear gets the Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) shoông chồng, which also gets a separate damping force chamber that contains the compression và rebound damping adjusters - with the same goal letting the damper piston focus more on pushing oil. I could be mistaken, but I believe sầu this is the same shock that’s been on the CBR1000RR since 2012 or so. You can read more about it here.


The Chassis

The headstoông xã is now mounted 7.5 milimet closer to lớn the rider và the swingarm has been lengthened by 15.8 milimet, both of which places a little more weight over the front tire to lớn help with stability and improve turn in, while also giving this beast of an engine a little more traction to work with.


The Brakes

The front calipers are now Brembo’s top of the line M50 aluminum monoblocs. The Brembo rotors have sầu been increased from 310 mm lớn 330 mm & have sầu been cross drilled & given a groove sầu around the circumference khổng lồ help increase surface area to lớn dissipate heat.


The rear keeps a 2đôi mươi milimet disc and two-piston Nissin caliper, but ditches the wavy type rotor khổng lồ match the round front. Both front & back get steel-braided brake lines.

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The Fairing

The top of the fairing has been made larger at the request of the WSBK team to lớn help improve high tốc độ stability & aerodynamics. They’ve sầu also better supported the windscreen so it won’t vibrate at high speeds. Kawasaki added intakes at the sides of the windscreen to reduce negative sầu air pressure which should help reduce helmet buffeting.


The Price

The năm 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R sans ABS will retail for $14,999, or $15,299 if you go with the KRT version which adds a graphics package, a biểu tượng logo on the tank, và red Showa fork caps instead of green. The ZX-10R ABS will be $15,999 và $16,299 for the KRT. Nothing has been confirmed yet on availability, but we’re hearing they’ll be in dealers in time for Christmas.


The TL;DR Version

The năm 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R doesn’t look new, but it is. It’s more powerful, more stable, & Kawasaki has put a ton of effort at giving it better low over power.


It’s also getting an electronics package rivaling that of the R1 (which we love). The ZX-10R platform has always been competitive sầu, but was slightly behind in power & very behind in tech - and this new iteration fixes all of that (or at least claims to). Also, it’s cheaper than the R1, which was already a steal.

The 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R


4-stroke, 4 cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve, Liquid-cooled



Bore x Stroke

76 x 55mm

Compression Ratio


Fuel System

DFI® with four 47milimet Keihin throttle bodies, two injectors per cylinder


TCBI with digital advance và Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC)



Final Drive


Electronic Rider Aids

Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Sport Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Engine Braking Control, Electronic Throttle Valve sầu (ETV) and Kawasaki Quichồng Shifter (KQS)

Front Suspension/Wheel Travel

43mm inverted Showa Balance Free Fork, adjustable stepless rebound & compression damping, spring preload adjustability / 4.7”

Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel

Horizontal back-liên kết with gas-charged shochồng, stepless, dual-range (low/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / 4.5”

Front Tire

120/70 ZR17

Rear Tire

190/55 ZR17

Front Brakes

Kawasaki Intelligent Braking (KIBS), dual semi-floating 330milimet discs with dual 4-piston radial-mounted calipers

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