With the number of victories it has collected in WSBK, the ZX-10R can without restraint claim to be the ultimate mistress of the best drivers in the class. Jonathan Rea was masterful and world champion on his handlebars in 2015; Tom Sykes owes him an impressive harvest of Superpoles.
The war paints displayed are those that will be worn on factory machines entered in the 2016 WSBK Championship. Eye-catching detail, the compression chambers and fork caps are anodized in red (green on the standard ZX-10R). The exacerbated competitive spirit that it thus exudes goes surprisingly hand in hand with the potential it contains.
The Fat Ninja hasn’t really changed visually since its previous version; it is delicately stylized. With its more chiseled optics, a more elusive rear and a more tapered exhaust, the machine gains in elegance, almost smoothness. With subtle 636 faux-airs, she works better than she disturbs. The old rear optical unit "bio-medical" leaves room for a much more successful design. Overall, it gives off that little something imperceptible that gives more class. The fairing’s bow blades are preserved, as are the generous tank covers. It is more revised above the fork crown. Gone is the exception of having a bubble without edges; the cockpit accompanies it on its edges, thus allowing a reduction in vibrations. Miss Ninja seems to be preoccupied with the pilot, thus accompanying the effort and a little respite in the long straights swallowed at full speed. Evidenced by a slightly increased protection and small ears cut almost at the top of the fork crown. This would decrease the depression behind the bubble and limit the helmet shaking.
The pencil did not, however, force on the drawing tables. It will be necessary to keep an eye out to distinguish the two generations of ZX-10R; we have seen more marked changes.
In competition, it is not really evo design that will be at the center of the discussions. We will rather quote from…
Wait, what are those tubes in front of the brake calipers?!? God, that looks like a frenzied fork Öhlins. You know, the kind of front end that you only find on MotoGP, WSBK, EWC machines and Greek shipowners. Let’s come back to earth and appreciate the technology provided by Showa. The technical approach is essentially the same as that of the Swedish manufacturer with its FGR. Damping is no longer managed in the sleeves but in these small external chambers, filled with nitrogen. As a result, the cushioning is more stable, the fork works better and allows you to even more appreciate what is happening under the wheel. Until now, this type of fork has only been seen in high level competition. Showa democratizes it with this BFFF (Balance Free Front Fork), as we gradually saw the inverted forks and radial calipers appear..
And here is the second bonus. This front end has not finished amazed us. Forget the Tokico and the petal pancakes. Smell the delicate and acrid scent of molten metal under the onslaught of Brembo. This time it’s more than serious. The brake discs announce 330 mm in diameter (+ 20 mm), and on the jaw side, we type in monobloc M50. All under the control of aviation hoses and a master cylinder with radial pump. Something to make a Ducati 1299 Panigale or an MV-Agusta F4 jealous; and you know how it slows down an Italian. But will the transplant take you as well on a Japanese ?!?
ABS? Always present and impossible to ignore it now. The KIBS pushes the vice until it detects a locking of the rear wheel due to a muscular downshift and therefore does not come into action. It can be deactivated but with an electronic key, supplied in the racing kit (we will come back to this). Steering damper Öhlins is kept, in order to calm the ardor of the management.
Before tackling the chapter of electronic assistance, always more numerous and impressive, let the engine express itself a little. This muscle supercharged the performance of barjot. Do not block on the maximum power of this 4 cylinders. Kawasaki maintains its 200 horsepower (210 with the forced air intake), like yesterday, and that’s enough to dislodge 99% of what rolls. The work of the engine manufacturers, largely influenced by the work of the KRT, goes in the direction of a fuller engine, breathing better, with less inertia when taking turns (were there?). I will spare you all the technical modifications … But if you really want to, everything will be detailed at the bottom of the sheet. We especially remember a larger air box and a much more ventilating filter, a lighter crankshaft, thicker cylinder walls, optimized camshafts, larger exhaust valves, improved gas evacuation, lighter pistons and more robust, a refined admission and a more typical gearbox ‘. The gears 2 and 6 are shortened, history of squirting of the turn and to hang more easily the maximum speed. Ah, by the way, the said box is located higher, in order to be able to open it without having to empty the mill. Convenient.
The power is there, with a desire to be more usable. The choice of cartography accompanies this process. 3 modes are available, delivering 60% (low), 80% (middle) or 100% (full) of the watts of the 998 cm3.
With all of these developments, it makes you wonder if the Kawasaki Racing Team does not want to invite itself in your garage. The electronic arsenal too ?
In large part, yes. The old ZX-10R already had a response at this level. We go to the next box, that between assisted piloting and a manned mission for Mars. The KIBS, as we have already seen above. But the ZX-10R "phase 6" has much more below. The big modification on this Ninja, it is the adoption of the UMI of Bosch, the inertial control on 5 axes (the longitudinal, transverse and vertical acceleration, the angular speed of roll and the speed of pitch). And there are not many bikes on the market to embed this intelligent control module. The last 1299 Panigale and R1 are doing their business brilliantly, the 10R is getting into tune. The manufacturer of Akashi brings him his personal touch with the calculation of the yaw angle, provided by the ECU. With that, the on-board electronics "sees" in 3D where the motorcycle is in space and its reactions; it can thus act with great efficiency.
The anti-skating takes full advantage. The S-KTRC no longer relies solely on the difference in wheel speed to intervene. With the help of UMI measurements, it can act on the condition of the track, tires, machine glide and type of wheelie. Bluffing! It can now be set on five levels instead of three.
The new ZX-10R is also equipped with a Launch Control for cannon starts, even more efficient than that of the H2 and H2R. We also find the KEBC which acts on the engine brake.
Even if it means stealing things from the H2R, why not its KQS !!! It is the Kawa shifter, allowing the passage of gears without clutching. On the way up only. For the descent, you have to see with the Racing Kit.
S-KTRC, KEBC, UMI, KLCM, KIBS, KQS … We haven’t forgotten anyone? Well yes, this Kawa does not have a structure? Arf, the electronics are so emphasized on these cars that we almost abandon the chassis. While the guy does most of the job. Even better from this moment. We have seen that the front axle is raising its level of demands seriously. To transform, it is based on the double perimeter aluminum beam frame, only modified at the level of the thickness of the walls, thinner but also solid. The main changes concern geometry. The steering column is moved back 7.5mm while the swingarm extends 15.8mm. Its increased wheelbase should give a bit more stability, although no one complained about that. As for the chassis modifications, they put more weight on the front wheel, favoring the feeling when entering a curve..
Exactly, the weight. We wonder where Kawa slipped a brick on his 1000 sports car. The technical sheet announces 5 kgs more, or 206 units. Probably the catalyst and other dirt.
The rear mono-shock absorber and its quasi-horizontal kinematics are renewed; the Showa BFRC Lite is lighter, with a separate damping function (like the fork) and easy adjustments. A weapon this ZX-10R! Finely sharper to cut out the competition.
What is also renewed is this bargraph on the instrument panel, not always appreciated. The instrumentation accommodates a few more indicator lights, the digital window modifies the arrangement of its information a little, and a light sensor allows to automatically vary that of the instrumentation.
The new Kawasaki ZX-10R is more in a logic of evolution than a real redesign. However, this significantly improves an already very high level of efficiency. Perhaps we would have appreciated having the possibility of choosing semi-active suspensions as an option … The bloodiest pilots will concentrate more on the racing kit. It allows you to play on the steering column: a set of spacers allows it to be moved by 4 mm. Another series of parts makes it possible to modify the axis of the swing arm. There are also a whole bunch of engine parts as well as the electronic key mentioned in the chapter on ABS. It allows you to deactivate the anti-lock, to configure the piloting assistance much more finely, to reprogram the ECU in order to gain 10 horsepower and to smooth the power curves; and finally, with the racing harness, the shifter works both on upshifts and downshifts.
Now turn the key in the switch, close the visor, let it express itself, drive … You are in racing mode while the chrono sweats.
A little more technique:
All the evolutionary work that Kawasaki has brought to its new ZX-10R spans 29 pages. Let’s focus on the engine and its main technical changes:
– The machining of the intake ducts uses an avant-garde technique borrowed from the Kawasaki team engaged in WSBK: their outlet ports are machined in two stages, first with the valve seats and then at an angle. Thus, the air follows a more rectilinear path entering the combustion chamber. While smoothing the flow, this wider and straighter geometry of the ducts allows a greater volume of air / fuel mixture to be sucked in, to the benefit of the power. As before, the intake ducts are polished.
– In the same perspective of power gain, the exhaust ducts are also wider, straighter and now benefit from a polishing.
– The larger diameter of the exhaust valves (Ø 24.5 mm -> Ø 25.5 mm) also increases power, especially at high revs. That of the intake valves is unchanged at 31 mm.
/ at the intake as at the exhaust, the valves are made of titanium, a material with high thermal resistance and which reduces moving masses.
The retouched profile of the cams lengthens the crossover period, which benefits power (especially at high rpm).
/ The chromoly camshafts help to lighten the assembly. They benefit from a nitride surface treatment.
– The shape of the combustion chamber evolves for better intake and exhaust efficiency
– To handle the larger engine load, the pistons have been shortened (39.2 mm -> 37.7 mm) and their redesigned shell. Each of them is reduced by 5 g, in favor of the engine response. In addition, they are made of a new material that is both more robust and extremely heat resistant. Finally, the addition of a dry lubricating film on the skirt reduces friction at low speed and facilitates the break-in of the piston..
– The moment of inertia of the crankshaft drops by 20% – one of the most important fallout from Team Kawasaki WSBK’s lessons. The performance gain is noticeable at all levels: acceleration, deceleration and cornering.
– The primary balancing shaft is made lighter The new material of the connecting rod bearings increases their endurance at high revs, while their new coating improves resistance to seizure.
– At the cylinder, the walls of the bore thicken (5 mm -> 6 mm) in order to adapt the rigidity to the power gain, which also benefits reliability.
– The use of electronic throttle control justifies the adoption of a new 32-bit electronic control unit (ECU). Resin-free, its aluminum housing promotes heat dissipation, thus reliability.
What you must remember
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ZX-10R 1000 World Champion Edition 2014
Model marketed in
300 km / h
The technical aspect
Kawasaki ZX-10R 1000 KRT Replica 2016
- Tank: 17 liters
- Width: 740 mm
- Height: 1,145 mm
- Wheelbase: 1440 mm
- Operating weight: 206 kg
- Train before
- Secondary chain transmission
- Rear axle
(76 x 55 mm)
at 13,000 rpm
at 11,500 rpm