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The 10 best parts for the Kawasaki ZX-10R

By James Keen -

Parts & accessories

 30 October 2008 09:30

I think it's fair to say that the Kawasaki ZX-10R is the most hardcore sportsbike money can buy. Ever since the first model was launched in 2004 it's had a reputation as a bike for experts only. With about 180bhp on tap, it's not hard to see why. Here's a run down of the top ten accessories for the ZX-10R, as recommended by real owners at ZX-10R.net.

The 04-05 Kawasaki ZX-10R was as extreme as they come and could be lethal in inexperienced hands.

Kawasaki tamed the beast slightly for 06-07, but that's relatively speaking- the second incarnation was still tarmac-blisteringly fast. We're talking about a bike capable of third gear power wheelies.

The 2008 ZX-10R is essentially more of the same adrenaline-soaked lunacy, but despite being even quicker than the previous model it's actually easier to ride, making it a brutal piece of kit in the right hands.

A new 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R can be yours for £8,950. At the time of writing, £5000 will get you a choice of nice tidy examples on MCN Bikes for sale... with change left over for some of the parts listed below.

Given the nature of the Kawasaki ZX-10R, it' not surprising that the owners it attracts are not exactly your average riders. As such, a lot of them have altered their ZX-10Rs in order to squeeze out even more performance.

We've enlisted the help of real owners at www.ZX-10R.net to compile a list of the best parts & mods available to make the Kawasaki ZX-10R into even more of a weapon. Here's our top ten, in no particular order:
 

 

Power Commander
A lot of the owners at ZX-10R.net agree that fitting a Power Commander has been the single best mod they've done to their ZX-10R. Apparently the fuelling is off below 7000 RPM on the 2008 model and the DynoJet Power Commander III cures this. When used in conjunction with a new exhaust system (or just cans) it can also help smooth out the fueling and unleash a few extra bhp, because obviously thats what the ZX-10R needs- more power!

 

 

Aftermarket exhaust
The first mod you should do to your ZX-10R! Akrapovic products seem to be very popular amongst the members of ZX-10R.net. Some owners have gone the full hog and fitted complete replacement systems, while others have just gone for new cans. Still, Akrapovic kit doesn't come cheap, so if you're on a tighter budget cans from Leo Vince and Sato Racing also come recommended. After all, the money you save can be put towards other worthwhile mods.

 

 

Change the gearing
Owners at ZX-10R.net recommend changing the gearing to give the bike even more of a kick and address the fact that the stock gearing is a bit too tall. You can either go down 1 tooth on the front sprocket or up 3 teeth on the rear. ZX-10R.net recommends sprockets from AFAM, Vortex or Renthal, with chains from either DID or EK (specifically the EK MVXZ chain with optional zero stretch technology). A speedohealer is also a good idea to make sure your speedo still reads right.

 

 

Overhaul the brakes
If you have a 2008 ZX-10R then you can sit back and relax, because as you know the brakes are great as stock.... although if you still want more bite some performance pads and braided lines wouldn't hurt. But owners at ZX-10R.net don't think much of the brakes on earlier models. They recommend fitting a Brembo master cylinder and even new calipers. Many owners have fitted the Tokico calipers from the 06-08 Honda Fireblade or the Tokico calipers from the 06-08 CBR600RR (requires 5mm spacers). Alternatively, the Nissin calipers from the 06-07 ZX-6R and the 06-08 ZZ-R1400 bolt on.

  

 

Upgrade the steering damper
The ZX-10R comes with an Ohlins steering damper as standard, but the owners at ZX-10R.net don't rate it very highly. Many choose to fit higher spec replacement items from Ohlins, Extremetech, GPR, Scotts or Hyperpro. Alternatively, one owner had the stock Ohlins damper rebuilt to race standard and noticed a good improvement.

 

 

Sticky rubber
With all that power on tap the ZX-10R needs top of the range tyres to keep things under control. The guys at ZX-10R.net love the Pirelli Diablo Corsa III's (pictured). Bridgestone BT016's also come highly rated, as do the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT's.

 

 

Pro Grips
A lot of the guys at ZX-10R.net have swapped the standard grips for either the 719's or the 724's (pictured) from Pro Grip. These have gel inserts, making them softer and more comfortable and improving feel. The 719's are good, but on the 724's the gel material is underneath (the green part on the grips pictured) so the grips don't get grubby looking so quickly with use.

 

 

Rearsets
A good pair of rearsets offer the rider a number of great advantages over the standard footpegs... improved ground clearance, adjustability and therefore comfort, weight saving... plus at the end of the day they look great. Owners at ZX-10R.net like the rearsets from Sato Racing (pictured) and Vortex.

 

 

Crash Protectors
Fitting crash protectors is such an obvious and neccessary mod that alot of the guys on ZX-10R.net forgot to mention them in their personal top ten's... it's the first thing most of them do after getting the bike. Since alot of ZX-10R's spend a fair bit of time on track, this isn't surprising. LSL make some great looking sliders, but most of the guys on ZX-10R.net use some tough Delrin items (pictured) produced by Pete at Champ Industries, one of their members.

 

 

Bigger Screen
Given the speeds that the ZX-10R is capable of (on track, obviously) a lot of owners choose to fit a larger screen offering better wind protection. Some ZX-10R.net members recommend the screen produced by F. Fabbri. Pyramid also makes a double bubble screen for the ZX-10R, as do Puig and Zero Gravity.

 

Thanks again to the owners at www.ZX-10R.net for their knowledge and advice on this subject.

What do you think? Are there any great ZX-10R products we missed off that you think deserve a mention? What other models would you like to see featured? let us know by commenting on this article below, or alternatively send me an email directly at james.keen@motorcyclenews.com.