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Kawasaki ZX-10R Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The new Kawasaki ZX-10R scores an easy five out of five; it surely must be the fastest production 1000cc bike of the current crop. But this ZX-10R is not all about Kawasaki’s new blistering engine and head-banging attitude, it’s controllable and handles much better than the previous ZX-10R and despite the blistering pace is actually easier to ride. Not for the faint hearted, the new ZX-10R is a true superbike for the road.

 

How does the road going Kawasaki ZX-10R compare against the racing version

Watch the Kawasaki ZX-10R take on the Suzuki GSX-R1000, Honda's CBR1000RR and Yamaha's YZF-R1

Watch Kawasaki's ZX-10R take on a Yamaha's R1

Watch the full track test of the Kawasaki ZX-10R

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

If you want torque and bottom end power then look away now. However if you want arm ripping acceleration and a 1000cc engine that seems to rev like a 600 you’ll be wanting the all-new ZX-10R. Kawasaki is quoting nearly 200bhp with ram air, more than last year’s bike which was never a slow bike.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Even though the latest Kawasaki ZX-10R is actually heavier than last year, it doesn’t feel it. The shape of the motorcycle is much thinner which makes the bike feel lighter and more manoveable. Its wheelbase has been increased and the rake has been stretched which adds stability, yet the ZX-10R still turns with ease. However, make sure that steering damper is turned up.

 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Kawasaki was the first manufacturer to fit a back torque limiter or slipper clutch, and it’s the same again for the new ZX-10R. There’s also radial brakes, petal discs, fully adjustable suspension front and rear and an Ohlins steering damper as standard. Also, don’t forget Kawasaki new Kawasaki Ignition Management system, which is designed to reduce wheel spin under extreme circumstances.

Click here for the 10 best parts for the Kawasaki ZX-10R, as recommended by real owners at ZX-10R.net.

Kawasaki ZX-10R (2008-2010)

Detail Value
New price £8,950
Dealer used prices
£5,540 (2008) - £6,790 (2010)
Private used prices
£4,800 (2008) - £6,470 (2010)
  View full used price info
Engine size 998 cc
Power 185.4 bhp
Top speed 186 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

As the latest ZX-10R is brand new, it’s near impossible to comment on the motorcycle’s reliability. However there haven’t been any problems with previous models, and Kawasaki engines are generally regarded as bullet proof. On face value there is high level of quality materials used and recent high mileage Kawasakis we’ve ran on the MCN fleet have coped with everything, even a few freezing salt ridden winters.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The new Kawasaki ZX-10R is competitively priced, looks the part and on first impressions from the launch looks like its going to be the fastest 1000cc sports motorcycle out there. So if you want the fastest you are going to have to pay the price. Still you can always sleep with peace of mind, as build quality is now a match for the Honda and second hand prices shouldn’t plummet, depending on its bad boy reputation. Find a Kawasaki ZX-10R for sale.

 

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

Model History

2008: All-new model launched.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.6 secs
Max power 185.4 bhp
Max torque 83.3 ft-lb
Weight 169 kg
Seat height 830 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 998 cc
Engine specification 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium back bone
Front suspension adjustment Preload, compression and rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression and rebound
Front brakes 2 x 310mm with radial four piston calipers
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

See all Kawasaki ZX-10R motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ZX-10R

6750 miles

£8,495

Kawasaki
ZX-10R

16000 miles

£5,990

Kawasaki
ZX-10R

1758 miles

£9,380

Kawasaki
ZX-10R

780 miles

£8,999

Kawasaki
ZX-10R

12929 miles

£4,799

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(13 reviews)

  • zx10r

    jocasaja

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    had my black zx10 for a week - now done 300 miles. I tried the fireblade, but found this fitted me better. I am impressed with the build quality and I even like the looks. Got a really good deal on an 08 bike, which I think looks better than the 09 which has a silly silver piece each side. Fitted an R&G tail tidy and have a double bubble screen on order. My nephew has just bought an 09 repsol blade which looks and sounds great, but I prefer the ergonomics of the zx and also think the engine is smoother and stronger. They are all bloody marvellous really

    31 March 2009

  • one evil beast

    kwackadave

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    ive had mine since last april and its got 16k miles on so far only problem ive got is the build quality the winter has made almost all metal corrode but i love every second on it

    18 March 2009

  • zx-10r

    ianzx10

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Awesome bike with a brilliant engine, done 6k miles, it's focused, but so it should be. A terrific, comfortable road bike that handles well and goes like stink!

    31 July 2008

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superpike

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superpikesays

Next seasons Race bike

After watching Kawaka develop their ZX10R from the outside since 2004, I'm looking forward to ordering several for my junior superbike team next year. Looks gr8 but can I find racers who are as good as they think they are?

03 February 2010 19:10

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