KAWASAKI ZX-10R (2008-2010) Review

Published: 08 February 2008

"The fastest production 1000cc bike of the current crop"

Kawasaki ZX-10R review action

"The fastest production 1000cc bike of the current crop"

  • At a glance
  • 998cc  -  185.4 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Medium seat height (830mm)

Overall Rating 5 out of 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

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

 

Engine 5 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 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 & Running Costs 4 out of 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 group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 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.

Owners' Reviews

13 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ZX-10R (2008-2010) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.9 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 4.9 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best bang for buck out there

11 April 2014 by Tomenski

This bike is WICKED. Its so so very fast, so light and unbelievably comfy. I cannot believe how cheap these go for in comparison to other models of the same year. This bike is still I think the lightest (or one of) 1000cc Jap bikes these is to this... Read more day. So powerful, the handling it great, the brakes work amazingly well although don't feel sharp which does give a small impression they are not strong but it just means you can grab them hard with out worry. There simply is no better bike that this for under 6k and anything for the 7k mark will be heavier and slower and over priced so unless you can afford over 8 grand you cannot get a better bike that this with an exhaust. I do recommend that you go up a couple of teeth on the rear or down one on the front but do that and boom amazing bike.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Beast

30 December 2013 by preunit

A roomy, beautifully fuelled, comfy superbike, a doddle to ride around town and a beast on the track. Solid brakes, barking engine, not one for the faint-hearted, enjoy :-) Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best 1000 for the ££

01 August 2013 by markmcc21

Been riding for around 7 years now and this is my 8th bike. Fast bikes so far are 954 Blade, tuned FZ1, Mille, ZX6r and this ZX10r. The Blade was excellent, rare and loved the look of it, but when I wanted to move on and get a more upto date bike I... Read more looked around and for the £6k I had, this beat the bikes R1, GSXR and CBR of same yr and price. Iv covered about 2k now so thought id review it. Its ferocious when accelerating, turns in nice and feels secure and light. The brakes work fine and don't fade. Get about 170 motorway miles and worse iv seen 130. When parked up I cant stop looking at it. looks mean and the size of a proper 1000cc bike. I don't like the small looking CBR1000rr. Its comfortable to tour for the wkend as I did about 600 miles around Scotland. Im not keen on the current ZX10r so I think my next bike is a 2010 R1 when I can afford it!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

nice

22 November 2011 by emikawasakininja

nice bike Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Bugger

22 May 2011 by evilgenius

08 ZX10R, Just great in town, duel carriage and motorways, handles well, motor pulls well, build quality could be better, few rusty bits on mine, even though its had an easy life, and then it would not start, 2 weeks at a dealer and cross your... Read more fingers it won’t happen again. Time to P/X. Apart from that great.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Bike

25 March 2010 by ocleansb

I just got the 2010 zx10r two weeks ago after selling my RSV factory and Ducati 999 to try on a Jap bike. Done 800Km and I enjoyed riding this bike.Good power, good handling and nice design. Not much changes from 08 model but still a great bike in... Read more the market.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The King

24 March 2010 by ninjace

Bought in April 2009 from George Whites in Swindon, Absolutely awesome bike. Never let me down. Great handling and performance. I LOVE IT. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

zx10r cracking bike

22 September 2009 by mickp40

best bike ive rode faster than my 12r and easy to ride fast Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I Love this beast

22 August 2009 by Nuvem

Had a ZX7R 11 yrs ago and became a fan of Kawa... Also had Duke 998 and R1 ...05!! Bought a ZX10 couple mounths and done 2.5k and I can tell this bike its about heart. I felt in love with this beast. It rides like devil but you you are in control all... Read more the way. Race ready engine, brakes to cope and HUGE FUN. Outstanding bike *****

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

09 ZX10r

02 June 2009 by jocasaja

I have now done 2500 miles, and this bike is terrific. The rear diablo corsa III still has at least another 500 miles in it and it is keeping its profile. I have fitted a Fuel end can - which fitted well and looks good - sounds great as well - baffle... Read more out - lovely throaty tone without being silly loud. However in disconnecting the cables from the servo - servo motor knackered but I bought an Ivans Eliminator from SG Motosports which stops the fi warning lights from flashing. It is not the most comfortable bike, but if you can get into a relaxed thrash mode then it is fine for an hour or two. Planning to tour Germany and Holland in the late summer. The gearbox is fantastic, smooth clutchless shifts even from 1st to 2nd. However this bike is all about its amazing engine - fantastic machine

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 13 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued 2010
Original price £8,950
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 185.4 bhp
Max torque 83.3 ft-lb
Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.6 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium back bone
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 169kg
Front suspension Preload, compression and rebound
Rear suspension Preload, compression and rebound
Front brake 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

History & Versions

Model history

2008: All-new model launched.

Other versions

None.

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