Kawasaki’s ZX-10R evokes thoughts of rip-roaring power and handling best suited to race circuits. While that may have been the case of the original 2004 model, subsequent models have been diluted to the point where ZX-10R is regarded as a decent on the road superbike but not quite in touch with the competition of the latest Blade, techno-laden R1 and BMW’s S1000RR.
The 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R is the bike to change this. It is the first of the Japanese bikes to come out fighting against the storming BMW and, based on MCN’s first ride (at Qatar’s Losail circuit), the Kawasaki’s superb blend of handling, braking, usable power and decent suspension will make it a better road bike than the BMW. As for track use? At 198kg fully gassed, the ZX-10R has the best power to weight ratio, and it isn’t as intense to ride as the BMW and so will suit a lot more riders. Good one, Kawasaki.