ZX-10R first test diary

Published: 18 November 2005

MCN Editor Marc Potter is back from Japan and you can read his report of his world exclusive first ride of the 2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R in MCN out on November 23.

We've added a video clip of him summing up his trip, see link below, too.

Marc’s trip included two days of riding on Kawasaki’s own test track, a tour of the company's factory, dinner with some of Kawasaki’s top men and a question and answer session with the ZX-10R development team.

He sent updates during his trip to give you a unique insight into what goes into making an MCN world first test exclusive. Read them below.

And see the link 'Inside Kawasaki's factory' below, right, for a rare and exclusive opportunity to see inside the Kawasaki factory - including video clips.

Latest: Thursday Nov 17:

Marc sends back a couple of quick video clips of the new ZX-10R in its first test action at the circuit in Japan. See below to download the files (registered users only).

Tuesday Nov 15:

We drove about an hour to get to the circuit, passing through an amazing flat valley surrounded by active volcanos. As we went up into the mountains, it looked like Yorkshire, but with active volcanos. And then we were at the vast Autopolis circuit which was bought by Kawasaki last year.

It was where this ZX-10R was developed and it's a mad circuit - you go round an off-camber lefthander and then the circuit just drops away on you.

My initial impressions from the first session are that the riding position is still radical, they've developed an even more hardcore track bike. But the power delivery is a bit more friendly. The old bike had all the power at the top like a two-stroke, but the new ZX has more linear power.

I think it might be faster than a GSX-R1000, although I thought I was going for it, until some guy called Doug Chandler just glides past.!

Monday Nov 14:

"We've managed to visit five airports in one day, and I've been travelling for about 24 hours. We first landed in Japan in a place called Kanzi which is about as industrial as you can get, with factories and a port stretching out for miles.

Thankfully we're now in a hotel in a place called Kumamoto. Luckily it's surrounded by mountains and pine forests and the Autopolis race track is about 30 minutes away, for us to test the bikes.

I've already almost been arrested for smoking a cigarette in the street, which I wasn't supposed to do, but I got away with it! And I'm just off to the opening press conference."

Marc flew out on Sunday, arriving in Japan on Monday afternoon Japanese time (Nov 14). The first night includes an official welcome dinner and briefing about the bike. His first chance of a ride comes on Tuesday, November 15.

Read the full and exclusive world first test verdict ONLY in the November 23 issue of MCN.

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