MCN's Trevor Franklin was at the world launch of the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Here he answers your questions on the new S1000RR competitor...
Is the ZX-10R as mad as the first one?
If you mean does it tankslap like a loon and have a mental power delivery then, based on this first ride on a smooth circuit, no. Kawasaki needed to build an engine that would deliver performance in friendly, linear way to attract a greater range of customers. Honda’s latest Fireblade has a wonderful tractable lump that puts out considerably less power than the BMW and Kawasaki, but is still a massive seller. Kawasaki wants some of Honda’s pie, and the fact it puts out a claimed 197bhp is bonus. The ZX-10’s suspension is the best yet fitted to any of the 10R range.
S1000RR or ZX-10R for race duties?
Difficult. The BMW has been about for a season and has proved its worth despite some apparent gearbox issues. Like all race bikes they need fettling to be at the front of the pack and Kawasaki is producing race kit parts, eg a race ECU that allows plug and play quick shift, adjustment for the secondary throttle butterflies to suit track and rider, turns the standard dash into a full blown race-spec item, and so on. I think the ZX-10R may surprise BMW owners.
I’m only 5ft 7in tall, do you think I’ll get on all right with the new ZX-10R?
Richard Lilliard, Staffs
I’m only 5ft 8in and got on great with the bike – both feet flat on the floor and never felt intimidated. Just think of it as a big-bore ZX-6R. If in doubt, drop the pegs to their lower position so you don’t have to wobble so far before getting your feet on the pegs.
Why aren’t Kawasaki doing any other colours apart from green and black?
Those are the two biggest selling colours for ZX-10Rs. No added colours are planned for 2011.