MCN Fleet: Kawasaki ZX-10R lands back from Space

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A couple of weeks ago I posted an update from Ibiza where I’d just arrived on my ZX-10R. Now, 2358 miles later, I’m back.

To be honest the Ibiza part of my nine-day riding holiday is a bit of a blur, especially the bit where I went to see my old mate Carl Cox play at the Space nightclub in Playa D’en Bossa. But I’ve got great memories of the ride back to the UK.

After catching the ferry to Barcelona from Ibiza, we headed north on the coast towards the Benidorm-ish Lloret de Mar on the Costa Blanca. The roads are pretty sticky up to that point, but after that, up past the altogether classier Tossa de Mar, they’re very special. Perfect tarmac clings to the cliffs and winds majestically for mile-after mile, next to the crystal blue Med. It’s picture postcard stuff.

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From there into France and a stint up and over the mountains on the curvy A75 – a motorway that thinks it’s a racetrack and on to the fabulous gorges and twisty roads that lead to Meyrueis, near Millau. After that there are more superb roads to Floriac and Mende, before France flattens out and a boring motorway ride beckons through Clermont Ferrand, Orléans and up to Calais.

My ZX-10R was a gem during the trip. It never missed a beat and the motor’s spread of power is really smooth. With my Rapid Bike self-fuelling unit fully up to speed the throttle response is perfect, too. The engine doesn’t have much in the way of bottom-end power, so you have to ride it like a 600 and use first gear a lot in slow corners.

The suspension is really plush, comfortable and while the Kawasaki is a bit slow steering in the tight stuff, it loves fast, sweeping corners

I fitted Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyres before the trip, which have now done more than 2500 miles but still look like new, despite providing loads of wet and dry grip. But their ride quality is slightly harsher than the Metzeler Racetec K3s I’ve been running up till now.

We ended up doing eight- and nine-hour riding days, which is a bit much for the amount of comfort the racy seat gives. But the ZX-10R was never designed to be a touring bike, so I’ll take the pain on the chin...or the bum.

 

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Michael Neeves

By Michael Neeves

MCN Chief Road Tester, club racer, airmiles millionaire.