MILAN SHOW: Kawasaki ZX-10R gets WSB replica

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Kawasaki revealed their all-new ZX-10R superbike four weeks ago, but unveiled a superb-looking Winter Edition, jointly developed with the Kawasaki Racing Team, at the Milan show. The new edition gets the team’s svelte black and white testing livery, including the KRT ‘Snowflake’ logo and Japanese kanji ‘fuyu’ character, which means ‘Winter’. The special edition model also comes with a road-legal Akrapovic silencer as standard.

Kawasaki ZX-10R highlights

  • Special ‘Winter Edition’ of new ZX-10R
  • 207bhp | 84ftlb | 206kg (est)
  • Akrapovic carbon end-can
  • Showa Balance Free Fork
  • Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion shock
  • Also available as standard model

While the new ZX-10R may outwardly look pretty similar to the outgoing model, there’s a raft of changes to the engine, chassis, suspension, fairing, electronics, brakes and exhaust. The new 200bhp Ten is, say Kawasaki, the closest thing to a factory superbike it has ever produced.

The engine gets an a completely new cylinderhead and crank that has lost 20% of its mass, allowing the engine to spin-up faster thanks to less inertia, leading to stronger acceleration, faster deceleration and a reduction in gyroscopic effect that will help with cornering.

The new cylinderhead was designed with feedback from the WSB team and feature redesigned intake and exit ports, larger diameter exhaust valves with all valves now made from titanium, larger coolant passageways, and revised cam profiles for great valve overlap. The pistons are shorter and lighter, and the airbox is now two litres larger while the ramair intake has been moved further forward for greater efficiency.

New titanium header pipes are matched to those of the racing bike, and the larger silencer is now titanium not stainless steel and is lighter too. The chassis changes aren’t as extensive as the engine’s, but the head tube mounting is now 7.5mm nearer the rider and helps to place more weight over the front wheel for better stability and turn in. It also gets the latest electronic control systems based around the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which calculates its assistance based on lean angle, pitch and yaw, plus acceleration and braking. It also boasts Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), Kawasaki Engine Brake Control (KEBC). The bike also has an Öhlins electronic steering damper and a new power mode selection.

The new front suspension sees the arrival of Showa’s Balance Free Front Fork and Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) shock, but no semi-active assistance. Braking comes from Brembo’s top-of-the-range M50 cast aluminium and radially-mounted calipers and 330mm twin discs.

While the new bike doesn’t look radically different to the old, Kawasaki say they largely, and deliberately left the aesthetics alone to concentrate on the bike’s performance – the proof of their endeavours will be in the riding.

2016 ZZR1400 Performance Sport

  • 197bhp | Öhlins Suspension | Brembo monoblocs

Available as two models, the standard ZZR1400 and a Performance Sport version, the 2016 version uses new settings in the ECU and a revised evaporative exhaust system to help it meets the new emission regulations. Both bikes get a new instrument cluster with high-visibility dials and a clear central LCD panel. The higher-spec Performance Sport model gets Brembo M50 monobloc calipers, a Brembo radial master cylinder and stainless steel brake lines, plus an Öhlins’ TTX39 rear shock, and a pair of Akrapovic silencers.

See the full 2016 ZZR1400 story.

2016 Z1000 & Z800 Sugomi editions

  • Burgundy! | Anodised fork legs | Akrapovic silencer

The popular naked Z800 and Z1000 ranges both get ‘Sugomi Editions’ for 2016. It’s a slightly interesting colour choice, but both models see the return of burgundy to the motorcycling palette. For both models this means accent burgundy anodising to the fork legs, and the same colour finding its way onto the rear seat cowl, nose cowl, tank top cover and wheel rim tapes on both Z1000 and Z800. The two models also share the addition of a carbon Akrapovic exhaust end can to round out the mods.

2016 Kawasaki J125 scooter

  • 125cc | A1 Licence-friendly | Maxi-scoot styling

Kawasaki have unveiled the new J125 scooter in Milan, giving the existing J300 a smaller sibling. The 125 brings the J-series into the reach of A1 licence holders, and shares many features with the bigger J300. The 125 gets ABS braking as standard, an automatic under-seat courtesy light and shutter style security ignition as well as the convenience of a rider friendly 12v on-the-go charger socket. It’s a classy-looking addition to the melee of 125 super-scoots.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Richard Newland

By Richard Newland