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Kawasaki Provides Photo Of 2011 ZX-10R Test Unit

We have already directed you to the Kawasaki-Challenge website where information is periodically being provided concerning the 2011 ZX-10R production sportbike. Today, Kawasaki provided this photo of the carbon fiber covered test mule it will have on track at Suzuka over the next two days. Presumably, the body shape is the same as the production bike that will go on sale sometime next year as a 2011 model, but the test mule could be in WSB spec (the Brembo brakes, for instance).

Various publications claim to have information about production specs, including weight and power. We don’t know where they got this information, but the consensus seems to be that it will weigh less than 440lbs wet, and will produce at least 190 crank horsepower, both substantial improvements over the current model (more than 45lbs lighter, for instance). 

If you want to check the 2011 ZX-10R website periodically, expect Kawasaki to provide additional updates soon. You can also take a look at the article we wrote on June 21 covering some of our additional thoughts on the 2011 production machine.


  1. Ziggy says:

    Now I read that Akira Yanagawa is also partly responsible for the bike’s development. This is worrysome to me. How much will Kawasaki listen to him, since he was responsible for developing the previous two Kawasakis too? We all know what those bikes achieved (no disrespect to Mr. Yanagawa). Admitedly though with the current ZX10R Sheridan Morais won the local South African superbike honors on the ZX6 and the ZX10. He only ended 11 and 13 in the 2009 WSBK race in South Africa. This is his local playground. This tells me the bike isn’t bad, just not nearly good enough on the WSBK platform.
    With Chris Vermeulen out for the rest of the season, I see Yanagawa is mentioned as a possible replacement.
    Maybe he surprises all of us, and puts any doubts about bike development to rest.
    Somehow, I doubt it though.
    The racers need to be closely involved with development. Such was the case with Mladin at Suzuki if I’m not mistaken.
    I have huge respect for Chris Vermeulen. I think he has what it takes to win it for Kawasaki. Sadly this knee injury will have him at a disadvantage for next year. Maybe they should cut their losses with Chris, and bring Haga to the team. LOL.

  2. RENDELL says:

    Looks fast. Nice wheels.

  3. Phil says:

    Having just read the lastest update in another publication, the 2011 model sounds disappointingly boring. None of the really new technology is going to make it into the bike. Just upgrades to current stuff plus traction control (big deal), maybe ABS (big deal) and more power (yawn).

    • Vitamin D says:

      That’s the same formula bmw used for the s1000 and nobody seems to be complaining about that. Just what new technologies were you expecting?

      • Phil says:

        What happened to the big bang engine, variable rockers and variable camshafts? BMW created something entirely new with the S1000 – I don’t recall ever seeing a BMW anything like this one – do you? And they made a huge leap forward with power output compared with the Japanese. However they did very little with the handling, opting for the gimmicky traction control instead (really – why bother with a sports bike if you want TC and ABS? God gave us throttle hands for a reason). This ZXR is merely playing catchup in the power game. That will probably make it a better bike than the S1000, but BMW has already stolen that thunder. Disclaimer: I own an ’05 ZXR, so I’ll admit that it’s difficult to improve on perfection.

        • PBSPEED says:

          Kawi 1000cc ALWAYS made the most power right out of the box. Playing catch up? More like waiting for someone to outpower them, which BMW did. Now there will be a quick retaliation which will keep the S1000RR from standing by itself any longer. Don’t know what you’ve read, I’ve read otherwise….

  4. Tom says:

    how much steering radius does that have? Looks like it’s locked to go straight ahead only…

  5. joe says:

    Disappointed that they chose not to develop the 90 degree horizontal cylinder head that they have a patent pending for
    It appears to be a conventional upright cylinder head albeit with some cool tech wizardry.

  6. Patrick says:

    Oddly enough, kawasaki are doing really well at the moment on the Irish and TT scene. I’m not sure if that can be related to road performance rather than pure track performance but you can certainly see that they are quick in some circumstances. (Several 130+mph laps of the Isle of Man and Ulster Grand Prix circuits). Their WSS effort is pretty solid this year and last, and I thought their (half) MotoGP effort last year went well, certainly better than the Suzukis.

    They never break the bank when it comes to riders, although they seem to have a plan with Vermeulen over 2 or more years. I hope this bike fianlly gives them a WSB contender, their first for more than 10 years.

  7. Ruefus says:

    Just the right photographic angle to tell you…….virtually nothing.

    Well done, Kawasaki PR department. Well done. It exists….but we aren’t telling you ANYTHING you couldn’t have already guessed.


  8. Justin says:

    Looks like a cross between the Yamaha and Honda 600s. Kawasaki’s been building some monsters lately by the numbers, but they don’t translate well onto that track. Hopefully they can change that with this one.

  9. Steve D says:

    Like Brian said, this is the 2011 WSBK Tester. They are testing it out at Suzuka…there are more pictures if you do a search.

  10. Ziggy says:

    Let’s hope Kawasaki caught up with current WSBK bike trends, but also anticipated for 2011 spec bikes. In other words, I hope they equal what will be out there on track next year to give them a fighting chance. I’m so sick of seeing them running at the back of the field, and always a year or two behind the other bikes developent wise. We all know they build brilliant bikes, which is why we continue buying them. At least they’ve caught up in the supersport class.
    They have no more excuses!! All their racing funds are now concentrated in WSBK. If BMW can do it in 2 years with limited WSBK experience, Kawasaki should do it with their considerable racing knowledge.

  11. Brian says:

    This is a picture of a full WSBK. Notice the Brembo monoblock calipers, the high-end rearsets, the monster radiator, the remote brake lever adjuster, race exhaust (see giant diameter tubing). Very good looking though. Can’t wait to see the real thing!

  12. monsterduc1000 says:

    This looks promising but as an owner of a 2004 zx10r, all i have to say is that it’s 430 lbs wet, it gives me 150+ hp to the ground with nothing more than a devil high mount slip-on, and it’s the masterbike winner for 2004-5. No sweeter ninja since. Hopefully kawi can pull their socks up with this one as no ninja has impressed me since.

  13. jake22 says:

    how does that look like the BMW? if anything it looks like the the latest CBR600

  14. Mark Flanagan says:

    isn’t that the new BMW?

  15. Frank says:

    Close to 1hp per 2 pounds….

  16. Brian says:

    Hmmm… Given that we are in July and that looks pretty well put together, I think that is more like a preproduction test bike vs. a “test mule.” Granted, they may have cleaned up the bike a bit for photos, but it looks a little too perfect to be a mule. Time line would tell me that they are setting final specs…

  17. Bud says:

    440 lbs wet and 190 hp, that is the makings of an absolute rocket! Go Kawasaki!

  18. will parker says:

    its not a big bang engine Old Town…you can hear its a Screamer inline-4 in the video…

    • Ziggy says:

      Not inline 4. It sounded like a big bang in the 6 second suzuka garage clip. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is an inline 4. The “big bang” Yamahas are struggling in WSBK in my opinion. Only Spies could ride it to a win, but we all know he is exceptional.

  19. Thoppa says:

    Hardly vaporware….in fact I wonder what happens to test ‘mules’ like this after the testing is over… I’d be happy to keep it safe in my garage 😉

    I also think it’s really cool Kwak are releasing stuff like this instead of the painfully pointless teasers others do; remember the release of the headlight for the Super Ten ?

    Keep it coming Kawasaki and give us more details !

  20. Jay Mack says:

    Hey, that looks alot like my 2008!

  21. Zaphod B says:

    The last time Kawasaki did a pre-release advertising blitz like this was prior to the introduction of the 2000 ZX-12R. The 12, although a fine bike (I own one, a first-year model), could not live up to the hype that the media machinery created, and it never quite got its due.

    Kawasaki had better deliver with this ZX-10R, and it needs to put its money where its mouth is and challenge AMA Superbike and WSB – for real.

    • ryan says:

      They have challenged but always loss..

      • Zaphod B says:

        Yep. The ill-fated MotoGP effort in the last few years has been kind of puzzling, and their mediocre showing in both AMA Superbike and WSB seems to show a lack of financial committment.

  22. Old town hick says:

    A picture of a “test mule”…oh how intriguing! I can hardly stand the suspense. Now if they would just show a hypothetical dyno power curve of this new Big Bang engine, I would be in heaven….

    Sheesh, talk about Vaporware. That is the effect of these recent “leaks and peeks” from Kawasaki about this promised product.