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More 2011 ZX-10R Info Emerges

We will see the 2011 ZX-10R, no doubt, in October of this year, but Kawasaki continues to leak details, bit-by-bit, over the Internet.

Kawasaki refers to the riding position as more compact than the prior model, and has officially revealed that the next ZX-10R will receive the big piston fork (BPF) already found, and praised, on the ZX-6R.  From the pictures released of the WSB machine that is being tested, it is clear that the Ram Air intake is huge, and directly in front of the air box.

The new motor will be a high revving unit.  Kawasaki states that the torque peak has been moved North on the tachometer.  According to a statement published on the Net “By moving peak torque higher up in the rev range, torque valleys were almost completely eliminated.”  Further, “All excess mid-range torque was cut . . . our priority was to make it easy to open the throttle.”  Kawasaki stopped short of claiming that the new ZX-10R will provide the highest power output in the class (certainly a difficult task given the incredible output of BMW’s production superbike), when it states “The highest power of any Ninja to date was pursued.”  Nevertheless, Kawasaki says that the new bike is already producing a higher top speed in testing than their existing WSB version of the current ZX-10R.

Kawasaki claims the new bike is significantly lighter than the current ZX-10R, with weight-savings in the frame, the fork, wheels and harness, among other parts.  Currently, the claimed curb weight (all fluids, and full gas tank) of the 2010 ZX-10R is 19 pounds heavier than the 2010 Honda CBR1000RR, one of the lightest superbikes around.

Kawasaki refers to the rear suspension as “horizontal back-link rear suspension . . . improving mass centralization.”  More interestingly, new photos of the bike seem to indicate a somewhat unusual engine layout in the frame.  Both the crank and the gearbox appear to be placed fairly high in the frame, and there may be some indication that the cylinders are angled unusually, as well.  Looking at these photos, what do you think?


  1. PBSPEED says:

    I think the bike will be sick either way you slice it. Again, race wins and championships aren’t going to make any consumer that buys any liter bike a better rider, unless you get 100 hours with Kevin Schwantz with your purchase.

    So, who here thinks that if Ben Spies and Jamie Hacking had swapped bikes, there respecitive finishing positions in the past championships would have swapped too? Don’t think so. We know Yosh Suzuki had the best team, but, Ben would have won the championships on Hackings’ ZX10….

  2. Dave M says:

    bah humbug to those who state that people can’t use a liter-bikes power. I happen to believe my 2010 ZX-10R is slow. I’ve gotten used to the power and now want more. Wan’t until riding my friends 636 again a couple days ago that I remembered how fast my bike is. It’s really all about convenience. The 1000 scoots hard at much lower rpm’s, making it a more streetable bike. High hp liter-bikes still lack the initial torque hit of a twin, so it’s nice when they make them lighter…unfortunately, the power levels are such that the new liter-bikes come with timing retard programmed in under throttle opening…making them feel really laggy. Fortunatley that can be remedied with aftermarket electronics. If you read the review on the Z1000, you hear a lot about the “delay” in throttle response. The current ’08up ZX-10R has the same issue. Not to mention 1st gear to 100mph…I was shocked when I rode my bike home from the dealership. Reading 4500rpm at 75 mph or so? WTH? I went -1/+2 on the gearing, got the timing retard eliminator, and a few other goodies and have been having a blast ever since =)

  3. Leo L says:

    have a zx9r 6.4 lanky dude, love this bike, more grunt than i need,and bone steady great motor..thats it cheers

  4. will parker says:

    Well if they did their homework like they did for the ZX-6R, than Kawsaki is likely to have the best liter bike available…until the other manufactures release their new bikes that is…

  5. Stinky says:

    I’m forever hearing about from my Nebraska hero buddies of dragging their knees all the time. When I ask what track they did it on, they’ve never been on one. It seems these guys do it on the Interstate on ramps.
    I’ve ridden the litrebikes and I could get along better with a little softer power at the very bottom. I will admit they’re thrilling but I get frustrated that I get to use so little of the power.
    I need a pretty good comfortable bike to get to the twisties without having to fill up every 90 minutes to have some fun. I have more fun on a twin or 600 than a litrebike. I often tell riders there’s only probably 20 people in the country that can REALLY use a litrebike to more than half it’s potential. The rest is the big wiener bragging thing.

  6. Zaphod B says:

    The last time Kawasaki cranked up the hype machine like this was prior to the introduction of the 2000 ZX-12R.

    There is a danger to building too much expectation: the possiblity that the product won’t live up to it. That’s what happened to the ZX-12R. It was a fine bike but could never live up to the motorycyling media’s expectations.

    Let’s hope it’s a different story with this new ZX-10R. I’m not holding my breath, though, given Kawasaki’s recent lack of success in MotoGP, AMA Superbike, and WSB.

  7. buddygixxerninja says:

    you know what’s amazing when i read the comments from some of you “sour” apples? these liter bikes…their “failures” at the races and whatnot. man…you have to be kidding me right? the bikes produced from the manufacturers are so freaking ridiculous powerful, that they’re only separated by scant nano-seconds in speed and performance! for the super-professional racers, they might be able to extract everything out of bikes like they’re suppose to do, but for the minions of the public, ANY of these bikes would be way way more bike than we’ll ever know! from gsx-r, cbr, r-1, zx, bmw, etc., these bikes are truly awesome! even with 15-20+ more hp for the bmw compare to the other bikes, when the motorcycle-magazines do their testings, they’re so close in performance to each other in so many ways! i love that kawasaki is trying to keep up with bmw, and i love that bmw has put a bench-mark for the other manufacturers to keep up. when it comes for me to buy a liter bike, i don’t usually care about the power and performance these days, it’s just way too close to compare. for me, it’s just the look and feel on how comfortable it is when i sit on the machine. it also helps on what cool other gadgets that they can add to the bikes too (quick shifter on the bmw!).

    • kpaul says:

      Well said. Totally agree. Rode a GXSR 1000 a couple of years ago. Too me it had way more torque than I would ever need. It was scary responsive compared to my little ZX-6R. My little ninja is plenty for me.

      • Patrick D says:

        If look at the evolution of the GSX-R1000 for example, they have worked for a few years to move the torque away from the bottom end of the power band. They were too lively in lower gears and at lower speeds, and indeed many have retarders built into the ECU that restricted out put in the first couple of gears.

        I know it’s a personal thing, and whilst I don’t want a bike to bog down at low revs, I really don’t mind something that needs a bit of work through the gears. Shifting gears on a bike is not a chore to me. I guess I’d love a two stroke at some stage!

  8. MikeD says:

    Everytime i look at it it looks more and more like a “800cc Class GP Bike” with 500cc 2-SMOKE POWER” and not something I would like to ride on the STREETS.
    Maybe they have some “Magic Mapping Software” with Pixie Dust that transforms “The Beast” into a “Pedestrian Lamb” for Street use ?

    Sooner than u know it it will be an all out “HP Dick Measuring Contest” from all Big Fours…creating some cool Technologies on the Process but “most probably” some Un-streetable Bikes too.

    Maybe Josh with his Triumph sugestion is where the money is at? Maybe not, cause they seem to be “Stuck with their collective heads up their Asses” about building a 1.0L+ Superbike. Yes, the 675’Tona is great but not that “Great”.

    Also, “More Compact than the Prior Model”….? What the Hell !? Not all of us are “Jockey” size Midgets (Im 6.2).

    P.S: Im with Patrick D too. It looks like they took some Cues from their MotoGP Racer (maybe too many ?).

    • B says:

      These aren’t designed to be street bikes, so I can’t see why you’d complain that they aren’t ideal for streets. They even have their own category, super-sport, to designate that these are sporting machines. There are dozens of options for people like you who enjoy sport bikes to ride on the street. The Z1000 is a prime example of this.

      • MikeD says:

        What if im a “Poser” who needs his sportbike with “full” bodywork but don’t feel like a Ninja 650 would “Enhance” me enough ? LOL.
        And my complaint is that anywhere but on the Track they are 99.9% Torture Racks and NO, every JoeSchmo that buys one won’t go to “Track Day” IT like that pretty picture we can imagine.
        Seriously, i see where ur coming from…but like me…is only an Opinion. U know what is said about it.

        • Vitamin D says:

          Torture rack to a degree but that can be solved quickly with aftermarket bar raisers and rear sets.

    • Ruefus says:

      Unlike NASCAR, these bikes actually see the track largely un-changed. Blueprinted, breathed on and with upscale components. But largely unchanged. If you intend to compete on a national and world level, you have to compete from the showroom floor up. All Kawasaki and anyone else is doing is playing on the field and by the rules that exist.

      Honda was a holdout for a while when the RC51 was still competitive. The CBR9xx series was pretty much street-only from the manufacturer. Still ferocious, though.

      The sportbikes are merely test beds and showcases for the manufacturers.

      As for the ridiculous power, ride one. The real trick performed is taking something that will embarrass any supercar at any price, up to 100 mph and make it docile enough to drive to and from work. With or without ‘mode’ software.

      The ZX-14 is just pathetically powerful. (Not a circuit racer, I get it) When I rode one the thing, I was impressed by the smoothness of the overall package – and while the motor was impressive, the whole package is what struck me. Unholy amounts of acceleration when you want it, but as docile and easy as anything you can imagine.

      THAT is the impressive part of these types of bikes.

      • MikeD says:

        The ZX-14 (and Hayabusa too for that matter)…Ah, yes, the “LS6 Chevelles” of the “Big Bore” Bikes.
        It won’t win any autocross or slalom races but it will give u a good run from RED LITE to RED LITE or TopSpeed runs…@thousand$$$ less than a Pagani Zonda or Buggati Veyron.

  9. jimbo says:

    Just another in an endless line of “revolutionary” open class race-replicas…till it proves its performance on the race track. Kawasaki has only failures in this class for a few decades now. There’s no news here till it proves its mettle with results. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  10. Josh says:

    ““By moving peak torque higher up in the rev range, torque valleys were almost completely eliminated.” Further, “All excess mid-range torque was cut . . . our priority was to make it easy to open the throttle.””

    What the… I thought we were FINALLY moving towards having good low and mid-range power! Damn you BMW, having to put out that S1000RR with 40 more HP than anything else… Now we’re back to “Only power at the highest revs” B.S.!

    Thank God for Triumph…

    • Artem says:

      Funny. You are right. Torque curve is and was already flat comparing to Power curves and torque and power are of course dependable. Pw = Trq*revs. If you have more power at highest revolutions of
      crankshaft, you probably have more torque everywhere in revs range.

    • Doug says:

      Note it says “excess midrange”. If you already have enough midrange to spin up the tire, then you dont need anymore! You can never use “excess” midrange anyway because either 1) the tire spins up and the rider has to throttle back or 2) the traction control cuts the engine to stop too much rear spin. If he bike has “enough” midrange and more top end power then it would very likely be faster around the track.

  11. bahwolf says:

    Yeah, but will the street version have those ridiculous looking mirrors with the dingleberry turn signals hanging from the mirror stalks…?

  12. Patrick D says:

    It looks like kawasaki have used alot of influence from their aborted MotoGP project to affect this bike, especially with regard to layout and suspension. Their entire ZX-10 project has been a failure at WSB level from the start. It seems that there are fundamental layout issues with the bike which have prevented it from improving to a regular top-10 fniisher. The MotoGP bike had a very respectable final year considering it was as close to an out-of-the-box machine, with minimal (if any) development over the season. Marco Melandri is doing little better this year on a semi-factory Honda.
    Kawasaki really need this bike to bring them into the mainstream of World Championship racing. They are rumoured to be head-hunting some very accomplished riders for next season. Personally, I hope they retain the services of Tom Sykes who is doing some development work for them at present.

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