Road rider or circuit racer, when it comes to hard-core machines, everyone knows that the Ninja ZX-10R is the ultimate supersport bike. But that’s only because they haven’t seen what Kawasaki engineers have in store for them.
KAWASAKI’S 2006 NINJA ZX-10R: a lesson that proves the best can be always better
Engineers and designers pull out all of the stops in keeping this award winner at the top of the class.
Few would have thought Kawasaki engineers would tamper with the success enjoyed by its NINJA® ZX™-10R sportbike over the past two years. Having been named by Cycle World as the Best Superbike of both 2004 and 2005, it would have been easily accepted by the most hardcore of racetrack motorcyclists if Kawasaki had simply rested on its laurels. But, in a move intended to show the brand’s very serious and ongoing commitment to building the most potent motorcycles available, Kawasaki has taken it up another notch with the introduction of this latest version of the NINJA ZX-10R.
Designed for the rider who feels at home in racing leathers, the new liter-class Kawasaki is being brought to market with a complete engine, chassis and aerodynamic makeover, maintaining its top-of-class dominance, whether on the street or racetrack.
It features all new power characteristics, highlighted by a new fuel injection system featuring ultra-fine atomizing injectors to work with the 43mm throttle bodies and dual throttle valves. Providing a noticeable boost in mid-range power, the new ZX-10R’s power delivery is also more linear, and its off-corner acceleration capability will satisfy the most demanding of riders. Also contributing to the smoother power delivery is the addition of a heavier flywheel, and high-speed generator moved to the end of the crankshaft. Shifting gears while handling the bike’s awesome power output is simplified by improvements to the shift linkage, resulting in smooth, almost effortless transitions.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
By repositioning the ZX-10R’s center of gravity, Kawasaki engineers have bettered an already superb handling motorcycle. The new frame also features revised stiffness balance, new motor mounts, more centralized mass, and a relocated swingarm pivot, coupled with a racing-spec Öhlins steering damper. All told, a track-ready handler that is destined to surprise all who put it through its paces.
Combining a short wheelbase with a long swingarm gives the ZX-10R the type of track maneuverability that speaks to its nimble, yet stable handling performance. And even more to the liking of experienced racers, the tucked-in position made so comfortable by the NINJA’s concave tank top and the relationship between pegs, handlebar, and seat, only magnifies its appropriateness for the track.
How to package all of this potency into a look that yells-virtually screams-aggressive race-readiness was a question Kawasaki’s design team approached seriously.
Aerodynamic performance quickly became the key to their search for a style befitting this new ZX-10R. Possessing an abundance of power, handling, and performance characteristics, the “look” of the motorcycle need only compliment its core consumer values. The designers focused on a no-frills approach to delivering an experience that significantly improves aerodynamics with a new fairing, seat cowl, and dual under-seat exhaust system. While the most noticeable effect of this new look is found at the high end of the speedometer, it succeeds in appearing fast, even when sitting still.
Match this to a completely new aluminium beam frame and sturdy yet light Moto GP inspired swinging arm and ZX-10R style wheels and you have a performance and handling package set to dominate the class
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
Instruments/Immobiliser enlarge imageGood to go. Lightweight instrument package with bar-type LCD tacho and digital LCD speedo includes adjustable shift indicator lamp and lap timer. Immobiliser prevents jealous creeps from playing with your pride and joy.
Front Cowl enlarge imageDon’t mess with me! Aggressive new look, improved aerodynamics, flush-surface signals and a more efficient Ram Air intake give the new 6R the meanest face in town.
Suspension enlarge imageTrack or street. Complementing the sturdy 41 mm fork is a race-developed, bottom-link rear suspension system with new linkage ratios and settings. Of course, both are fully adjustable.
Under-seat Exhaust enlarge imageTrack bred. Racing-style, all-stainless under-seat exhaust system improves the bike’s aerodynamics, increases cornering clearance and looks very, very cool.
Chassis enlarge imageEven the frame is new for ’05. Short-wheelbase, aluminium perimeter frame makes the 6R the bike to beat when the tarmac starts to twist and turn.
Front Brake enlarge imageSpinning between the legs of the fully adjustable inverted fork are 300 mm petal front disc brakes gripped by radial-mount calipers operated by a radial-mount brake master cylinder. Powerful stuff.
Swingarm enlarge imageNew, 10R-style braced, aluminium swingarm is lightweight and super stiff - one more reason for the 6R’s brilliant handling performance.
Dual Injection enlarge imageFor high power and hard-hitting torque across the rev range, the 6R engine employs extra-fine fuel atomisers in the 38 mm throttle bodies plus a set of secondary injectors located in the airbox.
Oval Sub-Throttles enlarge imageEngines need air to breathe. The 6R is the first production motorcycle to feature a set of trick, large-area oval sub-throttles. The oval-shaped design allows intake efficiency to be increased without compromising the slim engine design.
Exhaust Device enlarge imageDelivering smooth throttle response in the low- and mid-range, and huge power at top end, the new 6R’s under-seat muffler is equipped with an electronically controlled exhaust valve which automatically tunes the exhaust for maximum performance at all rpm.
Back-Torque Limiter enlarge imageAlso new for ’05 is a racing-style backtorque limiter, for smooth downshifting from high rpm. Specially designed for Kawasaki’s World Supersport racing machines, this technology is now standard equipment on the new 6R
Describes the type of engine (2 or 4 stroke) the general layout of the cylinders (in-line 4, V-twin, parallel twin or single cylinder) and the type of cooling system (air or liquid).Engine type 4-stroke, liquid-cooled In-Line Four
The combined volume of each cylinder measured in cubic centimetres.Displacement 636 cm³
Bore is the internal diameter of the cylinder. Stroke is the distance the piston travels from the bottom to the top of the cylinder. Both are measured in millimetresBore x stroke 68.0 x 43.8 mm
The ratio between minimum and maximum volume of the cylinder between the cylinder head and the top of the piston.Compression ratio 12.9:1
Describes the operation of the valves (DOHC, SOHC, OHV and intake reed valve) and the number of valves per cylinder.Valve/Induction system DOHC, 16 valves
Describes the maximum power the engine produces without any forced air system.Maximum power 95.5 kW 130 PS/14,000 rpm
Describes the maximum power the engine will produce with air being forced into the air box, effectively pressurising the system.Maximum power with RAM Air 100 kW 136 PS/ 14,000 rpm
The amount of driving force the engine produces.Maximum torque 70.5 N-m 7.2 kgf-m/11,500 rpm
Describes how the fuel/air mixture is fed into the cylinder.Fuel supply/Carburettor ø 38 mm x 4 (Keihin), twin injection
Describes the type of system used to produce the high voltage required to make the spark plug operate.Ignition Digital
Describes how the product is started.Starting Electric The type of transmission and the number of gears.Transmission 6-speed, return
Describes the frame construction and material.Frame type Perimeter, pressed aluminium
Rake is the angle the steering is inclined from the vertical. Trail is the distance between an imaginary line drawn vertically through the wheel axle and an imaginary line drawn through the steering head. The distance between these two lines when they meet the floor is the trail. (perhaps it would be easier to use a diagram).Rake/Trail 25°/106 mm
Describes the type of suspension.Suspension, front 41 mm inverted cartridge fork with rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability and top-out springs.
Describes the type of suspension.Suspension, rear Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with gas-charged shock, spring preload adjustability and top-out spring, stepless compression damping, stepless rebound damping.
Describes the amount of travel on the front suspension from uncompressed to fully compressed.Wheel travel, front 120 mm
Describes the amount of travel on the rear suspension from uncompressed to fully compressed.Wheel travel, rear 135 mm
Describes the size of the front tyre.Tyre, front 120/65ZR17M/C (56W)
Describes the size of the rear tyre.Tyre, rear 180/55ZR17M/C (73W)
Describes the number and size of discs, type of calipers and number of pistons in the calipers. Or the number and size of drums. Dependant on product line.Brakes, front Dual semi-floating 300 mm discs, dual radial-mount, opposed 4-piston, 4 pad calipers.
Describes the number and size of discs, type of calipers and number of pistons in the calipers. Or the number and size of drums. Dependant on product line.Brakes, rear 220 mm disc with single Single-bore pin-slide
Describes the angle that the wheels are turned when the steering is on full lock.Steering angle, left / right 27° / 27°
Gives the dimensions of the vehicle at the longest, widest and highest points.Dimensions (L x W x H) 2,065 x 715 x 1,110 mm
The distance in mm between the front and rear axles.Wheelbase 1,390 mm
The distance from the floor to the highest part of the seat.Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
The weight of the product without fuel, oil and coolant.Dry weight 164 kg
Automatic Headlights On (AHO) is an initiative introduced by the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) in 2003 in order to increase the conspicuity of motorcycles.
All 2004 MY Kawasaki have AHO fitted and this system operates in the following way. The headlamps automatically switch on after the ignition has been switched on and the starter button has been released.Automatic Headlights On (AHO) Yes
Key Features Incredible Power-to-Weight Ratio Race-Oriented Performance Track-Tuned Handling Aggressive New Aerodynamic Styling 998cc 4-Cylinder, DOHC Engine Very compact, narrow and lightweight design. The upper crankcase and cylinder are a one-piece casting, which is more than two pounds lighter than using a separate cylinder and offers increased rigidity. A slanted casting process rotates the piece during casting to eliminate imperfections and excess casting material. Channels in the case mounting surfaces route oil to various parts of the engine, eliminating oil lines and saving weight. Crank axis, input shaft and output shaft create a stacked triangular layout that is compact, reduces engine length and lowers the center of gravity. Specially-shaped breathing passageways between the chrome composite plated aluminum cylinders reduce pumping loss to help increase power. A high-efficiency, liquid-cooled aluminum oil cooler uses specially designed internal fins to dissipate heat and cool the oil. 4-Valve Cylinder Head(KP) Compact valve train reduces cylinder head height. Intake ports and coolant passages developed using flow analysis for efficient cylinder filling and more power, and maximum cooling efficiency. Camshafts are carved from forged chromoly billet, which is more than one-half pound lighter than cast cams. The cams and tappets are treated with soft nitriding to prevent galling and seizing with the aggressive, high lift profiles. Single valve springs with oval cross sections are light and lower to reduce overall cylinder head height. Forged sintered aluminum spring retainers are half the weight of steel retainers and allow higher rpm. Piston Forged Pistons(KP) are lighter, stronger and more heat resistant than cast versions. Flat-top design matches the compact combustion chamber and improves combustion efficiency. Ram Air Induction(KP) Central ram air duct produces a straighter path to the airbox for maximum intake efficiency and provides the mounting surface for the instrument panel, eliminating brackets and weight. Flow analysis used to design efficient ducts to the airbox that also prevent water from reaching the air filter. Compact airbox and air cleaner are highly efficient and contribute to the compact riding position. High speed 32-bit ECU provides precise engine management. TCBI Ignition with Digital Advance(KP) High-speed processor provides precise engine management. Spark plug-mounted ignition coils are compact and help reduce weight. Titanium Exhaust With Butterfly Valve All-titanium exhaust provides the ultimate in light weight. Butterfly valve, located before the exhaust splits to the mufflers, is controlled by rpm, throttle position and gear position to improve low-end response and help smooth overall power. Optimum exhaust tuning is attained at all engine speeds to prevent blowback that can occur with high speed overlapping valve timing. 6-Speed Transmission The splines on the transmission shafts are barrel ground so the gears slide smoothly for improved shift action. Close ratio transmission increases circuit performance. A back-torque limiting clutch(KP) automatically disengages the clutch under hard braking and deceleration to prevent rear wheel hop during corner entry. Optional springs, spring retainers and shims are available to fine-tune the clutch for specific conditions. Aluminum Twin Spar Backbone Frame Combination of pressed and cast aluminum components are welded to form the twin-spar backbone-type frame. By combining cast and pressed pieces frame weight is kept to a minimum while still providing high strength and stability with responsive handling. Twin-spar backbone design provides 600cc class width. Uni-Track® Rear Suspension(KP) Short, compact frame allows the swingarm to be longer, which makes it easier to control rear wheel powerslides. Rear shock is fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping. Ride height can be adjusted by adding /removing optional 1mm shims at the upper shock mount. Equipped with top-out spring that allows the rear wheel to better follow the road surface when the rear end is light due to hard braking. Small piggyback shock reservoir is designed to save weight. 43mm Inverted Cartridge Front Fork(KP) Kayaba 43mm inverted cartridge fork provides exceptional rigidity. Equipped with top-out springs which allow the front wheel to better follow the road surface when the front end is light due to hard acceleration. Stiff settings suitable for track use. Fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping. Aluminum Wheels Six-spoke cast aluminum wheels are practically as light as race-specific wheels. The six-spoke design requires much less material between spokes so that rim thickness is thinner and lighter. Radial Mounted Front Disc Brakes Radial mounted 4-piston front brake calipers. Instead of mounting the calipers with threaded tabs cast near the top of the caliper, the radial design utilizes integrated mounting points at both the top and bottom of the caliper, with the mounting bolts inserted through the rear of the caliper instead of the side/front. This makes the caliper more rigid, which improves brake feel over a wider range of operation. A separate brake pad is used for each piston. One large pad tends to deform with the heat generated by hard track style riding, resulting in a loss of brake feel at the lever. Individual pads provide increased cooling efficiency and can absorb more heat without deforming so they maintain consistent brake feel lap after lap. Petal Design Brake Discs Improved cooling and warp resistance. First petal-type discs to come standard on a supersport machine. Aerodynamic Bodywork The fuel tank has a unique concave top that allows the rider to tuck in further and improve aerodynamics. Three-piece front fender designed for aero efficiency. Different color panels create a sporty, aggressive image. Advanced Electronic Instrumentation Multifunction odometer, tripmeter, clock and lap timer/stopwatch.