Kawasaki Planning All-New ZX-10R Superbike
Kawasaki has never been bashful about its love for speedy two-wheelers so it comes as little surprise that the company is already at work building an all-new ZX-10R superbike.
Guim Roda, the team manager of Kawasaki’s World Superbike outfit recently spoke to Speedwell about the new bike, divulging a few pertinent details that could shed light on what we can expect out of the 2016 ZX-10R. Apparently, the phrase “more competitive” was thrown out, enough to make us, or at least me, believe that Kawasaki isn’t afraid to match wits with the likes of the Yamaha YZF-R1, Ducati Panigale R, and Aprilia RSV4 RF.
Roda also admitted that Kawasaki is simply following in the wake of what Aprilia, Ducati, and BMW have done in the wake of restrictions that, according to Roda, boxes these bikes to be developed “win an eye on the sport.”
That doesn’t mean that Kawasaki will be handcuffing itself in the development of the ZX-10R. Instead, it’s an opportunity for the OEM to make the bike more potent straight from the factory. That’s a big reason why Roda wasn’t too subtle in saying that the 2016 ZX-10R could carry a sophisticated engine setup that can produce upwards of 200 horsepower on the dot. A high-tech electronics package should also be expected, although the definition of that could be subject to interpretation depending on what we kind of gadgetry we see from the bike when it comes out.
There’s still a lot of things about the ZX-10R that need to be sorted, not the least of which is a timetable for its arrival. But I’ll leave that up to Kawasaki. I’m just glad to see the company finally stepping up in the wake of the race-spec superbike invasion currently happening in the industry.
Continue reading to read more about Kawasaki’s plan to launch an all-new ZX-10R.
Why it matters
Overall, this is great news for fans of Kawasaki, especially those who have waited for the company to respond as one competitor after another rolled out their race-spec superbikes. Yamaha has one. Same with Ducati, BMW, and Aprilia. Even Honda launched its own superbike, the highly controversial RC213V-S.
So what can we expect from the 2016 ZX-10R? Everything Roda said seems to indicate that the bike will be prepared as close to its racing counterpart as possible. That doesn’t mean you should expect to see an identical lot because that won’t be the case. But a close resemble is good enough, especially if Kawasaki lives up to its word and brings out a bike worthy of its label.
That said, there are also reasons to be a little wary, especially after seeing Honda basically neuter the RC213V-S to accommodate safety regulations in a lot of markets. It remains to be seen if Kawasaki will be forced to comply with the same rules as some of its competitors.
This detail is more important here in the US market because of what these regulations basically did to the RC213V-S. Even the 2011 Ninja ZX-10R suffered a similar fate four years ago. The lack of power turned a lot of people off of the bike because it didn’t carry enough horses to justify its label and price tag.
Personally, I want to see the 2016 ZX-10R be as good as Kawasaki wants us to believe it is. But as much hope as I have, I’m not going to count my chickens before those eggs hatch. It’s wait-and-see time for the ZX-10R. Here’s to hoping that all the waiting will be worth it in the end.