2014 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
The 2014 version of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX is here. The motorcycle delivers a great mix between handling power and practicality, being perfectly suited for both racetracks and city streets.
To be able to deliver top notch performances at both low and high speed, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10-R needed a set of high end technologies, therefore, the company’s engineers have equipped it with an electronic steering damper system developed in cooperation with Öhlins. You also get Kawasaki’s Traction Control (S-KTRC) which further enhances the bike’s handling abilities and optional ABS brakes.
Power comes from a 998 cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four engine which transfers its power to the rear wheel through a six speed transmission with an adjustable back-torque limiting clutch that facilitates smooth downshifts.
The 2014 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is offered with a base price of 14.299, while the ABS version costs $1000 more.
Hit the jump for more information on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.
2014 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
Pursuing Perfection, Achieving Dominance
When you’re competing on a world stage – and winning – you must be doing something right. To stay on top, you have to keep learning and improving. The 2014 Ninja® ZX™-10R superbike is a perfect example of this maxim. Years of refinement in this rarified atmosphere have elevated the ZX-10R to an unprecedented level of sophistication. Racers and street riders alike discover their envelope of ability expands as they benefit from the relentless focus of engineers intent on making it possible for riders to extract more from their motorcycles. By making the ZX-10R better, riders have the opportunity to be their best.
Kawasaki developed the ZX-10R’s electronic steering damper in joint cooperation with Öhlins. Controlled by a dedicated ECU located under the gas tank cover, this damper reacts to the rate of acceleration or deceleration, as well as rear wheel speed, to help provide the ideal level of damping force across a wide range of riding scenarios. The variable damping provides optimum rider feedback by enabling the use of lower damping forces during normal operation, without sacrificing the firm damping needed for high-speed stability. The result is a light and nimble steering feel at low speed, as well as superior damping at higher speeds or during extreme acceleration/deceleration. The anodized damper unit incorporates Öhlins’ twin-tube design to help ensure stable damping performance and superior kickback absorption. It is mounted horizontally at the front of the fuel tank and requires very few additional components and ads almost no weight compared to previous generations’ steering dampers.
The highly advanced and customizable Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) lets riders harness and capitalize on the ZX-10R’s amazing blend of power and responsive handling. Exclusive to the ZX-10R, S-KTRC offers a level of performance that raises the ZX above the rest of the open sport bike class.
Motorcyclists have long been challenged by traction-related issues and riders who can keep a rear tire from spinning excessively or sliding unpredictably are both faster and safer – a tough combination to beat on the racetrack. And when talking about the absolute leading edge of open-class sport bike technology, where production street bikes are actually more capable than full-on race bikes from just a couple years ago, more consistent traction and enhanced confidence is a major plus.
The MotoGP-derived S-KTRC system works by crunching numbers from a variety of parameters and sensors – wheel speed and slip, engine rpm, throttle position, acceleration, etc. There’s more data gathering and analysis going on here than on any other Kawasaki in history, and it’s all in the name of helping racers inch closer to the elusive “edge” of maximum traction than ever before. The S-KTRC system relies on complex software buried in the ZX-10R’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU); the only additional hardware is the lightweight speed sensors located on each wheel.
Unlike the KTRC system on Kawasaki’s Concours® 14 ABS sport tourer, which primarily minimizes wheel slip on slick or broken surfaces as a rider aid, the S-KTRC system is designed to maximize performance by using complex analysis to predict when traction conditions are about to become unfavorable. By quickly but subtly reducing power just before the amount of slippage exceeds the optimal traction zone, the system – which processes every data point 200 times per second – maintains the optimum level of tire grip to maximize forward motion. The result is significantly better lap times and enhanced rider confidence – exactly what one needs when piloting a machine of this caliber.
The S-KTRC system offers three different modes of operation, which riders can select according to surface conditions, rider preference and skill level: Level 1 for max-grip track use, Level 2 for intermediate use, and Level 3 for slippery conditions. An LCD graph on the instrument cluster displays how much electronic intervention is occurring in real time and a thumb switch on the left handlebar pod allows simple, on-the-go mode changes.
The system also incorporates an advanced Power Mode system that allows riders to choose the amount of power – and the character of delivery – available from the engine. Besides the standard Full-power mode are Medium and Low settings. In Medium mode, performance varies according to throttle position and engine rpm; at anything less than 50 percent throttle opening, performance is essentially the same as in Low mode; at more than 50 percent, riders can access additional engine performance. All three S-KTRC settings are available in each of the three Power Mode settings.
The potent ZX-10R engine is a 16-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-four displacing 998cc via 76 x 55mm bore and stroke dimensions. This powerplant is designed to optimize center of gravity and actual engine placement within the chassis. It has been fine-tuned to help eliminate the power peaks and valleys that make it difficult for racers and track-day riders to open the throttle with confidence. A primary goal of Kawasaki engineers was linear power delivery and engine manageability throughout all elements of a corner: the entry, getting back to neutral throttle at mid-corner, and heady, controllable acceleration at the exit.
Large intake valves complemented by wide, polished intake ports allow for controllable power delivery and engine braking, just the thing to smooth those racetrack corner entries and exits. Camshafts built from chromoly steel further contribute to optimized engine braking and more controllable power delivery. Lightweight pistons mount to light and strong connecting rods. Compression is a full 13.0:1.
A secondary engine balancer assembly allows a number of vibration-damping parts to be simplified, contributing to weight savings. Also contributing to weight savings are a light battery, ECU and fuel pump.
A race-style cassette transmission allows simple trackside ratio changes. An adjustable back-torque limiting clutch assembly is fitted, which allows worry-free downshifts and corner-entry calmness.
Cramming all that fuel and air into this amazing engine is a ram air-assisted fuel injection system featuring large throttle bodies (47mm) and sub-throttle valves, a large capacity airbox (9 liters), secondary injectors that improve top-end power characteristics, and a large ram-air intake that’s positioned close to the front of the bike for efficient airbox filling and power.
The final piece of the ZX-10R’s power-production formula is a race-spec exhaust system featuring a titanium header assembly, hydroformed collectors, a large-volume pre-chamber containing two catalyzers and a highly compact silencer. Due to the header’s race-spec design, riders and racers looking for more closed-course performance need only replace the slip-on muffler assembly.
With the engine producing a massive quantity of usable and controllable power, engineers looked to the chassis to help refine handling and overall road/track competency. The aluminum twin-spar frame is an all-cast assembly of just seven pieces that features optimized flex characteristics for ideal rider feedback, cornering performance and light weight. Like the frame, the alloy swingarm is an all-cast assembly, with rigidity matching that of the frame itself.
Chassis geometry offers excellent stability and handling quickness. The front end geometry – with rake at 25 degrees and trail at 107mm (4.21 in.) – allows light, quick handling and complements the engine’s controllable power and the frame and swingarm’s flex characteristics.
Highly advanced suspension at both ends helps as well. Up front is a 43mm open-class version of the Big Piston Fork (BPF). Featuring a piston design nearly twice the size of a conventional cartridge fork, the BPF offers smooth action, less stiction, light weight and enhanced damping performance on the compression and rebound circuits. This compliance results in more control and feedback for the rider – just what you need when carving through a rippled sweeper at your local track or negotiating a decreasing-radius corner on your favorite backroad.
Suspension duties on the ZX-10R are handled by a Horizontal Back-Link design that positions the shock and linkage above the swingarm. Benefits include mass centralization, good road holding, compliance and stability, smooth action in the mid-stroke and good overall feedback. The fully adjustable shock features a piggyback reservoir and dual-range (low- and high-speed) compression damping.
Lightweight gravity-cast three-spoke wheels complement the tire fitment. Up front, Tokico radial-mount calipers grasp 310mm petal rotors and a 220mm petalrotor is squeezed by a lightweight single-piston caliper in back. The result is powerful, responsive braking for plenty of rider feedback.
Finally, Kawasaki engineers wrapped all this technology in bodywork as advanced and stylish as anything on this side of a MotoGP grid. The curvy edges and contrasting colored and black parts create a sharp, aggressive image. Line-beam headlights enable the use of a more compact front fairing, while LED turn signals are integrated into the mirror assemblies. Convenient turn-signal couplers allow easy mirror removal for track-day use. The rear fender assembly holding the rear signal stalks and license plate frame is also easily removable for track days. High-visibility LED lamps are also used for the taillight and position marker.
The instrumentation is highlighted by an LED-backlit bar-graph tachometer set above a multi-featured LCD info screen with numerous sections and data panels. A wide range of information is presented, including vehicle speed, odometer, dual trip meters, fuel consumption, Power Mode and S-KTRC level, low fuel, water temperature and much more. For track use, the LCD display can be set to “race” mode which moves the gear display to the center of the screen.
The ZX-10R’s ergonomics are designed for optimum comfort and control. A reasonable 32-inch seat height, adjustable footpegs and clip-ons mean that this is a hard-core sport bike you can actually take on an extended sport ride – and still be reasonably comfortable doing so.
The old saying, “power is nothing without control,” is certainly apt where open-class sport bikes are concerned. But when you factor in all the engine, chassis and ergonomic control designed into the 2014 Ninja ZX-10R, you begin to realize you’re looking at one very special motorcycle.
Genuine Kawasaki Accessories are available through authorized Kawasaki dealers.
It has been a half century since Kawasaki started full-scale production of motorcycles. Our first motorcycle engine was designed based on technical know-how garnered from the development and production of aircraft engines. Our entry into the motorcycle industry was driven by Kawasaki’s constant effort to develop new technologies. Over the years we have released numerous new models that have helped shape the market, and in the process created many enduring legends based on the speed and power of our machines. As Kawasaki’s Commitment to Performance and Styling continues to redefine the standards of high performance and riding pleasure, our latest challenges will surely give birth to new legends!
- Öhlins-Kawasaki electronic steering damper reacts to current speed as well as rate of acceleration and deceleration to vary the amount of damping force across a wide range of riding scenarios for ease of operation and optimal rider feedback
- Engine and chassis work together to allow for linear power delivery
- Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) continuously monitors wheel speed, throttle position, engine rpm and a host of other data to help ensure the optimal amount of traction without crossing over the razor’s edge of adhesion
- Power Mode selector allows riders to select power level and power delivery to match riding conditions
- Aluminum frame has ideal strength and rigidity for maximum performance
- Big Piston Fork (BPF) helps maintain composure under braking and contributes to the fork’s light weight
- Horizontal back-link rear suspension helps deliver smooth suspension action with good road holding over a variety of pavement conditions
- Slipper-type back-torque limiting clutch helps prevent rear wheel hop under extreme deceleration and improves corner entry handling
- Race-oriented instrumentation offers riders a wealth of information at a glance
Öhlins-Kawasaki Electronic Steering Damper
- Specially tuned for the 2014 ZX-10R, this electronic damper helps provide the ideal amount of damping force across a wide range of riding scenarios
- Maintains a high level of rider feedback by allowing lower damping forces under less taxing conditions, but quickly adapts to increase damping and enhance high-speed stability when required
- Reacts to current speed as well as rate of acceleration or deceleration to help provide light steering feel at low speed, as well as superior damping at higher speeds or during extreme acceleration/deceleration
- Uses Öhlins’ patented twin-tube design to help ensure stable damping performance and superior kickback absorption
Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 998cc, Inline-four Engine
- Design is compact, narrow and lightweight
- Camshafts, crankshaft and pistons designed to complement the engine’s prodigious power production
- Large intake valves, camshaft profiles and port shapes help maximize power production and smooth power delivery
- Chromoly camshafts enhance durability
- Single-shaft secondary balancer helps reduce vibration; its use allows several vibration-damping parts to be simplified and lightened
- Strong connecting rods suit the power potential of this engine
- ECU is small enough to be tucked away in a slot in the airbox assembly
- One-piece upper crankcase and cylinder casting offers maximum rigidity
- Low-friction oil pump reduces parasitic power loss
- A lightweight radiator with tightly packed cores provides efficient engine cooling
- A liquid-cooled aluminum oil cooler promotes high-efficiency heat dissipation
- Intake and exhaust valves are titanium to reduce reciprocating weight and stress at high rpm
Dual-injector Digital Fuel Injection
- Large 47mm throttle bodies help with throttle control
- Secondary fuel injectors enhance power output and power characteristics at high rpm; the lower injectors are always on, while upper injectors come on as needed according to degree of throttle opening and engine rpm
- Oval-shaped throttle bodies allow precise throttle control and instant response
- An Idle Speed Control (ISC) valve on the throttle body unit automatically adjusts idle speed, contributing to easier starts and off-idle throttle response
Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control – S-KTRC
- A highly sophisticated electronic system based on actual Kawasaki racing experience that’s designed to maximize forward motion by allowing racers to ride closer to the edge of traction
- The system crunches a wide range of data, including throttle position, wheel speed, engine rpm, wheel slippage and acceleration, with help from a speed sensor fitted to each wheel
- The quickest acceleration requires a certain amount of wheel slippage, so to optimize traction, S-KTRC actually allows for optimum wheelspin
- Using complex analysis, the system is able to predict when traction conditions are about to become unfavorable. By acting before slippage exceeds the range for optimal traction, the system can quickly and smoothly reduce power slightly so the wheel regains traction
- S-KTRC confirms conditions 200 times per second and governs ignition, which allows extremely quick response to changing conditions
- Riders can choose between three operational modes, depending on skill level and conditions
- A level meter on the LCD instrument panel displays how much electronic intervention the system is providing, in real time
- A highly efficient and forward-positioned ram air intake is designed for low intake noise and good intake efficiency
- 9-liter airbox enhances breathing and power
- Oval-section intake funnels promote non-turbulent flow at all rpm
Titanium Exhaust System
- Titanium-header exhaust system with hydroformed header pipes and small, lightweight muffler assembly uses a pre-chamber that houses two catalyzers for emissions and sound
- Headers have nearly identical specs to their roadracing counterparts, which makes it easier for riders to increase track performance with the simple addition of a less-restrictive muffler; now there’s no need to replace the lightweight and race-spec header assembly
- Dual catalyzers help the ZX-10R meet strict U.S. and Euro III exhaust emissions standards
- Race-style cassette transmission allows simple trackside gearing changes to suit individual circuits
- The “cassette” is located high enough that it can be accessed without having to drain engine oil
- Primary and final reduction ratios minimize rear end movement (squat/lift) during acceleration and deceleration
- Close-ratio 4th, 5th and 6th gears complement the ZX-10R’s circuit performance
- Overall gear ratios suit the power characteristics for ideal power delivery in all rpm ranges
- An adjustable back-torque limiting clutch facilitates smooth downshifts, a main contributor to stability under heavy braking
Chassis / Frame
- Aluminum-alloy frame offers optimal flex and rigidity characteristics for balanced handling on street or track
- Chassis geometry allows sharp steering characteristics and crisp handling with no corresponding tradeoff in chassis stability at speed
- Frame is an all-cast construction of only seven pieces, with ideal wall thicknesses that provide adequate strength and optimized rigidity
- Front end weight aids aggressive, on-the-gas corner exits
- Modifying or removing the exhaust pre-chamber (for racetrack applications only) enables two chain links to be removed, which offers riders the opportunity to alter chassis geometry by shortening the wheelbase by up to 16mm to suit different track layouts
- Like the frame, the alloy swingarm is an all-cast design, with just three pieces
- Narrow subframe layout contributes to the compact and slim tail section
Horizontal Back-link Rear Suspension
- Shock and linkage are positioned above the swingarm
- The design offers excellent road-holding, smooth suspension action, and stability and feedback when cornering
- The design positions the shock’s upper link to spread out the load and contribute to enhanced overall frame rigidity and improved mass centralization and chassis balance
- The fully adjustable shock features a piggyback reservoir and dual (high
- and low-speed) compression damping, which enables fine tuning for racing or track-day use
- The Big Piston Fork (BPF) and Back-link suspension system contribute to rider control and faster lap times
Big Piston Fork (BPF)
- The Big Piston Fork’s (BPF) 43mm inner tubes is one of the contributing factors to the bike’s composure under braking
- Compared to a cartridge-type fork of the same size, the BPF features a 39.6mm main piston
- Oil inside the BPF acts on a surface area almost four times the size of a conventional fork’s. The larger surface area allows damping pressure to be reduced while ensuring that damping force remains the same
- Reducing damping pressure allows the inner fork tube to move more smoothly, which is especially noticeable at the initial part of the stroke. The result is greater control as the fork compresses and very calm attitude change as vehicle weight shifts forward under braking, and contributing to greater chassis stability on corner entry
- Because the BPF eliminates many of the internal components of a traditional cartridge fork, construction is simplified and overall fork weight is reduced
- Compression and rebound damping adjustments are located at the top of each fork tube, while preload is now at the bottom
Advanced Braking System
- Tokico radial-mount brake calipers use dual pads and offer a superb initial bite, increased control, progressive feel and a high degree of feedback to the rider
- A radial-pump front master cylinder provides the ultimate in front brake feel and feedback
- A pair of 5.5mm thick, 310mm petal discs provides the heat dissipation needed to maintain brake feel and responsiveness during extended heavy use
- A 220mm rear petal disc gripped by a single-piston caliper provides excellent feel and feedback
Three-spoke Cast Aluminum Wheels
- Gravity-cast alloy wheels feature a three-spoke design
- Light wheels mean low unsprung weight, which allows the suspension system to work more efficiently
- 32-inch seat height makes it easy to reach the ground
- Fuel tank shape offers a comfortable ergonomic fit with the rider’s forearms and inner thighs when riding
- Adjustable foot pegs can be lowered an additional 15mm when street riding or touring
Advanced Aerodynamic Bodywork
- Compact, curved shape
- Large ducting aids engine heat dissipation
- Line-beam headlights and short fairing contributes to the aggressive styling
- LED three-bulb position lamp at the top of the ram air duct offers enhanced visibility to drivers and pedestrians
- Fairing-mounted mirrors feature integrated, LED-type turn signals
- Turn signals are electrically connected via couplers, which allows easy mirror removal for track day riding
- Compact tail section includes an elegant, nine-bulb taillight
- Taillight and turn signal stalks are mounted on a rear fender assembly that’s easily removable for track day riding
Advanced Electronic Instrumentation
- Instruments feature a high-visibility bar-graph LED tachometer positioned above a multi-window LCD info panel that offers riders a massive quantity of information
- The tachometer also functions as a shift indicator: LEDs flash when the pre-set rpm is reached, and riders can set shift rpm according to preference
- The multi-function LCD features two display modes: Standard and Race. Switching to Race Mode alters the Speed display by changing it to Gear Position, and by changing the Clock display to Speed
- Additional functions include odometer, dual trip meters, average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption, Power Mode (x3), S-KTRC (x4), S-KTRC level indicator, low fuel indicator, Economical Riding indicator (shows most favorable fuel consumption), water temperature and a host of indicator lamps
|Engine||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four|
|Bore x Stroke||76.0 x 55.0 mm|
|Fuel System||DFI® with four 47mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder|
|Ignition||TCBI with digital advance and Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC)|
|Rake/Trail||25 Deg / 4.2 in.|
|Front Tire Size||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear Tire Size||190/55 ZR17|
|Front Suspension / wheel travel||43mm inverted Big Piston Fork (BPF), adjustable rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability / 4.7 in.|
|Rear Suspension / wheel travel||Horizontal back-link with gas-charged shock, stepless, dual-range (low-/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / 5.5 in|
|Front Brakes||Dual semi-floating 310mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers|
|Rear Brakes||Single 220mm petal disc with aluminum single-piston caliper|
|Fuel Capacity||4.5 gal.|
|Seat Height||32.0 in.|
|Curb Weight||436.6 lbs.|
|Overall length||81.7 in.|
|Overall width||28.1 in.|
|Overall height||43.9 in.|
|Color(s)||Lime Green / Flat Ebony, Pearl Flat Crystal White / Flat Ebony|