NEW Kawasaki ZX-10RR

Kawasaki bring out top-spec ZX-10RR to keep up with ri­vals

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - MICHAEL NEEVES SE­NIOR ROAD TESTER michael.neeves@mo­tor­cy­cle­

Next year will feel like the early 1990s all over again be­cause the Ja­panese are back in force with lim­ited-edi­tion Rs, dou­ble Rs and SPS. All hail the re­turn of the ho­molo­ga­tion spe­cial.

Yamaha al­ready have their R1-M, but for 2017 there’ll be a new GSX-R1000R, Fire­blade SP2 and now, from Kawasaki, the ZX-10RR. Prices haven’t been fi­nalised but ex­pect the Kawasaki to be around £16,249, that’s £1900 more than the stan­dard ZX-10R.

In true ho­molo­ga­tion style, the rea­son the ZX-10RR ex­ists is World Su­per­bike rac­ing. Next year the rules be­come even more re­stric­tive and more to­wards Su­per­stock spec, so Kawasaki have mod­i­fied the cylin­der head to ac­cept higher-lift cams, given the tap­pets a Di­a­mond-like Car­bon coat­ing and strength­ened the crankcases to make it more ro­bust when the mo­tor is tuned.

The RR also has light­weight forged alu­minium March­esini wheels, an au­to­blip­per, Pirelli Di­ablo Su­per­corsa SP tyres (the ZX-10R has Bridge­stone RS10S), track-fo­cused sus­pen­sion set­tings and RR lo­gos. It comes as a sin­gle seater in black ‘win­ter test­ing’ colours.

The en­gine mods make no dif­fer­ence to per­for­mance, so it makes the same claimed 197bhp as the stan­dard bike. It also weighs the same 206kg.

To show what the RR is ca­pa­ble of, Kawasaki tweaked our test bike for our test at Aragon, with a race kit har­ness and ECU with fu­elling set-up on a dyno and on track. They also ripped out the ABS and fit­ted steel braided lines. There’s a full Akrapovic race ex­haust with ti­ta­nium tubes and a car­bon can, kit head an­gle ad­justers (down from 24° to 23.5°), and a 1mm shim on the rear shock to jack the back of the bike up.

Fork re­bound and com­pres­sion were backed off a quar­ter of a turn to make them softer and the shock re­bound is up half a turn to make it harder. And fi­nally we’ve got full race Pirelli Di­ablo Su­per­corsa SC1 com­pound tyres to play on. With this set-up the Kawasaki is a whole dif­fer­ent an­i­mal on track.

The stock ZX-10R isn’t slow, but against its ri­vals you no­tice a lack of grunt off cor­ners, slow di­rec­tion changes and podgy brakes. But with its ex­haust and race ECU the RR de­liv­ers arm-wrench­ing mid-range grunt and punches out of cor­ners like a bike with this kind of power should.

‘With its ex­haust and race ECU the RR packs armwrench­ing grunt’

Neeves at Aragon on Kawasaki’s best road-go­ing su­per­bike yet

Kawasaki wheel out the kit­ted Ninja Braided hoses are a big im­prove­ment

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