197.2bhp | 206kg | Seat height 835mm
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. In true homologation style, the reason the ZX-10RR exists is WSB 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 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. and weighs the same 206kg. The stock ZX-10R isn’t slow, but against its rivals you notice a lack of grunt, slow direction changes and podgy brakes. But with its exhaust and race ECU the RR delivers arm-wrenching mid-range grunt and punch.
You still get a beautifully plush ride through the Showa suspension, but now the Ten is more agile through the corners, grippier and more accurate with its race tyres fitted. The race kit gives the traction control and anti-wheelie a more satisfying feel, popping and rasping every time you bump into the electronics. Fit the race ECU to unleash the autoblipper and extra midrange and you’ve got a superbike that will live with the best.