Early C1 and C2 models are the purest of the breed. If you like your litre sportsbikes raw – this is the one
Kawasaki ZX-10R, get ‘em while you can (especially at this money)
Well they took their time about it, but when Kawasaki was finally ready to take a tilt a topping the extreme end of the litre sportsbike market they weren’t messing about.the 2004 ZX-10R was the superbike we all knew they were capable of producing.
With a claimed 175bhp@11,700rpm from its 998cc inline four engine and a dry weight of 170kg, the ZX-10R neatly squared the one horse per kilo equation. That allowed Kawasaki to claim the best power-to-weight ratio in the litre-bike class.a handy 85lb.ft of torque was most welcome too. It was a giddy mix. Physically more like a 600 – at 698mm side-to-side it was the same width as the ZX-6R.THE ZX-10R was a massive leap into full-on sportsbike territory, especially to Kawasaki fans used to the ZX-9R it replaced as the firm’s flagship sportster.
Kawasaki were able to keep things tight by designing the engine around onepiece barrels and top crankcase, placing the generator aft of the cylinders and specifying a stacked gearbox. Magnesium engine covers added drool factor.a closeratio gearbox was fed the copious power through a slipper clutch.
Elsewhere the ZX-10R was bang upto-date too; digitally controlled 43mm injectors, fully adjustable usd forks with stanchions plated with Diamond Like Coating complemented by Bottom-link Uni-trak rear suspension. Front brakes were four-piston radial Tokico calipers chewing on 300mm wavy discs.
For 2006 Kawasaki decided to calm the ZX-10R’S wilder excesses, revising the fuel injection, adding more mass to the flywheels and replacing the first bike’s 4-1 titanium system with a bulkier 4-2 terminating under the seat.this was done to boost midrange and spread power more evenly and smoothly across the rev range. They didn’t stop there also changing the frame and swingarm and messing with the mass distribution. In so doing a lot of the full-on character of the C1 and C2 was lost. If you like your litre bikes raw, analogue and more than a little flighty then the first bike is the one you want. Steady away now…
And all for around three grand. Why wouldn’t you? KAWASAKI ZX-10R
Concentrate... and, breathe