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Saturday, October 9, 2010

2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10 R

With none of the major players pitching in for the year 2011, Kawasaki finally decided to go ahead with the much needed revamp of it's flagship model - the Ninja ZX-10R.

Well, I would say the 2011 Ninja ZX-10R is certainly not the prettiest looking liter bike and I personally loved the looks of 2010 Ninja ZX-10R. This bike looks a lot on the lines of the Aprillia RSV4, specially the front fairing and the exhaust. But at the same, even though Kawasaki's official web site has not revealed the bike's peak power and torque marks, the bike has been revised a lot from ground up.

Some of the new features that have been added to the bike for the year 2011 are - 
  • A totally new redesigned DOHC engine, with more usable power band than the previous model (well nothing much has been revieled about the engine though, which would suggest as to how the engine is providing more "usable" power to the rider, be it on track or roads.
  • Stronger camshafts, piston and crankshafts
  • After Suzuki, Yamaha and BMW, Kawasaki joins the leagues of SBK makers to incorporate Power Modes into their machines. The 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R's ECU provides the rider three power modes to choose from.

    Well BMW's S1000RR still remains the only bike with the most intuitive representation of the Power Modes.
  • The new transmission shaft raises the center of gravity of the bike slightly, for better mass centralization (well that also comes hard for my understanding, because I believe, the lower the cg of the bike, the better the mass centralization of the bike is)
  • Revised fuel injection system with larger throttle bodies and dual injectors.
  • All new and lighter aluminium  twin spar frame for the best possible handling.
    • 43 mm Big Piston Fork (BPF) up front and an all new Horizontal Back-Link rear suspension

      for the best possible feedback, stability and overall handling.
      • Shock and linkage assemblies are now positioned above the swingarm, which frees space below it for a large exhaust sub-chamber, which allows a shorter (and lighter) muffler.
      • Lighter three spoke gravity cast wheels for lesser unsprung weight.
      • Roomier cockpit, slightly lower seat and adjustable foot pegs.
      • Revised chassis geometry – steeper rake, less trail, slightly raised CG – allows even sharper handling characteristics.
      • Around 10kg lesser kerb weight than the 2010 version.
      • Revised RAM-Air intake.
      • Mirror integrated LED turn signals.
      • Revised transmission gear ratios.
      Apart from the above mentioned new features in the 2011 machine, Kawasaki has integrated Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC), a highly sophisticated electronic system, borrowed from Kawasaki's MotoGP experience.

      The S-KTRC, in conglomeration with the ECU and a very complex software system, analyses a vast amount of data including, throttle position, wheel speed, engine rpm, wheel slipage and acceleration to determine the exact amount of traction required.

      In addition to the S-KTRC, Kawasaki has also introduced optional Kawasaki Intelligent ABS (KIBS). The KIBS version is prices $1000 above non-KIBS version.

      Kawasaki claims the BOSCH built KIBS unit to be the most lightest and the most sophisticated in the lot. Also the KIBS unit is located near the cg of the bike, near the left engine cylinder, which helps in neutralizing the effect of the additional weight of the KIBS unit. But in all this sophistication, Kawasaki does not mention if the KIBS unit works on the lines of the C-ABS of the Honda Fireblade, which plays a huge part in it's rideability, specially in the non-Track conditions... the open streets!!

      So, with none of the major international motorcycle magazines still waiting to bang the new baby off the block,  it's very difficult to say anything about the actual performance numbers of the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, but I personally feel that even though, performance wise this bike would be much better than the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, but will it beat the likes of the BMW S1000RR... well that needs to be seen, because as Kawasaki itself has said that it's not about how much power the bike produces, it's about how much usable power the bike provides and BMW has set very high standards for all.
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      1. BMW S1000RR has shaken the Japanese Superbike market at least in terms of sheer performance.

        But that doesn't mean that aesthetics don't matter anymore.. I don't fancy the styling.

        To me the Ducati's with their drop dead gorgeous looks stand apart from anything in the Superbike category. Never mind which is the best performer.

      2. What the BMW S1000RR has done... it has shown the world, what is the outcome of sheer performance and viability. Meaning, it's a Hayabusa/ZX-14 out-performer, but at the same time, it's so much user friendly. None of the other bikes are so user friendly as the S1000RR is on the road(not even the Fireblade for that matter)

        The Ducati launched the scorcher of a bike in the form of the 848 Evo.... easily the best in it's class and is claimed to have better comparative performance numbers than the S1000RR (as per Ducati's press release of the bike). But is that user friendly to the rider on the road?? It's certainly not.

        As I've said, I don't like the looks of the 2011 ZX-10R, but look at the other refinements that have went in... nothing specific has been said... and it still lags behind the S1000RR in terms of user friendliness :)

      3. S1000RR the Big Boss (with the winking eyes) :-)


      Item Reviewed: 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10 R Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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