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Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R - Group Test

The 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10R has been in news since the time it's first sketch came out back on 24th June, 2010. Since then the Green has taken the world by storm. The bike was finally released on July, 2010. But soon lightning struck and an engine problem was detected and the bike was send on hold officially, only to be lifted at the stroke of dawn of the new year.

In my technical review the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R, I found that the bike was lacking in all aspects when compared to the BMW S1000RR. Soon, the same comparison started scorching the webspace and things became insanely hot. It was really getting time for a full blown comparison to see, if the new avatar of the ninja warrior would be able to de-throne the king - the BMW S1000RR.

On Feb 3rd, 2011, MCN took the initiative and gave us the answer which was quite in line to what I predicted. The BMW S1000RR still rules.

Specific observations from MCN about the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R -

1) The bike is lot more comfortable than the previous version of the ZX-10Rs and is a lot easier to ride. All in all it's the best ZX-10R yet.

2) The bike has one of the best traction control in business which makes it very confidence inspiring in wet condition (of course the choice of rubber does play it's part)

3) Be on road or on track, the bike holds it's composure and character.

4) Now here comes the catch. The bike lack big time in bottom and mid range and all the power and torque like high up in the rev range. So, you really have to twist the right wrist real hard to get the juice starting to flow. This makes it lag behind not only on track because there are better competition, but also on road because the power band comes really useless on road condition, where higher rev range is seldom achieved, which was also evident in the 2011 Ninja ZX10R's flat out video.

The verdict of MCN Group test was clear and I for the time completely agree with it.

2010 BMW S1000RR - Winner and beats all Jap competitors by leaps and bound. It's just so so refined and easy to ride. The absolute smooth power delivery and handling makes it the most desirable liter class sports bike money can buy in today's time.

2011 Honda Fireblade - No technical changes what so ever from the previous year, but the Honda still has the second best mid range and handling after the BMW and therefore claims the second place overall.

2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R - It's such a shame that even after coming with a new bike ground up, the Ninja ZX-10R finishes third on the scale and it's all because of the lack of grunt low down. Straight line performance and electronics is one thing, but the bike lags behind overall when you put real scenarios in perspective.

2011 Yamaha R1 - Back in 2009, when Yamaha pulverized the rule book by giving the cross-plane crank shaft to the R1, the bike just blasted off. But two years have past since then and there has been no improvement what so ever. On the other hand, it's competitors have evolved and are aiming beyond the sky. Two areas where the R1 needs to focus are it's top end and it's extra weight that the bike is carrying since 2009. The problem with the current crop of R1s is not the engine, it's the second stage refinement that the engine is demanding and an overall review of the package. The Yamaha R1 finishes fourth on the chart.

2011 Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Well, the story is same with the Suzuki and it's just that, a little bit more attention is needed on this package. With the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 already setting the track ablaze with it's overall refinements and a massive 19kg weight shave, I'm hoping that the flagship would also get the same treatment pretty soon to climb up the chart. The Suzuki finishes fifth in overall ratings.

Having seen the results, I'm not much excited as to how the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R fairs up with the exotics like the 1198, F4 and RSV4. To me it's a lost race already, but again, in a given day, you can never predict the odds and therefore I'm keeping my mind open before the Colosseum turns smokey.
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  1. So Sajal bro? Is the R1 still your fav litre class bike?

    Or do we have a new favorite here?

  2. Payeng Dude
    You got me on this one :) Actually if I had the kind of money that I can actually choose amongst the BMW and the Yamaha, I might just slip towards towards the BMW as that's the machine to have!! But yeah at the deepest fathom of my heart, I would still be pining for the Yamaha!! So, it's tricky for me. The heart says Yamaha and the brain says BMW :)

  3. Most other Magazine and Internet reviews say the 2011 ZX10 is the best japanese liter bike overall (or at least as good as the Honda) and in the same league as the Bimmer... It may have a big top end bias in power but for real world riding it is still more than torquey enough, these bikes all do 0 to 60 in under three seconds..also a simple sprocket change will help with any low end issues.. Overall I would rather have this than the Bimmer.

  4. I've ridden both and bought the zx10 it's a better machine overall and is def a better ride than the Beemer my buddy has the new 1198sp and agrees it' out performs even the ducs

  5. I have owned a 09 CBR1000 and I have owned the Ducati 1098. I now own the 11 ZX10R. The ZX10R reminds me in many ways of the 1098. It doesn't have the L twin but it has a torquey 4 coupled with the higher gear ratios and 25 degree rake which mimics the 1098 more with its twin and 24 degree rake, but the ZX10R can turn sharper though. It revs lower than the CBR and it hold a turn much better. The CBR had lower gearing making it rev high like a 600 hundred, in my opinion. I did test ride the BMW and I felt the handling characteristic was a bit top heavy, making the handling awkward if you were riding slow and tried to lean it. The ZX10 midrange power is held back greatly by the Cat, which when you eliminate it, brings back torque all through the midrange.

  6. @Anonymous

    Thanks for your inputs/review bud... appreciate it much :)

  7. Has anyone seen the spy photos of the new 2012 Ducati? it uses a horizontal mounted rear shock like the ZX10R.

  8. Yup the 2012 Ducati does have a horizontally mount rear shock, but it's completely different ball game in chassis architecture, very much on the lines of the Descmosedici

  9. I have a 2011 zx 10r and let me tell u it's a. Beast I've owned or ridden almost every liter bike out there and it's on par w the ducs and the aprilia and once u strip that pipe and flash the ecu there's not much touching it I have an 1199 tri colour on order for track use but you
    Can't beat team green for the $$$

    1. Awesome man... would be waiting for your feedback on the 1199 :)

  10. I currently have the 09 GSXr 1000 and its a beast! With a pipe and ecu flash we pumping around 179hp,but I have no issues keeping up or even passing S1000 or the kawa on track days. I test rode both and I must say they impressive machines. I would lean towards the zx though. However I'm waiting to try the 2012 zuki. Just remember,you can't replace rider skill..these bikes are way faster than most can ride.

    1. @Anonymous
      Can't agree more with you man :)

  11. Sounds like sajal, faggot name by the way, is up bmws ass and probably hasn't touched either. I have the bmw and my buddy has the kwak. I kick myself for not buying the kwak.

    1. @Anonymous
      Well pal, before even trying to think that you know about motorcycles, how about joining back school and completing your basic education, so that first you learn some manners and second you garner enough courage to even type your name while posting your comment. I've approved your comment as an example of the lowly trash that's easily available on Internet.

      On not having touched any of the bikes, well you should first read my article, before even thinking about opening your stone aged mouth.

      So, happy reading and safe riding.

      God Speed


Item Reviewed: 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R - Group Test Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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