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New Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R review, test ride

Kawasaki is building their portfolio in India since 2009, when they started out with the Ninja 250R. Today Kawasaki has the Ninja 300, 650, ZX-10R and ZX-14R on sale in the country.

Kawasaki is building their portfolio in India since 2009, when they started out with the Ninja 250R. Today Kawasaki has the Ninja 300, 650, ZX-10R and ZX-14R on sale in the country. The ZX-10R is a track focused motorcycle equipped with all the bells and whistles you could ask for when riding at the race track; a serious rider's motorcycle.

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The ZX-10R was last updated in 2011, when it received cosmetic, engine, frame, suspension and brake upgrades.

The ZX-10R holds a commanding presence; its razor sharp nose sporting dual eagle-eyed headlights on either side of Kawasaki's ram-air system duct. A set of all-digital instruments tuck away under the bike visor, and show the rider speed, a tachometer, an odometer, trip meters, time, riding mode and gear engaged. The bikes bulbous, two-tone fuel-tank uses a hinged fuel-filler cap and flows back into a two-piece seat that accommodates rider and pillion. The 10R shows-off a two-tone, sharply chiselled fairing, with racy decals. At rear, the ZX-10R get an LED tail-light, with smartly integrated and clear lens turn indicators. This Ninja rides on black, 3-spoke alloy wheels and there's an exposed drive chain as typical on a sportsbike like this.

Kawasaki's ZX-10R houses a 998cc, four-stroke, in-line four-cylinder and liquid-cooled engine which comes thoroughly prepped up for race track duty. The fuel-injected engine generates whopping maximum power of 209.9bhp at 13000rpm, while peak torque made is 11.42kgm at 11500rpm. Kawasaki's ram-air system helps achieve such healthy output. The ZX-10R's engine ran smooth and vibe free throughout our ride, and Kawasaki is offering various riding modes, that help tame this much power. The 10R comes with full, medium and low power modes, three levels of traction and wheelie control, plus ABS. The litre class powerplant is allied to a 6-speed gearbox, shifted in a 1-down, 5-up pattern via a sporty toe-shift lever. The close ratio gearbox comes backed by a slipper clutch, allowing for more aggressive downshifting when riding really hard. Acceleration is as expected, fearsome and calling for an experienced pair of hands to handle safely.

The Ninja ZX-10R is held together with a twin spar alloy frame with fully adjustable, inverted telescopic fork suspension and horizontally mounted gas-charged monoshock at rear, bolted onto an alloy swingarm. The ZX-10R seats its rider with a pronounced lean into the handlebars, arms outstretched to the handlebars, as is typical on a track focused motorcycle. The ZX-10R uses wide and grippy front (120/70) and rear (190/55) tyres, fitted to 17 inch alloy wheels. Handling is lightning sharp, and with quick turn in, the motorcycle steering exactly as asked of it. The ZX-10R corners on rails, and comes with serious stopping power, with twin 310mm petal discs up-front and a single 220mm petal disc at rear, both offering ABS.

The Kawasaki ZX-10R comes into India via the CBU route, which makes this an expensive motorcycle, at 15.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune). This, along with the Ninja ZX-14R are only available in Pune as of today. Detailed ride report coming up soon.

Fact File
Price Range (in lakhs)*
Ex-showroom price 15.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune)
Type 998cc, Inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke
Power 209.9bhp at 13000rpm
Torque 11.42kgm at 11500rpm
Type 6-speed, 1-down and 5-up
Length 2075mm
Width 715mm
Height 1115mm
Wheel base 1425mm
Chassis & Body
Weight 201 kg
Wheels 3-spoke alloy
Tyres 120/70 x 17
Spare 190/55 x 17
Front USD forks
Rear USD forks
Front 310mm petal discs (ABS)
Rear 220mm petal disc (ABS)
Tank size 17litres

  • First Published Date : 20 Oct 2013, 12:20 AM IST