The completely reworked and electronically enhanced 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R will be unveiled in Australia at the Sydney Motorcycle Show in November.
Pricing will be revealed closer to the release date in late November at the media launch at Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn.
Rather than a cosmetic update, the new ZX-10R has received a total revamp and enough electronics to mix it with hi-tech BMW, Aprilia, Yamaha and Ducati superbikes.
The 998cc engine has been massively updated with a revised cylinder head, titanium exhaust system, electronic throttle valves and lighter internals.
Power is still 150kW (200hp), but 156kW (210hp) with ram air which is only up 1.5kW while torque is up 1Nm to 113Nm at 11,500rpm.
Since wet weight is up 5kg to 206kg, it actually has a slightly lower power-to-weight ratio.
However, Kawasaki says the lighter crank from World Superbike development has a claimed 20% lower moment of inertia so it requires less energy to spin up and down. They claim it is one of the most significant changes and will improve acceleration, deceleration and cornering.
You should also be able to use more of the power thanks to electronic rider aids including an inertial measurement unit, traction control, launch control, ABS, engine braking control and a quick shifter.
This brings it into line with many of he hi-tech superbikes on the market.
The bike also features a revised frame and swingarm as well as exotic equipment such as new Showa gas forks, Ohlins electronic steering damper and Brembo brakes.
New colours for 2016 are Lime Green Kawasaki Racing Team Replica (in ABS and non-ABS) and Metallic Matte Carbon Gray (ABS only).
For those with a more mechanical mind, other drivetrain updates include:
- cylinder head intake ports machined at an angle to create a straighter path for air entering the combustion chamber, which has been reshaped to improve efficiency
- exhaust ports polished and made straighter and wider, and titanium exhaust valves widened by 1.1mm to 25.5mm
- titanium intake valves
- new cam profiles provide increased power at high revs.
- revised combustion chamber with 5g lighter pistons down from 39.2mm to 37.7mm, and revised crowns.
- new electronic throttle valves to improve fuelling, output and emissions
- thicker cylinder walls
- revised cooling system
- intake funnels reshaped
- 10 litres airbox, up two litres
- hydroformed header collectors, titanium header pipes and a larger but lighter titanium alloy silencer
- closer-ratio gearbox for second to sixth gears
- some gears get a dry film lubricant coating to reduce friction and improve shifting
- race-style cassette transmission located high enough to change ratios for different tracks, and access without having to drain the oil.
2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
- Price: TBC
- Arrives: November 2015
- Engine: 998cc liquid cooled 4-stroke inline-four DOHC 16-valve
- Power: 150kW (156kW with ram air)
- Torque: 113Nm at 11,500rpm
- Frame: Twin-spar aluminium
- Brakes: Twin Brembo M50 4-piston monobloc calipers, 330mm discs (f), Nissin singe piston caliper, 220mm disc
- Suspension: Showa Balance Free fork, Showa BFRC Lite shock
- Electronics: Inertial Measurement Unit, S-KTRC (Sport-Kawasaki TRaction control), KLCM (Kawasaki Launch Control Mode), KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System), engine braking control, quick shifter, Ohlins electronic steering damper, five power modes.
- Length: 2090mm
- Width: 740mm
- Height: 1145mm
- Wheelbase: 1440mm
- Clearance: 145mm
- Seat: 835mm
- Kerb weight: 206kg
- Fuel tank: 17 litres