Kawasaki unveil 2016 ZX-10R

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 08 Oct 2015

2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R

Kawasaki has today unveiled the next generation of its ZX10R superbike.

While the new ZX-10R is aesthetically quite similar to the previous model, little has been left unchanged under the fairing.

The new bike features modifications to the engine, chassis, suspension, brakes and exhaust plus the introduction of more advanced electronic systems to bring the bike in line with requests made from the Kawasaki Racing Team, which dominated this year’s Superbike World Championship with Jonathan Rea taking their second title in three years.

Speaking at the launch, Rea said: “It’s so much easier to change direction on this bike and I’ve only ridden the street bike, so I’m really excited for what we can do over the winter to develop the superbike ahead of the first round at Phillip Island. I can only imagine the potential this bike has on the road. I wanted to stay there for days to find out how fast I could go, the bike gave me so much confidence I didn’t find my limits on it. The electronics are great, it seems like the sky is the limit and I can’t believe how much the production side is taking from racing.”

Side on shot 1Side on 2

While the new ZX-10R is aesthetically quite similar to the previous model, little has been left unchanged under the fairing.

The new bike features modifications to the engine, chassis, suspension, brakes and exhaust plus the introduction of more advanced electronic systems to bring the bike in line with requests made from the Kawasaki Racing Team, which dominated this year’s Superbike World Championship with Jonathan Rea taking their second title in three years.

VIDEO: JONATHAN REA IN ACTION ON THE NEW ZX-10R 

The 998cc engine has some major changes for 2016, with the cylinder head intake ports altered to allow air to flow into the combustion chamber more easily.The exhaust ports are also both straighter and wider and the titanium exhaust valves have also been widened. The cam profiles have also been revised in an effort to provide increased high-end power.  The engine also sees a revised combustion changer, shorter pistons, thicker cylinder walls, a bigger airbox (now 10 litres) and revised cooling system.

Many of the changes have been advised by the Kawasaki World Superbike effort and while the 207bhp is maintained, the bike now meets strict Euro 4 emissions regulations. 

Gas forks for 2016

The brakes have been upgraded to Brembo M50 monobloc brake calipers and Brembo idle stroke checked radial pump master. The bike features brand new Showa Balance Free Front suspension, which has been developed by Kawasaki in World Superbikes and features an external nitrogren-fulled canister, generating damping force seperately to the main fork tube. 

The bike’s electronics have been upgraded to feature a trick six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Kawasaki’s new five-mode traction control (S-KTRC, Sport Kawasaki TRaction Control), three-mode launch control and a new Kawasaki ‘intelligent’ ABS system, which inline with the IMU provides a cornering management function. This brings the ZX-10R more in line with the market’s latest sports bikes, including the BMW S1000RR, Ducati 1299 Panigale and all conquering YZF-R1. 

Another addition for 2016 is a quickshifter, which permits clutchless downshifts with Kawasaki’s race ECU, which also increases power output by 10bhp. 

There's been no word on price just yet, but it's expected to be in dealers early next year. 

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