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2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R First Ride

Monday, November 22, 2010



Updated chassis geometry features slightly steeper rake (0.5 degree) and 3mm less. The result is more weight on the front wheel.
It’s hard to imagine that nearly three decades have passed since the first Kawasaki Ninja sportbike was unleashed on the motorcycling public (1983 GPZ900R). That motorcycle helped usher in the generation of sportbikes we enjoy today. Now Team Green is at it again, evolving the technical aspects of high-performance motorcycles with the release of its 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. With the introduction of this Superbike, Kawi engineers have integrated a number of technologies that make it easier to ride than ever before. For the full technical briefing make sure to check out our 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R First Look article. In this review we’ll focus on our riding impression and how it performs at the racetrack.
 
ELECTRONICS
 
Never in a million years did I think there would come a day that I’d say this, but, without question the most exciting feature of the new ZX-10R has nothing to do with the engine, chassis or anything else mechanical. It all comes down to a tiny black box and two sensors attached to each wheel. These are the primary components that make up the Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC).
 
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Motorcycle USA takes to the track with Kawasaki's fully redesigned Ninja ZX10R in our 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R First Ride Video.
The system is the most advanced traction control system we’ve ever used on a production motorcycle. It is designed to allow riders to get closer to the “limit” of the motorcycle’s performance by optimizing rear wheel spin and engine acceleration. Part of the reason the system works so well is because it is adaptive to riding conditions. Unlike other systems there are no pre-determined engine fuel or ignition maps. The system is constantly making calculations based on throttle position, engine acceleration, gear position (load force) and front and rear wheel speeds. This allows it to “predict” what might happen and adjust the engine’s ignition curve in real-time.

Four different modes are available based on rider preference or road conditions. Level 1 is designed for track use with racing tires. Level 2 is for general sport riding on either the street or racetrack, while Level 3 is for use in the wet or on slippery road surfaces. The system can also be disabled completely.
 
Each mode is selected by holding down a toggle button on the left clip-on for approximately one second. This can be done on the fly as long as the throttle is closed. The selected mode is then displayed on the LCD cockpit display. Furthermore the chosen mode selection is stored when the bike is turned off and on again.
 
The Kawasakis digital instrument panel offers a number of features and is now one of the best set-ups on the market.
The Ninja ZX-10R employs wheelie control that lets you to keep the throttle pinned to the stop when power wheelie out of a corner.
Stability at all speeds is a strong point of the new 10R.
The Ninja ZX-10R utilizes wheel speed sensors on each wheel to feed information to the traction control and engine management systems.
(Above) The Kawasaki’s digital instrument panel offers a number of features and is now one of the best set-ups on the market. (Center) The Ninja ZX-10R employs wheelie control that lets you to keep the throttle pinned to the stop when you power wheelie out of a corner. (Below) The Ninja ZX-10R utilizes wheel speed sensors on each wheel to feed information to the traction control and engine management systems.

Considering we’d never turned a wheel at Georgia’s Road Atlanta not to mention the chilly asphalt temperature, we began the test by riding the bike in Level 2 mode. With its sheer number of blind turns and rises Road Atlanta is a very tricky circuit to learn. Still within just a handful of laps it became immediately clear the benefits of the S-KTRC.
 
There are a number of dips and rises on the track where the bike will power wheelie in second, third and even fourth gear. The TC incorporates a wheelie control functionality that allows you to literally keep the throttle pinned as the front wheel lifts off the ground during a power wheelie. To my surprise, it actually took considerable seat time to get used to this feature as my brain is hard-wired to either: lift off the throttle, dab the rear brake, or tap the clutch lever to get the front wheel back on the pavement. But if you can turn-off your brain and put 100% faith in the electronics it’s simply incredible how well it works with it completely mitigating the chance of the bike looping out and instead putting the front wheel down in a smooth and very natural feeling manner. However, we did notice the system felt herky-jerky in Level 3 as the bike would wheelie then set down and repeat.
 
After I had put certain segments of the track together I started to get greedy with the throttle when standing the bike up off corners. The rear tire would still spin slightly but it would do so in such a way that you could feel the bike trying to maximize every bit of forward drive. It felt like it would spin, grip, spin, grip as opposed to just spinning excessively when we attempted the same maneuvers with S-KTRC disabled.
 
But the craziest thing is just how unobtrusive the system is, especially in Level 1. It works its magic so inconspicuously that it’s difficult to tell that it’s even working (there is a segmented bar graph-style TC activation meter on the dash that displays how active it is working but you need to take your eyes off the road to view it). As opposed to other TC systems employed on say the BMW and Ducati, the Kawi’s set-up is far less intrusive when activated and it doesn’t feel like it's restricting acceleration as much.
 
So will the TC system make the bike totally crash-proof? Not exactly. To test, I dialed in heavy throttle while transitioning from the edge to shoulder portion of the rear Bridgestone BT-003 race tire (learn more about this tire in the Bridgestone Battlax BT003 Tire Comparison) and one time the bike rear end snapped sideways and I popped out of the seat. The only thing that prevented me from crashing was basically luck.
 
If it doesn’t keep you from crashing what is it good for then? Think of it this way: The TC system takes off the “edge” of aggressive throttle input. It helps smoothen out the load you place on the rear tire during acceleration which in turn reduces wheel spin and maximizes acceleration off a corner. If you’re skilled enough you can certainly accomplish the same goal with your right wrist (Mat Mladin-style) but you’ll never be as consistent as the machine. Hands down this is the best feature of the new 10R and worth every penny of its $13,799 base MSRP.
 
ENGINE
 
The new Ninja ZX-10R uses a longer swingarm that stretches wheelbase to 56.1 inches.
The traction control system employed on the new 10R is the best system weve ever tested on a production motorcycle.
The new Ninja ZX-10R is a very easy motorcycle to ride around the racetrack.
Although the basic architecture of the engine, including its Inline-Four configuration, firing order and bore and stroke measurements are identical to the previous model year, many of the internal parts have been reworked. For more technical details refer to the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R First Look.
 
The previous generation Ninja certainly didn’t lack any top end engine performance with it pumping out in excess of 160 horsepower at the rear tire (see the 2010 Kawasaki ZX-10R Comparison Track article). Although Kawasaki claims maximum power output to have increased it felt comparable to the 2008-2010 Ninja. Kawasaki did note that in stock form the U.S. spec ZX-10Rs are fairly restricted. To prove this they had a “Power Up” bike with a racing exhaust and different ECU and it did feel considerably faster and comparable to BMW’s S1000RR rocket ship. What did feel different however is the way in which the engine generates thrust.
 
The top-end power hit of yesteryear is gone and the powerband feels flatter than before (good thing). Throttle response continues to be excellent and the engine is very usable and friendly to manipulate at all rpm. We did notice however that it doesn’t pull with the same voracity as you close in on redline with power flattening up slightly. But we did appreciate the soft manner in which the engine hits the rev limiter which felt almost identical to the Z1000 (see the 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 First Ride). The exhaust note continues to be very quiet but there is still a fair amount of air intake howl, much to our pleasure.
 
The 10R now incorporates an engine power mode selection system similar to Suzuki’s GSX-R line of sportbikes. Three power modes are available ranging from “F” (full power mode), “M” (variable middle power—allows 75% of max power with a less aggressive power curve. Furthermore full power can still be accessed based on the throttle angle rate of change) and “L” (low power—60% of maximum with an even milder power curve). Similar to the S-KTRC system the power mode can be adjusted on the fly (as long as the throttle is closed) by pressing up on the left-hand clip-on toggle button for approximately one second. The selected mode is then displayed right above the S-KTRC setting on the instrument panel with the setting being retained when the bike is restarted.
 
CHASSIS
 
Without having ridden both bikes back-to-back it was difficult to tell if the new 10R is any more agile than the old one. Turn-in did feel more predicable then we remembered however.
The ZX-10R employs a new horizontally-mounted Showa gas-charged shock absorber.
The cockpit layout and riding ergonomics are a big improvement over last years bike.
(Above) Without having ridden both bikes back-to-back it was difficult to tell if the new 10R is any more agile than the old one. Turn-in did feel more predictable then we remembered however. (Center) The ZX-10R employs a new horizontally-mounted Showa gas-charged shock absorber. (Below) The cockpit layout and riding ergonomics are a big improvement over last year’s bike.
One of the biggest complaints we had with the old bike was how top-heavy it felt. The new Ninja has shed 22 pounds of mass with it now weighing in at 437 pounds with a full 4.5-gallon fuel load. Even better though is how much better its center of gravity feels.
 
Without riding the bikes back-to-back it was difficult to discern if the new Ninja steers any easier than the old one. Still we wouldn’t exactly term it as “flickable” but it did seem to steer more predictably than before which felt like it could be attributed to its improved mass centralization more than anything. We did notice how much more stable the bike is at high speeds with it headshaking far less than we’ve experience in the past.
 
We were generally pleased with the performance of last year’s fork and the new Showa BPF continues to provide excellent performance. It does a terrific job of controlling chassis pitch during hard braking, which we experienced entering Road Atlanta’s Turn 10 where you slow down from an indicated speed of 186 mph down to second gear.
 
Speaking of braking the Ninja continues to offer a very powerful braking set-up. Outright stopping force is incredible and the brakes didn’t fade at all at our pace. Initial bite is rather low which helps make the brakes easier to use for a novice rider but gradually ramps up as lever force is increased. Additionally the Ninja now offers an anti-lock braking system available as a $1000 option. The system only adds six pounds to the weight of the motorcycle; however it cannot be disabled like say the system employed on the BMW S1000RR. The bikes we rode were not outfitted with the system so look for a review in the future.
 
Even more impressive than the fork perhaps was the new horizontally-mounted Showa shock absorber. Overall the rear end of the bike seemed to squat less during hard acceleration and there was a high-level of feel during cornering. When you combine that along with the fantastic grip from the Bridgestone BT-003 race tire and phenomenal performance of the traction control system, the package facilitates strong drives off corners. Damping force also remained consistent throughout our 20-minute riding sessions.
 
ERGONOMICS
 
Next to the performance of the traction control system the revised cockpit and riding ergonomics is another area where the new 10R shines. Part of the reason why it feels much less top heavy than before is the 0.7 inch reduction in seat height. The profile of the fuel tank is also vastly improved with it feeling much more compact than before. We also liked
The new Ninja ZX-10R is a very easy motorcycle to ride around the racetrack.
The traction control system employed on the new 10R is the best system we’ve ever tested on a production motorcycle.
the way it was shaped which allowed us to grip it better during hard braking. The clip-ons also seemed to have a more logical bend that should prove to be more accommodating on the street as well. The position of the footpegs is now adjustable, which is another big plus for both street and track riders. Generally the cockpit was well proportioned and wasn’t at all cramped for my above average six-foot-tall frame. 
 
FINAL THOUGHTS
 
Although we weren’t blown away by the added performance of the engine or chassis as compared to last year’s bike the electronics package on the new 10R is out of this world. Not only does it make the bike easier and safer to ride it allows you to better explore the astronomically high-performance that a modern day Superbike serves up. And to think that you can get a taste of a similar type of traction control and engine management technology that MotoGP bikes were using just a few years ago for a list price of $13,799 is absolutely mind boggling. Kudos to Kawasaki for continuing to evolve the realm of sportbikes with its easy-to-use and gimmick-free traction control system.
2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Photos
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2011 ZX-10R Lap Around Road Atlanta
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2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Specs
Engine: Liquid-cooled 998cc Inline-Four, 16-valves
Bore and Stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
Compression Ratio: 13.0:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; Cable actuation Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: Chain 17F/39R
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Front Suspension: 43mm inverted Showa BPF; 3-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Horizontal back-link Showa gas-charged shock; 4-way adjustable for spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping; 4.9 in. travel
Front Brakes: 310mm petal discs with radial-mount Tokico four-piston calipers
Rear Brake: 220mm disc with single-piston caliper
Tires: Bridgestone BT-016; 120/70R17, 190/55R17
Curb Weight: 437 lbs.
Wheelbase: 56.1 in.
Seat Height: 32.0 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallon
MSRP: $13,799; ABS-equipped model $14,799
Colors: Lime Green; Ebony
Warranty: 12-month, unlimted mileage
2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R First Look
Kawasaki promises faster, lighter, better with its new 2011 Ninja ZX-10R. A complete ground-up redesign, the latest Ninja Superbike features an all-new engine and chassis, including the use of the Showa Big Piston Fork and an all-new rear linkage assembly. Retailing for $13,799, this latest Ninja also features stock traction control, as well as an optional ABS version ($14,799). Oh, did we mention it’s 22 pounds lighter?

Read the full review in the 2011 Kawasaki NInja ZX-10R First Look
2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Highs & Lows
Highs
  • Phenomenal gimmick-free traction control
  • Easy-to-ride; looks awesome
  • Excellent ergonomics; great chassis balance
Lows
  • Could have more engine power
  • Flat top-end power
Bridgestone Battlax BT-003 Tire Review
Bridgestone Battlax BT003 race rubber fared far better in our test than anyone had expected.
Unequivocally the surprise of the test was Bridgestone’s Battlax BT003 buns. Overall feel and feedback replicated the Pirelli quite closely, though a bit more stiff of a carcass, especially up front. In fact, I would say it’s nearly an exact cross between the Dunlops and the Pirellis. This equates to a front tire that is more planted and less “mushy” under hard braking while still soaking up some of the small pavement bumps that you feel though a harder carcass tires...

Read the full review in the Bridgestone Battlax BT003 Tire Comparison
Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike Part 5
Grip  grip  and more grip. Without question Pirellis freshly redesigned rear tire delivers the most amount of outright grip Ive ever experienced.
For the final phase of our 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike we returned to the the racetrack, this time at The Fastest Road in the West aka the 2.5-mile Big Track at Willow Springs International Raceway. The occasion was the third round of the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club (WSMC) road racing series. After all, what better way to evaluate the track worthiness of our project bike than to race it?

Read the full review in the Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike Part 5
Kawasaki Sportbike Dealer Locator

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Comments
M L Kaw -The Kawasaki will end-up in more hands than BMW!  January 22, 2011 06:36 PM
I love motorcycles and riding, but all things considered in our-time is that there are a lot of "good-deals" on 2010 and older models. I own only Kawasaki's at the moment and will continue to do so. But I look at the 2011 bike prices from all makes and I have come to one truth, most of these are very-close to what you can buy a car for. There are still a lot of "un-sold" 2010 and older-bikes around "new" that are being highly-discounted to move them out the dealers doors. I can live with an older-bike that is about 95% to 98% of what the 2011 models offer and save a lot of "dough". This is just me though, thinking-aloud?
M L Kaw -Rode the BMW Too.  January 15, 2011 07:13 AM
When you talk about the 2011 Ninja you have to consider that it has a lot of components on the bike that are in a lot of cases inferior to what is standard on european bikes. Smaller, less-powerful brakes without braided-stainless brake lines. Nissan brake master-cylinders are not comparable to Brembo units. And most of all is that you have to buy a different ECU to get what was designed into the bikes engine for possibly around a grand. Point again is if you like to spend money and tinker buy a Kawasaki 10R. People buy these liter-class bikes for one reason, power. A 600 will do a much better job in handling, fuel-consumption and cost of ownership for street or track days/racing. And Kawasaki does not compete in AMA or on US tracks except with possible privateers. So this bikes potential will never be known in the US. I am holding my final judgment until I ride one, but with equal-power that I can get from my slightly modified 05'-10R and handling that is quick and predictable with a steering-dampener I just do not know if that the 2011 will be that much better?
John -BMW...Not That Impressed!  January 4, 2011 12:26 PM
I think you're missing the point, for most riders these bikes already have more power than they need or can use, the idea is to get as much of that power on the ground as possible and cut a quick lap time. I think this is what the new ZX-10R is going to be all about! Read all the tests on the new BMW, especially those done on the tight, bumpy tracks (relative to Europe) we have here in the U.S. The Beemer has not done particularly well on the track portions of the testing getting handily beaten by bikes making much less HP. In the quarter mile, the bike is fast but only marginally faster than bikes like the 2010 CBR1000RR with almost 25 HP less.
M L Kaw -Oh, I forgot to add?  December 11, 2010 09:04 AM
My previous writing needs more clarification. You will also have to have the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R professionslly dyno-tuned to be able to get that claimed 188 HP at the rear-wheel for an additional cost of approximately $200 to $300 more! Now we are looking at around $17599, and the BMW just keeps-looking better. But if you like to tinker and spend-money the 10R is a good-prospective project. In closing, I am some what disappointed by the new 10R and I do like Kawasaki! Perhaps it was "hyped" too-much especially since the US model is down 20 HP, which knocks-it back to 2008-2010 horse-power levels. Seems a lot of money for 20 LBS less-weight, BPF, slightly-better handling and traction-control others including the euro's are offering now with a lot more standard.
M L Kaw -The machine sounds "good" .  December 11, 2010 08:12 AM
The technology sounds-good and the engine performance is very respectable in stock form. But if your a "horse-power" fanatic it looks like you be spending about $2500.00 extra to get all this bike has to offer in engine performance-only. $13799 + $2500 (Power Commander and shifter, Leo Vince SBK system) = $16299. If you want ABS it pushes out to $17299. And that does not get you premium components like braided-stainless brake lines, Brembo master, calipers and rotors. A BMW "premium" package is $15880 with much of the above(exception is Brembo master) and gear-shift assist included. I own two Kaws and I must say if you want a better-value the BMW seems to be-it. Less modifications (less money-out) with BMW and you have stock what the Kawasaki is "shooting" for and you have to buy tons of after-market to get-it there. And consider that the "base" ZX-10R is now or close to the most expensive of the asian "big-four" does not bode well for sales of this bike. Look at CT, a lot of dealers are already discounting the 2011 ZX-10R to move them.
John Dang -Hope "Low Oil Pressure Warning Light" does not stay on for 3 minutes like the 2009 model does!  December 8, 2010 08:59 PM
Many Kawasaki's after doing oil change are prone to lose their oil prime and not uncommon for low oil pressure warning light to stay on for several minutes. I called Kawasaki Consumer Services and the staff were extremely rude and unsympathatic. Will never buy a Kawasaki ever! Good performer, handles nice, but poor quality build and engineering.
Guy Macher -good article bad typo  November 29, 2010 04:46 PM
Love the article and the bike but why does no one on the net know how to use then and than?

"Without having ridden both bikes back-to-back it was difficult to tell if the new 10R is any more agile than (right!) the old one. Turn-in did feel more predictable then (wrong!) we..."
x2468 -to clarify,,,  November 27, 2010 11:39 AM
If I managed to mess up my moto-jargon, I was referring to the fact that kawasaki used to have their frames go over the engine, instead around the engine. I wonder how much of a factor that has had on the top heavy feeling.
x2468 -Observations  November 27, 2010 11:29 AM
So I suppose kawasaki has ditched the perimeter frame idea in favor for the more common twin spar frame model? I didn't see it mentioned anywhere but from the looks of the pictures that seems to be the case. Also, I wonder where they got the expertise to produce traction control. I would think they'd have the least amount of technical knowledge on the subject compared to the other manufacturers.
Chazmuska -Excellent!  November 26, 2010 12:05 PM
Excellent first ride review! Seems like a well sophisticated bike even for novice riders! I defintely will be purchasing one in the near future...looks are awesome too!
Still HRC -NOT scared  November 26, 2010 07:43 AM
Im a HONDA fan and this does not scare me dude we are just 4cast on hitting bmw hard.Honda
Mike -Excellent Review  November 24, 2010 03:21 PM
Excellent review, as usual. The new 10R looks to be a class leader this year. What's up with cutting out the turn 12, downhill sweeper? That's one of the best parts of that track. Aim for the "Z" in Suzuki, and keep the throttle pinned! ;)
Oliver -ZX vs. SBK  November 24, 2010 01:22 PM
To answer the question about why Kawi gets great ZX street/trackday reviews but does not do as well in SBK, there is a HUGE difference between a bike off the showroom floor that develops around 170 RWHP to one built for SBK that is pumped up to around 220 RWHP. With all of that additional HP, the frame, suspension, steering, etcetera behave way differently, so the bike you wind up with at 220 RWHP is a completely different animal than what you started with at 170 RWHP. I suspect some bike brands may adapt better to the additional HP, and it may simply be a matter of what teams want to spend money testing upgrades for the bikes. I suspect that if Ten Kate put the same amount of effort into developing a Kawi than they did a Honda, the Kawi might be a more serious contender in SBK. The factories also have significant input into testing and throwing money and parts at their SBK race teams. It may be that Kawi chose not to throw as much money at their SBK effort as Honda or Yamaha. I suggest that if you're looking for a trackday or street weapon, look at the reviews in this website as they will be far more representative of the bike you will wind up with than looking at SBK results.
Jason -Thanks!  November 24, 2010 11:03 AM
Great write up, especially about the new TC system. Sounds like Kawi's the first to deliver true, race oriented TC that actually improves lap times!

As to the HP war, right out of the crate it will be nearly impossible for a Japanese company to produce something as powerful as the S1000RR that can be sold here in the US. As long as we have tiered emissions in the US smaller companies like BMW and KTM will always have the advantage. Don't complain to the manufacturers; complain to your state representatives!

JJ -Moto Addict  November 24, 2010 10:06 AM
I saw the bike at the San Mateo moto show.

The big Z is smoking HOT!!! Black please!

Why are there not longer videos of the bike being tested?
Does Adam need a help of any kind?
Vincent -What's With All the Haters?  November 24, 2010 09:19 AM
Glancing at thread makes me laugh. People we're in our offices right now wasting time reading this review, for free! Yet there's hater out there. Good job Adam. I don't care how much did Kawasaki "pays" you or why do you have erectile dysfunction that makes you do wheelies... Q-rist. Seriously folks, enjoy the free content from people who give a rats ass about the subject. Thumbs up!
Teguh -ZX series vs WSBK  November 23, 2010 09:50 PM
All the reports for ZX series are given the best result but rarely get the podium on WSBK, how come?
BLACK NINGA -go Z go  November 23, 2010 08:30 PM
put on exhaust and ECU so Z can go Maximum speed and Hp
Oliver -2011 ZX-10R  November 23, 2010 07:40 PM
Very enticing bike. I want one. I wonder how good the ABS will be and whether it will work as seamlessly as the new traction control system for racetrack use and trailbraking.
Matt -First Ride? I dunno...  November 23, 2010 06:46 PM
...I'm pretty sure Cycle World had a first ride up before this article. I know for a fact they have an actual on track video of the Z instead of a tech overview.
Tony -Yet another one  November 23, 2010 05:11 PM
How much did you get payed to do this story?? Come on guys, if you pay you get a review. If you pay a little more, you get a review with video. But if you pay, support the troops, and pay even more you get "bike of the year"! Can't wait for the next payout...I mean review from you guys.
Tim -The display??  November 23, 2010 04:38 PM
Im surprised no one has said anything about the display, it looks just like the RC51 display and i think its hideous. Its only slightly better than the original 04 display. I am not gonna be giving out $14k anytime soon for a new bike when you can buy and 04 for $4k and thats already too much bike for the mortal population to handle. All the new gadgets are putting a strait-jacket on the bikes character, but at least you can turn them off.
GG -Response to x2468 - TC  November 23, 2010 02:22 PM
I believe any system that can ensure consistency of traction lap after lap would benefit ALL riders, fast or slow. This reminds me when, just over a year ago, Nissan introduced their "Syncro-Rev" system. "Experienced" drivers hated it because it made the art of "heel-toeing" obsolete. But a driver that can heel-toe perfectly 99% of the time will still get beat by one that can do it perfectly 100% of the time (as is the case with a machine with the Syncro-Rev system). Regardless, the bottom line is if a person knows how to dial in the system and other adjustments on the bike (i.e. suspension) they will go faster and more safely regardless of their current skill level. It is definitely a "wonder" technology especially if it responds according to conditions, and not "pre-defined" ones such as the BMW and Ducati systems, which are obviously limited or optimized to only certain conditions.
Kirk66 -Road Atl  November 23, 2010 12:18 PM
So, the bike's down on power? Nothing an exhaust and ECU update won't fix. What's the impression of the track? I've lived within 40 miles of the track for nearly 15yrs. Track days are a blast on the track. I know that it's kinda an old school track compared to Miller, Barber, Jersey and such, but it's got character that those tracks lack.
Roman -Great article  November 23, 2010 11:38 AM
Thank you for the the coverage.
I' am very pleased Adam.
x2468 -tc  November 23, 2010 10:35 AM
Would the TC make a fast rider faster, or just an average rider closer to a fast rider? if the latter is the case, then idk how i feel about this "wonder" technology.
csteger -Video?  November 23, 2010 10:05 AM
Were's the video?
GG -Congratulations on first review  November 23, 2010 08:53 AM
Nice...thanks MCUSA for the first scoop/review of this awesome new machine (actually I have not seen any other web review at all of this green meanie). I can't wait to "derestrict" this monster (188 rear wheel hp derestricted?)! Kudos to Adam for the coverage on everything from the chassis to the amazing TC system. Once again Kawasaki is not afraid to push the envelope on production motorcycles. Here's hoping their WSBK team kicks butt next year. By the way, is wheelie control standard and NOT an option? Also, when is this beast slated for U.S. release?
kevin -blah blah blah on what's better and faster  November 23, 2010 07:52 AM
They (sport bikes) are all better and faster than you. Some of you are missing the important point. Traction control, REAL traction control not just three different maps, is getting closer and closer to being a standard feature on sport bikes.
Chris -Comparisons  November 23, 2010 07:04 AM
Compare it to the others you've ridden. R1 GXSR Beemer
Shin -Devastator!  November 23, 2010 06:24 AM
Saucesome! Everyones been waiting to hear bout the electronics , n if it kept Adam sunny side up ( unlike the Duke streetfighter AHEM) then it obviously Works ! Looks are always subjective but i can see the flow and the design direction as well as the effort to sculpt this machine its pure rising sun goodness n shudnt be taken any other way. PUT A Purple Decepticon sticker on Her can call it DEVASTATOR!
stefaan -kawa vs beemer  November 23, 2010 03:56 AM
main question remains: is it better (faster) then the beemer?
Pat -Cool bike  November 23, 2010 03:34 AM
Mmm. Power is "fairly restricted" for the U.S. I really thought Kawasaki's pride would have them slugging it out with the big Beemer, powerwise. Still, it sounds like this could be the bike to beat this year.
Prashanth -NICE GREEN BEAST  November 22, 2010 10:20 PM
NICE GREEN BEAST IVE SEEN THE VIDEOS IN YOUTUBE LOOKS GREAT...
Chris -Great article  November 22, 2010 10:03 PM
I'm guessing that from here on out the bike with the most sophisticated TC/ABS/engine management system will be the shootout champ. . . which is fine by me. Can't wait for my first ride on a "smart" bike.
MCUSA - ED -Video on the way...  November 22, 2010 09:01 PM
Sorry folks, we rushed to the electronic press as soon as possible. Maximum coverage on the way with videos in the works. Just remember you read the first ride here at Motorcycle USA!
rob -video  November 22, 2010 07:43 PM
where is the video?
P. Tran -Nice !  November 22, 2010 07:01 PM
Nice article Adam ! But how come there is no video ?