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2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R Comparo Photo Gallery
2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Photos of the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R Comparo.
2008 Superbike Smackdown V
It's imperative to spend the effort to get the bike set-up properly for the track, but if you do, there are very few motorcycles capable of staving off the heat this Ninja brings to the track.
On the street, the ZX is improved in some aspects and has gone backwards in others - depending on your point of view.
Instruments received some improvement and the mirrors allow for one of the best views of the vehicles on your six.
Coming onto the straight at Big Willow, the ZX wags its bars regularly over the big bump while the others would eat it up without much objection.
During our two-track test day at Pahrump, the Ninja turned the fastest laps at the 2.2-mile track in the hands of our two most experienced road racers.
If the old Ninja had a front end this good, it may have given the GSX-R a run for its money sooner.
The 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R is always ready to light it up at the drag strip and finished a mere 0.03-seconds behind the CBR in the quarter mile.
Digging into the data reveals that the ZX doesn't start as strong as the others, taking 3.69 seconds to hit 60 mph, quicker only than the R1, but motors to 100 mph third-quickest at 6.27 seconds, behind the Suzuki and Honda.
The riding position is much more comfortable than either the Yamaha or Ducati.
The brakes on the '08 Ninja ZX-10R are mighty. At the velocities its motor reaches, the radial-mount 4-pot calipers and 310mm rotors are the only thing between a call to 911 and a boat-load of fun.
Notepads glistened with the high praise for the ZX's poised performance on the track and an occasional plug for its new-age styling.
Excellent front end feel, mondo-motor power and a never ending supply of confidence are the basis of the Ninja's special three-pronged attack.
The ZX is better suited for the longer tracks, yet it still puts on a hell of a show on the short course.
The motor is still there but makes power in a very different manner, with a more top-end biased delivery.
With a little more room to stretch its legs on the longer straightaways, the ZX takes full advantage of its taller gearing.
The Kawasaki Ignition Management System (KIMS) may not be a true traction control system, but it sure helps smooth out the power delivery, making this bike one of the easiest to ride of the five machines in this test.
Where the old bike felt lethargic in the slower, quicker turns, the new bike feels razor sharp, borderline skittish but solid on the really fast sweepers.
2008 Superbike Smackdown V Quarter Mile Times
2008 Superbike Smackdown V Torque
2008 Superbike Smackdown V Horsepower
Over the years we've come to expect the ZX-10 to be a big brute battling for top honors in the horsepower department.
When the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R was first unveiled at the end of '07, the bike received mixed reviews for its organic styling and the questionable return of a side-exit exhaust.
This year the Ninja is all new, and the major issues holding it back have been addressed through a complete redesign.
We rode the new Ninja at the ultra-fast and flowing Losail Circuit and found there's more to this monster than meets the eye.
The bodywork is a blend of curvy and angular lines, featuring a number of peculiar elements, including the cell-division theme on the upper cowl that separates the twin projector beam headlights with a centrally located ram-air intake.
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