Hot on the heels of a sixth consecutive WorldSBK title, the Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10RR homologation special feature a number of highlights for 2021, some of which are easy for the eye to spot while a few others hide under the skin… Let’s take you through them.
2021 Kawasaki ZX-10R at a glance
Chassis geometry and suspension settings changed
Next Generation aero with integrated Winglets
Ergonomic changes put rider in new position
New Power Mode selections
New Colour TFT instrumentation
Ohlins electronic steering damper
Kawasaki engine brake control
New Air-Cooled Oil Cooler
New Electronic Throttle Valves
New Exhaust System
New Transmission Gear Ratios
TPS relocated to bar eliminating throttle cable
Swingarm pivot is 1 mm lower
200 horsepower at 13,200 rpm for the ZX-10R
201 horsepower at 14,000 rpm for the ZX-10RR
With ram-air effect at speed Kawasaki claim an extra ten horsepower
The striking new front end features integrated winglets. Kawasaki claim 17 per cent more downforce is achieved thanks to the new design.
Inside the new cowling a race style TFT dash (including Bluetooth connectivity), four handlebar button selectable rider modes, along with electronic cruise control and optional heated grips.
A two-way quick-shifter is standard and the comprehensive electronics package takes its cues from a Bosch IMU.
A redesigned rear seat contributes to an area of low pressure behind the rider while a new foot-peg positioning, a 40 mm higher screen and handlebars have been adjusted according to KRT rider input.
Chassis updates include a 1mm lower swing-arm pivot point (adjustable on the RR), 2mm greater front fork offset and an 8mm increase in actual swing-arm length all contributing to increased stability and greater traction.
Spring rates have changed too with the front now softer and the rear harder while a wider fork clamping area for the lower triple-clamp revises the rigidity balance for the fork outer tubes.
Brembo M50 monobloc calipers clamp 330 mm semi-floating front discs and a radial pump master cylinder complete the braking package.
All LED lighting utilises direct projection unit headlamps from Mitsubishi; their luminous optical modules being adopted for motorcycle use for the very first time.
Gear ratios are refined with 1st, 2nd and 3rd lower than its predecessor while the rear sprocket has gained a couple of extra teeth with final drive now 17/41.
The inlet ports have been changed for more performance and are fed by new throttle valves while spent gases now exit via new exhaust system.
A new KRT developed air-cooled oil cooler transfers straight from track to street reinforcing the link between race and road for Ninja fans.
For the RR homologation model new Pankl pistons and matched DLC coated piston pins are 20 g lighter each and mated to Pankl connecting rods which allow the RR to extend its rev capacity 400 rpm higher than the regular ZX-10R. Weighing 102 g less each, the lighter connecting rods contribute to reducing the crankshaft’s moment of inertia by 5 per cent. In addition to benefiting engine response and handling, this makes it easier for riders to weight the front wheel on corner entry. The RR pistons have one less piston ring than standard which enables a much shorter piston height at 33.7 mm and reduces friction.
The RR also sports new cams and valve springs while the intake funnels in the air-box has been dramatically reduced in height, they were 10-30-30-10 mm but are now an even 5 mm across the four intakes.
The RR rolls on Marchesini rims and adds braided brake lines.The RR is a limited-edition model with only 500 units produced worldwide.
Both models will be available in Australia from this December. The ZX-10R is priced at $26,000, while the ZX-10RR will sell for $42,000.
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