On a sadly ordinary Tuesday, the Sales Manager at Montréal Moto made my day by offering me the opportunity to try out a remarkable machine, the Kawasaki ZX-10R. Overall, this beast sets itself apart with a unique styling. Available in colors other than racing green, it also features turn signals that are well integrated up front and nicely redesigned in the back.
|The available color schemes superbly enhance the bike's overall styling.
The dashboard now includes a digital speedometer, gear shift indicator, clock, lap timer and circular tachometer. The low windscreen and narrow frame give the impression of riding a 600. Attention to details, seen in the steering damper's blue-and-gold scheme with black steering plates and bronze anodized screws, is one of the highlights of this bike. The race-inspired chassis is impressive; the suspension is less capable than that of the GSX-R1000, but it's perfect for street riding.
The 6-spoke rims, petal brake discs and unsprung wheel assemblies are enough to fall in love with the Ninja ZX-10R. Actually, it's the rear end that's the most head-turning: the factory-installed dual exhaust system is very peculiar. In terms of design, bravo; as for functionality, I'm skeptical. Sure, there are emission standards to meet, but this unit adds weight and reduces comfort for the passenger (whose calves burn on the muffler's metallic insulator). Even the passenger seat becomes hot in the city...
So, what's really new for 2007? The engine, electronic fuel injection system and slightly raised center of gravity.
Following the redesign of the exhaust system in 2005, the 2006 and 2007 models can be considered as the new ZX-10R. The improvements are significant, both in terms of stability and brute power. In fact, the 2006 ZX-10 won the Canadian Superbike Championship that Kawasaki lost in 1999. The rider sits a bit high on the ZX-10R (slightly higher than with the old model, actually), which explains the crying lack of wind protection from the fairing. That said, the blue-and-red lights on top of some cars remain perfectly visible...
|Wind protection is inadequate.