Whereas some sport bikes rely on smoothness and efficiency to make their point, the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R
plays the uncompromised performance card - a track animal that promises an exciting ride to a competent rider.
|With angular lines and aggressive shapes, the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R is clear about its intentions.
ARC Turn2 invited us to a track day at the Calabogie Motorsports Park near Ottawa, the better to wring out the bike under real track conditions. I first let former 600 racer and current riding instructor Éric Moffette have a little fun out there and give me his feedback, before I got on the beast for a few “quick” laps myself. I know this track well, after four bike track days and several car races there, but this was my first time there on a full tilt 1000cc sport bike.
Power and explosiveness
With angular lines and aggressive shapes, the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R is clear about its intentions: the delivery of wonderful thrills propelled by a 188 hp at the crank (over 190 with the Ram Air intake) engine. A larger air box, dual injectors and dual throttle butterflies, significantly-lighter moving components and completely-revamped combustion chambers help generate 13 extra horses over the 2007 model, as well as more mid-range torque. In fact, one can feel the difference the first time you open up the throttle.
The Kawasaki Ignition Management System (KIMS) manages ignition and injection systems, as well as control the speed of opening of the throttle and provide what I can characterize as "behavioral" traction control. The ECU differentiates between a gradual throttle opening and buildup of rear wheel spin, which it limits (I.e. classic traction control), and a quick throttle opening, as in an obvious attempt to break rear wheel traction, which it allows without intervention. A thinking motorcycle - no less! A slipper clutch helps reduce rear-wheel hop when braking hard and downshifting at high revs on the track, as well as preventing rear-wheel slides or lock-up under hard braking on slippery surfaces (water, sand or large potholes) on the street -- an excellent way to boost rider confidence and safety.
A chassis and suspension that live up to the engine
An engine that powerful needs a strong, high-quality frame that can handle the load.
|ARC Turn2 invited us to a track day at the Calabogie Motorsports Park near Ottawa, the better to wring out the bike under real track conditions.