Mailing List
Get the latest news by email.

Your email:

New Members

In order to serve you better, select your area code in the drop down list below.

Aller à la version française

2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R ABS Track Test


by Pascal Bastien ,

Effective with or without the electronics
After a first track day at the magnificent Calabogie Motorsports Park, in Ontario, the thing that impressed me the most was how effective and transparent the S-KTRC and KIBS systems are. The rear end never got twitchy nor did the tires lose traction – even though I tried my darnedest.

Sure, the company had fitted a pair of very sticky Pirelli Supercorsa tires and the Calabogie track is particularly slick, but there were some mean corner exits where many other bikes I sampled couldn't offer as much traction and sense of safety.

2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R ABS left side view
 (Photo: Filip Bertrand)

Never has a superbike proved that easy to ride or inspired as much confidence on a race track. After just two short 20-minute sessions, my lap times got awfully close to my personal record at Calabogie. Whether in mode 1 (dry track) or mode 2 (dry road), the system operates seamlessly, letting you feel just a teeny-weeny bit of its presence.

Luckily, Kawasaki had the smart idea to equip the 2011 ZX-10R ABS with an electronic assist level indicator on the instrument panel, which I found interesting to have when powering out of corners.

Also remarkable is the system's ability to read and react swiftly, preventing potential slides by stepping in precisely when you open the throttle yet never going too far. It's like a guardian angel ready to put you out of trouble if you let the adrenaline get the better of you.

Its performance even gives the impression that it anticipates the rider's thoughts and inputs – which isn't totally false. Through complex algorithms every 5 milliseconds, the system can predict the moment when traction conditions will become unfavourable and adjust the bike accordingly in record time.

A missile out of corners
While leaning and accelerating over a long stretch, keeping the transmission in 2nd gear until the redline (I'm talking about the climb to the Spoon turn at Calabogie), the bike's tail only moved a few millimetres, making me feel as if I neutralized a mini-slide like a pro, with a black trail covering the entire length of the climb.

2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R ABS rear view
With or without the S-KTRC system, the ZX-10R ABS shows phenomenal rear-wheel grip and proves so effective that I was under the impression of handling less power than in reality. (Photo: Filip Bertrand)
<< 1 - 2 - 3 >>