Even though the ZX-10R has always stood out during superbike comparisons, it clearly needed some very convincing arguments to take on the competition, which has become extremely fierce since 2010 with the Aprilia RSV4 Factory SE APRC
, the Yamaha YZF-R1
and its crossplane crankshaft and the most formidable of them all, the BMW S1000RR
|Entirely revised from the ground up, the 2011 ZX-10R sports even more threatening lines with its pavement-kissing nose and upturned croup. (Photo: Sébastien D'amour/Moto123.com)
Though Japanese culture has made restraint a tradition, Team Green apparently held nothing back when designing its new machine. To whit: new, lighter and more compact frame, improved ergonomics, new, more potent and user-friendly engine, Sport Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) and intelligent ABS brakes (KIBS)
Entirely revised from the ground up, the 2011 ZX-10R sports even more threatening lines with its pavement-kissing nose and upturned croup. The front end is clearly a success, with large angry eyes (headlamps) and a big air intake that stuffs the now-bigger airbox with as much air as it can take. The matte black fuel tank and slim hind end combine for a race-bred look that announces unequivocally that this machine means trouble.
Green with fury
Kawasaki has made performance a veritable religion. For Team Green, not having the most powerful engine is akin to purgatory. That’s why the engineers worked double-time over three years to develop the ZX-10R’s new mill. Still sporting four cylinders and a dual overhead camshaft, it now puts down more ponies with 197 hp at 13,000 rpm (207 hp with the optional racing package) and 83 ft-lb of torque at 11,500 rpm.
Designed to offer more usable performance with torque that’s available later on, but nevertheless gradually, and more grunt at high rpm, the new powerplant pushes hard from 7,000 rpm to the red line, like it never wants to stop. A thrilling feeling that you can relive again and again.
|Still sporting four cylinders and a dual overhead camshaft, it now puts down more ponies with 197 hp at 13,000 rpm. (Photo: Sébastien D'amour/Moto123.com)