Kawasaki seldom disappoints enthusiasts. That applies to its bikes all across the range. And when it comes to going fast, very fast, the Kwackers are no less than the best in the business. We are talking about a bike that is exactly that – the 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. The ZX10-R has now got even better with new upgrades that make it a scintillating machine. How good is the new ZX-10R? Is it worth a buy? We find out in our detailed review. Read on.
2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Design
The 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is quite similar in design to its predecessor. However it does get a lot of styling updates. A re-styled fairing and a wider windscreen is apparent. The front mudguard is new again. Nothing much changes from the side. It does get a new tail lamp though.
The new ZX10-R becomes easily recognizable due to its new colour theme. It is a combination of black and Kawasaki green, with just the right mix to make it look super attractive. The sharp twin eyes (headlamps) and the nostril (air duct) in between give it the desired effect. The bike is mean and it certainly looks too. The chassis is redesigned and has a slightly longer wheelbase too.
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2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Features
The new ZX10-R gets quite a lot of upgrades in terms of riding aids. To start with it comes loaded with electronics such as Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), by Bosch. What is does is continuously measure the movement of the bike and accordingly deploy traction control and brakes. Brilliant! The instrument cluster now has additional information like the traction control (S-KTRC), 3 power modes, ABS, launch control (KLCM) and engine brake control (KEBC). Then it also has a gear indicator and instantaneous / average fuel consumption. The fuel gauge is in the form of a low fuel indicator.
The electronics can be controlled with a toggle switch on the left side. All this is very confusing initially and takes some time to understand. The bike continues to get a steering damper from Ohlins. It is further improved to adapt to the revised dynamics of the bike.
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2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Performance
This is an area where the ZX-10R means business. The capacity of the engine remains the same as earlier, with a 998cc, 16-valve, DOHC, in-line four layout. This engine churns out a max power of 207bhp@13000rpm and generates a torque of 113Nm@11500rpm. The engine now it gets a lighter crankshaft, which helps in extracting quicker acceleration. The valves are now wider and built from titanium, which again make them lighter and allow better top end performance. The piston is made from a new alloy that controls expansion from excess heat. The air filter is also larger now. It also gets a new electronic throttle.
All this together sum up to a superlative performance from the engine. There are three power modes – full, medium and low which deliver 100, 80 and 60 percent power respectively. The gear ratios also have been reworked and make the bike more rideable now. The first gear still is very tall and you can reach close to 120 km/h without a single shift! However, what is good is that the new ratios make the ZX-10R more rideable in everyday conditions.
It is easy to potter around at slow speeds as well and you can keep the bike in top gear below 100 km/h too. But that isn’t exactly what this bike is built for. The actual fun of this machine is beyond 7500rpm. The rpm indicator turns from yellow to red and the bike just goes ballistic! It gets really scary, not only with the blast of power, but also by the way the four cylinders scream out. Surely, it can frighten others on the road. Also in this powerband, you quickly run out of road. Certainly, it is meant for grown-ups.
2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Ride and Handling
We test rode the ZX-10R only on roads and thus did not get an opportunity to explore its true potential, which lies on the track. However, it gave us a fair idea of how it behaves with its five different traction control settings. I mostly rode with the S-KTRC at level five. It is tuned for street riding conditions as also slippery surfaces, as it controls tyre slippage on sudden throttle inputs. I loved the way the ZX-10R handles. Despite being slightly heavier than before, it feels very agile and the weight distribution is near perfect. The Showa BFF (Balance-Free Forks) at the front and the BFRC (Balance Free Rear Cushion) at the rear ensure that the bike rides in a smooth and settled manner. You don’t feel as if you are riding a litre-class bike. The dynamics are very well sorted.
The same can be said about the braking, It is as good as it can get. If the way the bike charges, scares you, then its stopping prowess is sure to instill immense confidence in you. It has double 330mm discs with four-piston calipers from Brembo at the front and a Nissin twin-piston caliper attached with a 220mm disc at the rear. The brakes are excellent at any speed. The drawback here is that the seating position can get painful when ridden for more than short distances. The riding position is as aggressive as it can get and you need to crouch hard.
2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Price
The Ninja ZX-10 R is priced at INR 18.3 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai). It competes with the Suzuki GSX1000R, Honda CBR1000RR and the Yamaha R1.
If you are looking for an everyday bike which you can occasionally tour on, then the ZX-10R is not the one, for sure. The ZX-14R may fit there better, being more comfortable. The Ninja ZX-10R is a brash machine. It is born for the track and feels the happiest there. With the latest racing technology embedded, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is the closest a production bike can get to a racing motorcycle. At this price, it competes fiercely within its segment and comes out as great value. Buy the Ninja ZX-10R only if you access the race track often. This insane warrior will then reveal its true self.
2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Specifications
|Engine||998cc, in-line four|
|Cooling System||Liquid Cooled|