Kawasaki zx

Kawasaki ZX-10R (2004-2010) Lineup

Bungee jumping without bungee cord

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R was the first sports "liter" of the green stable.

Kawasaki ZX-10R SE 2018 CLose look Exhaust Test sound

It was released in 2004 as a replacement for the ZX9R and the result of an ongoing “arms race”. With the help of the ZX-10R, Kawasaki wanted to return to the podium in the Superbike class. But as soon as the young (in every sense of the word) "liter" appeared on the market, it quickly became clear that it turned out to be completely wild, and in inept hands - even deadly. And in World Superbike he did not shine with victories, only once in two years he arrived on the podium for the third.

Kawasaki zx
Any person with whom I talked about the first generation Ninja ZX-10R, never used in conversation words like: “balanced”, “exact”, “correct”, “like Honda”. Much more often sounded curses or epithets with no less than three exclamation marks. My friend, who once owned the “dozens” of the 2004 model, said the following about him: “This bike is for abnormal people. This is the worst possible choice of choice as the first sports bike. It doesn't even give anyone a warning slap. he just hurts right away. "

Its four-cylinder engine with a volume of 998 cm3 generates a power of 175 hp, attained at 11,700 rpm. On paper, it looks quite good, especially considering that the weight of the motorcycle itself is only 170 kg. However, this is not shocking. Shocking way how the ZX-10R develops the aforementioned power. Imagine that you come to a chic restaurant, order a stewed pheasant noble and a bottle of exquisite expensive wine. The waiter, instead of serving the dish on a golden tray decorated with mint petals, throws it all in your face, and smashes a bottle of wine on your head. The ZX-10R reaches peak power in a similar way ... In 2006, a completely new ZX-10R model was introduced, which was already made softer. Although in this case it was approximately like a mad tiger after a week-long hunger strike to feed on yogurt. “Kava” was still as sharp as a razor blade, although it did not cause so much trouble to the pilot. Improved stability of the bike at high speeds and on second-rate roads. The Ohlins steering damper also appeared in the list of standard equipment, which could only please. After all, before any buyer first thing put it at their own expense. The company said that this bike is very "user-friendly" (friendly). Who else thinks that being able to get into the “Power Wheelie” in third gear from medium speed is “friendly” !? That's the same thing! So let's leave this statement on their conscience.

However, experienced pilots felt a change for the better. After all, the designers decided not to increase the engine's power, but chose the way of its "training." The explosive characteristic of the motor of the first model complicated the process of piloting, especially in the corners. Disruption of the rear wheel could occur even with a sharp release of gas. And in this case, the slipping clutch fitted as standard was of little help. They decided to fight this problem with the help of a heavier flywheel, crankshaft and other injection systems. As a result, the value of torque increased in the middle speed zone. The increase in both power and torque has become more linear, without sharp bursts. So the driver can unscrew the “gas” in the turn much earlier, without fear of a jump in power and disruption of the rear wheel in the slip. In addition, a heavier flywheel facilitated not only acceleration, but also engine braking.

Kawasaki zx

The suspension in the 2006 model was better calibrated for use on simple roads, including roads with poor coverage, with humps and holes. The previous model in such conditions was able to catch up with fear (as if she was a little catching up with his engine!). Front radial 4-piston calipers, biting into two discs with a diameter of 300 mm, proved to be more effective, although they require pressing with more than one finger when used. The rear brake also works more clearly. Undoubtedly, at that time, the installation of reinforced brake hoses was a necessary decision. The facelift of the 2006 ZX-10R also went to the benefit of the motorcycle, making its appearance more vivid. At the same time the silhouette of the motorcycle became quickly recognizable. The rear part has become sharper, and under it a dual exhaust hid. However, this only partially solved the problem of increased turbulence in the tail section of the motorcycle. And, of course, the small lens headlights of the “tearful” shape and the huge air intake capable of sucking the pigeon found a tip in the hearts of those to whom the first generation model seemed too simple and characterless. A small highlight can be considered the rear brake light on the LEDs and white, built-in fairings, direction indicators. The steps were shifted slightly up and back, which slightly improved the ergonomics of the driver's seat. But this does not mean that the load on the wrists, spine and knees is significantly reduced. The ZX-10R 2006 model year still required a typically sporty driving position. But in this position it became much more convenient to read the readings of the tachometer, which, unlike the first model, became analog and with a white background of the scale. Despite some adaptation for public roads, the potential of this motorcycle in road conditions is unrealistic to use. Yes, and you should not relax at his wheel, because the right-hand grip still acts like a grenade fuse. Therefore, the approach to the motorcycle with something like this: “I wonder what will happen if I turn it off now stronger?” For many, it ended in failure.

Only two years later, Kawasaki introduced the motorcycle, which really could be called "user-friendly." With a needle, the new ZX-10R 2008 model year turned out so charismatic and unlike its predecessors, that at first glance it was difficult to attribute to the line of Ninja motorcycles. Yes, and on the behavior it was a completely different bike.

A chassis with good feedback and sensitivity, improved ergonomics of the pilot's seat, recesses under the elbows in the gas tank - this is an incomplete list of "amenities". Engineers from Kawasaki for the first time used on this motorcycle a new design of a fork with springs located below and completely immersed in oil. This means a decrease in its foaming and an improvement in depreciation. An equally important element was the new rear shock absorber with compression and rebound damping settings separately for low and high speeds.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R FIRST RIDE - Loud FlyBys - INDIA / BikersIN

Now, for many novice riders, there is no need to replace it with a tuning unit. The wheel of the motorcycle is also adorned with a more modern Ohlins dual-chamber steering damper, designed specifically for this bike. By the time the power of 175 hp already did not cause delight and engineers were able to increase its rate to 188 hp, without losing power and thrust in the zone of low and medium rpm. This was the result of installing secondary fuel injectors, using oval chokes and changing the shape of the intake and exhaust ports.

Kawasaki zx

However, the problem was that at medium speeds, between 4,000 and 8,000 rpm, especially at tight sharp corners, where you need to pick up speed again after its decrease, thrust was not always enough. It was necessary to wait a bit to “enter the torque”, and only after 9000 rpm the output of power assumed a decisive character. Even too decisive, because it led to an ineffectual and dangerous uplift of the front end. And, as the riders noted, at medium speeds, the ZX-10R engine was inferior in power even to the CBR1000RR, playing out only on the “tops”.

But the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R of the 2008 model year has one important feature that caused a lot of noise after the first presentation to the public - the system of traction wheels (KIMS). It was first installed on a superbike and called "revolutionary." But it soon became clear that this was not traction control at all, but merely its similarity, which does not promise the buyer great benefits and in no way makes his driving on ordinary roads safer. This system was created to reduce the risk of rear wheel demolition when driving on a track, but does not exercise control over the adhesion of wheels to asphalt in its usual form. PS: The latest history of the Ninja ZX-10R continues in the 2011 model, which was presented at last year’s exhibition in Köln. Her appearance had to wait for three years. But, it was worth it. Even in spite of some technical problems revealed by the first production motorcycles (but completely eliminated before the start of massive sales), the enthusiasm around the novelty does not subside. At first, some American and European customers had to queue up to get this bike in their hands. But the last Ninja ZX-10R is already a topic of a separate material, which you can read in one of the closest issues of our magazine ... "Kawasaki ZX-10R has the highest accident rate, including fatal, among all registered motorcycles. Accidents with his participation occur 9 times more often than the average. "(From the press release of the International Insurance Institute for Road Safety Insurance in 2007 - the USA).

Model history


Released the first model ZX-10R. Despite significant improvements over the previous nine-hundred, for the simple buyer, it turned out to be too harsh and even dangerous.

2006 Motorcycle completely redone. The engine was slightly "tamed", and the suspension began to behave better on bad roads. New fairing improved stability at high speeds. Dual exhaust, located under the seat, increased the weight of the motorcycle by 5 kg. Motorcycles of 2006 and 2007 can be distinguished by the color of thermal protection on the exhaust pipes - silver for 2006 models and black for 2007 models.

2008 A significant change in the appearance of the motorcycle - it has become more angular. But the biggest changes lie in the engine. He received a substantial increase in power: from 175 to 188 hp (and taking into account the system of aerodynamic supercharging - up to 200 hp). Together this increased the weight of the motorcycle - up to 179 kg.

Kawasaki zx


The ZX-10R received a new transmission, a different steering damper and a fairing improved in terms of aerodynamics. The rest of the bike is completely identical to the 2008 model.

“Greens” after the launch of the new “ten” in production in 2006 announced that the new version is softer and behaves more civilized. "More civilized" - compared to what? With a public penalty ?! "

How much is a liter?

Copies of 2004-2005 in fairly good condition in Ukraine can be purchased for $ 7000-8000. Models of 2006-2007 - for $ 9000-11000. Newer models of 2008-2010 will cost much more expensive - from $ 14,000 and more, depending on the mileage and condition. But we must remember that buying the ZX10R only to drive it around the city is the same as buying a 50-cc scooter for the Around the World. And this fact foreign buyers realized much earlier than ours. Therefore, taking a motorcycle that was previously brought from Europe, Japan or America, or a suspiciously cheap device, it is worth checking how intensively it was used on the track. Special attention should be paid to finding traces of falls and consequences after them. It is possible that the scuffs on the fairing did not arise after the accidental fall of the motorcycle, as they say, "from the steps" ...

Baby sores

When buying a ZX-10R 2003-2004 release (the release of the model began at the end of 2003), you should carefully inspect every inch of the frame. The first models had a defective frame, which cracked along the welds. Moreover, not only from falls or extreme driving, but even from a simple ride through the city. Kawasaki was well aware of this problem, but they didn’t begin to talk about the official recall. But when contacting the service center without question, they changed the frame to a new, modified one. We also get a new frame, which is a numbered unit, it is extremely difficult. And the problems associated with its replacement can not be compared with the "small discount" from the seller. Motorcycles of 2005 of such "sore" did not suffer any more.

Kawasaki zx

Also ZX-10R 2003-2005 did not like operation at low temperatures, which led to the deterioration of some elements - brake pads, calipers, brake hoses, their clamps and other things. In the first ZX-10R paintwork was of average quality. Luck "knew how" to slazit together with a torn label or sticker. These elements, however, methodically improved and similar problems after that no longer occurred. Fortunately, the Kawasaki ZX-10R of the last years of release does not have serious ills. The engine tolerates heavy handling, but, of course, we must not forget about good service. From the point of view of reliability and quality of production, the modern Kawasaki ZX-10R is a really good bike and it would be wrong to look at it through the prism of the sins of past, long-out of production models. The mechanics, who are asked about the serious flaws of the Kawasaki ZX-10R, shrug their shoulders, asserting in unison that these are not the same Kawasaki motorcycles that were in the eighties and nineties.


Motorcycle Mean Green Everyone knows which motorcycles the Kawasaki ZX-10R should compete with, so it makes no sense to list them. Let's try to establish what he will protect himself.

First of all, the engine, which gives a new meaning to the common expression "damn powerful." In the first model, he was just wild, in the future - a little more docile, but in quotes. The chassis is quite suitable for everyday use, although some drawbacks appear when driving on not very flat roads. If only practical aspects are taken into account, then the Honda CBR1000RR, of course, will be better. The question is whether a supersport “liter” should be assessed by such an indicator as a trouble-free ride to a bread shop. 

Text: Vladislav Sofonov

Photo: Kawasaki

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