Towards the end of 2015, Kawasaki surprised everyone with the much-awaited upgrade to its litre class supersport, the Ninja ZX-10R. The motorcycle, which has always remained as one of the one of the most user-friendly and equally precise-to-use supersport in the world, received a thorough upgrade in each aspect, be its design, performance, mechanicals and set of electronics.

Within a year of its official launch, Kawasaki has mildly updated the motorcycle by giving in a few more equipment and mild changes to its powertrain. But instead of launching it as the ‘all new Ninja ZX-10R’, Kawasaki is terming this new version of the motorcycle as an additional variant of the same. Say hello to the new Ninja ZX-10RR then, which promises to be sportier and more eager to roar than the standard ZX-10R. Here’s a quick look at what all changes do the new Ninja ZX-10RR is adorned with, over the standard ZX-10R:-

STYLING


2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R2017 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10 RR

From a distance, you might feel that the new Ninja ZX-10RR hasn’t undergone any change over the standard Ninja ZX-10R, but a closer inspection will reveal the minute changes which Kawasaki has carried out for the new version of its litre class track tool. There are a couple of small cosmetic changes which have livened up the appeal of the motorcycle.

First of all, the Ninja ZX-10RR comes with the same curvaceous headlamps and revamped front fairing which made their debut on the latest Ninja ZX-10R, which mimic that of the bigger Ninja ZX-14R. The central air scoop between both the headlamps has been kept intact, so is the LED pilot lamp above it. Keeping in mind the customer feedback, the front windshield is now larger than before, and a bit swooped out at the rear to deflect wind blasts at higher speeds.

It is the side profile where there are slight but noticeable changes on the motorcycle. The side fairing, as well as fuel tank, carry forward their respective designs from the standard Ninja ZX-10R, however, the wheels on both the ends are new lightweight Marchesini units, which look better than those of the standard Ninja ZX-10R. Also, the Ninja ZX-10RR comes with a different Winter Test paint scheme which is usually reserved for special edition motorcycles of Kawasaki. The revised tail section with new LED tail lamp and new fender which premiered with the standard Ninja ZX-10R has been retained on the Ninja ZX-10RR as well. The exhaust pipe too has been lifted off from the standard version of the Ninja ZX-10R.

Like the overall design language, the fully digital instrument console too has been shared with the standard Ninja ZX-10R. This particular unit comes with a rainbow shaped tachometer, below which sits a rectangular LCD panel which shows the readouts for speedometer, odometer, trip meters, engine temperature gauge, gear indicator, clock, selected ride mode, et al. The rear view mirrors are all new, but they still have integrated turn indicators in them.

Though the Marchesini wheels and a new paint job definitely make it look more appealing than the standard Ninja ZX-10R, but to be honest, we would have liked to see more noticeable cosmetic changes on the new Ninja ZX-10RR.

Overall Dimension

Make ModelKawasaki Ninja ZX-10RRHonda CBR1000RR SPYamaha YZF-R1
Length2090mm2065mm2054mm
Width739mm715mm691mm
Height1145mm1125mm1150mm
Wheelbase1440mm1404mm1404mm
Seat height835mm820mm856mm
Wet weight206kg195kg199kg

POWERTRAIN

jpg/201702/kawasaki-ninja-zx-16.jpg

Apart from a minor cosmetic change which Kawasaki has carried out for the Ninja ZX-10RR, the basic powertrain of the motorcycle too has undergone a couple of small changes as well. On the new Ninja ZX-10RR, the overall engine and gearbox combination has been carried forward – the engine is the same four stroke, liquid cooled, inline four, 998cc engine, which pumps out 197bhp of power and 113.5 Nm of torque. With the help of ram air input, the power can be bumped up to 204bhp as well.

However, the engine on the new Ninja ZX-10RR comes with a modified cylinder head and crankcases, which enables the engine to make a slightly more performance in the lower revs as well as the midrange. Though, there is hardly any change in the behaviour of the motorcycle at higher revs.

Engine Specification

Make ModelKawasaki Ninja ZX-10RRHonda CBR1000RR SPYamaha YZF-R1
Capacity cc998999998
Bore/ Stroke mm76/5576/5579/50.9
Output197 bhp189 Bhp @ 13000 rpm197 bhp @ 13500 rpm
Torque113.5 Nm116 Nm @ 11000 rpm112.4 Nm @ 11500 rpm
Type4-stroke, Inline 4 cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve, Liquid-cooledLiquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC Inline-4liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, forward-inclined parallel 4-cylinder, 4-valves
Clutch typeWet- Multiplate with slipper assistWet- Multiplate with slipper assistWet- Multiplate with slipper assist
Transmission6-speed, return shift6-speed with quick shifter and auto-blipper6-speed with quick shifter

RIDE AND HANDLING

jpg/201702/kawasaki-ninja-zx.jpgjpg/201702/kawasaki-ninja-zx-3.jpg

On the new Ninja ZX-10RR, the new revised frame and suspension combination of 43mm fully adjustable balance free telescopic forks at the front and a horizontal back-link with balance free gas charged mono shock at the rear has been lifted off from the standard Ninja ZX-10R. The brakes are same as well – dual 330mm Brembo discs at the front and a single 220mm disc at the rear.

As expected, the new Ninja ZX-10RR gets the same list of electronic aids as that of the Ninja ZX-10R, which includes ABS, Kawasaki Launch Control (KLCS), Kawasaki Intelligent Braking (KIBS), Kawasaki Sport Traction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Engine Braking Control (KEBC), all of which work efficiently in making the riding as well as braking experience a bit more engaging in the part of the rider. Kawasaki has played one more noticeable move with the new Ninja ZX-10RR by adding one more feature in its set of electronic riding aids – a new quick up-and-down shifter, an enhanced version of the Kawasaki Quickshifter (KQS), which has made the gear changing experience a bit more hassle free, thus enabling the rider to make those quick turns even faster.

Chassis Specifications

Make ModelKawasaki Ninja ZX-10RRHonda CBR1000RR SPYamaha YZF-R1
Suspension / Front43mm inverted Balance Free Fork, adjustable stepless rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustabilityTelescopic inverted fork with an inner tube diameter of 43mm, and an NIX30 Smart-EC (OHLINS) Front Fork with preload, compression and rebound adjustments43mm KYB inverted fork; fully adjustable
Suspension / RearHorizontal back-link with Balance Free gas-charged shock, stepless, dual-range (low-/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preloadUnit Pro-Link with gas-charged TTX36 Smart-EC (Öhlins) damper featuring preload and compression and rebound damping adjustmentKYB Single shock w/piggyback reservoir, 4-way adjustable
Brakes / FrontFront BrakesIntelligent Braking (KIBS), Brembo dual semi-floating 330mm discs with dual radial mounted monobloc 4-piston callipersBrembo dual semi-floating 330mm discs with dual radial mounted monobloc 4-piston callipers, Gyro-Assisted ABSDual 320mm hydraulic disc; 4-piston calliper, Unified Brake System and ABS
Brakes / RearKIBS-controlled, single 220mm disc with aluminium single-piston calliper220mm dual piston Gyro-Assisted ABS220mm disc; Unified Brake System and ABS
Tyres / Front120/70 ZR17120/70ZR17 58W120/70ZR17
Tyres / Rear190/55 ZR17190/50ZR17 73W190/55ZR17

PRICE

jpg/201702/kawasaki-ninja-zx-20.jpgjpg/201702/kawasaki-ninja-zx-14.jpg

While Kawasaki has already launched the updated Ninja ZX-10R in India and considering the fact that Kawasaki launches most of its updated global motorcycles here in India, it is safe to say that the new Ninja ZX-10RR will reach here pretty soon. Currently, the Ninja ZX-10R retails for ?16.40 lakh, which gives us estimation that the new Ninja ZX-10RR will see a price tag of approximately ?17-18 lakh.

COMPETITION

This superbike gets serious competition from brothers from other mothers. Honda and Yamaha are both at the top of their game and firing on all pistons. Both have a superbike capable enough to rip apart each other in their own game.

Honda CBR1000RR SP

jpg/201610/2017-honda-cbr1000rr-sp-6.jpg

For the Fireblade’s 25th anniversary, Honda has gone big with the updated engine, chassis, electronic suspension and a whole bunch of rider aids package all combined with the hefty weight loss giving the rivals a run for their money. This updated model from Honda is said to be an evolution rather than a revolution because close to 70 percent of the parts that make up this bike is completely new as opposed to the previous models.

Honda has continued its weight loss program with the engine as well by overhauling the motor for the 2017 CBR. The in-line four pot uses, for the first time, a throttle by wire control helping the power gain to 185-190bhp (11bhp more) while the red line now goes all the way up to 13000rpm from the previous 12250rpmwith peak torque of 81.79ftlb @ 10,500rpm. The compression ratio is up to 13.0:0 from 12.3:1. The power to weight ratio has increased by 14 percent.

Yamaha YZF-R1

jpg/201502/yamaha-yzf-r1-2.jpg

The new Ninja ZX-10RR is a direct reply by Kawasaki to its arch rival, the Yamaha YZF-R1, as the latter did manage to raise the standards in the segment. Unlike the new Ninja ZX-10RR, the design of the R1 is a bit controversial, with biased opinions for the MotoGP-spec M1-based design – some may fell in love with it, while others may hate it too.

Following the litre class tradition, the R1 too comes fitted with a four-stroke, liquid cooled, inline four, 999cc engine, which churns out 200 PS of power and 112.8 Nm of torque, which on paper, is equivalent to that of the new Ninja ZX-10RR. This engine too comes with all the titanium bits and weight saving components like the engine of the new Ninja ZX-10RR, making the engine lightweight and responsive at the same time. The suspension and electronic aids on both the motorcycles are almost similar, making the decision hard to select the better motorcycle out of the two.

VERDICT

jpg/201702/kawasaki-ninja-zx-6.jpgjpg/201702/kawasaki-ninja-zx-13.jpg

Kawasaki has left no stone unturned in improving its standard Ninja ZX-10R, the efforts of which can be sensed in this latest iteration of the motorcycle, the new Ninja ZX-10RR. Though the changes are very limited, but as a yearly update, this has to be termed as quite praise-worthy, which explains the seriousness of Kawasaki towards modern engineering on two wheels. The manufacturer has managed to improve the motorcycle in every other aspect as well – be it performance, dynamics and electronics. With the new Ninja ZX-10RR, Kawasaki has really spiced the game, and it is only going to lift the standards and benchmarks in the litre class supersport segment to new heights.