I’ve got some really, really good news. I’ve been put in charge of a new Kawasaki ZX-10R. It’s a long-term test bike that we’ll have for the next 12 months or so, and we’ve got some big plans for it.
You can learn a lot about a motorcycle when you’re giving it the berries over the mountain section of the Isle of Man TT course. It certainly helps to jump from one model to the next; it means you can make direct comparisons.
But you don’t learn everything. There are certain characteristics and idiosyncrasies that you only notice when you live with a bike for a decent period of time. Like how often the standard chain needs adjusting, whether the pillion seat is comfy and how far you can get on a tank of fuel when you’re riding it ‘normally’.
Oh and how easy it is to work on, too. And I do plan on finding that out. Because although the Kawasaki ZX-10R might, in its standard trim, be perfect for some, it’s not quite perfect for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very, very good, but not perfect. What it is, is a very good starting point, and one that I think we can make perfect.
I absolutely love the engine and the chassis. That said, there are a few bits and pieces I know we can improve on. I wasn’t impressed with the ABS when I went on the launch of the ZX-10R earlier on in the year; that’ll be one of the first things I want to tackle. And the riding position (legs-wise) is a tiny bit cramped, so I think I’ll try and find some adjustable rear-sets to remedy that.
The new ZX-10R does have shorter gearing than the last one, but it could do to be a bit shorter still. As could the wheel base. So I think I’ll alter the gearing a little bit and whilst I’m at it, move the rear wheel forward.
The dashboard is a massive upgrade from the last one, but I’ve seen some even tricker ones that bolt straight onto a ZX-10R. They’re made by AIM for race bikes, but I don’t see why I couldn’t put one on a road bike. I might have to do some investigation, though.
A pipe and an air filter would be nice too; I like to be able to hear the bike I’m riding. And if it helps find a bit of extra power, that’s a bonus.
I also like the idea of having some sort of security tracker on the bike. Although I don’t actually have any experience with that sort of thing; so if anyone out there’s got any advice, holler right at me.
I’m sure there will be a few other little bits and pieces I decide I want to do, plenty of which I probably won’t get round to. But hopefully, in a year’s time, I’ll have the perfect Kawasaki ZX-10R. A bike that everyone will be jealous of. And a bike that I won’t want to give back…