‘Tis the day of sneaky teaser pics: first Ducati and now Kawasaki, who has just released an image of the 2016 ZX-10R. As you can see from the nose, she’s definitely had some styling tweaks but it sounds like the majority of the work has gone into ensuring Kawasaki regain the World Superbike championship – although it’s not a complete overhaul…
“This is not a “clean sheet” design as the current Ninja ZX-10R is such a good base to develop from”, commented Project Leader for KHI, Yoshimoto Matsuda. “With the new model we have focused our development resources on an overall engineering and performance improvement. We are proud of the result; it means a significant advance in terms of both chassis and engine performance as well as providing the platform to introduce new, state of the art rider aids and other technology.
“The input the KHI development team has received from the Kawasaki Racing Team, and riders, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes has created what we are sure many will feel is the most competitive and potent Ninja ZX-10R yet. A motorcycle equally at home on the race track or as a highly responsive daily riding road machine.”
The current model is hardly lacking in performance, although the aesthetics aren’t to everyone’s tastes. Again, finer details are very light at the moment but obvious updates like a quickshifter and the de rigueur 200bhp required to go racing will, more than likely, be seen on the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R, along with the already-confirmed suspension upgrade and ‘a premium grade braking system’, which’ll be Brembos then. The factory in Japan has always had close links with Kawasaki Europe and the official Spanish-based racing team (KRT), and we’ll get to see it sometime in October.
From a personal point of view – having ridden Tom Sykes’ ZX-10R a few years ago – I’m praying Kawasaki give us a form of the intricate electronics seen on the factory racers, where the bike runs on 2/3 cylinders until the throttle is at 100%. It’ll have little benefit on the road other than sounding full-factory, but Kawasaki’s trickery will be more than welcome on track. Sykes’ bike is the best two-wheeler I have ever sampled – it felt uncrashable.