Could the all-new Kawasaki ZX-10R be launched on Monday?

Something is happening over at Kawasaki on 12th October... could it really be the official reveal of the 2021 Kawasaki ZX-10R and Kawasaki ZX-10RR?

Kawasaki ZX-10R

If you’ve visited Visordown recently you’ll know Kawasaki has been doing its utmost  to dominate the news cycle at the moment with drip-fed teasers about six new models it will be launching on November 23rd, including what is likely to be the new 2021 Kawasaki ZX-10R

We’ve already had a go at (educated) guessing what may lurk under the covers and one - or rather, two - of the mystery machines looks set to be the new Kawasaki ZX-10R and Kawasaki ZX-10RR, the next generation in a long and historic line of sportsbikes from the japanese firm.

Nevertheless, having pencilled November into our diaries, we’ve since noticed another date appearing in preview videos - 12th October, or this coming Monday - where Kawasaki is publicising a world premiere.

Now, we should disclaim here there is no indication it will be the new Kawasaki ZX-10R/RR and, honestly, we’d have expected a bit more build up with ambiguous videos and cryptic social media posts as is the trend nowadays. 

Then again, maybe a Beyonce-style surprise new model drop would be a fun approach this time - after all, it’s almost Ninja-like in strategy...

Indeed, it should be noted that the Kawasaki Racing Team is due to get its hands on the new model before it is launched globally with a test outing on November 17th. While this could very well be siphoned off away from its rivals (and pesky camera-holding journalists) to be run behind closed doors, there is an argument the 12th October - on the week Kawasaki looks set to clinch a sixth straight WorldSBK title - would be fitting too.

Either way, we won’t have long to wait. If it’s not the ZX-10RR, then what could it be instead…? You can be sure we will bring it to you as soon as we have it…

What can we expect from the Kawasaki ZX-10R / RR?

Given the long gestation periods sportsbikes generally have to not only get them just right for the consumer but also ensure they deliver on the race track too, it’s surprising how little we know about the next generation Kawasaki ZX-10R and RR.

There are some conflicting reports that it could be a thorough rework of the current model rather than a complete overhaul, but it means we’ll be as intrigued as you are when the covers do come off.

For Kawasaki, the ZX-10R is absolutely crucial. Having made an immense success of WorldSBK to vindicate its exit from MotoGP at a time when the premier class is thriving again with six manufacturers, anything less than dominance would be seen as a failure in relative terms (no pressure then!) 

Indeed, it is known Rea has petitioned Kawasaki to be daring with this new model because it had to convince him to continue racing on. He has since signed a three-year deal. It is believed an even more potent version of the ZX-10RR was in the works in 2019 as a rushed reaction to Ducati’s dominance initially, but it was put on the backburner as the momentum began to shift again.

Though it has seen off new rivals on track anyway, the time is nonetheless right for the ZX-10R to be updated having slipped back in the power stakes compared with Honda and especially Ducati, while the design - though recognisable - is looking a little long in the tooth.

We expect both a ZX-10R and a race-bred ‘homologation special’ ZX-10RR to be revealed at the same time, though it’s plausible the former could make its bow next week with the latter taking centre stage in November.

In terms of what we can expect under the skin, we should see an upturn in power well beyond the magic 200bhp mark to go wheel-to-wheel with the CBR100RR-R, while you can bet the green machine will be sporting some fetching new wings this time around.