Here’s how the new Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja could shape up

With Kawasaki on the verge of announcing a raft of new bikes, Visordown takes a look at the most important of the lot – the Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja

Kawasaki ZX-10R

KAWASAKI is just two days away from pulling the wraps off six new or updated motorcycles in what will be its biggest model update in the last few years.

We’ve already had our best stab at what the new models will be, check out that article here, but today we are going to be focussing on the biggest model of the lot – the Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.

It may not be the biggest seller or the most user-friendly machine in the range, but the ZX-10R Ninja carries the weight of Kawasaki’s racing aspirations on its muscular shoulders. It may have just racked up 158 wins in the WorldSBK series and won Kawasaki its sixth manufacturer gong, but racing doesn’t sit still, and the time is now to give the ZX-10R a bit of a spruce up.

Kawasaki ZX-10RR Ninja video review

Kawasaki Ninja ZX10RR 2019 Review

As with any update to an existing model, the factory are keeping the actual changes and specs of the machine well under wraps – literally – although there are some rumours going around that seem to carry weight with the motorcycle media.

The whispers are that the frame for the 2021 model of the ZX-10R and ZX-10RR (the latter is the homologation machine for WorldSBK) is the same as the current machine. If the frame is the same, the engine mounting points and therefore the engine’s external dimensions and casings will be the same.

Because of that, the powerplant in the new ZX-10R will be an inline-four with DOHC 16-valve layout. That means any increases in the machine’s performance are going to come purely from fettling the current motor. What form the fettling will take remains unclear, although an expected power output of 210bhp static and near 220bhp with ram air induction could be on the cards.

With most of the machine’s inhabiting the WorldSBK grid getting winged assistance over the last couple of seasons, it seems only sensible that Kawasaki also goes down this route. Whether the wings will be reserved for the RR homologation special or both of the models to be announced is as yet unknown.

One element of the Kawasaki that has long lagged behind the rest of the sports bike pack is the use of its retro-looking LED rev-counter and an LCD dash. It seems a natural fit for Kawasaki to ditch the unit in favour of the TFT screen as found in most of the other bikes in the range, or maybe split the deal and opt for an analogue/TFT hybrid as found on Ninja H2. Kawasaki currently makes, in our humble opinion, the best, easiest to read and slickest TFT’s on the planet, it seems silly not to use them on this halo model.

For anything else, we’ll have to wait – but not long. The wraps get pulled off on the 23rd. stay tuned to Visordown for all the news!