Jonathan Rea tests the Kawasaki ZX10R Ninja at Jerez - it’s a proper review!

Six-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea gives the Kawasaki ZX10R Ninja a test around Circuito de Jerez. Love it.

Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX10R Ninja 2021 Review

IF there was anyone you’d want testing the 2021 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, right at the top of the list would probably be Jonathan Rea - he’s the current (and 6 time running) WorldSBK champion with the Kawasaki Racing Team, and the most successful rider in the history of the Championship.

I think Jonathan Rea has a future in reviewing bikes to be honest, the video is bang-on - he gives you all the information you need about the new 2021 Ninja ZX-10R, and obviously has the skill to really push the bike to its limits. Plus, he has hands-on knowledge about the parts that have migrated across from the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) bike to this road-going version - he even treats us to an onboard lap on Jerez!

New 2021 Kawasaki ZX-10R and Ninja ZX-10RR | All the Specs, features, and details |

Rea starts us off with a run-down on the new spec for the Ninja, what’s changed, and what’s come over from both the old Ninja and his WSB KRT race bike - covering the new fairings and downforce created, the refinements to the riding position (from the new raised seat, higher rear sets and 10mm forward handlebar placement), and the design changes made for the perfect superbike setup - which is incidentally drawn from the setup on his WorldSBK KRT bike. 

For the technical amongst us: Rea covers the "shorter, low gear rations on the Ninja, which provide improved acceleration and crisper throttle off the bottom" thanks to all of that torque, with M50 front Brembo calipers & master cylinder to stop the bike as quick as it gets off the mark.

If you want the full rundown of spec, check our 2021 ZX-10R launch post.

A Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja tour of Circuito de Jerez, from Jonathan Rea!

The circuit tour fast-lap of Jerez kicks off with a massive rev-limiter launch, after a brief walkthrough of the power-maps and how to get the most from the Kawasaki. He prefaces his lap by saying: ‘first lap, no tyre warmers on, doing photos… so this’ll be a steady lap’ but all things considered, he’s absolutely hammering it around by the middle of the lap. 

I suppose that’s what you get when you give a top-of-the-line superbike to an undisputed top rider, on what could be one of the best circuits in the world… although that’s a discussion for another day.

Pulling up from his lap, he lets us know that the road-going bike is no slouch (if that was ever in doubt). The fairing provided him with greater coverage, the riding position is a near carbon copy to his racing bike, and the downforce is just as comparable. Rea says it’s a bike that inspires confidence, and if it does that for a or the 6-time WorldSBK champ, it’s good enough to be considered a top superbike.

After all, Rea himself says:

“... even better on this thing than I am on my racebike!” 

So no excuses! Itching to get on a bike after watching this.