With Kawasaki already having a brilliant line-up, it’s decided to put an update to that with a special edition ZX-10RR and an updated Ninja 650 for 2017. And while we can expect to see the new Ninja 650 in India sometime next year, the RR version of the ZX-10R keeps things a little more complicated.
Like Honda with its SP2 version of the CBR1000RR, Kawasaki also plans to release a new race-ready version of the ZX-10R, called the ‘ZX-10RR’ in 2017. As of now, it is limited to just 500 units in Europe; this is to meet the current homologation requirements for WSBK racing. There will also be race-kits available for the ZX-10RR, quite similar to what Honda has done with its SP2 version of the CBR1000RR.
Kawasaki has created a modified cylinder head for the ZX-10RR to accommodate higher-lift camshafts from a new RR race kit (sold separately) and new reinforced crankcases to improve durability. Meanwhile, the tappets have been given a diamond-like coating to reduce friction and improve efficiency. Power figures however, remain the same, with 197hp at 13,000rpm (207hp with ram-air) and torque has a peak of 113.5 at 11,500 rpm.
The ZX-10RR will come with forged aluminium Marchesini wheels to reduce un-sprung weight for lighter handling. These wheels can also fit on the ZX-10R. So owners of the standard version can also take advantage of the weight savings, though they will also need to buy accessory kits to fit the brake-discs and speed-sensor ring. The RR will come shod with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres as standard.
Aside from the mostly-black, winter-edition paint-job and a couple of RR logos, the ZX-10RR appears to be visually almost the same as the ZX-10R it is derived from. However, the ZX-10RR is equipped with a quick shifter that allows clutchless upshifts and downshifts (the standard model could only handle clutchless downshifts with the help of a race-kit ECU upgrade).
The Ninja 650 has been one of the more popular mid-segment sports-tourers available in the country and it gets even better for 2017. It is based on the Kawasaki ER-6f but has received a fair amount of changes.Already being a rather sporty and versatile machine, the 2017 Ninja 650 will see an all-new trellis-frame and swing-arm, a slipper-clutch, and ZX-10R-inspired styling. And Kawasaki has managed all this while reducing the weight of the motorcycle by a whopping 19kg.
The biggest difference between the new and old Ninja 650 is the steel trellis frame. The previous-generation Ninja 650 came equipped with a steel double-tube perimeter frame with a matching twin-tube swing-arm. This all-new trellis frame is said to weigh just 15kg, and combined with the new aluminium gull-wing swing-arm, the new chassis is supposed to have much lighter-handling than the previous model.
The engine remains a 649cc twin, which has been tweaked for better mid-range performance from 3,000-6,000 rpm; with a peak output of 68hp. This has been accomplished with the incorporation of longer header-pipes, 36mm throttle-bodies, and a new air-box along with a new intake and exhaust cams. The engine comes mated to a six-speed gearbox along with a slipper clutch. Kawasaki claims a 6.8 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.The new Ninja 650 also gets new suspension, with 41mm telescopic forks at the front and four-piston Nissin calipers. The rear suspension uses a horizontal linkless system which is similar to the configuration seen on the ZX-10R.
This new Ninja 650 is expected to launch sometime next year in India, with no major pricing increase expected from the older model’s price-tag.