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Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R review, test ride

20th Oct 2013 4:50 am

We ride the fierce Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, to learn all about the true-blue, track-focussed motorcycle.

  • Make : Kawasaki
  • Model : Ninja

Kawasaki has been building its portfolio in India since 2009, when it started out with the Ninja 250R. Today, Kawasaki has the Ninja 300, 650, ZX-10R and ZX-14R on sale in the country. The ZX-10R is a track-focussed motorcycle equipped with all the bells and whistles you could ask for when riding at the race track; a serious rider’s motorcycle. The ZX-10R was last updated in 2011, when it received cosmetic, engine, frame, suspension and brake upgrades.

The ZX-10R holds a commanding presence; its razor sharp nose sporting dual eagle-eyed headlights on either side of Kawasaki’s ram-air system duct. The all-digital instruments under the bike visor show the rider speed, a tachometer, an odometer, trip meters, time, riding mode and gear engaged. The bike's bulbous, two-tone fuel-tank uses a hinged fuel-filler cap and flows back into a two-piece seat that accommodates the rider and pillion. The 10R shows-off a two-tone, sharply chiselled fairing, with racy decals. At the rear, the ZX-10R get an LED tail-light, with smartly integrated and clear lens turn indicators. This Ninja rides on black, three-spoke alloy wheels and there’s an exposed drive chain as typical on a sportsbike like this.


Kawasaki’s ZX-10R houses a 998cc, four-stroke, in-line, four-cylinder and liquid-cooled engine which comes thoroughly prepped for race track duty. The fuel-injected engine generates a whopping maximum power of 209.9bhp at 13000rpm, while peak torque made is 11.42kgm at 11500rpm. Kawasaki’s ram-air system helps achieve such healthy output. The ZX-10R’s engine ran smooth and vibe free throughout our ride, and Kawasaki is offering various riding modes, that help tame this much power. The 10R comes with full, medium and low power modes, three levels of traction and wheelie control, plus ABS. The litre class powerplant is allied to a six-speed gearbox, shifted in a one-down, five-up pattern via a sporty toe-shift lever. The close ratio gearbox comes backed by a slipper clutch, allowing for more aggressive downshifting when riding really hard. Acceleration is as expected, fearsome and calling for an experienced pair of hands to handle safely.

The Ninja ZX-10R is held together with a twin spar alloy frame with fully adjustable, inverted telescopic fork suspension and horizontally mounted gas-charged monoshock at the rear, bolted onto an alloy swingarm. The ZX-10R seats its rider with a pronounced lean into the handlebars, arms outstretched to the handlebars, as is typical on a track focused motorcycle. The ZX-10R uses wide and grippy front (120/70) and rear (190/55) tyres, fitted to 17-inch alloy wheels. Handling is lightning sharp, and with quick turn in, the motorcycle steering exactly as asked of it. The ZX-10R corners on rails, and comes with serious stopping power, with twin 310mm petal discs up-front and a single 220mm petal disc at rear, both offering ABS.

The Kawasaki ZX-10R comes into India via the CBU route, which makes this an expensive motorcycle, at Rs 15.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune). This, along with the Ninja ZX-14R are only available in Pune as of today. Detailed ride report coming up soon.           

PRICE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Price Range Ex-showroom - Delhi Rs 15.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune) - - - -
ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Max Power (hp @ rpm) 209.9bhp at 13000rpm - - - -
Max Torque (nm @ rpm) 11.42kgm at 11500rpm - - - -
Type 998cc, Inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke - - - -
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Gearbox Type 6-speed, 1-down and 5-up - - - -
Dimensions & Chassis Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Length (mm) 2075mm - - - -
Width (mm) 715mm - - - -
Height (mm) 1115mm - - - -
Wheel base (mm) 1425mm - - - -
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Brake Type 310mm petal discs (ABS) - - - -
Rear Brake Type 220mm petal disc (ABS) - - - -
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Suspension USD forks - - - -
Rear Suspension USD forks - - - -
BODY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Weight 201 kg - - - -
Wheels 3-spoke alloy - - - -
Tyres 120/70 x 17 - - - -
Spare 190/55 x 17 - - - -
EFFICIENCY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Tank size 17litres - - - -
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