No shortage of twists and turns during the 2014 season opener at Daytona.
2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Revealed
Kawasaki revealed the 2015 edition of the Ninja ZX-10R as well as a special anniversary edition marking 30 years since the debut of the Ninja GPZ900R in 1984.
The 30th Anniversary Ninja ZX-10R features a Lime Green/Pearl Stardust White paint job similar to the design of Kawasaki’s World Superbike Championship racer. The special edition model also features 30th Anniversary badging on the side of the fairing behind the headlights. The standard version will be offered in a Metallic Matte Carbon Gray/Flat Ebony color scheme.
Beside the new colors, the ZX-10R returns unchanged for 2015. It remains powered by a 998cc I-4 engine with an oversquare 76mm by 55mm dimensions. The engine uses dual fuel injectors, with the secondary fuel injectors kicking in as needed when the throttle opening or engine speeds reach certain thresholds.
The ZX-10R comes equipped with a Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) system which collects data from wheel sensors on throttle position, wheel speed, engine speed, wheel slippage and acceleration to optimize traction. Unlike the KTRC system used on the Concours 14, the S version is designed for performance, predicting when the ZX-10R will lose traction. The S-KTRC allows for a bit of wheel slippage for quicker acceleration but when slippage exceeds a certain level, it adjusts engine power to optimize tire grip.
Riders can select from three traction control settings. Level 1 maximizes grip for the track, Level 2 is for intermediate use and Level 3 is programmed for slippery road conditions. A thumb switch on the left handlebar allows riders to switch between the three levels or turn of S-KTRC completely. An LCD graph shows how much the system intervenes in real time.
The 2015 ZX-10R is available with the Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock brake system (KIBS) with Bosch components that adds only 7 pounds of weight. Sharing data with the S-KTRC and the ECU, the KIBS senses when a wheel may lock up and compensates by reducing brake-line hydraulic pressure. Kawasaki says the KIBS also suppresses rear-end lift during hard braking, reduces lever kickback and increases rear-brake control when downshifting.
The front wheel uses two 310mm petal-cut discs and four-piston radial-mount calipers while the rear brake is equipped with a 220mm disc and single-piston caliper. Suspension is comprised of an upside-down 43mm Big Piston Fork and a fully-adjustable horizontal back-link rear shock.
Other features include three-spoke cast aluminum wheels, multi-function LCD instruments, 32-inch seat and height and a 4.5 gallon fuel tank. According to Kawasaki, the ZX-10R has a curb weight of 436.6 pounds (the ABS version is slightly beefier, claiming a curb weight of 443.2 pounds.)
Kawasaki is pricing the 2015 Ninja ZX-10R at $14,299 for the standard color and $14,599 for the 30th anniversary edition. ABS adds $1000 to the price.