So far it’s been an exciting morning in Orlando for Kawasaki fans and your host Tom Roderick, beginning with a heavily upgraded ZX-10R. The reigning World Superbike champ literbike looks to be even more competitive for ’16, with a comprehensive fly-by-wire electronics package to propel it into the modern era. Though the ’10 doesn’t look terribly new at first glance, a little more eyeballing reveals exclusive new Showa suspension and Brembo’s finest street-going brakes. More details here, and the KRT version of the bike gets special Kawasaki Racing Team graphics.
In an effort to keep its former favorite child ZX-14R ABS from feeling overshadowed by its new H2 and H2R sibs, Kawasaki has upgraded the 1441cc sportbeast with a new LCD instrument panel for the full Millennium Falcon effect, and there’ll also be an SE edition with the new panel, plus new Brembo brakes plumbed with stainless steel lines (clutch line too), in special Metallic Matte Carbon Gray paint.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-14R ABS
Meanwhile in the Sport Department, both the Ninja 1000 ABS and Z1000 ABS get new “assist and slipper clutches.” Trickling down from the racetrack, the new clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam) to provide two separate functions: Under load, the assist cam pulls the clutch hub and operating plate together for a stronger connection – allowing a lighter clutch lever pull. Fewer clutch springs (three instead of five springs) translates to a 30% lighter lever, says Kawasaki. The slipper half works as usual, with the slipper cam coming into play to reduce wheelhop under heavy braking and quick downshifting.
The new Ninja 1000 or Z1000 can be yours for $11,999 – the Ninja in Metallic Carbon Gray / Metallic Spark Black or Candy Fire Red / Metallic Spark Black, the Z in Golden Blazed Green with Metallic Matte Graphite Gray.
2016 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 and Z1000
And don’t forget the Vulcan S Cafe, a sporty green cruiser with a new flyscreen, profiled here.