A mere seven days ago, Kawasaki unveiled the 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R ABS and set our collective mouths a-watering. What could possibly a better way to say goodbye to the ZX-10R platform first released in 2011 than by having Jonathan Rea sew up 2015 World Superbike before the season is complete? How about announcing the all-new 2016 ZX-10R that looks to bring Team Green into technological parity with the other manufacturers. Today, at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida, Kawasaki showed off the big ZX in the flesh.
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The heart of the electronic upgrades is the Bosch five-axis IMU and Kawasaki’s internally developed software to interpret the longitudinal acceleration and deceleration, transverse or lateral forces when cornering, vertical acceleration, lean angle, and pitch rate sensors. All of this information then gets output into Kawasaki Sport-Traction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Intelligent Braking System (KIBS), Cornering Management Function, Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM) and Kawasaki Engine Braking Control. Yow, that’s a lot of work from the most powerful electronics package Kawasaki’s ever produced!
The big suspension news is the joint development between Kawasaki and Showa in World Superbike, resulting in the first in a mass-produced motorcycle Showa Balance Free Fork which locates the compression and damping circuits outside of the fork itself and into a secondary damping chamber. The same technology has also moved into the Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (aka shock). To say that racers and mortals (like us motojournalists) are excited to sample this would be an understatement.
Couple these huge changes with updates like switching from Tokico calipers to the stellar Brembo M50s and the annual engine upgrades that result in freer breathing and more power (plus the inclusion of ride-by-wire!) and you’ve got an exciting new Ninja ZX-10R just over the horizon.
Just watch Tom try to keep from drooling during this video.