This is a concept sketch for the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R, released by Kawasaki in an apparent attempt to assure fans that there is actually a lime green pulse left in the company. After a series of also-ran superbikes since the frighteningly fast 2004 ZX-10R and after a several years without any significant new products at all, Kawasaki knows it needs to do something new, something outrageous, something unique. The problem is, it doesn’t appear that they’re doing any of that.
This sketch and this video are part of a sort of social media/viral
marketing thing intended to create buzz in the run up to the bike’s
official release. At Kawasaki-Challenge.com, the company is saying
The next Ninja ZX-10R was designed with the primary goal of winning
races. The shape, material, rigidity, weight, etc of all its parts were
reevalutated – essentially making it a completely redesigned superbike.
In addition to the bike’s speed and power, this design is an expression
of its cutting-edge innovation and beauty.
“Loaded with innovative technology.”
But what we see here isn’t innovative and new, it’s an aluminum beam
perimeter frame holding an upright inline-four and a bunch of other
standard parts. Does “cutting-edge innovation” really equate to a pound
or two less and a horsepower or two more? Where’s the Kawasaki-patented
90° engine? Hell, where’s anything that sets this apart from every other
bike in the liter-bike class? What’s this motorcycle’s unique selling
point? All we’re really seeing here is some folded-paper plastic on top
of a distinctly conventional motorcycle, let’s hope Kawasaki is bringing
a bit more to the superbike game.