10 observations on the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R

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1. There’s an ABS pickup on the front wheel.

2. The 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R uses Showa BPF forks.

3. The headlights are going to be seriously squinty.

4. Brembo Monoblock calipers, but this is a race-spec bike so who knows if they’ll reach production.

5. The cylinders are upright, not 90-degree as patents suggested they might be.

6. The frame goes around, not over the engine.

7. The underbraced swingarm looks longer than the one on the ’10.

8. Styling on the side fairings is somewhat reminiscent of the Ducati 999.

9. That is one huge-ass air intake. Think it’ll ditch the steering stem for a straight path to the airbox?

10. Akira Yanagawa is awesome.

  • General Apathy

    Please… The day Kawi makes Brembos and Showas stock is the day I actually consider a Kawi.. Never happen.

  • Glenn

    Aren’t Showa BPFs stock on the current ZX6?

    • MPA

      Ya – the Showa BPFs are stock on the ’09+ ZX6Rs

  • Brian Zooom

    the point #7 should make it immediately more saleable to the guys who want to take that bike to the 1/4 mile track as apposed to anything else, if it is in fact a longer wheelbase than the previous incarnation.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Shorter framer/longer swingarm is good for people that like corners too :)

  • http://plugbike.com/ skadamo

    9. That is one huge-ass air intake. Think it’ll ditch the steering stem for a straight path to the airbox?

    what’s a steering stem? Is that the same as the headtube? (sorry 4 bicycle speak if that does not translate)

    When you say ditch it do you mean redesign it?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      In the triple clamp, a vertical rod runs through the yokes and the frame, connecting them and allowing them to rotate. Obviously, this rod is at the front of the frame, preventing the air from enjoying a straight path to the airbox from a center-mounted intake.

      Check out the Bottpower Moto2 bike:

      It does away with that stem so the air can have that straight path, something that could be a big deal in a spec-engine series like Moto2.

      Jeff Robert from Tucson Motorcycles pioneered this.

      It’s unlikely that the ZX-10R uses such a setup, just asking if it might.

      • Mitch

        No Moto2 bikes wound up using the stem-less steering because they had to use a spec-airbox, but more to the point, if Kawasaki already uses a head-stock intake while still using a steering stem, they’re hardly likely to stop now.

  • Davey Dave

    Kawi makes good bikes, I paied 10,500 OTD on an 09 in March 09. I could have gotten brembos for it and still be cheaper than the 1198 for 16,500 MSRP.

    • RT Moto

      Yeah, but it would still be a Kawi. No thanks.

  • alex

    i remember reading an interview with a moto2 chassis designer that wanted to replace the steering stem (which goes through the frame of the bike, and with triple clamps holds the forks) with a sort of ball bearing system, which would make it unnecessary to reroute the air around the steering stem.

  • Alfonzo

    I hear you regarding Japanese badass Yanagawa. I’m still mad at Chandler for torpedoing Akira @ the top of the corkscrew.

  • Isaac

    This bike is looking pretty good. I love that side profile shot. I can see a little bit of CBR1000 RR in the tail section along with RC212V. I can’t quite see the 999 in it’s DNA yet. Then again I haven’t seen it in person. If this is the race bike, it must be the STK1000 version because normally you see Ohlins FGR900′s for forks.

    Wes can you and Grant get some left/right, front/rear straight shots if you are able?

    If Brembeos do make it along with the Showa forks, that would be awesome. Ducati will be shaking in their boots finacially. This Ninja will will easily be 3k less that a stock 1198. The 848 is already $500 – $750 more than a litre bike with what looks like now 60 less horsepower.

  • me

    you are wrong on #5

  • Ted Baxter

    supposedly Chandler’s clip on broke causing that torpedo. but man that was an ugly scene.

  • g

    8, the ducati was characterized by having a some what flat and closed side fairing, i dont think this widely open one reassembles the ducati at all, just in my opinion.

  • hozhead

    The rear brake caliper is a Nissin model so I’d say (99% chance) the Brembo units up front will be race bike only.

  • Mitch

    If it’s a race bike, that’s probably not a ABS ring on the front wheel, but a speed sensor for the traction control.

  • 1-Up

    Re: number # 6

    I think that’s the fairing…the frame looks like a mod on the existing ZX10R frame

  • CubanSandwich

    Has anyone noticed the “TL 1000 S” Rear Spring-Shock Arrangement and Location on the rigth hand ?

    • PG

      If you look at the sketches Kawi released, the rear shock looks like it’s sitting almost horizontal.

  • Ape Factory

    Aprilia RSVR uses same central air intake and a steering damper on the lower triple. Not rocket science, just mount it lower.

  • CubanSandwich

    Why does the REAR Caliper has 2(two) hoses coming to it. For a second i thougt it was an ABS PickUp but it seems to hook to one of the pistons of what looks like a 2Piston Caliper.