2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R leaks in Cycle World

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Looks like Cycle World has gone ahead and published embargoed information and images of the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R ahead of the model’s official unveiling on October 5. Even more images below.

Update: we’ve just spoken to Kawasaki who say CW’s 200hp claim is only an estimate. The company hasn’t arrived at an official horsepower number yet as it’s still trying to finalize the arrangement of the exhaust in order to meet noise regulations while still presumably posting an S1000RR-beating peak figure.

Update 2: more and larger photos.

This new issue of Cycle World is apparently a pre-release copy of the current issue that “accidentally” reached stands in the LA area a week ahead of time. We’re privy to the same information and have the same images that CW has, however, Kawasaki asked us very nicely to hold off on publishing any more material than what can be seen here until the official embargo on October 5. Until then, stay tuned, somehow we’re sure that better scans will allow us to print more info and show you more images.

This incident is a perfect example of why releasing any embargoed information at all is simply a terrible idea. No matter how tightly manufacturers try to control information and hand it out to their inner circle of cronies, it almost always leaks. Instead, manufacturers would be far better served by releasing information to media outlets and the public at the same time, let honest competition decide who gets it first. In this case, it seems Cycle World‘s demotion to second tier publishing at Hachette Filipacchi has disrupted the magazine’s normal distribution schedule. Actually, don’t worry too much about this occurring in the future, several manufacturer reps have told us that Cycle World is largely expected to be the next publication to follow Cycle News into oblivion.

Oh and that shot of someone riding the ZX-10R in Cycle World leathers? That’s someone from Kawasaki wearing them to make it look like CW has ridden the bike. Kawasaki says they haven’t.

  • circuitsports

    MOAR POWA!!!!!!!!!!

    needs a tinted windscreen and a stick that says kawi > bmw

    Of course Honda needs to top this at all costs, the time is now for direct injection smack down big red!!!!

    I know you haz it

    • seanslides

      Naw, a sticker with calvin pissing on a honda logo. Next to that you can throw on one of those “NOTW” stickers. They just go together.

      • circuitsports

        whatever it takes to instigate HP wars

      • Ken D

        You know the rules. No one’s allowed more horsepower than Kawasaki.

  • VeeArrrSix

    Race ABS seems like an oxymoron…

    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      Not really – brakes can still lock during racing, and it’s faster and safer if they don’t…

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Adeysworld adeysworld

    check ur email wes

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Nothing yet! I appreciate the help.

  • tekamul

    It’s time for me to renew my sub @ CW, and I have this sneeking suspiscion I’ll be getting a portion of it back next summer.
    There are fewer and fewer hard copy motorcycle mags these days…

  • Patrick from Astoria

    Does Peter Egan have a blog yet? He’s the only reason I still even glance through CW.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You know, Peter Egan’s one of the few people who hasn’t sent us his resume.

      • http://www.twitter.com/beastincarnate Beast Incarnate

        It’s tough to imagine that Egan would send a resume. I enjoy his writing, but I have a tough time imagining it here.

        As a sidenote, I take it the HFL policy towards embargoes is as such:

        1. If they include HFL and ask you not to leak, you won’t release any information that doesn’t leak from elsewhere.

        2. If they exclude HFL then fuck ‘em.

        I enjoy this policy. It offers manufacturers a chance at a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • http://www.twitter.com/beastincarnate Beast Incarnate

        Related question: why would folks bother to send a resume rather than guest articles? It seems to me like that’d be the right way to go. But I’m not part of the system, so what the hell do I know?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Yeah, that’s our official policy all right. But we also tell manufacturers there should be no embargoes at all.

          And as for resumes vs guest articles? God knows. Note that journalists I respect like Mat Oxley and Gary Inman send us material occasionally :)

  • seanslides

    Hmm… So much for the crazy engine rumors. That crank and those cams are downright boring.

    • mandwer

      Yeah where is the wild big bang firing configuration?


    I love the headlights!

  • DougD

    CW isn’t going anywhere soon—relax.

  • GuessWho

    The Beemer is going to whack this thing.

  • GuessWho

    Wes, get me a tester for a street beating.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I’ll do what I can.

  • DougD

    BTW—truly brilliant work berating CW while seizing the opportunity to run ZX-10R material early, too.

    CW did this because it can. What’s Kawasaki going to do the next time it releases a new model? Leave CW off the press list? Of course not—you don’t do that to the biggest motorcycle-specific media outlet in the U.S. On the other hand, small fish like HFL need to obey embargoes like this because otherwise it risks being left out the next time ’round, but in the breaking-news-is-king world of blogs, this is not an option. As a result, HFL yells shenanigans when another outlet beats it to the punch.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Look at it this way: We’ve got an awful lot of readers, we broke three major new bikes this week and we consistently produce high quality content that reaches an audience that’s decades younger than that of all these crappy, formulaic, lazy bike rags. Our momentum is heading up while theirs is headed down.

      Sure, Kawasaki might not even be aware that we exist right now and fall all over themselves to reach the same old 47+ white male, existing motorcycle buyer in CW, but who’s story do you think had a bigger impact today?

      And yeah, that we can do that and play nice with a company we hope will eventually learn to speak to us like we’re adults, that’s a good thing.

      We make HFL because you deserve better. Hopefully the OEMs will eventually realize that they need to do better.

      • PCPaul

        What!?’m 56! Does that mean I can’t read this anymore? I’m too old, decrepit and out of touch to get anything meaningful out of it. Damn. I guess I’ll just go have my Metamucil and prunes and read Readers Digest…

        • pauljones

          That’s not really the point he’s trying to make here.

          One way or another, the dominance of premium motorcycle magazines like Cycle World is over, and it’s over for two reasons: 1) The internet is the preferred media for the younger generations that are more likely to buy these kinds of bikes and 2) Many of these magazines sat down and stagnated; they picked one very specific demographic and catered well to it, but at the cost of other demographics that would ultimately be equally important.

          He’s not suggesting that your readership as a 56-year-old has no value; he’s pointing out that the readership of younger riders is equally important, and that’s what he and Grant strive for on Hell For Leather.

          By providing content that is interesting to a wide variety of readers (even relatively new riders like me), and doing so with a level of professionalism long since missing in magazine journalism, Wes and Grant are gaining readers fast- and that’s what manufacturers are interested in: readers. As Hell For Leather gains momentum and picks up readers across the motorcycling demographic, Kawasaki and other big manufacturers will shift their focus from magazines to places like HFL.

          There’s no ageism being thrown about here; it’s just a simple statement of fact.

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

            Thanks Paul, spot on.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    I note a distinct lack of Brembo monoblocs. :/
    Also still has a damn ugly exhaust. :/

    On the plus side – I am all for the stubby tail section on any bike, the array of brilliant fast-reacting LEDs will be sure to excite! :D

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    I actually think she’s a looker (but I’m a sucker for anything in Kawi green). I don’t mind the exhaust so much.

    The question will be; with the previous report of Kawi purposely tuning the engine for “less midrange torque”, will it be better than the Beemer on the street?

    That might be a moot question if its $1,500 cheaper!

  • SugarCream

    They gotta make this shit ugly as it gets, and again!, ain’t they! Holy cow! Ugly face!

  • panagiotis

    that is one UGLY bike!! it looks like the b@st@rd child of an RSV4(front) and and triumph(rear) beaten with a stick

  • betarace

    on the embargo/leak, this is clearly the same kind of hype that apple relies on when announcing new products – create a buzz and get the fanboys all wet about something that is marginally better than the product before.

    on cycle world, and other ad-funded US magazines: would love to read an article that actually has riding impressions as opposed to column after column of technical info that is straight from a press kit. Most US mags these days are 90% techno speak and 10% riding experiences, even when the bike is loaned out on long term test. pathetic.

    On the bike, pass – would like to see a 140hp 300lb bike as opposed to these unrideable excepting for electronics monuments to electronics

    • fafaforza

      I’m no Apple fanboy but you cannot deny that they come out with great and innovative stuff. Why else would the PC industry come out with carbon copies of their product 4 months later?

      As for the hype, the people creating it are just that much into the whole experience and have all day to reload tech blogs, opine on their own, and create articles; simply because they can’t get enough.

  • fafaforza

    It is kind of weird to be talking smack about CW, predicting their demise, wishing Kawi’s full wrath on them for this expose, then publishing digital photos of their article.

    Using a shot of just the cover would have sufficed in making your point while also getting a “scoop” or sorts.

    And don’t you need permission to use their work on your site? I would want to add that I enjoy the blog otherwise.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Somehow I’m sure they won’t mind the free advertising.

      • fafaforza

        I think you’re just rationalizing it to yourself. Their free advertising is the front page of the mag that sits on a bookstore shelf. If you print shots of the headline article, I have no reason to pay for it.

  • PCPaul

    Hey, Let’s slap that motor in my old ’95 Concours! WooHoo!

    • Liquidogged

      No way! It’s going on my ’82 Yamaha Vision! I bet I could actually bend the frame in half with the acceleration.

  • Liquidogged

    Wes! How dare you publish shit that’s already been published somewhere, clearly referencing and citing your source, as well as including watermarks on the photos! For shame!

    Besides the point anyways. “Leaks” are the new billboard of the advertising world. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I don’t think leaks from a company as big as Kawi are ever really an accident. They might not have KNOWN cycleturd was going to bust this out early, but they were prepared for the eventuality.

    Thank Apple for the ridiculous popularity of the “leak” technique. They have absolutely mastered it. There’s a whole cottage industry of rumor sites run by people who make a living off the rumor mill. It’s all business. Triumph and Kawi smell what’s cooking.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Judging by the many, many hours spent on the phone with Kawasaki last night, they really didn’t want this to leak.

      • Liquidogged

        “These are not the moto-journalists you’re looking for” could’ve saved you a lot of time, padawan.

        I wonder if their first guess at who did the leaking was HFL. If so, is that flattering or just annoying?