Tokyo Show: New 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R with heavy updates officially revealed

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Kawasaki has revealed its new 2016 ZX-10R, which has received much more upgrades than what a facelift normally does. The headline news with the new ZX-10R is a revised engine, new electronics, slightly changed styling, new instrument cluster, a slightly altered frame with new swing-arm, an Ohlins electronic steering damper and new Brembo brakes.

Styling

The bodywork and styling has been changed, though it’s not radically different from the current gen ZX-10R. The front fairing is fuller, and has been restyled. The seat unit is wider and more curvaceous than the sharp seat of the outgoing model. The graphics are a little too overwhelming, too, and look busy – and we don’t like them much over the current gen model.

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The backlit LED instrument cluster has been refreshed to include all the data from the overhauled electronics. The dash also shows engine braking information now, along with IMU information, launch control settings, power mode used, and even an economy indicator. The instrument cluster automatically changes its brightness based on ambient light.

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The new 2015 model, with 200bhp peak output has the same power as the current model, going up to 207bhp with ram air. While power remains the same, torque has increased marginally, and is now rated at 113.5Nm at 11,500rpm. Kawasaki is claiming that the new ZX-10R is the closest any road going Ninja has gotten to their WSBK machine.

Engine, transmission and performance

The biggest changes have been made on the engine. The cylinder heads now allow more direct access for air thanks to a new angle of intake ports. The combustion chamber has been re shaped too for more efficiency. Polished exhaust ports, titanium exhaust valves and new cam profile allows the 2016 10R to produce more power at high engine speeds.

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Pistons have been reduced in size and weight, the crank has a claimed 20% lower moment of inertia and is claimed to improve the bike’s acceleration along with dynamic ability. Other changes include stronger cylinder walls, a new cooling systemsand a larger, 10-liter air box.

The new exhaust gets hydroformed header collectors, titanium header pipes and a larger but lighter titanium alloy silencer.

The gearbox gets closer ratios for better low to mid range acceleration. The new bike also has a race-style cassette transmission to allow easy access to the cassette without having to drain the oil.

Electronics

With the 2016 model, the ZX-10R is right up there with the top dogs in terms of electronics. The traction control system, (S-KTRC – Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control) has five modes instead of the three on the current bike. It’s got three-mode launch control too, along with Kawasaki’s KIBS ABS system. Engine braking can be controlled as per the rider’s convenience and preference. The new ZX-10 gets a quick shifter as standard, allowing clutchless downshifts with a race kit ECU.

The bike gets an Ohlins electronic steering damper, optimized for the racetrack and challenging windy roads.

Chassis and brakes

In terms of chassis, the bike gets a slightly tweaked frame, a new, longer swingarm which has claimed to improve handling without adding too much weight.

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The Showa Balance Free front suspension is brand new and was developed with Showa in WSBK. There’s a Showa unit at the back too, which is a more compact version of the firm’s earlier BFRC unit.

Braking is handled by a new Brembo brake system that’s the same unit as the one on the Ninja H2R. Front gets a pair of 330mm 4-pot monobloc callipers, while at the rear you have a 220mm disc and single piston caliper and both front and rear brakes get braided steel lines.

Does the new ZX-10R score over the outgoing model for you? Do share your views through the comments section, or through one of the social networks. An exhaustive image gallery follows

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2016 Ninja ZX-10R

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  • Vilas 46 says:

    I think overall the bike have a great improvement is all areas its an impressive package, 4sure will be exciting to watch how will be against the new R1 and the European bikes but my view Kawasaki will do very well in this fight..