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Green Speed

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Green Speed
Green Speed

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The premiere race of the new ZX-10R, organized for the press. I leaned over and added a few clicks on the Ohlins steering damper with my left hand (this is easy to do - the damper is conveniently located right next to the steering column). Kawasaki behaved a little nervously here on the former Autopolis Formula 1 circuit that spans the south coast of Japan. Additional damping yielded results: in those areas where the ZX still “shook its head” a little (especially at the turning point - there, on each lap, if you add gas, the front wheel soared upward), now it was going calmer. And a little faster - because I could already keep the gas open a little longer.

I must say, the carefully redesigned Kawasaki ZX-10R has become less frightening, perhaps, than the notorious hooligan predecessor. The designers made it a little “sharper”, but also more controlled, and at the same time retained the most important of valuable qualities: riding it is still entertainment.

If it were not for the high-mounted double silencer instead of the old 4-in-1, the outwardly new “top ten” is easily mistaken for the predecessor model, although almost everything has undergone changes in it. Let's say the shape of the nose of the fairing - now it has small headlights and is no longer similar to the one that was, the boost channel. The new design of the aluminum frame made it possible to raise the center of gravity. Engineers completely redesigned the motor - in order to increase power at medium speeds, improve the “response” to gas and leave the power peak unchanged (while meeting Euro-3 standards).

When upgrading the model, Kawasaki designers pursued, as the main goal, to make the ZX faster on the racetrack. Most of the checks made on the track Autopolis - the company bought it last year. “Sculptors” got the opportunity to work until “I can’t”, and no one interfered But - about the motorcycle.

One of the innovations that immediately catches your eye as soon as you get behind the wheel is the Ohlins steering damper already mentioned. It was installed perpendicularly, as on some exotic Italian bikes. I can not help but pay attention: this is the first case of the inclusion of Ohlins steering wheel damper on a Japanese motorcycle of mass production, I emphasize. Ironically, Kawasaki, and not Yamaha, the owner of the Swedish manufacturer, became such a motorcycle, which is strange.


… Racing along a kilometer straight Autopolis, I was convinced that this motorcycle is a descendant of the base ZX-10R, inheriting its genetic features. He fired from turns with the usual mixture of acceleration and the uniformity of the engine at high speeds. Maximum power as before - 173 hp (or 182 hp with inertial boost), it forces the tachometer needle to approach the red mark at 13, 000 rpm in lower gears. The motorcycle accelerates to 270 km / h, although, according to my feelings, up to three hundred * Designers claim that the new engine crankshaft (which has a slightly heavier flywheel) provides an even increase in speed, which increases the acceleration at the exit from slow corners. I felt: do not lie. The internal friction of parts reduced to an incredible minimum increases the “production” of power in almost the entire rev range. A more aerodynamic fairing, a better hidden exhaust system (see for yourself in the picture) and even “recessed” turn signals help to maintain high speed. All these measures gave an effect equivalent to an increase of 10 hp. at 280 km / h. A slightly “raised” upward wind shield protects significantly better from the wind than on the ZX-6R. Clips are shifted 10 mm back. One more thing: in the tachometer, the classic needle is controlled by electronics, and with it it is easier to read information - the liquid crystal scale has long been outdated. As expected, a lap timer is built into the case (how could a racing modification be without it!).

The great and obvious advantage of the 10R over its predecessor is its handling: the motorcycle has become easier to control when exiting corners at full throttle. This was especially felt when the double long “right” turns took place: usually here you move for a long time with half-open gas.

The bike is obedient and unexpectedly friendly to the pilot for such a powerful engine. To a greater extent, this is the merit of the new fuel injection system - it perfectly transforms the movement of the right hand into the soft acceleration energy without jerking. The transmission also makes its mark on this miracle of movement: the gears are clearly shifted. However, as with any Kawasaki.

The only and not at all criminal flaw is the new intake system. She seemed to muffle the expressive (which I liked on the old bike) roar with strong acceleration.


It is a pity that at the last moment, the organizers of the test canceled the planned trip on a "simple" road. But based on what I felt on the track, I dare to assume that the improved throttle response should help the ZX-10R show itself in most situations of real road, non-track life no worse than its predecessor: power generated in the range between 4000 and 6000 rpm, it’s a little big here, which helps to drive faster (and at the same time a little less between 6000 and 10 000 rpm).

Autopolis is the perfect track for sea trials. There are 11 right and 9 left turns on the track. "Fast" and "slow" alternate with amazing variety, there are several descents and ascents. I was greatly impressed by the fact that the 4-piston radial staples “bite” the 300 mm flap discs to stop the bike at the end of the line using a new radial master cylinder. And the way the slipping clutch stably held the rear part when I switched to three gears “down” right away and drove into the right turn with a reverse slope (it should be done in second gear).

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