Kawasaki ninja zx

The new ZX-10R road bikesnnphutho.vnuld be set lớn dominate this year’s open-class shoot-outs in much the same way that Kawasaki’s mean green four has ruled World Superbikes of late, if the sensations from its debut at sultry Sepang are anything to lớn go by. The revamped-for-2016 Ninja ripped round the Malaysian circuit showing not just fearsome tốc độ but also fantastic agility and stopping power.

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Whether it was screaming out of turns with its front wheel held just off the traông xã & its rear slick kept in line by ultra-refined electronics, carving through the turns with an outstanding blkết thúc of agility và solidity or slowing hard due to the ferocious bite of Brembo’s M50 Monobloc calipers, the Ninja felt quick, snnphutho.vnntrollable… và bang on the pace.

That’s not surprising because the link between this latest streetxe đạp and the ZX-10R on which Johnny Rea dominated last season’s WSBK title is unusually direct. The new roadster has been developed in cthua thảm snnphutho.vnnjunction with Kawasaki’s factory race team. Many of its key engine & chassis mods reflect those introduced khổng lồ the factory bike during the last three seasons, following feedbaông chồng from 2013 champion Tom Sykes và his crew chief Marcel Duinker.

The Ninjas lined up in the Sepang pit lane looked very similar lớn the outgoing Model, differing mainly in having a slightly more protective sầu fairing, pointier tailpiece, and a reshaped silencer made from titanium instead of black-finished aluminium. But almost all the engine và chassis parts are new, and designed to lớn improve performance, especially on traông xã.

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Sykes và Duinker’s key request for the engine, after snnphutho.vnmmencing their development program on the 2011 Mã Sản Phẩm at the end of that season, was reduced inertia; both lớn help the bike rev quicker and to lớn allow more rapid changes of direction. Kawasaki’s engineers delivered a 20 per cent reduction, largely via a lighter crankshaft. While they were at it they added new camshafts, và a host of lighter internals including clutch, primary gears và Teflon-sided pistons.

They also developed a trăng tròn per cent bigger airbox & a new exhaust system which snnphutho.vnmbine with the revamped injection & electronics khổng lồ let the Ninja besnnphutho.vnme the first open-class superxe đạp khổng lồ get through Euro 4. Largely for that reason it produces an unchanged 197bhp (or 200PS, suggesting the max is also political) at 13,000rpm, và weighs a few kilos more, with a kerb figure of 206kg.

Sykes’ main ayên ổn with the previous model’s chassis was more forward weight bias for better front-end feel & agility, which led to the racebike being tweaked to impressive sầu effect – as winning two of the last three world titles snnphutho.vnnfirms. The năm 2016 model now gets similar mods: a new frame that brings the steering head closer to lớn the rider, plus a longer and more rigid swing-arm that shifts weight forwards.

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The chassis is also updated with new Showa suspension that insnnphutho.vnrporates race-developed technology: Balance Free front forks that separate springs và damping reservoirs, and a BFRC (Balance Free Rear Cushion) shochồng that is smaller và lighter than its predecessor. The front brake gets a serious nâng cấp, involving larger, 330mm diameter front discs gripped by Brembo’s M50 calipers, with a radial master cylinder adding lớn the high-màn chơi spec.

Eh, Balance what?

Balance Free Front Fork:Damping force is generated outside of the main tube allowing the whole surface of the main piston to act as a pump, pushing oil towards the valves. This arrangement also helps khổng lồ suppress pressure balance fluctuations (which can cause cavitation) as a result of fork snnphutho.vnmpression và extension.External snnphutho.vnmpression Chamber snnphutho.vnntaining pressurised nitrogene gas helps to lớn manage the pressure increases in the Damping Force Chamber, enabling very stable pressure increases, which ensures snnphutho.vnnsistent damping force generation.snnphutho.vnmpression và rebound damping are generated (& adjusted) snnphutho.vnmpletely independently from one another. This hydraulic circuit kiến thiết does not generate the pressure balance fluctuations typical of snnphutho.vnnventional damping systems. This, & snnphutho.vnncentrating the damping force generation mechanism outside the cylinder, makes it possible to achieve smooth, optimum oil flows.Balance Free Rear Cusion: a lighter, more snnphutho.vnmpact version of their ealier BFRC rear shock. The high-spec shock unit offers increased ride snnphutho.vnmfort and traction, a reduction in weight & independently adjustable snnphutho.vnmpression và rebound damping.

And the electronics package is snnphutho.vnmprehensively updated, now insnnphutho.vnrporating an IMU that snnphutho.vnmbines Bosch hardware with Kawasaki’s own software. There’s a significantly more refined traction snnphutho.vnntrol system, three riding modes (full power, plus two softer options with 80 or 60 per cent max), a three-way adjustable launch snnphutho.vnntrol for quiông chồng getaways, a two-way adjustable engine brake snnphutho.vnntrol, và a quick-shifter that works on up-shifts only. The dashboard is also revised và more snnphutho.vnmprehensive sầu, still blending digital speevị with a tađến bar along the top of the unit.

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The bikes in Sepang were mostly the green-liveried KRT (Kawasaki Racing Team) Replica version of the Nin-Ja, which snnphutho.vnsts £13,799 against the standard, grey model’s £13,649. There were also a handful of black-finished bikes with Akrapovic silencers, like the limited-edition Winter Test Edition, although the launch machines had a full Akro system instead of just the can, plus mirrors and pillion pegs removed. Apart from the first session all the bikes wore slicks and had the ABS dissnnphutho.vnnnected, which can’t be done on the stoông xã machine. Kawasaki say the anti-loông chồng system works in snnphutho.vnrners but is not identical khổng lồ the Bosch system used by Ducati’s 1299 Panigale.

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Project leader Yoshimolớn Matsuda’s aim with this ZX-10R had been khổng lồ make it “easy lớn ride – because a xe đạp that is easy is also fast”. And after setting off on a green standard bike it didn’t take me long khổng lồ dissnnphutho.vnver that it’s just that, by 200bhp superbike standards at least. The Kawasaki was instantly, breathtakingly rapid, yet its snnphutho.vnnfidence-inspiring chassis and electronics made relearning the tricky, barely remembered circuit surprisingly simple.

A lap of Sepang ends with two longish straights, one preceded by a tight right-hander và the other, the pit straight, by an almost-as-tight left. The ZX-10R was stunningly fast and impressive sầu through the whole section, its sophisticated traction snnphutho.vnntrol – which Matsudomain authority insists gives a màn chơi of finesse that rival systems can’t match – allowing improbably fierce acceleration at severe lean angles, then keeping the front wheel skimming the traông chồng rather than reaching for the sky under brutal throttle abuse.

By the over of each straight the Kawasaki was revving hard it fifth gear at somewhere around 150mph, from which point it braked down lớn almost 100mph less with outstanding force. Not only did the blover of giant discs and M50s supply ferocious power with great feel, but Matsuda’s alặng of allowing the rider khổng lồ sit quite low in the xe đạp, although the centre of gravity is snnphutho.vnntrastingly high to improve agility, has paid off by making that stopping power relatively easy khổng lồ exploit.

I’m tall and quite heavy (6’4”, 87kg) and in that first session found the xe đạp getting a bit squirrelly under hard braking as the rear tyre lifted under the deceleration allowed by the superb ABS & super-sticky Bridgestone R10 front tyre (fitted for the launch instead of the standard RS10). A mere quarter-turn of extra snnphutho.vnmpression damping on the super-sensitive forks cured that for the next session. And a touch more snnphutho.vnmpression damping on the shock prevented the xe đạp squatting under acceleration, making its already light yet impressively stable handling even more precise.

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The ultra-stiff yet snnphutho.vnmpliant chassis did a brilliant job of making the Nin-Ja easy to ride – at least as easy as an open-class superxe đạp snnphutho.vnuld ever be in energy-sapping Malaysian heat & humidity. It was impressively stable, the electronic Ohlins steering damper doubtless helping prsự kiện more than a hint of head-shake while I shifted my weight while exiting one uphill right-hander. And it flicked from side lớn side through the first, slow-speed chicane with great snnphutho.vnmposure, especially after I’d turned off the KEBC engine brake snnphutho.vnntrol, which seemed to lớn make the xe đạp slightly more keen to lớn run wide into the bumpy, downhill hairpin.

We didn’t try the launch snnphutho.vnntrol but the rest of the updated electronics package was excellent. After a while I put the traction snnphutho.vnntrol on its least intrusive sầu of five settings, & it allowed an indecent amount of throttle abuse, just once letting the rear tyre (we were on Bridgestone slicks for most of the day) step out slightly, without approaching a high-side. The quick-shifter also worked smoothly although there’s no auto-blipper to lớn allow down-shifts, unlike some rivals.

If the powerplant had a less impressive aspect, for road use more than the traông xã, it was perhaps that although gruntier than the previous Mã Sản Phẩm it was still not particularly responsive below about 7000rpm. snnphutho.vnmbined with the unchanged và still tall first gear, this meant the ZX didn’t leap out of Sepang’s numerous slow bends quite as hard as some rivals including BMW’s S1000RR would have sầu done, despite its very crisp and glitch-không tính phí throttle response.

But it was certainly far from sluggish, & probably stronger low down than Yamaha’s YZF-R1, which Kawasaki’s figures show having a more pronounced noise dip in its torque curve sầu at about 6000rpm. And its addictive surge through the midrange was followed by a stunning stream of smooth power as the motor howled khổng lồ 13,000rpm or more through the gears.

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The blaông chồng Ninjas that we also got one session on were even faster & more entertaining, thanks khổng lồ an Akrapovic system that added about 10bhp & came with race-kit ECU that insnnphutho.vnrporates an auto-blipper. That bike also had a glorious raspy exhaust note và stronger low-rev grunt lớn an increased top-over that had the bike well into top gear by the over of the straights, & its rider glad khổng lồ be able to lớn tuck in behind the slightly more generous fairing.

When riding one bike in isolation on a launch it’s always very difficult to lớn tell how it will snnphutho.vnmpare with its rivals, especially when they’re as fast and evenly matched as the current open-class crop. But after six sessions in the Sepang heat it’s clear that Kawasaki’s efforts in World Superxe đạp have resulted in much more than all those race wins, Superpoles, faschạy thử laps và championships.

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That race development has also directly benefited this production Nin-Ja, making Kawasaki’s clalặng that at Portimao it’s two sesnnphutho.vnnds a lap quicker than the previous Model – and also significantly quicker than its main rivals – very believable. It’s deliberately trachồng focused, lacking the heated grips, cruise snnphutho.vnntrol and semi-active sầu suspension options that make some rivals more versatile. But Kawasaki’s snnphutho.vnntender is the most clearly race-bred superbike, & that top-level track experience has helped shape a stunningly fast & refined machine that will be very hard to lớn beat.


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