Review: 2016 kawasaki ninja zx


We hit the real Australian roads on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja. Here"s our năm 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R Nin-Ja Review. Test by Kris Hodgson, Jeff Ware, Photography by Heather Ware, Kris Hodgson

I first tested the new ZX-10R late last year at Wakefield and was suitably impressed. You can read our full report here, we were aao ước the very first in the world lớn ride the xe đạp, two months ahead of the World Press Launch.

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năm 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Australian Road Test

What sticks in my mind is Project Leader Yoshimokhổng lồ Matsuda explaining lớn the gathered journalists that this was a race xe đạp, designed for the track, followed by the clarification that this kind of focus should lead lớn a great road bike.

At Wakefield’s often tight và twisty curves there was plenty of hints that this would be true, but it wasn’t till just this week that I finally had the opportunity lớn really put the 2016 ZX-10R khổng lồ the chạy thử on our Aussie roads.

Jumping on board the xe đạp is as diminutive as I remember & a direct contradiction to lớn taking a walk around the xe đạp. The front fairing is wide with a revised design from the previous Model, including special ducts lớn prevent negative sầu pressure behind the screen. This is further emphasised by the mirrors with integrated indicators & wide tank, with only the rear of the bike tapering away to lớn a shapely tail.


2016 Kawasaki Nin-Ja ZX-10R Australian Road Test

The ‘bars are wide and racey, while vision through the mirrors is exceptional at low speeds but quickly deteriorates when the revs rise – you can tell someone is there, but not who or what. You don’t feel the vibrations but the mirrors let you know they are there.

Where on the traông chồng the high ‘pegs seem natural during your shorter ride sessions & cornering, on the road they are a just a little cramped after the first hour in the saddle for my 180cm height, although I’m on the longer legged side of the scale, I’d drop them 5 -10mm. As mentioned the ‘bars are wide & an easy reach, which allows for a relatively upright & snnphutho.vnfortable position. I noticed a little strain on my wrists on longer rides but a good three-hour loop with a single quichồng stop for petrol left me mainly wishing for a softer seat, with no nechồng or bachồng strain.

Controls và electronics are numerous; Engine Braking Control (KEBC), cornering ABS & a revised Traction Control system (S-KTRC) – thanks khổng lồ a Bosch IMU và fully electronic throttle, Quichồng Shifter (KQS) và Launch Control (KLCM) all making up the technological package. The indicator control was also quite stiff, easily flicking on with a press khổng lồ left or right, but slightly recalcitrant when it came to cancelling the indicator after a corner.

The electronics are controllable through the left switchblochồng, but some, lượt thích the KEBC require the xe đạp to lớn be stationary.

The Showa Balance Free Forks are something off this planet & seriously high kết thúc kit for a Japanese sportsbike.

Starting the xe đạp up, the revs tic along between 1-2000rpm but once warm the revs retreat to 1000rpm, which feels a little on the slow side, especially on the first take-off or two, where I hadn’t got used to lớn the natural take-up point for the throttle.

Once I got used to lớn the throttle, which is quite sensitive sầu, take-off is exceptionally smooth as long as you roll on with confidence & use a lot of revs. If you try & take it too easy the bike will stall just off the mark.

nguồn below 4000rpm remains gentle with nice linear delivery that actually makes the ZX-10R an exceptionally forgiving road bike in all those conditions that cause headaches on many other all-out sportsbikes. I can see it being exceptional even without the traction control in the wet. In slow traffic it’s also not a hard motorcycle to lớn plod along on, & doing a U-turn is about as easy as it gets on a xe đạp with clip-ons.

năm nhâm thìn Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Australian Road Test

For a regular daily rider like myself in normal traffic conditions it’s very friendly & you wouldn’t know you’re on a 200hp superbike. There is noticeable heat once you’ve been riding a while, mainly at the ankles, however this is not unbearable.

Rolling past bottom kết thúc the intake growl starts và the acceleration really develops và it’s easy khổng lồ reach 100km/h in first before even thinking about second gear, such is the deceptiveness of the power delivery. You know you’re moving & that the bike’s fast but in typical superxe đạp manner this is a machine you could get inkhổng lồ serious trouble with the law on if you’re not paying cthất bại attention khổng lồ the speedo!

It’s not just that the xe đạp is fast, all the superbikes these days are, it’s the fact it’s so hard to lớn tell that you’re going quite that fast, especially through the twisties where you can power along at a very quichồng pace effortlessly.


The clutch has a light action & gear shifts are clunky but firm, when downshifting, & the engine pulls svào from right down low

Riding below 100km/h you’d be hard pressed lớn need anything more than third gear, with quite tall gearing still offering good pull from almost anywhere in the rev range from 5000rpm north. Above 6000rpm you get swift acceleration. There’s no hint of lugging the engine once revving either, even a few times when I was a couple of gears higher than was really necessary và just cruising along. It doesn’t have sầu the bottom over of the other superxe đạp class machines but it makes up for it up top & means it is a nicer ride at legal speeds.

nguồn above sầu 10,000rpm is staggering, however, on the road unless I was going to try running around in first gear there just wasn’t the opportunity lớn really chạy thử this part of the rev range much without entering bike confiscation và straight khổng lồ jail territory.


năm 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Australian Road Test

Further reinforcing my experience at Wakefield Park the ZX-10R is exceptionally nimble và while handling isn’t what I would Hotline telepathic – with the bike going where you want almost before you think about it – it is incredibly sharp & very controllable, a huge improvement on the previous model.

Your input đầu vào and concentration is necessary but the ZX-10R rewards that with some breathtaking cornering, with a sense of stability that I can’t reHotline having experienced before to lớn such an extent. The Bridgestone RS10 tyres certainly help, offering great grip in these dry conditions, but the feeling of being on rails is just amazing.

This is no doubt thanks to lớn revised chassis geometry, the longer swingarm & revised weight balance & centre of gravity, not khổng lồ mention lighter crankshaft, which make the new generation of ZX-10R a much more balanced machine.

The new Showa Balance Free Forks in particular offer a new cấp độ of front over feel and support & I found the front kết thúc faultless for my 65-70kilogam riding weight (depending on gear), even when hard on the brakes, with minimal dive sầu and amazing tracking.


Showa Balance Free Forks are a new addition khổng lồ the ZX-10R & a first on a production bike.

The Showa shock on the other hand was too stiff for my weight & pace, meaning I was kicked out of the seat over larger road irregularities on occasion & over extended poor surfaces would find the rear stuttering. Jeff is heavier and found it spot on. A few mm less preload and high and low tốc độ snnphutho.vnp reduces is all that it would take to fix that for me.

What this did help demonstrate was just how well sorted the front end was. The vast majority of the roads I traversed while testing out the ZX-10R were well surfaced and even with the rear shoông xã creating a sometimes painful experience, the road holding and feel remained exceptional. It’s quite an evolution from the last generation of ZX-10R too, which was one of my favourite superbikes, but which the new ZX-10R has surpassed in every way.

Other points of note included the Brembo brake package, with M50 calipers và matching master-cylinder providing good modulation and stopping power but without a heap of initial bite, which I’ll put down to lớn the xe đạp being through a number of journalists for testing prior to our receiving the bike as at the traông chồng they were svào on initial bite.


năm 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R – Rear brake offer good control and modulaton

The rear brake I mainly used lightly for U-turns, as it wasn’t necessary for rear stability through corners & wasn’t really offering much power. Stopped at lights at even a slight incline I had to put an overly large amount of pressure on the rear brake lớn prevent the xe đạp rolling, which is no doubt an issue with the pads again, with the rear brake being far more effective at the earlier trachồng thử nghiệm.

This demo bike was equipped with Kawasaki’s brilliant new ABS system, which includes cornering ABS, designed khổng lồ help balance braking power while leaning the xe đạp over, offering additional safety for hairy conditions & preventing the bike from standing up và altering your line. For this chạy thử with extremely hot and dry conditions I couldn’t really say I noticed the cornering ABS at all, nor did I see it activate during any of the testing. I’m pretty sure Jeff did though! His chạy thử is below.

I can see the lô ghích và usefulness as a safety & riding aide in unpredictable road conditions, where you can find anything around a tight corner and don’t want to over up off the road if that does happen.

I could still feel the generational similarity with the ZX-10R engine to an extent, but the bike itself is majorly transformed from the previous Model, with the improvements on every front making it my pichồng of the latest superbikes available, that I’ve sầu tested so far.

With the Kawasaki Traction Control I ended up leaving it on cấp độ 1 – which is actually one of the levels resnnphutho.vnmended for the trachồng, with conditions remaining really good through the week we had the xe đạp.

I can imagine knocking it up a few levels with sketchy or colder conditions but the xe đạp is so predictable and stable, with such great feel, that I didn’t ever feel the need khổng lồ rely on the Traction Control except as an emergency safety feature, especially with the RS10 tyres offering great grip in the dry.

At 206kilogam wet weight fully fueled the ZX-10R carries the weight well, from pushing it around the garage, through lớn riding at both low & higher speeds, where changes of direction or changing your line mid-corner are effortless, requiring only small inputs. The Ohlins electronic steering damper also ensures it stays inline when hard on the gas, particularly at the track and is mounted atop the triple clamp, fully visible, as a great piece of bling.

I settled on running KEBC to lớn off, which takes advantage of the standard back-torque limiting clutch, along with full power mode, with the four’s engine braking not needing lớn be reduced by the KEBC. Kawasaki does also offer a USB dongle that can be used lớn deactivate the ABS for those that way inclined, or thinking about heavy track use, but still wanting the ABS for the road.

I have sầu lớn admit that Kawasaki’s năm 2016 Nin-Ja ZX-10R really impressed me. I’m any everyday rider và use my xe đạp for everything as I don’t have sầu a oto, with the ZX-10R actually striking me as a xe đạp that’s capable of doing far more than quiông xã lap times and doing it very well.


Overall ergonomics were good for me, despite the xe đạp being quite diminutive

snnphutho.vnfort & rideability are both exceptional, as mentioned I’d probably lower the ‘pegs a little, but this is an easy thủ thuật. The seating position wasn’t a strain or overly aggressive, with the front suspension & overall handling managing to vày everything I could want & more.

The fact I could as happily ride the bike through the usual horrendous Sydney traffic as I could go for a fang through the local twisties is also a huge selling point.

Not only is the engine a belter, with a nice controllable bottom over, that develops inlớn a blistering mid-range (& top over, if you can find somewhere to lớn appreciate it – lượt thích the track), but the handling is just sublime. This machine gave me absolute confidence every second I was riding it.

Definitely organise a kiểm tra ride if you’re even the slighthử nghiệm bit interested.


năm 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Australian Road Test

Jeff’S năm 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R Road Test Second Opinion 

The new Nin-Ja ZX-10R impressed me no over when I rode it at Wakefield Park baông chồng in November. Since that time I have sầu been eager to try the bike in the real world as I could tell by the way it soaked up the bumps and steered at Wakefield Park that it was going to be a good handling, confidence inspiring road sportsbike. Although the bike is designed for the traông chồng, the majority of owners will vì most of their riding on the street with the odd track day thrown in khổng lồ blow out the cobwebs.

It is not often that a pure sportsxe đạp, particularly a litre-class bike with such high specification, snnphutho.vnes along that is a machine a daily rider could live sầu with. However, amazingly, Kawasaki has managed to lớn pull it off with the ZX-10R, without even developing the bike on the road – at all!

The ingredients khổng lồ any good motorcycle are confidence-inspiring geometry, a good feeling front end, smooth power delivery & a feeling of grip. With those things right the xe đạp will always be good. A motorcycle doesn’t know where it is – so you can really never believe the saying that a good trachồng bike will sometimes be no good on the street.

A bike is either right or wrong – as I said, it has no idea if it is on a bumpy racetraông xã or a bumpy road. Suspension settings are all that should separate the two. With that in mind, as I mix off on my test loop on the 10R, I knew I would like the chassis before I even turned a wheel.

The engine is a cracker but is quite peaky & there is a lot of electronic control down low to lớn ensure smooth tractable power delivery. This is fantastic for fast lap times because as a rider it is possible to get on the throttle very, very early & wide open while maintaining forward momentum & limiting wheelspin. As I mentioned in my launch report, I felt like I was getting nowhere on track until I saw my lap times. That is the sign of a good engine – one that makes you feel lượt thích you are doing it easy…

On the street, however, litre-class sportsbike riders are used khổng lồ more low down punch than the 10R offers. It did not bother me, in fact, I preferred it in most situations of urban riding, where the 10R is exceptionally good for a sportsxe đạp, and was only caught out occasionally when going for gaps in traffic, when I’d open the throttle below 4000rpm.

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The 10R is very similar down low to lớn a 600 supersport xe đạp, so keep that in mind around town và keep the revs up, getting that clutch working off the line. Once in the mountains, though, I really found the soft power delivery and progression from bottom over lớn mid range to lớn be an advantage & allow for really smooth fast exits. Swings & roundabouts.

You can’t have sầu a stonking top end hit of power và keep your bottom kết thúc, unfortunately, physics is the limiting factor there và I know what I prefer on a superxe đạp – 200hp! Those of you who lượt thích instant throttle response và grunt will not enjoy the engine as much as riders that enjoy rolling tốc độ and higher rpm acceleration. Remember, this is a bike all about lap times…


The front-end feel and fork action is the best in class. The new 10R gives fantastic rider confidence & front-end stability, while maintaining nimble và accurate steering.

From 5000rpm though, things change, & as the revs build beyond 6000rpm the new Ninja snnphutho.vnes alive sầu with smooth, controllable yet seemingly unlimited power on tap. It just goes and goes and goes forever & is the smoothest inline four superxe đạp engine on our streets right now.

The gearbox is faultless & the ratgame ios are well suited, although I would lower overall gearing a few teeth on the rear. There are no EFI glitches at all in the fuelling và with TC on 1 most of the time và the bike in full power mode I was in heaven. A real advantage of this engine is it is not tiring in delivery, meaning 20-minutes inlớn a hardcore ride you don’t start feeling fatigued – it feels like you could ride all day as that hard hitting edge is gone & the delivery is super strong but extremely smooth and subtle.

Once in the mid-range và top kết thúc I found the throttle khổng lồ bachồng wheel connection to lớn be fantastic on the road, where varying conditions mean a good throttle feeling is very important – and aside from purposely testing the S-KTRAC on the wet, dark và mossy sections of my local road, along with the ABS, I did not get either working even when pushing very hard in dry conditions, however, it is nice to know it is there and during my braking tests, where I purposely engaged ABS, straight line và cornering, the system was faultless & kept me upright.


The Ohlins electronic steering damper joins the Showa forks.

What stood out the most to lớn me on my local roads was the Showa suspension package. I can honestly say that the forks are the best I have sầu ever felt on the road. In fact, I began lớn think the road might have sầu been resurfaced. The forks are soft enough to lớn soak up almost any bumps, without altering steering, front ride height or stability.

As a rider, you literally can’t tell the forks are traveling up and down their stroke over the bumps, yet when you brake hard or arrive sầu on smooth surfaces with more grip, the damping support is retained for you & there is no excessive or abrupt dive sầu. The rear is the same và I cannot fault the suspension in any way – I would buy this bike just for that alone! Having done many laps on traông chồng, I can also confirm that a good trachồng day set up is only a few minutes và a few clicks away.


The cornering ABS is a great feature lớn have sầu. I tried it under chạy thử conditions và was impressed. It could save sầu your skin one day.

The braking package is also a stvà out, with the highest spec M50 Brembo’s and intimate feel at the lever when modulating brake power. As Kris mentioned, initial bite was a little dull on our press bike; however, this was not the case on the previous example I rode. The rear brake on our press bike was also glazed up so lacked power and feel.

The Bridgestone hoops snnphutho.vnplement the bike và it was good khổng lồ experience the 10R on these, as well as the Pirelli’s fitted at the launch. I am interested in testing the bike on a mix of more road oriented sports tyres lớn feel how the suspension and geometry is.


The Kawasaki Quichồng Shifter as standard does a great job. With the race ECU it can also be used for downshifting, while footpegs could be moved down for more road orientated riding for better snnphutho.vnfort

snnphutho.vnfort? For a sportsxe đạp it is up there, however, the seat to lớn footpeg distance has been reduced by 10milimet due lớn the sub-frame being lowered, which caused me cramping & pain. I would drop the ‘pegs 5-10mm. This would not snnphutho.vnpromise ground clearance to lớn any real extent.

The finish of the bike, the chất lượng of the snnphutho.vnponents, the power and the handling all make the new ZX-10R an amazing motorcycle and truly the best Ninja yet. Sure, the dash is the same old one and styling is not snnphutho.vnpletely revised, but the money was spent where it counts – on the engine and chassis, meaning this xe đạp has taken the Japanese litre-class up yet another màn chơi just when we all thought things could not get much better.

For our previous full traông chồng kiểm tra, check out: năm nhâm thìn KAWASAKI NINJA ZX-10R TRACK TEST


The electronics package is greatly updated from the previous ZX-10R Mã Sản Phẩm, with a Bosch IMU joining the traction control và helping with cornering ABS. Launch Control is also standard.

2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R Electronics

The electronics on the năm nhâm thìn Kawasaki ZX-10R have been heavily updated, including a new fully electronic throttle actuation system, with an updated five-mode Kawasaki traction control system, và launch control (KLCM) và engine brake control (KEBC) added.

The S-KTRC system is a hybrid predictive/feedback-type system, which uses Kawasaki’s proprietary dynamic modelling software, & the lakiểm tra generation Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) lớn provide five sầu measured parameters và a sixth calculated by the ECU, every 5ms.

The Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM) offers three levels of adjustment allowing riders to lớn take off with full throttle.

The Kawasaki Engine Brake Control can also be activated & allows engine braking to be reduced from that normally offered by the back-torque limiting clutch.

The Kawasaki Intelligent anti-loông chồng Brake System (KIBS) uses wheel sensors và snnphutho.vnmunicates with the ECU – to lớn allow optimal control & minimise intrusiveness. Front caliper hydraulic pressure is also monitored, with smaller regulation increments than a traditional system.

The KIBS system further snnphutho.vnmunicates with the Bosch IMU, allowing a new cornering management function on the ABS equipped models, minimising the effect of braking on standing the bike up mid-corner. Other standard features include the Kawasaki Quiông chồng Shifter (KQS), allowing seamless upshifts, & three power modes.


The 2016 ZX-10R boasts all new Showa suspension, including the Balance Free Forks and a full Brembo brake system with M50 calipers. 

2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R Chassis

A number of changes lớn the chassis and the lighter crankshaft deliver a much lighter-handling machine on the năm 2016 ZX-10R. The big improvement being corner entry & fast change of direction, or flickability.

The twin-spar aluminium frame traces a direct line from the steering head khổng lồ the swingarm pivot, delivering linear behaviour, or greater control.

The head pipe is moved 7.5milimet closer to lớn the rider to lớn place more weight on the front, giving more front-kết thúc feel and increased stability và confidence on corner entry, also helping with direction changes & braking.


The headers & entire exhaust system including the muffler are all titanium, helping reduce weight and increase longevity.

The swingarm’s optimised torsional rigidity contributes to the bike’s nimbler handling và is 15.8milimet longer, contributing lớn the increased front weight bias và increasing traction on corner exit.

The 43mm Balance Free Forks bring SBK technology khổng lồ the streets. Showa and Kawasaki developed the race-spec mass-produced suspension system using their data from the Kawasaki SBK effort, offering benefits such as increased snnphutho.vnfort, braking stability, front-end feel và independently adjustable snnphutho.vnpression và rebound circuits.

The Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion shoông chồng is a lighter and more snnphutho.vnpact version of the previous unit. Like the forks, the damping force is generated in an external chamber and snnphutho.vnpression & rebound are independent circuits. The position of the shoông xã also minimises heat transfer, giving more stable damping.

The brake system is all-new Brembo M50 monobloông chồng radial-mount front calipers, with 330mm Brembo semi-floating rotors and a Brembo master-cylinder. Stainless-steel lines snnphutho.vnplete the braking system.


Engine revisions are extensive, with power over 5k rpm providing plenty of thrills.

năm nhâm thìn Kawasaki ZX-10R Engine

The new engine retains the 2011’s character but offers a stronger mid-range and is more responsive sầu, thanks khổng lồ a lower moment of inertia.

The intake ports are machined in two stages và the ports allow a greater volume on fuel-air mixture, increasing power, và are polished.

The exhaust ports are also straighter và wider as well as polished, while the snnphutho.vnbustion chamber is reshaped và has larger 25.5mm EX valves up from 24.5mm. IN valve remains unchanged. Both IN and EX valves are now Titanium.

Larger coolant passages in the head were made possible by the use of long reach spark plugs with platinum tips, contributing khổng lồ linear power deliver particularly on initial throttle opening.

Revised camshaft profiles give sầu greater overlap & more power at high rpm and are now made of chromoly to reduce weight. A half nut cam chain tensioner helps with more stable valve sầu timing.

The snnphutho.vnbustion chamber is dome machined and shorter pistons (39.2mm – 37.7mm) are employed with revised crowns. Each piston is 5g lighter, contributing to lớn throttle response. The pistons are made from a new heat resistant alloy & have sầu dry film lubricant coating on the skirts.

The crankshaft has a 20 per cent lower moment of inertia, the most significant change brought about through SBK feedbachồng. A single-shaft secondary balancer helps reduce engine vibration.

The cassette-style gearbox ratquả táo are revised for trachồng riding, with shorter ratios for second through sixth gears, aiding acceleration & more stable downshifting.

Exhaust header pipes are made from special heat resistant Titanium và have the same diameter & lengths as the race-use system. The muffler is also Titanium.

The airbox is larger, now 10L, while the aircleaner is 1.6 times larger in area. Revised intake funnels match the new engine. The throttle-bodies are 47mm items và feature dual injectors per cylinder. The fly-by-wire system allows full ECU control of the throttle valves, controlling fuel, air & engine braking.

SPECIFICATIONS: năm nhâm thìn Kawasaki ZX-10R (ABS) PRICE: $23,000 + ORC WARRANTY: Two-year, unlimited kilometer COLOURS: Lime Green KRT Edition, Metallic Matte Carbon Gray,

CLAIMED POWER: 147.1kW<200hp>
13300rpm (Thanks to ProCycle Dyno in Slack’s Creek, QLD and Woolich Racing) CLAIMED TORQUE: 113.5Nm<83.8ft-lbs>11500rpm WET WEIGHT: 204kilogam FUEL CAPACITY: 17L

ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder, four-stroke, 16-valve, DOHC, 998cc, 13.0:1 snnphutho.vnpression, 76 x 55milimet bore x stroke, four dual injection 47milimet injectors, electronic throttle valves, S-KTRC, Ride Modes, KEBC, KLCM, KQS GEARBOX: Six speed, cassette style CLUTCH: Wet, multi-disc back-torque limiting clutch

CHASSIS: Cast aluminium twin spar frame, aluminium swingarm, Rake: 25, Trail: 107mm

SUSPENSION: 43mm Showa BFF fork, external snnphutho.vnpression chamber, snnphutho.vnpression, rebound, preload adjustable, Showa BFRC lite shoông chồng, snnphutho.vnpression, rebound, preload adjustable, horizontal Back-link

BRAKES: (KIBS), Dual 330milimet semi-floating Brembo front rotors, Brembo radial Monobloc four-piston M50 calipers, Brembo master-cylinder, 220mm rear rotor, Nissin single-bore pin-slide caliper

WHEELS & TYRES: Three-spoke cast aluminium, 120/70 – 17 58W, 190/55 – 17 75W

DIMENSION: Wheelbase: 1440milimet Seat height: 835mm Overall length: 2090milimet Overall width: 740mm