2010 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja
When You’re Ready to Get Serious, We’ve Got Your Motorcycle
Open class sportbikes are all about power, and the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R continues to set the pace, on track and off. The formula is simple, but the execution is critical: The ZX-10R offers tremendous horsepower, but delivers it with refined controllability through a highly evolved aluminum frame rolling on top-shelf components developed on the track and refined for the street.
The 10R returns with a host of refinements for 2010. New more aerodynamic bodywork is designed to slice through the atmosphere cleanly at speed, and to look even better doing it. A new fairing with a stronger family resemblance to its ZX-6R sibling leads the way for the rest of the minimalist new plastic, and a new, dark gray embossed coating on the bike’s titanium muffler carries the light, slick theme rearward. Inside the cockpit, new inner covers reflect the high quality and performance of the rest of the ZX-10R package.
All that power needs to be kept in check, of course, and rider feedback has led to the fitment of a new, premium 18-position Öhlins steering damper. The new damper uses sophisticated internal circuitry, including pistons and springs, to keep the Ninja tracking straight and true under the most challenging conditions.
Putting that power to asphalt is also critical, and significant upgrades to the six-speed transmission’s shift mechanism handle that task with even greater efficiency. Changes to the guide hole plate, shift shaft, return and set springs and shift collar all collaborate to reduce clearances at the pivot — resulting in more precise, positive gear changes every time. Smooth downshifts are enhanced by a standard, back-torque limiting clutch.
The Ninja’s 998cc, four-cylinder engine continues to crank out the kind of straight-shortening power that leaves other liter bikes in its wake. Fed by a bank of four 43mm Keihin throttle bodies with two injectors per cylinder and bristling with 16 titanium valves, the ZX-10R uses a highly advanced Kawasaki Ignition Management System (KIMS) to dole out all that power with maximum control. KIMS monitors all standard fuel injection input data (engine speed, throttle position, vehicle speed, gear position and feedback from intake air temperature, intake air pressure, engine temperature and O2 sensors), but adds one more crucial wrinkle by checking for sudden changes in rpm every 0.02 seconds. Highly sophisticated, KIMS is programmed to leave control in the rider’s hands, but will retard ignition when a sudden increase in engine rpm exceeds programmed parameters.
A track-oriented fully adjustable 43mm inverted fork and advanced rear suspension are designed to work with the ZX-10R’s carefully tuned aluminum frame for unparalleled feel and feedback. Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coating on the fork tubes reduces stiction for precise action. A four-way adjustable rear shock includes low and high-speed compression damping, and controls the pressed aluminum swingarm via the latest UNI-TRAK linkage design.
Light and stiff squeeze-cast wheels keep unsprung weight down and suspension performance high; their reduced rotational inertia further enhances the 10R’s quick steering and acceleration. Radial-mounted Tokico brake calipers controlled by a radial master cylinder squeeze 310mm petal discs up front with maximum sensitivity, while the rear 220mm petal disc is stopped by a single-piston caliper.
Wrap it all in that sleek new bodywork, add fuel, and you’re looking at an even more beautiful version of the most highly advanced, high-performance Kawasaki sportbike ever.
Details & Features
New for 2010
- Aggressive new styling of the upper, side and center fairings and cockpit inner covers enhances aerodynamic efficiency and appearance
- Refinements to the shift ratchet assembly, shifting arm, return spring and collar result in reduced friction and less movement at the shift shaft pivot, for improved shifting feel and more positive gear changes
- A new, embossed metallic gray coating on the muffler complements the new bodywork
- A new, 18-position Öhlins steering damper uses additional spring and oil pistons for improved action; titanium color and a laser-etched logo enhance the bike's appearance
- Slightly longer throttle cables inside a plastic throttle housing provide improved throttle action for even greater control
Four-Cylinder, DOHC 998cc Engine
- Very compact, narrow and lightweight design makes it possible to position the engine perfectly within the chassis for optimal weight distribution
- One-piece upper crankcase and cylinder casting saves weight and offers maximum rigidity
- Oil is routed through channels milled into the cases on various parts of the engine, eliminating external oil lines and reducing weight
- Stacked, triangular layout of crank axis, input shaft and output shaft reduces engine length and aids mass centralization for quick handling
- Lightweight crankshaft maintains the same inertial moment as a heavier design but saves about two pounds compared to a conventional crank
- Low friction oil pump reduction ratio reduces parasitic power loss
- Water pump uses the same type impeller as the ZX-14, with pump rpm optimized for reduced friction
- A lightweight Denso radiator with tightly packed cores provides the most efficient engine cooling possible
- Specially designed internal fins on the liquid-cooled, aluminum oil cooler promote high-efficiency heat dissipation
- Intake ports, exhaust ports and matched combustion chambers are designed for optimum flow efficiency and high top-end power
- Exhaust ports that are narrower at the midpoint and larger at the opening promote high exhaust velocity and efficient scavenging
- Intake and exhaust valves are titanium for reduced reciprocating weight and higher rpm capabilities
- High-lift camshafts are designed to deliver more power at high rpm and make it easier to tune the engine for racing
- Secondary fuel injectors improve top-end power output and power characteristics at high rpm. Lower injectors are always on, upper injectors come on as needed according to degree of throttle opening and engine rpm
- Oval cross-sectioned throttle bodies allow very precise throttle control and instant response
- A highly efficient, center-located Ram Air intake duct is shaped for lower intake noise and higher intake efficiency
- Use of a compact, flat-type fuel pump that takes up less fuel tank space leaves room for a large, efficient airbox
- Oval-section intake funnels promote non-turbulent flow at all rpm
- Kawasaki Ignition Management System (KIMS) helps curtail sudden spikes in engine speed, enhancing the rider's control of power delivery
- In addition to standard fuel injection system inputs (engine speed, throttle position, vehicle speed, gear position, intake air temperature, intake air pressure, engine temperature and O2 sensors), KIMS monitors the rate of rpm change every 0.02 seconds
- Designed not to interfere with the rider's intentions, the complex ECU program assumes all rider inputs are intentional. However, when a change in engine speed exceeds the predicted response for given parameters, KIMS will slow the ignition timing to reduce power
- Adjustment of KIMS parameters is possible with an accessory racing (circuit-use only) kit installed
- An exhaust pre-chamber under the engine reduces exhaust noise, minimizes silencer volume and enhances mass centralization for maximum flickability
- A palladium catalyzer helps the ZX-10R meet strict Euro-III exhaust emissions standards
- A single orthogonal, titanium silencer with a new, black finish keeps the center of gravity low and improves exhaust efficiency
- Modifications to the shift mechanism further enhance quick, positive gear changes
- Gear ratios suit the power characteristics for ideal power delivery in all rpm ranges
- Final reduction ratio of 17/41 intensifies the ZX-10R's already awe-inspiring acceleration
- An adjustable back-torque limiting clutch facilitates smooth downshifts, a main contributor to stability under heavy braking
- Unique twin-spar aluminum frame features an optimized stiffness balance through a mixture of materials, shapes and thicknesses for superior handling and bump absorption
- Ribbing on the interior of the pivot plate where it joins the frame's upper cross member slightly slows down the frame's feedback for highly accurate steering feel
- Swingarm pivot located to aid with the front-rear weight balance
- Lightweight, two-piece, aluminum die-cast sub-frame is mounted to the frame's upper cross member, so rear suspension feedback is transmitted more directly to the rider
- Narrow sub-frame layout contributes to the compact and slim tail section
- A pressed-beam swingarm delivers a level of feel and feedback unobtainable with a cast unit
- A top-mounted swingarm brace contributes to the superb high-speed stability of the chassis
- DLC (Diamond-like Carbon) fork tube coating on the fully adjustable 43mm inverted fork sliders improves fork action by providing reduced friction, smoother action and better road holding
- Bottom-mounted springs are completely submerged in oil for reduced frothing, improved damping performance, superior fork action and road-following ability
- A four-way adjustable rear shock features dual (low and high-speed) compression damping as well as rebound damping and spring preload adjustment allowing the fine tuning required for racing
- Kawasaki Genuine Accessory shims are available for quick rear ride height changes at the track
Race-quality Steering Damper
- A new 18-position adjustable Öhlins steering damper is fitted as standard equipment to help ensure stable front end feedback even under racing conditions
- Tokico radial-mount brake calipers use dual pads for superb initial bite, increased control and progressive feel
- A radial-pump front master cylinder provides the ultimate in front brake feel and feedback
- A pair of 5.5mm thick, 310mm petal discs provides the heat dissipation needed to maintain brake feel and responsiveness during extended heavy use
- A 220mm rear petal disc gripped by a single-piston caliper provides excellent feel and feedback
- Squeeze-cast wheels offer precise dimensions with less wall thickness and weight, yet are stiffer than gravity-cast units
- The ZX-10R's rear frame, tank and seat offer high levels of contact with the bike and provide the rider very accurate feedback regarding chassis performance and road surface
- A flared fuel tank top makes it easier for riders to rest the inside of their arm on the tank when leaning into a turn for increased comfort and enhanced feedback
- Narrow in the front and shorter, front to back, for a slimmer riding position, the seat offers a shorter reach to the pavement and excellent chassis feedback
- A rib on the end of throttle tube, under the grip, improves grip and feel
- Slimmer than ever in new aerodynamic bodywork, the ZX-10R is designed to slice through the atmosphere cleanly at high speed with minimal turbulence
- The front fender aids cooling efficiency by directing air toward the radiator
- A recess on the top of the fuel tank accommodates the helmet's chin, so it's easier to tuck-in behind the windscreen at speed
- High mounting position of mirrors, with integrated turn signals, provides excellent rearward visibility and helps to minimize damage if the bike falls over
- The flush surface of the tail's underside reduces turbulence at the rear of the bike and ensures laminar airflow around the seat
- A large, rear inner fender keeps the bike cleaner and allows the mud flap to be smaller and less obtrusive, further improving aerodynamic qualities around the rear of the machine
- Mirrors, license plate holder and rear turn signals are easily removable for track day prep
- An LED tail light makes the bike more visible to drivers and provides the final styling flourish to the evocative Ninja design
Advanced Electronic Instrumentation
- The easy-to-read instrument cluster uses UV-blocking glass, for maximum visibility
- Multifunction odometer, tripmeter, clock and lap timer/stopwatch are all intuitively easy to use
- The ZX-10R's big tachometer green zone makes keeping the engine in the meatiest part of its massive powerband even easier
- Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
- Displacement: 998cc
- Bore x Stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
- Compression Ratio: 12.9:1
- Fuel System: DFI with four 43mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
- Ignition: TCBI with digital advance and Kawasaki Ignition Management System (KIMS)
- Transmission: Six-speed
- Final drive: Chain
- Rake / Trail: 25.5 degrees / 4.3 in.
- Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17
- Rear Tire: 190/55 ZR17
- Wheelbase: 55.7 in.
- Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 43mm inverted fork with DLC coating, adjustable rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability and top-out springs / 4.7 in.
- Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: UNI-TRAK® with top-out spring, stepless, dual-range (low-/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / 4.9 in.
- Front Brakes: Dual semi-floating 310mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers
- Rear Brakes: Single 220mm petal disc with aluminum single-piston caliper
- Overall Length: 83.1 in.
- Overall Width: 28.0 in.
- Overall Height: 44.7 in.
- Seat Height: 32.7 in.
- Curb Weight: 458.6 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal.
- Color Choices: Metallic Spark Black, Lime Green/Pearl Stardust White