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[Wakayama Column]A more intimate track overlord! KAWASAKI「ZX-10R」

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In the World Superbike Championship (SBK), the “Ninja ZX-10R” has achieved six consecutive championships. At first glance, everyone may think that it is a chariot that has particularly enhanced the riding performance of the track to the extreme.

But this is not the case, especially the “ZX-10R SE” equipped with electronically controlled shock absorbers, as long as the mode is switched, the ride is exactly like an ordinary sports street bike. And its characteristic of tolerance and non-rejection may be the reason why the “ZX-10R” is so powerful.


The new model that further improves the details based on the overall balance

ZX-10R has undergone three major revisions so far, and these revisions, along with its track and street riding performance, have evolved to a higher level, reflecting KAWASAKI’s unique “useful value” characteristics.

In addition to the use of TFT LCD screens that improve the connection between the cruise control system and smartphones, the improvements in riding performance go deep into the details, all in order to create the perfect balance of the factory car.

Moreover, the English version of the publicity press release reminds people of the feelings and experiences of test drivers during the test. This is mainly because the goal of the R&D team is very clearly presented before our eyes, so it leaves a great impression.

A small change in the riding posture illustrates its style change

▲ZX-10R

The 2021-style ZX-10R moves the handle position forward by 10mm, the footrest position is increased by 5mm, and the seat cushion is also changed to a higher rear, emphasizing the design of the angle. Its handle position has become closer to the Jonathan Rea version, and the overall style has been replaced with a style that is easier to control load changes and easy to change foot movements.

Although KAWASAKI has subtly enhanced its sporty riding style, due to the forward movement of the grip position, there is a little more space between the grip and the fuel tank, so it also increases the ease of turning in small arcs. advantage. Since the height of the front cushion has not changed, it will naturally not cause any negative effects on the grounding of the feet. The ZX-10R does not merely enhance its riding performance without considering other factors.

The pivot is lowered by 1mm and the fork spring becomes slightly softer. Although the damper is also adjusted, the direction it changes is to make it easier to change the body posture through throttle control. In addition, the fork offset has been increased by 2mm, allowing the rider to easily control the rudder angle from the beginning when turning. Through these changes, it must be possible for the rider to easily feel that it has become well controlled during daily riding.

Although this also caused the stability of the ZX-10R to become extremely bad, because its rocker arm was extended by 8mm and the wheelbase was increased by 10mm, its stability and handling were maintained in a good balance.

In addition, it also widens the width of the lower triangle platform and increases the rigidity of the triangle platform. The advantage of the ZX-10R mentioned by Jonathan Rea-the stability during braking has been greatly improved.


Gearbox wide gear ratio design, easy to cope with general road riding

The new ZX-10R has changed the gear ratios and secondary reduction ratios of all gears from 1st to 6th. As a result, the gear ratios for 1st to 3rd gears become particularly short. Perhaps due to the improved control performance in the high-speed range and the ease of maneuverability at high-speed conditions, the ZX-10R not only makes it easier to generate driving force in low-speed corners on the track, and rides on general roads. Time should also become easier to manipulate.

▲ZX-10RR

The track-specific tank “10RR” uses lightweight pistons, two piston rings, and adjustment cams, valve springs, air bells, etc. to increase its upper limit of speed from 14,300rpm to 14,700rpm. Although the upper limit of the speed of the SBK tank is affected by the upper limit of commercially available vehicles, this change definitely greatly increases the combat power of the factory vehicles.

In addition, including ZX-10R, KAWASAKI also separates the cooling circulation path when changing the oil pressure cooler, which improves the cooling performance.

The improvement of aerodynamic performance has greatly increased the strength of factory cars

▲ZX-10RR factory car

It can be clearly seen from the exterior of the car body that the headlight cover has undergone a 180-degree change. Although the opening of the ram intake duct has become very compact and the LED headlights have become lighter, the most surprising thing is that the downforce has increased by 17% (air resistance has also been reduced by 7%). This is definitely a big advantage for the SBK tank, which must basically look the same as the commercial car.

In fact, KAWASAKI began riding tests of the new factory car as early as November last year. It is said that Jonathan Rea is full of praise for the aerodynamic characteristics of this car and the handling performance of the engine.

In the SBK event, which will not make people feel strange even if it becomes more and more intense, it feels that KAWASAKI can still rely on this year’s design 10 years ago and rely on the 2011-style basic design to continue to beat the world. Let us wait and see!

“Webike Famous Column” Wakayama Toshihiro
“Webike Taiwan” editorial department compiled

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