Move over Hayabusa. The king of the road, at least when it comes to fastest street legal motorcycle, is the Kawasaki ZX-10R. The bike has taken command of the streets with its 207 horses and its homage of course to Kawasaki’s dominance at the World Superbike racing level. Kawasaki paid very close attention to the tweaks its top riders wanted and made to the bikes to continue their run at the top levels of the sport. The result is the trickle down to the 10R for those of us who just like the feeling of riding something that we inherently know can do far more than we’ll ever ask it to do.
The ZX-10R boasts a 998 cc inline four cylinder engine, and though the bike is made for the street, be not mistaken it is track capable. Among the benefits built into this engine thanks to its World Superbike lessons, the 10R uses a closer ratio transmission which is better for racing, with the 2nd through 6th gears having been shortened to improve acceleration out of corners. That’s what racing bloodlines will do for you. Another cool aspect of the bike’s design is how it handles corners in general. The system distributes brake pressure based on the motorcycle’s lean/pitch angle which prevents the motorcycle from straightening up when brakes are applied during cornering. It helps you keep that position to hold your line through turns and corners.
Lots of thought and details went into making this bike competitive, both on the track and smooth on the streets. Kawasaki didn’t miss any details and used some of the best parts and latest thinking on everything from chassis, to weight reduction, electronics and safety concerns. For example the front brakes are Brembo’s top of the line M50 aluminum mono blocs and for suspension the the rear gets the Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) shock, which helps with road feel, stability and of course comfort at the same time.
There’s much more but you get the point. Kawasaki knows that making the fastest bike on the street or track isn’t about straight line racing or speed only. There’s a lot more to consider. And they did just that. Way to go Kawasaki. And thank you World Superbike.