The covers are off Kawasaki’s updated ZX-10 model variants.  The 2021 Ninja ZX-10R,  Ninja ZX-10R KRT Edition, and Ninja ZX-10RR all have updates.  Of all the models unveiled on the 23rd of November, the ZX-10R series of bikes have the most updates.

Kawasaki says that the new 2021 Ninja ZX-10R,  Ninja ZX-10R KRT (Kawasaki Race Team) Edition, and Ninja ZX-10RR are built for those who rise to the challenge: with all new aerodynamic body with integrated winglets, small and light LED headlights, TFT color instrumentation, and Smartphone Connectivity plus high-tech updates derived right from the KRT.

ZX-10R engine

The 2021 ZX-10R receives several updates to offer cleaner emissions while maintaining the performance of its predecessor.  Kawasaki says the revised 998cc, in-line four-cylinder, 16-valve engine balances stunning power with manageability.

Team Green is utilizing feedback from Kawasaki’s factory World Superbike (WorldSBK) team to increase engine performance.  As a result, Kawasaki’s WorldSBK engineers are bringing top-level racing technology to the Ninja ZX-10R platform.  Changes for 2021 see the ZX-10R’s engine receiving a new air-cooled oil-cooler, new electronically-controlled exhaust valves, a new exhaust system, and new gear ratios.

ZX-10R Chassis

The ZX-10R’s chassis receives updates to its chassis geometry.  The changes move the front-rear balance further forward to increase cornering performance and handling.  The bike’s aluminum twin-spar frame now traces a direct line from the head pipe to the aluminum swingarm pivot.  The new configuration delivers linear behavior and greater control.

Kawasaki ZX-10R

The rolling chassis of the Kawasaki ZX-10R.

For 2021, the swingarm pivot position is lower by 1 mm to produce better rear suspension action when exiting corners.  A greater fork offset provides a longer wheelbase, while an 8 mm longer swingarm offers better overall chassis composure.  Finally, the shorter trail from the revised fork offset facilitates easier changes of direction.

ZX-10R Suspension

For 2021, the ZX-10R’s suspension receives a new lower triple clamp and new fork and shock settings.  Up front is a Showa Balance Free Fork (BFF) developed with technology from Kawasaki’s WorldSBK factory team.  The new lower triple clamp and revised rigidity balance the fork outer tubes for improved handling and performance.

The fork’s new “circuit focused” setting include a lower spring rate combined with firmer compression damping and softer rebound damping to make it easier to get a weight to the front wheel.

Brakes and wheels

The changes to the bike’s brakes and wheels are minimal.  But the 2021 ZX-10R gets new rear brake pads and a repositioned rear brake reservoir.  The updated machine retains its pair of 330mm Brembo semi-floating front discs with dual radial-mount four-piston calipers.  At the rear is a 220mm disc and a single-piston caliper holds the newly revised brake pads.

Kawasaki ZX-10R

The ZX-10R comes with Brembo brakes and three-spoke wheels.

The bike retains its three-spoke cast wheels.

ZX-10R Electronics

Kawasaki has also updated the electronics.  The 2021 model retains a long list of technology features.  They include Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), Bosch IMU, Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), Ohlins Electronic Steering Damper and Power Modes.

ZX-10R riding modes

New for 2021, as part of the electronics package, are three integrated and pre-determined riding modes, including Sport, Road, and Rain.  In addition, there are four manual modes in which the rider sets the parameters through the use of a button on the left handlebar.  The new 2021 ride modes may now be changed while riding.

The ZX-10R now also features electronic cruise control.  It eliminates the need to have to maintain a particular throttle setting constantly.  As a result, it relieves fatigue on the right hand when riding long distances while increasing comfort.  With the new electronic cruise control system, the rider can easily set the desired speed and electronically disengage it by operating the brake lever, clutch lever, brake pedal, closing the throttle completely, or shifting gears.

Kawasaki ZX-10R

The ZX-10R now comes with cruise control.

New TFT display

Rounding out the new technology is a 4.3 inch all-digital TFT color instrumentation display that provides better visibility and provides a high tech appearance.  The instrumentation now offers several new features that were unavailable on the previous model.  The screen’s background color is selectable in either black or white, and the screen’s brightness automatically adjusts to available light.

Kawasaki ZX-10R

The ZX-10R’s new TFT display.

The new display’s functions have been updated to include several items, including:

  • digital speedometer,
  • digital bar-style tachometer,
  • gear position indicator,
  • throttle application indicator,
  • odometer,
  • dual trip meters,
  • current and average fuel consumption,
  • the volume of fuel consumed,
  • low fuel indicator,
  • average speed,
  • total time,
  • coolant temperature,
  • intake air temperature,
  • clock,
  • battery voltage,
  • service reminder,
  • oil change reminder,
  • call and mail indicators (when connected to Bluetooth), and
  • economical riding indicator.

The new display also has smartphone connectivity, which allows its rider to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth®.  It also permits the use of Kawasaki’s RIDEOLOGY THE APP to access several instrument functions even when away from the bike.  Data available includes:

  • Vehicle Info
    • Providing the latest status update
  • Riding Log
    • Can be played back for review
    • Route, Distance & Time traveled
    • Riding conditions
  • Tuning
    • Change bike settings with your smartphone
    • Easily apply new settings to your bike
    • Customize shift settings before riding
    • Set Ride Mode and system settings before riding

Quick shifter

The ZX-10R also comes with a Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS).  It operates in both directions without the need to use the clutch for faster upshifts and downshifts.  Ultimately, it results in a more enjoyable experience and better lap times.

Traction control

New on the ZX-10R for 2021 is Sport Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) Modes 4 and 5.  The ZX-10R now has five traction control modes for riders to choose from.  They allow riders to enable optimal performance for a wide range of riding conditions.  The system can offer either enhanced sport riding performance or the peace of mind under certain conditions to negotiate various surfaces with confidence.

Other electronic aids

The ZX-10R also features a multitude of electronic aids, including:

  • KLCM – Kawasaki’s launch control
  • KIBS – Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-Lock Brake System
  • Kawasaki Engine Brake Control
  • An Ohlins electronic steering damper

ZX-10R weight

The ZX-10R arrives with a curb weight (all fluids and a full tank of fuel) of 452.0 pounds for the non-ABS version and 456.4 pounds for the ABS-equipped version.

ZX-10R colors and pricing

The 2021 Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle is available with or without ABS in Metallic Spark Black or Metallic Matte Carbon Gray.  The KRT Edition is available in Lime Green/Ebony/Pearl Blizzard White only.

Pricing depends on the version of ZX-10R purchased.  The MSRP for all ZX-10R models is as follows:  $16,399 (ZX-10R), $16,699 (KRT Edition), $17,399 (ZX-10R ABS), $17,699 (KRT Edition ABS)

Kawasaki ZX-10RR

The ZX-10RR is more performance-oriented than the other ZX-10 variants.  It takes much of its engine technology from Kawasaki’s WorldSBK team.  For example, the 2021 ZX-10RR has significant changes to its engine, including:

  • The elimination of intake funnels,
  • Revised camshafts,
  • New Intake and exhaust valve springs,
  • The addition of Pankl high-performance engine parts including lightweight titanium Pankl connecting rods, lighter weight pistons that use one less piston ring.

According to Kawasaki, the engine updates add significant racing potential with lower reciprocating weight adding to a higher rev limit.  So the supplied power comparison chart is a bit surprising.

Kawasaki ZX-10RR power chart

Interestingly, in most parts of the powerband, the ZX-10RR makes less power and torque than the standard ZX-10R.

Also, the RR version features Pirelli Diablo™ Supercorsa SP tires fitted to forged Marchesini wheels.

ZX-10RR weight

Interestingly, the ZX-10RR tips the scales at 456.4 pounds, which is more than the non-ABS equipped ZX-10R and identical to the ZX-10R ABS’s claimed weight.

ZX-10RR colors and pricing

The ZX-10RR is only available in Lime Green and is priced at $28,999.  That’s about a $12K premium to the other ZX-10R models.  Yikes!

Kawasaki ZX-10RR

The Kawasaki ZX-10RR.

What do you think?

What do you think about the new Kawasaki ZX-10R and ZX-1-RR?  Are you a potential buyer of any of the ZX-10 variants?  Let us know in the comments below.

ZX-10R Specifications

Engine Type 4-Stroke, 4-Cylinder, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, 4 Valve Cylinder Head
Displacement 998 cc
Bore & Stroke 76.0 x 55.0 mm
Maximum Torque 83.9 lb.-ft @ 11,300 rpm
Compression Ratio 13.0:1
Fuel Injection DFI® with Mikuni 47mm Throttle Bodies (4)
Ignition TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission 6-Speed
Final Drive Sealed Chain
Rake/Trail 25° / 4.1 in.
Front Wheel Travel 4.7 in.
Rear Wheel Travel 4.5 in.
Front Tire Size 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire Size 190/55 ZR17
Wheelbase 57.1 in.
Front Suspension 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with Adjustable
Preload, Stepless Rebound, and Compression Damping
Rear Suspension Horizontal Back-Link with Adjustable Preload,
Stepless Rebound and Dual-Stage Compression Damping
Front Brake Type Dual Floating 330mm Discs with
4-Piston Radial-Mount Calipers, Available KIBS
Rear Brake Type Single 220mm Disc, Available KIBS
Fuel Tank Capacity 4.5 gal.
Seat Height 32.9 in.
Curb Weight= 456.4 lb. (ABS); 452.0 lb. (non-ABS)

 

ZX-10RR Specifications

Engine Type 4-Stroke, 4-Cylinder, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, 4 Valve Cylinder Head
Displacement 998 cc
Bore & Stroke 76.0 x 55.0 mm
Maximum Torque 81.7 lb.-ft @ 11,500 rpm
Compression Ratio 13.0:1
Fuel Injection DFI® with Mikuni 47mm Throttle Bodies (4)
Ignition TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission 6-Speed
Final Drive Sealed Chain
Rake/Trail 25° / 4.1 in.
Front Wheel Travel 4.7 in.
Rear Wheel Travel 4.5 in.
Front Tire Size 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire Size 190/55 ZR17
Wheelbase 57.1 in.
Front Suspension 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with Adjustable
Preload, Stepless Rebound, and Compression Damping
Rear Suspension Horizontal Back-Link with Adjustable Preload,
Stepless Rebound and Dual-Stage Compression Damping
Front Brake Type Dual Floating 330mm Discs with
4-Piston Radial-Mount Calipers, KIBS
Rear Brake Type Single 220mm Disc, KIBS
Fuel Tank Capacity 4.5 gal.
Seat Height 32.9 in.
Curb Weight= 456.4 lb.

 

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