Kawasaki Teases New ZX-10R

Sep 17, 2015 View Comments by

Kawasaki Teases New ZX-10RThe Super Bike Arms Race Continues –

One of the most tell tale signs of a healthy motorcycle industry is raging battle amongst the major OEMs over who can produce the fastest, highest horsepower, and most technologically advanced super bikes. During the world wide financial doldrums that followed 2008’s recession motorcycle manufacturers yanked their R&D funds out of engineer’s hands and stuffed them under their metaphorical mattresses. Most of their lineups moved from year to year with little changes more dramatic than the dreaded “bold new graphics” marketing speak. The performance race that had taken place throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s was put on hold.

Over the past few years the battle has been rejoined. The Europeans, including BMW, Aprilia, MV Agusta, and Ducati have all fielded cutting edge performance machines in the last few years, led by the technological wonder that is the BMW S 1000 RR. The Japanese have been slow to follow suit until this year’s release of the all-new Yamaha R1. Kawasaki has now signaled that they are following Yamaha’s lead with a refreshed Ninja ZX-10R coming for 2016. Though it won’t be a totally new motorcycle like the R1, the 2016 ZX-10R will feature a variety of significant hardware (and software) updates that will certainly help keep it relevant as the super bike competition heats up. Some of these include new suspension, brakes, enhanced engine performance, and “new, state of the art rider aids.”

Whatever the updates to the Ninja amount to, we’re just glad the OEMs are once again trying to one up each other both on the racetrack and the showroom floor. Even though touring motorcyclists typically aren’t too interested in super bikes, the technology and performance developed for these cutting edge machines often finds its way into the company’s touring motorcycles sooner or later. Hey Honda and Suzuki, you’re up!

 

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