The 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R was unveiled in Barcelona, Spain, in October last year, and Kawasaki has released a video of the bike’s unveiling along with feedback from its World Superbike championship (WSBK) riders and engineers. The 2016 ZX-10R incorporates more racing superbike technology than the previous model, and the Kawasaki Racing Team is intending to take the fight to its competition after narrowly missing out on winning WSBK in 2012 and 2014.

One of the biggest changes made to the 2016 ZX-10R is a heavily-redesigned cylinder head. The inlet tracts have been realigned to provide the intake charge a straight shot into the combustion chamber. The chamber itself has been redesigned to improve combustion efficiency.

The exit has also been reworked, with the exhaust ports polished and enlarged, mated to titanium exhaust headers. The intake and exhaust valves are now made out of titanium, and the new-for-2016 cams provide more power at the top-end of the rev range. The new electronic throttle bodies also contribute to the quest for more power, at the same time keeping the engine Euro 4-compliant for the road version.

A lower moment of inertia has been machined into the crank, with a reduction of 20% in the amount of power needed to spin it up or slow it down. This was apparently at the request of the WSBK boys, and the engineering change has made the transition to the road bike.

Working in conjunction with the 998 cc liquid-cooled inline-four DOHC 16-valve engine, the six-speed gearbox now comes with cassette gears that allow for changing of gear ratios without having to drain the sump. The gear ratios are a lot closer, minimising rpm jumps between gears, and providing better acceleration and less intrusive engine braking.

Kawasaki also brings a whole slew of electronics to the game. This includes a new 32-bit ECU that works with a Bosch inertial measurement unit (IMU), measuring the ZX-10R’s movement in six-axes. The new electronics suite now brings the bike on par with its rivals – the Yamaha R1, Ducati 1299 Panigale S and Aprilia RSV4 RF.

Other rider aids on the 2016 ZX-10R include Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), three-mode launch control, Kawasaki’s KIBS ABS, and an electronic Ohlins steering damper. Also included are a quickshifter and engine braking control.

Showa provides the ZX-10R with its brand-new Balance Free forks, the first installation on a production motorcycle. The fork uses Showa’s Damping Force Chamber, which uses an external chamber outside the fork legs filled with pressurised nitrogen to adjust compression and rebound damping. This is claimed by Kawasaki to improve suspension movement and increase traction.

Braking is looked after by a pair of Brembo M50 4-pot monobloc calipers in front, similar to the units used on the Kawasaki H2 and H2R, coupled with braided steel lines. The bodywork looks similar to the previous model, but is actually slightly wider to provide more protection from the wind.

The 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R is claimed to put out 200 hp – 210 hp with Ram-Air – and 113.5 Nm of torque at 11,500 rpm. Weight is 206 kg, with a fuel capacity of 17 litres. The Malaysian launch of the ZX-10R is supposed to be scheduled for the middle of this year, after completion of track re-surfacing works at Sepang International Circuit.