The 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R, yet to be officially launched in Malaysia, was on display at the Kawasaki stand at the recent Indonesian International motor show. As Kawasaki’s flagship road-going superbike, the special order H2 excepted, the 2016 ZX-10R brings together decades of Kawasaki’s superbike racing experience and distills it into one much-anticipated package.

Carrying a 998 cc liquid-cooled inline-four DOHC 16-valve engine, the ZX-10R has a six-speed gearbox that comes with cassette gears that allow for changing of gear ratios without having to drain the sump. Designed with a focus on racing, this litre-class superbike has a heavily-redesigned cylinder head with inlet tracts realigned to provide the intake charge a straight shot into the combustion chamber.

The exhaust has also been reworked, with ports polished and enlarged, mated to titanium exhaust headers. The intake and exhaust valves are also made from titanium, and new-design cams provide more power at the top-end of the rev range. The new electronic throttle bodies keep the engine Euro 4-compliant for the road version.

A new 32-bit ECU works with a Bosch inertial measurement unit (IMU), measuring the ZX-10R’s movement in six-axes, while 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.


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. Kawasaki has also released a race kit for the ZX-10R, which includes the programmable ECU that allows for parameters such as fuelling, ignition timing, traction control and ride modes to be adjusted to suit, as well as the ABS dongle that lets the system be disabled for the rear or both wheels.

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.