Early Review of ZX-10R - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 269
Early Review of ZX-10R

I'm posting this from another board, everything in italics is not mine.


ZX10R prototype ride review

these are not my words, copied/pasted from another website from this moment on):

OK, hereís a five minute review of the ZX10R. Better than I expected. First, the production bike is a rocket ship. Itís at least as powerful as the í03 GSX-R1000, likely faster, though itís hard to tell without riding them back to back. Iím betting at least 155 hp, or close to 160. The motor has loads of character too. Itís especially quick-revving (like a 600), and, like all Kawasakis ,it sounds completely nasty so it seems like youíre going even faster than you are. And keep an eye on that throttle handódespite a long swingarm, it wheelies and spins up the rear tire everywhere.

Second, itís freakiní tiny. Itís basically the same size as a ZX6R, except for width. Because of the unique backbone/twin-beam frame (the frame spars go over the motor, not around it), itís actually a tad narrower than the six-hunnie. The back of the tank/front of the saddle is about six inches wideóDucati narrow.

It feels pretty much like a 160 hp ZX6R, which is both good and bad. Small, short in the front (almost two inches shorter from the swingarm pivot to the front axle than the old 9R) and light, the 10R is a breeze to throw around at speed, especially in quick left/right transitions (Homestead has two). Itís a great track bike, provided you know what youíre doing. Geometry is right on the edge, so it doesnít suffer fools. It takes very little input to turn the bike, so if youíre not a smooth, assertive rider it feels really nervous and gets ahead of you very quickly. Sorta experts-only, nowhere near as forgiving as the GSX-R1000 (yes, the Gixxer thou is surprisingly forgiving and easy to ride for such a monster). This is going to keep the 10R from winning any bike-of-the-year ballotingóitís very track/speed focused, with no pretensions of being an all-arounder. Absolutely nothing like the old ZX9R. As a result, if youíre not already a good rider, youíre probably not going to much like this bike. Buy a Honda, pussy. Just kidding...

No steering damper and of course the Japanese engineers in attendance said it didn't need one. BS-it needs one like every 160 hp, 54-inch-wheelbase bike needs a damper. You could make the head shake at will, especially accelerating hard over the gutter up onto the the banking. The front end is always light.

Radial brakes are fantastic. Slipper clutch is also fantastic. How did we live without this stuff before? New stacked "tri-shaft" transmission is truly horrible, though, very clunky with tons of missed shifts all day for everyone. 3rd to 4th at redline was literally impossible. Kawi knows this too, and actually swapped out the shift linkage halfway through the first day with stiffer linkage shipped direct that morning from Japan, but this made virtually no difference. The likely culprit is the shift fork, which looks very flimsy in the cutaway tranny. Hopefully they'll sort this out before production begins in mid-January.

Thatís the basics. I havenít heard anything back on the CBR1000RR, but should hear some stuff by tonight. Canít wait to ride the R1, though, specially after reading the reports from Daytona.

cdma2000 is offline  
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1
all I can say is wow!

I sat on this bike yesterday at the dealership (blue one) and I am very impressed. The zx-6r/rr feels heavy compared to the new 10. The recessed tank is a very clever addition which does put you further down into the cockpit. The seat is compareable to a honda but with a little more padding. I noticed my nuts go smushed pretty good sitting on it but perhaps that was more my fault than the bikes. The bike almost litterally floats underneath you.

Tilting it from side to side slightly lets you know this bike's weight is evenly distributed. The steering is very smooth, quick, and free feeling. This bike will probably be the best sportbike of 2004. And it does look better in person than in the pictures.
chibi is offline  
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