Superbike fans should rejoice to the news that Kawasaki has an all-new ZX-10R in the works for the upcoming model year. The news comes from Germany’s reliable Speedweek publication, which interviewed Guim Roda, the Team Manager of Kawasaki’s World Superbike racing effort.
Talking to Speedwekk, Roda said “we will have a new Kawasaki ZX-10R in 2016. The concept will be the same but, with some details and changes, it will be even more competitive.”
“Given that the current rules are very restricted, the motorbikes have to be developed with an eye on the sport. We are heading on a path that Aprilia, Ducati and BMW have already taken for this year by bringing out new bikes,” he added.
What Roda is referencing is the fact that the rules in WSBK are limiting what race teams can develop from the stock motorcycles from the manufacturers.
This in-turn means that OEMs will have to make their superbike and supersport machines more competitive and potent from the factory, as we’ve seen with the recently released Yamaha YZF-R1, Ducati Panigale R, and Aprilia RSV4 RF.
As Roda hints at, we can expect to see a similar move from Kawasaki then, with the 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R likely to have a highly tuned engine (200+ horsepower) and sophisticated electronics package.
In a way, this is good for sport bike enthusiasts, who will be able to buy machines that more closely resemble what is being raced each weekend.
On the other hand though, at least for the American market, it means we will likely also see more models that have been neutered by emission and sound regulations.
Back in 2011, this was the cause for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R’s lack of horsepower when it arrived on US soil, and just recently Honda found itself the ire of the internet for detuning its “MotoGP bike for the street” – the Honda RC213V-S – via a rev-limit, due to sound limitations by the EPA.
What will the 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R look like? Only time will tell, though expect the US and European models to have some core performance differences.