It may be evolution, instead of revolution, for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in the 2016 model year, but Team Green has made sure to make sure that this model refresh is more than just “bold new graphics” and minor tweaks. The updated 10R is a serious beast, with a fresh WSBK scalp on its belt.

Trying to draw a parallel between Jonathan Rea’s World Superbike Championship victory, and Kawasaki’s latest superbike offering, the new Ninja ZX-10R is replete with features that come from Kawasaki’s production-racing efforts. This is no ordinary model refresh.

The changes to the 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R include a revised and more powerful motor – 207hp with ram air and 83 lbs•ft of torque on the European-spec model, though we expect those figures in the USA to be less. Curb weight is set at a competitive 454 lbs.

Other goodies include lightweight titanium exhaust, a revised chassis, more aerodynamic fairings, upgraded Showa Balance Free suspension, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers, a five-axis Bosch IMU, and a revised electronics package.

Engine changes come from a lighter crankshaft (with a new balancer), which revs higher than before and adds more low and midrange power. There is a new piston design as well, along with changes to the cylinder head (polished intake and exhaust ports, as well as larger titanium valves).

The airbox has also been increased in volume by 25%, with a 60% larger surface area for the air filter – all of this giving more power and a better throttle response.

The chassis has been tweaked as well, with the steering head position revised, along with the swingarm’s rigidity and length. The longer wheelbase it creates gives the Ninja ZX-10R better handling, says Kawasaki.

Other, more noticeable, changes include the higher-spec brakes and suspension – the gas cartridge forks from Showa bringing the extra bling factor for racer wannabes.

What we are perhaps most excited about, though, is Kawasaki’s addition of an inertial measurement unit (IMU), which brings the Green Rocket inline with the highest performing superbikes, and continues the ZX-10R’s high-tech prowess.

With the IMU comes a revised its electronics package from Kawasaki, which includes the Kawasaki Engine Braking Control (KEBC), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System (KIBS), Corner Management Function, Sport Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), and Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS).

With a price tag of $15,999 MSRP, the ABS model is priced competitively against the new Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1S, thus leaving would-be  liter bike buyers with a serious decision to make between the ZX-10R and R1.

2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R ABS Technical Specifications:

Engine 4-stroke, 4 cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve, Liquid-cooled
Displacement 998cc
Bore x Stroke 76 x 55mm
Compression Ratio 13:1
Fuel System DFI® with four 47mm Keihin throttle bodies, two injectors per cylinder
Ignition TCBI with digital advance and Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC)
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Electronic Rider Aids Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Sport Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Engine Braking Control, Electronic Throttle Valve (ETV) and Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS)
Front Suspension/Wheel Travel 43mm inverted Showa Balance Free Fork, adjustable stepless rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability / 4.7”
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel Horizontal back-link with gas-charged shock, stepless, dual-range (low/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / 4.5”
Front Tire 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire 190/55 ZR17
Front Brakes Kawasaki Intelligent Braking (KIBS), dual semi-floating 330mm discs with dual 4-piston radial-mounted calipers
Rear Brakes KIBS-controlled, single 220mm disc with aluminum single-piston caliper
Frame Type Aluminum perimeter
Rake/Trail 25°/4.2”
Overall Length 82.3”
Overall Width 29.1”
Overall Height 45.1”
Ground Clearance 5.7”
Seat Height 32.9”
Curb Weight* 454.2 lb
Fuel Capacity 4.5 gallons
Wheelbase 56.7”
Color Choices Metallic Matte Carbon Gray, Lime Green / Ebony (KRT Edition)
MSRP: $15,999 / $16,299 (KRT Edition)
Warranty: 12 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plan (optional): 12, 24, 36, and 48 month plans are available




Source: Kawasaki

  • R 4

    hot damn. those forks too….

  • carboncanyon

    Bottom 2 images are of a different bike…

  • LeDelmo

    Anyone else notice the last two pics are of a Ninja 1000?

    Anyways, I am actually disappointed with the revamp. I was hoping for a all new design to compete against all the other new bikes coming out.

  • Jeram Mallis

    The last two photos dont look like the same bike????

  • Bruce Steever

    Someone dun goofed

  • the last two arent zx10’s

  • LeDelmo

    … They are ninja 1000’s. Not Zx-10R’s There is a difference…

  • Jack Meoph

    The last 2 photos are pictures of the bike you should actually buy.

    I’m sure BMW isn’t sitting back watching the Japanese one up each other. This next gen of superbikes are scary.

  • GSXR93

    When Kawasaki updated its ZX-10R in 2011, the bike made 197hp on the crankshaft and 207hp with the ram air effect. If this bike does produce 207hp I don’t see much of an improvement.

  • n/a

    Why for scary?

    Scary prices because of the electronics….

  • paulus

    without the hot forks… could there be a ‘street’ and ‘race’ version?

  • Roasted Piglet

    Tier 3 versus Tier 4 emissions standards.

  • Mitchel Durnell

    Seriously impressed that Showa has figured out how to make a boutique thing (gas forks) at what I am assuming is a much lower price point… going to go see if I can find some white papers, would be disappointed if this is just a looks thing. Brembo M50s probably means they are 100mm caliper spacing, which is a first for Showa forks on a Japanese bike.

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  • Motogenius

    Unstoppable!! Will be the bike to beat again for the next 3 years.

  • Motogenius

    same bike mate. you are blind!

  • the won the championship using these forks?
    glad that another brand is challenging ohlins