Modest Engine Upgrades Come to the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

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The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is getting an engine upgrade for the 2019 model year. As such, the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R as well as the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE will make an even 200hp at the crank, while the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR will make 201hp.

Across all three models, the updated Ninja ZX-10R gets a revised cylinder head, which includes a finger-follower valve train that has 20% less mass than the previous tappet-style valves. This has allowed Kawasaki to use a more aggressive cam profile, accounting for much of the power gained, to the tune of 200hp at the crank.

On the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, things go a step further. The homologation special gets titanium connecting rods from Pankl, which drop nearly a pound (400 grams) from the inline-four engine’s internals. As a result of this weight reduction, the ZX-10RR sees its rev limit increase by 600 rpm over the previous model.

Of course, the changes don’t stop here, for the 2019 models. Kawasaki brings a revised up/down quickshifter as standard to all three models now, and the revised engines can be spotted by their red-painted cylinder heads.

For the ZX-10R SE, self-healing paint has been employed in high-use areas. This same technology debuted on the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2, and seems to be a recurring feature not on Kawasaki’s top-tier bikes. The concept is as you would expect, with the paint able to “heal” minor scratches and blemishes thanks to the restorative properties of the paint. Additionally, the electronic Showa suspension on the SE model has been modified to account for the engine upgrades.

Meanwhile for the ZX-10RR, only 500 units will be made available worldwide, and as such a number plate will be added to each machine. We can also expect a price increase for this exclusivity, which should make the ZX-10RR the most expensive superbike in Kawasaki’s lineup. As such, expect pricing to put the machine inline with the Yamaha YZF-R1M in terms of MSRP.

Surprisingly, Kawasaki hasn’t updated the ZX-10R’s dash or electronics configuration, leaving the potent superbike a bit less customizable than other comparable machines. While the ZX-10R has no trouble of trouncing its opponents in the WorldSBK Championship, the machine certainly feels dated compared to the other liter-bikes in the class.

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R KRT:

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE:

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR:

Source: Kawasaki Europe