Up-Close with the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR Suzuka 8-Hours Race Bike

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Take a good look at it – this is the Suzuka 8-Hours race winning endurance bike that Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam took to victory this year.

As with any endurance-spec race bike, this Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR is a very special animal, and one can pore over the photos here looking at all the interesting modifications that go into a Suzuka-winning machine.

For us, our eyes always go towards the quick-change wheels and brakes, but there are interesting items on every corner of the motorcycle.

The Brembo brake package is of particular note, since it uses a special endurance caliper that is designed for easy insertion of the front wheel, thicker brake pads, and cooling radiators for the pads. T-Drive rotors are being used, with a narrow band brake disc, which is an interesting choice.

Of course, the Suzuka 8-Hours brings out all the special prototype bits, and we can see on the Kawasaki that Showa’s suspension pieces are front and center, and looking very not stock.

It’s of note that the KRT squad uses Showa in the WorldSBK paddock as well, which undoubtedly helped the World Superbike team set up the bike for their riders.

On the handlebars (starting on the left), we can see the switches for the traction control, engine brake control, pit-lane limiter, engine starter, and headlight. On the other side, we can see the selectors for the engine map, the pitlane kill switch, and master kill switch.

Of course to win at Suzuka, you need to have Bridgestone tires onboard, and the fuel tank has been modified for a quick-fill setup.

When you do the math, Kawasaki owes its Suzuka 8-Hours victory largely to the pitstop times it was able to perform, which were substantially faster than those from Yamaha (though, not quite as fast as those done by the factory HRC team).

The first Kawasaki motorcycle to win the Suzuka 8-Hours since 1993 (with Scott Russell and Aaron Slight), this ZX-10RR is only the second entry from Team Green ever to win at the prestigious Japanese race.

Be sure to take a close look at it in the photo gallery below.

Photos: Kawasaki Racing Team