Rumor: 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Getting Horsepower Reduction for the American Market

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Immediately after the launch of the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R, which claimed a 207hp figure at the crank with ram-air (197hp sans the air), rumors began to swell that the new ZX-10R’s peak performance figure would be drastically less in the American market. Apparently and supposedly due to federal regulations by the EPA, Kawasaki will be lowering the rev-limiter on the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R in order to comply with US government provisions.

Whether those rumors are in regards to the ZX-10R’s emissions or noise levels at that rev range is unclear at this time, but speculation that the power decrease is due to the new 10R’s peak power figure being north of 200hp are completely unfounded (Editor’s note: the United States has no provisions, at both the state and federal level, that cap motorcycle horsepower performance levels from the factory). We’ve reached out to Kawasaki for an official response on the issue, more as we get it.

Initial speculation places a 2,000 rpm rev decrease for the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R in the American markets, which many are suggesting will produce a 10hp decrease in the ZX-10R’s peak power figure. Some sources have suggested as much as a 20hp power decrease, but this seems unlikely, and could be due to confusion between ram-air and non-ram-air figures. It’s also not clear how exactly Kawasaki would allegedly be making the performance decrease, although a software solution is likely. Knowing the rampant sport bike modding community, it seems only a matter of time before 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R owners seek out ECU re-flashing services. Thanks for the tip Brian!