A month ago, we told you about Kawasaki thinking about its response to the Ducati Panigale V4 R, which is dominating in the World Superbike Championship right now.
In short, to counter the Italians’ creation, the Japanese brand was thinking of brining its own homologation special superbike to market, which like the Panigale V4 R, would be a race bike with lights, built only with the idea of winning the WorldSBK title.
Today, we seem to get further proof that Team Green will release a new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR for the 2020 model year, thanks to the company’s filings with the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Normally, the case with CARB filings is a new bike is outed by the state’s regulatory system, but for this rumor we need to use some deduction, as it is the absence of the ZX-10RR filing that is catching our eye.
CARB filings usually center around common power plants, and one filing can cover multiple machines. For example, the 2019 filing for Kawasaki’s superbike lists both the Ninja ZX-10R model, as well as the race-ready Ninja ZX-10RR. This has been the case, many times before with the ZX-10R platform.
However, now with the company’s 2020 filing listed, we see that only the Ninja ZX-10R has its emissions standards quoted on the public record.
The most obvious reason for this would be that engine changes coming to the ZX-10RR platform will change the bike’s emission performance, and thus require a separate filing. This adds a little bit more smoke to the flames we have been stoking.
Of course, it could also be the case that Kawasaki hasn’t decided its plans for next year yet – though that seems unlikely to be the case. As such, the company could be holding off homologating the Ninja ZX-10RR for street use in 2020, until the Kawasaki Racing Team comes to a decision on its plans.
For an even more out there possibility, it could just as easily be true that the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR isn’t coming to the Californian market (and thus likely not the US market), and thus doesn’t require a filing.
We would believe cows flying before such an instance, but it is at least worth laying out all the possibilities, and letting our readers make up their own minds.
Our prediction? An all new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR debuts at EICMA later this year, with Jonathan Rea smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
Kawasaki has seen the mark left by Ducati, and they are spending this season evaluating where the gap between the ZX-10RR and the Panigale V4 R resides. We expect the next green superbike to close that gap.
Take note, a superbike arms race is beginning to brew.