Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Oct 11, 2018

Kawasaki Unveils More Powerful 2019 Ninja ZX-10R

A 2019-model Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.



Kawasaki’s Ninja® line of liter class superbike motorcycles has been amassing record after record in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), including championship winning performances in 2013, 2015, 2016 on the Ninja® ZX™-10R and in 2017 with the Ninja® ZX™-10RR. The Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) continues to set the bar high in the pinnacle of road racing around the globe and their unmatched success on the racetrack has allowed Kawasaki engineers to continue delivering the racetrack precision of its sportbikes to the street.

For 2019 Kawasaki’s liter class line-up offers two model variations that cater to a wide range of riders, so whether you are a pure racer passionate about superbike models or a discerning rider looking for the latest in high-tech equipment there is a Ninja ZX-10R model for you.


Highlights of the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

  • ·NEW Maximum power improvements
  • ·NEW Finger-follower valve actuation valve train designed by Kawasaki’s World Superbike engineers
  • ·NEW Cylinder head ready for high-lift cams
  • ·NEW Dual direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS)


For 2019, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle line-up is back stronger than ever with significant high-performance race proven upgrades designed to give riders the upper hand on their competition. The 998cc in-line four-cylinder 16-valve engine features increased maximum power with an even wider powerband – both advantages that will further increase the Ninja ZX-10R and Ninja ZX-10RR race winning potential.


A new valve train designed by Kawasaki’s World Superbike engineers uses a finger-follower valve actuation system that contributes to increased performance as well as greater reliability during high-rpm operation. Moving to a finger-follower valve actuation not only significantly reduces valve train mass, but also enables more aggressive cam profiles, which allows the valves to be opened and closed more rapidly. The more aggressive cam profiling contributes to an increase in peak power, while DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating on the finger-followers protects against wear. In order to express the high performance of the finger-follower valve actuation, the cylinder head now features a red painted cover.


The championship winning Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle will continue to carry its unmatched performance at the head of the class, making it one of the most respected liter bikes in the paddock. In order to achieve a more powerful engine, an all new finger-follower valve actuation design has been implemented, and is shared with the Ninja ZX-10RR for both optimal performance and the clearance to accommodate optional accessory race-kit high-lift cams.

A graphic showing the difference in engine output between the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.


Adding to its impressive list of high-performance upgrades, the Ninja ZX-10R now comes equipped with dual direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS) and matches the shifting performance found on the Ninja ZX-10RR. The KQS allows ultra quick upshifts and downshifts without the need to use the clutch, resulting in a more enjoyable experience and quicker lap times. Designed for more effective sport riding, KQS can also be used on the street when the engine is above 2500 rpm.

The Ninja ZX-10R is one of the most respected liter bikes in the racing paddock. With a race proven and championship winning chassis and suspension package the Ninja ZX-10R provides increased ride comfort, enhanced braking balance, and increased front-end feel. The 998cc four-cylinder engine is combined with a state-of-the-art electronics package that is user-friendly and has been developed from insight gained through Kawasaki’s World Superbike experience. The electronics include the lightweight Bosch 5-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and an ECU running Kawasaki proprietary software to support the full suite of electronics including Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System (KIBS), Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), 5 Mode Sport Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC) and dual direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS).

The 2019 Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle is available in two color schemes: Pearl Storm Gray/Metallic Flat Spark Black, and the KRT Edition in Lime Green/Ebony/Metallic Graphite Gray.


Highlights of the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR

  • ·NEW Lightweight titanium connecting rods
  • ·NEW Front and rear fine-tuned suspension settings

For 2019, in addition to the finger-follower valve actuation and more powerful engine shared with the Ninja ZX-10R, the race-ready single-seat Ninja ZX-10RR model features special high-performance titanium connecting rods manufactured by Pankl, a company specializing in developing and manufacturing engine and drivetrain components for high-performance race cars and the aerospace industry. These high performance connecting rods were specifically developed for the Ninja ZX-10RR. The use of lightweight titanium connecting rods reduces reciprocating mass and enables the rev limit to be increased, and contributes to a gain in peak power. Raising the rev limit helps create an even wider powerband, strengthening the Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle’s easy-to-use character. The lightweight connecting rods also make it easier for riders to weight the front wheel upon corner entry, benefitting response and handling.

Suspension settings have also been revised on the Showa Balance Free Fork (BFF) and Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) Lite shock absorber. The suspension updates work in conjunction with the added advantage to handling offered by the lightweight, power-boosting Pankl titanium connecting rods.

The cockpit features an Öhlins electronic steering damper that provides just the right amount of damping based on what the bike is doing. Using input from the rear wheel speed sensor (provided via the engines ECU) the electronic steering damper’s ECU determines the vehicle speed as well as the degree the bike accelerating or decelerating to optimize damper action. This Öhlins electronic damper is shared with the base Ninja ZX-10R model.

The 2019 Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle features forged Marchesini wheels and is available in a bold paint scheme in Lime Green


Ninja ZX-10R – Pearl Storm Gray / Metallic Spark Black

Ninja ZX-10R ABS – Pearl Storm Gray / Metallic Spark Black,

Ninja ZX-10R ABS KRT -- Lime Green / Ebony / Metallic Graphite Gray

Ninja ZX-10R ABS KRT-- Lime Green / Ebony / Metallic Graphite Gray


Ninja ZX-10R $15,099

Ninja ZX-10R ABS $16,099

Ninja ZX-10R KRT $15,399

Ninja ZX-10R ABS KRT $16,399



Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) started full-scale production of motorcycles over a half century ago. The first Kawasaki motorcycle engine was designed based on technical know-how garnered from the development and production of aircraft engines, and Kawasaki’s entry into the motorcycle industry was driven by the company’s constant effort to develop new technologies. Numerous new Kawasaki models introduced over the years have helped shape the market, and in the process have created enduring legends based on their unique engineering, power, design and riding pleasure. In the future, Kawasaki's commitment to maintaining and furthering these strengths will surely give birth to new legends.

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, side x sides, and Jet Ski ® watercraft through a network of almost 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,400 retailers specializing in general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with approximately 260 of them located at KMC's Foothill Ranch, California headquarters.

Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.®”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at

Top 5 This Week