2021 KAWASAKI NINJA® ZX™-10R and NINJA® ZX™-10RR SPORTBIKES
Kawasaki’s Ninja® line of liter class superbike motorcycles has been amassing record after record in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), including carrying Kawasaki to seven championship winning performances since 2013, 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 to continue delivering the racetrack precision of its sportbikes to the street.
The new 2021 Ninja ZX-10R, Ninja ZX-10R KRT Edition and Ninja ZX-10RR are built for those who rise to the challenge: all new aerodynamic body with integrated winglets, small and light LED headlights, TFT color instrumentation, and Smartphone Connectivity plus high-tech updates derived right from the KRT. Kawasaki engineers have made several changes to the engine and chassis for 2021.
2021 NINJA® ZX™-10R HIGHLIGHTS
· NEW Updated Engine and Air-cooled Oil Cooler
· NEW Light Handling Chassis
· NEW Suspension Settings
· NEW Next Generation Aerodynamic Ninja Styling featuring Intergrated Winglets
· NEW Aerodynamic Riding Position
· NEW Advanced Electronics
· High-Performance Brembo® Brake System
· NEW Air-Cooled Oil Cooler
· NEW Electronic Throttle Valves
· NEW Exhaust System
· NEW Transmission Gear Ratios
The engine of the 2021 Ninja ZX-10R receives several updates for 2021 to offer cleaner emissions and maintain the performance of its predecessor. The 998cc in-line four-cylinder 16-valve engine balances stunning power with manageability. Positioning peak torque high up in the RPM range makes it easier for riders to get back on the throttle with confidence, while a strong low-mid range further contributes to acceleration when coming out of corners.
Utilizing feedback derived directly from Kawasaki’s factory WorldSBK team, state-of-the-art machining technology is used in the design of the intake ports, which is done in two stages to create a straighter path for intake air as it enters the combustion chamber. This design promotes smoother flow and greater volume of fuel-air mixture, both greatly contributing to performance. The finger-follower valve train designed by Kawasaki’s World Superbike engineers brings top-level racing technology to the Ninja ZX-10R platform. The valve train design enables tuning for a higher rev limit and more aggressive cam profile, aiding in high RPM performance. A Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating is used on the finger-followers and helps protect against wear.
Titanium intake and exhaust valves ensure high heat resistance and low reciprocating weight. The cylinder head provides plenty of camshaft clearance and large coolant passages in the cylinder contribute to cooling performance for optimum performance. Lightweight chromoly camshafts received a soft nitriding treatment and the cam portions receive a lapping treatment to ensure the durability needed to handle the stiff valve springs and high power cams and speed of the Ninja ZX-10R sportbike. The pistons are made from a superb high heat resistance material and a dry film lubricant on the piston skirts reduces friction at low RPM and helps with the piston bedding-in process.
Kawasaki’s fully electronic throttle actuation system enables the ECU to control the volume of both fuel and the air delivered to the engine. Ideal fuel injection and throttle valve position results in a smooth, natural engine response and an optimized engine output. The accelerator position sensor was relocated for 2021, eliminating the throttle cable for less maintenance and freeing up the cockpit. To ensure a natural feel, friction is used to simulate the feel of a throttle cable.
On the bottom end, the crankshaft features low inertia, benefitting the bike’s overall performance with acceleration, deceleration, and cornering. An offset cylinder matches the crankshaft and results in reduced lateral piston force at the point of maximum cobustion pressure as well as enables the use of lighter pistons. The close-ratio transmission gearing on the Ninja ZX-10R has been revised and optimized for the days at the racetrack. The final gearing has been revised and shorter ratios for first, second, and third gears offer strong low-mid acceleration for quicker corner exits and better off-the-line acceleration.
Similar to that found on Kawasaki’s WorldSBK race machine, and new for 2021, is an air-cooled oil cooler that is seen on high-performance models. Instead of re-routing coolant from the radiator to the oil cooler and back to the engine, the new oil cooler is air-cooled and runs independently. This design allows oil to be routed from the left lower crankcase to the oil cooler, where it’s cooled, then returned on the right side. The increased cooling boosts engine performance increases throughout the entire RPM range.
In order to meet emission standards, the exhaust system benefits from several changes that include a revised collector pipe arrangement, which helps maintain the engines power output. For improved performance and cleaner emissions, engineers also moved one of the catalysers further forward and decreased pre-chamber volume while increasing the silencers overall length.
· NEW Integrated Riding Modes
· NEW Electronic Cruise Control
· NEW TFT Instrumentation with Smartphone Connectivity
The Ninja ZX-10R continues to pave the way for the liter bike class with its championship proven technology that once again returns for 2021. The list of technology features includes Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), Bosch IMU, Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), Ohlins Electronic Steering Damper and Power Modes. New for 2021 are Integrated Riding Modes, Electronic Cruise Control, TFT Color Instrumentation, and Smartphone Connectivity.
The Integrated Riding Modes now allow for riders to choose from three pre-determined modes (Sport, Road, Rain) or four manual modes (Rider 1-4) and feature the ability for changes to be made while riding through the use of a button located on the left handlebar. A new Electronic Cruise Control is also accessed conveniently from the left side of the handlebar, allowing for desired speed to be selected and it can easily be disengaged by operating the brake lever, clutch lever, brake pedal, closing the throttle completely or when shifting gears.
A new 4.3” all-digital TFT color instrumentation adds to the Ninja ZX-10R’s high-grade appearance with a full color display. Another new feature is smartphone connectivity which allows riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly via a Bluetooth® chip built into the instrument panel. Utilizing the smartphone application RIDEOLOGY THE APP, a number of instrument functions can be accessed to enhance the riding experience.
INTEGRATED RIDING MODES
· NEW Pre-Determined and Manual Settings
· NEW Ability to Change Riding Mode while Riding
All-inclusive modes that link S-KTRC and Power Mode allow riders to efficiently set traction control and power delivery to suit a given riding situation. Riders can now choose from three pre-determined modes (Sport, Road, Rain) or four manual modes (Rider 1-4). In the manual Rider modes, each of the systems can be set independently. For 2021, the riding mode can now be changed while riding, using the button located on the left side of the handlebar.
ELECTRONIC CRUISE CONTROL
· NEW Convenient Operation
· NEW Set Speed Adjustment
· NEW Electronic Cruise Control Disengagement
Kawasaki’s cruise control system allows a desired speed to be maintained with the simple press of a button. Once activated, it eliminates the need to constantly have to apply the throttle, reducing fatigue on the right hand when riding and extending a high level of comfort. The electronic cruise control is conveniently operated from the left handle and can be engaged by the push of a button. The set speed can be adjusted using the “+” and “-“ buttons. The system can be disengaged several ways, including operating the brake lever, clutch lever, brake pedal or closing the throttle completely.
TFT COLOR INSTRUMENTATION
· NEW High-Grade Color Display
· NEW Display Functions
· NEW Multi-Function Windows
· NEW Shift Lamp
An all-new compact 4.3” all-digital TFT color instrumentation adds to the cockpit’s high-tech, high-grade appearance. The intrumentation now offers several new features that were unavailable on the previous model. The full color display features thin-film transistor (TFT) technolgy, which delivers a high level of visibility to the rider. The screen’s background color is selectable in either black or white and the screen brightness automatically adjusts to suit the available light.
Display functions have been updated to include digital speedometer, digital bar-style tachometer, gear position indicator, throttle application, odometer, dual trip meters, current and average fuel consumption, volume of fuel consumed, low fuel indicator, average speed, total time, coolant temperature, intake air temprature, clock, battery voltage, Kawasaki service reminder, oil change reminder, call and mail indicators (when connected to Bluetooth), and economical riding indicator.
In addition to scrollable multi-function windows, two display modes offer riders a choice of how they want their information presented. Type 1 is easy-to-read, offering a calm layout and substantial amount of information at a glance, while Type 2 was designed with circuit riding in mind and includes important information such as tachometer, current and best lap times, gear position, and is presented graphically. An external race-style shift lamp provides the rider with a highly visible signal to shift up when riding on the circuit.
RIDEOLOGY THE APP
A first for Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle is the addition of Bluetooth® Smartphone Connectivity. A chip built into the instrument panel enables riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly. Using RIDEOLOGY THE APP*, a number of instrument functions can be accessed, logged, and reviewed contributing to an enhanced motorcycling experience. The following information can be viewed:
1. Vehicle Info
· Check latest status update
2. Riding Log
· Can be logged in detail, and played back for review
· Route, Distance & Time traveled can be logged for review
· Riding conditions can be recorded in detail
· Vehicle settings changes can be made on your smartphone
· New settings can easily be applied to your bike before riding
· Shift settings can be customized before riding
· Ride Mode & riding support system settings can be preselected before riding
The app can also be used when away from the motorcycle. When riding (with the app ON), the bike and smartphone are always connected and riding log data is being recorded by the app. After your ride, the latest riding information is stored by the app and may be viewed on the smartphone. Any changes made via the app while the engine is off, or while out of range, will be implemented as soon as the ignition is turned on and the smartphone is in range with the app ON.
* RIDEOLOGY THE APP is not intended for use during vehicle operation. Only use RIDEOLOGY THE APP when the vehicle is not being operated and it is safe to do so.
KAWASAKI QUICK SHIFTER (KQS)
Adding to its impressive list of high-performance features, the Ninja ZX-10R comes equipped with dual direction KQS. 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.
BOSCH INERTIAL MEASUREMENT UNIT (IMU)
The use of Bosch’s IMU allows an additional layer of precision to be added to the already high-level electronics package. IMU enables inertia to be monitored, including acceleration along longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes, plus roll rate and pitch rate are measured. Those measurements are then combined with a sixth axis, yaw, that is calculated by the ECU using the Kawasaki proprietary software to give an ever clearer real-time picture of chassis orientation.
KAWASAKI CORNERING MANAGEMENT FUNCTION (KCMF)
Using the latest evolution of Kawasaki’s advanced modeling software and feedback from a compact IMU that gives an even clearer real-time picture of chassis orientation, KCMF monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner – from entry, through the apex, to corner exit – and when working in conjunction with KIBS modulate brake force and engine power to facilitate a smooth transition from acceleration to braking and back again, and to assist riders in holding their intended line through the corner. The systems that KCMF oversees on the Ninja ZX-10R includes S-KTRC, KLCM, KIBS, and Kawasaki Engine Brake Control.
SPORT-KAWASAKI TRACTION CONTROL (S-KTRC)
· NEW Modes 4 and 5
The S-KTRC featured on the Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle has five modes for riders to choose from that enable optimal performance for a wide range of riding conditions, offering either enhanced sport riding performance or the peace of mind under certain conditions to negotiate a variety of surfaces with confidence. Kawasaki’s advanced modeling software, complemented by input from the IMU, delivers this one of a kind precise control. The system can also be turned off if the rider elects to do so.
KAWASAKI LAUNCH CONTROL MODE (KLCM)
Designed to assist riders by optimizing acceleration from a stop, KLCM electronically manages engine output to maximize acceleration when starting from a stop. With the clutch lever pulled in and the system activated, engine speed is limited to a determined speed while the rider holds the throttle open. Once the rider releases the clutch lever to engage the clutch, engine speed is allowed to increase, but power is regulated to minimize wheel spin and help keep the front wheel on the ground. The system disengages automatically once a predetermined speed has been reached, or when the rider shifts into third gear. Riders can choose from three modes, each offering a progressively greater level of intrusion.
KAWASAKI INTELLIGENT ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEM (KIBS)
Kawasaki’s supersport-grade brake management system uses high-precision control to regulate brake pressure during sport riding. High-precision brake pressure control enables the system to avoid reduced brake performance due to excessive pressure drops, allowing lever feel to be maintained when KIBS is active, and helps ensure ABS pulses feel smooth The system also reduces rear wheel lift under heavy braking and accounts for engine torque when downshifting.
KAWASAKI ENGINE BRAKE CONTROL
The Kawasaki Engine Brake Control system uses technology derived by KRT to give its riders maximum braking control regardless of gear selection and allows riders to select the amount of engine braking they prefer. When the system is activated, the engine braking effect is reduced, providing less interference when riding on the track.
Power Modes offer riders an easily selectable choice of engine power delivery to suit riding conditions or preference. In addition to Full Power mode, one (Low) and one (Middle) alternate mode(s) in which maximum power is limited and throttle response is milder are provided.
OHLINS ELECTRONIC STEERING DAMPER
The Ohlins electronic steering damper allows damping characteristics to be changed electronically according to vehicle speed and the degree of acceleration or deceleration. At low speeds, the settings ensure the damping does not interfere with the bike’s intrinsic lightweight handling. At high speeds, damping increases to provide enhanced navigation of road surface conditions.
· NEW Lower Swingarm Pivot
· NEW Longer Wheelbase
· NEW Front-Rear Balance
Complementing the already highly acclaimed stance of the Ninja ZX-10R chassis are updates to the chassis geometry, which moves the front-rear balance further forward and contributes to increased cornering performance and light handling. The aluminum twin-spar frame traces a direct line from the head pipe to the aluminum swingarm pivot, delivering linear behavior and greater control.
New for this year, the swingarm pivot position has been lowered 1 mm to produce better rear suspension action when exiting corners. A longer wheelbase achieved by a greater fork offset and an 8 mm longer swingarm offers even greater overall composure– already a strength on the Ninja ZX-10R. A shorter trail is achieved thanks to the revised fork offset and facilitates in easier change of direction, especially when off the throttle before the apex of a corner.
· NEW Lower Triple Clamp
· NEW Front Fork and Shock Settings
Handling the front suspension duties is an advanced Showa Balance Free Front Fork (BFF) that has been developed with technology straight from Kawasaki’s WorldSBK factory racers. The 43 mm Showa fork provides numerous benefits, including ride comfort, braking stability, front-end feel, and independently adjustable compression and rebound damping. The 2021 model features a new wider fork clamping area on the lower triple clamp and revised rigidity balance for the fork outer tubes improve handling and turning performance. New circuit-focused fork settings include a lower spring rate, complemented by firmer compression damping and softer rebound damping to make it easier to weight the front wheel and contribute to lighter handling.
Horizontal back-link rear suspension and a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) rear shock hold up the rear-end. The Showa BFRC high spec shock increases ride comfort, improves traction, offers independently adjustable compression and rebound damping, and reduces weight. Similar to the front fork, more circuit-focused settings include a stiffer spring rate, complemented by soft compression damping, and softer rebound damping. The revised settings make it easier to induce pitching motion even when on the throttle while maintaining a steady rear height.
BRAKES & WHEELS
· NEW Rear Brake Pads
· NEW Repositioned Rear Brake Reservoir
A pair of 330 mm Brembo semi-floating front discs with dual radial-mount four-piston calipers provide superb braking power and are tasked to handle the stopped duties of the powerful engine. At the rear, a 220 mm disc and single-piston caliper complement the strong front brake and feature revised rear brake pads that offer increased controllability and stronger braking force. The rear brake reservoir has also been repositioned further to the inside in order to give the rider greater freedom of movement as they change position on the bike. Three-spoke design cast wheels are light weight and provide the optimum rigidity to contribute to edge grip when riding on the track.
· NEW Taller Windshield
· NEW Revised Handlebar Position
· NEW Seat Position
· NEW Taller Footpegs
In order to enhance rider comfort and complement the 2021 Ninja ZX-10R’s aerodynamic package are several updates, beginning with a new, taller windshield that is set at a steeper angle. The wind protection offered by the cowl and windshield translate to reduced stress from wind blast, enabling riders to change positions at ease when setting up for corner entry on the track. A revised handlebar position is now farther forward and straighter. A benefit of having more space between the handlebars and the seat is the ability to change positions for both track and street riding.
An increase of height has been made to the rear of the rider’s seat, encouraging riders to elevate their hips when in a full race crouch position. This position helps minimize drag when tucked behind the windshield. Footpegs are now positioned 5mm higher in order to meet the circuit-focused riding position that engineers sought after. The higher position makes it easier to weight the pegs when going through a corner.
BODYWORK & STYLING
· NEW Next-Generation Ninja Styling
· NEW Integrated Winglets
· NEW Aerodynamic Riding Position
· NEW LED Headlight, Taillight, and Turn Signals
· NEW RAM Air Intake Design
The Ninja ZX-10R’s new styling package was designed with aerodynamic performance at the top of mind. The sleek, racy looks offer significantly improved drag resistance, an increase in downforce, and better wind protection for the rider. A new aerodynamic upper cowl contributes to the bike’s racing look and together with the taller windshield, helps to reduce drag. The new LED headlights are positioned on the underside of the upper cowl and are not visible from the rider’s point of view. The LED lamp is flush fit and contributes to the cowl’s aerodynamic performance.
The RAM air intake – a Ninja supersport trademark – has a new, more compact shape and the cowl’s design directs air towards the intake for efficiency. The cowl features built in winglets that generate significant downforce to help keep the front wheel on the ground when exiting corners and under strong acceleration. Openings are used in the side of the cowl to dissipate engine heat, directing hot engine air away from the rider’s knees. The lower cowl design helps direct air to the oil cooler, increasing its efficiency and adding to the aerodynamic characteristics.
New cowl-mounted mirrors feature integrated LED-type single bulb turn signals and are mounted via couplers. New LED rear turn signals complete the all-LED lighting package on the Ninja ZX-10R. Slots in the new tail cowl design contribute to the aerodynamic styling.
KAWASAKI RIVER MARK
· NEW 3D River Mark Emblem on the Upper Cowl
· NEW River Mark on the Upper Triple Clamp
In recognition of Kawasaki’s special achievement in the World Superbike Championship, special permission was granted to use the river mark on the Ninja ZX-10R. This marks the first time that the river mark has been used on a non-supercharged mass-production motorcycle. The 3D river mark emblem is proudly displayed on the upper cowl and upper triple clamp.
ACCESSORIES & RACE KIT PARTS
· NEW Grip Heaters
A number of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories (KGA) can be found available for riders to personalize their Ninja ZX-10R motorcycles. For 2021, new grip heaters have been added to the accessories list, enhancing street riding comfort on cold days. Marchesini forged aluminum wheels, which come as standard equipment on the Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle, are offered for and fit on the Ninja ZX-10R. Necessary parts such as front brake discs and speed sensor ring are available via accessory kits.
Additional accessories for the Ninja ZX-10R include seat cowl, knee pads, frame sliders, axle sliders, and scratch resistant film for the TFT meter.
For riders focused on closed circuit riding, a number of race kits parts are available and help assist in building the Ninja ZX-10R and Ninja ZX-10RR to full superbike spec. The smallest details can be addressed with factory parts to help lower lap times on the racetrack. From a race kit ECU to multiple thickness plain bearings and trust washers for engine blue printing to factory catch tanks and chassis geometry adjusters, KGA is there to support racers.
KAWASAKI NINJA® ZX™ – 10RR HIGHLIGHTS
· NEW Elimination of Intake Funnels
· NEW Camshafts
· NEW Intake and Exhaust Valve Springs
· NEW Pankl High-Performance Parts
· NEW Pirelli Diablo™ Supercorsa SP Tires
· Marchesini Forged Wheels
For 2021, in addition to the many engine, suspension, and chassis changes shared with the Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle, the basis for the World Championship winning superbike is the Single-seat Ninja ZX-10RR model which features several special updates that were developed through Kawasaki’s racing efforts in WorldSBK. The wide powerband further strengthens the easy-to-use character found on the Ninja ZX-10RR and a quicker engine response was also achieved with the engine updates.
The engine updates add a tremendous racing potential including the elimination of intake funnels in the airbox, newly designed camshafts specific for the Ninja ZX-10RR, and intake and exhaust valve springs that all match the higher performance. The use of lightweight 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, is one of the key performance features found on the Ninja ZX-10RR. New, lighter weight pistons lower the reciprocating weight, aiding in the high rev limit and contributing to smooth-climbing revs. Now using one less piston ring than the standard model pistons, this enables a shorter piston height and prevents mechanical loss due to friction. Updated piston pins match the pistons and feature a DLC coating that protects against wear.
The 2021 Ninja ZX-10RR features new Pirelli Diablo™ Supercorsa SP tires that are fitted to forged Marchesini wheels that were designed to specifically meet the needs of the powerful engine. It’s available in a bold paint scheme in Lime Green.
The 2021 Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle is available with or without ABS in both color options of Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Matte Carbon Gray and the KRT Edition in Lime Green/Ebony/Pearl Blizzard White. The Ninja ZX-10RR model is available in Lime Green.
$16,399 (ZX-10R), $16, 699 (KRT Edition), $17,399 (ZX-10R ABS), $17,699 (KRT Edition ABS), $28,999 (ZX-10RR)
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 approximately 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,700 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 www.kawasaki.com.