The Kawasaki ZX-10R impressed us with its spectacular performance and relatively affordable pricing. However, Kawasaki has raised the price since and it now retails for about Rs 23 lakh, on-road Pune. The bike was already scalpel sharp but Kawasaki has taken it to the next level with the ZX-10RR. Only 500 units of this limited edition machine will be made and 'extremely limited' numbers will be available in India (Kawasaki isn't specifying how many). The new Kawasaki ZX-10RR stops short of being a full, race-ready homologation special and instead offers features and upgrades that make it easier to convert to a full race bike.
The biggest change lies in the engine. The valve train tappets get a DLC coating for reduced friction, and the crank cases have been reinforced to deal with the extreme stresses of racing use. Actual power figures (200PS/113.5Nm) have not changed but the cylinder head features a revised design that can accommodate higher lift cams that come as part of a separate race package. The company is still evaluating if and when it will offer this race kit in India. This is because installing the race kit will mean the bike is no longer street legal and also voids the warranty.
The chassis remains unchanged with Showa's excellent Balance Free Forks and Balance Free Rear Cushion mono shock at the back. Suspension tuning is slight different for the purpose. However, the stock alloy wheels have been upgraded to tasty Marchesini-forged units. These claim to offer lower weight as well as less rotational moment of inertia through their design. This will bring the valuable benefits of quicker and sharper responses on the racetrack and better braking performance. These wheels can be fitted to the standard 10R with some minor modifications. Finally, the bike gets Kawasaki's first bi-directional quick shifter. The standard 10R gets an up-shift only quick shifter.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR
As this is a race-oriented machine, Kawasaki has dropped the pillion seat and footrests. Each bike gets a numbered plate on the top triple clamp and an RR logo embossed in the right-side engine case cover. The key also gets special RR branding. The RR is available only in Kawasaki's black Winter Test colour scheme.
At Rs 21.9 lakh ex-Delhi, the ZX-10R costs about Rs 2 lakh more than the standard 10R. This price is actually quite good when you consider the forged wheels alone would easily cover that cost. The ZX-10RR will appeal to those looking to build a full-on race bike, but for most the standard ZX-10R will still offer more performance than you could ever need.
Kawasaki also spoke briefly about the current sales network situation. The company acknowledges that there is work to be done and is focusing on smoothing out the supply of spare parts and says the situation should be greatly improved by month-end. Now that CKD motorcycles will also be sold solely from official Kawasaki outlets, the company understands the need to have more dealerships across the country. The goal is to eventually increase the number to 44-50 outlets. There are also a couple of launches lined up, including the new Kawasaki Z900.