2004 Kawasaki ZX10
Ultimate Supersport! Kawasaki storms into the
litre-class with the uncompromising new Ninja
ZX-10R, the machine everyone has been waiting
for - everyone except the competition. Boasting
a category-leading power-to-weight ratio, an
awesomely powerful engine loaded with advanced
technology and style evocative of the world
of MotoGP, the new Ninja ZX-10R is the definitive
expression of Kawasaki's supersport DNA. Unlike
most other Kawasaki machines, the Ninja ZX-10R
design started with chassis simulations. The
engineers wanted an extremely lightweight and
compact chassis that would offer superb handling
and stability. The combination of a short wheelbase
with a long swingarm is a configuration also
seen on the Ninja ZX-RR. An all-aluminium frame
with 600-class dimensions mated to a long and
highly rigid gull swingarm gives the ZX-10R
category-leading handling performance on track
and twisty roads.
No less impressive, the powerful and incredibly
compact new In-Line Four is a showcase of advanced
supersport technology. A number of considerations
were made to avoid compromising the desired
chassis dimensions; use of a one-piece cylinder/crankcase,
a compact rear-mounted generator and "stacked"
transmission kept the high-spec power unit lightweight
and compact. Other engine features include a
new fuel injection system, a close-ratio transmission
with a back-torque limiter clutch, and magnesium
engine covers - all of which contribute to the
bike's design aim of being the No. 1 machine
on the track.
Those sitting on the ZX-10R for the first time
will be amazed that despite its compact size
and race-purpose ergonomics, it is by no means
cramped. Thanks to an idealised seat/pegs/handlebar
relationship and a concave tank top, which allows
the rider to mould himself to the bike, the
10R puts the rider in a position to take full
advantage of the engine's awesome power and
the superb chassis response.
The Ninja ZX-10R's key sales features can be
summarised as follows:
- Best Power-to-Weight Ratio in its Class
- Unbeatable combination of high power, brilliant
throttle response and low exhaust emissions
from a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, In-Line
Four featuring a sophisticated automotive-style
fuel injection system with 43 mm throttle
bodies, dual throttle valves and fine-atomising
injectors. Light weight care of an incredibly
compact engine package, and a compact all-aluminium
frame. Newly designed lightweight wheels also
contribute to weight savings that result in
a litre-class machine with the weight and
dimensions of a 600.
- Race-Oriented Performance - The combination
of a short wheelbase with a long swingarm
gives the ZX-10R incredibly nimble handling
performance. The concave tank top and an idealised
relationship between pegs, handlebars and
seat, creates an aggressive, compact riding
position. Close-ratio transmission, back torque
limiter, radial mount callipers, petal disc
brakes and fully adjustable suspension are
also all designed with the sole purpose of
racing in mind.
- Aggressive Styling - Visually expressive
of Kawasaki's supersport DNA, the ZX-10R's
flowing, edge-driven lines express the machine's
amazing performance and unsurpassed power-to-weight
- Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 998 cm3 engine
has a bore and stroke of 76 x 55 mm.
- Huge 43 mm throttle bodies fitted with dual
throttle valves ensure massive power output
and a smooth, step-free torque curve.
- Automotive-type fine-atomising injectors
improve performance, fuel economy and emissions.
While fuel spray from conventional injectors
has a droplet size of 120 microns, the fine
atomising injectors have a droplet size of
approximately 70 microns.
- Flow analysis used to develop idealised
dimensions for intake and exhaust ports, ensuring
efficient cylinder filling and high power
output (intake/exhaust valve diameters: 31/25.5
mm, stem diameter: 4.5 mm).
- Hotter spark of the iridium plugs and high-voltage
coils improves combustion efficiency.
- Camshaft lobes and tappet surfaces feature
soft-nitriding surface treatment for long
wear and high-rpm reliability.
- Sintered aluminium valve spring retainers
reduce reciprocating weight for reliable valve
control at high-rpm.
- Forged pistons are lightweight and very
tough, for low reciprocating weight and high
heat resistance. Their flat tops enable a
compact combustion chamber with improved combustion
efficiency. Compression ratio is 12.5:1.
- Plated cylinders are long wearing and offer
excellent heat dispersion. Passageways in
cylinders improve crankcase breathing and
reduce pumping loss.
- Intake air is routed via the central Ram
Air duct and through the frame tubes to the
airbox. A duct between the frame and the air
cleaner prevents ingress of water.
- Compact air cleaner fits snugly between
the frame rails, allowing use of a seamless,
high-capacity, flat-bottomed fuel tank. Flow
analysis was also used to ensure efficient
air flow inside the airbox.
- Butterfly valve located in the cast titanium
collector of the exhaust system ensures smooth,
linear power delivery at all rpm.
- One-piece cylinder/crankcase design, compact
rear-mounted generator, compact cylinder head
and "stacked" tri-axis transmission/crankshaft
layout allows an amazingly compact and lightweight
engine, permitting the crankshaft location
to be idealised and the bike's centre of gravity
to be lowered, thereby contributing to the
bike's highly responsive handling characteristics.
The engine is short enough to fit below the
twin beams of the frame, allowing the 10R
to have the narrow compactness of a 600-class
- Single valve springs use oval-section wire
to realise short springs and a compact cylinder
- Camshafts are machined from forged billets
of SCM420K steel for light weight and high
- Lightweight magnesium engine covers contribute
to the engine's low weight.
- Newly designed liquid-cooled oil cooler
with internal aluminium finning is lightweight
and keeps oil temperatures under control.
- All-titanium exhaust system and oval-section
muffler with titanium internals and a 1 mm
thick aluminium cover designed for light weight.
- * The all-aluminium twin-beam frame is a
composite structure of castings and pressings.
Lightweight and very compact, it features
a short wheelbase and a long swingarm.
- The frame's thin walled die castings are
a mere 2.5 mm thick for maximum strength with
- Use of a cast cross pipe results in fewer
parts and less welding.
- Frame rails run over the engine to give
it a width on par with current 600-class bikes.
- Front fork features many aluminium internal
components to reduce weight.
- Lightening holes in the top triple clamp
contribute to the machine's overall light
- Forged aluminium handlebars are gun-drilled
for light weight.
- Other lightweight chassis components include
dual aluminium steering stem nuts, lightweight
pop nuts for the bodywork and aluminium rear-suspension
bearing arm sleeves and wheel side collars.
- Lightweight new front and rear wheels feature
"H" cross-section spokes. The unique, 6-spoke
design permits use of thinner rims, for significant
- Wheels are significantly lighter than those
used on the ZX-9R.
- Close-ratio 6-speed transmission designed
to give the 10R impressive performance on
the racetrack and on twisting roads.
- Adjustable back torque limiter fitted to
the clutch helps prevent wheel hop under rapid
- Sloshing analysis was used to develop baffles
for the oil pan for better performance under
heavy braking. A sub oil pan helps reduce
windage by keeping the oil location low, and
also helps lower the oil temperature.
- Like the ZX-RR, the 10R chassis minimises
the distance between the steering stem and
swingarm pivot to create a compact, responsive
- Massive braced swingarm delivers the rigidity
needed for a machine with the ZX-10R's horsepower.
Long swingarm design reduces the engine's
leverage on the rear suspension, for excellent
suspension action and superb road holding
qualities. Specially configured for high torsional
rigidity and more flexible lateral rigidity,
this "balanced flex" contributes significantly
to the 10R's brilliant handling qualities.
Amazingly lightweight, the swingarm weighs
about the same as the ZX-6R swingarm.
- The 10R's riding position was developed
based on computer simulation and exhaustive
- Thanks to the narrow width of the frame
rails, which run over the engine, the rear
of the tank could be made very narrow, allowing
the rider to grip the bike with his legs.
- Because the air cleaner is flush with the
top of the frame rails, the fuel tank bottom
can be made flat, significantly increasing
fuel tank capacity without increasing overall
- The top surface of the fuel tank is concave,
making it easier to tuck in behind the fairing
and increasing rider comfort during high-performance
- An ideal relationship between pegs, seat
and handlebars result in a naturally aggressive
- The Ninja ZX-10R is the first supersport
bike to feature petal brake discs. This unique
disc shape improves cooling and helps prevent
disc warp. It is also lighter than conventional
- Front discs are 300 mm. Radial 4-pot opposed
piston callipers deliver impressive stopping
performance with excellent feel at the lever.
- The lightweight 220 mm rear petal disc is
operated by a lightweight single-piston calliper.
- Highly rigid 43 mm inverted fork is fully
adjustable and features settings that are
biased towards track riding.
- Both front and rear suspension are fitted
with top-out springs for stable suspension
performance. Because the top-out springs regulate
suspension elongation, the rider will also
experience less nose dive feel under heavy
braking after hard acceleration, as well as
greater stability when getting back on the
gas after hard braking.
- Linkage-equipped rear gas shock with reservoir
is fully adjustable.
- Lightweight aluminium suspension linkage
reduces chassis weight and contributes to
the responsive rear suspension action.
- Rear ride height is shim-adjustable.
- Highly compact front cowl incorporates a
central Ram Air duct and features a frontal
area smaller than that of the ZX-6R.
- Multi-reflector headlamp is compact and
is located very low. Lighting performance
is first rate.
- Aerodynamic mirrors look great and offer
- Seamless fuel tank design enhances the 10R's
high-quality look and feel.
- 3-piece front fender is highly aerodynamic
and contributes to the front end's light appearance.
- European models feature front turn signals
stylishly integrated in the bodywork for improved
aerodynamics. Rear turn signals are extremely
compact and feature a new conical design.
(North American models feature standard front
and rear turn signals.)
- Attractive inner fender design follows the
lines of the swingarm and contributes to laminar
flow of hot air around the rear wheel.
- Compact rear flap contributes to the 10R's
slim appearance. It is mounted directly to
the sub-frame for added strength.
- Flush-surface LED tail light curves up slightly
over the top of the seat cowl, making the
10R very visible to the drivers of high vehicles.
- Multi-piece tail cover allows an ultra-thin
design as well as easy maintenance. Removing
the top two pieces allows complete access
to the top.
- Frame is finished in flat black to enhance
its aggressive, racy image.
- Robot welding is used for high quality and
a superior finish.
- Optional single seat cover can replace the
tandem seat for an even more aggressive image.
- Compact clutch-driven generator turns at
twice engine rpm for high output, even when
- Idling Speed Control system contributes
to easy starting.
- Internal oil feed is via grooves machined
in the crankcase mating surfaces, eliminating
the plumbing and complexity of conventional
oil feed systems.
- Use of KLEEN (Kawasaki Low Exhaust Emission)
catalyser system helps keep exhaust emissions
environmentally friendly. Honeycomb catalyser
located in the muffler helps ensure that the
10R meet Euro II emissions regulations.
- Immobiliser function incorporated into the
ignition switch on most European models helps
- Lightweight instrument cluster features
a perimeter LCD tachometer, digital LCD speedometer,
adjustable shift indicator lamp, and stopwatch-style
lap timer - this in addition to a digital
temp gauge, clock, tripmeter, etc. and a comprehensive
range of indicator lamps. The shift indicator
lamp has three settings: Off, Low and Bright.
The fuel injection lamp also serves as an
immobiliser indicator on immobiliserequiped
- Wiring harness features newly designed relay
box, compact fuse box and simplified wiring
layout for easier maintenance. Most electrical
components are concentrated under the seat.
- Wheels are centre-balanced using environmentally
friendly steel weights.
- An elegant 3D tank emblem enhances the 10R's
high-quality image (not used on lime green
- Lime Green / Metallic Flat Stoic Black
- Candy Thunder Blue / Metallic Flat Stoic
- Metallic Spark Black / Metallic Flat Stoic
- Pearl Blazing Orange / Metallic Flat Stoic
- Engine Type - Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line
- Displacement - 998 cm3
- Bore and Stroke - 76.0 x 55.0 mm
- Compression ratio - TBA
- Valve system - DOHC, 16 valves
- Fuel system - Fuel injection: Ø 43 mm x
- Ignition - Digital
- Starting - Electric
- Lubrication - Forced lubrication, wet sump
with oil cooler
- Transmission - 6-speed, return
- Final drive - Sealed Chain
- Gear ratios: 1st - 1.611 (87/54), 2nd -
2.533 (38/15), 3rd - 2.053 (39/19), 4th -
1.737 (33/19), 5th - 1.524 (32/21), 6th -
- Final reduction ratio - 1.304 (30/23)
- Clutch - Wet multi-disc, manual
- Frame Type - Backbone/Twin-tube, aluminium
(Pressed/die-cast composite structure)
- Wheel travel: front - TBA, rear - TBA
- Tyre: front - 120/70ZR17M/C, rear - 190/50ZR17M/C
- Caster (rake) - TBA
- Trail - TBA
- Steering angle (left/right) - TBA