For well-monied collectors and trackday zealots, the Ninja ZX-10RR and Ninja ZX-10R SE are natural targets. Stickering a few grand north of the ZX-10R, the ZX-10RR packs performance-enhancing features, such as a factory-modded cylinder head, friction-reducing valve tappets, available “race kit” camshafts, and reinforced engine cases. Elsewise, the 10R’s quickshifter allows clutchless upshifts and downshifts, and the chassis gets lightweight Marchesini forged wheels and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires. The stealthy matte-black paint is meant to depict race teams’ unfinished off-season bodywork.
Atop the normally aspirated Ninja pyramid lives the ZX-10R SE, which Kawasaki represents as “the ultimate race-replica sportbike.” Its big technology add is electronically controlled suspension, which uses sensors, a microprocessor, and electronic actuators to continually assess road (or track) conditions and then, within milliseconds, adjust the suspension to suit. (Beats stopping to add two clicks of rebound by hand!) Plus, you can toggle between road and track programs, which ironically helps this track-focused machine become a better road machine too. The cost? A fat 45 percent above that of the base 10R. But for a special few, as Eric Burdon sang, “It will be worth it.”
Likes: Specialized track-ready technology that's also street legal
Dislikes: The high price of fun, and good luck finding one
Verdict: Relevant and effective limited-edition Ninjas