Image Gallery: Inside the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R

A closer look at Team Green's new literbike

2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
There are four versions of the 2016 ZX-10R available: The standard (non-ABS) ZX-10R and the ZX-10R ABS are both available in this Metallic Matte Carbon Grey color or a KRT Edition with Lime Green/Ebony color combination. List prices are $15,999 for the ZX-10R ABS and $16,299 for the KRT ZX-10R ABS.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The ZX-10R's cylinder head has revised intake and exhaust ports with a straighter cross-section for better gas flow. On the previous model, only the intake ports were polished; intake and exhaust ports are polished on the 2016 model. Coolant passages are larger, and ignition efficiency is improved by using long-reach spark plugs.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The combustion chamber shape has been revised and larger titanium exhaust valves fitted. Camshafts have more overlap for more high-rpm power.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The pistons are lighter (by 5 grams each) and have slightly shorter skirts (37.7mm vs. 39.2mm), and have a dry-film lubricant coating that reduces friction at low rpm and helps with break-in. The cylinder wall thickness has been increased for more rigidity, increasing reliability.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
A lighter crankshaft improves throttle response and acceleration, and better cornering turn-in and side-to-side transitions. The new balancer is also lighter, and the crankshaft's connecting rod journals have a new coating for reduced friction at high rpm.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
New electronic throttle valves are used as part of the rider-aid package, allowing better integration of the traction control, launch control and engine braking control. A new ECU is housed under the seat in an aluminum case to improve heat dissipation.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The Showa Balance Free Fork (BFF) was jointly developed with Showa in World Superbike competition; the design of the hydraulic system eliminates the pressure balance fluctuations typically found in conventional forks. The damping valves are located outside the fork legs and in their own separate damping force chamber.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The pistons inside the main fork tubes push hydraulic fluid toward the valves in the damping force chamber. The fork offers better traction, improved low-speed comfort and increased front-end feel.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Nitrogen gas in the compression chamber pushes back against the oil, keeping a balanced pressure inside the fork tube. This is the first mass-production application for the Showa Balance Free Fork.
2016 Kawasaski ZX-10R
Compression and rebound damping are generated (and adjusted) completely independently from one another by the compression and rebound adjuster screws on the damping force chamber at the bottom of each leg. Locating the adjustment in this single place has resulted in a more focused design that greatly improves responsiveness.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Spring preload adjustment is located on the top of each fork leg.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The steering head is moved 7.5mm rearward, placing more weight on the front end to improve feel and stability. The front section of the main frame has been internally profiled to reduce induction noise, allowing more horsepower while still meeting US noise regulations.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
New titanium-alloy headers use a special heat-resistant alloy, which is unique to Kawasaki in a motorcycle application and have a new connector pipe joining headers three and four to help smooth the engine response. The heat handling capacity contributes to durability, while the new alloy also allows thinner pipes thickness, reducing weight even more. The titanium alloy exhaust silencer offers nearly a 50% larger volume than the previous model, reducing sound levels and overall weight.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The cassette transmission has shorter ratios for second through sixth gears; a new dry-film lubricant coating has been applied to certain gears to reduce friction and improve shifting speed. The slipper clutch is 130 grams lighter than the previous model's due to a thinner primary gear.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The rear shock absorber is a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) unit that also resulted from joint development in World Superbike competition. Just like the forks, the rear shock has a separate damping force chamber that houses the compression and rebound damping adjusters. By separating them, it again allows the entire damping piston to focus on hydraulic fluid movement. The horizontal back-link suspension has revised linkage ratios for 2016.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The ZX-10R ABS model's extensive electronics package includes engine braking control, launch control, ABS, Corner Management Function, S-KTRC traction control with five modes of intervention, and a quickshifter. The LCD screen now has an IMU indicator, as well as indicators for launch control, the quickshifter and engine braking control. Three power modes are offered: Full, Middle (80%) and Low (60%).
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The traction control system varies tire slip to optimize traction, and looks at front and rear wheel speed (to determine slip), engine rpm, throttle postiion, acceleration, and the chassis' orientation relative to the track surface rather than the horizontal plane. The system can adjust for camber or gradient, tire wear, profile, compound, and numerous other factors.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The ZX-10R utilizes a Bosch five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), and the ECU calculates yaw rate, giving six-axis operation with software developed in-house and drawing on the experience of the Kawasaki World Superbike team. The IMU, in conjunction with wheel speed, brake pressure, throttle position, engine rpm and throttle opening sensors, allows the ZX-10R's electronics package to adapt to changes in tires and even road camber.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The rider is able to scroll through and select the electronic functions with a rocker switch mounted on the left handlebar. It also incorporates a “select” button to make quick, precise adjustments. The engine braking control system was first seen on the Ninja H2R and manages engine braking when the rider shuts the throttle entering corners, contributing to smoother braking and corner entry.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The new quickshifter works on upshifts only and uses the same contactless sensor as the Ninja H2R's unit. The Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM)offers three modes: Mode 1 offers less intrusion but requires the rider to operate the clutch and throttle with greater sensitivity; Modes 2 and 3 requires less of the rider and requires the electronics to do more work.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The brakes have been upgraded to Brembo M50 aluminum monoblock calipers (with 30mm opposed pistons) and 330 Brembo rotors (up from 310mm). The rotors are cross-drilled and have a circumferential groove in the outer edge to aid heat dissipation. Each part of the braking system is inspected and adjusted by Bremboto eliminate any ineffective stroke, providing strong braking force from the initial lever stroke.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Race-quality stainless-steel braided brake lines have been fitted front and rear. The rear disc is now a 220mm round (not petal-shaped) unit to match the front; the two-piston caliper is unchanged. The ABS model benefits from the Cornering Management Function, which uses the five-axis IMU to determine optimum front/rear braking distribution based on lean and pitch angles. This in turn allows the rider to brake into a turn without the tendency for the bike to stand up and run wide.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The Ohlins electronic steering damper has revised settings to provide the ideal amount of damping force across a wide range of riding scenarios.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
A larger screen is used to increase wind protection, and a new cowl improves aerodynamic efficiency and stability. The front windshield is supported over its entire length by the cowl, reducing vibration compared with the previous "floating" design. Two small intakes on either side of the windshield help prevent negative pressure in the cockpit, reducing helmet buffeting.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The headlights have been updated with more compact lenses to match the could design. Mirrors are similar to the previous model's but have been lowered. And the new front fender has a stepped design to help deflect airflow to the radiator.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The rear cowl is wider than before , and the passenger seat, LED tail light and license plate holder are all new. The license plate holder is a modular design and easily removable for track use.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
The swingarm has been lengthened 15.8mm for a wheelbase of 56.7", almost a half inch longer than the previous model's. The swingarm has additional bracing and is torsionally more rigid.
2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Wheels are unchanged for 2016, although the brake rotor mounting area has been revised to increase rotor stability. Bridgestone Battlax RS10 tires are fitted, in 120/70 and 190/55 sizes.

Kawasaki's 2016 ZX-10R may not be an all-new model, but few parts remain from the old model and there are a significant number of upgrades.

Here we take a closer look at the new bike through a series of images Kawasaki released that show various aspects of the engine and chassis. Scroll through the gallery above to see the images and learn more about the new ZX-10R.

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