Literbikes: engine displacement of 1,000 cubic centimeters (1 Liter)
After seven years of liter-size displacement, it seems like only a couple of years since Kawasaki’s ZX-10R hit the streets. Redesigned from top to bottom, the 2011 Zed-X is the first overhauled remodel of the ZX-10R from 2004. About the only thing kept in the engine were the bore and stroke, however, the rev limit was lifted from 13,000 to 13,750 rpm eliminating early powerband dips.
Increased power with decreased weight and a sophisticated new traction control system as standard equipment enables better lap time turns. The clutch’s input shaft has been moved much higher allowing slight raising of the crankshaft moving the center of mass higher for better agility. Less friction and less power loss occur having less lateral loads on the pistons. Stronger con-rods add a bit of weight, but dampen the vibrational level, helped by the single-shaft secondary balancer that allow for lighter handlebar weight. Completely new exhaust port layout, same diameter of the titanium exhaust valves, increased durability and stronger valve springs.
The Ninja is able to breath clearer now that the ram-air intake is nearer to the nose and with a more efficient air cleaner. The idle speed is automatically adjusted offering easier starts and passing the regulated emissions. Sub-throttle valves and dual injectors are fitted to the larger fuel-injection throttle bodies providing more power.
The power setting can be set independently of the traction control and the peak in Middle, when at the upper rev zone, can reach as high as Full. The mono-shock is positioned nearly horizontal freeing up space for the larger pre-muffler chamber under the engine. Lightweight gravity-cast wheels help the suspension and the 3-spoke design enables an unsprung weight reduction decreasing rotating mass up to 1.8 lbs less.
Kawasaki ZX-10R wet weight = 436.6 pounds matching the class
lightweight, Honda CBR1000RR, and lighter than the S1000RR by 16 pounds. Significant tweaks in the handlebars, foot-pegs and seat were adjusted for improved comfort. Improvements in the light displays for visibility with automatic reduction at night makes up a cool gauge pack with a bundle of info on the panel and the ability to switch into race mode.
This sport bike is available beginning in early December priced at or around $13,799.