Big K’s flagship sportsbike is a beast for sure. Boasting a claimed 200 bhp from the state-of-the-art motor, Showa Balance Free Fork, Brembo M50 calipers, and the usual electronics package, the ZX-10R-based WSB is also riding high in the 2017 championship table, currently occupying the top two positions.
However, the aesthetics haven’t really moved on since this current generation’s 2011 introduction. We think Kawasaki could be missing a trick here as although the bike has been updated the looks haven’t kept up with the performance. So of course we gave it a virtual SSB makeover…
The 998cc engine remains the same but the exhaust now exits at the back of the bellypan and under the tail unit. Our bike gets an aluminum monocoque frame (like the ZX-12R) with the airbox making up the upper “frame.” A rising-rate linkage at the back shows off the shock and with an all-new swingarm keeps the six-spoke wheels on the ground. The Showa and Brembo front end is lifted entirely from the current ZX-10R.
The rakish, fussy ZX-10R nose is gone, as is the sleep-inducing paintwork, and the bodywork is now inspired by MotoGP bikes but with less of the Transformer robot-esque lines and more of a sleeker, simpler look which we think adds a touch of class the ZX-10R deserves. This is one Ninja that will get the good times rolling.