Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR

Kawasaki’s ZX10 Double R is Kawasaki’s homologation special. The bike to take on the likes of Yamahas R1M and Honda’s Fire blade SP or more specifically SP2. These are all breathed on versions of the regular production superbikes.

The ZX10RR is immediately recognized by its Ninja like flat black livery. The wheels, a 190/55/17 Rear and a 12/70/17 front, have the Kawasaki green accentuating pinstripe on the black Marchesini forged rims. The second “R” in the ZX10RR emblem is green as opposed to the white of the rest of the logo. The rear Showa gas-charged shock, adjustable for high and low speed damping with 114mm of travel, sports a green spring. The subtle green accents on the black bike with white “Ninja” emblems emblazoned across the fairing complete a stunning look. Only a limited number of RR’s will be built, (some say 500 and others 1000), so a degree of exclusivity is guaranteed.

Over the years Kawasaki have built a reputation for building strong engines. With 210PS (154,4Kw) at 13,000 rpm and 113.5Nm at 11,500 the RR emphatically preserves this tradition. The cylinder head is modified over the stock ZX 10 to accept .7mm higher lift cams. Tappets have a hard and durable diamond like coating. The crank cases on the RR are also beefed up. Hit the starter button and the engine fires up instantly. The raspy growl from the neat exhaust shouts horsepower! The bike settles into a lumpy cammy idle.

Prod the bike into gear and ease out the rather abrupt action slipper clutch and perfect fuelling squirts you off down the road. This is a wonderful engine. The six speed close ratio gearbox with bi-directional quick shifter harnesses the abundant power and torque of the motor to produce absolutely ferocious acceleration. The engine is wonderfully smooth yet has a soulful midrange urgency that is truly awesome. The exhaust emits a whip crack of glorious sound as you hook the next gear and the quick shifter works its magic. The auto blip on down shifts is equally intoxicating.

I unfortunately was not able to fit in any track time on the RR. Make no mistake the racetrack is the natural habit of the RR. Only the most dedicated sport bike pilots will be able to live with a RR as a daily ride. The riding position is full attack, and who would want to waste those fantastic Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres on trolling through traffic. Big piston, fully adjustable Showsa forks with 120mm of travel keep the front end under control. Brembo M50 Monobloc calipers chomp on 330mm petal discs with a 220 mm rear. Needless to say the stopping power and feel is epic.

It actually boggles my mind to think that we live in an age where we can buy a street legal sport bike that is virtually world Superbike spec. Yes, you do get a race kit for the RR if you feel that 210 horses are a little tame! Yea right! If you are half honest you will concede that on a bike this good the rider is the limiting factor. The bike comes standard with traction control, ABS and Bosch cornering management system. All these electronics help to make the bikes massive performance accessible to mere mortals.

How do I sum this up? Kawasaki’s double RR is a hard-core sport bike that does the Ninja heritage proud. I would be surprised if any other bike is faster in a straight line. There may be some a trifle more nimble but when you pull the trigger in the straight I would bet on the Black winter edition Kawasaki Ninja to stamp its authority. If however, you don’t own a set of one piece race leathers with worn out knee sliders, don’t even consider buying this bike. The limited number of these iconic bikes deserve to be owned by really competent pilots. At R290, 000 consider it a steal.


Engine 4-stroke, 4 cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve, Liquid-cooled
Displacement 998cc
Bore x Stroke 76.0 x 55.0mm
Compression ratio 13.0:1
Fuel System DFI® w/47mm Mikuni throttle bodies (4) with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
Ignition TCBI with digital advance and Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC)
Transmission 6-speed, return shift
Final Drive Sealed chain
Electronic Rider Aids Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), Kawasaki Sport Traction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Engine Braking Control, Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS) (upshift & downshift), Kawasaki Corner Management Function (KCMF)
Front Suspension /
Wheel Travel
43mm inverted Balance Free Fork, adjustable stepless rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability/4.7 in
Rear Suspension /
Wheel Travel
Horizontal back-link with Balance Free gas-charged shock, stepless, dual-range (low-/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload/4.5 in
Front Tire 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire 190/55 ZR17
Front Brakes Intelligent Braking (KIBS), Brembo dual semi-floating 330mm discs with dual radial mounted monobloc 4-piston calipers
Rear Brakes KIBS-controlled, single 220mm disc with aluminum single-piston caliper
Frame Type Aluminum perimeter
Rake/Trail 25.0°/106.68 mm
Overall Length 2090.42 mm
Overall Width 739.14 mm
Overall Height 1145.54 mm
Ground Clearance 144.78 mm
Seat Height 835.66 mm
Curb Weight 206 Kg**
Fuel Capacity 17.0344 Ltr
Wheelbase 1440.18 mm
Color Choices Flat Ebony
Warranty 12 Month Limited Warranty
Kawasaki Protection Plus™
12, 24, 36 or 48 months

For more information visit: www.kawasaki.co.za

My name is Dave Cilliers. I consider cars as four wheeled shopping baskets and only worth using as a last resort! For years bikes have been my primary transport. Racing, touring, commuting or just kicking up dust on African tracks, I have owned over 270 motorcycles and ridden millions of kilometres. I am happiest when sharing my passion for motorcycles with like minded people whilst traversing Africa in search of adventure.