Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ninja Nation: 1988 Kawasaki ZX-10 vs 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R


Back in 1988, if you wanted to do 260km/h on two wheels, you'd be riding this Kawasaki ZX-10

Kawasaki
have been building seriously high-performance sportsbikes since the early 1970s. Witness the 1972 Z1, which could do the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 210km/h. Or the 1978 Z1300, which packed a six-cylinder engine and weighed in at close to 300 kilos. And the 1984 GPZ900R, which boasted of 100 horsepower and 240km/h top speed.

But Kawasaki’s first proper rocketship was the 1988 ZX-10, which used a 997cc inline-four (based on the GPZ900R motor) that made 110 horsepower, and which could push the bike to a top speed of nearly 260km/h! The bike also had a proper alloy beam chassis, highly optimized aerodynamics, and proper wheels, tyres, brakes, and suspension to go with all that speed. The 1988 ZX-10 was probably Kawasaki’s first superbike as we know them now.

Twenty years on, the ZX-10R continues the legacy of the original ZX-10. And this 2004 ZX-10R is, in some ways, even better than its current, more toned-down sibling...

Compare the old ZX-10 with the all-new ZX-10R which Kawasaki launched in 2004, and you see just how far superbikes have come, and how they’ve evolved. The first ZX-10R had around 150bhp (40 horses up on the old ZX-10) from its 998cc inline-four, and came with high-spec, race-bred chassis, suspension and brakes that are as much at home on the track as they are on the street.

In fact, the 2004 ZX-10R was such a wild beast, that over the last three years, Kawasaki have been spending time taming its behaviour and trying to make more of its mind-boggling performance accessible to normal, ordinary riders. But we sure would love to ride the 1988 and 2004 ZX-10s back to back – what a trip that would be!

Also see:
Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo: Blow hard!
The Mighty Quadzilla
Eddie Lawson tribute: The Kawasaki ZRX1200R
Mad Kaws: H1 and Z1
The very memorable Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R
2007 Kawasaki Z1000 promo video

Update (12th September 2007):
2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R: First pics and details!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yaeh right?

The first Kawaski ZX-10 had 137 hbp,and had a top speed of 275km!

ZX-10 rider Richard

Anonymous said...

I had a 1988 zx10 and i got 285 km/h out of it.completely stock.i even have the ticket to prove it in 1996 issued from the RCMP.

Anonymous said...

yea i have a 88 ZX10 jetted and 4-1 vance and hines exhaust and i'm makin 144. get your stats straight

Anonymous said...

NICE!!! Thanks for using my photo for your '04 zx10r. Pretty cool to see considering the thousands of pics out there. Just to let you know, it is much modded since that early photo.

Also, I'm sure my royalty check is in the mail, right? LOL

Anonymous said...

hahaha c'mon...U had 285km/h max.? oh, on a scale right? hmm... -10% of because the scale has 10% deviation - than if U calculate it - U got 256km/h...

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone else...until I blew my engine, I was able to turn 145mph with 137hp. Need another engine, anyone has a spare??

Anonymous said...

yap. i own an 88 zx 10 and it has 137. can still beat some newer bikes. not bad for a classic.
most people think they are not worth anything... but they are.

I think the gpz might have had 100 hp.. not sure.. but the zx 10 is supper fast.. and reliable.

Anonymous said...

Bought my 1988 ZX-10 new in Carson City Nevada and I still love it. Has less than 13K miles. All original, always covered, looks like new. Still fast as ever! I tried to sell it a few times but was only offered $2,500 and I wanted $3,500. Scott R. Oakhurst, CA

dave said...

i own a zx10 striped with no body work , rat style, bought it last year it is very fast and reliable a full 137 bhp it was the rx1000 that had 100 bhp. dave(plug)

Kawarez said...

Got a blue '90 here.
1100 engine, other brakes, suspension, modded the crap out of it and still continuing to mod (soon galespeed rims).

Atm 135bhp/105Nm, but needs some fine-tuning the carbs (not using the ram-air, so the mix is not optimum).

Anonymous said...

I 1st bought one in 1986 Crotch Rocket most people I knew refer it to that ,then bought another one in 1991 no matter what anoyne says these machines are awsome .

My 1st Sppeding Ticket was in 1986
clocked 250khp took the RCMP 30 minutes to catch up to me .

2nd ticket was with the 1991 model,
Clocked 280khp also RCMP ticket cost me $600.00 .

Anonymous said...

Still have my 1988 ZX-10. Love it. Still beats a lot of newer bikes. Specs show 137 HP from the factory. Mine is all stock except for a Corbin seat, tinted windscreen and 1.5" risers. Trying to add a 1989 Yamahe FJ1200 to the stable as well.

justron said...

Ronnie in texas lookin for parts for 1988 zx10 fairings and left mid cover. anybody have any

Anonymous said...

I have an 88 zx10 b1 and am luvin her shes in good condition and fast as hell, dynoed at 137.6 bhp and that not bad all she has is a k+n filter apart from that she is stock great bike may she live long :)