Wednesday, September 26, 2007

2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R: Hard-core performance, dubious styling...


Going by Kawasaki's press material, this 2008 model could be the most extreme ZX-10R ever built. It still looks ugly though...

Pics: Motorcycle USA

Earlier this month, we had posted the first pics of Kawasaki’s 2008 ZX-10R Ninja and now here are some more pics and details. Kawasaki are putting a lot of emphasis on the fact that this latest iteration of the big Ninja is meant for racers and experienced, hard-core street riders. Japanese racer Akira Yanagawa is said to have played a major role in the development of the 2008 Ninja ZX-10R, and with this new bike, Kawasaki may be looking at returning to the edgy, extreme performance package of the original 2004 ZX-10R!

The 2008 ZX-10R’s liquid-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC, 998cc inline-four, with dual fuel injectors for each cylinder, and oval, 43mm Keihin throttle bodies, benefits from reshaped ram-air ducts (for better air intake) and a larger airbox. And the bike’s new exhaust system, which is fully emissions compliant, is also said to boost power and reduce noise. (We aren’t too happy about the last bit, and the fact that the thing seems to have been taken off a Z1000 or a Z750, but what the hell, Yoshimura should have a solution to this problem soon…!)

The gearbox features revised ratios, the chassis is heavily revised, and then there’s the big news – the new Ninja gets what Kawasaki call a ‘torque management’ system. This would essentially be some kind of a traction control system and Kawasaki say it monitors parameters like throttle opening, gear position and rate of RPM change, and if need be, retards ignition timing (thereby reducing power) when it detects sudden spikes in the engine’s rpm figure. This doesn’t, however, mean that you can’t pull wheelies or slide the rear wheel anymore – Kawasaki claim that this system doesn’t interfere with the engine’s operation and allows it to rev freely in normal riding conditions.

Next up, suspension. The 2008 Ninja ZX-10R gets a 43mm, fully adjustable USD fork at front, with ‘Diamond Like Carbon’ (DLC) coating to the fork tubes for less stiction. At the rear, there’s a new swingarm that uses pressed (instead of cast) beams, and a Uni-Trak linkage monoshock that’s independently adjustable for low and high speed compression damping. Like the chassis and swingarm, the new ZX-10R’s wheels are also lighter and stiffer, and brakes are Tokico units – twin 320mm petal discs with radial mount calipers at front, and a single 220mm disc at the back.

Going by the spec sheet, the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R should be one hell of a machine, though we still think it looks ugly. Anyway, here's a video of the bike in action:


A video of the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R in action

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The 2008 Suzuki GSX-R600! More pics and details here
Pic: Moto Caradisiac

More pics of the 2008 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade! Full details and more pics here

19 comments:

first_synn said...

I love it I love it I love it I love it I love it....

Dang! seems like the new Tenner brought the kid in me out!

It's the kinda rush a teen gets when he lays hands on an S&M special for the first time, after spending months sneaking playboys into his bedroom...

Nasty? Yes. Can you take your eyes off it? Hell no!

Anonymous said...

agree with u lot. the new zx-10r is the fugliest bike i've seen in a long time. the original 10r was the best, followed by the 2006/07 model. this one looks like a science experiment gone terribly wrong. god help kawasaki.

speed_mist09 said...

yep like honda, kaw also seem to have lost the plot. what the hell is happening in japan? what are they mixing in the sushi? :-D the zx-10r is ugly, the new fireblade is ugly and the new gsx-r is ugly. only the r1 still looks a beaut ;-)

cruiser_killa81 said...

I love Kawasakis but the 2008 zx-10r looks so bad that even I don't have anything positive to say about it. Come on Kawasaki, you know you can do better. For inspiration for your 2009 model, please just look at the Yamaha R1 and the Ducati 1098. For still more inspiration, just pull out an old ZX-7R from your attic, and you're on! :)

Mikaelk said...

Yup. Those comments about S&M vs Playboy pretty (lol the irony of this word) much sums it up! :)

Which is ashame, I've always liked Kawasaki's designs until this model :(

bikewarrior89 said...

first it was suzuki that showed the butt-ugly 2008 Hayabusa, then the equally hideous B-King. Honda followed with the terribly ugly 2008 CBR1000RR. And now it's Kawasaki, with this shit looking ZX-10R.

Where the f*&% are Jap manufacturers going with their 2008 bikes? Have they been drinking too much saki? I guess I'll be sticking with my 2005 Fireblade, it looks better than any of these new bikes..

Anonymous said...

the 2008 ZX-10R looks terrible :-( this year the R1 should give it a proper kicking

Anonymous said...

The new zx10 looks like sh*t!! I was waiting for this bike to come out so I could trade in my 06. I dont think that i'll be doing that now. I think that the bikes are getting uglier. I think I might trade in my 10 for a 05/07 gixxer 1000. The R1 is not strong enough for me, and the Honda is too slow. I like the 08 honda1000 repsol edition is nice lookin however. Shame on kawasaki for comming up with this awful looking bike. Im sure the engine is great, but the looks....not so mucha. ( borat voice)

Anonymous said...

Yall quit haten that is bad a** bike -the pipe. If handles like my 07 zx10 it will be another busa killer. And thats all that matters to my. #1 kawasaki

gauraviper said...

well.. its not all that bad either.. there are some very nice designer touches to the bike.. note the shape of the rear view mirrors and the TOTALLY NEW n sexxy idea of installing the front indicators on the bars of the rear view mirror!.. gr8!.. well this is kinda bike that'll take some time getting used but it DOES LOOK LIKE A KILLER!!!...

gauraviper said...

another thing to be noted.. underseat exhausts are slowly making their way out..i personally somehow liked the gsx-r b'cos it was the only one without an underseat!!.. well.. now all of them except the R1 has them!.. btw.. R! still retains the chisselled looks!..

Anonymous said...

most people seem to be let down with the styling of this bike - sportbikes are built to function; if you want something to look at buy a custom or a painting. Ninja 10's are hot because they are fast.

Anonymous said...

The Big four definately want Ducati to gain a foothold in their market with the dirt ugly designs they are producing-Does an ever improving Ducati 1098 deserve a few Jap customers-I think so-There reliability is now just as good but the pricing is out-but the looks are in a different league

Anonymous said...

Without question the ugliest supersport ever produced!

Anonymous said...

I love this bike! The styling screams SPEED SPEED SPEED!!! A truly exciting machine with a lot of visual personality. Can't wait to try one on the street. Much better than the porky 2007 model. For those who do not like it, the old bikes will stay around for a while...

Anonymous said...

ITs true about the new ZX10R it is an ugly bike.No matter thogh the 08 GSXR 600/750 its nice, except for the tail its gettin wider.The Tail of a R6/R1 with the body of a GSXR 600/750 perfect.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think it looks pretty darn nice, enough to sway me away from the '08 GSXR750. In fact, it makes the Duke 1098 look a bit insipid. Took a while to grow on me though and I can't come to terms with the muffler no matter how hard I try (Akrapovic has the solution). And it comes in orange!!

Anonymous said...

This is the best bike i ever had I use to be a suzuki man but this 2008zx10 will do 100 with out even touching the green at 6000rpm its coasting and thats with a rider no difference I love the look of it thank you KAWASAKI

Anonymous said...

I Love the bike! The new colors on the 09's are great. I think these guys make a pipe for them too...
Motowerkz

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