Atsushi Ueshima (top, right) says that Kawasaki started developing the new ZX-10R Ninja before the arrival of the S1000RR, but admits that the BMW is now the bike to beat...
Moto Revue recently caught up with Atsushi Ueshima, project leader for the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, and asked him a few questions about Kawi’s newest heavy hitter in the litre-class superbikes segment. Here are a few excerpts from what Atsushi San had to say:
On what was the primary brief for the new ZX-10R project
To be the fastest! That is always the no.1 target in the development of our sportsbikes. But we must also, of course, adapt the bikes’ performance for everyday use on the road. We wanted to make the new ZX-10R easy to control, especially in terms of its power, and to make the chassis very communicative. The traction control makes this possible, but even when disconnected, the engine’s linear power delivery remains very effective and allows the rider to keep the bike under control even at very high speeds.
On what were some of the most challenging aspects of the bike’s development process
The engine, and more precisely the power management system, which makes the engine’s power very accessible. Also, the development of the chassis – we focused on mass centralization and on putting more weight on the front, which provides a better ‘feel’ to the rider. We also worked hard on weight reduction, without compromising on the rigidity of the chassis.
On competition from European sportsbikes
We needed three full years to develop this new ZX-10R. Back in late-2007, there was no BMW S1000RR, so it isn’t as if Kawasaki have developed this new bike to take on the BMW. But yes, today the BMW is our main target!
On whether the ZX-10R’s 200bhp was one of the primary goals
No, we simply sought to improve performance as best as we could. That the bike ended up with 200 horsepower is just that much better!
On whether Kawasaki might return to MotoGP in the 1,000cc era
Yes, of course. This is a very important goal for the coming years.
On whether there will be an all-new ZX-6R, on the lines of the new ZX-10R
The new ZX-10R in action!
Via Moto Revue