Tuesday, October 11, 2011
2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R gets racier, hornier
Kawasaki have released pics and specs of the 2012 Ninja ZX-10R and the new bike looks pretty hot. The 2012-spec bike gets traction control and ABS (optional), and both of these are supposed to be ‘intelligent’ systems that ‘allow optimum wheelspin while enhancing rider control.’ Brilliant! :-D
Kawasaki make no claims regarding the 2012 ZX-10R’s 998cc inline-four’s power output, but we suppose that should be in the region of 180-190 horsepower. Interesting bits on the engine include chrome-molybdenum cams that enhance durability, single-shaft secondary balancer that helps reduce vibration, lightweight radiator with tightly packed cores for more efficient engine cooling, intake and exhaust valves made of titanium, and dual-injector digital fuel injection with 47mm throttle bodies.
About the ZX-10R’s ‘Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control’ (S-KTRC) system, Kawasaki claim it’s a ‘highly sophisticated electronic system based on actual Kawasaki MotoGP experience that’s designed to maximize forward motion by allowing racers to ride closer to the edge of traction. The system crunches a wide range of data, including throttle position, wheel speed, engine rpm, wheel slippage and acceleration, with help from a speed sensor fitted to each wheel. The quickest acceleration requires a certain amount of wheel slippage, so to optimize traction, S-KTRC actually allows for optimum wheelspin.’
‘Using complex analysis, the S-KTRC system is able to predict when traction conditions are about to become unfavourable. By acting before slippage exceeds the range for optimal traction, the system can quickly and smoothly reduce power slightly so the wheel regains traction,’ says a press note from Kawasaki. ‘S-KTRC confirms conditions 200 times per second and governs ignition, which allows extremely quick response to changing conditions. Riders can choose between three operational modes, depending on skill level and conditions,’ it adds.
Another important rider aid on this machine is ‘Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-lock Braking System’ (KIBS), a light, compact and technologically advanced anti-lock braking system developed by Bosch specifically for sportsbikes. ‘KIBS monitors a wide range of data, including front and rear wheel speed, throttle position, gear selection, engine rpm, caliper pressure, clutch actuation and more to help prevent wheel locking. High-precision brake pressure control offers a number of sport riding benefits, including rear-end lift suppression, minimal kickback during operation and consistent lever feel,’ says the press release from Kawasaki.
Most of the above sounds interesting and we’re sure the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is one smoking-hot superbike. Should be interesting to see how it stacks up against the 2012 Fireblade and the revised R1.