Attack Performance rearsets...
Attack Performance rearsets are highly adjustable with superb quality, and are engineered with crash survivability in mind, with breakaway pegs and folding lever tips. Because they are intended for racing, there aren’t any mounts for the brake fluid reservoir or brake light switch, so we fabricated our own.
Next on the list was a different footpeg setup. Although the stock Kawasaki footpegs are two-way adjustable, their placement is still a little too far forward for our tastes. We’ve long admired Attack Performance’s metal handiwork over the years, and proprietor Richard Stanboli has been handling the majority of Kawasaki’s roadracing efforts for the past several years, so we rang him up for a set of his multi-adjustable rearsets. Not only are the Attack Performance rearsets highly adjustable in a myriad number of ways, but their overall design and construction are absolute top-shelf.
For instance, the $435.98 Attack rearsets utilize hi-grade 7075-T6 aluminum alloy in their construction (instead of the cheaper 6061 commonly used), making them 50 percent stronger. The footpegs not only have excellent grip, but are designed with a “breakaway” tip (in addition to spring-loaded folding tips on both foot levers) that often allows the footrest controls to survive a crash with full functionality.
The only downsides to the Attack rearsets are that they are intended for racing, so there is no mount for the rear brake light switch or stock brake fluid reservoir. Also, the rear brake lever’s leverage is less than stock, so it requires a lot of pressure to get any stopping power.
Driven Racing’s 520 steel...
Driven Racing’s 520 steel sprocket and chain kit provides less rolling resistance, although there was no weight difference to the stock 525 chain/sprockets. Our 16/40 sprocket combination dropped gearing substantially from stock for better acceleration.
We then decided to replace the stock 525-size chain and sprockets with a smaller 520-size setup from Driven Racing. We were delivered a 16/40 final drive combination to replace the stock 17/39, which shortened the gearing substantially for quicker acceleration. Although aluminum aftermarket sprockets were popular in the past (and Driven does sell them), their high wear rates have dropped them from favor among many sportbike riders; our $249.00 Driven sprocket kit came with the company’s steel sprockets. Interestingly, despite the thinner sprockets and smaller-pitch chain, the Driven sprocket kit’s weight was basically identical to stock, with the stock chain and sprockets weighing 6.38 pounds and the Driven sprockets/RK chain coming in at 6.30 pounds.
DP Brakes then came through with a set of its new RDP X-Race Titanium racing brake pads and high-performance street clutch kit for the ZX-10R. DP is one of the few brake companies (outside of OEM-specific companies) that concentrate on sintered metal formulations, which are known for their quick response, initial bite, high friction levels, and ability to brake in wet conditions — hence the reason sintered metal pads are the preferred original fitment by the OEMs. The RDP X-Race Titanium pads utilize a new carbon additive bonded by a titanium compound that has a side benefit of increasing the overall friction level. According to DP, the RDP X-Race Titanium pads are intended for racing, but have sufficient low-speed performance to be usable on the street.
DP Brakes’ RDP X-Race Titanium brake pads bed in quickly, and provide superior feel and modulation toward the limit than even the superb stock Kawasaki pads. The clutch kit features new-formulation fiber plates and slightly stiffer springs that offer a smoother but slightly more aggressive engagement with better durability than stock.
The Antigravity lithium iron...
The Antigravity lithium iron phosphate battery wasn’t that much smaller than the stock lead acid battery, but it still cut more than 3.2 pounds while providing much stronger cranking power.
The overall performance of the DP brake pads was, in a word, superb. Bed-in was incredibly quick, with none of the scary first-lap or first-mile antics of some other pads. We loved the performance of the stock Kawasaki brakes, but the DP pads make them that much better, especially under very aggressive use. Initial bite is just a shade less than stock, but power, modulation, and especially feel when approaching the limit are a definite step up from the stock pads. You can tell these are racing pads, as they work better with a little heat in them, but their cold-temperature performance is more than adequate for street use.
The stock clutch on our Kawasaki ZX-10R had seen better days after months of racetrack, dragstrip, and dyno abuse, so the DP clutch kit was a welcome addition. Although DP sells complete kits with fiber and steel plates with springs, our kit only included the fiber plates — which feature a new blend of carbon and aramid fibers for improved feel and wear resistance — with springs. Clutch pull with the new springs was a little higher-effort than stock, but nothing obtrusive. Engagement was smoother but also slightly more aggressive with the DP clutch, with much better feel overall.
The Kawasaki Accessories engine...
The Kawasaki Accessories engine case guards are much more subtle than your usual garish nylon cylinders, and are integrated well into the ZX-10R’s styling. Mounting was a snap.
Last but not least, we replaced the stock 4.52-pound lead acid battery with a lithium iron phosphate unit from Antigravity ($249.00) that weighs only 2.2 pounds, and added a set of Kawasaki Accessories’ case guards ($213.33). Both installations were a snap, and while the benefits of the lightweight lithium batteries are now well known, we were very impressed with the look and fit of the Kawasaki case guards. Instead of some gaudy nylon cylinders hanging off the sides of the bike, the Kawasaki Accessories units are much more subdued and integrated with the ZX-10R’s bodywork and styling. They protrude just enough to protect the engine cases and surrounding bodywork, while adding a negligible amount of weight — a win-win situation in our book.