With minor mechanical and styling updates for 2010, the ZX-10R Ninja is looking to continue scorching the literbike class this year.
The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 is basically all-new, with a ZX-10R-inspired aluminum chassis and longer-stroke, larger-bore 1043cc engine.jpg
The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 is basically all-new, with a ZX-10R-inspired aluminum chassis and longer-stroke, larger-bore 1043cc engine.
The 2010 Concours 14 received a host of upgrades, including new K-ACT linked ABS brakes, and new KTRC traction control.jpg
The 2010 Concours 14 received a host of upgrades, including new K-ACT linked ABS brakes, and new KTRC traction control.
The 2010 Kawasaki Versys gets some styling and functional enhancements, including a new stacked dual line beam headlight and taller and larger windscreen.
Kawasaki pulled the wraps off its 2010 model lineup, which includes an updated ZX-10R literbike, a heavily upgraded Concours 14 sport-tourer, a slightly restyled Versys, and an all-new Z1000 streetfighter. In a period where many manufacturers are holding back on instilling major upgrades to their lineups due to the economy, Kawasaki seems to be doing its best to continue upgrading its models in the face of trying financial times for the industry. Many of the 2010 models pack some interesting features that we can't wait to try out.
Kawasaki’s big Ninja has been updated with some minor modifications aimed at refining its transmission and steering damper action, as well as its overall appearance. Applying the same internal gearbox modifications that were used with the ’09 ZX-6R (mostly centered around the shift mechanism to tighten clearances), Kawasaki engineers were able to reduce play in the shift mechanism and provide a more precise feel at the shift lever. The Öhlins twin-tube steering damper also received internal changes, with a separate spring and free piston in the reservoir chamber allowing more consistent pressure in the damping orifices, resulting in more stable damping characteristics. The steering damper also receives a new titanium finish and laser-etched logo for appearance. And speaking of appearance, the ZX-10R’s bodywork has undergone some subtle aerodynamic modifications that also give it a more compact appearance. The front upper fairing is now one piece, with a slightly more rounded front leading edge. New inner panels tidy up the area around the handlebars, while sharper and more compact side panels incorporate more flat black into the design to enhance the bike’s more focused look. The muffler is also slightly more compact, with a metallic grey finish, dimpled surface pattern, and smaller end cap. MSRP is $12,999 for the Metallic Spark Black version shown here, and $13,199 for the Lime Green/Pearl Stardust White version that replicates the Team Green factory motif used in the All-Japan Superbike series.
It’s been a while since Kawasaki’s Z1000 naked street bruiser has undergone some changes, but the new ’10 model has some major updates in virtually every area. The engine is all-new, with a larger 1043cc displacement making for a huge 90cc bump in size (and predictably, power as well) that utilizes a less-oversquare 77.0 x 56.0mm bore/stroke configuration to beef up low-end and midrange power while keeping the top end intact. The powerplant also gains a secondary balance shaft to help quell excess vibes, and the 38mm oval-bore throttle bodies breathe cool air via ducts above the radiator shrouds. The engine is slotted into an all-new aluminum chassis designed specifically for the Z1000 that sports a new horizontally-mounted shock linkage design, allowing a 32-inch seat height while also keeping the shock less susceptible to engine and exhaust heat, according to Kawasaki. The 41mm inverted fork gains compression damping adjustability, and a radial master cylinder adds feel and feedback to the braking system. The instrument panel uses an orange-tinted lens, and can be tilted to suit rider preference. Available in Metallic Spark Black or Pearl Stardust White, the new Z1000 will retail for $10,499.
The big Connie sport-tourer didn’t miss out on the updates either, with a whole slew of new features that look to be a test bed for future applications on other models in Kawasaki’s lineup. For instance, the new Concours 14 now comes with Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), the company’s first foray into the TC world. This is augmented by the new ABS system, labeled the “K-ACT Selectable, Sport Oriented Coactive Anti-Lock Brakes”. Using a linked braking setup, the K-ACT ABS system has two modes to choose from: Standard mode that gives the rider more priority in actuating the front and rear brakes, and High Combined mode that give a more pronounced linked braking effect at the beginning of the rear pedal stroke for less aggressive applications. The bodywork has undergone some refinements, with a larger windscreen and improved heat management at the top of the list. Mirrors have been relocated to keep the hard bags from obscuring rear vision, and a boatload of touring amenities have been added, including stepless-adjustable heated grips standard, “economical riding indicator/fuel economy assistance mode” that runs the engine on a leaner fueling map that can result in a 25 percent increase in fuel economy, a relocated electro-locking glove box, tank bag hooks, etc. Suspension settings and the Bridgestone BT021 tires have been redesigned for lighter handling and improved tire wear. Available in Candy Neptune Blue/Flat Super Black, the standard Connie will retail for $14,599, and the ABS model will sell for $15,299.
The Versys gets a new fairing design with stacked dual headlights and a larger and taller windscreen (still with three position adjustability), new front fender and mirrors, and a Z1000-style LED taillight. Revised passenger grab rails, new seat cover material, and a little fine-tuning of the passenger seating position make the Versys even more fun for pillion riders, and rubber bushings at the rear engine mounts and hollow rubber-covered footpegs result in reduced engine vibration and a more comfortable ride. Revisions to the muffler, clutch cover, sprocket and alternator covers, radiator shrouds, swingarm pivot covers and rear fender all contribute to the Versys’ new look. Available only in Metallic Spark Black, the Versys will sticker at $7599.