First Ride Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R: Race Bike for the Road


For stopping duties the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R gets a pair of 330-mm discs with Brembo M50 Monoblocs up front and a single 220-mm disc with an aluminium single piston calliper at the rear. Bite from these stoppers is ferocious (necessary, too, given the rapidity with which you need to shed speed if you’re thrashing it around a racetrack) but progressive and, therefore, predictable. Indeed, barring the one instance when I had to haul on the stoppers with some loose gravel under those grippy Bridgestone Battlax RS10 tyres (120/70 ZR17 up front and 190/55 ZR17 at the rear), not once did the ABS or traction control feel the need to intervene.

To cut a long story (that has the possibility to be longer still) short, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is a fantastic motorcycle. It is fast yet predictable enough for the newcomer to get used to. It has brilliant dynamics and plenty of stopping power and more than enough technology to keep you out of harm’s way. Perhaps, its only negative, so far as India is concerned, is the stiff ride quality. The only other observation I have about this motorcycle is that this is not everyone’s kind of bike. You can’t really go on a tour with this. I mean, you can, but that is not this Ninja’s intended purpose. The purpose of this bike is to carve racetracks with the sharpness of a Ninjato (short sword used by Ninjas). So, if you’re looking for a powerful, big-capacity sporty motorcycle to enjoy on a random Sunday ride with your friends, then don’t even look here but if you have access to a racetrack and enjoy wearing out your knee-sliders, then at less than Rs 20 lakh, on-road, there’s no better bargain than the 2016 model of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.


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