Kawasaki ZX-10R (Ninja) 2020- motorcycle review

kawazaki zx-10r 2021 motorcycle review

Racing onto the market is the Kawasaki ZX-10R, the latest model from the Japanese motorcycle company that are renowned for incredible performance-based bikes. The “Ninja” line of bikes has seen a lot of revisions over the years, with each reissue looking to improve the bike’s power, strength and overall build quality. How does the Kawasaki ZX-10R 2021 model compare?

kawazaki zx10r 2020 motorcycle review

Kawasaki ZX-10R engine

With the ZX-10R being a performance bike, you’d expect a great deal of power being produced from an equally beefy motor; well, the ZX-10R won’t disappoint. The bike comes fitted with a feisty 998cc,16-valve, four-cylinder engine.

Now while 998cc’s may not sound like a lot, especially when compared to other bikes of a similar price, the ZX-10R is rumoured to have the ability to produce roughly 200bhp at 13,000rpm! This level of power for an engine of this size is almost unheard of.

The engine also comes with some awesome mods that put it ahead of similar engine models. These include: New electronic throttle valves and valve train design that allows for a high rev limit, and an upgraded transmission gear ratio to help strong low-mid acceleration for quicker corner exits and better off-the-line acceleration. 

kawazaki zx-10r-2020 motocycle review

ZX-10R chassis

As well as some upgraded engine modifications, the frame and build of the bike has also seen some adjustments made to it, to improve the overall riding experience and give the bike a more aerodynamic shape. One being lowering the pivot of the swingarm, and extending the swingarm itself, reducing the torque on the rear wheel, and allowing for better control of the bike.

Adjustments have also been made to make the bike more ergonomic, such as a taller windscreen that is set at a steeper angle to reduce wind blasts, a handlebar that’s positioned farther forward and straighter, and a revised seat that’s higher in the back to help elevate a rider’s race position. 

kawazaki zx10r 2021 motorcycle review

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R suspension

The suspension system has also seen a few upgrades. The ZX-10R keeps with the same 43mm Showa Balance Free Front Fork as previous models, as well as a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion rear shock, but the lower triple clamp was revised for rigidity to improve handling and turning. 

The rear shock now has a stiffer spring rate, soft compression damping, and softer rebound damping for a smoother riding experience.

kawazaki zx10r ninja 2021 motorcycle review


The front wheel is fitted with 330mm Brembo discs and radial-mounted four-piston calipers, with a single 220mm disc and a single-piston caliper at the rear. The entry level ZX-10R doesn’t come with switchable ABS as standard, but the bike can be upgraded to fit ABS for just £720.

Kawasaki ZX-10R 2021 price

On the subject of money, we have to talk about the affordability of the bike. The basic ZX-10R bike will run you just over £11,800, with the upgraded model costing around £12,800. This is amazing for a bike with this level of performance. If money isn’t an issue for you though, maybe go with the ZX-10RR overhauled model (£20,900) with even more awesome features.

Overall, the ZX-10R is the perfect performance bike for those who don’t want to be shelling out tens of thousands of pounds. This bike offers everything you could ever want, and more, all while looking great in the process.

kawazaki zx10r ninja 2020 motorcycle review

Kawasaki ZX-10R specs

Engine998cc, 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve, liquid-cooled, supercharged
Power197 Hp
Bore x Stroke76.0mm x 55.0mm
Compression Ratio13.0:1
Fuel SystemDFI® w/47mm Mikuni throttle bodies (4) with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
LubricationForced lubrication, wet sump with oil cooler
ClutchWet multi-disc, manual
Transmission6-speed, return, return shift
Final DriveSealed chain
Suspension Front43mm inverted Balance Free Fork, adjustable stepless rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability/4.7 in
Suspension RearHorizontal back-link with Balance Free gas-charged shock, stepless, dual-range (low-/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload/4.5 in
Brakes FrontIntelligent Braking (KIBS), Brembo dual semi-floating 330mm discs with dual radial mounted monobloc 4-piston calipers
Brakes RearKIBS-controlled, single 220mm disc with aluminum single-piston caliper
Tires Front120/70 ZR17
Tires Rear190/55 ZR17
Fuel Tank Capacity17 L (4.5 US gal.)
ColorMetallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black
IgnitionTCBI with digital advance and Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC)
Spark Plugs
Tail LightLED
Overall Length82.1in (2,085mm)
Overall Width29.1 in (740 mm)
Overall Height45.1 in (1,145 mm)
Wheelbase56.7 in (1,440 mm)
Ground Clearance5.7 in (145 mm)
Seat Height32.9 in (835 mm)
Curb Weight454 lbs (205 kg)
Warranty12 Month Limited Warranty


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