Since its introduction in 1984, the Kawasaki Ninja has built quite a reputation as a thoroughbred racer. And as the Ninja celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the literbike in the stable – the ZX-10R – has made some huge accomplishments.
The two that trump all are the ZX-10R winning the 2013 World Superbike Championship with Tom Sykes at the controls – the first for a Ninja since Scott Russell completed the feat in 1993 (ZX-7RR) – and dominating at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with pilot Jeremy Toye.
But there’s one more task at hand to make for a perfect trifecta of speed – set a land speed record late this month at the Bonneville Salt Flats during the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials.
This year, Cathy Butler and ACAT Global – a catalytic convertor specialist company – will pilot an Erion Racing-built Ninja ZX-10R in the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) Poduction-Production 1000 (P-P 1000) class.
Butler, a Californian who has a degree in Fashion Design, will ride the Ninja during the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, which occur Aug. 23-29. She has competed at Bonneville in the past, and holds several records.
The current SCTA P-P 1000 record stands at 198.24mph (BMW S1000RR, 2012), and the team is confident they can achieve a new speed record after several shakedown runs at the El Mirage dry lakebed in California.
Speaking of the class and the Ninja ZX-10R, Erion Racing President Kevin Erion says: “The rules dictate that any part of the motorcycle that can be seen must be stock,
“We can remove the mirrors and turn signals, as well as the rear footpegs, provided they don’t support the muffler. This is why the class is so attractive to a manufacturer, because the motorcycle that breaks the record looks exactly like the machine somebody can buy. We’re allowed to make internal damper and engine modifications, so it’s basically a near-stock bike running on Pirelli World Superbike tires, which are mandated by the rules.
“We chose the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R because we felt it gave us the best competitive advantage to break the current record. Based on the Ninja’s electronics, aerodynamics and stock power output, it’s the perfect package to get the Production Class record.”