Kawasaki’s last major update of its Ninja ZX-10R occurred for 2016. That year, the ZX-10R was updated with not only more power from its 998cc inline-four, but also electronics, including engine braking control, launch control, ABS, cornering ABS, a quick shifter and three power modes. Until then the big Ninja only featured ABS and traction control.The bike was more than capable, as proven by Jonathan Rea who won the 2015 and 2016 titles aboard the ZX-10R. Rea further won the 2017 and 2018 titles aboard the race-ready ZX-10RR platform.
Though already a winner – the ZX-10R in previous editions won three SBK titles (2013 with Tom Sykes, 2015-2016 with Rea) and the ZX-10RR two titles (2017, 2018 with Rea) – Kawasaki has once again updated both models for 2019.Following are the fast facts in regards to updates for the 2019 Ninjas.1. Both the ZX-10R and ZX-10RR had major updates to their 998cc inline-four 16-valve engines for improved power and a wider powerband. The major changes are:
A new finger-follower valve actuation designed by the World Superbike engineers, which allows for a more aggressive cam profile and quicker valve openings for increased performance.
A new cylinder head that provides the clearance to accommodate high-lift racing cams for increased high-RPM performance; this was only available on the 2017 and 2018 ZX-10RR models. The valve covers are also now red.
2. Besides the above changes, the 2019 Ninja ZX-10RR was further updated with lightweight titanium connecting rods, which are lighter than the ZX-10R’s, allowing the RR to rev 600 rpm higher.3. The dual-direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (DQS) is now standard on both models, allowing for clutchless up and down shifting. This previously was only available with Kawasaki’s race-kit ECU.4. The ZX-10RR receives updated suspension settings. Kawasaki says the settings were revised on the Showa Balance Free Fork (BFF) and Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) Lite shock absorber. The suspension updates work in conjunction with the added advantage to handling offered by the lightweight, power-boosting Pankl titanium connecting rods.5. Other performance upgrades to the base ZX-10RR are as follows:
Ohlins Electronic Steering Damper
Seven-Spoke Marchesini Forged Aluminum Wheels
Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires (over Bridgestone RS10 tires found on the Ninja ZX-10R)
6. The 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is available in four colors at the following prices:
Ninja ZX-10R: Pearl Storm Gray / Metallic Spark Black, $15,099
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!