2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
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– 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
KAWASAKI’S 2008 NINJA® ZX™-10R SUPERBIKE IS POISED FOR COMPETITION
Factory superbike talent in a street savvy performer
For the 2008 NINJA® ZX™-10R, Kawasaki engineers aimed for an ideal superbike with engine and chassis performance capable of satisfying professional racers, combined with top-notch streetbike qualities for mainstream riders. It’s a delicate balance, but these aren’t your average engineers. They’ve been directly involved in the development of every 600 and 1000cc supersport machine since the 2003 Ninja ZX-6R, plus Kawasaki’s factory Superbike racing efforts, so they have the know-how to deliver the goods.
The result is an exceptionally communicative machine that provides the clean two-way rider/machine dialog demanded by professional racers. Placing the ZX-10R in the racing crucible and applying lessons from that unforgiving environment resulted in an ideal balance to satisfy the most demanding of riders. Japanese Superbike racer Akira Yanagawa was the man pushing the engine and frame components to the limits of their performance in actual competition. Parts that met with Yanagawa’s approval were then tried on the production test bike, tweaked, retested on the racer and adjusted again. This process was repeated throughout the development cycle for the all-new 2008 Ninja ZX-10R.
At the heart of this capable package is a new engine tuned for even greater high-rpm performance, without sacrificing the stellar mid-range performance of its predecessor. Refinements include installing secondary fuel injectors, changing to oval throttle bodies and reshaping the intake ports. Intake flow was further enhanced with reshaped ram air ducts and a larger airbox that feeds into the new oval shaped velocity stacks. Exhaust efficiency was boosted with a new system that not only flows better but generates less noise and emissions. And to suit the enhanced power delivery, the transmission features new gear ratios for 1st, 4th and 5th gears along with an extra tooth on the rear sprocket. These changes make it essentially a race-ready engine with performance similar to Kawasaki’s factory Superbikes.
Professional riders know it’s useless to have the most power if you can’t get it to the ground. The 2008 Ninja ZX-10R features a new ignition system that assists with torque management by monitoring throttle opening, gear position and rate of RPM change, then retarding ignition timing to reduce torque when sudden unwanted RPM spikes are detected. This system doesn’t interfere with normal operation and still allows the engine to rev freely under typical riding conditions.
A superb engine deserves a superb chassis, and this is where the new ZX-10R really shines. To achieve the best-possible handling, Kawasaki used the lessons learned at the track to build a list of refinements including: changing the length of the steering tube and moving it 10mm forward, alleviating stress concentrations through subtle changes to the frame stampings (switching concave parts to convex pieces), increasing the wall thickness around the relocated swingarm pivot, adding ribbing on the interior of the pivot plate, and mounting a narrower, two-piece sub-frame to the main frame’s upper cross member.
With a fully-adjustable 43mm inverted fork and a new swingarm that uses pressed instead of cast beams, the ZX-10R’s track orientated suspension endows the chassis with better feedback. Refinements include adding a Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating to the fork tubes for less stiction and enhanced feedback, relocating the springs to the bottom of the fork for reduced oil frothing, and new settings that are better-suited for racetrack use. Rear suspension changes include dual (low and high-speed) compression damping on the fully-adjustable rear shock for better fine-tuning, a new mounting spot for the Uni-Trak® linkage and a re-shaped swingarm with a top-mounted brace.
No part was left untouched on the ZX-10R, even the wheels are new. Produced using a squeeze-casting process instead of the earlier gravity casting method, the new wheels are lighter, stiffer and more precise, to perfectly match the new chassis. The lower unsprung weight of the wheels helps improve suspension action and their reduced rotational inertia provides quicker steering and acceleration.
Braking duties are handled by radial mounted Tokico brake calipers squeezing new 310mm petal discs which are 10mm larger for 2008, and feature reduced thickness from 6 to 5.5mm for better heat dispersion. The rear is a 220mm petal disc squeezed by a single-piston caliper.
The designers didn’t rest when it came to styling either. Given great freedom with the 2008 ZX-10R, their efforts are illustrated in the clean design with superb fit and finish. While shaping the rear frame, tank and seat to offer improved ergonomics and increase the rider’s contact with the bike, they also refined its aerodynamics from a new front cowling to the sharp, minimalist tail cowl. The result of these efforts is a slim and compact package with the presence befitting its Ninja name.
Our Supersport Flagship Reaches New Heights. For the 2008 Ninja ZX-10R, Kawasaki engineers wanted a highly communicative package that would enable the two-way dialog between rider and machine.
SPECIFICATIONS USA – 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R:
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Bore x stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
Maximum torque: TBD
Compression ratio: 12.7:1
Fuel injection: DFI with 43mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance and torque management
Transmission: Six speed
Final drive: TBD
Rake / trail: TBD
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 190/55 ZR17
Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm inverted fork with DLC coating, adjustable rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability and top-out springs / TBD
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Uni-TrakÃ‚® with top-out spring, stepless, dual-range (high/low-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / TBD
Front brakes: Dual semi-floating 310mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers
Rear brakes: Single 220mm petal disc with aluminum single piston caliper
Overall length: TBD
Overall width: TBD
Overall height: TBD
Seat height: TBD
Dry weight: TBD
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Color choices: Lime Green / Flat Super Black
Metallic Diablo Black
Candy Plasma Blue / Flat Super Black
MSRP standard / special edition: $11,549
Warranty: 12 Months
SPECIFICATIONS Canada – 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R:
Type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement 998 cc
Bore and Stroke 76.0 x 55.0 mm
Compression Ratio 12.7:1
Fuel Injection DFI with 43mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
Final Drive TBD
Suspension, Front 43mm inverted fork with DLC coating, adjustable rebound and compression damping,
Suspension, Rear Bottom-Link Uni-Trak® with top-out spring, stepless, dual-range (high/low-speed)
Wheel Travel: Front TBD
Wheel Travel: Rear TBD
Tires: Front 120/70 ZR17
Tires: Rear 190/55 ZR17
Caster (Rake) TBD
Front Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers
Rear Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston aluminum caliper
Overall Length TBD
Overall Width TBD
Overall Height TBD
Seat Height TBD
Dry Weight TBD
Fuel Capacity TBD
Maximum Torque TBD
MSRP standard/Special Edition TBD/TBD
Specifications and features are subject to change