Kawasaki has just officially pulled the wraps off its 2011 ZX-10R literbike, and the specifications are impressive. According to the Japanese company, the 2011 ZX10R will put out 197 horsepower (207 with ram air in full effect) and weigh just 436 pounds. That means it just barely has a better power-to-weight ratio than the previously all-conquering BMW S 1000 RR, which makes 193 horses and weighs about 450 pounds. Sadly, the American version of the bike, while still impressive, is expected to put out roughly 10 fewer ponies... dang the EPA!
Equally as important as those raw figures are the high-tech components and electronic bits and pieces that are intended to keep everything in line when the going gets tough. First on that list are an Ohlins steering damper and Showa's Big Piston Forks up front. At the aft end, a new horizontally mounted rear shock is said to improve mass-centralization and smooth out damper's rear action. As with most modern bikes, there are three power modes (Full, Middle and Low) intended to match horsepower requirements with riding condition realities.
On the gee-whiz front, Sport Kawasaki TRaction Control, or S-KTRC, is standard on the $13,799 2011 ZX-10R and promises to make the bike both faster and safer by monitoring both the front and rear ends every five milliseconds and allowing some amount of tire slippage and even power-on wheelies. If that weren't enough, there will also be an optional Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS, seriously, for an extra $1,000) that keeps the tires from locking and also minimizes the rear wheel's tendency to lift off the pavement.
Now that all the techy bits are covered, take a look at the new Ninja's styling. Naturally, everything is painted up in Kawasaki's trademark neon green and black motif, but the overall look is sharper and more aggressive than before. Note the pointy snout with ram-air duct and integrated LED light that matches the new LED-equipped mirror/turn signal assemblies. It's a pretty slick looking package, we'd say.