The first electronic suspension Kawasaki superbike shown in New York
The New York Progressive International Motorcycle Show was the scene for Kawasaki to take the wraps off their new ZX-10R SE, the first superbike from Team Green to feature electronically controlled and adjustable suspension from Showa. The ZX-10R SE also comes out with the same Marchesini forged aluminum wheels that feature on the ZX-10RR.
We have featured the ZX-10R SE in our First Look from EICMA here, and the below is from Kawasaki Heavy Industries explaining their new baby in detail.
For 2018, Kawasaki takes supersport motorcycles to the next level by introducing the Ninja® ZX™-10R SE, boasting the latest in suspension technology and delivering the same sheer engine performance that has claimed FIM Superbike Manufacturers Championship each of the last three years.
The all-new Ninja ZX-10R SE features an array of upgrades, including highly advanced Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS) that takes track-ready suspension with superb damping character offering an increased level of ride comfort on the street.
Kawasaki unveiled the latest championship winning Ninja® ZX™-10R platform in 2016 and with each successive year continues to refine it with engineering advancements leading to our most well-rounded sportbike model, the 2018 Ninja ZX –10R SE.
The 2018 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE
- NEW highly advanced Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS) that automatically adjusts damping for street riding or circuit riding
- Seven-spoke multi-directional forged aluminum Marchesini® wheels
- Updated KQS (Kawasaki Quick Shifter) allows for ultra quick clutchless shifting
With the ultimate focus on outperforming the competition, the Ninja ZX-10R SE is the premier street bike that will perform on the track.
- NEW Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS)
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE motorcycle is built to take the rider’s confidence to the next level and has a clear performance advantage over its competition with Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS). The front end consists of a Showa Balance Free Fork (BFF), which was derived from World Superbike competition and debuted in 2016 on a mass-production motorcycle with the Ninja® ZX™-10R sportbike.
The 2018 Ninja ZX-10R SE features front and rear suspension settings that have been strategically developed and premium wheels and tires, and ensure smooth weight transfer during both deceleration and acceleration.
A key feature with the Showa BFF is that the design of the hydraulic system eliminates the pressure balance fluctuations typically found in conventional forks. With the BFF, the damping valves are located in one place – outside the fork legs in the damping force chamber. This allows the entire surface of the fork pistons to push the hydraulic fluid toward the valves in the damping force chamber, with nitrogen gas in the compression chamber pushing back against the oil, helping to maintain the balanced pressure inside the fork tube.
The rear shock absorber is a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) unit that is also derived from World Superbike competition. Just like the forks, the rear shock has a separate damping force chamber that houses the compression and rebound damping. By separating them, it again allows the entire damping piston to focus on hydraulic fluid movement. There is also external spring preload adjustment. The result is increased traction and superior shock absorption.
Compression and rebound damping for both the forks and shock are generated (and adjusted) electronically via the all-new KECS system that is controlled by a solenoid valve with direct actuation and allows for extremely quick reaction time. Riders can choose from three modes: road, track, and manual. The road and track modes allow for the rider to select their base settings based on the conditions that they are riding. Manual mode allows riders to tailor the rebound and compression damping base settings to suit preference and/or riding style. Manual setting has 15 levels of adjustability for rebound and compression damping and is selected electronically via the instrument panel. KECS adjusts the damping for vehicle speed, stroke speed, and deceleration in all three modes.
The forks and shock have built-in stroke sensors that provide real-time stroke speed and compression information. The sensor coils provide input to the KECS ECU every millisecond. This is complemented by information provided by the IMU (acceleration/deceleration) every 10 milliseconds, and the FI ECU (vehicle speed) every 10 milliseconds. The KECS ECU then directs current to the solenoids to adjust damping as required by the situation.
Kawasaki’s KECS, coupled with Showa’s BFF and BFRC suspension components, delivers added confidence when cornering and assures the tires feel planted.
- Clutchless upshifts & downshifts via KQS
The Ninja ZX-10R SE is configured with the same cassette-type, close-ratio transmission as the Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle. The gear ratios are idealized for optimum circuit riding performance. Short ratios for second through sixth gear deliver strong, yet controllable, acceleration when exiting corners. The slipper clutch in conjunction to the close ratios helps ensure stable downshifts.
Formerly, the Ninja ZX-10R allowed clutchless, auto-blip downshifts only through the fitment of race kit parts; now the Ninja ZX-10R SE provides that as a standard feature. This allows quick upshifts and downshifts without the need of a clutch or the need to match RPMs, resulting in quicker gear changes.
WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES
- Seven-spoke forged Marchesini® aluminum wheels
The Ninja ZX-10R SE is fitted with seven-spoke, multi-directional forged aluminum wheels, which were jointly developed with Marchesini. These wheels contribute to lighter handling – especially when changing direction. They offer a balance of high rigidity and a significantly reduced moment of inertia (thanks to a design that centralizes mass at the hubs).
These Marchesini wheels can also be used on standard Ninja ZX-10R models. Parts necessary for compatibilities, such as front brake discs and speed sensor ring, will be made available as Kawasaki Genuine Accessories.
The Ninja ZX-10R SE is outfitted with high-performance Bridgestone Battlax RS10 tires, which includes 120/70 ZR17 front and 190/55 ZR17 rear sizing.
The Ninja ZX-10R SE motorcycle has been fitted with a Brembo® front braking system. This includes the very high specification M50 aluminum monobloc four-piston front calipers (with 30mm opposed pistons) and Brembo® front rotors. The rotors are cross-drilled and have a circumferential groove in the outer edge to aid heat dissipation.
Ninja ZX-10R SE – Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Matte Graphite Gray
Ninja ZX-10R SE $21,899