2011 ZX-10R on the dyno

By 28th February 2011 Kawasaki, On the Dyno, Road Bikes

The new 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R recently made an appearance here, slightly behind schedule after its ‘technical delay’. BIKE Magazine fetched up with it as part of their 2011 litrebike group test, so it was duly strapped down hard on the trusty ol’ Dynojet 250i. In comparison with its peers the press have asked some questions about the Kwak’s power output; as well as Dynoing it for BIKE Mark’s professional opinion (and quote) was sought by MCN.

Once you get above 170bhp plus it all becomes slightly relative, but here’s the word from our horse’s mouth; “We’re talking stock road bikes here, not in race tune. Over the last few years there have been some fundamental changes to the Japanese superbikes, things like switches on the bars to control power giving the rider options, and subtle forms of traction control. BMW come along with their first real attempt at a superbike – the S1000RR – and they’ve blitzed the competition with both power output and electronic control.

“Now for 2011 the new Kawasaki ZX-10R was touted as the next big thing, a match for the Beemer in every sense – again, stock. I’m only talking here from a perspective gained on the Dyno, not out on the road, but I have to say the new ZX-10R disappointed in the one area it needed to be good; the midrange. It really needed good midrange drive and doesn’t do anything below 8,000rpm. We get so many customers who come to us armed with the latest superbike complaining about the lack of drive – these are 1000cc engines after all, and you shouldn’t be leaping about on the gearbox just to overtake some cars. You have to be doing 90mph before the engine’s starting to make any sort of power!

Look at the Dyno chart – the 2011 ZX-10R (in red) compared to last year’s ZX-10R (blue) yes, it has more top end but where’s the grunt gone out of the middle? Then check out the brown curve; that’s a 2009 ZX-10 with stock exhaust and air filter with no mods other than new cams re-profiled to my spec, re-timed. Only a marginal loss up top with a big boost in the middle. Naturally I’ll be working on the new engine at some point with a view to giving it the midrange it should have without losing too much anywhere else…”

You can read BIKE’s shootout now as the issue has just hit the shelves…

Thar she blows... and where's the ZX-10R's midrange poke gone?