A track focused performance machine, the 2022 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR is one of those special bikes, produced in limited numbers, for those with an uncompromising want for adrenaline pumping speed.
Don’t let the term production superbike spook you though, as we found during our road test, the limited production ZX-10RR is still manageable on public roads, as long as you have the self control to be able to tame your right wrist (good luck with that).
If you can, you should be able to keep your licence and enjoy the experience. A single-seat model, it features forged 17-inch Marchesini wheels shod with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres, a numbered serial plate and a race-winning 998cc four-cylinder engine.
The Kawasaki Lime Green livery is unmissable and ensures it stands out from its ZX-10R sibling too. As you cast a discerning eye around the green monster, it’s easy to ascertain that the ZX-10RR is pure superbike.
A four-stroke DOHC 16-valve liquid cooled motor produces a staggering 150kW of scintillating power, matched to a 6-speed gearbox and quick shifter that works perfectly, as long as you are mindful to be in the correct rev range while shifting.
To get you up and motoring, there are pre-set riding modes, as well as fully customisable options, that can be programmed or selected via the TFT display. We chose to mainly stick with the Sport setting to unleash all the goodness that the ZX-10RR had to offer.
On the road, this technology and power translates to effortless overtaking ability, an abundance of pick up to pull out of a corner, and of course, a willingness for the bike to want the rider to be on the throttle.
The only downside to our test period was that we were unable to let the ZX-10RR loose on the track. Of course there is also a host of electronic rider aids and tricked up gear that sets the ZX-10RR apart form the ZX-10R.
Those goodies include electronic cruise control, launch control, intelligent ABS, traction control, engine braking, and corner management. In a nutshell, this limited edition model is a race bike you can purchase off the showroom floor.
Combine these with other special performance bits, including Pankl pistons and titanium connecting rods, an aero package, Rideology smartphone connectivity, and a host of detailed info on the TFT, and you can start to appreciate the tech of this flagship model.
The suspension setup is unique to the ZX-10RR too, and is very much track and performance focused. Up front, a Showa 43mm inverted balance free fork find a home, complete with stepless rebound and compression damping, and spring load adjustability.
On the rear of the ZX-10RR, a Showa horizontal back link set up with free gas-charged shock is housed. This again features stepless dual range compression and stepless rebound damping, with fully adjustable spring preload.
When pushed hard, the package is firm and offers the rider maximum confidence. Take the anger out of the throttle and it’s less harsh and doesn’t impact the rider negatively, despite the bike’s evident performance focus.
A cast aluminium twin spar backbone frame utilises the engine as a stressed member to assist with enhanced torsional rigidity to increase cornering performance. This ensures the bike feels planted, and provides dynamic handling at high speed.
Stopping power is provided by a pair of four-piston Brembo callipers, utilising dual 330mm front discs, while the rear benefits from a 220mm disc and single-pot anchor. Combined with the ABS package, braking performance is outstanding.
Overall, the 2022 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR represents the next level in sports bike performance, offering a sub-200kg weight and an incredible riding experience on both the road and track. Its $42,160 price tag is one of its few downsides.
Pitted against the likes of Ducati’s Panigale V4 S, the BMW M S 1000 RR and Yamaha’s R1M, it comes with a 2-year warranty. For those keen on one, Kawasaki is currently offering a $5,000 discount to clear remaining 2022 stock (until February next year).
Our test bike was provided by Kawasaki Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Kawasaki Zx-10RR, contact your local Kawasaki dealer.