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737 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to share my observations of the new ZX10RR. For anyone contemplating one, or who has one and is contemplating a BMW S1000RR.

A bit of history,
Ive ridden and raced Gen1 ZX10rs for many years. Same with Ducati pre-panigale.

I picked up a 2012 ZX10R, flashed it, exhaust, gearing, etc...didn't love it and dumped it for another Gen1 ZX10R.

A few years ago I sold the Gen1 and picked up an S1000RR and I have been happy as can be. But Ive always had a soft spot for the Big Ninja, and the Winter test scheme of the RR just called me. So I bought one.

Now, I cant say I'm totally disappointed, but compared to the BMW "out of the box" The BMW is a clear winner.
In three years, the only thing ive done to the BMW other than change the oil and tires, was add a Ohlins Steering damper. Nothing. No exhaust, no gearing, nothing. Two weeks ago I slapped a slip on and some race bodywork on it and hit the track. Still pretty much stock.
Its a damn fine machine. It doesn't need a flash, or a tune. Its comfortable, throttle response is perfect. It has heated grips and cruise control! I enjoyed it so much, I also bought an S1000R for commute duty, and that bike is amazing too.

Back to the ZX, out of the box, the gearing is really tall. So -1 Front sprocket. done. The throttle is so choppy and "snatchy" that riding it anywhere but the track is an exercise in frustration. Flash tune will solve that. (I never rode the '12 before I flashed it..was it that bad too?)

Its really quiet. The ZX is full stealth compared to the BMW.
I love the look, but the matte finish seems hard to keep clean.
The front end is so Plush! just glides over bumps.
The ZX Feels a lot heavier than the BMW, harder to initiate the turn, especially at slow speeds, but not as noticeable at speed.
IN corners the ZX feels like it just settles onto the back tire and asks for you to give it drive. It feels really good.
ZX is happy at full lean, mid lean, anywhere in between. Again, it feels real good.
The BMW, by contrast feels super light and easy to ride, where the ZX wants more inputs. The lightweight wheels on both bikes are great bonus.

My peeves with the ZX:

1) You cant turn the ABS off without an extra race part (dongle), and then its always off. WTF? BMW lets me on/off at will.
2) I cant turn the traction Control off unless I'm stopped. BMW I can do it on a full boil. WTF?
3) Have to remove 4 bolts and the tail section to get to the rider seat.
4) The decals are not clearcoated, and easily marred.
5) Throttle control out of the box is terrible. Throttle is either restricted, or just poorly tuned below 6k. The BMW pulls like a Big twin from 2500+ easily lofting the front wheel well below 6k. The ZX doesn't even get steaming until after 6k.. I expect the flash to fix that.
6) Brakes have no bite. Feel is there, but no bite. Pads should fix that.

How can anyone ride one of these stock without a flash??

So far, my ZX upgrades include the following:
Ohlins TTX shock
-1 front sprocket
ABS dongle
ECU Flash
Graves 3/4 low mount
Dave Moss baseline suspension setup.

Ill add notes after I get the ECU back this weekend with before and after impressions.

If no one cares, well meh. Gives me something to do.

PS: In comparison, the 2018 Ninja 400R is a contender right out of the box!

737 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am closer to being satisfied with the RR!

It has taken an ECU flash, gearing, exhaust Ohlins shock, etc....But now it feels pretty solid.
Still have to swap the electronic damper out for the Ohlins on my bench, but Its close.

Still not a BMW by a long way, but a decent ride. Too bad it takes so much consumer effort. The BMW is just better "out of the box"

The only thing I really dislike about the RR is the ABS and KTRIC not being configurable unless stopped. Sucks to have to stop in the rain to turn the power and traction modes on, Oh and pop the seat to unplug the ABS dongle. DUMB.,

Still, its a cool bike and I am really enjoying it...especially with the -1/+2 gearing. Feels like the BMW. (Which has 17/45 stock)

I haven't ridden the R1 yet, but the BMW is still the standard as far as I'm concerned.

Just hit 500 miles, and should have the RR on the track next season. That will be the real comparo.

Has anyone done a 200/55 or 200/60 tire and had any KTRIC issues?
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