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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey folks. I subscribed to this forum mainly to get this question answered. I bought an '06 zx10r early this year with 1300 mi on it. The bike was mint. I put about 1500 mi on it since then and just had catastrophic failure. I didn't baby the bike, but never really beat on it either. I pulled away from a traffic stop and going about 40mph I heard a backfire followed by loud pinging and more backfiring. I pulled over immediately. The bike struggled to continue running so I killed the engine. I called my longtime mechanic and he showed up with a trailer soon after. I started the bike so he could hear what it was doing and he suggested valve issues but was amazed with so little miles on the bike. He wasn't an authorized Kawi mech. but his cousin owns a dealership so we brought it there hoping to get some sort of warranty work done. Granted the warranty expired quite a while ago, but the bike had so few miles on it we gave it a shot. After breaking the bike down, we found one of the spring retainers had failed dropping the valve and allowing it to hit the piston. There was no damage to the piston or cylinder, but we could see another retainer on a seperate cylinder ready to fail as well. I've seen no other posts anywhere that have suggested this is a common issue; however, Kawasaki seems to know about it since the part has been updated. I've had zero help from customer service. I've always had GSXRs and CBRs in the past with no serious issues. Is this a fluke or should I ditch this P.O.S. and go back to Honda/Suzuki? By the way, my bill was $2,500 and Kawi didn't help with the cost of parts at all. Also, do I need to fear new issues with having had the motor apart? The guys doing the work seem very knowledgable. Thanks!
 

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Sorry to hear about the bad luck. I joined the site partially to find out about possible retainer issues as well. While there are some people that have had bad experiences with them, I don't know how big of a problem it really is. What I mean is that out of the 10s of thousands of ZX10s that have been sold, how many are really going to suffer from this? Probably a very low percentage.

That being said, I'm pulling the cams on my 2nd gen in the next week or so to take a look. I've been nervous about riding the 10 much w/o going over it with a fine tooth comb. The only reason it's taken me a year of ownership before I give the bike a lobotomy is time. I finally have it and want some peace of mind knowing that everything is working as it's supposed to.

Now that your bike is fixed, go ride the hell out of it and look for deals on tires. :crackup: Your bike is good to go!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the uplifting words. I still fear I will find myself taking it easy on the bike when all I want to do is push it to it's limits. This repair has cost me half of what I initially paid for the thing. Once bitten, twice shy. Anyway, I hope yours treats you well.
 

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Hey folks. I subscribed to this forum mainly to get this question answered. I bought an '06 zx10r early this year with 1300 mi on it. The bike was mint. I put about 1500 mi on it since then and just had catastrophic failure. I didn't baby the bike, but never really beat on it either. I pulled away from a traffic stop and going about 40mph I heard a backfire followed by loud pinging and more backfiring. I pulled over immediately. The bike struggled to continue running so I killed the engine. I called my longtime mechanic and he showed up with a trailer soon after. I started the bike so he could hear what it was doing and he suggested valve issues but was amazed with so little miles on the bike. He wasn't an authorized Kawi mech. but his cousin owns a dealership so we brought it there hoping to get some sort of warranty work done. Granted the warranty expired quite a while ago, but the bike had so few miles on it we gave it a shot. After breaking the bike down, we found one of the spring retainers had failed dropping the valve and allowing it to hit the piston. There was no damage to the piston or cylinder, but we could see another retainer on a seperate cylinder ready to fail as well. I've seen no other posts anywhere that have suggested this is a common issue; however, Kawasaki seems to know about it since the part has been updated. I've had zero help from customer service. I've always had GSXRs and CBRs in the past with no serious issues. Is this a fluke or should I ditch this P.O.S. and go back to Honda/Suzuki? By the way, my bill was $2,500 and Kawi didn't help with the cost of parts at all. Also, do I need to fear new issues with having had the motor apart? The guys doing the work seem very knowledgable. Thanks!
this is a very common problem for the 04-07 zx10's...I build these motors quite a bit and the stock retainers are JUNK!!!! I don't know too much about what kawi has done to update the retainers because we always update the spring/retainer assembly with an aftermarket spring/ti retainer assembly that is 100x's better than the oem stuff..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This it what bothers me, I mentioned to the dealership that I was considering getting aftermarket ti retainers and they talked me out of it. Why do you suppose that is. I did have them replace all retainers with the new Kawi parts.
 

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The Ti ones are heavier from what I've read, should be fine with the new stock retainers since Kawi has upgraded them. That's what I went with but we went a step further and are having all the parts cryo treated.
 

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I had 3 cracked retainers as well. Seems like a hit or miss thing.
 

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The Ti ones are heavier from what I've read, should be fine with the new stock retainers since Kawi has upgraded them. That's what I went with but we went a step further and are having all the parts cryo treated.
not the Kibblewhite ti retainers...they are just as light and twice as strong if not more..

And be careful when you Cryo treat parts like that..it make make them even more brittle and more prone to breaking more so than they were before you treated them..been there done than..Some parts will benefit from it but some parts can suffer from it as well..:thumbsup:
 

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I had the same issue on my 06,one of my retainers(cylinder no 4,intake cam)was broken in half ,I discovered it when I did my first valve check at 21K miles.there was only one retainer that was broken,I replaced with a new oem one and the bike 's running perfect 5K since ,I'm going to recheck the valve sooner to see if everything is ok
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Something I failed to mention that contributed to the repair cost was a bad servo that controlled the exhaust damper system. Apparantly there is an adjustment required at 500 mi. that the previous owner neglected to take care of. The servo motor itself may have been okay, but the gearing mechanism on it was worn. From the day I rode the bike home, it would make several loud pinging noises everytime I turned the ignition on. It sounded as if the damper was being opened and slammed shut about 4 times even before I started the bike. The noise didn't really alarm me, I thought it was normal. I never heard it while riding. Along with a new valve guide, two new valves, all new retainers/keepers, gaskets and some other parts, this brought my parts bill alone up to about $1,200. Maybe I am getting hosed, but I couldn't find parts any cheaper online.
 

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Man i hate to say it but they took you for a ride! Id try and see if you can dispute the bill and get it lowered. I've never heard anyone complain about a exhaust servo going bad. Are you sure the noise wasnt the fuel pump???
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Definitely the servo. I was curious about the noise, so I followed from where I heard the noise to the spot under the rear seat where I could actually see the parts moving in sync with the noise. I did dispute the bill and got about $250 off. Inexperience was a big factor in not tackling this myself. If I can take anything positive away from this experience, It's that I've learned a great deal about the mechanics of a high performance bike... I wont be so timid the next time around. (Check out my profile to see pics)
 

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Man i hate to say it but they took you for a ride! Id try and see if you can dispute the bill and get it lowered. I've never heard anyone complain about a exhaust servo going bad. Are you sure the noise wasnt the fuel pump???
Mine went bad on my 2nd gen. Ivan's servo eliminator and Leo Vince fixed it right back up though!

I expect to be able to yank the cams soon. I'm hoping that everything is good with the retainers. I'm not ready to perform a full lobotomy on it just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Should be picking her up this weekend! I'm going to finish up the season doing some easy riding, then check everything over this winter. If all is good, I might do exhaust, fuel management, change the sprockets and I've heard a 1/5 throttle mod has some bang for the buck. Anyone have suggestions??? What does the throttle mod promise? I'm not familiar with it.
 

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Should be picking her up this weekend! I'm going to finish up the season doing some easy riding, then check everything over this winter. If all is good, I might do exhaust, fuel management, change the sprockets and I've heard a 1/5 throttle mod has some bang for the buck. Anyone have suggestions??? What does the throttle mod promise? I'm not familiar with it.
Nothing more then less twisting of the throttle to reach Wide Open. Makes it "twitchy" but also makes bike seem more alive. If you don't mind the hassle of the cable adjustments, it's worth it. Read the install to decide if it's for you. I know I'd like less twist to get to WOT but I'm wating til over winter to tackle the insert install and I'm doing plugs while I got everything apart.
 

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Dwayne knows his stuff for sure. He has been through these motors more than he cares to admit. I would recommend everyone pull the head this winter and send it to him and get your springs and retainers swapped out with good parts. In the end it will cost a whole lot less. Maybe spend a few bucks and have him port it as well while its off.
 

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Nothing more then less twisting of the throttle to reach Wide Open. Makes it "twitchy" but also makes bike seem more alive. If you don't mind the hassle of the cable adjustments, it's worth it. Read the install to decide if it's for you. I know I'd like less twist to get to WOT but I'm wating til over winter to tackle the insert install and I'm doing plugs while I got everything apart.
The 1/5th throttle is fantastic. You'll enjoy it.

I had to trim the cable housing and wasn't too thrilled about it. I don't think everyone has to do that. Even with the little extra work, I had the whole thing done in no time. I was surprised at how easily and quickly it all came together. It's very simple to do and well worth the $ IMO.

Dwayne was very easy to deal with and shipped the part FAST!
 
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