Kawasaki ZX-10R Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yahooooooo! I took delivery of my Black ZX-10R last week. I love it.
I have had several sport bikes and this quantum leap in performance and value. Kawi really nailed it with this bike. The reviews and the specs on paper do not do the bike justice. You have to ride it to believe it. The engine/intake/exhaust whine make you feel like you are leaving an aircraft carrier for a bombing run, with the thrust to match.

I resisted posting my first impressions until I had a chance to really ride it well. I had to ride her home at dusk in foggy, misting, trafficy conditions. Needless to say, with new tires, bad weather, and the break-in period on my mind, I quietly putted home to get her into my garage safe and sound.

The second day, I visited some of my customers as an excuse to get out on the road with the new bike. Sunny, 80 degrees, perfect conditions. My left hand was totally exhausted after the second day of riding, and I while I AM a bit rusty, the clutch lever was still really uncomfortable and my forearm felt like I had Popeye forearms. When I looked closer at how the levers were installed, they were installed a tad above horizontal. I met the guy that built the bike, and he is about 18 inches taller than me. That explained the gorilla-like positioning of the levers. They were way to high for my taste. So on the third day, I took an allen key and moved the levers down quite a bit. The clutch lever is now as low as it will go because there is a stop there. I had to loosen the throttle and move it down because it was keeping the front brake lever too high. Now both levers are even. I also adjusted the clutch lever in, and took out the slack. Made ALL the difference in the world as far as feel. Now it feels easy to shift and brake while riding aggressively.

There is a LOT of room on the seat. The riding position is awesome. Very comfy once the levers were positioned. Bigger guys will really like it because the seat feels pretty long to me. I have a 30 inch inseam and I am humping the tank a bit. I definitely need a tank protector.

I have read many reviews of the bike, and I was concerned about how the press introduction ZX's had notchy transmissions. On my ride home, I had a REALLY hard time getting it into third and sixth. It really had me worried. Even with the lever in all the way it was difficult. I then realized that I was having the troubles while decellerating/engine-braking. It wasn't the lever or how I was pulling it because I had the clutch all the way in. This was bumming me out, and I found myself blipping the throttle quite a bit to make shifting easier for the first ride home. Even clutchless shifts were difficult on the first ride (the story gets better), but I am only talking about my first 50 miles. After about a hundred miles, it was like a totally different bike. Adjusting the lever and learning the power delivery helped, but now shifting feels seamless and effortless. It is just perfect. I may reverse the shifter, because like the other folks on the board have said, you have to "shift it like you mean it". This is a BRAND NEW clutch, so it is not unheard of to be stiff. Plus you are talking about a close-ratio gearbox that is made to withstand all those horses. Right now I am thrilled with the way it shifts after 150 miles (not many, I know), and I can't wait to see how it behaves after my full break-in is over. Clutchless shifting is super easy on this bike (up and down). I am not not missing any shifts at all now and it feels great. The latest superbike magazine rated the ZX transmission BETTER than the R1, so those of you that have been worrying about the tranny do not need to. All you have to do is break it in, adjust the lever, and learn the bike. Its fine.

Between the shifting and the driveline lash, the bike definitely takes a lot of attention to ride. Since it has the weight of a 600, and basically doesn't have a windshield (the stock windshield is a joke), the bike slows rapidly under engine-braking and wind resistance. If you rode sport touring bikes are were used to being able to slow-speed coast while in gear, you will need to adjust. This does not have a Goldwing cush drive :). With the ZX, you are either accelerating or decellerating. There is no in-between really unless you are at highway speeds. Or higher than brake-in RPMs. That could be why I feel that way, because I have not gotten over 7K RPMs yet. Perhaps once the clutch and tranny are more broken-in, it will be like butter.


SLIPPER CLUTCH
I did use the slipper clutch. You will only really notice it under HARD downshifts. The light flywheel effect of this motor means that under regular downshifts coming to a traffic light, the engine braking feels like a normal bike. Downshift more agressively, and there is no mistake that the slipper clutch is awesome. The rear wheel stays planted. I am glad that the ZX got the awesome brakes and clutch as standard equipment instead of a generic non-working steering damper like on the R1.

BRAKES
The best I have ever used. I have put braided lines and race pads on other bikes to improve power and feel, but this bike REALLY does not need either. I can haul the bike down quickly with one finger and really no effort at all. The brakes make you feel like a super hero.

DAMPER
I have not had any shake up front yet, but then again I have not really pushed it yet while leaned over or going over bumps. I ordered a Scotts radial steering damper for it, and it will be here in a week I am told.

WINDSHIELD
I forgot earplugs on day 2, and the wind blast made a half-hour highway ride miserable. You gotta have ear plugs on this bike, and you WILL want a better windscreen. I am only 5' 8" tall, and even I can't hide behind that toy windscreen. If you watched the African Superbike race on the speed channel last week, you would have noticed the ZX-10R that was being raced had a HUGE windshield on it. A double-bubble is MANDATORY on this bike.

OTHER GOODIES
I also ordered the seat cowl and the euro signals. Double bubble sindscreen too.

COLOR
The color of the bike was a big deal to me. I hated the blue, loved the black and green, and was intrigued by the orange. The pictures on the Kawi web site and in their brochures SUCK. You just CANNOT appreciate the metal flake in the black and orange colors from their pics. Here is a close-up of my tank out in the sun today:



As you can see, the blue metal flake that is on the black is AWESOME when the bike is in the sunlight. You just can't appreciate it from the brochures.

Here is another:


Even the frame, swingarm, and triple tree are all metal flaked. It is just STUNNING in person. When other sport bike people see it, they go nuts over it.

Here is a complete shot:


MIRRORS
When you first get on the ZX-10R, and try to adjust the mirrors, you WILL get frustrated. All you see is your arms (or armpits fo the shorter guys). As I stated in another post, the solution is to move the mirror STALKS FORWARD so that they are perfectly perpendicular with the bike, or even a little past perpendicular. When you do this and re-adjust the mirrors, they are great. I still see arms in about 1/4 of the mirrors, but when I want to see what is directly behind me I spread my wings a little bit (elbows out) and you can see behind you right under your arms. Perfect.


Bearing in mind that I am trying to brake the bike in properly, I have really only gotten on it hard once. I was on a huge highway doing 80, and when I got to an uphill straightaway that I knew there would be no cops at, I really cracked her open. Only revved it up to like 7 or 8 (nothing), but the power and the pull were just WOW. I mean, it is everything that they say it is. Went from 80 t0 115 in a BLINK and the growl from the pipe when you aproach 7 is just amazing. Which brings me to.....

THE SOUND
Just like the paint quality, something else you will never appreciate with the ZX until you see one in person is the SOUND. Oh shit man.... It idles like a worked corvette with a cam in it. It is a smooth idle, but you can just tell. blub blub blub... sounds like it is cam'd. The throttle response is legendary. I sold bikes for years and NEVER have I seen a bike rev so fast. This is one of the characteristics that gets the bike mechanics creaming their pants. It is also one of the reason you have to be careful cracking the throttle, expecially while leaned over. I have already spun the rear wheel in third coming out of a turn, and I was not even trying hard.

When you are cruising at say 65mph... you can hear it all.... the intake noise is music... the exhaust note is AWESOME, the engine itself wales like a sperm whale in heat. It is just a dream come true. And with all this power and the titanium exhaust that sounds sooooo sweet, I can't for the life of me imagine someone putting a crappy aftermarket pipe on this bike. It DOES NOT NEED IT. It sounds and looks beautiful stock. I live in a decent neighborhood, and my neighbors already tell me that they can hear me coming. There are other bikes in my neighborhood, but for a stock bike, that is saying something. It is probably on the edge of legal for the sound level. This is one of the things that as an owner of the bike, you will absolutely love. Just blipping it when it is warmed up will give you goosebumps. It wasn't until I heard the bike for the first time that I moved my depost from an R1 to the ZX and never looked back. Most people say I made the right choice, but I already knew that. It revs impossibly fast.

I did not buy the bike caring what other people think, but I must admit that the people I am proud of impressing the most are the bike shop mechanics. I know guys at several local bike shops, and they all said "that is the bike I would get". They just oogle over it. Now that you see the sparkle of the black, you can understand why the bike just plain looks like sex in person. to me it looks like James Bond, while the R1 looks like Lara Croft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Nice one, JLove.

I'm now up to a huge 203 miles now. I am sticking a max of @4krpm as much as possible, being somewhat old fashioned. Build up time is just around the corner :D

I've had no trouble with shifting. Yes, the lever action seems stiff, but I love the way she goes up clutchless. Snick purr, snick purr, snick purr... I'll let you know if I change my mind, once I do some hard-on changing...

Nice colour. I can almost see some green in there, somewhere... :wink:

Keep safe, and enjoy. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Billet, I know you are holding out for orange. The day I bought mine I actually drove to an out-of-town dealer to see the orange. I knew they had one on the floor. It is very sweet, but I felt like it would stand out like a sore thumb. Great for safety, but it was so bright, it was just too bright for me.
To each his own on color. Call it metal flake or sandblast, I really don't care. The effect is the same. It is awesome! I wrote about a lot more than the color. Hope you like your orange beauty when you get it. It will be a different bike from your Z1000.
 

·
I really need to get out of the house
Joined
·
11,176 Posts
Its amazing to me that even after I've become an owner I still enjoy looking at other people's 10Rs.[/b]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
Questions

Hi all,

I have a few questions on the new machine. I was planning to get 03 R1 but then, I saw the new CBR 1000 and I changed my mind. After careful evaluation, I chose Kawa in the end because of the design & awesome power. The kawa was famous for expensive spare parts & hard to get in Singapore. How about US or UK? Planning to get it in August after my bithday, cos it will be cheaper in insurance. Hope someone can help me, dun flame me cos I may ask some simple question:

1) What does this slippery clutch do? What is the difference between normal clutch. Jlove, u mention that clutchless so I presume we can ride it without pulling the lever?

2) Is this gear system in racing mode (First gear shift up & the rest all down) or it is still the conventional type?

3) How about this torque limiter? Can we drop the high gear to maybe 2nd gear but the bike won't throw us out?

4) Which damper is better? The hypro type or the scotts? Can we do without it?

5) I am in a mixed feeling of getting the black one or the green one? Has anyone got into this suitation? Jlove, your bike is definitely a sexy beauty.
But I do like the GP setup for kawa..... :oops:

I am beganing to believe I have make a right choice. (Ard $24500 OTR)

Peace :)
Alex
Singapore
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
> 1) What does this slippery clutch do? What is the difference between normal clutch. Jlove, u mention that clutchless so I presume we can ride it without pulling the lever?

The slipper clutch prevents wheel hop when you downshift. Yes, you can shift it without using the clutch. You just blip the throttle to loosen the torque on the transmission.

> ) Is this gear system in racing mode (First gear shift up & the rest all down) or it is still the conventional type?

Conventional. You can flip the linkage to reverse it.

3) How about this torque limiter? Can we drop the high gear to maybe 2nd gear but the bike won't throw us out?

See answer to question 1.

4) Which damper is better? The hypro type or the scotts? Can we do without it?

Both are good. The Scotts holds less oil. If you are a true racer and are using the bike on the track, the Ohlins style will be better because it has more oil in it and that oil will not break down over a long race. For the street, it comes down to personal preference. I ordered the Scotts. I heard that the position of it makes using the key difficult. We will see.

> 5) I am in a mixed feeling of getting the black one or the green one? Has anyone got into this suitation? Jlove, your bike is definitely a sexy beauty. But I do like the GP setup for kawa.....

That was a REALLY tough choice for me too. Either looks great. I went for the black because the metalic shine looked better to me. When I asked my wife which one she liked better, she said that the green looks "urban". Hehe. That sealed the deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Nice pics JLove! I have a black one too and there is no doubt that it is the hottest color available on the 10. I took my bike to a spot that we all meet at here in Clearwater last night and the first thing that everyone says after " Oh sh** " is that they have never seen a black one on the street and how much better it looks than all the other colors. Only one question, what did your wife mean by the green is "urban". Lost me a little there. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
She said it looked tacky to her. She doesn't have an appreciation for Kawi green like I do. It wasn't even a close decision once I saw the black in person. I am getting the same reactions you are. Awesome, isn't it? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
i have the orange one

i have the orange one its nice in person i was waiting for my green but when i saw the orange one something about it your about the pics kawasaki put out they suck you need to see it right in front of you well anyways i saw the black in person first and i thought it was real sharp....the pics do not do it justice hey tell me what camera you took that pic with so i can get a better one then the one i have.......

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
how about your zx10r nice rocket

yah your right so how about the that zx10 man you must wanted to cry when that came home i had mine drop here at home also man this bike rocks i am up almost 500 miles time to bring it in for the first break in tune up hehe... cant wait its gets better the second time around at 1000 miles....



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I used a Canon Powershot A70. It is a terrific little camera. Takes awesome pictures and has good battery life. I brought the pictures in using medium resolution, then resampled them down to 1024 width in Photoshop. I did a filter -> sharpen in photoshop because of the resample. This was only done because of the resizing. The Canon A70 takes great pictures, and we use them here at my company when we build web sites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
JLove said:
When you are cruising at say 65mph... you can hear it all.... the intake noise is music... the exhaust note is AWESOME.
i know what you mean, its my favorite part too. glad to hear you like her
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
JLove said:
Call it metal flake or sandblast
there is no way you could get that with sand blasting, sand blasting dulls. that is metal flake in the paint
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Arrrgh! Jlove, you make me sick! Your black Zx is making me drool. My wife won't let me get one, plus I have just started a new business(If I get hurt its over). Perhaps oneday in the near future :)
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top