When you have a rider who wins six world titles in a row with your bike, you tend to satisfy him. It might not have been solely for this reason that Kawasaki was working on a new version of the ZX-10RR, but pressure from Jonathan Rea will surely have had its effect. Hence, after a succession of various rumours, the first images of the Kawasaki designed to take the number of consecutive titles won by Rea in SBK to seven have leaked online.
The Akashi manufacturer had applied for the homologation of a new model to the Department of Transport in Australia, placing the information under embargo until 1 November. As we have known for several days now, the date on which numerous 2021 models were to have been unveiled had been set for November 23, including almost certainly the new ZX-10RR. The discrepancy between the embargo date imposed in Australia and the date chosen for the presentation of this model to the world left a real flaw, which was promptly identified by our colleagues of Motorcycle.com.
According to the homologation documents presented, we find ourselves with two models, namely the ZX-10R and an RR version that will probably serve as the basis for the production of the SBK bike, as happens with the Ducati Panigale R, its rival on the track. Both models will be Euro5 approved and will be characterized by slightly different power outputs. In fact, it seems that the ZX-10R reaches 200 hp at 13,200 rpm, a value identical to the 2020 version but obtained at a slightly lower engine speed. Instead, 201 hp at 14,000 rpm will power the RR version.
In addition to the two colours visible in these photos, there may be other versions characterized by a glossy paint finish, which is not present in these two versions of the new Ninja, both characterized by a matte paint finish. The images clearly show the new instrumentation equipped with a large TFT display, an equipment that is now standard in this market segment.
Perhaps the most striking thing is not so much what is there, but rather what is not there. In fact, many observers imagined a 2021 version of the new Ninja characterized by a profound aerodynamic study, with clearly visible appendages as happens on almost all its rivals on the track. At least in the examples in the photographs, the external wing profiles are missing. We will have to wait until November 23 to see how definitive these shapes are for Akashi's new flagship sports bike.