The Kawasaki ZX-10R is one of the best litre-class superbikes that you can lay your hands on. And if you look at the premier class of production motorcycle racing. You would have to believe that the ZX-10R is the best in the business. It cannot be mere coincidence, that Jonathan Rea has taken two back to back championships on board the bike in 2015 and 2016. And proving the consistency of the bike, his teammate Tom Sykes was second in the championship in 2016. And Rea is leading the championship by a huge margin in 2017. That speaks volumes about the motorcycle and its capabilities. Though the best bike in WorldSBK doesn’t necessarily translate into the best bike out of the showroom for the average rider. The success of the bike in WSBK, has seen the ZX-10R becoming one of the easiest superbikes to spot on the Indian racing scene.
We were lucky to get our hands onto this motorcycle as part of #100Motorcycles. And not just anywhere and any bike, but Sandesh’s race spec ZX-10R on track! The bike we rode on track is a 2015 model, though the bike isn’t stock. It has been completely modified for racing. Race fairings, Ohlins front and rear suspension, quick shifter, and Brembo brakes are some of the things which help this bike go fast around the track. A quick throttle and full system Akrapovic give it the final edge. The only upgrade remaining for the bike is a data logger according to him, but that is a very expensive upgrade and a bit beyond what the budget allows!
According to Sandesh, the biggest strength of the bike is that it is smooth. It isn’t the most powerful, but switching from one corner to the next, the bike is super smooth. The bike puts out around 190+ bhp and Sandy doesn’t feel it’s enough! Talk about racers and power.
Sandesh has used his ZX-10R for getting onto the podium at the JK National Championship at the Buddh International Circuit. That podium was taken with a broken leg! Unfortunately, he cannot take this bike for international races because of shipping, customs, and logistical problems. He also took the double win in 2015 in the MRF Championship and took the lap record at BIC in 2014.
We also asked his opinion about the 2016 ZX-10R. He said the bike was more powerful and a better handler, but slightly heavy. Even the aerodynamic features of the new bike are totally changed. Because of the increase in weight, Sandy would still choose the ’15 model over the newer bike.
We thank Sandesh for allowing us to ride his bike on the racetrack. It was an experience we are not going to forget anytime soon!