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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 344 > KAWASAKI ZX-10R

KAWASAKI ZX-10R

CORE TEST

Like the Gixer, the big Kawasaki doesn’t feel like a top-of-the-range, premium sportsbike. In fact next to some of the other bikes on test, it barely feels like a sportsbike at all. It’s like a big armchair that your body just seems to fit in, rather than be perched on top of, which isn’t always a bad thing.

The dashboard, which hasn’t been updated since 2011, is far from easy on the eye but is fairly tidy and all the info on there is clear. Rough as it may be, it’s the same dash that’s on the RR and SE versions of the ZX-10, so it shouldn’t feel as though you’re settling for second best in that respect. What does make sense on the Ten are its three power modes and three levels of traction control. Really, that’s all that’s needed on any bike, and it’s dead simple to toggle between the modes.

Something that makes a little less sense though, is the whoppingly tall first gear. The ZX-10’s motor has very little get up and go unless you are really revving the nuts off it and even in first gear nothing exciting happens until you’re doing about 60mph. Okay, so you can’t blame that entirely on the gearbox, the rev-happy power delivery ought to be held at least partially liable but whatever the reason, the ZX-10 doesn’t really exude sportsbike qualities when ridden at anything like a sedate pace.

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About Fast Bikes

Base model blitz! Massive 6 bike budget shootout - The 2018... Aprilia RSV4 RR // Kawasaki ZX-10R // Ducati V4 Panigale // Suzuki GSX-R1000 // Honda CBR1000RR // Yamaha YZF-R1 Hypersport hoops - the best road & track rubber rated. Ultimate local blast - how to ride the IOM's quickest road. PLUS: Hicky's guide to nailing the Ulster GP. Master Silverstone: Choose the best exhaust // used MV Agusta Brutale 675 // How to buy a BMW HP4 // Do trackdays in the rain. 215 BHP with no traction control - behind the bars of Hawk Suzuki's British Superbike.