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Old 9th September 2016, 14:07   #1
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Default 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

They say its important to dream, it gives you a goal, an ambition in life to chase.

Well, I had one too, since January 2014 when I first rode the Gen4 Kawasaki ZX10R when it was just launched in India. Being a test-bike, I got a couple of runs on it on an open highway with almost nil traffic and I came back a man possessed. I was absolutely in love and in a way I had never been before. Head-over-heels to say the least. The ZX became the object of my desire and the primary aim since then for me to slog in the corporate slaughterhouse and make money.

Most of the team-bhp members would be familiar with my 2012 Ninja 650 ownership thread (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/superb...nja-650-a.html (The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650)) and the fact that I have extensively used my 650 for touring and at the track. The end-result was that my lovely Green Assassin started feeling a little short on power and tricks as my riding skills progressed and the need for a bigger, sharper weapon started making its way into my head more and more. Honestly, for our traffic & moron infested roads, the 650 itself is a handful (testimony that I still hold onto my 2007 Pulsar 220) and a bigger bike just din't make sense to any sane mind. On top of that my brother picked up an A3 and the family (which thinks I am already a loose nut) kept showing me the practical side of picking up a luxury tin-can instead for the same 20 big suitcases of my hard earned money. If only they knew that for a motorcyclist, the head seldom wins the battle over the heart; that too when one is madly in love with a dream machine.

Anyways, after years of saving and planning, the piggy bank was looking healthy and the good folks at Kawasaki, Japan decided to launch the 2016 model ZX10R (commonly known as the Gen 5 in Kawa forums) loaded to the gills with electronics and gizmos and sharper than before. For the tree-huggers, it was also Euro 4 compliant and the awesome folks at Kawasaki India decided to keep the pricing of the new model to a meager few thousands over the outgoing Gen4 model.

February 2016 - Walked into the Kawa showroom at Bangalore for a 'dekho' of the new model. Sadly, no display or demo bike. But I had done my research enough so no sweat. The sales folks at the Bangalore showroom know me well enough so they knew the swag in my walk was for a reason. Spoke to Chetan at the showroom and went back home with a quotation.

March 2016 - HDFC bank got a call and the folks there (they did make a few slip-ups later but what the hell) were on the job immediately to get me a good deal on the financing. After a month of chasing and negotiating I finally had a deal which I liked and signed off on. Hmmmm, never felt happier getting into debt before.

April 2016 - First week of the month and I walked into the showroom with a friend armed with my chequebook and the bank guy in tow. Pleasantries exchanged, terms discussed, cheques given, documents signed. I fixed up a day for the delivery when my closest friends would be in town to join me for the event which basically gave the showroom chaps close to 2 weeks to get the bike here and paperwork done. 10 days later, I get a call to go check out the bike at the yard since it arrived last night from the Pune plant. I kid you not, I felt exactly like a soon-to-be-dad while the service chaps uncovered the bike and removed the crate and there she was!!! My queen in all her glory !!!
I kid you not, she looked beautiful and scary at the same time. Intimidating to say the least. I felt like a 10 year old who has just been handed over the keys to a toy store.
On the designated delivery date, went to the showroom with my close friends in tow. After the rituals of cutting the cake and basic instructions on the manuals and controls from the sales team, off I went and got the Shredder home.

I have since done a bit of Sunday highway rides and two trackdays on her (1 at Kari and 1 at MMSC) so will try giving you a small insight into what she is like. Obviously its unfair to compare her to anything smaller or outside her category so I will try and keep it as objective as possible.

Engine and Transmission : The 998cc inline-4 mill churns out 210 bhp which looks scary on paper itself. In reality the engine is a puppy under 6000 rpm which makes her super docile to putter around town. Honestly, she is as easy as a 600 to move around town in lower rpms. Want her to go ballistic?? Just hold on for dear life and let the revs cross 8000 rpm (at which stage the tacho turns from orange to red) and you will suddenly remember all the holy prayers and gods which your mind has ever seen. Let her cross 11000 rpm and as the front wheel starts coming up (the wheelie control tries to keep it as low as possible) and you will probably regret that you havent made your last will as yet. At the main straight at the Kari track in F power mode, she power wheelies across two gears and comes back to terra firma when I have to start braking for C1. Scary? You bet. First few sessions I was just going into survival mode. Damn !!
The best part is that drop her into L mode or M power mode and the bike suddenly stops breathing fire and becomes a lot more manageable. My honest advice - dont buy a litre supersport unless you know what you are doing on two wheels. After years of riding at the track, I still got my jollies in a bunch on the first hot lap i did on her.
She is armed with a Quickshifter which in my honest opinion is among the best I have ever sampled on a bike. It is razor smooth and precise and is pure addiction.

Brakes and Handling: Here comes the money ! Brembo M50 calipers and Brembo master cylinder at work. What can I say? She stops before your mind can complete the instruction. Cornering ABS is a boon and lap after lap I was trail-braking just because the bike lets you do it so naturally. At one point at MMSC, I went in a little too hot into C1 thinking I am Rossi and panicked braked a bit, the bike popped a tiny stoppie, my console lit up like a christmas tree, front tyres screamed and I thought my time is up. The bike made it through the corner as if nothing happened. I was shocked beyond belief. Any lesser machine and I was surely not going to make it through. The ZX can do this and a lot more like its child's play.

The suspension is the WSBK spec Showa Balance Free Forks. They are the dope. Pure dope. Its the best suspension on any production bike hands down. Dont believe me? Youtube some reviews. and trust me they arent BSing you.
She is more comfortable over broken roads than my 650. Yes, yes I know what I am saying. I was shocked too. You can easily cross speed humps without anything touching and can take the average pothole without your brains being realigned. And she is rock steady when leaned over. The new surface at MMSC is bumpy in certain places mid corner. On a Daytona I felt every bit of those bumps but the ZX10 glided over them as if they dont exist. No exaggeration !! Testimony to this is that both the trackdays I did not adjust or tune the suspension one bit. It felt right at home on stock settings. Pure WOW !!!

Electronics and Gizmos: Loaded to the gills. It is equally specced (more or less) than a 27 lakhs rupees Yamaha R1 / RSV4 and a 35 lakhs BMW S1000RR and costs way lesser than either of them. 5 levels traction control, 3 power modes, Cornering ABS, 6 axis IMU, Launch Control, Engine Braking control, Quickshifter, full titanium exhaust system, lap timer, ride-by-wire, Ohlins electronic steering dampner, electronic valves etc.

I wish it had the uber cool LCD screen console like the R1 or the Panigale but then Kawasaki engineers clearly said that they did not want to invest money on something which did not influence performance. Good call in my books.

Ergonomics and Living with it: Very high rearset pegs coupled with super track focussed ergos make it a very committed seating position. Considering I am quite fit physically, I have never had body pains after riding her at the track or on the highways despite the same and I am 6 feet tall. If you are not really fit, you will have a tough time with possible sore back and wrists. The machine is made for a purpose and she expects you to be ready for the same. Dont expect to go touring on her for 400-500 kms and compete with the Tigers or the Multistradas. She is not made for that. The pillion as expected sits a mile high and the two pillions I carried were quite freaked out by the seating. The pillion seat itself is for supermodels if I can put it that way.

I make it a point to feed her only 97 octane fuel as far as possible. Worst case scenario will top it up with some Shell V power or Speed. This limits her touring range for me but then I have the Ninja 650 for all those duties anyways.
She is raw madness in every sense of the word. You think and she turns. Infact she is already through the turn while you are still thinking. She brakes at the drop of the hat. The power is beyond normal human comprehension. You can go from crawling around town to hyper speeds in a minimal twist of the wrist and scare yourself silly while at it.

Is she perfect? I would have wanted the brakes to be even sharper considering the hype around Brembos. Will be upgrading the stock pads to EBC or Vesrah to resolve this soon. She is not made for chock-a-block city traffic because she needs room to breathe and keep herself cool. Mind you she is not bad as some Italian machines which can give you tandoori legs even on the highway. But a 1000cc motor does need its ventilation. The ride-by-wire throttle can be a bit twitchy to begin with during on-off transitions but drop the Engine Braking to Low and the problem is resolved atleast at the track. The stock Bridgestone RS10 rubber was quite good and performed well at the track but she honestly deserves the Pirelli Supercorsas or slicks.

Will keep you folks updated on her shenanigans in the coming weeks.

P.S - dreams never get done. They only get upgraded. I say this since I met a particular lady called the Ninja H2


(all pics credit to their respective photographers - Aditya Bedre, Prakash DP and Praveen J)
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Old 9th September 2016, 14:23   #2
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

A short and crisp review, straight from the heart!

Congratulations narula123 on your new superbike and wish you thousands of happy miles on her.

A quick one for you: During the lack of Speed 97, is it okay to feed ZX-10R with regular 'Speed'? I always thought regular 'Speed' fuel was strict no no, even for normal 100-500 cc bikes and all?
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Old 9th September 2016, 14:30   #3
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Amazing, your passion for bikes is very evident. A crisp report with some excellent photograph's. Enjoy the beast , ride safe , travel many miles , congratulations ��
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Old 9th September 2016, 14:32   #4
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
Congratulations narula123 on your new superbike and wish you thousands of happy miles on her.

A quick one for you: During the lack of Speed 97, is it okay to feed ZX-10R with regular 'Speed'? I always thought regular 'Speed' fuel was strict no no, even for normal 100-500 cc bikes and all?
Thank you. I dread feeding her anything except 97 but Speed is ok if nothing else is available. Have had to top her up with Speed on the highway once and while I did notice a lag in throttle response, she generally was ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebat View Post
Amazing, your passion for bikes is very evident. A crisp report with some excellent photograph's. Enjoy the beast , ride safe , travel many miles , congratulations ��
Thank you !
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Old 9th September 2016, 14:40   #5
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Congrats LEGEND! Your patience paid off and you got what you dreamed of owning one day. Very happy and hope to see many more updates of Shredder (P.S. I love the name )
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Old 9th September 2016, 15:07   #6
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Congratulations on the new bike narula123! Shredder has to be one of the coolest names I've come across for a bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narula123 View Post
Is she perfect? I would have wanted the brakes to be even sharper considering the hype around Brembos.
Is it still the case with the ABS off? There are dongles to disconnect the ABS if that is an option for you. This video mentions it.

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Old 9th September 2016, 15:17   #7
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Absolutely amazing work, dude! Accept my heartiest congratulations on owning my all time favorite litre class bike, bar none.

Can only imagine how she feels on opening that throttle. Ride hard and ride safe

If I may ask, how much OTR Bangalore?

Cheers
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Old 9th September 2016, 15:38   #8
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sachin_Nair View Post
Congrats LEGEND! Your patience paid off and you got what you dreamed of owning one day. Very happy and hope to see many more updates of Shredder (P.S. I love the name )
Thanks Nair bhai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_cherian View Post
Congratulations on the new bike narula123! Shredder has to be one of the coolest names I've come across for a bike.
Is it still the case with the ABS off? There are dongles to disconnect the ABS if that is an option for you.
Thank you. I know of the dongle but Kawi India doesnt sell it as of now. Will get it off the US showrooms in the future maybe but as per the global forums the non ABS bikes brake much better. On the other hand, ABS saved me at the track under panic braking. So tough call.
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Originally Posted by Parth46 View Post
Absolutely amazing work, dude! Accept my heartiest congratulations on owning my all time favorite litre class bike, bar none.
If I may ask, how much OTR Bangalore?
Thank you buddy. OTR was 19.2x
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Old 9th September 2016, 16:36   #9
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Congratulations. Rode one few months back and it was an absolute cracker. No more abrupt power delivery or bogged down low end. Absolutely linear and smooth power till the limiter. Apart from visuals and some other parts this is a brand new bike. Has one of the best TC systems fitted on a road bike. Also with the revised crank , bigger air box with a larger filter and all the other wizardly the blokes at kawasaki did this is closest to the WSB road going bike. Riding very fast was never so much fun or safe. Enjoy!

Last edited by GTO : 10th September 2016 at 10:29. Reason: Typos
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Old 9th September 2016, 18:46   #10
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This is the stuff what dreams are made of. You inspire mortals like me to go out and achieve something bigger.

Amazing review. I could actually feel that I was on the bike instead of you.

Hopefully some day I can write something like this.
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Old 9th September 2016, 19:54   #11
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Congratulations. this is closest to the WSB road going bike. Riding very fast was never so much fun or safe. Enjoy!
Thank you. I think the bike is quite strangulated for Euro 4 compliance. Sometime next year I plan to change the exhaust and flash tune the ECU with a Woolich kit. That will unlock the auto-blipper on the quickshifter and about 10 more bhp atleast. Should be fun. There is a reason this bike is feared on the WSBK circuits. Its a monster in sheep's street clothing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amit_breakfree View Post
Amazing review. I could actually feel that I was on the bike instead of you.
Hopefully some day I can write something like this.
Thank you for the kind words of appreciation. Believe me I am a 'mortal' just like you. A middle class, 12 hour daily-slogging corporate rat with stars in my eyes and supercar posters on my wall.

Last edited by GTO : 10th September 2016 at 10:29. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 9th September 2016, 23:43   #12
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

The Woolich kit is a wonderful piece of hardware and software. Far far better than any piggy back fuel and air controllers. Really does unleash your bikes ECU. Have it on my Busa and would wholly recommend it. May be also a +2 at the rear sprocket to further improve the pants off seat feel.

Last edited by bigron : 9th September 2016 at 23:52.
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Old 10th September 2016, 00:24   #13
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Congrats Narula - thats one hell of an upgrade from the N650. Would love to see more pics and details on the Shredder. And ofcourse on what accessories you have in store for her.
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Old 10th September 2016, 07:45   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigron View Post
The Woolich kit is a wonderful piece of hardware and software. May be also a +2 at the rear sprocket to further improve the pants off seat feel.
Completely agree. Also thinking of the sprocketing, -1 at the front and +1 or +2 at the rear to make the power curve more accessible and negate that extra long 1st gear. Should help at the track.
Is the woolich software as easy to use as the Dynojet or Bazzaz one? Do you have the basic kit or the one with the Log Box?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
Congrats Narula - thats one hell of an upgrade from the N650. Would love to see more pics and details on the Shredder. And ofcourse on what accessories you have in store for her.
Thank you. The N650 stays as of now because to me she is still the most VFM bike money can buy in India (ok maybe now the Versys is) and is versatile as hell.
So far Shredder got the following add ons:
Womet Tech Front fork sliders
R&G frame sliders
GB Racing Engine covers
Evotech Performance Radiator Guard
R&G Boot heel kit guard
Stompgrip traction pads
R&G Exhaust guard
Flyby Moto rear spools
Flyby Moto Mirror blanking plates

What is on the wishlist: Cat-eliminating exhaust, Woolich Tuning kit, MRA screen, Race fairings, Samco performance hoses
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Old 10th September 2016, 08:10   #15
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Default re: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R : Shredder joins the family

Awesome review to an awesome bike. I'd go ahead and say ZX10R is the most VFM bike in India after the 390 Duke ! I mean, which bike offers such level of performance and such high technology at THAT price?!

P. S. Loved the ending to the review. Can't wait to see a certain H2 in your garage next

Last edited by The Brutailer : 10th September 2016 at 08:13.
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