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Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja - best superbikes

Some bikers who tried out earlier versions of the Kawasaki ZX-10 were later led away muttering that it had scared them half to death.

Some bikers who tried out earlier versions of the Kawasaki ZX-10 were later led away muttering that it had scared them half to death. But not me. For me, it was a lot more frightening than that.

It was, I imagined, a bike favoured by jet fighter pilots who didn't get enough excitement from the day job. This was, after all, a bike which did 100mph in first gear. A bike with 186bhp, or close to 200 if you boosted it with the Ram Air pressurised intake system.

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That was an absurd amount of grunt on a machine that weighed a mere 192kgs wet, especially one so twitchy that it greeted any rough road surfaces by leaping about like a demented ferret, and made you feel that unless you got your line and speed right in every single corner, you'd end up in a tree.

Thankfully, in the current ZX-10R Ninja version, the twitchiness has been tamed by a nice Öhlins steering damper, a more stable suspension and chassis and an incredibly smart electronics safety net which makes high-speed cornering safe and effortless.

The bike has a bigger airbox and more free-revving engine than before. As a result mid-range acceleration leaves you with an insane grin on your face as you surge up to warp speed.

The ultimate evolution of 32 years of Ninjas, the Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja is one of the biggest adrenalin rushes you will get on two wheels, but now without the uneasy feeling that the Grim Reaper is riding pillion.

Best superbikes

  1. 1. Ducati 1299 Panigale S
  2. 2. BMW S1000RR
  3. 3. Honda Fireblade
  4. 4. Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja
  5. 5. Yamaha YZF-R1
  6. 6. Aprilia RSV4 RF
  7. 7. MV Agusta F4
  8. 8. Suzuki GSX-R1000
  9. 9. KTM 1290 Superduke R
  10. 10. Kawasaki Ninja H2
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