This year, the boys at Kawasaki has launched a special edition of the ZX-10R.
The highlight of the ZX-10R SE (Special Edition) is the Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS).
The SE model is also offered with an interesting colour. It comes in pure-stealth Metallic Flat Spark Black / Metalic Matte Graphite Gray paint job with green accents, which is only natural as it is Kawasaki’s brand colour.
The seating position is comfortable. The bike comes with a well-shaped tank designed for a rider’s knees to hug as he speeds off.
The foot pegs are ideally placed and there's good ground clearance when taking sharp corners.
The ZX-10R SE is equipped with a fully digital instrument console that includes a tachometer shaped like a rainbow.
An LCD panel below the tachometer offers a list of information like readouts for speedometer, odometer, trip meters, engine temperature gauge, gear indicator, clock, selected ride mode and many more.
The console also comes with a scrolling feature where I could choose the type of suspension I want.
The bike comes with three ride modes to choose from namely road, track and user.
The engineers at Kawasaki demonstrated to me that a rider is able to pick his/her riding style which allows the machine to choose the correct suspension, compression, rebound, preload and sag set-up.
Such adaptive behaviour is welcomed to those who do not understand the technicalities.
While riding in Genting Highlands, I experienced pleasant throttle response at low speed and a cushy ride, courtesy of KECS.
In traffic snarls, the slim bike was agile and was able to weave in and out of the horrendous Kuala Lumpur traffic on a Friday afternoon.
At low speed, the bike did not struggle through traffic.
It was calm and collected, providing a great riding experience.
There was little heat felt on the legs as I sat astride the bike.
The fan was able to cool down the bike quickly when I was caught in a jam under the scorching sun.
Corners and twisties on this bike were simple to undertake.
I was able to flip the bike effortlessly into every corner and turn confidently. The KECS impressed me after such exercise.
KECS, jointly developed with Showa, adds electronically controlled damping to the high-spec Balance Free Front Fork and BFRC lite (Balance Free Rear Cushion) rear shock.
A state-of-the-art system, KECS combines ride data with road conditions to adapt to riding conditions within milliseconds.
With the push of a button, I was experiencing comfort on back roads and firmness on a track.
The suspension's superb damping character offered a level of ride comfort that almost made me forget that I was riding a machine with race-ready suspension, while outstanding damping responsiveness delivered a planted feel that further cemented my confidence in this machine.
I am not a huge fan of sportbikes but this one grew on me after a few days' riding it.
While cornering in various Kuala Klawang corners at any speed, I was able to hold my line like a pro.
I was amazed the ZX-10R SE was so easy to handle, making for a memorable ride.
The road and track mode offered softer or stiffer base settings.
But the user mode allowed me to tweak the basic settings of compression damping and extension.
I preferred the user mode because I was able to change the settings according to my riding preference.
The Brembo brakes were potent; it made sense when one is riding a missile on two wheels. Every time I braked, I only had to use two fingers.
I did not try any emergency braking because I could feel the front-bite of the Brembo was much more aggressive compared to the rear.
The thought of being thrown off the bike made me avoid braking at high speed.
Don't forget it has ABS and its effect could be felt every time I braked.
After riding the ZX-10R SE for a few days, I was unable to find a flaw in the engine, ergonomics and performance. I was even delighted with the new colour scheme, which looked edgier and is relevant to the present market.
The Kawasaki engineers admitted that they had spent many man hours and money in designing this machine where the integration of technology and electronics had ensured that its handling is the best in its category at this point in time.
This RM131,506 bike is definitely a must-have for any hardcore sportbike lover.
So don your racing suit and have a go with this baby. You will never regret it.