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Home » Kawasaki Motorcylce, motorcycle

Kawasaki ZX-10R 2008

Submitted by on April 4, 2012 – 11:20 pmNo Comment

Kawasaki is launching an all-new ZX-10R in Qatar as this story is posted. Ed-in-Cheese Duke is there to ride it, and he’ll post his report in just a few days from now. But before boarding the plane we were privy to a private, in-depth technical briefing from Kawasaki’s Rob Taylor. The material we saw was so sensitive that we had to go to their head office to see it; the PowerPoint presentation wasn’t allowed out of the building. Taylor is KMC-USA’s supervisor of curriculum development–he’s the guy who will train Kawasaki techs on the new bike and he gave us more background on the bike than anyone outside the company has seen to date. Here’s the inside story…

The bike’s a Kawasaki, after all, so it’s appropriate to begin with a description of the motor. Kawasaki’s philosophy is to make the motor–the “air pump”–as efficient as possible and then to figure out a way, using engine management and exhaust technology, to meet emissions standards. We’ll structure this report along those lines, too; we’ll begin our virtual tour by going in the inlet tract, then through the motor and out the exhaust port, then we’ll deal with the transmission, engine peripherals and that controversial ECU. Last but not least, we’ll touch on changes to chassis, bodywork, and the rider interface.

On the intake side, the ram-air inlet is smaller and longer. Holes have been cut between the passage and the frame spars, which serve as harmonic dampers of intake noise. The air filter is smaller but higher-flow, and the airbox is lined with sound-damping foam. The 43mm throttle body intakes are now oval, with slash-cut inlets to take maximum advantage of air currents and pressure differentials within the airbox. The oval shape obviously helps keep engine width to a minimum, but also allows a denser air charge with a more laminar flow in the center of the port, as opposed to around the perimeter.

The primary fuel-injection nozzles now pump through two larger-diameter holes. The secondary nozzles are 10-hole jobs, with activation based on rpm and data from the throttle-position sensor. Secondary butterflies are active above 7,000 rpm.

Improvements to the intake side of the motor typically are felt more in torque, while tuning the exhaust side is felt more in horsepower. The intake port volume is larger, to give it more midrange torque. Kawasaki formerly hand-polished every inlet port, but that procedure is now automated.

“This bike has never been down on top-end power,” Taylor told us, in a monstrous understatement. That’s why most of the engine changes are intended to boost mid-range power and tractability. The intake valves are now Ti, they’re 8.1 grams lighter. Their size is the same, 30mm.

The camshafts and valve timing are completely different. On the intake side, lift’s been increased by 0.6mm. The intake valve stays open longer to take advantage of the ram-air effect. Camshaft lubrication’s been revised, with a larger main feed and more holes. This change was not made only to address a wear-and-tear issue; a weak lubrication system and an inconsistent oil film changes pressure and friction in the system–the net effect can alter cam timing by up to two degrees.

The lubrication system in the head has been revised; the oil channels are now in the head instead of the cam cap. This makes the cam cap more rigid, and makes cam timing more precise. Previously, flex in this part of the valve assembly could account for a significant timing shift, most noticeable with high-lift cams at high rpm.

The engine has an all-new cylinder head, with reshaped combustion chambers–the impetus here was mostly to improve heat dissipation and meet emissions standards. Heat was an issue because, as Taylor told us, “We can’t give you figures, but it has a ton more horsepower and torque–especially torque–with lots more midrange.”

We weren’t given any information about the pistons or rods, so we assume any changes to those components are slight. There’s a major change in the bottom end, however: The crankshaft is 2.2 pounds lighter. To change weight but maintain inertia, Kawasaki changed the shape of the crank webs, moving mass further from the axis of rotation. This should not change the crank’s overall gyro effect that much–and definitely isn’t anything you should ever feel on the street–but Kawasaki claims the motor will spin up faster at low rpm and have more crank momentum (an

otomaps.com source article: www.netcarshow.com www.motorcycle.com www.roushperformance.com

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