What’s Special About The 2018 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE?

EICMA Brings Us The 2018 ZX10R SE

Updated August 24, 2018

Team Green’s latest addition to their top tier sportsbike stable is the 2018 SE, but what’s so special about it to warrant the “SE” title? Well, there’s certainly more to it than a new paint job and a couple of extra letters on the name, but before you get too excited, there aren’t as many fancy upgrades as you’d think. However, what upgrades it has are worth their weight in gold.

Track Attack: The 2018 ZX10R SE

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Let’s start with the most important upgrade: the suspension. The 2018 ZX-10R SE will be ’s first motorcycle to come equipped with electronic semi-active suspension. The Showa semi-active suspension system is a pretty advanced bit of technology for a regular production bike, but what does it really do? In layman’s terms, the semi-active suspension adjusts itself to offer the best settings to match the road conditions. It does this thanks to the use of special stroke sensors – and that’s what sets the ZX-10R SE apart from the crowd, because Showa’s semi-active system is the only one on the market that utilizes built-in stroke sensors.

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These sensors measure the ever changing movements of the fork and shock internals, once every millisecond, and send the information back to the 2018 ZX10R SE’s inertial measurement unit (IMU). The IMU then sends that information to the ECU, which uses a series of solenoids alter the bike’s damping settings in real time, as you’re riding. And just when you thought you were the suspension master because you can replace your own fork seals… Anyway, there’s talk on the wire that these Showa units may even put some Öhlins suspension packages to shame…but that’s down to individual preference.

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The next significant upgrade on the 2018 Kawasaki ZX-10R SE comes in the form of a set of new forged aluminum wheels that are more commonly found on the , which offer a more nimble ride experience whilst trying to keep the bike’s overall weight down. The addition of electronic semi-active suspension added some unwanted weight onto the ZX-10R SE, but even the addition of lightweight wheels was unable to offset much of the beasts 459 lbs.

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It’s heavier, but it isn’t at all more powerful either. The usual 998cc engine still produces the same quoted 197.3 hp as the standard model, but to make up for the lack of a power boost, Kawasaki have treated the ZX-10R SE with the same up-and-down quickshifter found on the ZX-10RR, for gear changing ease.

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Color options are limited to Metallic Flat Spark Black and Metallic Matt Graphite Grey…and of course, it’s too early for the pricing and availability details but we’ll update this article as soon as we know more!


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Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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