Kawasaki working on brand new ZX-10RR?

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Words: Nile Bijoux
22 May 2019

Ducati has utterly dominated the start of the World Superbike season with its new Panigale V4 R, a bike that’s more or less a MotoGP engine with a WSBK-legal bike wrapped around it. It took until the recent Imola race for someone to stop the Bautista/V4 combo, something not lost on defending champions, Kawasaki.

Team Green’s bosses have already said the company is considering a ground-up refresh of its superbike, with a design ethos closer to the Panigale. Now, some newly-uncovered CARB (California Air and Resources Board) documents would appear to confirm those rumours.

Usually, CARB filings centre around common engines, with one filing covering multiple machines. For example, last year Kawasaki’s superbike entry listed both the tamer ZX-10R and the race-ready ZX-10RR.

This year, however, there’s only the former. That likely means, since CARB is about emissions, Kawasaki is working on an engine different enough from the existing inline four to require a separate filing.

What that engine might look like is anyone’s guess at the moment but we’d expect all to be revealed by EICMA in November, in time for the 2020 World Superbike season. Given Kawasaki’s familiarity with IL4s though…

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