For a while now, there have been rumours of a Kawasaki ZX-10RR homologation race special coming soon, and if Asphalt & Rubber’s speculation is correct, we may see it unveiled later this year.
But wait, why would there be a Kawi ZX-10RR homologation special? After all, Kawasaki already has a pretty fast bike in the existing RR literbike, so why take things to the next level?
The answer lies in Europe, and in World Superbike.
In the past few years, all the major players have built new superbikes, but the Ducati Panigale V4R in particular is absolutely smashing the competition in World Superbike. Kawasaki, a company that has for years built its reputation on promises of extreme speed, is now second banana in WSB and likely is somewhat concerned about the long-term implications of a racing slump. Team Green has dominated World Superbike for years, but this year, Jonathan Rea has only won once, in Italy. Otherwise, it’s been Alvaro Bautista atop the podium with his Ducati.
So, there have been mutterings from Kawasaki’s leadership about upcoming changes. That got the gossip mill into operation, but now a peek at the 2020 California Air Resource Board filings have intensified the buzz.
Asphalt & Rubber points out there’s no 2020 Kawasaki ZX-10RR listed in Kawasaki’s CARB filings. There’s a ZX-10R, sure, but no race-oriented version of the bike.
This isn’t a guarantee of anything , as A&R points out. Kawasaki may list the ZX-10RR later, or maybe Kawi just isn’t bringing the bike to California. However, this isn’t how Kawasaki has done business in the past, and given the typical close-lipped culture of the Big Four’s development teams, we’d be surprised if there wasn’t a fire behind all this smokescreen.