Kawasaki and NHTSA together issued a recall notice for almost 4,000 Kawasaki ZX-10R and RR bikes, model year between 2016 and 2018. Units produced during this time period are facing an issue with a faulty gearbox.
Superbikes of today are mind-boggling in the way they deliver performance, using only the highest-spec materials and components in production. This performance can only be extracted if the different parts of the superbike are able to withstand extreme conditions like engine speed, inertia, G-forces during cornering, and rider inputs like hard braking, fast gearshifts, etc.
The Kawasaki ZX-10R is one of the most user-friendly liter-class race machines out there. However, ZX-10R and RR bikes produced between 2016 and 2018 (MY16 & 17) have been found to suffer from a faulty gearbox. The third, fourth, and fifth cogs of the gearbox are susceptible to failure under extreme impact force, i.e. hard and fast shifting. The problem was brought to Kawasaki’s notice in January 2017 by distributors in the ASEAN markets. Later the same year in July, Big Green launched an investigation into the matter and unearthed the problem.
The rims of the three gears mentioned earlier were coming apart under fast shifting, due to which the entire gearbox was in danger of getting damaged, to the extent of having to replace the entire unit. Also, the faulty gearbox could also result in rear-wheel lockup, which is highly dangerous if it occurs at high speeds. Despite sporting a revised transmission, curiously the ZX-10RR is also hit by the issue. With this information in hand, Kawasaki initiated a recall in January 2018 for ZX-10R bikes produced between September 9, 2015, to December 13, 2017 (VIN numbers between JKAZXCR10GA000014 and JKAZXCZ17JA003130). 2018 marks the fourth consecutive year that the Japanese bike maker has had to issue recalls, beginning in 2015.
Kawasaki will be contacting owners and dealers, and will be replacing the three faulty gears free of charge. The recall began February 15, and owners can contact Kawasaki customer service at 1-(800)-802-9381 using the recall number: MC18-01. Or you can reach the NHTSA hotline at 1-(888)-327-4236 or visit the administration’s website using the NHTSA Campaign Number 18V089000.