2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R vs. 2011 BMW S1000RR Shootout - Track

The new literbike contender takes on the reigning champ at the racetrack

So What's It Going To Be

So What’s It Going To Be?

As you can see, this is going down as one of the closest literbike comparisons we’ve ever tackled. To decide, we’ll need to delve deeper into each bike.

At $13,799, the Kawasaki offers practically everything the budding racer would desire. It’s got loads of power, a capable chassis, and standard traction control. Since racers and hardcore track junkies are known to tune and tweak their machines on their own, being able to choose the aftermarket parts for their bike themselves is an appealing option. Another grand will net you ABS on the 10R, which would come in handy for the street rider doing occasional trackdays.

2011 Literbike Track Shootout VP2_4104

With the S1KRR, $13,950 will net you the base model. But let’s be real: how many of those have you seen around? With all the fixins’, including ABS, traction control, and gear shift assist, you’re looking at $15,880. Add to that the significant horsepower advantage, and the justification to spend more moolah suddenly becomes easier.

At the end of our track testing, our own Chief Duke posed a question: “Which one of these two bikes could you do a quicker lap on?” None of us had a clear-cut answer, which just shows how equally matched these bikes are.

When push comes to shove, however, it’s hard to ignore the allure of the BMW’s extra power, especially within the confines of this track-centric shootout. The ZX, even with a reflashed ECU, can’t compete with the S1000’s monster motor, and it doesn’t hold any significant dynamic advantages in handling and braking.

With this in mind, we give the nod, albeit by the slimmest of margins, to our reigning literbike champ, the BMW S1000RR.

2011 Literbike Track Shootout VP2_0462

Want to know who comes out on top when we take these two stallions to public roads? Then check out our follow-up street comparison between the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R and BMW S1000RR!

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2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R vs. 2011 BMW S1000RR Shootout - Street
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2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Unveiled
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