The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R has been a favourite among sport bike enthusiasts ever since its original release back in 2004. It’s received several revisions over the years, but the 2010 model looks set to be the best received to date.

So what’s new for 2010? First and foremost, the bodywork has been refined into a more aerodynamic shape with newly styled upper, side and centre fairings along with the cockpit inner covers. The new style allows increased performance while maintaining the ZX-10R’s distinctive look. A new embossed metallic grey coating on the muffler adds to the overall aesthetic.

The six-speed transmission’s shift ratchet assembly has also been given an overhaul with changes to the shifting arm, return spring and the shift collar in a move to reduce friction and movement at the shift shaft pivot to ensure more precise gear changes.

Also new are an 18-position Öhlins steering damper, which uses additional spring and oil pistons for an improved action, and longer throttle cables for enhanced control. The bike’s powered by a four-cylinder, double overhead camshaft 998cc engine, fed by four 43mm Keihin throttle bodies with two injectors per cylinder.

All in all, the 2010 model looks to continue in the fine ZX-10R tradition, which has earned the machine numerous plaudits – including the Best Superbike award from Cycle World magazine in 2004 and 2005. With prices set to start at £10,199 the new sport bike looks set to be as popular as ever.

The downside? According to the US Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the ZX-10R has a higher theft and damage loss claim rate than any other registered motorcycle. With that in mind, prospective buyers should be sure to shop around for the most suitable cover for their needs; there are plenty of reasonable Kawasaki motorcycle insurance deals to be had for those who know where to look.