The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Recalled Over Backfire Issue


Kawasaki Motors Corp U.S.A. issued a recall on the Ninja ZX10-R due to a programming error that could cause the engine to backfire.  

According to the defect notice published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 100 percent of the 1,529 motorcycles involved in this recall could be affected by the issue. Here are the details of this recall. 

 The following models are included in the recall:

  • 2019-2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R 
  • 2019-2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R ABS 
  • 2019-2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RT ABS KRT Edition 

The defect notice submitted by Kawasaki describes how faulty engine control unit (ECU) programming can cause the Ninja’s 998cc inline-four engine to backfire when the rider uses the quick shifter. Repetitive backfire could eventually distort or even break the air suction valve—a component designed to help reduce the emissions produced by the engine. 

With prolonged use, should the suction valve break, exhaust gas could flow backward in the exhaust system and its high temperature could cause other components to melt. Kawasaki suggests that in the most extreme cases, the issue could even cause a fire.  

Recall number MC20-02 is expected to start on June 8, 2020. Kawasaki will communicate with owners of the affected motorcycles via mail and invite them to make an appointment with their Kawasaki dealership. The dealer will reprogram the ECU and inspect the air suction valve and surrounding components. Should there be signs of damage to any of the parts, they will all be replaced free of charge.  

Should they have any questions or concerns, owners of all version of the 2019-2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R are welcome to contact the Kawasaki customer service at 1-866-802-9381. Customers can also direct their questions to the NHTSA’s hot line service available at 1-888-327-4236, and check online for further information.  



Article by Sabrina Giacomini

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