Kawasaki USA has issued a recall on certain motorcycles of 2019 and 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R due to an apparent programming error in the engine control unit (ECU). The error could cause the engine to backfire when the rider uses the quickshifter at high rpms. According to the defect notice published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), as many as 1,529 motorcycles will be affected by this recall. The models include 2019-2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, 2019-2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R ABS and 2019-2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RT ABS KRT Edition.
According to the defect notice submitted by Kawasaki, the faulty ECU programming can cause the 998 cc, in-line four-cylinder engine to backfire when the rider uses the quickshifter at high engine load. Repetitive backfiring may result in deformation and/or breakage of the air suction valve, a component used to help reduce emissions produced by the engine. With prolonged use, should the suction valve break, exhaust gases could flow backward into 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.
The recall is expected to begin on June 8. 2020. Kawasaki will communicate to 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. If there are any signs of damage to any of the parts, they will all be replaced free of charge. The production dates of the affected motorcycles, as well as VIN (Vehicle Identification Numbers) are listed on the NHTSA website.