Kawasaki is going to add slipper clutch and assist cam to the 2016 version of Ninja 1000. Although not announced officially, the information was quietly put up on their Australian website. This comes after the Japanese manufacturer added the setup to the 2015 Versys 1000 internationally which features the same engine and transmission although in a slightly lower tune.
The bike though gains in terms of dimension and gets a longer wheelbase. The power output remains the same. The 1,043 cc liquid cooled in-line four cylinder engine produces a maximum power output of 142 PS at 10,000 rpm and 111 Nm of torque at 7,300 rpm. At 135 mm, the ground clearance has improved by 10 mm and the seat height also increases by 5 mm (now 820 mm).
The assist and Slipper clutch basically uses two types of cams to drive either the clutch hub and operating plate together or apart. Under normal riding conditions the assist cam works as a self-serving mechanism by pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together. This reduces the total clutch spring load. In simple layman terms the assist cam helps in making the clutch lever feel lighter, thereby easy to use.
The slipper clutch is required during sport usage. While using engine braking or when one accidentally downshifts, the slipper cam forces the clutch hub and operating plate to come apart thereby relieving the pressure on the clutch plates and reducing back torque. This helps in stopping the rear tyre from hopping and skidding.
Read our comprehensive review of Ninja 1000 here.