Make no mistake, the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R has one goal and one goal only: to dethrone the BMW S1000RR from its liter bike throne. As far as evaluations of its ability to do so go, top speed is utterly irrelevant to real world riding, yet makes a compelling number anyways. Especially when it’s tested by New York’s most notorious pack of illegal, immoral street racers. So, in the hands of Skank and the One Armed Bandit, which bike is faster?

Making 197bhp (in unrestricted form) to the BMW’s 193 and weighing 6kg less should be enough, right? Not quite. Skank (6’ 1” and 235lbs) reports that the ZX-10R’s aerodynamics at high speed are far from being optimal. One Arm (5’ 10” and 220lbs) is better able to tuck behind his S1000RR’s screen. Both bikes are modified, of course, the ZX-10R wouldn’t even be close unless it had its 20bhp restriction for the North American market lifted. The Kawasaki has an ECU reflash and Akrapovic pipe, which is the mod dealers are performing to bring power up to rest-of-world levels. The BMW has a slight advantage in that it’s wearing a full Akrapovic system. This is the same bike that last year recorded a GPS-verified 192mph top speed, which it appears to repeat here.

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