Vitus has revealed a special collaboration with Superbike superstar Jonathan Rea, building a custom road bike honouring his four-time, championship-winning Kawasaki ZX-10RR.
And it’s hoped the unique Vitus ZX-1 build will give the 32-year-old World Superbike champion a training edge as he attempts to win his fifth World Superbike Championship this season.
The Northern Irish racer can be found edging speeds of 200mph on engines producing 13,500rpm, and dealing with those forces can demand serious fitness.
So using the latest road cycling tech on this next-level build, both Vitus and Jonathan anticipate the elite bike will help elevate his training for the season ahead.
I would like to thank the Vitus team for all their support and commitment
“Firstly, I’m so proud to become a part of the Vitus Bikes team and when the opportunity came to do a bike build together I was super excited to see the possibilities,” Jonathan said after his finished bike was revealed.
“I’ve been a keen cyclist now for many years and have enjoyed riding bikes all over the world. Superbike Racing is physically and mentally demanding, so I use cycling as a huge part of my training program.”
The Vitus team took inspiration from Jonathan’s distinctive, Championship-winning Kawasaki ZX-10RR for the build, echoing many of its design details.
And along with the high-tech SRAM Red AXS 12-speed groupset, Vitus fitted a CeramicSpeed Bottom Bracket, Prime BlackEdition 50mm Carbon wheels, and Prime carbon cockpit, making it a true champion-worthy superbike.
“I would like to thank the Vitus team for all their support and commitment to make sure I have the best product to perform my cycling training and ensure I’m in the very best shape in the quest to win a fifth World Superbike Championship,” Jonathan said.
Explaining how the partnership came about, Vitus marketing manager Chris McGlinchey said he first met Jonathan by chance at a local coffee shop near Vitus HQ, just after his fourth consecutive World Superbike title.
“We got chatting and I thought it would be an amazing collaboration to create a custom road bike for him that replicated his championship winning Kawasaki,” Chris said.
“I knew he was an avid cyclist so I thought it would be great to give him something special that would get him super excited about getting out on the road.”
Speaking about the bike, Chris added: “Hannah in our graphic design team did a great job on designing the artwork, especially the subtle touches like the ZX-10RR on the chain stay and JR1 logos on the seat tube which make it that bit more special.
“All the personal touches on the designs are amazing and it certainly rides as good as it looks.
“With performance in mind we decided to go for a raw carbon finish along with a touch of the classic Kawasaki green to complete the look.
“A special mention must also go to Ali at Fat Creations for doing an amazing job on the paint work, which really brought the idea to life.”
To capture the quality of the build, top photographer and videographer Gee Milner was drafted in to capture every aspect of the bike in rich detail, and you can watch the full build video on his YouTube channel.
Now the Vitus team just hope the bike gives Jonathan the edge he needs as he goes into next season.
“Good luck to Jonathan in the remainder of his World Superbike season,” Chris said. “Everyone at Vitus is rooting for you to go for title number five.”
Full custom ZX-1 bike build specification
Frame: Vitus ZX-1 Disc (52cm)
Fork: Vitus ZX-1 Disc
Headset: FSA Integrated
Derailleur: SRAM RED eTap AXS 12 speed
Front Derailleur: SRAM RED eTap AXS
Shifters: SRAM RED eTap AXS 22 speed
Brakes: SRAM RED AXS Hydraulic disc
BB-set: CeramicSpeed EVO386 SRAM DUB Bottom Bracket
Crankset: SRAM RED Quarq AXS DUB Power Meter
Seatpost: Vitus ZX-1
Seat: Selle Italia SLR SuperFlow Saddle with TI316 Rails
Bar: Prime Primavera Carbon – 38cm
Stem: Prime Primavera Carbon – 100mm
Wheelset: Prime BlackEdition 50 Carbon Disc Wheelset
Chain: SRAM Red AXS 12 speed
Cassette: SRAM Red AXS 12 speed
Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One MicroSkin TL – 25c
Bar tape: Prim Race Comfort Bar Tape
Pedals: Look Keo Blade
Bottle Cages: Prime Carbon Bottle Cages
Weight: 7.5kg inc pedals
All images and video content created by Gee Milner.