A road bike fit for a World Superbike Champion

Four time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea's custom Vitus ZX-1 is tricked out in Kawasaki colours

Vitus Rea

We’re suckers for a swish bike here at BikeRadar, and the ZX-1 that Vitus has just put together for World SuperBike Champ Jonathan Rea definitely fits the mould.

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Hailing from Northern Ireland, Rea won four consecutive SuperBike World Championships, starting in 2015, and in the process has racked up the most Superbike World Championship race wins in history – 71.

Rea’s relationship with Vitus started by chance. “I first met Jonathan at a local coffee shop near Vitus HQ [in Northern Ireland], just after his 4th consecutive World SuperBike title,” says Vitus brand manager Chris McGlinchey.

“We got chatting and I thought it would be an amazing collaboration to create him a custom road bike that replicated his championship winning Kawasaki. I knew he was an avid cyclist so thought it would be great to give him something special that would get him super excited about getting out on the road.”

Kawasaki Vitus

Vitus Rea
Rea aboard his tricked-out Vitus ZX-1
Gee Milner

Using his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR as the inspiration, it gets custom Kawasaki green paint on the top tube and inside of the fork. Rea’s new Vitus road bike also gets a ZX-10RR decal next to the Monster Energy logo on the chainstay, a #Team56 graphic on the top tube and his JR1 logo on the seat tube.

The frame itself is a Vitus ZX1 Disc, in size 52 and features flat-mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axles and a BB386EVO bottom bracket.

It’s a no expense spared, full SRAM RED eTap AXS build with a 10-33t cassette at the back and 50/37t chainrings at the front. The cockpit is a carbon fibre number from Primavera, who also provides its BlackEdition 50 Carbon Disc wheelset, which is finished in 25c Schwalbe Pro One MicroSkin rubber set up tubeless — though Vitus says it will accept up to a 30mm tyre between the rear stays.

Rea’s contact points are a Selle Italia SLR SuperFlow saddle with TI316 Rails, Prima Race Comfort bar tape and Look Keo Blade pedals.

All up, the bike is claimed to weigh 7.5kg, including pedals.

Rea says about his new bike: “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. I’ve been a keen cyclist now for many years and have enjoyed riding bikes all over the world. Superbike Racing is so physically and mentally demanding, I use cycling as a huge part of my training program.”

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Check out the video below to see Rea’s mechanic put together his custom painted Vitus ZX-1.