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Kawasaki ZX-6R Review

Kawasaki ZX-6R

The Kawasaki ZX-6R was introduced in 1995 as an addition to the bike manufacturer’s Ninja series. It caused a huge splash in the industry and among buyers with its stylish design and powerful performance. The bike is a great sports bike and it’s additional features are aimed at competing with the bigger names in the industry like the Hondas, Yamahas and the Suzukis. Let’s take a look at what the Kawasaki can offer and how it compares with the bigger brands.

Design

One of the most valuable aspects for buyers is the design of the bike. You can have all the specs but the average buyer will still care about the looks and make their decision based on it. The modern ZX-6R follows the same design principles as the ZX-9R, giving the bike a clean look that is dazzling. The bike is made to look purposeful with its dual headlights that adapt the bug eye style. The ZX-6R underwent a complete revamp in 2013 to make it more angular, this involved getting new fairings, new dash, new frame and tons of other performance related changes. It is clear from the design that the modern version of this bike was meant for aerodynamic efficiency. It gives the rider a slightly leaning forward position which gives a better look. Basically, the bike is built to suit it’s name – it is a ninja through and through!

The chassis

One of the major talking points about this bike is it’s chassis. Kawasaki re-invented their chassis in 2013 to incorporate the Showa BPF-SFF front suspension. Traditionally, most bikes had all-in-one forks. The Showa system however, has a dedicated fork to serve different purposes. The right fork contains a large piston that is meant for compression and rebound damping. This gives you the added benefit of a larger diameter piston which leads to lower fork pressure and better anti-dive performance. There are compression springs present in both forks and the right fork cap has a dial that allows you to dictate damping strength based on your needs. The left fork cap has a dial that allows you to fine tune the compression-spring preload.

The rear of the chassis contains a Uni-Trak monoshock system that allows you control the compression -spring preload and rebound damping. For those that are addicted to speed and tend to race, the ZX-6R offers adjustable Öhlins steering damper for stability and kickback mitigation.

Performance

The original Kawasaki ZX-6R in 1995 offered 47.9 pound-feet at 10000 rpm. The latest versions have grown since then and can offer a stunning 52.3 pound-feet of torque at 11,500 rpm. The latter models have 636cc engines that are long stroked and liquid-cooled For racers, Kawasaki has installed its Kawasaki Traction Control (KRTC) system into the latest models. This system keeps track of wheel speeds and engine data to prevent wheels from slipping. The system has 3 modes that you can switch between using buttons on the left handlebar. The first mode is meant for experienced riders and allows for the maximum slip while the second mode is street-friendly. The last mode or the “low power” mode  limits the engine output to 80%. The KRTC allows riders to change from tracks to streets with the flip of a switch. Although track times may vary, the ZX-6R is rumored to have completed the quarter mile run in just 10.89 seconds and has a 0-60mph time of only 3.1 seconds. These timings may vary depending on the rider.

The brakes on the bike are also quite stellar with the front end hosting Dual Semi-Floating  Petal Discs of 310 Mm and the rear hosting a single 220 Mm Petal Disc which is Single-Bore Pin-Slide. It also has a FCC slipper clutch with clutch-assist features that reduce lever effort by 25%. When driving arr high speeds, the slipper clutch makes sure that the wheel hop is avoided when brakes are applied suddenly. All of this increases the performance of the bike greatly while also making it safer to ride.

Conclusion

The Kawasaki ZX-6R has become a valiant member of the Ninja family and evolved into a household name. It has undergone numerous changes throughout the years but still remains relevant to the sports bikes and racing bikes world today. Recently, 2013 saw it’s biggest overhaul to both the design and the performance aspects. As they’ve aged, the bikes have also grown tremendously to improve safety and speed. If you have a liking for speed and are tired of the usual bikes from Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, the Kawasaki  ZX-6R is one of the best bikes to ride. It offers serious competition to more established names and has become a hugely successful part of the motorbike industry. Suitable for all terrains, be it track or asphalt, this bike has earned its place in the reputed Ninja family.

 

Kawasaki ZX-6R Review was last modified: August 17th, 2016 by Alan Charnock