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Kawasaki facing pressure over ER-6 frames

By Chris Newbigging -

General news

 07 August 2007 16:02

Pressure is mounting on Kawasaki to take action over cracking ER-6 frame brackets after a crash bung maker and an owner dismiss Kawasaki’s explanation for the issue so far.

The apparent problem lies with the engine mounting bracket on the right hand side – on 2006 model Kawasaki ER-6n and ER-6f machines owners across the globe have reported splitting welds.

Owners on specialist ER-6 websites have attributed the problem to incorrect frame/engine spacing, allowing the bracket to bend when the engine mounting bolt is torqued down.

Kawasaki responded to a story in MCN July 25, saying “After careful investigation and testing, we were able to determine the problem was related to installation of aftermarket mushrooms.”

ER6-f owner James Mears is not convinced.

“My view is that when you tighten the engine bolt it twists the bracket which snaps under stress. When you undo the bolt, the bracket springs open and opens a gap. The spacer is about 6mm too short. And to fit crash bungs you don’t have to undo the main engine mounting bolt.”

Kawasaki dealers have been sent a ‘Technical Service’ bulletin relating to the issue. It says the problem could be caused by bungs concentrating vibrations in the brackets – but also says that an early design of genuine Kawasaki crash protectors can also cause the problem.

The document instructs dealers to remove old design mushrooms and replace them with revised bungs – and to remind customers with aftermarket protectors that any problems relating to their fitting would not be covered under warranty.

Crash protector manufacturer R&G Racing has witnessed what is being called ‘pinching’ first hand. Sales Director Simon Hughes told MCN:

“We had to change our kits because it didn’t fit the 07’s. When you take the engine bolt out the frame does ping out, but that happens on a lot of bikes to allow you to get the spacer in. “

“When we were told our previous kit didn’t fit the 07 frame, we looked at the lug on the frame, and it’s been beefed up massively. There’s no other reason why you would beef up that weld other than to strengthen the frame – it’s obvious looking at it that it’s much stronger.”

Kawasaki marketing director Martin Lambert said: “I think you will find that the frame has not changed. The bulletin was related to ER-6n as this what was highlighted in the European experience related by MCN in the original story.

Mr Mear’s motorcycle is an ER-6f and we are now investigating this with him as a separate issue.