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By MCN -
First rides & tests
30 December 2009 16:22
MCN's longterm test fleet for 2009 includes the Kawasaki ER-6f. MCN reporter Laura Kennerley has covered thousands of miles on Kawasaki's capable all-rounder - watch the video for her report on the best and worst things about owning an ER-6f.
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Add your comment – Video: Kawasaki ER-6f longterm report
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Good fair review
Its a good fair review and is fairly representatiove of my ownership too. I had an ER6F for nearly two years and 32K it was a cracking little bike.
Agree about the mirrors - the mirror extenders were my second purchase (first was heated handlebars) and made the bike feel a lot safer. With these (approx £20) the view was good enough. Major concern was the tank range since with a 15.5 litre tank this is quite limited - although it doesn't realy bother you touring, when you commute you end up filling up too often. My 08 model had the more basic instrumentation too - no fuel gauge so you just got a orange indicator when fuel was low.
I never got petrol consumption below 60mpg commuting 110-120 miles each day each day but I think 50 is a lot more realistic if you have shorter journeys or town work.
I loved the exhuberance of the engine. It can really go when stirred although has enough torque to not need to. Vibration is a personal thing. I didn't find it unpleasent but I can understand if you attempt to use the bike as a fast long distance tourer it might become intrusive. Personally I feel that it adds a bit of character...
Two things I thought were needing attention were the brakes and the suspension. The brakes on mine and two other ER6N I have ridden were poor compared to every other bike - you need a lot of pressure to make it stop whilst the rear suspension is weak - even solo I find that that the rear is too soft (I'm about 75KG and have it turned up full - even my Ninja 250 has better brakes and suspension).
Lastly I found the low seat hight combined with the small dimensions made the bike very predicatable in strong winds and really easy to filter through traffic.
I used my bike regularly all through the winter and covered it liberally in anti corrosion spray but had no problems with rust - the usual scuffing on footpegs but the tank was fine.
04 January 2010 09:26
I have had my '09 ER-6F since september and have fallen in love with it. Agree with pretty much all of the points in the video. The mirrors are sooooo annoying after my GS500 which had excellent rear view and the Bandit I have on hire at the moment (more on that in a sec) which again is brillient. The narrow seat is a good and bad thing, good for the points in the video, bad for slightly different reasons - being a man I have some rather delicate parts sitting rather close the the tank. If i have to break hard, for other idiots on the road, the tank-slap is, er, uncomfortable lol.
Regarding Laura and her spil, I had an accident on mine recently where I was knocked off. It was low speed and I was able to get out of the way and largely lay the bike down as it then slid. Most of the damaged appeared to be superficial and the bike, hopefully, is getting repaired now :D Gonna find out what actually got broke when I pick it up.
Someone asked what it is like in winter, hopefully I'll get it back in time to let you know!
03 January 2010 11:48
This is my first Bike, i started riding late in my life so i am not an experienced rider. I decided that i would buy the new ER-6f after seeing pre-launch pictures, as soon as the bike arrived in the showroom i went to see it, and i immediatetly bought it! Told by my Kawasaki dealer i was probably the first to buy one in the country! since they had just arrived in the showroom. Use the bike for daily commute to work and some leisure riding, daily commute is round trip 60 miles a day, soon clocked up 3000 miles mixture of Motorway and some A roads, as Laura said the mirrors are a problem, i immediatetly had them extended, it improved rear vision slightly, still isnt great, manybe cause i am 5'10". The bike does feel a little cramped, been out on it in wind, & rain. Overall its great fun, and as a new rider can't recommend this bike enough, its easy to ride, its highly maneoverable at slow and high speed, its as good in town as it is on the open road, it narrow enough to filter in between traffic with ease, and as a novice i have left fast coupes and expensive cars standing at the lights! so although it isnt a sports bike and i am not valentino Rossi! its got fair turn of pace! The dash is great although it would have been good if it could display what gear you are in! on the odd occascion i have forgot when changing down. I personally am not sure i could tour on it, becuase after an hour it doesnt particular feel comfortable but that just might be me. Although i havnt exposed it to harsh conditions, i work at a salt mine in Cheshire! it still looks as good as it did in the show room! i did polish it in summer for protection since there is always salt very near to where i park it. Not been on it for a few months rode it less as the summer ended, i developed a serious problem with my elbow and right wrist. I am assuming this is down to my Tennis playing and not the Bike!
02 January 2010 17:08
Laura even mentions the vibration at 7 to 8k that some other reviewers did not !
To sum up, a very practical and helpful analysis and I look forward to seeing more in the future from this welcome new face.
01 January 2010 17:29
Covered everything I'd want to know about a new bike.
About the mirrors have spoken to other people with brand new bikes seems to be a problem with lots of them.
01 January 2010 09:51
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