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Kawasaki ER-6F Naked Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The original Kawasaki ER-6f was universally acclaimed by MCN’s road testers and the revised ER sees the love affair continue. It’s a rare package of fun, practicality and affordability, which is great for novices and experienced riders alike. Its sporty, Ninja looks prove budget doesn’t have to mean bland, while revisions to the 649cc parallel twin engine have eradicated most of the niggles that held the old model back. 

Video: Living with a Kawasaki ER-6f

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Kawasaki took on board criticism of the old ER-6fs vibey engine, made some revisions and came up with a much improved 649cc parallel twin. It has smoother throttle response, especially below 4000rpm and a surprisingly accessible, wide band of power. It will sail past a ton with no problems, and needs to be hammered to reach its limits.  But is still a breeze for new riders.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

It's light and agile around town, but with wide wheels and sticky tyres it can dance along B-roads too. Its sleek, sexy fairing provides good wind protection meaning it is a capable tourer, while its up-right riding position is comfortable and makes sense for road riding. The narrow seat and low seat height (790mm) mean it's perfect for shorties or new riders, but it never feels cramped for taller riders. The rear engine mounts have been rubber mounted, as have the handlebar mounts and pegs making it a much smoother ride.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

This is not just an ER-6n with a fairing thrown on. Kawasaki has gone to the trouble of integrating the Ninja inspired fairing in to the design. From the front it looks like a small ZX-6R, thanks to its flush indicators and twin headlamps. Adding to its good looks are the neat underslung exhaust, side mounted shock and petal shaped brake discs. It's impossible not to fall in love with its looks, but this equipment is not just visually pleasing; it all performs. The brakes are reponsive, the dash has a fuel gauge, but is not always easy to read, and the rear shock has adjustable pre-load.

Kawasaki ER-6f (2009-2011)

Detail Value
New price £5,999
Dealer used prices
£3,420 (2009) - £5,450 (2014)
Private used prices
£3,000 (2009) - £4,910 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 649 cc
Power 71 bhp
Top speed mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3.5 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3.5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

It's Japanese so reliability doesn’t seem to be an issue. Predictably quality is basic as befits the price tag, but this means any parts that need replacing are affordable. Irritatingly the seat is reluctant to part with the body work, and the key equally reluctant to leave the petrol cap post fuelling. You’ll need to look after the ER-6 to keep it in a corrosion free state.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The ER-6f can be a comfortable workhorse or a machine to leave you beaming from ear to ear if you want it to. It ticks all the boxes, its affordable, will make a gentle first big bike for new riders, or provide experienced riders with a fun ride. It has all the looks of a Kawasaki sports bike, but is accessible to pretty much everyone. Find a Kawasaki ER-6f for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2005: Kawasaki ER-6f introduced
2009: New ER-6f

Other Versions

2011: ER-6f ABS [£6,375]

Specifications

Top speed mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 71 bhp
Max torque 49 ft-lb
Weight 204 kg
Seat height 805 mm
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 50 mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 649 cc
Engine specification 8v, liquid-cooled, 6 gears
Frame Diamond, high tensile steel
Front suspension adjustment 41mm telescopic fork
Rear suspension adjustment Single shock with adjustable preload
Front brakes Dual semi-floating 300mm petal discs.
Rear brake 220mm petal disc
Front tyre size 120/70
Rear tyre size 160/60

See all Kawasaki ER-6F motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ER-6F

2000 miles

£3,500

Kawasaki
ER-6F

430 miles

£4,799

Kawasaki
ER-6F

3650 miles

£3,950

Kawasaki
ER-6F

30000 miles

£2,450

Kawasaki
ER-6F

18250 miles

£3,199

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(7 reviews)

  • Great Bike

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've had this bike (2011 model) for about a year and have used it for commuting, days out and recently on a long trip to Europe and back. My previous bike was the 2008 model. I'm 6ft and about 90kgs. I've been riding 30+ years and this was my first brand new bike for about 20 years. I think the bike is great value for money and looks great. Easy to ride, very nimble and agile and can hold 70 - 75 mph on the motorway with no trouble; even very fully loaded. I wouldn't say it has the effortless power of a bigger super-tourer but it is pretty good. Riding round town or on the commute is great, plenty of acceleration and pull even in top gear; gear changes nice and positive, controls easy to use. Fuel economy is OK - I get about 60 mpg from my bike - I don't thrash it. I fitted a Givi Pannier Rack to the bike and that was fairly easy. The Insurance is quite cheap. A few niggles: first of all - the mirrors are rubbish. Kawasaki need to sort this as it is a common complaint. The seat, although nice and low, which makes the bike great for shorter riders, is not very comfy on a long ride, also it is a pain to get on and off the bike. I think the 2013 model has a split seat so that's one thing sorted. I agree that you need a tank protector. The exhaust position is great for the looks of the bike, but I would like a centre stand - this would make cleaning the bike that much easier. The instrumentation is OK, nice and modern and very clear at night but a bit difficult to read in bright light. It would be nice if the bike came with a fitted power supply! As Kawasaki seem to be making regular improvements to this model, I am very likely to get another one. Very good bike - suits me just fine.

    23 June 2013

  • Think Commuter only

    dohc

    Average rating rating is 2

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    Engine

    Very basic suspension. I felt like I was getting a piggy back ride on a kangaroo. I think Kawasaki upgraded the engine and the looks from the ER5 but forgot to do anything about the suspension. Nice engine, economical and easy around town. The seat gives numb bum within minuites and the mirrors are useless Do not mistake it for a sports bike when it come to cornering. The main let down is the suspennsion. It should be much better for the 6k price tag.I sold mine yuck !

    26 September 2011

  • Very nice bike but....

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Engine

    The is a very nice bike and still one that I recommend to all my friends as they step up from the 125 world and into the big bike universe, but... it's just a bit boring! It's nice and smooth on the thottle and the power is friendly enough for any rider. I did find the engine lacking a bit when carrying pillion, but at just 71bhp (and I'm a big bloke) this isn't really surprising. The styling is excellent, but pick one of the colours and not Black - I had the black one and EVERY little scratch and mark shows. Lastly, I had mine from new and traded it in after 12 months, just before I traded it I stripped the fairings off to 'deep clean' it. I was really disappointed to find that nearly all the rubbers on the bolts needed to be replaced and some of the tubing was already on it's way out. Overall, this is a great novice bike if you feel your not ready for a sports bike. That said, I've had alot more fun on my CBR600 (2002 Rossi rep) since and can't help but feel I wasted a year 'playing it safe' on the Kwacker.

    06 July 2011

  • Great first bike

    edinburghbiker

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I bought my 2009 ER6f in August 2010 and I am so glad I went for the choice I have. Since then, I have tried friends’ Bandit, SV650s, XJ6 and Fazer, with these only helping to reassure me that I got the right bike. It may be in the budget-bike catagory, but it punches well above it. As a new biker, I wanted a reasonably low-cost all-rounder. A bike suitable for the daily commute, but something that will put a big smile on my face at the weekend. The ER6f certainly does that. The engine is lively and provides the punch when needed, the look is great with it’s ninja-style lines and side-mounted rear shock, plus even the all-digital display has turned heads. I have been riding my ER6f for 9 months and she’s maintained an almost spotless bill of health, which was the same for the previous owner too. The only thing I have needed to do is have one of the chain adjuster caps re-painted (at very little cost) as the paint had started to flake slightly. The rest of the paintwork has been flawless. First big bike?... A no contest in my view.

    03 May 2011

  • Miles of Smiles

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Bought the 2009 ER6f in Nov 2009 brand new on returning to biking after many years 'resting'. Never had more than 500cc before, but wanted something that would last rather than getting bored after a few months. Looked at the 650 Bandit SA, Yamaha 600 Divi, and this. Tried each bike a ciuple of times at different dealers but this was the one that I got off smiling each time. For a new 'big biker' or a born again like me, you can't go wrong. The handling is great, the power delivery very easily controlled and smooth rather than snatchy (goes with being a twin rather than a four pot). The run-in of 600 miles was a good chance to run myself back in too, but I was itching to go from 4000 revs to 6000 by 600 miles. Once fully run in at 1000 miles, to be honest I didn't feel the need to push it too much further for a while. I have now covered 3400 miles and absolutely love this bike! As my confidence has grown, I have teased more from the bike, but realise that even now there is so much more to offer performance-wise and this bike will last a good while yet. It has proved 100% reliable, the services are cheap at around £100. The only fault has been the LED tail light which went on the blink at 11 months old but was replaced on warranty.I have extended the warranty to 4 years for confidence as I will likely keep the bike till then at least.I can't think of anything worth changing it for without going up to supersports. If you want a bike than costs less than £6k (I paid 4900 new from Lloyd Cooper)but gives as much fun as you could want, is great round town, does 60mpg and looks like a proper Ninja then this baby is it!

    19 March 2011

  • Impressed

    charonboatman

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Had my ER6F since Feb 10, was the looks and colour that snared my attention (sports styling and that Kawasaki Green colour). Digital dash completes the look along with the uncluttered back end. Had no problems at all so far (touch wood)

    15 August 2010

  • Great Bike!

    micwilliams

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    The first thing that impressed me before I even got on the bike was the digital dash, looks very good and works very well. Only thing lacking is a temperature gauge, although it does have a light that comes on if the engine is overheating. After swinging a leg over the seat I was further impressed by the riding position. This gives the rider a nice upright position and compared to my CBR125 I've just parted with, a much more dominant feel on the road. I haven't run the engine in yet and with the cold and wet weather conditions we've had recently I haven't really tested the bike yet, in terms of handling etc. But I've covered just over 300 miles so far and the bike is very easy to handle at slow speeds manoeuvring through rush-hour traffic. I've also had someone on the back which was no issue for the bike. As for the engine, all I can comment on at the moment is that it feels very powerful. Until the bike has been run in, I can't rev above 4,000 for first 500-600 miles and so far I haven't really needed to. Plenty of pull low down in the rev range means town riding is effortless. Duel carriageways, motorways etc. are a breeze, 4,000 revs in 6th gear is about 55mph. The bike feels very comfortable and stable at this speed and I'm guessing will be at 70mph+ aswell. On the 125 I could feel every bit of side wind and had to keep adjusting my steering and balance, the ER-6f though deals with this much better. I can't comment on the reliability due to only owning the bike for a couple of weeks, but the quality of the finish seems very high. Overall I'm very happy with this bike and would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a bigger bike. Whether upgrading from a 125 or even 500, this bike will provide plenty of fun and power to entertain.

    20 December 2009

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HU18Novice

HU18Novicesays

Is it really that good?

I am currently doing my Direct Access training. I am doing it on an ER6N (12 plate).

I own a Honda CBR 125R.

Although - obviously - the Honda is significantly slower and lighter, it feels better quality and better built. It is smooth through the gears and relatively quiet even when revved hard. The ER6N, on the other hand, is clunky on gear change, feels lumpy on acceleration at low speeds, and is very difficult to ride smoothly around town. It also sounds like a cross between a tractor and a lawn mower. I don't believe this is down to it being a learner bike ridden by lots of novices as the school is meticulous over maintenance and works closely with a local Kawasaki dealer. The first bigger bike I rode was the ER5, and that felt better than the 6N too.

So, while I did have my heart set an a shiny new, white ER6F, my concern is - am I going to find the F any different from the N? And why are there so many on the second-hand market which are relatively new with very low mileage?

 

 

 

 

12 August 2013 11:32

HU18Novice

HU18Novicesays

Is it really that good?

I am currently doing my Direct Access training. I am doing it on an ER6N (12 plate).

I own a Honda CBR 125R.

Although - obviously - the Honda is significantly slower and lighter, it feels better quality and better built. It is smooth through the gears and relatively quiet even when revved hard. The ER6N, on the other hand, is clunky on gear change, feels lumpy on acceleration at low speeds, and is very difficult to ride smoothly around town. It also sounds like a cross between a tractor and a lawn mower. I don't believe this is down to it being a learner bike ridden by lots of novices as the school is meticulous over maintenance and works closely with a local Kawasaki dealer. The first bigger bike I rode was the ER5, and that felt better than the 6N too.

So, while I did have my heart set an a shiny new, white ER6F, my concern is - am I going to find the F any different from the N? And why are there so many on the second-hand market which are relatively new with very low mileage?

 

 

 

 

12 August 2013 11:32

wazzauk

wazzauksays

er6f

my 1st kawasaki and love it,style sporty colour and power for new ish rider and would buy new 1 if i could,looked at other bikes but wouldnt change it,value for money would recomend it to anyone.

30 May 2012 18:01

cchas

cchassays

Built in Thailand?

Good or bad? Any views? I am thinking that its totally built there or they'd say 'assembled' in Thailand surely? Mind you; our 2004 z1000 finish suffers if you didn't keep on top of it. Does anyone know when the Thai factory took on production? Were the cracking frames in 2007 down to them? I have previously looked into the Chinese mfrg world and seen some horror stories.  An ER6 was on our shopping list for a new (economical) general purpose steed. It reminds me of a GPZ 500 I loved some years back. Is the Thai connection enough to steer me to something built in Japan - for similar money???? Views ladies and gents. Thx.

 

14 March 2010 20:38

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