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Kawasaki ZX-6R Sports Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki ZX-6R motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The hardest 600 of modern times just got a little softer – and a little better, too. The Kawasaki ZX-6R's track-intent is still present and correct, but thankfully the suspension is more responsive and less harsh. Its new slippery shape means that 170mph is just a following wind away. Also new for 2005 is a slipper clutch and petal discs.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Good Lord, the Kawasaki ZX-6R's DOHC, 16v motor is so close to being perfect. The exquisite fuelling, the easy mid-range, the searing power, the screaming airbox….incredible. It makes a genuine 115bhp at the back wheel, which easily makes it the most powerful middleweight motor of its time.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The most appreciable difference between this and the Kawasaki ZX-6R it replaced is the quality of the ride. The swap from Kayaba to Showa means a plusher, more sophisticated suspension that, mated to a new, stiffer chassis, makes the 2005/2006 ZX-6R so much easier to push hard. There’s a new radial master cylinder for improved braking up front and new ‘petal’ discs for the all-new Tokico radial brakes to bite on, too. It all works flawlessly.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

You couldn’t add more toys to the Kawasaki ZX-6R if you tried. There’s a slipper clutch to smooth out hurried downshifts, a lap timer, an underseat exhaust with a mid-range boosting exhaust valve.

Kawasaki ZX-6R (2005-2006)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£3,480 (2005) - £4,090 (2006)
Private used prices
£3,050 (2005) - £3,680 (2006)
  View full used price info
Engine size 636 cc
Power 114 bhp
Top speed 168 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Kawasaki ZX-6R is well finished and well built. There’s nothing that stands out as worth y of attention, but it’s worth checking any secondhand bike carefully for damaged lock stops, chipped wheels, under-fairing damage etc.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The only thing that counts against the 2005/2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R is its newness. Dealers tend to ask silly prices and a brand spanking new 600 isn’t that much of a leap away from that kind of money. Find a Kawasaki ZX-6R for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

2005: Kawasaki ZX-6R introduced.
2007: Model set to be replaced by all new, 599cc ZX-6R.

Other Versions

ZX-6RR: This is a 599cc machine homologated for racing in Supersports competition. It boasts refined engine internals, a close ratio gearbox, stiction-reducing fork coatings, revised suspension and a boss for a steering damper. Kawasaki can also supply a racing kit to help push the power up towards 140bhp.

Specifications

Top speed 168 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11 secs
Max power 114 bhp
Max torque 52 ft-lb
Weight 164 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 636 cc
Engine specification 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload, compression, rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression, rebound
Front brakes Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/65 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Kawasaki ZX-6R motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

16500 miles

£3,695

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

11010 miles

£3,295

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

27800 miles

£1,899

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

5600 miles

£6,299

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

10565 miles

£5,299

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(24 reviews)

  • After 1yr

    Gigas666

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    At first amazing machine. My 1st big bike only 3 weeks after I passed. Extremely quick the 1st few days to get used to the injection I had the feeling my vision was bluring after 10krpm :))))) . Anyhow great! the handling is super, it allows alot of mistakes which to be honest on other bikes would have been devistating, going through holes on a corner is not funny (even worse with a pillion), but it sticks like glue. although they say it hits 168mph I did manage abroad to max that to 184mph (292kmh) it can do more (reason: bad quality fuel). Due to its power this machine MUST MUST have DAMPER installed it has personally saved my life a dozen of times especially on front wheel lock (glass smooth tarmack) or going through massive fallen rocks from mountain area, or even the stupid dips in road from buses when accelerating. When I purchased the bike it was on 7500miles now is on 15000miles, I ride it all year round and only slight cosmetic problems from weather and jet washes. The pain on the tail has started peeling off here and there leaving black patches but hey! it is plastic with paint no paint can stand vibration long enough and still stay in place. It accellerates like crazy not many can keep up. The bike is so steady and smooth ride that I am already using the full base of the rear tyre and scraping my boots on corners, and I have still not felt any sway of the back tyre on corners (BUY GOOD TYRES IT IS WORTH IT!) this could be counted strongly on the slipper clutch, one bad thing about the size of the front wheel is that it is 120/65 which means not easy to find the tyre you want with that 65profile size you can not get michelin pilot power 2ct that size which is a shame but 120/70 handles pesently too even thow they do not recommend it. It has only given me one problem and that goes with all 2005 (do not know about the 2006) model, wheeling it can throw engine oil if you wheelie for a long distace on high revs , in america they do a so called 'clean air' modification to bypass that airbox filling with oil (causing ceasure to the engine when oil gets in the FI),so what the mod does is direct the oil to the exhaust so it doesn't stall the bike (it is cheap to do it yourself, i beleive is not too nice for the engine and you do need to carry a bottle of engine oil with you hehe) , but if you are like me and not being anctious about wheelies etc then you have no worries. As a young rider the insurance is too high if you are from the EU it is better registering and insuring the bike abroad with a green card it is hell alot more cheaper, bad point is 'it is only legal in the country for 6months then you have to register in DVLA (again)' . Anyhow this is the best 636 ever made. It was not only the best on the track but look in america half the pro-stunt riders ride with 636 '05-'06 models. I hope Kawasaki manufacture a new one in the upcomming years. And if it has to be kawasaki get this GREEN MEAN MACHINE!

    22 September 2008

  • Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I must start by saying this is the first 'big bike' i have ever owned. Stops, accelerates, corner's and rides brilliantly. my previous experience was with a GS 500, and a Faser 600 - this bike blows them out the water. the throttle is progressive and has a ton of midrange which makes it easier to ride than other 600's ive ridden. Definately first class in my opinion

    05 September 2008

  • LOVE IT

    MATT/ZX6R

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    paid £4000 for a 55 plate green one with 4800 miles on it with warrenty its my first big bike and boy do i love it put 1000 miles on it in a week only the british summer has stopped me doing more. hit 8000rpm and your flying first day i had it nailed it looked down at the speedo i was doing a 140mph shit myself taking it steady now building my confidence and the more i ride the better i get. good points great engine great handling great looks bad points wrist and a bit of back ache on long trips but i am 6'2 but its well worth it.

    17 August 2008

  • Green meanie, more like Green softie.

    bodger racing

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Just got the bike 05 plate with 7200 miles on the clock, preivously had triumph daytona 600 which was awsome, but the ninja just does everything that bit better, braking, handling, plush ride, (dont hardly notice bumps at all!) and of course that screaming engine, ACE! Love the digital rev bar and the toys that come as standard, slipper clutch, wavy discs, mono block brakes. very easy to ride geled with it very quickly, the only bad things to say about it is the more racey riding position compared to my daytona my wrists and higher back were aching more, but that was only when slowed up by traffic once on the boil its fine, recomended, go green!

    23 June 2008

  • Awesome Middleweight

    kwakas

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Rode several 600's when buying... and this is the only one I would buy. It actually has power compared to others, handles well, rides well, brakes are ok. Only thing is it feels a little nervous when going quickly through corners but a steering dampner should fix that. Wheelies with incredible ease even if you don't mean to. The paint is poor quality, I've got about 10-15 small blemishes where stones have hit it and the paint is raised... Honestly the only 600cc bike I would ever own.... next up however will be a gixxer 1000cc

    14 April 2008

  • Love it Ride it

    kawacross

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Having just updated from a zx6rf3 (Jan 2008) the bikes are worlds apart. I loved my old f3 but since getting the 2006 model i feel like i did 15 years ago when i got my first bike i just want to ride it every where. It goes like stink and handles superb and looks great. The only problem i have with it is seeing the dash display.

    14 February 2008

  • fun all the way

    king01

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I have owned a Plasma blue 05/54 636 for a year now. I love it to bits and really enjoy getting out on it with the lads. The standard Bridgestones are super grippy and the bike is very forgiving. Was a tad uncomfortable on a trip to France but 1800 miles in 3 days is asking a lot. It clocked a comfortable 167mph on the Autoroute.

    17 September 2007

  • why dont you own this

    1motion

    US

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Engine

    fast enough to give the big bikes fits...easy to ride hard and enjoy its great handling. ive put in over 1000 miles in 2 days and have 15,000 miles and counting, i havent had any problems with it at all and ergonomically speaking it is a very comfortable sportbike, the seat is better than anything else you will find...i love this bike and evertime i try something else out i still cant wait to get back on my 636

    01 September 2007

  • What a rush

    DangerousDel

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Some galvanised fittings cant take a winter, but the engine and chassis are just superb! Its a bike well worth owning, no matter what sort of riding you do!

    13 May 2007

  • A superb choice as a first bike, top all round performer

    peterhutton

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    My eyes were opened to the joys of motorcycle ownership August this year when I purchased my first bike. It has exceeded my expectations in every field. It looks the business, goes like stink and is so forgiving and easy to ride. Strengths: Massive grin factor, exellent sales & after sales team, easy to ride, sounds superb. Weaknesses: No rear wheel hugger, speed points accumulator.

    08 October 2006

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ninja1980

ninja1980says

so excited

hi guys im looking to buy a 2005-2006 model in february, can anyone tell me what to look out for when going to look at one????

10 January 2008 18:44

DangerousDel

User's Badge

DangerousDelsays

What a rush!

I bought my 636 from new last Sept, having ridden an old G1 for a year. What a rush! Hit 8krpm and it takes off! It hugs the corners like its on rails and is comfortable two up (the missus). Some may not consider it the most attractive bike but its instantly recogniseable and turns many heads with its familiar growl. Some of the galvanised fittings are a bit naff and already showing some signs of salt corrosion, but then I do ride it in the wet all year round.

13 May 2007 16:07

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