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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 3

Kawasaki’s new-for-2000 ZX-6R got a new swingarm, a revised rear shock and engine internals and a facelift – not good enough to compete with Yamaha’s stunning R6 on the track nor Honda’s new ally-framed CBR600 on the road. In 2002 it got a beefier 636cc motor, which made it a much improved road tool.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Kawasaki ZX-6R's carb-fed, 16v four cylinder motor still sounds mega, with the gruff airbox roar that makes caning these Kawasakis so addictive. It’s fast, too, ripping to over 160mph out of the box. But the icing on the cake is its flexibility – it’s hard to believe it’s packing just 599cc. The gearbox should behave itself – if it’s less than slick and positive try another bike. In 2002 essentially the same bike was released with a 636cc motor bringing even more road-friendly performance.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Thankfully Kawasaki introduced suspension grease nipples on the J-series ZX-6Rs, so the shock has a better chance of retaining some of its performance than previous efforts. The revised geometry makes for improved cornering and the machine feels considerably lighter than before.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The fuel tap (hard to find and hard to operate on the move), screen brace, and analogue clocks date the Kawasaki ZX-6R Js. On a positive note the mirrors are excellent, the pillion seat works for about 60 miles and the lights are bright.

Kawasaki ZX-6R (2000-2002)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£1,990 (2000) - £2,700 (2002)
Private used prices
£1,680 (2000) - £2,340 (2002)
  View full used price info
Engine size 599 cc
Power 109 bhp
Top speed 163 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Corrosion is the Kawasaki ZX-6R's biggest bugbear. If the bike you’re looking at’s been garaged and pampered it should be fine. If left to the elements the finish quickly dulls, the paint on the brake calipers can flake off and the shock’s performance suffers as it gets shotblasted by road crud without a hugger.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

No, it’s not great value. The J-series Kawasakis cost the same as their CBR and R6 rivals and yet offer a less satisfying ride and much lower spec technology. Find a Kawasaki ZX-6R for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

2000: Kawasaki ZX-6R introduced.
2000: Supercedes G-series ZX-6R with a new singarm, revised shock, engine and gearbox improvements.
2002: Model essentially re-released with a bog-bore 636cc motor. It claimed 116bhp and 52ft lb of torque.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 163 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.9 secs
Max power 109 bhp
Max torque 49 ft-lb
Weight 172 kg
Seat height 830 mm
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 599 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

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ZX-6R

7316 miles

£4,595

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

18605 miles

£1,300

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

26607 miles

£3,999

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

18000 miles

£4,750

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

11300 miles

£1,899

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(59 reviews)

  • My Review

    hblademart

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Had the bike from new about 3-4 months, previous bike fire blade which I crashed and TL1000R Which was nicked, went for the 6 as insurance companies would not insure me on superbikes. Wow what a suprise the ZX6 is fast handles great and is loads of fun. Not as fas in a straight line as the big bikes but I get on those lanes and leave my mate on all the bends, seen 160 on the clock, wheelies great in 1st and 2nd no problems. What can I say a great bike to own. 600 is all you need!

    04 July 2002

  • My Review

    Oracle9eye

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Smooth engine. Lovely induction noise. No petrol indicator (just an old fashioned reserve tap).

    25 June 2002

  • My Review

    smally11

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Starts without choke, backfires sometimes.

    29 May 2002

  • My Review

    peterheathsykes

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    As a born again biker (sorry) I settled with the bike really well. The power is smooth and plenty of it. It looks the part the kids love it the wife is still worried but who cares!! will keep it for 12 months then probably get a ZX9R? As for working on it I dont intend to. As for build quality, ok as I wont allow it to see rain couple of clips rusting but will replace at 4k service.

    15 May 2002

  • My Review

    robajones21

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Easy to ride at any speed this is my first rode bike and I love it and Im in the process of lrning knee downs.

    27 April 2002

  • My Review

    bosun2

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Havent ridden a bike for 20 years, wow what a difference two decades make. Easy to ride, fantastic brakes, smooth and responsive. Early days yet but I am well chuffed with my new toy. Bad bits, I quite agree with fellow owners, the build quality in some areas is very poor. Namely, tarnished nuts and bolts, discs pitting abit and some of the ally is tarnished. I'm sure it would not put a lot on the new cost to uprate these bits. Apart from these bits I feel my hard earned cash was well spent.

    17 April 2002

  • My Review

    simonhoar

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is my first bike since passing my test, I find it well balanced, with an incredible turn of speed especially, higher up the rev range. After riding other 600s I know I picked the right choice.

    12 April 2002

  • My Review

    Al Day

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    After owning an R6 I swore I'd never buy another sports 600. But this ZX-6R is bar far and away the best 600 I've ever ridden, and I've either owned, or ridden at length, all of them. This mint one became available and I decided to take it out for a test. 20 miles later and I'd already made up my mind to buy it! Supremely comfortable, soooo easy to ride quickly with a much more even spread of power than the R6 or even the new CBR 600 Sport. Stunning looking too in green.

    09 April 2002

  • My Review

    PAUL JONES

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I HAVE OWNED A LOT OF BIKES OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS AND TO BE HONEST I FOUND THE BUILD QUALITY ON THE ZX6 A BIT POOR. ITS CLEANED ALMOST EVERY DAY BUT DIDN'T LIKE THE WINTER AT ALL. SO FAR NEW SUSPENSION UNIT (CORRODED) NEW DISKS/PADS (WARPED) NEARLY £100 OF NUTS AND BOLTS (CORRODED) NEW BRAKE LINES ALL ROUND (CORRODED) HAVING SAID ALL THAT THOUGH THIS BIKE IS THIS BIKE IS BRILLIANT BOTH FAST AND SLOW AND EVEN WITH POOR BUILD QUALITY ITS DIFFICULT TO FIND SUCH A CAPABLE ALL ROUNDER WITH A MOTOR THAT PULLS LIKE A TRAIN FOR THIS SORT OF MONEY. IF ONLY KAWASAKI SPENT A BIT MORE MONEY ON PUTTING IT TOGETHER. I LOVE IT BUT I THINK WHEN THE WARRANTY RUNS OUT I WILL GET A NEW ONE, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE BIKE BUT THE WARRANTY!!

    19 March 2002

  • My Review

    trackdayslouch

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Std Dunlop tyres ok for everyday but not great for grip. Dunlop 207 RR much much better. Generally great bike, goes,sounds much better with micron system with dynojet. Brake upgrade transforms brakes. ZX9R who needs one? - plenty enough speed (162 on recent track day) more flickable. Cheaper to run & insure - thanks Kawasaki!!

    08 March 2002

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lynxer

lynxersays

2002 ZX636R

Had mine for a year now and have done lots of miles because I ride every day. Weaknesses: carb icing makes it well dodgy when below +5C (Silkolene Pro FST fuel additive sorts it), front brakes mediocre, no fuel gauge and plugs a pig to get at. Strengths: a sweet little bike with great mid range that'll really hustle round the corners and is comfortable enough for very long journeys unlike its successors. Great headlights too. Overall - if you're new to sportsbikes and want something credible but without scary insurance premiums, pick one up with 6000 miles or less for £2500 private. Insure it TPFF and you'll have serious performance for silly money.

03 June 2007 22:26

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