Skip to content

Kawasaki ZX-6R Sports Motorbike Review

Find By Make/Model

1 of 6
Kawasaki ZX-6R motorcycle review - Riding
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image
 

Kawasaki ZX-6R (2000-2002)



Detail Value
Used price range View Kawasaki ZX-6R bikes for sale to see current asking prices
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

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.

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

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

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

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

3000 miles

£4,799

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

8333 miles

£5,799

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

7500 miles

£3,699

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

31000 miles

£1,499

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

19200 miles

£1,799

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(59 reviews)

  • My Review

    Bomber1

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A very fast and confidence instilling machine. Annoying high-pitched engine tapping noise, not sure if this is a normal ZX6R trait but it is pissing me off (might need valve adj at 7500m service-will buy brand new next time). Otherwise, looks and feels great.

    21 October 2001

  • My Review

    watso

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Battery died after 1 year due to alarm, Kawasaki would not replace under warranty because the bike had an alarm fitted. Paint coming off on grab rails. Apart from that everything about the bike is very good.

    11 September 2001

  • My Review

    silver929

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Love the bike to bits. I would recomend it to anyone. The only thing I dont like about it is the incredibly high service costs.

    11 September 2001

  • My Review

    feb7

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Scratch, tour, cruise - does the lot.

    11 September 2001

  • My Review

    national250

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Awesome induction sound, Very Positive handling, on slightly toned down Performance Bike settings (better on bumpy lanes round near me) The low speed engine ticking from the cylinder head reed valves (yes true believe it or not) is a bit annoying, but only when I forget me earplugs.

    10 September 2001

  • My Review

    Trev6r

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    First real sports bike owned, and I wouldn't change it for any other. Its as quick as you need it to be on the road and it is brilliant on the track. Handles very well, very forgiving, brakes are excellent and it is very comfortable. Only fault so far is that the paint seems a bit thin on the wheels, well it is on the yellow one.

    08 September 2001

  • My Review

    Neal

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bad points: Back brake is crappenshite. Build quality is poor, fairing panels move apart and hard to get back in place. Lots of corrosion in the nooks and crannies, it's only been out in the bad weather a few times and then it was washed down. Good job it's not my only bike or I would get rid of it for this reason; I haven't got the time to meticulously wash a bike every time I use it. I seem to burn my boot heel onto the exhaust when I've got my toes on the footpegs. Good points. The engine and the handling are superb. Whether it's fast sweepers or bumby B roads, it's a blast. Went to Switzerland on it in June, covered 2500 miles in 6 days and felt fine on it, from long stretches on the peage to the hairpins on the mountain passes, the bike coped beautifully. Body felt fine but I got a sore ass, but I get that on every bike if I do more than a couple of hundred miles a day. For the performance and the price paid, it would be hard to beat.

    18 August 2001

  • My Review

    dannyninja

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Until I got the WP shock the bike handled well but got out of shape on bumpy roads. The new shock has transformed the bike. It was fitted by Wayne Lamb at WP near Louth who also set up the shock and forks to suit my weight, riding style etc. It has allowed an extra 10-20 mph round corners due to better grip and confidence. Highly recommended. Only problem is I'm now getting through tyres much too quickly.

    26 July 2001

  • My Review

    rpkiely

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Very fast with a great smooth engine and gearbox. Handling and front brakes are excellent. Controls are light and well placed. Changed tyres from standard 207's to Pilots Sports (never liked 207's), made bike feel much more stable with loads of grip. Back brake is like a wet sponge. Engine fluffiness under 3k rpm in first is a pain in town.

    24 July 2001

  • My Review

    littleladcox

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    What a bike, I love it. The back brake is my only disappointment though, not very responsive. Luckily the front makes up for it. Handling ids out of this world, I'm on the edge of the tyres trusting every bit of the bike. Recommend it to everyone, good motorway muncher too.

    17 July 2001

Discuss this

Add your comment
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

Most popular

Rate my bike

Related News