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

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
£2,010 (2000) - £2,740 (2002)
Private used prices
£1,670 (2000) - £2,460 (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

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

11010 miles

£3,295

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

3005 miles

£5,694

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

4250 miles

£5,895

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

7387 miles

£5,995

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

9834 miles

£4,495

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(59 reviews)

  • My Review

    sparky1

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Great bike, shame about servicing costs. As a high milage user I was disappointed with the every 8000 mile check shims service which at my local dealer is over £450. I also needed shims as well and apparantly have a high spot on the cams. Eats disc pads and rear brake is c**p. Looks great and handles as well as expected. engine drives from nothing and weather protection is good. Shame its got to go as I can't afford the twice yearly 8000 mile service which is double or even triple the price compared to the other manufacturers.

    09 July 2001

  • My Review

    the no1 martin

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I am 40- 1st bike in 18 yrs its wild factory build is crap fairing dont meet proper underneath nuts missing on fairing wires not in sheavig will catch em when cleaning main beam 2 high paint finish is rubbing off in places however it is fast sleek admired releaves middle age stress & is a FANNY MAGNET.

    28 May 2001

  • My Review

    timed out

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I the think I love about this bike is the all round appeal. I have sat on Gixer 600 and R6 and I bet they feel great on the track but not so great for everyday riding. On proper dry roads it corners like a demon and sounds great even with the stock can. The brakes kick arse in any conditions and the reliability so far has been faultless. Even though it's a new bike I think the header pipes ain't gonna last as long as they should but that will just give me an excuse to swap them for a full system. Planned purchases to get the most out the Summer are a K&N filter, Stage 1 dyno-jet kit and race can. I can't wait to hear it sing.

    26 April 2001

  • My Review

    mrabrupt

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Dropping the forks 10mm thru' the yokes have improved turn-in and 'feel' of the front end. Fun with a capital F !!! Just wish I had more bottle ...

    24 April 2001

  • My Review

    martinwallis

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Now that the bike is fully run in it is excellent to actually open it up and feel the acceleration. I have managed to find some dry bits of road and the handling is impressive. With pillion on the back started to feel a bit wallowy at speed, but I found out that the 36psi Carnell recommended for the rear is different to the 42 Dunlop recommends. Hoping to get some serious mileage in now, but no gripes really as yet. Alarm kept false-alerting whilst locked in the garage though I think this was because it was starting to drain the battery, I'm getting it checked anyway.

    14 April 2001

  • My Review

    richardcarter

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I love this bike, having previously owned much bigger bore sportsbikes I thought I might have been disappointed. After a quick test drive I found myself handing over my hard earned cash rapidly for a black and silver model. I tested the new CBR and R6, but felt this bike would be just as happy around town, thrashing around France or scratching. The pillion seat is fairly comfortable, with the addition of a set of throw-over sports panniers almost anything is possible. I only have two main complaints about the bike - 1. Carburation suffers when riding long distances through wet weather, I've found myself running on three or two cylinders in heavy rain, which may be something to do with the huge ram-air intakes. 2. A hugger would be better fitted standard, the rear shock spring has already started to rust. Although not as important the rectifier / regulator could have been fitted in a better place (somewhere other than in front of the back wheel). All in all the bike has been brilliant, and with the addition of a few extras is starting to look fairly trick. Can't recommend this bike enough as a brilliant all-rounder.

    12 April 2001

  • My Review

    chukky

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Superb all round bike, docile round town with great low down grunt for a four, but exciting top end. Handling and brakes superb, very predictable, deceptively fast. Dials too small, but fairing gives excellent protection, could do with a centre stand. Love the looks, insurance costs excessive!!

    28 February 2001

  • My Review

    mikiboy

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Miss the torque of the GPZ900. Should have bought the new 9 but decided against it after getting an insurance quote. Find the bike a bit jerky on 90d turnings at low speed. The exhaust can looks awful. Very comfortable but has too tall a seat for my liking-+ point again to the 9. Best looking bike on the market save the old 916. Keep getting the front wheel off rhe ground when accelerating hard past cars due to lack of torque. Have been faster on the GPZ9 than this but this has frightened me a little. Easy to ride fast but feels a little vague. Will try fiddling with suspension. Had it tank-slapping on smooth road when riding smoothly from Oakham to Melton. Maybe I just miss the stableness of the GPZ.

    28 February 2001

  • My Review

    ianymcaleer

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I love the way the bike looks especially from the front with those evil looking foxeye headlights (which must scare the be-jesus out of car drivers) the gun silver + black paint job looks the biz! (though the finish could be a little thicker on the tank). It is so easy to ride in town and out, and I often use it to commute to work. Pillion seat is comfy to.

    28 February 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