KAWASAKI ER-6F (2005-2008) Review

Published: 17 June 2010

"A cunningly-disguised riot of fun, the Kawasaki ER-6f is cute, capable and competent"

Kawasaki ER-6f

"A cunningly-disguised riot of fun, the Kawasaki ER-6f is cute, capable and competent"

  • At a glance
  • 649cc  -  71 bhp
  • 44 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Medium seat height (785mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Tests have shown that nine out of 10 road testers prefer the Kawasaki ER-6f to virtually any other middleweight machine. Bandits, Fazers, Monsters, SV650s… The Kawasaki ER-6 has trounced the lot of ‘em. A cunningly-disguised riot of fun, the Kawasaki ER-6f is cute, it’s capable and it’s competent just about anywhere. You’d have to be off your rocker not to enjoy the ride.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki ER-6f is very nimble: excellent for nipping around town or hooning along twisty lanes. It copes with everything until, over 100mph, the suspension can complain just a little. Otherwise, it’s well set up, the gearbox is smooth and the brakes are fantastic. Low-ish seat and narrow riding position make the Kawasaki ER-6f ideal for smaller folk but even taller riders seem to find it comfortable.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki ER-6f's fuel injected, parallel twin is full of surprises. Expecting a relatively sedate ride? You’ll be amazed at the accessible, wide band of power, the responsiveness of the throttle and the sheer go of this little motorcycle. It thrives on handfuls of revs and doesn’t run out of breath until you’re way over the ton. Life on the Kawasaki ER-6f is very, very entertaining. 

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki ER-6f is hard to gauge but, going by other Kawasakis, reliability should be in the “average to good” bracket. Finish is ok, although the welding’s a bit untidy in places and the wiring’s a bit of a mess. However, the Kawasaki ER-6f is not at all bad for the money.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

The Kawasaki ER-6 really is excellent value. It looks so tame but is spectacular fun to ride and genuinely able to deal with pretty much everything. Even the most experienced riders have a ball on them but a novice would find it agreeably accommodating too. Price/performance-wise, its biggest rival is Suzuki’s SV650 and the Kawasaki ER-6f certainly gives that a bloody good run for its money… Find a Kawasaki ER-6f for sale.

Insurance group: 10 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Wavy discs, off-set rear suspension and an underslung exhaust make the Kawasaki ER-6f a stylish, contemporary option. On the dash, there’s no fuel gauge (boo!) but both the brake and clutch levers are adjustable (yay!). Aftermarket Kawasaki ER-6 bits include crash bungs and a top box. ABS is also an option for around £300. No centre stand but that helps the Kawasaki ER-6f have excellent ground clearance. Compare and buy parts for the ER-6f in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

8 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ER-6F (2005-2008) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.1 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 2.9 out of 5
3 out of 5

Competent but not perfect

25 September 2014 by johnrodgers

I picked up a well cared for 2006 ER6F last month. The cons are very obvious: Cheap underdamped suspension, dangerously narrow mirrors and secondary vibration from the bodywork at low revs. I´d also add wooden brakes (but may just be the current... Read more pads) and a seat that is uncomfortable for more than fifty miles at a time. The headlights only work with the engine running and despite having twin lights only one works on dip. Despite that list I still rate the bike as satisfying to ride, largely due to the brilliant engine. Torquey like a V-twin around town, smooth and revvy on open roads. Keep the revs below 6K (75-80mph in top) and the fuel economy is excellent, regularly seeing 65mpg. This may be due to the fairing which also makes long distance motorway work fairly effortless. The bike feels very heavy to me for a middleweight twin, but I find that a bonus for straight line stability and crosswinds. Steering feels stable but quite slow but that may be due to wear on current tyres. Overall a very safe bet as a second hand buy with a few irritating but fixable design issues that relegate the ER6 to merely good bike status.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Commuter heaven (so far)

19 September 2014 by craiggingell

I've ridden my bike in all weathers back and forth to work for a year now and its never caused me any problems. Its cheap to ensure. Good on fuel. To the untrained eye they look nice but you wont fool any bikers that its a sports bike. Overall it... Read more does what i ask it to: commute through traffic and motorway 40 miles a day come (sideways) rain or shine

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic All Rounder

09 February 2014 by Zeee

A fantastic all round bike that is nimble in traffic when commuting and will put a smile on your face at the weekend. They look good, they're comfy, they handle beautifully and are fairly economical with low insurance. I ride mine all year round and... Read more in all weathers, the fairing gives reasonable weather protection and with a decent set of tyres (Pilot Roads are a good choice) it corners like it's on rails in all but the worst conditions. The gearbox is smooth and positive, it's can sit up when accelerating hard and will make sportsbikes look silly if you feel that way out. If you look after them they keep their looks, don't and you'll get a bit of rust on the welds and corrosion everywhere. I've just bought my second after being knocked off the first, they're a great fun bike on a budget.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Change The Bars!

19 April 2013 by captaincoconut

I've had my 08 ER6f (in green) for a few months now, and have to say it's a really great pice of kit. Simple sure, but does what you need it to, and then some! I'm a little biased as this is my first big bike, but I looked round at bandits, fazers,... Read more SV, hornets all the typical first bike choices and can honestly say that I made the right choice. I commute 100miles a day in & out of London and the ER6 takes it in its stride. The good: Great engine that pulls magnificently (can beat faster bikes off the line with all the low down grunt, but they'll get you in the end!) excellent manners and very predictable so won't catch you out. I've got the fared version and looks great. The newer models even more so. Great basic set up with not a lot to go wrong. The bad: Ok, so this is a budget bike which does show in palces. The farings buzz, which can be solved by taking them off and putting dampers in (I like to get my hands dirty so not a problem for me). Some of the joints do show signs of rust if you don't look after it, but nothing to get too worked up about. Could use a hugger too to help keep it clean, especially in the winter months. The main thing I changed was changing the handlerbars. I found the riding position to sit up for my liking, which meant the faring didn't really work on motorway. Swapped it over to some clip on style sports bars (you can import them from America) and completely chagnes this bikes attitude for the better! Handles much better, makes the faring actually work, and suits the style of the bike. I would highly recommend doing this. In the end, great bike to start on, you can have a lot fun at the weekend with your friends, and still be a great commuter for the week. Probably going to keep this as my commuter when I look to upgrade, I like it that much!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
2 out of 5

Poor suspension

26 September 2011 by Anonymous

The engine is lovely and it looks good but in my opinion the front suspension is poor. I have been road riding for over 30 years, I have also owned several motorcycle shops in the past so I have ridden hundreds of bikes and this must have the worst... Read more suspension in its class that I have ever experienced. Anyone trying a bumpy corner on one will find that there's very little front grip.Then try it in the wet if you dare! I bought a brand new one and got rid within 9 days. Kawasaki say there's no problem but I disagree. On one occasion I really thought I was going to die.Don't take my word for it, Before you buy I recommend you ride one or do a google search on ER6 front suspension and check out what the forums say, then make up your mind.I wish I had.

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Utter sh*te!

20 August 2011 by Feakster

I had this for 2 hours and came off it. I didn't voluntarily pick/buy it. It was the only courtesy bike in the shop at the time. The handling is shocking! Engine's not great either. If you're thinking about buying this, slap yourself, then go and buy... Read more a better bike. I have no doubt there are many out there.

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Good bike, pity about the build quality

29 November 2010 by Shakeyjake

Had my ER6-F for two years. I've done 18k miles in all weathers so you could say I have experience now. Apart from having a high centre of gravity making it difficult for beginners to handle in slow turns the ride is good and enjoyable. If I lived in... Read more a dry country I would buy another but in the UK the paint just falls off, welded joints weep rust and the exhaust downpipe sheered after 10k and cost £350 (part only) to replace. All the other spares I've needed seem to be the most expensive in the book, with little or no cheaper options from non Kawasaki manufacturers. So overall good good bike but not built to last and seems more expensive to run than I expected.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fantastic commuter

18 June 2010 by mastermaw

I drive my '06 ER6f across London every day. It's light, cheap to insure - yet still looks good and goes like stink (0-60 professionally timed at 3.6 seconds!) Only issues are the old fashioned clocks and vibrating fairing - both of these resolved... Read more in the '09 model - grab one of those for £4k and you will not be disappointed. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 8 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2008
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 71 bhp
Max torque 49 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 649cc
Engine type 8v parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tube
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 178kg
Front suspension none
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2005: Both the Kawasaki ER-6n and Kawasaki ER-6f versions launched. ABS models also available.
2009: Updated ER-6F and ER-6n modela launched.

Other versions

Kawasaki ER-6n: 4kg lighter naked version. £300 cheaper when new.

Photo Gallery

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