On track settings the steering is very quick and sharp, impressively responsive to your every input, ensuring that you’ll never miss an apex. There was the odd head shake, but nothing alarming, just feedback to let you know that you’re getting close to the limit. The ride is noticeably softer on road settings. There’s more travel from the rear, and the ride feels plush at all speeds, taking bumps, swells and potholes in its stride, ensuring that the pilot is always comfortable in the saddle. Despite this ‘softness’, it doesn’t squat too much on the power.
The new longer stoke motor does its job well, boasting an attractive combination of smooth torque and top-end power. It will pull cleanly around town from as little as 4,000rpm even in top. But at 7,000pm it starts to awaken, then kicks at 8,000 with a noticeable aural assault from the new larger air-box, as it surges to its peak power rush from 10,000rpm to the redline. It has far more midrange than the outgoing 599cc model but I remember the old 636 being a bigger step in performance over the then 600. This new 636 motor feels tangibly closer to the outgoing 600.
As with all Japanese manufacturers build quality and reliabilty is top notch. There's no reason to think the 636 will be any different.
Prices for are what you expect to pay for a new supersport bike. You'll pay a £1000 premium (£9999) for the ABS version.
Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
Traction control comes as standard and there's no reason to turn it off when on the road. Even in mode three - the highest setting - it isn’t particularly intrusive. You can only feel it smoothly react when accelerating hard in first, or if you tap the power on hard when you’re still on the edge of the tyre. In settings one or two, and even if riding like it’s the last lap of the North West 200, there’s also very little obvious intrusion. Just like the ZX-10R, you can hold small power wheelies in the first two modes, too.