KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2013-on) Review

Published: 09 November 2012

"Kawasaki has tried to make the new ZX-6R more usable for the road. And in many ways they've succeeded"

KAWASAKI ZX-6R  (2013-on)

"Kawasaki has tried to make the new ZX-6R more usable for the road. And in many ways they've succeeded"

  • At a glance
  • 636cc  -  135 bhp
  • 41 mpg  -  155 miles range
  • Medium seat height (815mm)
  • £8,999

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

Kawasaki has obviously tried to make the new ZX-6R more usable for the environment in which it’ll be most used – the road. And in many ways they’ve succeeded. The new 636cc motor boasts a more usable spread of power and torque, both on the road and track, it’s less manic, and easier to get the most out of for the average rider. The rider aids work too, and while the power modes are a somewhat pointless gimmick, the traction control and optional ABS are excellent. ABS is optional.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

As with all Japanese manufacturers build quality and reliabilty is top notch. There's no reason to think the 636 will be any different.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

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.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2013-on) 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 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Go Green

13 August 2014 by jocasaja

I just traded in my lovely GSXR 600 for a 63 reg zx636 performance edition. Loved the little Gixxer, and after a few hundred miles on this I am very impressed. Build quality slightly better, sounds almost as good as the Gixer (had a Yoshi can) with... Read more the Leo Vince can (baffle out), almost as comfortable and a bit stronger in the mid range. lovely light handling-partly down to not having a steering damper + the safety blanket of traction control.Also the valves don't need checking until 26500 miles. I think the extras on the Perf Edition are what you really need to finish the bike off...great little bike

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £8,999
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 135 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 155 miles
Specification
Engine size 636cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 16v inline four
Frame type Aluminium perimeter
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 192kg
Front suspension Showa 41mm inverted big piston forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Showa fully adjustable rear shock
Front brake 2x310mm petal discs. Nissin four-piston radial monobloc calipers
Rear brake 1x220mm petal disc, Nissin single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70ZR17
Rear tyre size 180/55ZR17

History & Versions

Model history

2013: Model introduced

Other versions

Kawasaki ZX-6R ABS

Photo Gallery

  • KAWASAKI ZX-6R  (2013-on)
  • KAWASAKI ZX-6R  (2013-on)
  • KAWASAKI ZX-6R  (2013-on)
  • KAWASAKI ZX-6R  (2013-on)
  • KAWASAKI ZX-6R  (2013-on)
  • KAWASAKI ZX-6R  (2013-on)
All related reviews
All related bikes for sale