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Kawasaki ER-6N Naked Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

Tests have shown that nine out of 10 road testers prefer the Kawasaki ER-6 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-6 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.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki ER-6'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-6 is very, very entertaining.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki ER-6 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-6 ideal for smaller folk but even taller riders seem to find it comfortable.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Wavy discs, off-set rear suspension and an underslung exhaust make the Kawasaki ER-6 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 a little screen, crash bungs and a top box. ABS is also an option for around £300. No centre stand but that helps the Kawasaki ER-6 have excellent ground clearance.

Kawasaki ER-6n (2005-2008)

Detail Value
New price £4,595
Dealer used prices
£2,330 (2006) - £3,470 (2008)
Private used prices
£2,030 (2006) - £3,120 (2008)
  View full used price info
Engine size 649 cc
Power 71 bhp
Top speed 130 mph
Insurance group 10 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Kawasaki ER-6 is so new it’s 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-6 is not at all bad for the money.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

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-6 certainly gives that a bloody good run for its money… Find a Kawasaki ER-6n for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 10 of 17

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Model History

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

Other Versions

Kawasaki ER-6f: faired version, slightly heavier at 178kg and about £300 more expensive, otherwise identical.

Specifications

Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.5 secs
Max power 71 bhp
Max torque 49 ft-lb
Weight 174 kg
Seat height 785 mm
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 10 of 17
Engine size 649 cc
Engine specification 8v parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel tube
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

See all Kawasaki ER-6N motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ER-6N

miles

£5,399

Kawasaki
ER-6N

3200 miles

£4,395

Kawasaki
ER-6N

1289 miles

£2,995

Kawasaki
ER-6N

19136 miles

£2,695

Kawasaki
ER-6N

7 miles

£4,999

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(32 reviews)

  • Not a quality item

    IanJ13

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    I bought my ER6F in June 2008 and started to use it seriously for commuting from September onwards. As a 16,000 mile a year rider and this being a budget bike perhaps I expected too much, but it is supposed to be a commuter special. It's been plagued with problems: 2 sheared exhaust joints (common problem - poor design and vibration apparently); collapsed rear wheel bearing (hair-raising en route to work), not covered by warranty either - wear and tear apparently; leaking front brake calipers - again not covered by warranty; failed electrics (regulators - another common problem) and loads of rust. I do ride through winter, but wash every weekend and apply liberal ACF-50, still it comes through. Have put black hammerite all over the rear , still comes through. Compared to the XJ6 I rode recently the engine is rough and vibey and it's not as light to handle. On the positive side, it's easy to ride and for someone who is getting on a bike for the first time it inspires confidence. It filters exceptionally well in mean London traffic, thanks to great visibility, nimbleness and narrow width. It's also decent on the motorway as revs for 80mph are comparitively low. It's fun too, and as an intro to motorcycling it has provided a lot of thrills for the money. Needing to rely on it for regular, long-distance, all-weather transport meant this bike, for me, was a mistake. The quality of finish and materials used is poor as evidenced by the reliability issues and abounding rust. For someone with less demands, and perhaps new to biking, I would recommend it. For anyone else, and on the recommendation of several breakdown truck drivers who get to know the bad bikes, Honda is the way to go. I will not be buying another Kawasaki!

    08 April 2010

  • good for its price

    illythai

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    the ER-6F is now renamed the NINJA 650-R [at least in australasia] and several improvements have been made. they are manufactured here in thailand, where i live, and are thus VERY affordable here.my situation is that i had to buy one of these as its about the only 'big sports' type bike you can buy here as the 'real' sports bikes are not imported. my previous bike[when i lived in australia] was a suzuki GSX-R 1000 so its a big step backwards really but i must say the bike holds up quite well compared to the GSX-R which must be considered one of the best sports bikes ever. the downdside is that the bike feels bloody big..i am suprised many reviewers call it a "nice little bike"...to me it feels huge and like a truck. the worst offending item is the handlebars. they are awful and the iriding postion is neither upright nor sports-low. the bike feels heavy too even though its not.. it feels like the designers made some error in the design and has to bolt on some bent steel bits for handlebars after the fact. they just dont feel or look right..they are literally "bolted on with a bracket" and look like an after thought. the engine is quite good and the gearbox positive the overall qaulity is impressive and i think te price is just awesome.but its not a bike you feel confident leaning into corners thats for sure. but i think it creams the mid size competetion and kawasaki are the first big japanese manufacturer to go offshore and benefit from massive price reductions by opening a manufacturing base in thailand rather than solely in japan. honda are considered to be next. all in all a nice bike and certainiy cost effective in all ways, but its looks definitely decieve its ridability..but there is nothing in its price range that compares.

    06 November 2009

  • A Good solid bike

    Andy949494

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Engine

    Had my Er6F for nearly 2 years and 32000 miles. Traded it in last week for a bike with greater range and to have a change. I was very happy with it. As a born again biker its light weight and easy handling gave me lots of confidence on the move. In high winds it was really stable whilst moving and when stationary if gusts threatened to knock me about I was able to get both feet down as a result of it being so slim and low. I have ridden in several huge floods and it didn't once suggest that it might cough or splutter. Performance wise it was very good. Commuting 110 miles every day at legal speeds on A roads and motorways I got 60mpg plus every day and it had enough umph to out blast any cars I needed too. Only things replaced were tyres (lots - fronts lasted 4000 miles whilst the rears lasted about 12000 miles) and a chain/sprocket set. Extras purchased were the mirror extenders (essential to see more than elbows), a hugger and heated grips. Only minor issue was the lock for the petrol tank which gets very stiff if you leave the bike for two weeks (Christmas) without using it - spray liberally with WD40! Some people have complained about hand vibration - well its there but its much less intrusive than a CB500! Other people have complained about rust and quality of construction - well the disks do change colour after two weeks non use (Christmas again) and the footrest hangers show scratches from my boots but that was it. Liberal spraying with anti-corrosion plus chain lube was obviously sufficient. Would I buy another? probably not - even if my circumstances change I would probably buy a different bike but I really don't regret buying it and it brought my riding on and looked after me very well.

    06 October 2009

  • Excellent First Bike

    edwardatherton

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    Just done over a year using the bike for commuting every day, and completed 11500 miles. No breakdowns or problems - it starts first time evry time. Fuel consumption averages just under 60 with a high of 68mpg and low of 52mpg. I have fitted a taller screen as the original is too low, and heated grips so I could carry on using it through the winter. There are spots of corrosion coming through - probably due to the winter salt, but considering its age it shouldnt happen yet. Brakes probably could be better and seem to glaze up, so I have to brake hard or drag the brakes for a while to heat them up - that clears it! I'm still on the original pads at the moment. Headlight bulb was fairly rubbish so I have put brighter ones in. At the end of the day, for the cost of the bike, it is excellent!

    26 June 2009

  • The Other Opinion

    STINKWEASEL

    Average rating rating is 2

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I’ll be waiting for the boos and jeers but it’s time for a not so positive review of the Kawasaki budget twin. I bought my ER-6F six months ago after receiving an insurance payment for my last bike. Of course it wasn’t anything like the bikes value so the reasonably priced Kawasaki seemed the practical choice. Since owning it I have commuted to work, gone on ride outs and spent a long weekend in France. No matter what people say the bike is built to a budget, the fastenings showed furry rusty bits quickly even with liberal amounts of ACF50. The engine when up and running is fine, it can sit at 80 all day but the fuelling isn’t as smooth as most reviewers say. Whilst riding around town there is surging between 3 to 4 thousand revs and often feels lumpy even for a twin. It can out accelerate most cars but when riding with friends you’ll be left behind. My main gripe is the budget (cheap not very cheerful) suspension. The front is not adjustable and the rear only has preload. It is appalling! Check out the ER6 forums and you will see a lot of owners have upgraded front and rear but at a cost of around £700! I can see why people do spend the money as I experienced the bike standing up mid bend if it encountered a bump and the front wallowing under braking. Speaking of the brakes, they work, eventually. Just don’t expect R1 braking. A change of pads apparently works wonders and shouldn’t cost too much. So in conclusion, if it’s a budget bike your after this is the one, the professional and I would hope independent reviewers like them. I can’t agree. Just don’t believe the hype and be prepared to spend some money setting the thing up. As for me I’ve traded mine in…!

    13 June 2009

  • Great fun and great value

    ergf

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Own a 2008 ER6F had it for 4 months I think its a great bike especially for what i paid for it even as a new bike. Really love how the power runs all through the rev range and kicks in really nicely at 7k. On the twisties so easy to handle and gives lots of front end confidence. The high bars also mean I can ride for a good few hours and suffer no wrist ache or fatigue. The bike has enough power and faring to cruise on the motorway and i find i actually enjoy commute. Only major gripe is that i have found the limit of the rear shock a couple of times, I am not heavy so wouldnt expect to reach a limit even though I was pushing hard so maybe adjusting the preload is a good idea. Minor gripes not totally convinced by the build quality and some of the wiring looks rushed but neither will cause a problem if you put it away for winter. Only other gripes it could do with a fuel guage (there is one on the 09 bike) and possibly a gear indicator. None of these gripes are enough to put me off a great fun bike that give great value for money and frequently gives me a huge grin. If your thinking of getting one my advice is get one you will love it.

    02 May 2009

  • Fun or what!!!

    Scott Grundy

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    Well the bike is all run in had first service and well pissed off with the dealer CLAY CROSS in chesterfield they charged me £135!!!! normally around £40. Anyway the bike,great engin it just revs and revs so much better than the SV i used to own.From 4000 to around 10000 loads of get up and go.Its just how a bike should be twist the throtle and it puts a big grin on your face!!! Down side breaks not the best (just enough)and seat a bit hard,or could just be my old backside!!! oh sounds good with standard can has a bit of soul not like a bugit four pot bike (Hornet,Fazer new Divvy) + great colour the only one it should be GREEN why dont they do the 1400 GT in green !!!!

    24 March 2009

  • 2007 ER6-N

    AndrewJB

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I bought a ER6-N in 2007 and ran it for 2 years with a 33bhp kit on it,It rode lovely and even with only 33bhp really pulled nicely. Ive now that he 33bhp kit removed and its even better! Not the best looking bike ever but i would definetly say really good value and lots of fun .only had one problem with it which was the alarm kept draining the battery so now got a trickle-charger and its fine.

    18 March 2009

  • 2009 er6

    rob8475

    Average rating rating is 4

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    waiting for delivery of the 09 model at the end of jan. despite the great reviews the previous models received, i wasnt quite sold on the looks. for me, the new model has a mini street fighter look about it, which appeals. roll on the spring/summer.... this will be my first big bike after passing my test last may.

    17 January 2009

  • How much!!!

    Scott Grundy

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Got the bike in November so just run it in.Had loads of bikes over the years NTV650 to SV1000 my last bike was Triumph Speed 4, This kawasaki is a right hoot to ride great engin,lots of low down grunt like my old XR. It always puts a smile on my face and thats what bikes are all about isnt it!!!! Ok so its built down to a budget but i never let my bike dirty clean it after every ride (a bit anal) Top bike well done Kawasaki The one thing that makes me laugh is people who say "awful ergonomics" sounds like there ass is numb much like there brains!!!!

    28 December 2008

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ginger 72

User's Badge

ginger 72says

er6n

Just about to take delivery of a new 2008 er6n, so interested in hearing how other owners rate it.Its my first bike in six years and the first big one.

28 May 2008 14:36

eddieknocker

User's Badge

eddieknockersays

er6n

Had this since new August 07 (see above) as first bike. Having lived with it still love it. Still as nimble, as fast and accelerates as much as I need.Definitely recommend fly-screen for longer/motorway journeys (and looks better with). Some nut furrage over winter! Still looks great. Still keeps up with the big boys in real world conditions. For me is better looking than the er6f which it seems Kawasaki agree as they are revising the looks of the faired version to make it more "ninja"! LOVE THIS BIKE!!!

26 May 2008 03:38

old(ish)git

User's Badge

old(ish)gitsays

er6-f

I am one of those born again bikers who bought the er6-f from my local dealer when the interest free credit deal was introduced.I fancied a mid sized bike to get back into biking and the er6-n appealed to me but was'nt available on interest free,so I went for a 2007 model er6-f because I liked the blue colour(always the best way to buy a bike).I reasoned that the fairing would be better for distance stuff.I'm doing O.K. so far but I find the mirrors nigh on useless for seeing whats actually behind you and the lovely fairing sounds like marbles in a washing machine when you are chugging along at 2000rpm so you get a nice throaty rumble from below and steam engine noises up front.It's going to need a bit of rubberising round those top panels or else it's going to be very irritating at low speeds.On a posotive note a new Ford Focus came across into my lane on a roundabout and my back wheel nut took his front end completely off as I accelerated out of the way. got away with a slight scuff mark on swinging arm and stayed upright.It feels good to survive.

16 April 2008 01:08

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