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Kawasaki ZX-6R Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 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.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Kawasaki ZX-6R (2013-current)

Detail Value
New price £8,999
Dealer used prices
£7,340 (2013) - £8,310 (2014)
Private used prices
£6,610 (2013) - £7,480 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 636 cc
Power 135 bhp
Top speed mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 5
Value rating is 4 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 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

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2013: Model introduced

Other Versions

Kawasaki ZX-6R ABS

Specifications

Top speed mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 135 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Weight 192 kg
Seat height 815 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 636 cc
Engine specification Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 16v inline four
Frame Aluminium perimeter
Front suspension adjustment Showa 41mm inverted big piston forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Showa fully adjustable rear shock
Front brakes 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

See all Kawasaki ZX-6R motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

11010 miles

£3,295

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

20260 miles

£1,690

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

3300 miles

£5,199

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

29286 miles

£2,195

Kawasaki
ZX-6R

3005 miles

£5,694

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 5(1 review)

  • Go Green

    jocasaja

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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

    13 August 2014

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