KAWASAKI ER-6F (2005 - 2008) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
Power: 71 bhp
Seat height: Medium (30.9 in / 785 mm)
Weight: Low (392 lbs / 178 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £2,400 - £3,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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 vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £180
New price -
Used price £2,400 - £3,300
Insurance group 10 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 71 bhp
Max torque 49 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 150 miles

Model 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.

Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI ER-6F (2005 - 2008)

12 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.

Review your KAWASAKI ER-6F (2005 - 2008)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Equipment: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
5 out of 5 Cracking first big bike,
19 April 2020 by Smiddy

Version: Non abs

Year: 2008

Annual servicing cost: £100

First ever big bike, passed test at 54yrs, Light enough to throw about and gain experience , fast enough to have fun but also fast enough to kill myself!!! Not a lot will stay with me off the lights. Worst feature I would say is fairing rattle, common problem, few foam bits between panels sorts it tho.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Just a wee bit vibe over 5k revs but too busy hanging on to notice. Most power at 4.5-5 k revs. Wee flying machine. Brakes work. Changed battleaxe Bt023, for battleaxe bt023 tyres , they’re that good in all weathers, never had an issue

Engine 4 out of 5

No power in third gear below 2k revs. It is only a 650 I suppose

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Bulletproof reliability, (done homework on it, one of the testers had one with 57k!!! No mechanical gremlins only a wee bit corrosion on swing arm but hey, she’s 12 yrs old. Starts on press of button all year round.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Easy if you take your time and do methodically

Equipment 5 out of 5

Put a top box on, No gear indicator, learn to listen to the engine. No fuel gauge, learn to reset the trip meter, as I say excellent learners bike . No driver aids, learn to ride the thing!!

Buying experience: Bought private, 10 year old bike with service stamped history, paid 1400.

5 out of 5 I chose to 'Let the good times roll'!
13 April 2020 by Phil Baggot

Year: 2007

Annual servicing cost: £100

I would say the best feature is the build quality & worst feature is 'some vibration' through the fairing.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It is a decent all round bike! I would say it's at it's best in the 'mid range' - great throttle connection ! I can ride for one hour before a break. I have not carried a pillion yet.

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is great ! It performs how you want it to ! - but I am aware of the 'zip' it has if asked for . I think the gearbox & clutch are great! Changing up through the gears - it finds each one positively & the same shifting down. The clutch feels light & performs smoothly !

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality very good - switch gear & tank for example. Corrosion is very minimal - the most being on the sub frame area? ( in front of the rear wheel) where it's hard to get to ( for cleaning & treating) also a little around the 'rear paddock stand bobbins'.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I've had two new tyres ( front & rear) - the former costing over £100 ! But they are 'Bridgestone' & look a quality tyre! A 120/70 front & 160/60 rear Tubeless.

Equipment 5 out of 5

I like the look of the front & rear indicators ! The front ones are fitted 'flush' into the fairing - I think that's pretty special ! I would recommend a 'gear indicator' - for sure ! Mine sits nicely behind the fairing screen. It makes so much difference (a better experience) when riding the bike ! Also - heated grips - enough said !

Buying experience: I bought from a dealer- a good experience! After some 'window viewing' & two test rides - I noticed this bike on the dealers web site - popped in to have a look. With the extras this bike had - it stood out to me ! The funny thing is - I made my decision to buy this bike after being taken for a test ride - as a pillion ! The performance stood out ! The bike was for sale at £2999 - & that is what I paid.

3 out of 5
20 December 2018 by James Amos

Year: 2007

Annual servicing cost: £400

A good all round bike which I use in all weather and it is very reliable. I bought mine a year ago and use it everyday whatever the weather. Mostly on A roads but also the motorway and back lanes too. It’s great at weaving through traffic and accelerates very swiftly, particularly joining a dual carriageway! The ride is comfortable and won’t leave you aching after a day's use. The economy is decent too, I fill up about once a week for about £17. I would prefer a full gauge but you do adapt and the warning light does provide enough to ensure you get to a filling station before you're caught short. I often have a pillion and whilst it impacts performance I honestly think it still does what it needs to around town very efficiently! I do think it’s fairly poor around corners and doesn’t always give you total confidence at speed. My bike has corrosion around the welding but I don’t care really as it’s fine for its age and as long as it starts up and runs I’m happy. It has been a great bike and I’d recommend it to those needing a commuter or for a first bike. I hope to run mine for another year or two and get at least 60000 miles out of it.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Great in a straight line. Really great but poor on corners compared to more expensive machines.

Engine 4 out of 5

Gusty and enough to thrill.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Starts every time.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I get mine serviced every six months.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Standard as they come.

Buying experience: Ideal first bike or as a commuter.

5 out of 5 The best bike you can get for an A2 license.
20 January 2017 by Gordon

Version: 58' reg

Year: 2008

Annual servicing cost: £100

So for an A2 license holder you're restricted to a bike with 35KW(47bhp) and a power to weight ratio of 0.2KW/kg. so for the full 35KW, the bike must have a dry weight of AT LEAST 175kg. @178kg this bike fits the limits perfectly. The handling is smooth and forgiving, there is enough poke in there to get you up to speed in seconds. The only fault with this bike, if i had to have one, is the engine noise. the 180degree crank angle on the parallel twin sounds like a wet-fart below 4k rev's and that's not something you can ever fix with an aftermarket exhaust system. (you'd literally just be amplifying the fart..)

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

great riding position, very comfortable

Engine 3 out of 5

power delivery for mine spikes at 5k through to 6.5k rev's when it goes, it really goes! very fun indeed. but it sounds horrible at low rev's ..still, it will keep your neighbours happy, a reasonably quiet bike.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Change the oil every 4k miles and filter every other change. Its a kawasaki reliability road machine.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

i pay £14 for a full tank of premium fuel, that will do me 160miles, and i fill up once a week.

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS ABS ABS, saved me so many times, as a relatively new rider. Get ABS

Buying experience: bought second hand, @36k miles for 2.4k. I plan on running it for another 20k miles before selling it on again. A mate of mine has one with 126k miles that he refuses to sell, because it's still in great running condition. To maintain your engine well, just keep the oil changes regular. That's it. a bike with 30k miles that has its oil changed every 10k miles won't have much life left in it, a bike who has its oil changed every 3k miles for 120k miles will sing like new.

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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 does what i ask it to: commute through traffic and motorway 40 miles a day come (sideways) rain or shine

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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, 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!

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
2 out of 5 Poor suspension
26 September 2011 by

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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 a better bike. I have no doubt there are many out there.

Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 in the '09 model - grab one of those for £4k and you will not be disappointed. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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