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KAWASAKI ER-6N (2005-2008) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

Nine out of 10 road testers prefer it to virtually any other middleweight

Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Riding

Nine out of 10 road testers prefer it to virtually any other middleweight

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

Tests have shown that nine out of 10 road testers prefer the Kawasaki ER-6 to virtually any other middleweight machine. Rivals including the Suzuki GSF600 Bandit, Yamaha FZS600 Fazer, Ducati Monster 600 and Suzuki SV650 have been trounced by the ER-6. 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.

Here's a naked group test from 2009 (the bikes are naked, not the testers)

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki ER-6 is very nimble: excellent for nipping around town or hooning along twisty lanes. It copes with everything up to 100mph, after which 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.

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki ER-6 has a reputation for being bullet-proof, just look at how many riding schools and courier firms use them. Visually, the finish can go downhill really fast, the welding’s a bit untidy in places and the wiring’s a bit of a mess. But the engine is solid and the bile is tough as old boots.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

The Kawasaki ER-6 really was excellent value. It looked so tame but was 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 will find it agreeably accommodating too. Price/performance-wise, its biggest rival was and is the Suzuki SV650 and the Kawasaki ER-6 certainly gives that a bloody good run for its money…

Find a Kawasaki ER-6n for sale at MCN Bikes for Sale now.

Insurance group: 10 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Wavy discs, off-set rear suspension and an underslung exhaust made the original Kawasaki ER-6 a stylish, contemporary option. On the dash, there was no fuel gauge (boo!) but both the brake and clutch levers were adjustable (yay!). Aftermarket Kawasaki ER-6 bits include a little screen, crash bungs and a top box. ABS was also an option for around £300. No centre stand but that helps the Kawasaki ER-6 have excellent ground clearance.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2008
Original price £4,595
Used price £2,000 to £2,600
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 71 bhp
Max torque 49 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 649cc
Engine type 8v parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tube
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 174kg
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

History & Versions

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 from new, otherwise identical.

Owners' Reviews

36 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ER-6N (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-6N (2005-2008)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.1 out of 5
Engine 4.4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.6 out of 5
4 out of 5

Kawasaki ER-6N review

23 July 2018 by Alan

Excellent all-rounder. The worst Feature is the standard seat. It is the worst of any bike I have owned in 50 years! The best feature is the way it accelerates above 5,000rpm.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Excellent handling and brakes, but suspension is a bit too firm for me.
Engine
5 out of 5
Only downside I have found is a rattle/vibration between 3,000-4,000rpm.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
The one I have has done only 10K miles and looks like one or more previous owners have given it a bit of a hard time. There are a few cracked panels around fixing points. Other than that the finish seems sound.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Don't know yet.
Equipment
4 out of 5
All good for me - I don't want masses of electronic gizmos!
Buying experience

Second hand from a less than honest dealer.

4 out of 5

Best in its class but far from perfect

25 March 2018 by George Karpathios

Have one for 11 years and here's my experience. I like: the low weight, the nimbleness, the low fuel consumption, the riding position, the gear box, the looks. I don't like: the brake feel, the basic level front suspension. I hate it's oil consumption.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
For riders up to 1.80m the seating position is perfect. Passengers larger than medium will not feel comfortable. The bike excels in city traffic and on windy roads. Not comfortable for high speed cruising. Mushy feeling on brakes. ABS works great with new tires, not so good with mid aged tyres and prolongs braking distance dramatically with older tyres and/or slippery roads. Front fork needed new springs and oil at 25.000km. Rear suspension needed preload adjustment at 40.000km.
Engine
3 out of 5
It needs to run over 3k rpm to feel robust and precise. Ideally for higher average speed 4k to 8k. Power drops rapudly after 9,5k rpm. Started consuming oil at 35.000km, at the same time the water pump shaft o'ring neede replacement. Quiet engine with minimum vibration.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
No corrosion on frame or suspension except a few superficial yellow marks here and there. Both passenger handles cracked close to the rear attachement point. Same with the rear turn signal rubber mounts. Everything else o.k.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Kawasaki genuine parts are expensive but services are only due every 12.000 km and valve clearance every 42.000 km. Major service including fluids, hoses, o-rings e.t.c replacement every 48.000 km. Average fuel consumption running at 60% of full power 6,5lt/100km. It can go down to 5 and up to 8.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Pirelli Diablo fit it perfectly. Philips lamps actually improved the light power. Ohlins fork springs work well on front suspension. Hell brake lines improve braking power and feel. All after market brake pads I've used hiss when braking. Happy with ferodo organic compound.
4 out of 5

24 June 2016 by Chris

Performs very well for very low price. Have dropped the rear sprocket from 46 teeth to 42 and economy has risen from 55 to 62mpg (I'm 6'1 and 13.5 stone) on daily 60 mile commute with no noticeable drop in acceleration. Only thing it lacks for me for rain/winter is ABS

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
Anyone with half an idea how to ride can keep up with anything on this. I came down from a ZX12R to this and is just as much fun but half the cost to run.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Exhaust downpipe welding failed on me twice (common fault on these) otherwise no problems. Have fitted replacement stainless Delkevic pipes since.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Could do with a temp gauge
5 out of 5

Great beginner and FUN bike

21 October 2015 by Cristian Luca

I would so recommend this to a friend. Being my first bike I'm glad I made this choice. This bike was in a poll with GSR, Hornet and FZ6 and won. I really liked the position on the bike however since it was my first bike I had a hard time learning how to not be tensed on it, which had nothing to do with the bike but with me. Mine has a custom full Akrapovich exhaust which makes it sound amazing !! And I also had to change the handle bars (got wider ones) for more comfort for those 200+ miles trips. It's an amazing aggressive machine ! I'm an aggressive city rider (I filter like a madman) and this bike handles really well. The design is awesome, it's very manoeuvrable and the engine is superb for the city, good power in the lower and mid range.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
If you have good tires the breaks are good.
Engine
4 out of 5
I have not ridden any bike for too long to have a better comparison, but changing gears on this bike is a bit challenging (harder to rev match?). I don't know why it's just how it is. It may be that I have yet to master gear changing, I don't know. The best past about this engine is that is extremely versatile. You only need second gear in the city :D You can ride at 3k for better fuel consumption but you can crank it at 6-7k rpm in the twisties and the bike really loves it.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
For me it was pretty reliable. I rode it for 13,000 km so far and had almost zero problems with it.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
The only notable down side for me really was the front fork. You really begin to want a better fork once you get used to the bike. I am more and more aggressive and want to flick it around pretty aggressively so the front fork affects my confidence at time since it's not that smooth when you flick it from side to side, but I guess those expensive forks are that expensive for a reason.
Buying experience

They are really cheap bikes.

3 out of 5

Not a quality item

08 April 2010 by IanJ13

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!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

good for its price

06 November 2009 by illythai

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

A Good solid bike

06 October 2009 by Andy949494

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Excellent First Bike

26 June 2009 by edwardatherton

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!

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
-
2 out of 5

The Other Opinion

13 June 2009 by STINKWEASEL

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…!

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Great fun and great value

02 May 2009 by ergf

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Fun or what!!!

24 March 2009 by scottgrundy

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 !!!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

2007 ER6-N

18 March 2009 by AndrewJB

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.

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
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

2009 er6

17 January 2009 by rob8475

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

How much!!!

28 December 2008 by scottgrundy

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!!!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

er6n

15 November 2008 by scottgrundy

Picked up new 08 er6n 13/11/08 and yes it was pissing it down! Traded in my Triumph Speed 4. Have bad neck so cant take low bars.First impressions lots of low down grunt im used to reving the nuts of 4 pot bikes.Still running it in at the mo so have a 5k rev limit but that still gets 70mph. Still early days so cant say much about rest of bike.But its the hardest bike ive ever had to clean!On ride home from dealer (30 od miles)It took me 3 hours loads of nooks and cranies had to take belly pan off to clean the can.But i dont mind to much i enjoyed it its the only way to get to know the ins and outs of your bike.Cant wait for weather to get a bit better and get first service out of the way.Then i can have some real fun on it.Will let you know how it goes.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Going better than ever

05 September 2008 by Andy949494

I thought I would re-visit my previous review. I now have nearly 9000 miles on the clock and the bike feels run in. Its quicker, more responsive and I am getting nearly 70mpg on my 58 mile each way commute despite riding much quicker than before (BTW My bike is NOT restricted. Don't know if this would make a difference) I had to buy the kawasaki Mirror extensions (£24) to improve the rear view and I am buying a hugger for the winter. Negatives still are the range is a bit low at about 200 miles per tank and I see a lot of my (albeit good) garage - the service intervals are every 4000 miles (600 and 1500 for new bikes), the front tyre wore out at 5000 miles and the rear is going in another 1000 or so. I also just rode a Yamaha Fazer 1000 and it was very nice. Probably too high for me filtering through traffic but the low speed control was far better, it had better throttle control and was more stable.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

sweet bike!!!

09 July 2008 by blm1989

i picked up my er6n on 2 days ago and its a really nice bike. its my 3rd bike i love it already .its restricted but still it rides really smooth and is rather nippy. cant say much on fuel as i havent filled up yet would recommend as a commuter fun bike but not as a speed machine ha brett

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Great Engine but...

28 June 2008 by ibriggs

If you are only going to ride a bike in summer on still days this is the bike to go for. Great engine, smoothish gears and nice to ride. Build quality is not great in terms of paint finish - winter did have an impact on my bike and I sold it as a result. It is the least stable of the three bikes I have owned when windy. I also felt nervous riding in the wet. Don't get me wrong though, the bike is good value for money. It's just that you are not getting a £6k bike for £4k. If you remember that you'll be pleased.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Great Engine but...

28 June 2008 by ibriggs

If you are only going to ride a bike in summer on still days this is the bike to go for. Great engine, smoothish gears and nice to ride. Build quality is not great in terms of paint finish - winter did have an impact on my bike and I sold it as a result. It is the least stable of the three bikes I have owned when windy. I also felt nervous riding in the wet. Don't get me wrong though, the bike is good value for money. It's just that you are not getting a £6k bike for £4k. If you remember that you'll be pleased.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Compromise.....

25 February 2008 by toe_down_sv_racing

Ive had an SV650 so i know the "other side of the argument" here. i got one leased to me for a test ride when i had my SV in for its service to do some miles on, or get home, as i said. Initially i was very pleased with the bike, the SV felt clumsy and almost over eager thanks to that Vtwin, but it soon became a love hate relationship. many factors could of influenced why, or how it wasnt working for me, iam pinning any problems on the riding position or the tyre choice (after stepping off my velcro-esque Conti road attacks). i simply couldnt gel at anything like the demands i put on my SV daily, as for the roundabout gp, forget it. i can see the market however, people who dont really want the race-bike image, but want a fairly decent 600cc+ bike at the same time that has some interesting design or possibly a new born. Being a Kawasaki its clearly meant to turn away potential ZX6R buyers, as the ER is called the Ninja649 in the US. its a safe option, but i quicly found many limits i didnt have on the SV, which i felt odd due to the reviews ive seen. my biggest real quarm is the welding an manufacturing of the bike looking very hurried or mis-managed. i trust the rear swingarm and frame to be bulked up as the obvious stress points would be subjected openly for a lot of punishment from any right-minded rider. engine is a dime, is all i need to say there :P, if you wanted the silky inline feel, not the stompy Vtwin, here's youre choice for the first bike. in many ways im vry subjective as i feel that the first big bike will shape the likes and needs of the next and usually much more powerful latter bike, so it needs to be a guddun, sorry kawasaki, i dont have a good feeling i get from my SV.

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Good enough for a reasonable commute

14 February 2008 by Andy949494

I am a novice (having come back to bikes recently after some X years) and had a 650 Deauville for a few months before the ER6F. I use my bikes on a daily 60 mile each way commute which includes A roads (some dual carriageway), B roads and filtering through traffic (for about 10 miles). Negatives first - the bike has a slightly strange riding position but after a while you adapt and it doesn't feel so odd. It is also built down to a price and I do worry about rust in the future. Simmarly a proper fuel gauge would have been better and the seat is a little bit hard (fine for 60 miles but I'm not sure I would manage 150 without pain). However the positives are the way it sits so solidly on the road (even in wild winds), the ease of handling at all speeds (helped by the light weight, narrow design) and its sense of fun. Lights are not too bad either even on dip. I find it very pretty (at least compared to the Deauville) and am getting close to 60mpg out of it even after running it in.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
3 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
3 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Best Budget All-Rounder

20 January 2008 by Victor9098

I have had my ER-6F for 4 months and have covered almost 4,000 miles, mostly commuting and a few long trips. Not a thing has gone wrong so far. It is my only means of transport so is used all year and the fairing brings some added weather protection. Will cruise happily at motorway speeds for hour after hour and still a healthy amount of poke for quick overtakes. Only complaint is the wiring is a bit untidy behind the fairing, that is really it! Great riding position. I only have a 29" leg and can get both feet down with the standard seat. Great in traffic and everybody loves the neat touches like integrated indicators, under belly exhaust and plenty of pillion space with grab handles. Though at slow speed with a pillion she can feel a bit sluggish. Can not recommend this bike enough, best budget all-rounder! For some pictures of mine go here http://www.flickr.com/photos/victor9098/

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Brilliant little bike!

29 December 2007 by the elements600

I've just came back from a test ride of the ER6F and it's fantastic! It's the biggest bike I've ridden so far and is quite a step bigger than my 125. Initial responses: Surprisingly light and easy clutch, extremely healthy amount of useable power despite being restricted, a peach to ride even at speed and seat height gives you a nice clear view of the road ahead. The mirrors show a litle too much of your shoulders to be of much help; you're much better off doing a lifesaver and having a good look for yourself. The bike is a little heavy when you first get on it (although to be fair I am quite a small guy) but the moment you set off the weight dissapears. I can't comment much on fuel consumption or reliability because I was only out on it for half an hour but being a 4 stroke I'm sure it's not bad.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

A right little riot of fun!

08 October 2007 by leeboy21

I have owned my orange er6n from new now for a couple of months and have done approx 2500 miles. All i can say is this bike is a wolf in sheeps clothing!i part exed my 600 bandit for this little beauty and have not felt the slightest glimpse of disapointment. The twin engine is a stomper and is consistantly surprising, feels very strong with bags of useable torque where you want it. This makes the bike great fun and easy to ride. Makes a nice noise as standard too. The bike handles extremely well, very precise and confidence inspiring compared to the bandit, needing only small input from the rider. This would be an excellent choice for the commuter, I have been getting around 215 miles to a tank on a regular basis. Or even if its a bike just for fun it definatly delivers without costing the earth. The bike also looks absolutley stunning, with so many nice touches, it shares qualitys of a bike with a much bigger price tag. So stop looking at pics on the internet and go and take a look for yourself. The lack of fairing i havent found an issue as i am use to the bandit. Any how i dont think the er6f looks a patch on the 6n, so its worth the sackrifice. Its a engineering masterpiece, and for the money, i paid £3995 with ABS its excellent value. All in all its a fantastic bike and i certainly wont be rushing back to the inline fours! well done kawasaki!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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2 out of 5

Very Disappointing

28 September 2007 by robbobiker

Inital riding was promising and the best thing about this bike is the superb in line engine which delivers smooth power with character. But, oh dear...the ergonomics are simply awful. The bars promise comfort by their initial high position but somehow they are all wrong, and this isn't helped by the seat which is angled forward and makes your wrists ache at anything less than motorway speeds, so the ER6F is useless in towns. The pegs are way too far back for this kind of bike and my knees and shins ache after a few miles. The suspension is ok for smooth tarmac but unsteadies the bike on the slightest rough surface, and the rear wiggles about on white lines and ruts. The front transmits every tiny bump to the wrists and feels cheap and nasty. What a shame...this could have been a great bike if they got the ergonomics right. Strengths: Fantastic Engine. Weaknesses: Extremely uncomfortable/wrist ache. I now have a Guzzi Nevada which handles BETTER than this and is ten times more comfortable!

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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2 out of 5
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3 out of 5
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5 out of 5

My first bike and it rocks.

27 August 2007 by eddieknocker

Bought this based on price, looks and reviews. Can only compare it to the 500cc Suzuki I rode for my D.A. and 3 different 125s. Am still running it in but am astonished at the acceleration. People at work give it admiring glances. I can't imagine finding the limits of the bike for a good while yet. Lack of fuel gauge was irritating at first (as an ex-car driver) but is fine now. Wind blast is "interesting" above 70mph but it's about the only excercise I get. Cannot recommend this bike enough. Can't comment on reliability as just got it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Great little bike

19 August 2007 by wombat4

I bought this bike as my everyday commuter & workhorse, I have had it 9 months and it has covered just over 8000 miles. The engine is excellent the only fault being a little surging on small throttle openings. The same with the ride & handling the chassis only complaining when being really pushed. In terms of reliability I have had several serious electrical problems resulting in complete failure, the bike packing up completely, a new loom ultimately had to be fitted. I have just fitted a new back tyre (8K is not too bad on a BT020 - have replaced it with a BT021) I noticed some corrosion on the swing arm, it is used in all weathers and is also showing the usual signs of dulling and furry fasteners. I have fitted a Scottoiler which results in coating the underslung silencer in oil but I do like my chain well lubed. Overall it is a great little bike and the problems that I have experienced are probably a one off and it seems to be fine now.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Commuter perfect.

13 July 2007 by Anonymous

In places you can see where Kawasaki have tried to save money on this bike, as it is a bit plasticky but it is cheap to buy. Fuel efficiency is excellent, 55 mpg around the city, and my tyres are still in good condition after 8000 miles. It is extremely nippy. It has a 6 speed short ratio gearbox that accelerates to 100 very quickly without wanting to wheelie, however I often try to find a non-existent 7th gear even at 50 mph. In the traffic light GP, I have never been beaten. Audi RS6, Lamborghinis and BMW M5s have all been trounced... and they were pushing! Taking the bike past 7000 revs is like entering Hyperdrive or Warpspeed. If you have one of these bikes I seriously recommend changing the exhaust to a Scorpion (road legal), it makes a great noise also making the power delivery smoother, greatly increasing the low end torque... and what a noise it makes without the baffle! Of course I only put the exhaust on for the increased fuel economy, honestly guv (over 185 miles for a tank of V-power petrol).

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Nearly Perfect

08 July 2007 by bogof

For a cheap 650 twin it's very very good. With better brakes (my ABS model lacks feel) and suspension it would be incredible. Most of the finish survived it's first winter but water running off the tailpiece ruined my electrics. Great fun to ride but I've not decided whether I'll keep it past the warranty period.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
3 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Your going to love one of these

25 May 2007 by camperman

This is just what the bike market needed. It excells in all areas easy to ride and handles like a dream. My advice is get one you'll love it!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
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5 out of 5

ER6F

17 May 2007 by Jacohen

Love this bike, reliable & great fun for rips out to the country as well as the commutes! Very pleased so far, only niggle is lack of a fuel gauge, can't say I'm too bothered about that.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Excellent!

07 May 2007 by cascadeair

Just bought an ER-6F ABS after selling a Bandit 1200. Expecting a good, but slow, commuter, have been pleasantly surprised at the handling and snappy enine. Excellent for filtering because it is narrow, and has good grunt for squirting between openings. The best commuter I have ever had, and I am in the 80 per day club.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
3 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Great bike...

02 July 2006 by russb2u

I've just gone back to biking after a 10 year break. Great bike does what is says on the label :-) I'd recommend this to first and born again bikers like me... Thumbs up Kawasaki.. Strengths: Good bang for your buck.. Looks great rides wonderful.
Weaknesses: Hard to clean the muck and grit on the frame due to no mud guard on back wheel... Fairing buzz - but can be fixed with a new kit now out, done under warranty.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Excellent first bike for a new rider or shorter rider

25 June 2006 by owensj

Fantastic bike! Easy to ride, looks great. A good first big bike too. Even with a restrictor fitted I'm getting plenty of welly out of it. Mpg in the range of 55 which is good and compensates for the small tank. Low centre of gravity and not too heavy. Difficult getting accessories for it as it's so new and so many were sold. Easier to get items from e-bay/China than main Kawasaki dealer! Strengths: Very easy for a new rider to ride. Also good for shorties. Excellent value for money. Weaknesses: Small tank. Fairing not fitting flush in one place. Not noticable but getting fixed under warranty.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

My first bike ever; been riding the ER-6F ABS since April 2006. Done 2000, mainly motorway, miles.

20 June 2006 by carlroach

I wanted the ER-6F because it was the only modern bike on offer with high-bars and a fairing. Despite only 2-days experience on a bike (I passed my test on a BMW 650 2-years ago) the ER-6F has given me a lot of confidence. Bought it from www.phmotorcycles.co.uk who were great; pre-sales was patient and informative; price was competitive and included 1st-service labour costs and 4-hours of on-road advanced training. On top the basic £4699 for the ABS model I added a topbox, U-Lock, Immobiliser and R&G Crash Protectors (phmotorcycles made me wait for the R&Gs because they don't rate Kawa's version at all!). Oh, and I extended the warranty for two further years for only £165 as it's identical to the 2-year you get by default). The deal was wrapped in 0% finance over 3-years (about £140/month).
Strengths: Low centre of gravity is great for a new biker. ABS is reassuring too. Parallel twin is forgiving. Bike feels well screwed together (Bandits and SV650s didn't). Weaknesses: When low on fuel the dash flashes the word "FUEL" so one can't view the miles one is covering. Fairing could be taller to offer more wind protection. Mirrors do show mostly elbows but on the otherhand they don't stick out too far! It's not available in Kawa green :).

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Good first time bike

24 May 2006 by joBurg

I bought my silver ER-6f on 1st March 2006 from my local dealer. Being my first bike (passed my test via direct access Nov 2005) I am enjoying it alot, it is so easy to ride, very nimble and light so has great handling round the bends, easy at low speeds and for a first bike more than fast enough. The fairing gives good weather protection at speed and the upright riding position is good for seeing whats going on around you. Only problem I've had with the bike is an annoying fairing vibration, my 6F is back at the dealer this week having the fairing refitted to get rid of the rattle.
Strengths: Excellent first time bike, very easy to ride, quick, nimble and (in my opinion) looks great. Weaknesses: Fairing vibration below 5K rpm needs fixing. Rear mirrors show alot of arm.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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Photo Gallery

  • Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Riding
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  • Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki ER-6 motorcycle review - Side view
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