KAWASAKI ER-6N (2009 - 2011) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£90|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The first Kawasaki ER-6n already offered fantastic value for money – fun, practicality and decent looks for £4500. It didn’t need a revamp, but for 2009 it received a classier, more grown up image. The chassis has been tweaked to isolate vibration, and suspension quality was also improved in response to owner comments.
Here's what happened when the ER-6n took on the Suzuki SV650S and Hyosung GT650
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Basic suspension and chassis should translate to a crude ride, but the Kawasaki manages to provide an entertaining back road handling package. Bump absorption is OK, but over fast surface the shock rebounds a little too quickly. But it never gets out of hand, so you can overlook it. Again, newbies will appreciate the easy handling.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The parallel twin engine was created just for this bike, and makes around 65bhp at the rear wheel. It doesn’t sound much, but it has a wide spread of torque that’s enough to make gear selection less crucial. It’s fun and up for some stunt riding, but the ER-6n will also mollycoddle new riders with it’s friendly power delivery.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Build quality is basic as befits the price tag, though the metallic paint looks great. Look after it and should stay looking good for years - neglect it and corrosion, paint fade and seized brakes are the likely result. The engine largely the same, and no major problems have been reported.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
For the money, you’ll struggle to find such a match of rider friendliness, fun factor and good looks. It’ll do most things you ask of it without feeling inadequate, and only the shortest of riders will struggle to get a firm footing, so it’s accessible to just about everyone.
Find Kawasaki ER-6n models at MCN Bikes for Sale.
A digital rev-counter/analogue speedo has a useful fuel gauge incorporated, and plastic trim around it hides the fittings where the previous model (2005-2008) was bare and ugly. Pillion grab handles, decent mirrors and a comfy seat are welcome for the modest price tag.
|Engine type||8v, liquid-cooled, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel diamond|
|Fuel capacity||15.5 litres|
|Rear suspension||Preload only|
|Front brake||Tokico sliding twin-piston calipers, 300m discs|
|Rear brake||Single-piston caliper, 220mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear tyre size||160/60 ZR17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||42 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£90|
|Used price||£2,900 - £3,000|
10 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||72 bhp|
|Max torque||48 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.06 secs|
|Tank range||172 miles|
Model history & versions
2005: ER-6n introduced.
2009: All new parallel twin ER-6n 650 with steel frame.
ER-6f – same mechanics with a useful full fairing
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI ER-6N (2009 - 2011)
16 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ER-6N (2009 - 2011) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£90|
Annual servicing cost: £100
I bought this bike brand new in November 2009, and I still own it. It is my daily commute, and it has been absolutely phenomenal. I've fitted Givi panniers and a top box, together with Oxford heated grips. We've done long distance tours on it and it has never let me down. Tons of usable power in town, and enough grunt to hold its own on the open road.In all this time, I've replaced the battery twice, and the chain maybe 4 times. Nothing else has ever gone wrong with it.At one point, a friend and I took a wrong turn and ended up riding a trail path, me on Michelin Pilot Road 3 tyres at the time. The bike remained composed.The suspension took some getting used to, however once you find your groove with this bike the suspension is more than adequate for all but the most horrible road surfaces.This bike was used to teach a handful of people to ride, and has seen a track day as well. I maintain the bike mechanically, and although it rarely sees a soap bucket and has spent months in the sun that has faded the plastics, I have zero intent on getting rid of this incredible motorcycle. A full teardown is on the cards later this year, where I'll replace the faded plastics and get the panels resprayed to restore this bike to proper glory.Other bikes that have come and gone during the ER's existence in the garage include 2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R, 1986 Suzuki GS850L, 2010 Yamaha V-Star 650, 2014 Kawasaki ER-6n (Wife's bike), 2016 Kawasaki Z300 (Still here), 2015 Triumph Speed Triple R (Still here)
Wind protection is non-existent, and the narrow handlebars means it takes a bit more effort to turn than some bikes. The seat is narrow near the tank, so my inner thighs do take shots on long stretches. Pillions have always commented on how exceptionally comfortable the seat is for them, being nice and wide and quite plush.On average, we need a break after around 250km of riding.Brakes are rubbish, though replacing the pads with aftermarket stuff improved matters drastically.
A true gem of a motor. Rumbles like a twin, revs like a four cylinder. I like the vibration, so no complaints from my end on that front, although it only really manifests between 4000rpm and 5000rpm. Our national speed limit is 120km/h on motorways, which means the rev range exceeds 5500rpm, which makes for a smooth ride. There's a nice power band around the 8000rpm mark when the engine really comes alive and emits an angry scream, pulls really strongly at this point.
For what it is, the bike is really well made. The only failures were expected. Two batteries, and one chain that broke due to the x-ring running dry. Every other time, it's been start and ride.I do notice some corrosion on one or two spots, which was easily removed and resolved.
Tricky to guess the cost in GBP, since I live in South Africa. The bike costs nearly nothing to maintain, especially since I service it myself. Disk pads last long too, since the bike weighs so little.
It's an entry level bike, and it shows. The headlight is really good, though high lamp and low don't look all that different. A gear position indicator is available aftermarket, which suggests that the sensor exists. They could just as well have baked it into the dash. The speedometer and rev counter could have swapped places, which it did in the model after this one. Fuel gauge is very useful.
Buying experience: I bough the bike from a friend who worked at a dealership (now defunct). The bike was removed from a crate and assembled a week before I collected it. It cost me ZA R64,900 which was £5,030 on 1 November 2009
Annual servicing cost: £80
Great bike for for just having fun on the back roads, light nimble and fast enough.
Ride can be a little bumpy over poor roads.
Great little engine a bit viby sometimes.
No issues in the year ive had the bike. Starts first press every time. Bike is 4 years old and not a blemish.
Get around 45 to the gallon.
Not great here would love a gear indicator.
Love this bike, needed a cheap, reliable bike which is fun to ride and this it. Ride every day to and from work, it's done 80K miles and is 5 years old. When this bike dies, i may just go out and buy another! Would like hydraulic clutch and more info on instruments- don't think you get a this price range. I have the first model ABS, works well...
Passengers say seat is comfy, more than previous bikes seat was initially uncomfortable but not now.
changed sprockets as gear changes felt too narrow
Some vibration noise from fairings in first few years. Replaced radiator cap and the fuel gauge has failed. It now only tells me when it's low on fuel not its level.
Buying experience: bought 2nd hand for $7000 with numerous mods
I have had my ER6-n for 18 months now and it's been my workhorse clocking up 16k miles in that time through all kinds of weather, heatwaves, torrential rain, ice, fog, snow the lot. I can safely say that I have no idea what lotusman33 is comparing the ER6-n to but I dare say it's a bike that costs a lot more money. One star? I doubt he's even ridden it. For the price this is a seriously great bike for commuting on A-roads, B-raods and short motorway stretches (I admit that if you're on the motorway for more than an hour the seat gets a little hard) and is great fun when having a Sunday blast. A good rider will manage to keep up with lesser experience riders and rusty Sunday scratchers on litre sportsbikes through twisties. It'll shrug off any tail-gaiting sports car or grand tourer (it's a 72bhp motorcycle in a frame that's as light as a BMX afterall) and will put a smile on your face when you squeeze through traffic like a cyclist leaving couriers and 'serious' motorcycles stuck between the gaps. Quality? Well I haven't really looked after it particularly well. Giving it a wash roughly every 1k miles instead of weekly. Cleaned and oiled the chain roughly every fortnight or 400 odd miles (chain and sprockets replaced at about 11k miles). Being a naked bike dirt has crept in to some hard-to-reach places but I have it a good deep clean yesterday (first time ever) and during my inspection the paintwork is holding up pretty well considering the abuse it's had and the amount of salt that's been left after regular 100 mile wet rides. The only sign of paint problems is on the rear break peddle (from where I dropped the bike when backing it into a parking space and didn't notice a very loose paving slab which was covering a pot hole) where the rust is creaping in, on the ends of the swing arms from where the guy replacing my tyres chipped them and scratches on the tank and rear subframe bodywork (from the wear and tear of strapping tank bangs, bungies, tailpacks and panniers weekly and not using any protective layers underneath). The stock tyres are not great in the wet so after getting a puncture in the rear with less than 1k miles on the clock upgraded to some cheap Michelin Road Pilot 1's which lasted over 10k miles and would have kept going for another 2-3k miles if I wasn't as picky about them squaring off when I stuck to the motorways over the icy winter months. A further tyre upgrade to Michelin Road Pilot 3's has given the bike and me a new lease of life, they have already covered nearly 5k miles and are just starting to bed in. This bike does not eat tyres like more powerful bikes will. Having said that the power is more than enough to have plenty of fun, get into and out of trouble and also get into trouble with the law. Treble figures comes so easily you'd think you were on a bigger, more powerful bike. Having said all that it's economical too. At best I've seen 68mpg (yes that's correct) at worst 49mpg (giving it some for the first time after the running-in period). And with an average of 56mpg it's definitely saved me a lot of cash over using the old car in the past 18 months. The bike can get vibey on the bars over 80mph, especially on rough road and bumpy road surfaces (like the M1 North around Leicester). This is made even worse when you trade the bar-end weights with handguards as I have but I've heard that getting a vibe-reducing handlebar riser or renthal bars eliminates this issue entirely. This will probably be the next upgrade once I've upgraded the seat to a Bagster Presto. It's been a love/hate relationship of sorts but 99% in favour of the love, only hating it when caught in torrential rain on the motorway for 2 1/2 hours riding no more than 40mph through standstill traffic. Only then did the riding position seriously cause me issues the next morning! I've ridden the Honda NX700 and while it's a nice bike for commuting is nowhere near as fun. The Suzuki Gladius came closest in the fun department but didn't inspire as much confidence through the twisties and the SV650 is £1000 cheaper for a reason - you definitely know it's an older-designed bike. After 16,000 miles I am confident that I made the best choice in this category of motorcycles.
Engine gives bad vibration and build quality is terrible with poor finish and awful frame welds. Handling is good though but let down by poor brakes and rough engine.
So it's comming up to the first year anniversary since I bought a brand new ER6n and in the fact of riding through sunshine, rain, ice, snow and cow sh*t I can say that it's a great value motorcycle. Having said that I have had to make some mods in order to make it more comfortable to live with. First of all I added a screen which definitely helps keep more of the cold wind and rain away for longer but it's still not what I consider "good" weather protection at all. But this is a NAKED bike. Handguards help deflect the wind while the heated grips keep my hands warm and the £3 bit of plastic called a "crampbuster" does it's job on the long haul motorway miles. Some soft luggage carries what I need for a week away, sat nav helps tell me where to go and although the seat would make my arse hurt after an hour I've changed my riding style so I move around more on the bike which means no more numb bum (although a recent sheepskin rug purchase helps when you're stuck filtering through slow moving traffic). Total cost of all upgrades was less than £600 which still puts the total price of the bike at less than £6500 and it's a great winter bike, great commuter, has more than enough power and handling for keeping up with faster bikes on the motorway and country roads so it's fun in the sun too. Ok the suspension is budget (hit a pothole and you know about it) but it's the only thing I can really moan about. The bike has taken a lot of abuse this year along with a haphazard cleaning ethic but still buffs up well when I give it a detail clean. The gear shift can be a little clunky when it's cold and wet (and I mean VERY wet) and the chain and sprokets will probably need changing in the next thousand miles or so along with the tyres (had a puncture at 2k miles so the rear has 2k less wear than the front). Equipment is basic but dash is easy to read in all conditions. Fuel gauge is accurate, warning light comes on with about 30-40 miles range left in the tank. Great value bike and one I'll be keeping as a winter hack (it's already an all-year bike) when I upgrade.
I’ve had the ER6n for over 6 months now and it’s just gone through its 4k service with no issues (touch wood). The only thing to note is I’d overfilled it with oil which seemed to have a slight affect on the MPG but then I could also put that down to riding faster as I get more comfortable on the bike – actually the later is probably more likely! Having said all that I’ve just managed 67.9mpg on my last 100 mile ride which is a personal best for the Kwaka and me. It was mostly motorway at a steady 70-80mph with only a couple of blasts past license losing territory while overtaking. My brother has a 5 year old Honda Hornet 600 and can’t get anywhere near those figures, even riding carefully he has only ever managed to scrape just under 50mpg. So what has the bike taught me in the past 6 months? Well I was an avid cruiser fan before buying the ER6 but this machine has converted me. After four months I was starting to turn into a speed demon around twisty country roads but that fad soon faded as I sank back into my more laidback riding style, both of which suit the ER6 brilliantly. At one point I was even thinking I could do with a bit more power (for blasting up and down the motorway) but in real world situations you don’t need it as the ER6n is more than capable of trouncing all but the fastest cars. I do admit I did go through an “oh no what have I done” phase about three months in when I parked the bike next to a row of classics and cruisers (the other two bikes I was considering at point of purchase was the VN900 Custom and the W800 Special) but someone pointed out that these bikes only ever come out when the sun was shining and as I ride my motorcycle in all weathers this made me feel heaps better. I do have some grumbles with the gear shift which can be a little ‘clunky’ at times, something Kawasaki haven’t rectified since the ER5. The front suspension can perform some dramatic diving action under heavy breaking and the rear can be a bit twitchy when riding near the edge (and fully laden with luggage – whoops) but all these issues are negated when you consider the fact that this is a budget bike after all. For your money you are getting a very competent motorcycle that’s capable of being a great all-rounder; it will be sporty, it will cruise and it will tour but what it does best is commute a task that it excels at. For touring I’ve added a Puig screen which does a great job of keeping the wind off above 70-80mph and makes cruising at 90-100mph a breeze. However I’ve since taken the screen off – while the protection at speed is nice it is also ugly and until the winter weather returns I prefer the warm summer breeze anyway. I’ve also added some Acrebis handguards which also do make a Stirling effort of deflecting wind from your hands and also saved me from a mid-flight magpie which I hit at about 50mph. Amazingly it just got up and flew away! I’ve grown to love my ER6 over these past 6 months and with the 4k plus miles we’ve spent together I’ve only really had two problems – two flats both on the rear and within a month of each other! Of course this says more about either my riding or the state of UK roads than it does the little Kwaka. If you’re looking for a cheap to run middleweight motorcycle either as a commuter or an everyday alternative to keep your prised cruiser, classic or sports bike crisp then I can’t recommend the ER6n enough.
Hi, I have just bought a brand new ER6n in Brasil. I have to say I agree with most things written on here about the bike. Only covered about 300 Km so far but my findings are; SUSPENSION - Rubbish. On smoothe roads it's fine. On anything with the slightest bump in it really jolts when upright! Anyone tried a replacement shock that they can recomend? INSTRUMENTATION - Fine for me. No problems reading anything. I just think that the analouge speedo should be the rev counter and the digital rev counter, a speedo! COMFORT - Like many others, I find 1 hour in the saddle is enough. Any longer and numb bum sets in. VIBRATION - As I am running her in I am restricting the revs to 5,000. I find a lot of vibration runs through the handlebars at 4,000 to 5,000 revs.Leabves my arms tingling at filling stations. Oh, by the way. The low VALUE rating is only because I bought the bike in Brasil. Taxation means it's twice the price here as opposed to the UK. In the UK, I'd have given it 5 stars. Has anyone tried a MRA Screen on their bike? I am thinking of getting one. I want some wind protection but I am not keen on the Kawasaki screen offered as an accessory. The MRA one is smaller and looks to suite the bike styling more. I would love to know if they are any good before I buy one.
I bought my kawasaki er-6n about 6 months ago and I love it all the reviews I read about were right. My favorite thing about this bike is turning, it is so easy to handle and fun on the s curves. It is a quick bike too with a sexy look, I get compliments all the time. There are two things about it it, the first thing is on long rides that are more than a hour my but gets sore, the second thing is when riding on the freeway the wind blows my body around, not the bike but my body probably because I have no windshield which I plan on purchasing. This bike make me want to hug whoever invented the motorcycle.
I've come onto this from a GPZ500s and a ZXR400L, both of which I still own (both undergoing engine rebuilds due to high mileage), looking for a reliable new bike. I rang OnYerBike ne Bicester on a wednesday evening, left a deposit, and picked up the newly registered bike on Saturday morning, despite MCE being slow with the documentation, leaving OYB to sort the registration out at 2pm friday! They were excellent, and I got to any anything from their shop to the 0% finance with 10% off... see the new Schuberth C3... Now, onto the bike. First of all, my zxr (1997) revs to 14,000rpm, has touched 141mph on one occassion (level ground, slight tailwind I assume), has a full ally chasis and USD forks and massive brakes,and makes about 60ish bhp at the rear wheel. So when I say that this new bikes pulls ALOT harder, accelerates faster to the ton, and handles as well, if not better, you'll understand what an amazing job kawasaki has done with a steel chasis and cheap suspension. It also shows what nearly 15 years will do to an exceptional bike. Despite still breaking it in, the fuel economy appears good (50mpg+ at 80ish) and should improve a little soon. Build quality is excellent, and the overall feel of finish is also brilliant. The handling is excellent, easy going, but with enough built-in confidence to help rid you of the dreaded chicken strips in short order. The ride back from the dealer should do it! Once you've scrubbed them in I mean - I live 75 miles from OYB so mine were scrubbed. Several 120+ miles journeys have shown it to be comfy up to 80, after which I expect the windblast will get a little severe. Seat is very firm (Think ZXR more than GPZ) but well shaped. Brakes also firm. Throttle nice and linear. Cable clutch excellent as per usual (I always find cables give better feel than hydraulic), and gear change crisp. Comparison to my friends '97 GSXR 600 SRAD shows it to be as fast through the twisties thanks to the low down grunt, only loosing out on the longest of straights. In short, you might be able to get a used 600 from the late 90s for a grand, but it won't be as reliable, in as good a condition, will only be marginally faster, and you'll be paying a grand up front, and probably £50 to £100 a month to keep it alive (if like me you use it more often than summer sundays). Of you could get a brand new bike for £130ish per month on 0% finance for £100 down, 2 years warrenty with the option to extend anytime, NO RUST, and it'll still be worth £3000 in a few years. I know which option I should have chosen two years ago when I was looking for my first bike. Oh, and for you experienced riders... I've done several trackdays, and this will hold its own in the inters group, and in good hands, maybe even the fast group. So if you're looking for anything less than a new 750 sports bike, look this way. Only down sides - no mpg read out, no radiator stone guard, and kawasaki's extortionate crash bungs. Gonna see if SES racing ZXR400 bungs work, for a third of the price!
Having bought my ER6N about a month ago, not yet done 700 miles so still riding it with care. Having been riding for the last 40+ years I am no novice! This is why I am submitting my report as most testers suggest this is a good "first big bike" I can confirm that is well worth considering for experienced riders too. Overall this is a great handling light and very forgiving bike. I am looking forward to testing the performance after the first service next week. I do have a bigger tourer as well, but as efficient as the tourer is, it does not stir the soul! Hence the purchase of this fun bike. I do however have two niggles, as follows. (1) If like me you have decent eyesight but do need reading glass's, the speedo and tacho are virtually useless. you need to study and memorise what is where whilst stationary, or you could be in trouble on the road!!! (2) My bike from day one had a really annoying resonnance (buzz) traced to the instrument pod, I have effected a cure by wedging a piece a rubber tube between the pod and the headlamp nacelle. Although this does'nt sound ideal, I don't really want my dealer to delve too deep into this, because in my experience dismantling a lot of bits usually ends up creating more problems than it solves! As a matter of interest I did manage to get a test ride on a demo ER6N, whilst also considering a Yamaha XJ6 and a Suzuki Gladius, no demo was offered. I understand that no dealer can have every model on demo, but this would always infuence my buying decision. Cheers MV
I picked up my er6n last week. its my first bike since passing my direct access course last month. really happy with it so far and have been out everyday. I feel its a great bike for a first 'big' bike. easy to ride around town, corners very well and has enough power to learn how to ride the bigger bikes giving the rider confidence. Im 6'4" and find the bike comfortable to ride, even on a longer trip, no aching. Also I think the bike looks very nice, sporty and stylish. :) er6n = good times
I picked up my new ER-6n from the dealer yesterday. I rode through central London and boy...is this bike easy to ride or what!! After riding my much loved Honda CBF125cc for 8 months it was a piece of cake to make the transition to the ER6. It felt so light and easy right from the start and all the controls felt in exactly the right place. Admittedly I do not have much experience ,( having ridden only my CBF 125 and the ER5 where I took my test on) so I dont have much to compare with but I take that as a proof that this bike is very easy and forgiving to ride. It looks stunning in white too. I am a bit worried about the reported cracks on the frame but the dealer reassures me that this has only happened in the previous models and if anything similar happened it will be covered by the manufacturers warranty. I will put some miles in and I will let you know how it goes.Hence the reserved 3* for quality and reliability.
The bike picks up quite nicely for it's power band. The revving through the gears is nice and smooth. The bad points; Uncomfortable seat. The part of your arse that sits on the sides of the seat gets sore because the seat squashes down basically onto steel. The wide open front end means you take a battering - as with all nakeds. The clutch is very bumpy. Bike almost jolts forward just putting it into first. The suspension is RUBBISH, and non-adjustable. Go over any bump at any sort of high speed and you feel really unsafe. The suspension feels wobbly and as if it's going to chuck you off. Good stuff: Nifty little electronic speedo.
was given one as a loan bike while my gsxr1000 was having repairs carried out, collected the bike with 40 miles on the clock,After an hour of gentle riding started to get used to the feel of the bike, and was really impressed, using the bike to comute 60miles a day in all weather gave me a good test ride, really impressed with cornering abilities, No chicken strips left there,lights were brilliant, engine good right through the rev range, could possibly do with a slightly higher ratio 6th gear, seating position great,higher speed riding 60+ got a little uncomfortable, but this is a naked bike after all, seriously considering buying one for commuting on, would fit a small wind deflector screen and hand guards, but all round bloody good bike
I wanted a bike to get me to work everyday, all year round, in comfort. Not that my ZX6R was failing me, I just wanted a new toy. I had decided on a second hand ER6N with a budget of £2500. I headed to the kawasaki dealership and asked them to keep an eye out for used one for me. After a couple of months, Bournemouth kawasaki sorted me out a really good and affordable 0% finance deal on a 2009 ER6N, in Black. It was much better looking than its predecessors, more angular and mean-looking. The engine was now black in colour and the grab rails in silver finished the look. Even running it in and keeping the revs low, there was plenty of grunt off the line and enough to make dual carriageways comfortable. Now thatit's run it, the commute is even more enjoyable. the engine pulls all the way through the rev range with ease. The ride height is low, which suits my 5'3" frame. It's the first bike I have ever owned that I can actually get two feet on the groudn and actually walk backwards while on it. Bonus. The fuel economy is great. A full tank will give you about 125 miles before the fuel light starts flashing, and then only about £9.00 to fill it up again. In the wet, the tyres handle grip well, and because of it's relatively low power (compared to sportsbikes, etc) You can ride it hard in the wet too, full power and it holds. Handling - it flicks from left to right and back again like a dream! It feels so light and don't let the 200kg weight tag fool you, it is well distributed so the balance is superb for low speed maneuvers around town. The insurance was really cheap, and I reckon it would suit a newbie down to the ground. Especially with the finance deals available and the price tag. My friends love to look of it, and all want a ride on the back. It handles pillions very well, not squatting too much to affect the handling. It looks to them like a safer option to be pillion on than the ninja. The seat is more comfy and those grab handles provide added feeling of security for them. Fantastic all rounder. And sexy looking too.