KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2003 - 2004) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£260|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The 2003-2004 Kawasaki ZX-6R was, and still is, a hugely exciting machine, offering great handling and a fantastic soundtrack in a tiny, focused package.
The engine has bags of character and the Kawasaki is great fun when the going gets twisty. However, this track-focused nature means riders must make compromises when riding on the road every day. The ride is harsh over bumps and the turning circle is massive. It is important to bear in mind though that a supersport bike is not designed for the everyday - and therefore you must put up with the drawbacks, in order to experience its full potential when the roads get fun.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
This is a track machine without compromise and as such it begs for a steering damper. And preferably a softer spring in the shock. It’s a hard ride on British roads – the front gets frisky under power and the back end feels harsh and crudely suspended. Get it on the track and it gels beautifully. The four-piston radial Tokicos are simply awesome though can be known to stick if the brakes havent been serviced properly.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Kawasaki stuck with their capacity advantage over the rest of the ‘600’ pack, which means that there’s still beefy mid-range as well as a howling top end. The fuel-injection is flawless and if you can find a road or track long enough it’ll sling you towards a top speed in excess of 160mph. With a full system and a Power Commander this machine will put out a genuine 114bhp. Only a notchy gearbox stand in the way of perfection. The limited ZX-6RR model is rare but uses a 600cc motor in place of the 636cc which allowed the bike to enter races.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The paint on the tank is easily scratched, so a tank pad is a sensible idea. Thankfully a hugger comes as standard, so the shock get an easier time and isn’t pelted with road crud by the tyre. Quite a few will have been on track though so check carefully for signs of crash damage.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Excellent value, but be sure to check it for crash and wheelie damage carefully. A good number will have been on a track. Check the lock stops, head races and get the fairing off any bike before you commit to buying it. Find a Kawasaki ZX-6R for sale.
All the toys come as standard – LED brake lights, lap timer, radial brakes, etc etc.
|Engine type||16v in-line four, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, compression, rebound|
|Rear suspension||Preload, compression, rebound|
|Front brake||Twin 280mm discs|
|Rear brake||220mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/65 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||38 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£260|
|Used price||£2,500 - £3,500|
15 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||112 bhp|
|Max torque||46 ft-lb|
|Top speed||162 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11 secs|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
2003: Model introduced.
2005: Superseded by new ZX-6R C-series with underseat pipe and slipper clutch.
ZX-6RR: A 599cc machine homologated for racing in Supersports. A comprehensive race kit available from Kawasaki pushes output to almost 140bhp. It comes with a slipper clutch, an adjustable swingarm pivot and a closer ratio gearbox. It was a £1000 premium over the ZX-6R.
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2003 - 2004)
11 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2003 - 2004) 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:||£260|
Version: ZX6R 636 B1H
Annual servicing cost: £260
I have owned a few ZX6R’s g/series and a ZX7R all were fantastic bikes but my 2004 636 B1H is far superior in all departments, brakes are spot on but need looking after, the handling is spot on turns into corners really sharp, can be chucked about with ease and the engine is sweet as, sound awesome when you wind it up.
Only really used in dry weather but for a 15year old bike it has no corrosion etc
Thought about upgrading a few times but after a good ride I think what’s the point. This bike still looks and rides great
Buying experience: Paid around £2500 two years ago top value
Annual servicing cost: £250
Would I recommend to a friend or anyone looking to purchase an '03/'04 ZX636R sportbike? YES, I hands down would recommend the 1st Gen '03 or '04 (Mine was an '03) ZX6R 636 to anyone that may be looking into purchasing this bike. Worst: 1st thing anyone should do is invest into a steering stabilizer if it doesn't have one aftermarket installed as the '03 and '04 did not come with one factory. You are going to need it if you plan on any doing any track days, fast road racing/riding as the 636 is awfully prone to "Tank Slippers" which can be virtually uncontrollable. Best: Overall power is outstanding while feeling fairly lightweight and having a quite tight rider compact design, the '03 zx636r is absolutely a extreme blast to ride and literally shows true meanings of what a rocket is! I rate it a solid 10 out 10 all while being partially included in the "600cc" class makes it 100% phenomenal.
Reliability: Outstanding or just as well as any other Japanese Bikes (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki) if general maintenance upkeep is cared for like normal. I bought my 2003 zx6r 636 brand new with 3 miles on it when I was 16. I ran the living snot out of it and had put 42,000 miles on it within 4-5 years with most scheduled service maintenance cared for on time (Oil changes, Chain & Sprockets, Valve Adjuarment, etc) and I NEVER had one hiccup, internal damage, or any stupid mishaps happen when starting/stopping-riding/racing ever in the years and/or mileage put on and it ran flawlessly with no hesitation up until the day I sold it to upgrade. I am now 30.
I've owned this bike for 9 years now & it's a little cracker! at 164kg's it's the lightest of the Ninja's ;-) Great, fast, reiable little bike. Service it on time, look after it & it'll do what you want. A little old now but holding it's. Great value & a good looking bike :-)
iv had my zx6r for abot 3 months now and it is a brilliant bike it hasnt missed a beat iv had 170mph out of my zx6r the only mods i have on it our airblade double bouble screen and an sp engineering exhaust (race can) the handling isnt brilliant needs a steering damper,im running pirelli diablo rosso corsa 2 tyres and are excellent tyres except when you get a puncture lol ;(
Hiya ive owned mine for the last 3 years , 15,000 and still come back with a smile on my face ,cant wait till tomorrow another blast out on my B1H ,
This bike has razor sharp handling, excellent brakes, but poor comfort. basically the shock is too hard for the road. The engine is a peach. Looks the best kawasaki zx6r by far, as the other models have plastic tanks and don't have the same lines. The only thing i would recommend for comfort and road handling would be to get the shock revalved and resprung (k-tech). The engine benefits from a K&N filter and a race can. The 2003- 2004 model will be a classic in time.
Bought my bike with less than 3k on the clock so as new really. I love it to bits, very quick, easy to handle, awesome brakes and looks the biz. Only thing i can fault is the pain in my wrists after about an hr in the saddle but thats an easy (though expensive) fix with some bar raisers. If your a tall chap like me it may be a problem but its one i can live with!!
Just bought a B1H after owning a F2 for last 3 years. The performance is mindblowing, a little lumpy at low revs but thats not where this bike is used to being! suspension not as hard as i expected but still a bit firm, open it up tho and it goes round corners perfectly. I am in love with this bike! and hope to be together for many months to come!!
I bought this 636 after it caught my eye in the garage I take my bandit to for new tyres. I was on the look out for a sports six and had tried the honda CBR600F, Gixer and R6 but they weren`t really for me. I hadn`t seen another 636 in my price range that was worth more attention than ah hell its covered in aftermarket tat. Anyway took it for a test ride, and it blew my socks off, I had to take it easy due to a spill on the bandit left me with a dodgy shoulder, but that was soon forgotten with the engine note and the pull from the engine. To say I was smitten was an understatement. Strengths: The engine is awesome. For a gangly 6ft 2" person there is plenty of room on the bike and it is generally comfy although around town, although it can get a bit heavy on the wrists. Weaknesses: The carb icing the bike has suffered in the last 2 weeks has been depressing. In the next few weeks it will get a good run and be put on a dyno to check fueling.
Mega fast for a 6 and handles mint theirs not much better. Strengths: Motor and brakes. Weaknesses: Rider not having bigger balls to make it go and handle.
This bike never ceases to astonish me. Yes the rear shock is a minger as standard. Over damped and over sprung. Replaced with a Nitron unit (top quality and performance) Yes the build quality isn't perfect. Yes it eats the other 600's breakfast and spits them out. On track it out performs many bikes with more cc's. You want corner speed, demon brakes, plenty of strong drive but with sensible insurance then their can be only one choice. With a little bit of sorting the 03 ZX6 becomes an awesome package. Strengths: Handling Looks More grunt than other 600's Light weight Induction noise Wheelie ability It's not a Honda. Weaknesses: Truely woeful standard rear shock Finish isn't the most resiliant.