KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2005 - 2006) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£110|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The hardest 600 of modern times just got a little softer – and a little better, too.
The Kawasaki ZX-6R's track-intent is still present and correct, but thankfully the suspension is more responsive and less harsh. Its new slippery shape means that 170mph is just a following wind away. Also new for 2005 is a slipper clutch and petal discs.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The most appreciable difference between this and the Kawasaki ZX-6R it replaced is the quality of the ride. The swap from Kayaba to Showa means a plusher, more sophisticated suspension that, mated to a new, stiffer chassis, makes the 2005/2006 ZX-6R so much easier to push hard. There’s a new radial master cylinder for improved braking up front and new ‘petal’ discs for the all-new Tokico radial brakes to bite on, too. It all works flawlessly.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Good Lord, the Kawasaki ZX-6R's DOHC, 16v motor is so close to being perfect. The exquisite fuelling, the easy mid-range, the searing power, the screaming airbox….incredible. It makes a genuine 115bhp at the back wheel, which easily makes it the most powerful middleweight motor of its time.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Kawasaki ZX-6R is well finished and well built. There’s nothing that stands out as worth y of attention, but it’s worth checking any secondhand bike carefully for damaged lock stops, chipped wheels, under-fairing damage etc.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The only thing that counts against the 2005/2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R is its newness. Dealers tend to ask silly prices and a brand spanking new 600 isn’t that much of a leap away from that kind of money. Find a Kawasaki ZX-6R for sale.
You couldn’t add more toys to the Kawasaki ZX-6R if you tried. There’s a slipper clutch to smooth out hurried downshifts, a lap timer, an underseat exhaust with a mid-range boosting exhaust valve.
|Engine type||16v in-line four, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, compression, rebound|
|Rear suspension||Preload, compression, rebound|
|Front brake||Twin 300mm 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||40 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£110|
|Used price||£3,300 - £4,500|
15 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||114 bhp|
|Max torque||52 ft-lb|
|Top speed||168 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11 secs|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
2005: Kawasaki ZX-6R introduced.
2007: Model set to be replaced by all new, 599cc ZX-6R.
ZX-6RR: This is a 599cc machine homologated for racing in Supersports competition. It boasts refined engine internals, a close ratio gearbox, stiction-reducing fork coatings, revised suspension and a boss for a steering damper. Kawasaki can also supply a racing kit to help push the power up towards 140bhp.
MCN Long term test reports
Video: Kawasaki reveal details of 2019 ZX-6R
Kawasaki have released the full details of their 2019 ZX-6R, which features a raft of new electronics, as well as reworked styling. Retaining the firm’s 636cc inline-four engine, which first appeared on the ZX-6R in 2002, this latest Euro4 compliant version now boasts a quick shifter for upshifts on…
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2005 - 2006)
30 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ZX-6R (2005 - 2006) 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:||£110|
Annual servicing cost: £110
I've committed a sin with this bike.......... Lowered the rear by 40mm, Reversed the footrest adapters to lower them by 40mm(instead of raising them), put a 36T sprocket on the back in place of the 44T, installed some engineered handlebar raisers + 80mm, kicked the screen up to miss the bars... It's the best ever bike I could imagine!! It's not the track missile anymore, but what a road bike!! 164kg, 114BHP, Engine pulls from 25mph!!! to 140mph+ in top!!! If Kawasaki made one it would be a best seller!!!
The mods have turned the best 600 class sportbike into a fantastic allrounder, easily does a full tank (150 miles) without a break
What can I say, WOW!!!
so far 100%
still got to do that
the balanced complete bike...
Definitely recommend this bike she is amazing. No worst features ok doesn't have this day and age technology that's what makes her more fun.ive had 6 gsxr from 1000,750 and 600,to R1,TLR Ducati 748(don't ask) nc30 etc, my 636 just makes me laugh not the fastest however I totally enjoy this bikes just summit about it, also looks so aggressive and doesn't look old.
Great bike I am over 6ft no problems on this bike for comfort.
Amazing after 6,000 rpm it goes wild love it. And sounds amazing with aftermarket exhaust.
Bike looks like new condition totally mint.
Version: C1h 636
Annual servicing cost: £100
What a bike. I've had a fair few sportsbikes over the years GSXR 600,750,1000. ZX10r, supermotos and a few others but this thing is so much bang for your buck. I had one in track form a few years ago but wasn’t road legal but found this one for 2800 with 10,000 miles in champagne colour with some nice extras. Yoshimura, r&g’s, braised lines, steering damper etc. The engine is definItely the strongest 600 I've ridden that extra 36 cc makes a difference. The seat is surprisingly super comfy. I’m 6 foot 1 and find the riding position fine possibly not as comfy as the GSXR but not far off! Would highly recommend to anybody looking for a value for money sports bike that has the ability to keep up with the best of them.
Great brakes from standard better than GSXR. Updated lines, pads and fluid on mine
Howler. With useable midrange for a smaller cc sports bike on the road and cracking top end.
Not had any problems my road one is on 10,000 miles. My track one had about 5,000 miles nearly all on track as it was written off within a month of being registered and I had no problems with that one either.
Would service myself.
Lap timer slipper clutch all you needed for this era of bike.
Buying experience: Bought off a friend for good price he never used it much as he preferred his 1000.
Annual servicing cost: £120
An all round decent mid range 600. Lots of fun for your buck.
BEST MIDDLEWEIGHT OUT THERE. Originally bought with the intention of it being a daily rider, but I felt so at home on it that it had to be ridden to it's full potential on the track. Yeah, I've put more money into it than I bought it for (full exhaust, ecu flash/tune, race bodywork, chain/sprockets, brake lines, engine covers etc.) but it still makes me as happy as it did when I first test rode it. Kawasaki did an amazing job with the 636. The bike will eat any other middleweight out there. The ONLY similar bike that has kept up with it was a 2015 ZX6R and that speaks volumes about Kawasaki's engineering. I like it WAY more than my 2015 FZ09 (current daily bike) or my 2010 Fireblade (also a track only bike).
At 15k miles I had to replace the top end gaskets. The OEM gaskets were a bit pricey at >$150 for the valve cover, cam cover, and a series of smaller internal gaskets. Head gasket was completely fine though.
Run Q3s, Rosso 3s or similar "tall profile" tires. It flicks into corners like mad
Buying experience: Private party for $3,400. Well worth it. Originally bought with the intention of it being a dailt rider, but I felt so at home on it that it had to be ridden to it's full potential on the track. Yeah, I've put more money into it than I bought it for (full exhaust, ecu flash/tune, race bodywork, chain/sprockets, brake lines, etc.) but it still feels the same as it did when I test rode it. Kawasaki did an amazing job with it. The bike will eat any other middleweight out there. The ONLY similar bike that has kept up with it was a 2015 ZX6R and that speaks volumes about Kawasaki's engineering. I like it WAY more than my 2010 Fireblade (current daily bike) or my 2006 R6 (track only bike)
This is the best bike in the world. It only weighs 186kg wet after I installed an Akrapovic exhaust & a lithium battery. It was also dyno tuned to 118 wheel hp. Now on roads and race tracks the S1000RR riders have problems to keep up with me ,-) The weight to power ratio is amazing & the brakes are brutal. The stock setting position is not the best but I installed ABM handlebars. I own the bike since 2006 (2000km), I am currently at 65000km and hope to keep it for ever. I test rode the S1000RR, S1000R, Z1000 '15, Street triple '13, Daytona & Tuono 1100. All these bike have too much power for road use & I don't want to kill my self. Only downside is it has no ABS. Last but not least don't forget he candy plasma blue colour ;-)
The spark plug connector and secondary throttle sensor broke at 60000km.
wish it had ABS
I've had my 2006 636 for just over a year now, and it has never failed to thrill me on the road and the track. It's a truly outstanding machine which just so happens to be my first bike after passing my test. I'd reccomend a Kawasaki to anyone. GSXR can go away >:D Kawasaki is the king ;D
I can't help but feel a tad nostalgic. This was my first ever bike and I still miss it dearly from time to time. Definitely the best 600 (636) of it's time, plus ninjas always seem to cost about £1000 less than the equivalent R6 (& are an insurance group lower)... Bargain! Unmolested it'll top 170mph and feels far more planted in the corners than a twitchy new daytona 675. The rubber brake lines are a tad crud, but braided hoses don't cost that much these days. Apart from that and the paint finish on the callipers (& those pointless exhaust butterfly valves manufacturers insist on using that work for about 4,000 miles... then seize), I can't fault it. Put 16,000 miles on it and it never missed a beat.
What a stunning job the Kawasaki boffins did on this. I'd not ridden (legally) since losing my left arm in 1985. And decided that the ZX would be the right choice. Buying it has to be one of the wisest decisions I've ever made. I was easy to adapt for right hand only & I haven't stopped smiling since. I fitted an SCX damper 'just in case' & have found the handling to be precise & faultless - the faster I ride, the more planted it feels. As for the engine, wow talk about hyperspace.... Had to fit rear sets so that I'd have something to push against whilst getting it up the the red line. The power surge between 9 - 15.5k is just unbelievable - but at lower revs is has bags of pulling power & actually behaves well in slow moving traffic. I've done 2500 miles on it so far. Not once has it tried to throw me off or misbehaved on bumpy bends. A seriously well planted machine & enough power to suit anyone. I'd definately buy another
Done nearly 5000 miles this summer and enjoyed every one of them. An awesome all round tool and I mean all round. Been to Wales, Lakes, Dales, Peak District, North Yorks Moors etc and it never misses a beat. Have no probs doing 300 miles a day on a/b roads if needed thanks to a smooth ride and comfortable seat. Easily does 180 miles a tank too, so a tank does me on most days out & its does 50ish mpg. Initially it was getting low-mid 40's mpg with under 3k miles on, but the engine gets stronger and more fuel efficient over time it seems. Had 58mpg on a run once where I didn't overtake much due to following my mate in his by all accounts fast car. Enjoyed my first bike, an SV650s that i kept for only a year due to outgrowing it, but this is a keeper & a future classic so they say. Going by that imperious engine and the various noises throughout the rev range alone, I can see why. I could have just said theres 15500 reasons I love this bike because thats how many revs there are, but that wouldn't do justice to the other things that are attached around the engine and the Ram Air fed air box!
Brilliant little Bike. I have no trouble keeping up with all my mates & they all ride newer litre bikes. You just have to keep the engine spinning. I do get lower fuel economy than the bigger bikes though, Only about 30 miles to the gallon. Only grips are 1: the standard suspension settings which are just wrong for any type of riding. What were Kawasaki thinking! when set up properly it transforms the bike into a brilliant handleing road bike better than R6 etc & 2: The Fi light comes on when the bike is left for any length of time, due to the exhaust valve motor not cycleing properly. A good thrash & then turning it off & then on again sorts it, but it is a pain.
Only just picked up an 06 bike with 20k on the motor but its as sweet as a nut, what a motor! Loads of mid-range for a 600, would eat R6 or CBR in the midrange and I would be suprised if any other 600's were quicker up the top end too. I believe its till the most powerful 4 cylinder sports 600 around (OK having an extra 36 cc is cheating but it works). Handling is much improved after fitting a new pair of Avon Vipers, it didn't ride well on worn Bridgestones. Suspension is firm on stock settings even with my 13 stone on it but its still effective for soaking up the worst on crap roads without being sloppy in the corners. Feels very roomy compared to the newer bikes which suits me, seat is good for at least a couple of hours in the saddle. My advice is buy one if you can find one, there's not many around. You won't be dissapointed.
mines the c1h 05 in titanium which looks great in the flesh. fitted the essential bits, puig double bubble screen, rear hugger (mudguard to protect suspension), r&g crash protectors. forget extra bhp etc, this feels like a 750-1000! theres an incredible low-mid range for a 600 from 3-9k which gets stronger all the way through. forget the all 600's are gutless/peaky stuff here, you can leave this in top if you want, it pulls at 30! at 9-10k it gets pretty science fiction tho! you have to hold on tight and make sure the ever lighter front end stays planted! power delivery is turbine smooth and the sound is like a supercharged ariel atom in the mid range before the race roar of the power band. its an incredible engine that dominates the experience and you even get 40-50mpg. the suspension feels and looks expensive and with a pretty comfy seat makes for a nice sports touring ride over longer distances. the handling is sporty and sharp, tho its pretty big for a 600 so maybe isnt quite as flickable as some. its unlikely many will get near its limits on a road or even a track tho. overall this has to be one of the best 600's ever, throw value into the equation and it has to be a no brainer! its probably overkill for many or very near for much less for 750-1000 buyers. +'s everything -'s poor visibility from mirrors so you need to move around a bit, poss licence probs, horn corroding quite quickly, tho everywhere else seems well finished. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYNkZt3P2ZU&feature=channel_page
I baught a 06 last year i wanted another blade but money was a bit tight.But wow! its great reminds me of my old 92 blade its that good .My only gripe is that its the titainum colour (more metallic hearing aid beige) but a respray will sort that out .Anybody downsizing from a 1 liter need not be worried about a flat non midrange bike 600 its fab .
Do you know that this is the bike to own full stop - i know we can go a little faster on the bigger more expensive to run and own, tyre munching bikes but in the real world do you need more than a 600ish cc bike..! I think you should know that at 190mph with 500rpm left ,still pulling and creaping up i guessed to about 196/7 on the clock at the limiter on the over run wow amazing, from a standard bike ok down hill and 3miles to wind it up, wind behind, but it goes striaght to 180 on the flat,with no help. Maybe the clocks are inacurate but i know my zx12 did 220 on the clock it was derestricted as 186 was max before, and its blood fast over 170mph no matter what you are on cause its pulling your arms off and your head off, where at that speed, everything that is moving is stationary, and you count the flyovers by in quick succession..ummm vanishing point is important very important. BUT this bike tracks like its on rails at high speed and you can keep your line and your speed just keep throwing it at the tarmac and it goes round the corners. i did not give it 5stars for ride as i set it for track days and the good few roads out there so the rest of the time the ride is harsh but worth the rewards when you find a good piece of road to let rip on.I might add there is a time and place for over enthusiasum.! and thats not in rush hour-although there is a buzz from riding down the middle of cars the bike is very narrow and i have not had any bikes follow me through yet..detracting from the zx6r well at just over half the price of the out going new model 2009 you would have a lot of change for all your gear ,insurance , paint job and accessories list etc.. with a bike that is still producing power the same or better than any current bikes,and definatly a beater of top speed,and you won't need to run it in either..remember only on paper is a bike quick its down to the rider to make it that quick.so dont be surprised if a pizza hut delivery boy leaves you in his wake if you are a new rider in town lol..nothing to be ashamed of it happens lol ohh the virtues of twist and go but they cant get through the gaps like me on my zx6 amazing if it wasn't for traffic lights i would be a winner haha. My recomendation is to buy one, to give you an idea! when i had my zx12, a real nice bike by the way, i still preffered the zx6 to ride most of the time...it puts a grin factor of 10 on your face and you dont feel like your on old metal like some bikes make you feel over time -think this will be a classic one day for many reasons.
At first amazing machine. My 1st big bike only 3 weeks after I passed. Extremely quick the 1st few days to get used to the injection I had the feeling my vision was bluring after 10krpm :))))) . Anyhow great! the handling is super, it allows alot of mistakes which to be honest on other bikes would have been devistating, going through holes on a corner is not funny (even worse with a pillion), but it sticks like glue. although they say it hits 168mph I did manage abroad to max that to 184mph (292kmh) it can do more (reason: bad quality fuel). Due to its power this machine MUST MUST have DAMPER installed it has personally saved my life a dozen of times especially on front wheel lock (glass smooth tarmack) or going through massive fallen rocks from mountain area, or even the stupid dips in road from buses when accelerating. When I purchased the bike it was on 7500miles now is on 15000miles, I ride it all year round and only slight cosmetic problems from weather and jet washes. The pain on the tail has started peeling off here and there leaving black patches but hey! it is plastic with paint no paint can stand vibration long enough and still stay in place. It accellerates like crazy not many can keep up. The bike is so steady and smooth ride that I am already using the full base of the rear tyre and scraping my boots on corners, and I have still not felt any sway of the back tyre on corners (BUY GOOD TYRES IT IS WORTH IT!) this could be counted strongly on the slipper clutch, one bad thing about the size of the front wheel is that it is 120/65 which means not easy to find the tyre you want with that 65profile size you can not get michelin pilot power 2ct that size which is a shame but 120/70 handles pesently too even thow they do not recommend it. It has only given me one problem and that goes with all 2005 (do not know about the 2006) model, wheeling it can throw engine oil if you wheelie for a long distace on high revs , in america they do a so called 'clean air' modification to bypass that airbox filling with oil (causing ceasure to the engine when oil gets in the FI),so what the mod does is direct the oil to the exhaust so it doesn't stall the bike (it is cheap to do it yourself, i beleive is not too nice for the engine and you do need to carry a bottle of engine oil with you hehe) , but if you are like me and not being anctious about wheelies etc then you have no worries. As a young rider the insurance is too high if you are from the EU it is better registering and insuring the bike abroad with a green card it is hell alot more cheaper, bad point is 'it is only legal in the country for 6months then you have to register in DVLA (again)' . Anyhow this is the best 636 ever made. It was not only the best on the track but look in america half the pro-stunt riders ride with 636 '05-'06 models. I hope Kawasaki manufacture a new one in the upcomming years. And if it has to be kawasaki get this GREEN MEAN MACHINE!
I must start by saying this is the first 'big bike' i have ever owned. Stops, accelerates, corner's and rides brilliantly. my previous experience was with a GS 500, and a Faser 600 - this bike blows them out the water. the throttle is progressive and has a ton of midrange which makes it easier to ride than other 600's ive ridden. Definately first class in my opinion
paid £4000 for a 55 plate green one with 4800 miles on it with warrenty its my first big bike and boy do i love it put 1000 miles on it in a week only the british summer has stopped me doing more. hit 8000rpm and your flying first day i had it nailed it looked down at the speedo i was doing a 140mph shit myself taking it steady now building my confidence and the more i ride the better i get. good points great engine great handling great looks bad points wrist and a bit of back ache on long trips but i am 6'2 but its well worth it.
Just got the bike 05 plate with 7200 miles on the clock, preivously had triumph daytona 600 which was awsome, but the ninja just does everything that bit better, braking, handling, plush ride, (dont hardly notice bumps at all!) and of course that screaming engine, ACE! Love the digital rev bar and the toys that come as standard, slipper clutch, wavy discs, mono block brakes. very easy to ride geled with it very quickly, the only bad things to say about it is the more racey riding position compared to my daytona my wrists and higher back were aching more, but that was only when slowed up by traffic once on the boil its fine, recomended, go green!
Rode several 600's when buying... and this is the only one I would buy. It actually has power compared to others, handles well, rides well, brakes are ok. Only thing is it feels a little nervous when going quickly through corners but a steering dampner should fix that. Wheelies with incredible ease even if you don't mean to. The paint is poor quality, I've got about 10-15 small blemishes where stones have hit it and the paint is raised... Honestly the only 600cc bike I would ever own.... next up however will be a gixxer 1000cc
Having just updated from a zx6rf3 (Jan 2008) the bikes are worlds apart. I loved my old f3 but since getting the 2006 model i feel like i did 15 years ago when i got my first bike i just want to ride it every where. It goes like stink and handles superb and looks great. The only problem i have with it is seeing the dash display.
I have owned a Plasma blue 05/54 636 for a year now. I love it to bits and really enjoy getting out on it with the lads. The standard Bridgestones are super grippy and the bike is very forgiving. Was a tad uncomfortable on a trip to France but 1800 miles in 3 days is asking a lot. It clocked a comfortable 167mph on the Autoroute.
fast enough to give the big bikes fits...easy to ride hard and enjoy its great handling. ive put in over 1000 miles in 2 days and have 15,000 miles and counting, i havent had any problems with it at all and ergonomically speaking it is a very comfortable sportbike, the seat is better than anything else you will find...i love this bike and evertime i try something else out i still cant wait to get back on my 636
Some galvanised fittings cant take a winter, but the engine and chassis are just superb! Its a bike well worth owning, no matter what sort of riding you do!
My eyes were opened to the joys of motorcycle ownership August this year when I purchased my first bike. It has exceeded my expectations in every field. It looks the business, goes like stink and is so forgiving and easy to ride. Strengths: Massive grin factor, exellent sales & after sales team, easy to ride, sounds superb. Weaknesses: No rear wheel hugger, speed points accumulator.
I believe it's a great all rounder for new or experianced riders as the new ZX6-R is shorter and handles very well.<br><br>Strengths<br><br>The braking system is very good and the handling into and out of bends is great given the excellent power performance at low rev's if you are stuck in the wrong gear or mis-judge a bend. The standard fitted Bridgestone tyres are also a good choice by Kawasaki.<br><br>Weaknesses<br><br>Engine 'Tappy' at low revs, no rear hugger fitted as standard and the brake fluid container can get in the way of reading the clock.
I think its the best all round bike today, very good all round package, strong engine , good bakes , very good suspension (last bike was a ZX6R J2)looks very good in green . It has all the trick bits, and a very good on the road price. I dislike the small screen , no hugger as standard, and only one headlamp works on dip (as all the other new 600 are the same)must be an EEC directive thing. Fitted Kawasaki/MRA screen , Pyramids hugger, and Kawasaki tank pad. May fit a S/damper, front a bit twichey riding fast over bump roads & gets worse if you load up a tail pack !. what a tool. Strengths: Looks, speed, torquey motor . Kawasaski deal / price. Weaknesses: Screen too low for a 6'0 person to see the clocks. No rear hugger as standard. should have S/damper as standard like the 06 ZX10.
Bought the bike new March 2006 my first real sports bike 0% couldn't beat it. Looks the part with the gold forks and callipers plus the petal leaf discs look the business too. Very easy bike to ride and inspires confidence in both town and country riding. Wrists get a bit sore initially but that was sorted by moving the levers round a bit now not a problem. This bike looks like it should go like stink and it does. Now looks even better with the rear seat cowl on it, amazing!! Get one! Strengths: Power seems to be never ending and looks the business. Weaknesses: Very clunky going through the gears.
WOW! I passed my test last spring (2005) and was gonna get a CBR 600F. I saw the ZX-6R review in RiDE magazine and decided to 'have a look' at the Kawasaki dealer in Watford. Next thing I know I've bought my first bike! The looks the reviews the 0% finance I couldn't argue. I am the proud owner of the Ninja and love it to pieces. Hoping to get a bit of touring in the Summer (The Alps.) I'm a complete novice but the bike is so forgiving and smooth. I couldn't imagine riding anything else. If you want my opinion: remortgage, sell the wife, do what ever it takes. You need one of these! Strengths: Looks, sound, reliability, braking and grinning like a cheshire cat every time you twist the throttle! Weaknesses: The screen is a little low so you can't see the speedo unless you duck right down. If that bothers you, get the Kawasaki double bubble.