Saturday, March 14, 2009

2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R riding impression


With a ram-air-assisted 134bhp, the 2009 ZX-6R is not one for pottering around...

With their radically redesigned 2009 ZX-6R Ninja, Kawasaki are shooting for the top spot in the 600cc supersports segment this year. Moto Caradisiac recently had the opportunity to test ride the bike and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the green meanie:

This time around, Kawasaki seem to be truly serious about hunting down the R6, CBR 600RR, GSX-R600 and even the Daytona 675. The 2009 ZX-6R is indeed an all-new bike – it shares nothing with its predecessor. And to begin with, the new bike looks really good – a perfect mix of aggression and sobriety.

The engine sounds relatively subdued when you start the bike, though the sound is still pleasant. And the riding position and ergonomics feel just right – you immediately feel comfortable on this bike.

On the move, the new engine is docile and smooth at low revs – if you insist, it will even putter along at 2,000rpm, in sixth gear, at 30km/h. But, of course, that’s not what the ZX-6R is meant to do. The bike really comes alive between 8,000-16,000rpm and in that rev range, a handful of throttle instantly translates into hard acceleration and insane speeds. With ram-air, the ZX-6R’s 599cc inline-four makes 134 horsepower at 14,100rpm and, yes, the bike feels very responsive – the throttle twist-grip seems to be directly connected to the rear wheel. And it averages about 17.5km per litre of petrol, which is not too bad.

The new, fully-adjustable big-piston fork (BPF) from Showa is quite a revelation – the Kawasaki’s nose is always absolutely glued to the tarmac and the ride quality is not bad either. And the Nissin bakes, with radial mount callipers at the front, are very powerful – just two fingers on the brake lever are quite enough to bring the bike to a super-quick halt – but you’d better be careful while braking hard in wet weather conditions and/or during an emergency.

The good:
Poise, steering accuracy
Powerful brakes
Riding position
High speed handling
Engine performance

The not-so-good:
Styling too similar to the ZX-10R
Readability of the instruments
Wind protection provided by the fairing is inadequate

For the full article, visit the Moto Caradisiac website here

2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R: Tech Specs

Engine: 599cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 16-valve, DOHC, inline-four
Power: 108bhp@14,100rpm (134bhp with ram-air)
Torque: 60Nm@11,000rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed
Chassis: Perimeter-style, stamped aluminium
Suspension: 41mm USD fork, Uni-Trak monoshock, both ends fully adjustable
Brakes: Twin 300mm petal-type discs (front) with four-piston radial-mount callipers, single 220mm disc (rear) with single piston calliper
Wheels and Tyres: 17-inch alloy wheels, Bridgestone BT016, 120/70ZR17 (front), 180/55ZR17 (rear)
Dry / Wet weight: 167kg / 191kg
Price in Europe: 10,999 euros
Price in the US: About $10,000
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