Review by motorcylenews.com
2004 KAWASAKI ZX-6R
Like Honda’s CBRs, the Kawasaki is both sporty and practical without appearing to compromise. It looks aggressive, it sounds stunning and the ride will reward even the most experienced riders.
Discuss this bike
The styling sets it apart from the bikes it was up against on its launch, the worthy CBR600 and the fast but flabby Thundercat. And the induction roar set the hairs on the back of your neck prickling.
The sharp engine is mated to equally sharp handling, which gets better as the pace hots up. The searing top speed and the razor sharp handling of the ZX-6R will make it the first choice for hardened scratchers.
The ’98 version of the ZX6-R has less weight and more power than the original and revised brakes.
What you get is a potential for over 160mph, the kind of speed that has superbike owners looking over their shoulders.
The G model has one hundred horses on tap and will rocket to a timed 0-60 in just 3.1 seconds. The induction noise of the ZX-6 wolfing down air at these speeds is sensational and highly addictive, and the way the bike sounds accelerating through the rev range is so sensual, it will have you going for the hit time and time again.
The riding position is spot-on. The slightly lower seat, wider bars and taller screen all help make the ZX6-R an excellent all-rounder as well as a top sports bike.
For 2000 the 6R dropped again to 171kg with 109bhp on tap. The chassis set-up is pretty much spot-on straight from the crate, and it, together with the Dunlop D207 tyres, copes superbly with anything the road has to throw at it.
In 2002 Kawasaki packed a cheeky 636cc motor in-between it’s frame spars. It seems like a simple expedient to counter faster, torquier rivals, but the ZX-6R is a much more integrated machine than just a bored out (by 2mm) engine slotted in last year’s bike.
The Kawasaki’s suspension is much improved over previous models. The old harsh ride has been replaced, thanks particularly to revised spring and damping rates in the forks, with a plush quality that glues the bike to the road.
In 2003 the ZX-6R was redesigned to head Kawasaki’s revival as a manufacturer of sharp sports bikes. And what a bike.
The new ZX-6R is about as ‘sports’ as it gets for a road bike short of adding numbers. And if it’s not there’s the hotter ‘RR’ version.