18 Sept 2012

2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja

It’s time to go back to the future! Kawasaki has just confirmed that they will be releasing a 636cc ZX-6R Ninja in 2013.

Capitalising on the strengths of the highly competitive engine and chassis package of the 599cc Ninja ZX-6R (ZX600R), the new bike builds on these further, offering performance in a wider range of situations.  Sounds great already!

With displacement increased to 636cc, the new bike offers a broader spread of torque throughout the rev range as well as great usability in everyday riding situations. Additionally, with chassis settings now more focused on winding roads, it will be able to deliver greater feedback and confidence in situations, from the track to the urban city streets.

This is, according to Kawasaki engineers, the most advanced mid-size supersport model they have ever produced; the new Ninja ZX-6R is loaded with cutting-edge technology to help a wider range of riders enjoy its serious sport riding performance. Features like 3-mode traction control (KTRC), power mode selection and anti lock brakes (KIBS) come directly from their flagship models. There are apparently also new fork and clutch technologies fitted to further increase this bike’s potential for fun and exciting riding.

  • Increased displacement from 599cc to 636cc
  • Strong low-mid range torque and easy-to-control engine character means increased everyday flexibility.
  • Next-generation forks: SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork - Big Piston) by Showa delivers both racetrack performance and everyday usability.
  • The F.C.C. Assist & slipper clutch mean that actuation is light, with a sporty feel. The bike also has a back-torque limiting function.
  • Kawasaki’s latest traction control system and 2 selectable power modes give a total of 8 combinations to cover a wide range of riding situations. 
  • Supersport-grade ABS: KIBS (Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System). This system gives the minimal amount of intrusion during hard riding, helps suppress rear wheel lift during hard braking; and takes into account back-torque from downshifts.
  • Latest aggressive Ninja styling; elements are based on the Ninja ZX-10R for a strong family resemblance.

This must be the most eagerly anticipated bike of the coming year for Kawasaki fans and enthusiasts; the ZX-6R has always been a popular motorcycle both on the road and the track, and the old 636 carbed model was a real cracker.  It was a real shame when Kawasaki returned to making 600cc machines, but this was mainly a move made to help with racing, as the 636 was not eligible to compete in the British, European or World Supersport categories due to its increased displacement. In response Kawasaki did make a 6RR model homologated for track use, and reports suggest that this will again be the case.  This would be a good thing, as the 600cc bike would be mainly aimed at the trackday and club racing enthusiasts.

High revving hard riding sports bikes can sometimes be just too harsh and uncomfortable to ride on our potholed British roads, so the introduction of a slightly larger capacity bike with more torque means that you won’t be hunting through the gearbox to find the powerband for smooth overtaking, fuel economy should be better as the engine won’t be working so hard, and the riding position doesn’t look as extreme as some earlier incarnations of the ZX-6R so comfort may not be so much of an issue, especially on longer journeys.

Styling-wise the bike looks great in the promo pics, Kawasaki have never failed to make a ferocious looking sports bike and this one is no exception; taking on features from the brilliant ZX-10R is a brilliant move.

Pricing hadn’t been released at the time of writing, but a small increase over the cost of the current model wouldn’t be a bad thing; you’ll be getting a lot of bike for your buck!

©Angela Freeman