Based off the existing ’12 ZX-6R Inline Four engine, the 2013 configuration makes use of the same bore (67mm) but a 2.6mm-longer stroke (45.1mm). A number of other enhancements were also made including updated cylinder head porting and camshafts. Refinements were also made to the intake and exhaust systems to work with the new engine spec. The design of the wet-style slipper clutch is new as well.
The chassis received some love highlighted by the use of a new Showa big piston fork that features separate function technology similar to what Team Green employs on its 2011-plus KX250F motocrosser. For the sportbike application however, it uses springs in each fork leg but preload adjustment is made on the left leg while compression and rebound damping is handled on the right side. The ZX-6R also gets new monobloc-style (machined from a solid piece of aluminum for added rigidity) radial-mount braking calipers sourced from Nissin.
The ’13 ZX-6R is the first Japanese middleweight to offer traction control. Derived from the systems used on the Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-14R/Concours, the electronics offer three levels of adjustment based on road conditions or rider preference. Two different engine power modes (Low/Hi) are offered. The shape of the body panels has also been revised for more efficient aerodynamics. The improvements come at a substantial cost with the 2013 ZX-6R costing $1400 more than this year’s model.