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Kawasaki ZX6R

First released in 1995, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is one of the longest-running 600cc production machines in the Supersport market. The 95-edition saw the second-ever 600 to get an aluminum frame (Suzuki’s GSX-R600 got one in ’92) and revolutionary-for-the-time low dry weight of 401 pounds.
For 2009 the ZX-6R is new and modeled after Kawasaki's ZXRR MotoGP machine and its big brother, the ZX-10R.
Since its last major redesign in 2009, Kawasaki’s middleweight ZX6R sportbike has reigned supreme establishing itself as the benchmark in terms of outright racetrack performance.
Fast forwarding to recent years, 2002 saw an unorthodox change for Kawasaki and the ZX-6R. Faced with the issue of creating more mid-range power, they instated a 636cc engine in the base ZX-6R, much to the dismay of other manufacturers. To stay in racing series’ worldwide they also made a limited production run ZX-6RR, which had a 599cc engine as well as a host of trick parts including an adjustable swingarm pivot and slipper clutch.

With 2003 came many new changes to both the Ninja ZX-6R (636) and ZX-6RR. Both the 636 and 6RR received fuel injection for ’03, as well as a redline 500rpm higher. Radial-mount front brakes now graced the front end as did an inverted fork. Totally-new styling saw a much more radical-looking Ninja, with a center-mounted air-intake and dual bug-eye-style headlights. The machines were also much smaller overall, a big improvement compared to the previous generation middleweight Kawasaki. A minor restyling came in ’05 as well as an updated frame, swingarm and center-up under-seat exhaust. Kawasaki continued to make both a standard 636 and ZX-6RR Ninja supersport model.

But after four years of producing both machines, in 2007 Kawasaki joined the rest of the Japanese manufacturers by returning to the middleweight fray with only one machine, the standard 599cc ZX-6R. Along with this came an all-new engine that was 40mm shorter front to rear by virtue of a new stacked-internal-gearing set up. Equally changed was the Kawasaki’s frame, swingarm, suspension and brakes, all designed with a more track-focused feel. The Kawasaki ZX-6R remained unchanged for ’08 with the exception of a few new color options.

For ’09 a totally new bike came from Kawasaki, modeled after their ZXRR MotoGP machine and its big brother, the ZX-10R. Much more angular styling wraps around a retuned engine, which gained a healthy amount more power and a right-side-exit low-mounted exhaust to aid in mass centralization. Also, highlighting the new machine is an all-new Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF). This is technology derived straight from the racetrack and is the first time it has been implemented on a production 600. The result of all these changes was the top position in Motorcycle USA’s 2009 Supersport Shootout!
Kawasaki ZX6R Motorcycle Reviews
2011 Kawasaki ZX-6R Track Comparison
Monday, June 06, 2011
A two-time defending Supersport Shootout champion, how does the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-6R compare in this year's Supersport Track Shootout? Read more in this sportbike comparison review.
2011 Kawasaki ZX-6R Street Comparison
Monday, May 23, 2011
Does the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-6R make for an optimal street mount compared to its Supersport rivals? Find out in our 2011 Supersport Street Shootout.
2010 Kawasaki ZX-6R Modified Comparison Part II
Monday, October 04, 2010
MotoUSA took the 2010 Kawasaki ZX-6R and the rest of the Japanese middleweights and modified them in stages to see how they stacked up against themselves as well as each other in this multi-stage feature we like to call the Modified Supersport Shootout Series.
2010 Kawasaki ZX-6R Modified Comparison
Monday, July 12, 2010
MotoUSA modifies the 2010 Kawasaki ZX-6R and stacks it up against the rest of the Japanese middleweights, all four featuring similar hop-ups. Welcome to the first stage of our 2010 Modified Supersport Shootout.
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R DSB Comparison
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Motorcycle USA pits the 2009 Supersport Shootout winner, the Kawasaki ZX-6R against some of its Daytona SportBike rivals, the Buell 1125R and Aprilia RSV1000 in this track comparison.
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Comparison
Friday, March 20, 2009
For Kawasaki and their ZX-6R, they left last year’s shootout as the high school nerd. They came back in 2009 as the computer genius with the babe on his arm. What a difference a year can make!
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R First Ride
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Motorcycle USA heads to Japan and Kawasaki’s very own Autopolis circuit to sample the high-performance capabilities of the 2009 ZX-6R supersport.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Comparison
Monday, May 19, 2008
The high-revving 600cc supersport motorcycles take center stage as we gather six middle-weight track weapons for our sixth annual Supersport Shootout.
2007 Kawasaki ZX-6R Comparison
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Adding a pair of fresh challengers into the cauldron of supersport combat is certain to shake things up. Street and track miles tell the story.
2007 Kawasaki ZX-6R - First Ride
Monday, December 18, 2006
The Ninja's blade gets sharpened to race-readiness, boasting a completely new mill for the first time in a decade and being the best handling ZX ever.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R Comparison
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Track testing is really what separates the wheat from the chaff, so we do double duty by spending two full days at race speed.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-6R Comparison
Monday, May 15, 2006
For this year's Shootout we gathered six bikes from three countries with three engine configurations. Only one winner.
2005 Supersport Track Kawasaki ZX-6R Comparison
Sunday, April 03, 2005
It took 14 race-compound tires, three factory-support crews and two racetracks to figure out which of the four supersports performs best at the track.
2005 Kawasaki ZX-6R Comparison
Monday, March 21, 2005
Major revisions to the middleweight sportbike cards shuffle the deck in this streetbike melee.
2005 Kawasaki ZX-6R First Ride
Thursday, December 16, 2004
The mission of any sportbike engineer is to make the latest machine faster, better handling and more attractive. The boys at Kawasaki have delivered.
2004 Kawasaki ZX-6R Comparison
Saturday, August 28, 2004
It's been a long and winding road to deliver this comparo, but the results are in to determine the winner in this critical market segment.
2003 Kawasaki ZX-6R Comaprison
Thursday, July 24, 2003
We can't believe how much performance manufacturers are squeezing out of these middleweights. And they're so closely matched it makes our job tough.
2003 Kawasaki ZX-6R Quick Ride
Friday, March 14, 2003
An extra 37cc may not sound like much, but the new 636cc Kwacker provides a dose of power that will likely surpass the other contenders in the class.
Kawasaki ZX6R Project Bikes
Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike Part 5
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
For the final phase of our ZX-6R Project Bike we race with WSMC at The Fastest Road in the West.
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike - Part IV
Thursday, October 29, 2009
For Part IV of our Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike we bolt on adjustable rear sets, levers and clip-ons to dial in race bike ergos.
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike - Part III
Friday, October 23, 2009
In the third installment of Motorcycle USA’s 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R project bike, we work on the gearing, controls and tires for better performance at the track.
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike - Part II
Friday, October 16, 2009
Now that the Motorcycle USA's Kawasaki ZX-6R project bike is transformed into a purpose-built trackday missile, it's time to push the button and launch it at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch.
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Project Bike - Part I
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Motorcycle USA gets its Supersport Shootout-winning Kawasaki ZX-6R project bike even more up to speed with an aftermarket pipe and Power Commander upgrade.
Kawasaki ZX6R First Looks
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R First Look
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The 2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R was unveiled at the Kawasaki Dealer Show in Texas this weekend.
Kawasaki ZX6R Dealerships