In the past, the 600cc middleweight supersport segment in India only had the Triumph Daytona 675 range sold legally. Then even that went out of production thanks to stricter BS-IV emission norms, leaving the whole segment vacant.
Now, Kawasaki intends to make a mark with the recently launched Ninja ZX-6R, which is also the first 600cc Japanese supersport to be sold officially in the country. Here are some interesting facts about the motorcycle:
Looks like a grown-up Ninja 400:
Interestingly, Kawasaki seems to have taken the bottom-up approach in redesigning their motorcycles. The Ninja 400 first came with the new H2-inspired design language, and this is now followed by the Ninja ZX-6R. The headlamp cowl housing the twin LED units bear a striking resemblance to the one in the Ninja 400. Frankly, we prefer the older-generation Ninja ZX-6R’s face, which in our opinion looked quite mean. The fairing design is more or less the same as the previous-gen bike, but with small changes around the vents. For more comfortable ergonomics, the rider’s seat is now shorter and narrower to help the rider touch his/ her feet on the ground more easily. Adjustable brake and clutch levers further help in offering a better fit for the rider.
The rear is dominated by a high-set tail section complemented by 180-section rubber. Kawasaki has mounted the licence plate and indicators in a single unit, which can be entirely removed if you’re going for track days. Coming to the instrument cluster, the Ninja ZX-6R comes with an analogue-digital multifunction unit. What’s new in this model is the inclusion of a fuel gauge and a remaining range feature.
Tuned to offer a fine balance of stop-go and aggressive riding:
Though the Ninja ZX-6R borrows its predecessor’s engine, Kawasaki has made a number of changes to help it run cleaner without compromising too much on performance. The new motor complies with Euro 4 emission norms and the Japanese auto major says it now offers better control while riding in stop-go traffic and overtaking. Another change is the shorter final gear ratio, which as per Kawasaki adds an extra emphasis on power feel in the low-rpm range.
The 636cc DOHC inline-four liquid-cooled engine punches out 130PS (without RAM air) at 13,500rpm and 70.8Nm at 11,000rpm. With RAM air assist, the power is further bumped up by 6PS. The motor works in conjunction with a 6-speed cassette-type transmission which helps in changing the ratios rapidly. Furthermore, you also get an assist & slipper clutch with a standard quickshifter which functions only for upshifting. Electronic nannies include Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) with three modes, power mode selector and Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-lock Braking System (KIBS). This system offers efficient braking with minimal intrusion while sport riding. We’re sure you’re least interested in the efficiency of a motorcycle like this, but for the curious ones, it returns 18.1kmpl as per European norms. This coupled with the 17-litre fuel should ensure a range or around 300km to a tankful.
Packs properly premium underpinnings:
The Ninja ZX-6R is built on a race-developed pressed aluminium perimeter frame, which according to the brand offers a good balance of control, flickablility, mid-corner composure and chassis feedback. Suspension duties are handled by fully adjustable Showa SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork - Big Piston) up front and a fully adjustable Bottom-Link Uni Trak gas-charged monoshock with piggyback reservoir.
Speed is shed by a pair of 310mm petal discs with radially-mounted monobloc calipers at the front and a 220mm petal disc with a single-piston caliper taken from the Ninja ZX-10R for weight-saving. Sadly though, there is no cornering ABS in this motorcycle. The biggest addition to the 2019 model is the new Bridgestone Hypersport S22 (older bike rolled on S20’s) rubber measuring 120-section up front and 180 at the rear. Kawasaki says these tyres offer lighter handling and superior grip on both wet and dry conditions. Kerb weight stands at 196kg.
Reasonably priced supersport:
At an introductory price of Rs 10.49 lakh it’s a good value for a middleweight track-oriented motorcycle. Kawasaki says a significant price rise is imminent, and we believe the rise will be somewhere around a lakh rupees over the introductory price. In our market, there really is no direct competitor, but the Ducati SuperSport comes close (Rs 12.08 lakh). If you can extend your budget a bit more, then the Ducati Panigale 959 (Rs 14.57 lakh) is a great choice. All prices are ex-showroom, pan-India.