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2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Preview


by Marc Cantin ,

We like them ready for serious play
Given the ever-increasing popularity of motorcycle Track Days, where anyone can push their machine to their heart's content without fear of police or wayward Buicks, it is hardly surprising that manufacturer surveys show that sport bike owners want bikes that are virtually track ready - light, efficient, with good brakes and efficient, adjustable suspension, and FAST!

Aerodynamic development of the fairing is obvious - now tuck in that big exhaust canister to centralize masses even more, please.

The folks at Kawasaki read such reports and decided to apply the conclusions to the letter with the new 2009 Ninja ZX-6R. The final product is thus street-legal and somewhat user-friendly of course, but it is as close as you can come to a track-prepared bike off the showroom floor.

Across-the-board refinements
The engine shares casings with the 2008 model, but internals are all changed: lightened, better breathing and cooling, with advanced coating of the cylinder walls and eased internal breathing in the crankcase, and delivering more power as well as increased torque - how much more is still a secret as we write this piece.

Suspension geometry has also evolved from the 2007-8 models that had itself been developed by engineers used to working on GP125 bikes, to optimise agility on the track at the expense of a somewhat more radical behaviour on the street. For 2009, you can expect more effective damping from the adjustable rear shock as well as from the Big Piston Fork, featuring higher oil volumes and flow for more precise damping. Oh, and the swingarm is longer this year, to improve grip when coming out of corners hard.

That is as much as has been leaked out by the factory -enough to know that this little Ninja will fly!

Availability is very early in 2009, at an MSRP of $12,299.

Photo Credit : Kawasaki