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2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Review (video)


by Pascal Bastien ,

Suspension geometry has also evolved to maximize agility on the track. The tradeoff is a firmer, more radical ride on normal roads. The longer swingarm improves traction when coming out of corners and keeps the front wheel in better contact with the ground under hard acceleration.

The riding position is just as sporty but a little less extreme.

Aggressive ergonomics
Despite a 5-mm lower seat height, the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R is still a tallish sport bike. The riding position is just as sporty but a little less extreme, putting the rider in attack mode while simultaneously providing a touch of comfort for long track days. The footpegs are high and set a little farther to the rear than on older models, offering adequate support for aggressive manoeuvres and excellent ground clearance in corners. What’s more, the revised fairing provides class-leading wind protection, adding to rider comfort at higher speeds.

On the track
With just 2 kilometres on the odometer and a brand-new set of tires, caution was necessary at first. I certainly did not want to throw the beautiful green queen on its side! While a number of other sport bikes require some getting used to when it comes to the riding position, I immediately felt at ease on the ZX-6R thanks to its compact tank, nicely-sculpted seat that slightly rises in the back, and the generous fairing that conveniently protects your knees.

I kept a corner of my eye on the comprehensive instrument panel (though not as neat at the R6 or GSX-R), where I saw the tach needle soar while accelerating in the first straightaway. The engine, which stays pretty calm under 9,500 rpm, gets excited in a most irresistible way as soon as it goes beyond 10,000 rpm, but in a less violent way than the older model. In fact, engine response is somewhat subdued below 8,000 rpm, more so than some of direct competitor models. This character trait is an inevitable price to pay to achieve the incredible peak horsepower figures that are so loved by Kawasaki aficionados.

A comprehensive instrument panel though not as neat at the R6 or GSX-R.
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