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2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Review (video)


by Pascal Bastien ,

From what I have seen at Calabogie, and from the results of several comparos run by other magazines, the 2009 ZX-6R is easier and more pleasant to push to the limit on a track than its direct competition, given the responsive engine, the precise transmission, and the one-way clutch that prevents rear-wheel chatter and lock up in aggressive braking and corner entry.

An uncanny agility wherever you ride
The new BPF offers greater composure under braking, on the street as well as when you’re about to enter a corner on the track; the front wheel tracks true and the rear wheel remains in contact with the ground. Reduced inertia translates into surprising agility and handling, with the ZX-6R changing directions as easily as a 250.

The aggressive lines hide a docile machine that’s super effective and pleasant to ride.

The rear shock shows commendable progressiveness and the factory settings allow you to transfer enough weight backward to increase tire grip and perform controlled full-throttle corner exits.

Bottom line: we loved it
Powerful, easy to ride hard and with quality components, the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R has all the ingredients to satisfy track riding enthusiasts. The aggressive lines hide a docile machine that’s super effective and pleasant to ride. Some more extreme riders will likely miss the harsh kick that came from previous generations of the 6R, but the reality is that this machine is quicker and easier to ride near the limit than the older models.

Those who lean towards leisurely rides on country roads may prefer some of the milder competitors aboard which they will have to live with lowered ultimate performance in exchange for a little more user friendliness on the street.

Strong chassis and excellent components
Track-tuned ergonomics
Excellent ground clearance when cornering hard
Easy to ride hard
Massive power at high revs

Weaker torque at low and medium revs
Overly soft steering damper


Photo Credit : Philippe Champoux
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