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2015 Kawasaki ER-6n ABS Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

Kawasaki introduced the next-generation ER-6n back in 2012. The engine, design, and ergonomics were all improved, while a brand new frame made this aggressively priced naked bike more rider-friendly than ever.

Beyond the slightly revised body lines is a new frame and upgraded swingarm that combine with a narrower chassis and more accommodating rider's seat to make this Kawasaki easier and more pleasant to ride.

More specifically, the perimeter frame and high-tensile steel extended swingarm enhance the machine's handling, stability, and overall dynamics. The offset single shock with adjustable preload still can't be missed, and along with the longer-travel front fork, the suspension does a better job of soaking up road imperfections, which makes for superior comfort.

Elsewhere, improvements to the ER-6n engine are mostly felt between 4,500-7,000 rpm, but the real fun starts beyond that all the way to redline at 10,500 rpm. This parallel twin-cylinder will drop down to 2,000 rpm in the first three gears without bucking, while more generous torque around 3,000 rpm facilitates urban commutes, especially in traffic.

Heck, you can even pull away from slower vehicles without reaching the higher revs. At the end of the day, the engine impresses with its overall competence and efficiency, including smoother response anytime you twist the throttle.

Easy to straddle, nicely balanced, and not too heavy to manipulate, the 2015 Kawasaki ER-6n ABS is perfect for all uses. Sure, protection against the elements is minimal, but that’s the price you pay for a clean, streetfighter look. And while the transmission was improved, engaging the first gear could be smoother still.

On the road, this bike proves sharp and obedient, with precise steering allowing major lean in corners and providing a nice feel for traction. However, due to a soft suspension and nearly upright riding position that focuses on comfort, the ER-6n quickly shows its limitations when you get in attack mode. If you want to maintain a good pace on tight, winding roads, your riding needs to be fast, flow-y, and steady. Braking is handled by a pair of 300mm petal-shaped discs up front and a single 220mm disc in the rear backed by ABS -- a more than adequate combination for both city use and reasonably sporty riding.

Kawasaki ER-6n ABS 2015
Easy to straddle, nicely balanced, and not too heavy to manipulate, the 2015 Kawasaki ER-6n ABS is perfect for all uses. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour)

Enhancements to ergonomics and comfort were evident in the streets, while on the track the machine displayed sound, agile handling. More than ever the 2015 Kawasaki ER-6n fits the description of a standard sport bike -- cheap, fun, and easy to ride -- and takes on a growing number of competitors armed with solid credentials.

  • Dynamically sound and well-behaved
  • Rider-friendly
  • Comfortable
  • Great look
  • Soft suspension affects sporty riding
  • Transmission could be smoother