2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Review</b>
The Top Contender in the Middleweight Category
Power. Speed. Handling. Dominance. The Ninja® ZX™-6R packs all this and more underneath its 599cc engine, twin spar aluminum frame and advanced Showa suspension. The engine’s dual cams, 16 valves, 13.3:1 compression and 38mm throttle bodies produce the sort of smooth low-end and mid-range power that make dealing with traffic, surface streets and everyday riding a much more agreeable affair. Cylindrical guides in the top of the airbox guide the fuel charge into the intake funnels directly to reduce buffeting and improve cylinder filling. Chassis control, of course, is the other half of the 600 supersport equation, and the ZX-6R once again dominates the field with its class-exclusive Big Piston Front fork, fully adjustable shock, ideal engine placement, optimum frame rigidity and the very latest in mass centralization.
The Ninja ZX-6R’s lean physique is fundamental to its superior handling, with every component carefully scrutinized for minimal weight. Internal engine parts such as transmission, oil pump and starter gears are carefully engineered for maximum strength and minimal weight.
If less weight is great, top-shelf suspension technology to control it is even better, and the ZX-6R packs plenty. A perfect example is the ZX-6R’s revolutionary Showa-built BPF (Big Piston Front fork) front suspension, which is one large technological step beyond the cartridge-type fork used on other 600s. Highly rigid four-piston calipers and 300mm petal-type rotors provide awesome power and excellent feel at the front wheel. The 220mm rear petal-type disc features a pedal coaxially mounted with the footpeg for increased mid-stroke braking efficiency and optimum pedal feedback. To better capitalize on this advanced level of light weight and precise control response, the 6R’s ergonomics have been fine tuned to enhance feedback from bike to rider and vice versa. The ZX-6R’s instrument panel provides plenty of at-a-glance information, while a race-spec adjustable twin-tube Öhlins steering damper with relief valve completes the track-ready package.