2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R looks just like ZX-10R, uses Showa Big Piston Front fork

Dailies -


2009_Kawasaki_Ninja_ZX-6R.jpgThe new 2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R has been updated to look just like its bigger brother, the ZX-10R. Aside from the new looks and 10kg (20lb) lopped off the weight, the headline feature is the first use of Showa’s Big Piston Front fork technology. Eliminating most of the internals associated with traditional cartridge forks, the BPF is simpler and lighter while providing better feedback and smoother action. Click through for more pictures and complete details.
>2009_kawasaki_ninja_ZX-6r_black.jpgKey Feature
- New leaner physique with a major reduction in weight and improved power delivery offer more precise control, lighter handling and better acceleration

2009_Kawasaki_ninja_zx-6r_blue.jpgLightweight engine
- Camshafts are now made of SCM – saving approximately 400g
- Lightweight magnesium engine covers are standard and save approximately 610g over aluminum units
- Revised top injector mounting plate saves approximately 80g
- Narrower transmission gears and revised gear dog shape provide a 170g weight savings, without compromising rigidity
- Oil pump and starter gears are machined to use less metal, shedding approximately 70g
- New inlet pressure pulse monitor enables deletion of the cam angle sensor, further contributing to engine weight reduction
- Coolant reservoir relocated and redesigned, the new shape and shorter tube save approximately 150g
- Revised and relocated heat pads contribute another 170g to weight savings
- Reshaped secondary air passages through the cylinder head contribute to more efficient cleaning of exhaust emissions
- Cassette-type transmission makes it easy to quickly swap gear ratios, reducing set-up time at the track

2009_kawasaki_Ninja_zx-6r_enging.jpgIncreased mid-range performance
- New double bore velocity stacks feature inlets at two different heights, increasing performance in both the mid- and high-rpm ranges
- Increased durability from optimized cam nitriding and tappets enable high-load cam profiles, which improve overall performance
- Pistons have new profiles and improved crown finishing
- Molybdenum coated piston skirts reduce friction and help with engine break-in
- Piston rings with less tension reduce mechanical loss
- Revised cam chain guides stabilize chain motion, further reduce mechanical loss
- New exhaust collector layout contributes to improved low and mid-range performance while maintaining high-rpm performance

2009_kawasaki_ninja_ZX-6r_front.jpgMore precise throttle control
- Cylindrical guides added to the top of the air cleaner box ensure more accurately sprayed fuel mist from the secondary injectors into the intake funnels, improving combustion efficiency
- Longer throttle bodies increase the distance between oval sub-throttles and round main throttles 10mm, yielding a smoother transition, which reduces inlet turbulence and increases efficiency
- Revised cylinder porting delivers improved cylinder-filling and scavenging
- New ignition coils have 12% greater secondary coil current for improved combustion efficiency, adding to the improved performance

2009_kawasaki_ninja_ZX-6R_monster_energy.jpgLightweight chassis
- The sub-frame is a 2-piece aluminum die-casting consisting of a front and rear section
- The new lightweight sub-frame is very narrow, for a compact and slim rear end
- Intake resonator box and supports for the instrument panel and mirrors are unitized with the Ram Air duct, contributing to weight savings and increased rigidity
- Frame brackets revised to reduce overall number of parts, which also contributes weight savings.
- New throttle housing material saves approximately 30g

2009_kawasaki_Ninja_ZX-6R_rear.jpgRevised chassis balance and mass centralization
- Revised frame stiffness around the swingarm pivot and the rear engine mounts optimizes front-rear rigidity balance
- Engine is mounted with a steeper cylinder bank angle. Rotated around the output shaft, the engine’s CG is 16mm higher
- New exhaust layout with a short side muffler lowers weight previously located under the seat
- An exhaust pre-chamber further contributes to mass centralization

2009_kawasaki_ninja_ZX-6R_seat.jpgErgonomics and chassis feedback
- Seat-pegs-bar relationship was adjusted slightly, with the handlebars moved closer to the rider and turned in slightly for a more intuitive riding position
- Fuel tank profile is more flared around its top, similar to the ZX-10R, providing a larger contact patch which contributes to improved rider feedback
- Slim, waist on fuel tank makes it easy for the rider to grip the tank with his knees or to hang off in turns
- Front to back, the new seat is shorter, allowing the rider to shift his body farther back on the rear seat step, helping to reduce rider fatigue
- Steeper rake angle quickens steering response and enhances communication from the front tire
- Relocating the rear brake master cylinder reservoir forward of the swingarm mount frees up space around the footpeg, enabling a reduction of parts and contributing to weight savings

2009_Kawasaki_Ninja_ZX-6r_track.jpgLower seat height
- New rear sub-frame is narrower, making it easier to reach the ground
- Front of seat is narrower and seat height is approximately 10mm lower, for a slimmer riding position and a shorter reach to the pavement

zx-6r-5.jpgAdvanced suspension
- ZX-6R features the first production-use of Showa’s new Big Piston Front fork (BPF) design
- The BPF eliminates many of the internal components used in a cartridge-type fork, simplifying construction and resulting in lighter overall fork weight
- The large-diameter of the BPF’s internal piston allows a reduction in damping pressure, for better feedback and smoother action
- The ZX-6R swingarm uses many of the same parts as the ZX-10R; both left and right inner plates, the left outer plate, rear stand bosses, brake caliper stopper, chain guard and swingarm pivot shaft
- Greatly improves braking and initial corner turn-in

- New 220mm rear petal disc is 10mm larger
- Revised rear brake lever is now mounted coaxially with the footpeg for increased mid-stroke braking efficiency and improved feeling

Race-quality steering damper
- A race quality adjustable Öhlins steering damper with relief valve and twin-tube design is fitted as standard equipment

Additional Features
- New fairing offers better wind protection and was designed to minimize the effects of cross winds
- Position lamps are now integral with the projector beam headlights; the new Ninja ZX-6R now features dual position lamps like the ZX-10R
- New one-piece fender (previously a three-piece construction) offers improved aerodynamics
- New inner fender above the swingarm helps to reduce turbulence and keep the undertail clean
- Revised front brake hose routing with a three-way joint at the lower triple-clamp facilitates bleeding air from the brake lines
- Similar in design to that of the ZX-10R, the new instrument panel gives at-a-glance information to the rider

Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement: 599cc
Bore x stroke: 67.0 x 42.5mm
Compression ratio: 13.3:1
Fuel injection: DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles, two injectors per throttle body
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: Six speed
Final drive: X-ring chain
Rake / trail: 24 deg / 4.0 in.
Frame type: Aluminum perimeter
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 180/55 ZR17
Wheelbase: 55.1 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 41 mm inverted Showa Big Piston Front fork with top-out springs, stepless compression and rebound damping, fully-adjustable spring preload / 4.7 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Bottom-Link Uni-Trak® with gas-charged shock, top-out spring and pillow ball upper mount, dual-range (high/low-speed) stepless compression damping, 25-way adjustable rebound damping, fully-adjustable spring preload / 5.2 in.
Front brakes: Dual 300mm petal rotors with dual radial-mounted, four-piston, four-pad calipers
Rear brake: Single 220mm petal rotor with single-piston caliper
Overall length: 82.3 in.
Overall width: 27.8 in.
Overall height: 43.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Seat height: 32.3 in.
Curb weight: 421.2 lbs.
Color choices: Lime Green
Metallic Diablo Black / Flat Super Black
Candy Surf Blue / Flat Super Black
MSRP: $9,799


  • Ben

    I have to ask this: Does anyone actually like the look of either the ’08 ZX-10, or this new ’09 ZX6? And I’m being serious when I ask that, as all I’ve heard is complaints about the ’08 ZX-10′s style, and for them to have trickled it down so undiluted is a bit un nerving. Also, it still weighs in about 11 lbs heavier then the Honda 600RR. They had a benchmark to beat, and didn’t even come close. I was expecting big things from Kawi this year, and I’m kinda disapointed.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    Ben: As far as we’re concerned: No. Kawasaki was on such a roll with the 2003 ZX-6R and the 2004 ZX-10R, both were quasi-exotic headbangers. I don’t know what happened.

  • lucky_cevns

    i hate the look. the last two styling changes have sucked.

  • Ninja Brian

    Yo Guys this bike looks and sound awesome. the Curb wieght would still make it lighter than the new R6 or equal to the 675. its light enough now, dont forget the ninja has a slipper clutch, the honda does not, as for me, i have both the cbr 6rr 2007 and the ninja 6r 2007 both are good in differant ways, i really think Ninja got it right this time dont hate….this new ninja may be bike of the year finally

  • Kevin White

    So Eureka had an hour long commercial for Degree antiperspirant, and now Kawasaki has a series of bikes with Monster Energy Drink advertising on them…


    Did anyone notice the 650R looks updated and the ER-6n is on its way to the US? The Ninja 250 is up $500 but still doesn’t get the FI that most countries get. And it looks to me like the Z1000 and ZZR600 are marked for death (no updates on them on the US Kawi site).

    Anyway, time for Suzuki and Honda to have their reveals now.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    Kevin: yeah, we’re on the other updates too, got caught up in the RSV4.

  • Kevin White

    Wes: understood.

    I think the Z1000 is still around for the Asian and European markets but may have been knocked off for the US.

    The intros by Kawasaki were two miles from my home today at the Gaylord resort hotel in Grapevine TX, but of course I wasn’t invited. :)

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    Kevin: It’s ok, neither were we.

  • ep


  • Mitch

    The new bits are fairly exciting but yes, the ZX-10R look is unfortunate. The bike looks cross-eyed, for lack of a better term. I will miss the 3 piece front fender as well, I always thought of that as a Kawi hallmark.

  • Branden

    The 2003 was so good looking. Then it just got worse, now we have seen the fugliest looking 600 ever.

    The 2006 ZX10R was hot.

    What happened?

  • DemonRider

    To tell u guys the truth…the cosmetic change seriously is a weird idea of the kawa designers..they are probong to enter into the uk marhet as the 08 cbr1000 and 600 and they looked like fishes swimmin in the sea…but people are swarming the showrooms for a glance at it cuz if the technology and serious weight reduction in the bike..but to tell u the truth i prefer the 08 zx6r which is a killer and with a few mods on itl trash the 09 to hell..the 09 sixxer is to high tech more like a hybrid..well different people have different tastes in looks and sum go for the performance and sayin look ive got the latest bike in town….it all comes down to self preference and end users pov…if u ask me i would luv to have the 09′s whole tech in my 08 zx6…well whatever hapens the kawa suzuki or the honda cant defeat the yamaha r6 styling…cheers to them…

  • D1

    I like it – I like the 08 ZX10R as well. The bodywork lines are great, Kawi took on an angular look, and it looks falcon-esque with its sharp lines.

    I hated the headlights at first as well, but they’ve grown on me (you coulda got 09 R1 style – thats messed up)- and besides its the death of the old school headlights with lenses. Same with the cannon EU exhausts – you take them off anyway and pop on a slash-cut. Overall its a better looking bike than the 07/08 bike which was way behind the others anyway in size, style and power.

    I dont know why people like the look of the 03/04 as much with its beam swingarm and silver frame – though that said it went right.

  • http://Cousineauracing.com Cali

    Seriously? How could you all say that you are not happy with these looks. The Honda’s, and yamaha’s have only minorly modified their looks. Kawasaki took a huge step to get back into the game. Also if i am correct, honda 600rr 2008′s, came in last place in the rider contests, thus, they must do some work. The new look is excellent, kawasaki has always been a bike that looks like all of them in one, which i am fond of. Now suzuki needs to do somthing with that girly 2006-07,08 body style and get back in the game.


  • http://CousineauRacing.com Cali

    oh and also d1 you quote “Overall its a better looking bike than the 07/08 bike which was way behind the others anyway in size, style and power.” That model actually came in 2nd place in those years, before the yamaha r6 and the gsxr6, also the honda600rr. Only one that beat it was the Daytona 675. Therefore the 07-08′s were and still are very superior.


  • jo blo

    its side view is badass but the front does look like a cross-eyed praying mantis. im getting a new bike this month and i still think i would rather have the 08 version. at the kawi dealer here they are 8499. i know its “not the latest out,” but it has classic and modern looks and im not a pro racer so i don’t think it waould matter much too me.

  • jo blo

    its side view is badass but the front does look like a cross-eyed praying mantis. im getting a new bike this month and i still think i would rather have the 08 version. at the kawi dealer here they are 8499. i know its “not the latest out,” but it has classic and modern looks and im not a pro racer so i don’t think it waould matter much too me.

  • D1

    Cali, I said what I said based of reviews from plenty several websites and magazines I’ve read over the year. Almost every respectable source rates the Kwak lower in comparision to say an R6 and 600RR & 675. ie: 4th/5 in masterbike supersport 2007.

    Don’t get me wrong, i’m not brand bashing as I’m a kawi boy myself and it’s painful to read but some things are fact = that zx6r weighed more and made less power (100bhp). Its saving grace is it handles and stops very well. But it is nowhere in World Supersport and plenty of other SS arenas (AMA excluded), just like all the kwak’s racing at the moment.

    It wasnt the bike i was expecting kwak to turn out to run its rivals, this new bike should close the gap a hell of a lot more (10kg’s less weight!) to the competition. My personal preference though i’ll admit.

    I just hope with this one the gap closes and kawi punches above it weight. It looks like it can!

  • http://cousineauracing.com Cali

    I fully agree with what you said. Just keep in mind that in the 2008 shoot out, kawi beat honda and suzuki. r6 and 675 beat kawi. I cannot comprehend how american clientel put’s all the other brands on the petalstool (granted they are excllent bikes) because they have been around with abstract aerodynamic designs more late than kawi’s designs. Kawi is using their ambitious tactics to come up with sleek and better design which the public is getting emotional, due to the ambition. They are a fabioulous heavy industry company that builds Trains also. Their sales is also excellent. I really do admire all the other brands, personally i think hondas are to user friendly for me but an excellent motorcycle. My credit goes out to kawi for comming into the game instead of just staying put. Also my predictions is that the 2009 kawi, will come in first place, due to specs and weight.


  • marco

    The zx6r outhandled and scored fastest lap due to carrying best entry speed into turns.Not that it means anything to the ones that will ride it in the city or go as fast as possible in a straight line but that is the measure of a sport bike :handling.It has a slipper clutch and great brakes.Also the ’08 with a 50 cent piece of wire would put it almost at the top of the class!I personally like the new look and I am an Vtwin rider.The only thing making me nervous would be the “new” forks internals.The gixxer is the one that needs an update.It sucked in the comparo test.

  • cjnj

    I had the opportunity to buy the 07 or 08. I had the dealer locate me an 07 I hate the styling of the new bike. If tthis is where kawasakis going Im going the other way.

  • Cali

    I love the new body style.

  • http://fatbikez.com Motorcycle Parts

    I am just not feeling Kawaski’s look anymore. Considering how much Honda is improving the CBR look and Suzuki with the new GSXR. Maybe its just the green that throws me off.

  • JC

    Help me out here guys… As the owner of a 2003 600RR I must ask “what the heavens happened to the motorcycle designers during the last 5 years???” I have not seen as many great looking bikes (aside from the new Aprilias) as those available in 2003. All the Bikes looked amazing then. The ZX-10, ZX6, 600RR, 1000RR. I was planning to buy a new one. but even the 2 yr old 600RR, the class champion, looks could be better. Does anyone feel that the designs on these bikes are beginning to resemble aliens??? I guess I’ll spend 2-3k upgrading old reliable and wait this season out, rather than spending my hard earned cash on one of these ugly ducklings. All I can do is hope some one some where some how realizes these designs suck & changes them…. feel my pain???

  • Deckard

    Based on the profile shot, I think this could be a pretty decent looking bike. They corrected a few proportional mistakes of the ZX10R, like the too-high tail…

    But all black everything really makes this bike look cheap. There needs to be some alloy and gold components to break this bike up visually. The 2003 ZX6R looked exotic in some respects due to a bronze engine and gold calipers and forks, etc..

  • anthony


  • WillieLim

    Guys, help me out here. I`m ready to get a supersport for myself between the 2009 ZX6R and R6. Between this two, i cant really decide which to pick. Can you people give me a hand here.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes


  • westy636

    Personally, I quite like the look of the new zx6r, but the only bit of it I really want is the big piston forks to put on my 05 zx636r. Had mine for two years now, its gained some carbon dymags, akrapovic system, a PC111 and a penske shock in that time and I sure it will be a few years yet before it can’t run with newer 600s. I love it!

  • midnight 08 ninja10

    i have a 08 zx-10 and i love it. i really like the 09 600 but it just isnt big enough for me. they did an awsome job with the looks for the 600. and it does look like the zx-10. I put the 09 600 sticker kit on my zx-10 so everyone thinks i have a zx-6 and it worked. i love it.

  • Triumph675SE

    Bike looks decent from the side and is comfy to sit on. I was told by a local dealer that it’s putting out a 126 RWHP.. That sounds far fetched.

    My biggest complaint is that the bike looks cross eyed!! But it’s typical Japanese styling = UGLY

    If it came down to it still wouldn’t buy a Japanese bike

    Triumph Daytona 675

  • http://stewyisthebest@hotmail.com stewy griffon

    bloody asome bike love the monster energy one mad!!!

  • mark

    i just got my new 09 zx6r and i love it . i cant see anything wrong with the looks i like the zx10 zx6r ect ive had most of them with no probs . its simple if you dont like the kawasakis dont look and dont buy i go to alot of biker meets and there are more kawasakis there than anything so they cant be that bad i also have the monster energy model all i get is good comments …. at the end of the day we buy what we like we dont all like the same thing but im more than happy with my bike .

  • http://saw lim joshua

    nicee you may want one

  • http://pa pa

    I just bought the 09′ zx-10 se and it’s beautiful,I love it!

  • clark

    i have just bought a new 09 zx6r and also own a 6oorr honda. kawi has it beat hands down for 09 the bike rides like a dream,compared to the honda on street and track……love the kawi,i was also scared about kawi but i was very pleased with the way kawi set this one up.