2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R spied on the Isle of Man

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2013-Kawasaki-ZX-6R

MCN has scooped spy photos of the 2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R, reporting that it returns to 636cc, but is otherwise mostly a restyle of the existing bike. 600cc supersport sales have collapsed in the global market, essentially halting development in the class. But, Kawasaki appears to be attempting to keep the current model fresh with aggressive new styling and that bigger motor. Will it be the first Japanese supersport to come fitted with traction control? That, plus these killer new looks would really set it apart from its other long-in-the-tooth competitors.

  • Mike in NYC

    Why aren’t people buying 600s?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      They were predominantly sold on easy credit and sportsbikes in general are waning in popularity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

        Also, there are a boat load of them on the used market providing little justification to buy new.

        • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub Sean MacDonald (the other Sean)

          And anyone who doesn’t ride a liter bike is a pussy.

          • Glenngineer

            And if you don’t stretch your swingarm, you’re a homo, pussy.

            • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

              LOL guys!

    • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

      Because anytime someone wants to buy a 600, they go online to look up what the current lightest, most powerful one is, see that in 06 they all got major updates, the CBR again in 07, and then promptly end their search for a new bike.

      What makes a 600 awesome is the fact that it’s current racing tech, so when it’s not, there’s no reason at all to buy a new one. This is why even after all those “facelifts” and “mid-cycle-updates” don’t help sales, everyone knows it’s still the same thing.

    • Sentinel

      Obviously they make horrible “street” bikes. They are comparability gutless where and when power is needed on the street, they are like torture racks, and overpriced for what’s actually needed and usable on the street. There are much better alternatives out there for people that actually ride their bikes on a regular basis. If you just want to track and canyon, then yeah, a 600 would be pretty good, but other than that you’re SOL…

  • Glenngineer

    A bigger motor and more street friendly ergos would be awesome. I’d love a bike with 600 class chassis and suspension performance,and weight, with 650 class comfort and general usability, with a motor somewhere in betweeen.

    • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

      Street Triple? FZ8 (though heavy and suspension needs help)?

      • Glenngineer

        Street triple hell yeah, a bike that is always on the list. FZ8 is just kind of lazy.

        And, call me of average taste, but I still like a fairing sometimes.

      • Pedro Fernandes

        Maybe the CBR600F, if it’s sold in the US? It’s mostly a Hornet (599) with different handlebars and fairing.

        • Glenngineer

          Not sold in the US. I’d probably be happier on one of those than a CBR250.

        • Sean Thomson

          We had the Honda CBR600 F4i for a number of years in the US. I think it is the most user friendly 600cc made, comfortable ergonomics, lightening quick and arguably one of Honda’s better looking bikes…especially with the split seat.

          • http://mansgottado.tumblr.com/ Andy Gregory

            I did my longest ever day of touring on a CBR600 F4i. Over 1000 miles from near Denver in the morning to near Pendleton, OR at night. Awesome bike…

    • Brian

      If there was a naked 636 with handlebar and upright ergos, I’d be putting my money toward that instead of gravitating away toward Triumph. I’ve owned a Ninja 636 before, and what turned me off were the fairings (not the aesthetics, but the amount of work put toward taking them off/on) and the ergonomics. Otherwise a brilliant bike.

      We need more naked bikes with SuperSport engines and suspension. Not half-arsed attempts.

      • sidecar_freak

        Yes, why can’t we get the performance of the super sports without the plastic.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

          Because the market still doesn’t appear to exist in the US. Look at the CB1000Rs sitting in showrooms and other Japanese standards. Unless Street Triple Rs fly off the shelves for a long while, I doubt Japan will be too interested in a factory middleweight streetfighter.

          • joshua

            the cb1000r isn’t the same level of performance. Its heavier, softer and less powerful.

            • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

              Unless there’s a sudden major demand for nakeds in the US and around the world, it doesn’t make business sense for the big four to develop high performance nakeds. It’s a slice of an already niche motorcycle demographic. The Street Triple R and 848 Streetfighter already exist there, making the sales opportunities even fewer.

              I love naked bikes and I’m glad to see more and more released from various brands. Even still, I can’t pretend that I see many on the streets in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

              Unless they come up with an inexpensive way to sell a bike in both supersport and naked flavors from the factory, I’d be surprised to see anything like what’s being asked for.

  • Dan

    Maybe they have keener eyes across the pond, but I’m skeptical that anyone at MCN can spot a 36cc difference at several hundred yards and crap resolution. Sounds like they’ve seen the promotional video itself, begging the question of why they’re giving us grainy nonsense instead of real photos. “Spy” shots my eye – this is marketing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/phobos512 phobos512

    Well, they could very well have returned to the old ZX-6R decals that said 636 on them for this iteration…

    If you’ll notice, in white next to Ninja:

    http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/photos/2006models/2006-Kawasaki-Ninja-ZX-6Rd.jpg

    This is something they’d definitely want to hilight if it’s true because it was a huge criticism when in 2007 they switched to the 599cc engine. The bike never sold well but was successful in racing. Mine treated me well for over five years – just moved up to a CBR1000RR two weekends ago.

  • Andy

    Dan

    The reason we know the bike is a 636cc is because we have much better close up shots taken by a professional photographer while the bike was parked and about to be loaded into a van. We haven’t put those images online as we are keeping them exclusive to the print newspaper. Kawasaki timed the filming of a commercial at the same time as the running of the Southern 100 road races so there were loads of photographers on the Isle of Man. It’s also a very small place, word spread the Mountain road was being closed so they all swarmed in for a look.
    I can assure you Kawasaki are in no way marketing anything right now and were anxious we didn’t publish these shots.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards

    Andy Downes
    MCN Senior Reporter

    • Dan

      Andy,

      Thanks for the quick reply and clarification. I apologize for the curmudgeonly tone – hadn’t had my coffee yet.

      Keep doing what you do,
      Dan

  • JMcMahon

    With the reskin of the 636 and the reskin of the ninja 250 I think Kawasaki has the most cohesive sport bike line up. My hats off to them!

    On an aside; I wish honda would have styled the weebr to be more along the lines of the its 600rr and 1000rr brethren than shamu.

  • mik lo

    Hail to the kawi. Another year as king of the 6′s. Especially when you factor in price.

  • 10/10ths

    More choices=life is good.

  • Frosty_spl

    I rode a 2012 model, it was very nice and I don’t even like Japanese bikes. That combined with the looks of a zx-10 would be a winner.

  • Tony

    It’s the MV F3 the first super sport with TC?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Sure is. It’s hardly a mainstream product though. MV has virtually zero presence in the US market right now.