The 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.
- New leaner physique with a major reduction in weight and improved power delivery offer more precise control, lighter handling and better acceleration
- 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
Increased 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
More 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
- 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
Revised 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
Ergonomics 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
Lower 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 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
- 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
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