two thousand sixteen Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS first ride: This dog will hunt

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 4:57 PM

But it’s not a DeltaWing—it’s the Ninja ZX-6R, the latest in a long line of Kawasaki middleweight sport bikes. In a sound bite, it’s a sophisticated 636cc ripper that’s racetrack-fast and also reasonably practical for utilize on the street.

two thousand sixteen Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS first ride: This dog will hunt

New Ninja is a faithful companion off-track-and on

The ZX-6R’S specs sound more love an IMSA prototype than anything you can purchase for the street: 16.000-rpm redline, six-speed sequential gearbox, ram-air induction, selectable power modes and traction control, and a weight-to-power ratio
of approximately 3.7:1. But it’s not a DeltaWing—it’s the Ninja ZX-6R, the latest in a long line of Kawasaki middleweight sport bikes. In a sound bite, it’s a sophisticated 636cc ripper that’s racetrack-fast and also reasonably practical for utilize on the street.

The clip-on handlebars are low-set to drop the rider forward; the solo seat kicks your coccyx skyward, and the high-mounted footrests add to the ergo-crunch. However, this all has a purpose: tucking you out of the wind while also weighting the front tire and maximizing ground clearance when leaned over. If you can tolerate what amounts to a sprinter’s starting position while riding, this may be your bike.

We rode the ZX-6R in a wide variety of conditions, including freeway, city and mountain roads, as well as at Willow Springs International Raceway. (Before hitting the closed course, we fitted a pair of communicative, versatile Dunlop Sportmax Q3 tires to maximize the experience.) The smooth 636cc four-cylinder engine packs six % more displacement than a typical 599cc middleweight, giving the 6R additional grunt and lessening the necessity for fixed gear changes. Suspension compliance is kind for a sportbike, with multiple degrees of adjustability.

On the track, the ZX-6R goes aggro, hunting braking markers, corner apexes and exit points with precision and genuine ferocity. It’s remarkable to return to the pits after a session and discover the 6R will fortunately sit at idle, propped on its sidestand and prepared to do it again. Good dog.

Sportbikes are cruel taskmasters on the street, thanks to their high-revving engines, close-ratio gearboxes and rider-all-tucked-into-a-ball ergonomics. Although its mission is clearly racetrack-focused, the ZX-6R offers reasonable consolation and impressive smoothness.

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