Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-6R sportbike is powered by a liquid-cooled, 636cc in-line four-cylinder engine that’s 37cc larger than competing Japanese 600-class bikes, giving it more usable power.
For 2019, the Ninja ZX-6R gets new styling with twin LED headlights and an LED taillight, a Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), updated instrumentation, Euro4 emissions compliance and optimized gear ratios.
Perhaps the biggest news for 2019 is that Kawasaki has slashed the base price of the Ninja ZX-6R by $1,700, to $9,999, making it significantly cheaper than 600cc sportbikes from Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha.
The Ninja ZX-6R’s 636cc in-line four has a bore and stroke of 67.0 x 45.1mm. To meet Euro4 emissions regulations standards without compromising the engine’s performance, ultra-fine atomizing fuel injectors with precise settings were utilized. Feeding the engine is a large, 5.1-liter air box, which helps to create peak power and smooth power delivery. The intake funnels have two different heights for strong low-mid range performance, the piston skirts have a molybdenum coating to reduce friction and connecting passages between the cylinders reduce pumping losses.
For optimal performance, all four exhaust header pipes are connected using joint pipes, which contribute to low-mid range torque. An exhaust pre-chamber minimizes silencer volume and contributes to mass centralization, while the silencer’s triangular cross-section allows the requisite volume as well as a high lean angle and a compact image.
A six-speed, cassette-style transmission makes it easy to change gear ratios quickly for track days or racing, and a shorter final gear ratio (15/43) enhances acceleration. The transmission is mated to an assist-and-slipper clutch and the new Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS).
Holding the Ninja ZX-6R together is a pressed-aluminum perimeter main frame and a two-piece, die-cast aluminum subframe. Complementing the chassis design, the 636 is equipped with fully adjustable suspension, including the Showa SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork-Big Piston) fork and a Showa rear shock. Cast aluminum 17-inch wheels are shod with Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires and braking is handled by radial-mount four-piston opposed front calipers squeezing semi-floating 310 mm stainless-steel petal discs and a two-piston pin-slide rear caliper squeezing a 220mm disc.
In addition to KQS, other electronics include a Power Mode selector (Full and Low), Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC) with three modes plus off and, on ABS models, Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS).
Styling changes for 2019 include a new front cowling and windscreen, twin LED headlights, a redesigned tail cowl, an LED taillight, a new heel guard and a new finishing process for the silencer. Also, the new seat is shorter front-to-back for improved comfort and feedback from the chassis, as well as narrower in front to make it easier for riders to get their feet on the ground. And complementing the adjustable front brake lever is a new adjustable clutch lever with five available positions.
Pricing and color options are as follows:
- Ninja ZX-6R ($9,999): Pearl Storm Gray/Metallic Spark Black or Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black
- Ninja ZX-6R ABS ($10,999): Pearl Storm Gray/Metallic Spark Black
- Ninja ZX-6R ABS KRT ($11,299): Lime Green/Ebony/Metallic Graphite Gray