New Kawasaki models


New Kawasaki models

Fine work

The sporty figureheads of Kawasaki have undergone a sensible overhaul.

Kawasaki’s Ninja series had to take a lot of criticism, not least in tests by MOTORRAD. Especially the two ultra-powerful ZX-9R and ZX-12R did not bring the desired sales success in the course of their existence, despite good systems and various improvements.
That should change now. The flagship ZX-12R, the most powerful production motorcycle, should now mobilize 190 hp instead of 178 thanks to a 30 percent larger Ram Air opening in the fairing front. The crankshaft has a larger flywheel mass and the ignition maps have been revised. Also new: the clutch.
Kawasaki promises more agile handling through a shorter (?) Caster, a steeper steering head and an offset pivot point of the lighter swing arm. The frame was modified, the spring elements, now with infinitely variable damping adjustment, retuned. A higher windshield should provide better wind protection.
The focus of the ZX-9R was on revising the chassis. It got a stiffer frame with modified engine mounts and a stiffer swing arm with upper pull. The technicians also modified the set-up of the externally unchanged telescopic fork. This should eliminate the front wheel vibrations that have so far occurred in some specimens when braking. For the engine with more flywheel mass, a little more steam is promised in lower and medium speeds. The rear has been designed to be significantly sportier and lighter. The front brake also saves weight. A four-piston system replaces the six-piston variant, but this should not change anything in terms of performance.
E.Kawasaki is taking an astonishing path with the bestseller ZX-6R. By using pistons with a diameter of 68 millimeters, the displacement increased to 636 cm3, which is indicated by stickers in a prominent place. This results in a higher torque and also a little more peak power. But the ZX-6R no longer complies with the Supersport regulations.

The changes in detail

Kawasaki ZX-6R: The new ZX-6R is the first to exceed the engine capacity limit of 599 cm3. Larger pistons with a diameter of 68 millimeters produce 636 cm3. This increases the torque at low and medium speeds. In addition, the front fork was revised. Kawasaki ZX-9R: After criticism of the occasional fork flutter when braking, Kawasaki renovated the chassis of the super sports car for the first time in 2002. The frame integrates the engine via additional engine brackets on the main frame much better than the load-bearing element and is therefore much more rigid. The rear swing arm is additionally stiffened with an upper cable. The tuning of the front fork has been revised. Further modifications: new rear of the vehicle, new seat bench with improved cover, cover for the pillion seat, no handles; Four-piston brake calipers instead of the previous six-piston system; Engine with 20 percent more flywheel mass on the crankshaft, modified tuning for more torque in the lower and medium speed range.Kawasaki ZX-12R: The flagship of the Kawasaki model series has been changed in over 140 points. Main goal: to make the handling of the machine more agile. Therefore, the steering head has been made steeper (65 degrees) and the caster changed, the pivot point relocated and the rear swing arm lighter. The damper tuning is now continuously adjustable. In addition to a modified frame, the ZX-12R received a new fairing nose for a greater air flow rate of the ram-air system and has an output of 190 hp. Also new: higher windshield and mirrors, motor with a flywheel mass increased by 20 percent for better running behavior, new ignition and coordination of the mixture preparation for increased torque at low and medium speeds.

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