Sporty – 2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 Test Drive: a Karrement Super Supersport! – Push yourself, ” Ninja-rrive ” on the road!

2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 review: a super Karrement Supersport !

Sporty - 2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 Test Drive: a Karrement Super Supersport! - Push yourself, '' Ninja-rrive '' on the road!

Take a Kawasaki ZX-6R and increase its displacement to 636 cc to boost its mid-range. Add state-of-the-art electronics and softer suspensions: you get the 2013 ZX-6R 636, a Supersport that you can use every day.. Track and road test.

Push yourself, ” Ninja-rrive ” on the road !

On the road, the additional torque of the ZX-6R 636 becomes even more important: less sharp than that of the ZX-6R of 599 cc thanks to its higher stroke, the engine of the "636" is also a little more linear in very high revs. A characteristic sought by Kawasaki, which has deliberately smoothed the distribution of power to facilitate its daily use..

And the result is rather convincing: the block offers enough consistency to emerge from a built-up area in fourth gear without having the impression that there is suddenly a lack of air on the go-around! Admittedly, a bi or a triple are more expressive in these conditions, but the response of the engine remains nonetheless convincing given its architecture and its displacement..

On the other hand, the vibrations felt from 8000 rpm are much less pleasant … Not very disturbing on the circuit, the phenomenon is much more annoying on the road, especially as it extends from the crotch to the footrests in passing through the handlebars. Even the rear view mirrors are no exception! Too bad, because their prominent format promised a decent rear view for a Supersport…

Tested on winding roads at will with its settings and its original attitude (without the shims on the shock absorber, therefore), the ZX-6R 636 was reassuring and with a stability above all suspicion. Logically less alert than the day before on the circuit – because less inclined to the front -, the Ninja however requires more involvement than a CBR600RR to switch in curves.

Far from being a "truck" however, it is placed on the finger and the eye, well helped by its fork to the behavior decidedly pleasing in all circumstances. The rear is not left out and swallows the hollows and bumps with a progressiveness and efficiency rarely seen on a motorcycle of this category. If the saddle was softer and the legs weren’t as folded up, the 2013 ZX-6R 636 could almost be called comfortable. !

Especially since it benefits from a very smooth "clutch-gearbox" assembly and its rear brake is sufficiently dosable and powerful to effectively correct a trajectory. But a Supersport remains a Supersport, also evidenced by the low level of protection provided by the tinted screen and the absence of practical aspects such as warnings, elbow valves or adjustment of the distance of the clutch lever (the lever right, he offers five positions).

Similarly, the Kawasaki designers could perhaps have gone even further in the "sport-road" concept by installing, for example, passenger handles in the form of notches in the rear shell – as on the Z1000 – and by choosing rests. -feet with variable height, like the GSX-R and RC8R.

Verdict: the way forward ?

To fight against the gradual erosion of sports motorcycle sales (more than 50% less in France between the early 2000s and today), manufacturers do not really have many tracks (sic!) At their disposal….

The competitors of the ZX-6R 636

  • Honda CBR600RR : 4-cyl. online, 119.8 hp, 66 Nm of torque, 194 kg all full facts – € 10,690

  • Kawasaki ZX-6R "all-short" : 4-cyl. in line, 599cc, 128 hp, 66.7 Nm of torque, 191 kg all full facts – € 11,999

  • MV Agusta F3 : 3 cyl. online, 675 cc, 128 hp, 71 Nm of torque, 173 kg dry – € 11,990 (in Italy!)

  • Suzuki GSX-R 600 : 4 cyl. in-line, 599cc, 125.7 hp, 69.6 Nm of torque, 187 kg in running order – € 11,999

  • Triumph Daytona 675 : 3 cyl. in line, 675cc, 125 hp, 72 Nm of torque, 185 kg all full facts – € 11,590

  • Yamaha YZF-R6 : 4 cyl. in line, 599cc, 129 hp, 67.5 Nm of torque, 185 kg all full facts – € 12,499

One of them consists of developing totally innovative models with a strong image to try to relaunch – or at least to stabilize – the market: this is the approach followed by BMW with the S1000RR and Ducati with the 1199 Panigale..

With some success, since the first sold more than 25,000 copies worldwide in just three years and the second made very encouraging commercial debuts despite an "entry ticket" for the lowest (18,990 € for a standard Panigale!).

True to its spirit of initiative, Kawasaki has chosen another path: trying to adapt its production to current constraints (road repression and the average age of the biker inversely proportional to the annual mileage …) by offering on the one hand a reserved Superport to pure trackers, and on the other a less radical version designed on the same mold.

Thanks to its additional 37 cc and its really good suspension tuning, the ZX-6R 636 2013 model effectively appears as one of the most consistent alternatives in the Supersport segment..

It is also the most sophisticated thanks to its massive use of electronics, which finds its legitimacy both on the track and on the road: after all, traction control is ultimately just a kind of ABS backwards. ! However, the usefulness of assisted braking in the context of everyday use is no longer to be demonstrated….

There remains the thorny question of price: available from mid-November, the 2013 ZX-6R 636 will be displayed at 12,199 euros without ABS (13,199 € with), or 200 euros more than a ZX -6R 2012 "short". Considering the improvements made, its electronic package and the quality of certain peripherals (monoblock calipers, Showa fork, etc.), the deal is Karrement good !

But on the other hand, Superbikes like the CBR1000RR or the GSX-R 1000 are barely more expensive than this "636" equipped with ABS, while their high power and their "mythical" displacement can make them more fascinating. for some sports bikers.

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