Sporty – 2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 Test Drive: a Karrement Super Supersport! – Kawasaki (re) tries the road supersport

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

Sporty - 2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 Test Drive: a Karrement Super Supersport! - Kawasaki (re) tries the road supersport

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.

Kawasaki (re) tries road supersport

Designed by and for racing, Supersport motorcycles are constantly becoming more radical. Always more efficient, they lose weight and gain muscle with each model renewal, while their cycle parts are sharpened until they become sharper than a barber cabbage cut….

But this 100% "racing" bias has a downside: these track flowers only bloom between two vibrators and quickly lose their shine in a road environment. It is enough to do a hundred kilometers "encrusted" on the minimalist or on the demanding and its typical 2-stroke engine (nothing at the bottom, at the top) to realize it !

Aware of this drift, Kawasaki tried an original approach in 2013: since it is so difficult to develop a 600 cc sports car that is efficient on the circuit and pleasant on the road, why not offer two versions on the same basis? A 599 cc ZX-6R designed to chase the stopwatch and a ZX-6R 636 more suited to everyday use, thanks to its additional 37 cc and a smoother general behavior.

To tell the truth, the approach is not really new for the Greens since the "Saga 636" was born in 2002 before being abandoned from the 2007 vintage (read our). Suddenly, some of our readers are probably wondering what persuaded Kawasaki to restart a program that had been dormant for six years….

"Stopping the ZX-6R 636 was not an easy decision at the time, but we wanted to refocus on our sporting program and create a bike to win in Supersport.", replies Hirotsugu Warabino, project manager for the 2013 ZX-6R 636. In principle, the objective is perfectly fulfilled since Kenan Sofuoglu took him to his second title in, while Gregory Lebanc crushed him on his handlebars !

Once the "base" arrived at the desired level of competitiveness, Warabino-san and his team therefore put back the book on the job to "resuscitate" the 636 which essentially takes the characteristics of the 2009 ZX-6R (read our and our Technical point on the following pages). As during the period 2002 to 2007, the two motorcycles will coexist in the range in order to maintain Kawasaki’s commitments in Supersport competitions..

What changes, however, is that the 2013 novelty is technologically more advanced than its inspiration. Rather than simply "routing" the ZX-6R, Akashi’s crest was released during the design of his 636! So much so that we can decently speak of a "new model" and not of a simple variation to designate the ZX-6R 636 vintage 2013.

In terms of the engine, for example, the list of modifications made to the in-line four-cylinder engine is not limited to a "simple" increase in the stroke of 2.6 mm (42.5 on the 2012 ZX-6R against 45 , 1 for the ZX-6R 636 2013): the Greens have also improved many points such as admission, injection or even transmission (all details in our Technical point).

Same thing for the chassis: if the perimeter frame in aluminum and the swingarm worthy of a ZX-10R are renewed almost as they are in their functions (the caster angle is more closed by 0.5 °, in particular), the suspensions are completely new, as is the braking system made up of radially mounted Nissin monobloc calipers – a first on a Kawasaki. Here again, the most curious of our readers will not hesitate to devour our complete technical presentation on the following pages..

Add to that the most complete electronic package ever encountered on a Supersport motorcycle (choice of maps on the handlebars, adjustable and disconnectable anti-skidding and optional ABS) and a plastic revisited from top to bottom, and we have to admit that it does not usurp its status as "novelty", this Ninja 2013 !

Ninja power 636 !

Modeled on the current ZX-10R, the lines of the 636 pour into the "manga" style dear to the Kawa designers. The front is particularly successful and exudes aggressiveness from all of its sharp angles. The turn signals integrated into the fairing sides or the two-part shoe cover almost completely concealing the unsightly exhaust plenum chamber testify to the importance given to the look..

The rear part is a little less exciting … The fault first of all with the volume and the banal aspect of the silencer and with a hull which would have benefited from being even more aerial, like the tapered stems at the possible with RC8R or YZF-R6.

This would have reinforced the "stealth" aspect of the bike without causing big practical upheavals: the reduced size of the folding seat and the height of the passenger footrests say enough about the welcome offered to the courageous "co-pilot", while the The trunk volume is quite small anyway (at best, we slip a disc lock).

On the presentation side, an in-depth examination again led to essentially positive results: the eye of the sports biker is immediately attracted by the "radial calipers + petal discs" assembly, the 41 mm fork with golden sheaths, the "full" shock absorber adjustable ", as well as the frame and the swingarm housing with impeccable welds.

The rear light housing leds in the shape of a double "Z" – similar to that of the – also produces its small effect, as does the new on-board console which is at the same time clear, readable and complete..

Overall well finished, the Ninja 2013 almost perfectly camouflages its hoses and electric cables: only a few pods protrude inside the cockpit. The quality of the materials used is to match, with the exception of some somewhat cheap plastics such as the "frame cover" installed under the 17-liter tank..

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