Top test Kawasaki ZX-6RR

Top test Kawasaki ZX-6RR

Top test Kawasaki ZX-6RR

Highest RR approval

For 2003, the signs in the 600 class point to storm. R for racing is all the rage. Or double R, as with Kawasaki’s homologation capable super athlete. The top test clarifies what is possible with the green racer.

Surprise call on Thursday evening: »Hello, this is Schlueter, Kawasaki Germany.

Do you want a ZX-6RR to test? Fresh from the track test in Cartagena. The truck has just left there. Meeting point Saturday at 2 p.m. Motorway exit Remoulins. «Jippie, brand new motorcycle and a few days of sunny southern France. Top tester Karsten from the editorial office quickly drove off, equipment in the van and away.
She stands at the agreed meeting point: poisonous, compact, greedily grinning from the twin headlights. Forget the fact that only 100 out of 1000 double R models worldwide come to Germany and these are actually already sold out? Want to drive! The weather service promises sun towards the Spanish border. Slipped into the leather and off to the A 9 ?? Perpignan course. Time for a careful contact. With a clear result. Compared to the previous six, the handlebars are screwed 50 millimeters lower plus the seat cushion sloping forward significantly plus 15 millimeters higher notches plus a narrow tank that is sport. Those who are not too tall can, neatly folded, lean forward and dock on the slim body of the green. Clearly, Kawasaki has radically abandoned the philosophy of the all-round athlete that has been represented in recent years and relies on “grean and mean” as in the past. green and grim.
Also with the engine? The warm-up phase is overcome in no time, and the manual idling speed up is almost superfluous thanks to electronically controlled mixture formation even at very low temperatures. Right from the start, the 599 cc four-cylinder thirsts for gas. If necessary, it can even climb the speed ladder from 2000 rpm in the last gear without holes? not exactly a matter of course given a liter output of well over 180 hp. Compared to its 636 cm3 sister, the sports-compliant unit has a shorter stroke and has a compression ratio of 0.2 higher. Incidentally, the newly designed engines of both variants have the same features, such as lighter cylinder heads and cylinders, modified camshafts and a shorter timing chain thanks to smaller sprockets.
The fine-tuning finally pays off when the Kawa is beyond the 8000 mark. With a dramatic increase in screams, the 190 kilogram RR shoots forward. You can literally feel the engine sucking in oxygen molecules through the central air inlet in the fairing front and directing them without delay past the steering head through a paper filter into the airbox. From there they guide two throttle valves connected in series for each cylinder towards the valves and finally mixed with a shot of gasoline into the combustion chambers. Here get the light forged pistons ?? RR only ?? good fire on the roof. Measured maximum power: 109 hp at 13,100 revolutions. Five-digit speeds go easily off the shaft of the Ultakurzhuber, the adjustable gearshift light warns you late before the limiter turns off the light at the attested 15500 rpm on the LCD instrument ?? always late enough to leave the gas unencumbered in the heat of the moment, even beyond the performance zenith.
On the motorway, this thrust is enough for almost 260 km / h, almost effortlessly achieved with the kind support of the Ram Air system, which is supposed to mobilize up to seven horsepower. The cooling fan of the dynamometer, which was provisionally directed towards the air inlet, has already brought three extra horses. And they can’t do any harm, because the wind protection behind the narrow cladding is rather poor and requires a sporty attitude. But the six runs straight ahead, even at maximum speed. And at a moderate cruising speed 130 5.2 liters per 100 kilometers? Range is around 340 kilometers, and those who drive a constant 100 km / h can get 30 kilometers further. But who wants to sneak along with such a heating iron??
We don’t, and that’s why the estimated 785 curves of the Mediterranean coastal road between France and Spain are allowed to flit through the ZX-6RR under the warmed-up Michelin Pilot Sport, special identifier “M”. From the sweeping, full-throttle courage curve to the hairpin bend around cheeky ledges, everything is included. Squeezed, screaming and eerily thundering out of its stainless steel damper with a U-Kat with every gas change, the green one is already heating up its pilot acoustically. In return, with their strictly neutral handling, to build trust. Outstanding: the front section. The new frame grips the engine more tightly thanks to the screw connections further forward and thus creates a stable platform for the famous 41er upside-down fork. Delicately appealing and working precisely over the entire area, it helps to have a fabulous dialogue with the asphalt. The front tire with a 65 mm cross-section is also involved in its implementation – a good compromise between self-damping and handiness.
The front brake acts uncompromisingly. Bolted radially to the fork base, the four-piston calipers with individual pads provide exactly the braking power required by the pilot. Without acting aggressively, surprisingly progressive or otherwise sneaky, they hog the six millimeter thick 280 mm panes. Even when decelerating heavily, the pilot can add finely dosed additions with two fingers on the lever. In addition, the pressure point always remains where it belongs, even under constant delay stress. The only thing that shifts are the braking points ?? they are becoming more and more optimistic. Especially since the pilot can even downshift furiously on the approach? Thanks to the RR-exclusive slipper clutch, the rear wheel stays on track instead of making jokes. The front end also plays along and prevents the annoying positioning when braking into corners. From which you can accelerate all the more passionately: Little play in the drive train as well as the soft and instantly responsive double throttle valve system ensure low load change reactions and help to achieve the desired line. Regardless of whether it is on unknown terrain or on a racetrack that repeats itself every two minutes, as a day’s track test on the “Pole Méchanique” at Alès proves.
M.ith the shock absorber underlaid with a three-millimeter shim, the ZX-6RR turns in even more readily without giving up its generally stable character. Treacherous setting up when rounding undulating curves is not an issue, at the most harmless sugar with the handlebars when accelerating hard on bumps. After all, the RR frame has a steering damper mount – an issue for the racetrack. On which even the relatively hard feather of the hindquarters now fits. If this operated on bumpy country roads with little sensitivity and despite – in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation – allowed hard blows to penetrate directly to the pilot despite – according to the manufacturer’s recommendation – hard blows penetrate directly to the pilot, it inspires on the race course with crystal-clear feedback. The green also proves its physical fitness: Neither damping nor braking performance deteriorate when collecting ambitious laps. It is logical that the Kawasaki also achieved good values ​​in the final top test course. The best prerequisites for showing the LED rear light to the also R-strong competition in 2003.

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Top test Kawasaki ZX-6RR

Top test Kawasaki ZX-6RR
Highest RR approval

This is how MOTORRAD tests – response / load change behavior

MOTORRAD explains the individual criteria of the 1000-point evaluation (part 9)

Rough engines may have a very special charm for some, but such a predator is hardly fun over the long term. Engines that accelerate as smooth as silk, respond spontaneously and directly to the load change and smoothly shift into push mode when the accelerator is released are nicer and better to drive. Many components play a role here, such as the often-cited play in the drive train. This results from the sum of the play of the gear wheels, the chain and the sprocket carrier including the shock absorber. Basically, most machines have this clearance and are roughly the same size. If it becomes more or less noticeable, this is mostly due to a non-optimal coordination of the carburetor or the injection. Example of the apex of the curve: there the motorcycle changes from pushing mode to accelerating. If this load change takes place smoothly, the clean line is maintained. A Buell, for example, behaves almost optimally here. It has a backlash-free toothed belt that even has a little bit of elasticity. But the chain-driven Kawasaki ZX-6R also does its job more than properly. Thanks to ingenious injection technology, it hangs clean, jolt-free and directly on the gas, thus earning xx out of a maximum of 20 points.

What else caught my eye

PlusSimple oil check and refillEasy to use stopwatch with lap counterSwing pivot point variable by two millimeters up and downLight range adjustment via knurled screwsStorage compartment under the pillion seatEffective rear wheel cover and chain guard Notches that are far above severely limit passenger comfort Chassis settings in the test Country road: fork rebound 16 clicks open, compression 12 clicks open, spring base 17 millimeters visible. Fork protrusion 3 millimeters. Suspension strut: rebound 6 ¼ turns open, compression 5 ¾ turns open, spring base 185 millimeters. Race track: fork rebound 10 clicks open, compression 13 clicks open, spring base 14 millimeters visible. Fork protrusion 3 millimeters. Suspension strut: rebound 6 ¼ turns open, compression 4 ¾ turns open, spring base 182 millimeters, shock absorber with a three-millimeter spacer sleeve underneath


Kawasaki made the turnaround. As tester Schwers said: “The ZX-6RR is just as uncompromising and awesome as my earlier ZXR 750 RR, a typical Kawasaki.” -Hubraumplus even more suitable for country roads and even a little cheaper.

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