The return of the 6R is quite a good surprise. Disappeared from our country for some time but still active outside Europe, Akashi’s pistarde returns stronger, reshaped and eager to abuse its eternal rival, the R6.
When the floodgates were closed for the development of Supersports, the category began to collapse in Europe with consequently the farewell (goodbye?) Of the CBR 600 RR, 600 GSX-R and ZX-6R. Triumph had long since thrown in the towel, MV-Agusta only retouches its F3 675 when it has to, and Ducati has long since abandoned the industry when the 848 landed. The days seemed numbered for this category full of high revs and hysterical engines. So, it’s a real breath of fresh air to see the 636 again.
His little two-year break allowed him to recover. A new personality emerges from its face, borrowing a lot from that of the Ninja 400 and a little from the ZZR. The completely redesigned stern is influenced by the ZX-10R, especially for its tail light.
With this dressing, the Kawa announces a new livery; but not a new generation. Make no mistake, we are in the presence of a very slight evolution. You’ll see.
The new ZX-6R plays with doubt but doesn’t lie. Look at the shoe, the design of the exhaust, the tank and its side covers, the casings … Yes, they are the same as before. The manufacturer has therefore changed the overview, taking care to preserve the technique almost as it is. Not all-new ZX-6R 636, but that’s not to blame – it makes a solid case.
Starting with the engine, which has written beautiful road and track pages for it. She wants to come back stronger, but is constrained by Euro4. The boiler had to accept a beneficial castration for the environment to the detriment of his breath. The final sanction, however, is not too painful. Its 4-cylinder only lost one horse, posting 130 horsepower at 13,500 rpm. Ditto for the couple showing 7.2 mkg, or 0.1 less. But anti-pollution standards hit the scales. And it will be 2 kilos more for the ZX-636R 2019. As for the R6, it will be necessary to breathe the mill to extract the quintessence..
Apart from its plastic, let’s see what concretely new this vintage brings. First of all the shifter, essential for this kind of bike; but active only when gearing up. A new dashboard, discreetly borrowed from the Ninja 650 and then adapted to the temperament of the 636 R. LED lights in front and behind, a 12V socket near the dashboard, a shorter final transmission ratio (43/16 >> 43/15), a revised saddle, a new screen, a clutch lever adjustable to 5 positions, a new end cap and a new finish for the silencer, and to conclude a pair of updated gommards, the unpublished Bridgestone S22.
The chassis has been used identically. Already a very efficient thin blade with its perimeter aluminum frame supported by very appropriate elements. The Showa 41mm inverted fork is the SFF-BP version, with split functions and large internal piston. The swingarm is so large that it wouldn’t go wrong on a 1000. The single shock absorber is, like the fork, adjustable from anywhere. As for braking, we find the performance of Nissin monobloc calipers with 4 pistons mounted radially behind 310 mm tracks. Still no aviation hoses in series … Patience, the Japanese sportsmen are coming little by little.
Well equipped with electronic assistance in its previous edition, the ZX-6R 636 announces a KIBS intelligent ABS also acting as an anti-stop, the KTRC traction control with 3 modes, two power modes (65% or 100%). .. or the same endowment yesterday and today, only upgraded by the contribution of the shifter.
The 636 returns to a sluggish market, where competition hardly exists any more. So, how to attract crowds or the curious? If his technique, his physique or his electronics are not enough, he still has one argument, the price. It is surprising to say the least for the category – this ZX-6R is not only the cheapest in its sector but also as much cheaper than the Yam and less expensive than the ex-6R. A SuperSport at a lower price, we’ve never seen that.
What you must remember
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ZX-6 R 636 KRT 2016 edition
Model marketed in
approx. 260 km / h
The technical aspect
2019 Kawasaki ZX-6 R 636
- Tank: 17 liters
- Width: 710 mm
- Height: 1,100 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,400 mm
- Weight in running order: 196 kg
- Train before
- Secondary chain transmission
- Rear axle
(67 x 45.1 mm)
at 13,500 rpm
at 11,000 rpm