All Tests – Test of the new 2012 Kawasaki ER-6n: the K takes off! – Sharp for the road


2012 Kawasaki ER-6n review: the K takes off !

All Tests - Test of the new 2012 Kawasaki ER-6n: the K takes off! - Sharp for the road

Barely unveiled, the Kawasaki ER-6n 2012 version is already being tested on Site. The opportunity to check, on the beautiful roads of Portugal, if the third version of the little Kawa is indeed more stylish, easy and fun…

First try !

Sharp for the road

The agility and ease of driving of the ER-6n 2012 are confirmed in the endless successions of our small Portuguese turns! We then appreciate the stability of the bike in the more open curves and the handling of the original roadway: the all new Dunlop Roadsmart II (read our) !

The grip provided by the British tires on the beautiful roads of the Algarve is foolproof. Be careful despite everything, because they do not work miracles on the fat or the gravel … "A very experienced journalist paid the price yesterday", warned us the Kawasaki staff !

Dear ABS …

To equip the ER-6n with ABS – "the last Bosch 9M model in 2012", indicates Kawasaki -, an extension of 600 euros is required … Compared to the replacement of a lever, a footrest, a selector or a pedal and some plastics damaged in a fall, the investment can quickly pay off…

Too bad all the same that Kawasaki does not make a little effort towards customers of their entry level – by definition often young: the cost of ABS being the same regardless of the model, it is proportionally twice as expensive on the car. ‘ER-6 than on a Z1000 SX…

"The ABS value is the same regardless of the model", replies the press manager of Kawasaki Europe, because"the costs are incompressible and the margins are already very low". Why, therefore, not offset the losses on the ABS of ER-6 by" taxing "buyers of Z1000 a little more? Solidarity between bikers is not an empty word, if ?

To face difficult conditions, especially in winter, it is therefore better to avoid deadlock on ABS despite its "relatively" expensive cost (see box). "The ABS models will arrive a fortnight after the standard models", ie early December for ER-6n ABS and end of December for ER-6f ABS.

The attack mode engaged – do not look for a button on the stalk, this mode concerns only the pilot … – the lightness of the front axle then requires a minimum of attention. Given the light weight of the motorcycle, the fishing of its twin cylinder and the consequent width of the handlebars, the latter must be directed with the tip of the gloves.

Fortunately, the interventions on the gas or the brakes in curves are almost transparent and have very little influence on the trajectories. We understand then that Kawasaki chose, at the release of the original model, to offer apprentices "païlotes" a brand cut in order to make the sliders. !

"Thanks to her, our motorcycle has forged an excellent image", remarks a member of the Kawasaki staff."Unfortunately, the organization of this type of challenge is expensive and we cannot renew it every year … Unlike K days, where owners of future ER-6n will be welcome !"

Most of the 350 km of roads traveled during this press presentation were comparable to a huge circuit … However, a few small, less well-paved portions revealed a slight lack of rigor on the part of the shock absorber..

On the successions of small bumps – always at a pace of sustained hell -, the rear end tends to jump, even to waddle in the exits of curves, removing the motorcycle from its trajectory. During the sharp changes of angle this time, it gets up a little too quickly before stalling again in the next turn..

Minor faults which, if noticed by the owner, will signal him that it may be time to change the mount to take things more seriously ?

Braking remains effective, but the lever still needs to be gripped with force to extract the maximum power from the two front calipers. Perfectly dosable, it allows you to refine your technique! The rear brake is, on the contrary, a little too soft to offer a good feeling.

On the engine side, the arsouille – smoothly carried out by the opener house Francesca – highlights the angry sound of the Twin above 7,000 rpm. At this precise speed, the maximum torque value (64 Nm) is exceeded to obtain 1500 revolutions above the maximum power (72.1 hp).

The engine, its larger pot and its new side air intakes raise the tone and stretch the pilot’s arms a little more … "A little" only, because if the sound of the exhaust is exhilarating, the twin cylinder lack of reach to upset an experienced biker.

No need to make the needle of the tachometer climb beyond 9000 rpm … The engine certainly accepts to reel higher, but it is at ease 2000 rpm lower. At 10,000 rpm, it’s high time to put in a higher gear … or buy a more angry Z750 ?!

When decelerating, when diving into right turns in particular, the happy backfiring of the pot echoes on the asphalt: a real treat! The engine brake is present and also avoids having to use the brakes, which prevents the front from diving too much.

Again, beginners will discover thanks to the little Kawasaki that to go fast, it is better to roll up than to attack like a pig.

Finally, at a more reasonable tempo, we can appreciate the good work of the suspensions, which erases the majority of the roughness of the road without breaking the lumbar or giving seasickness. The saddle comfort especially is much better than on the ER -6n old generation: journeys over 100 km can now be considered worry-free !

On the last report, the ER-6n still reaches 130 km / h on the odometer just after 6,000 rpm. Theoretically, therefore, the maximum speed of the machine flirts with 230 km / h … In practice, on the motorway of course, we are content to cruiser at 140 km / h, avoiding leaving our fingers on the levers , otherwise tingling awaits !

The small gust of wind does not allow you to extend the stages on expressways. But this program is more intended for the ER-6f, whose release is scheduled for mid-December (end of December with ABS) … This is another story, to read in Site of course: stay tuned !

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