2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Review – First Ride
For the past decade we’ve all been witness to the steady decline of the 600 supersport category. It’s amazing to think about, especially considering that, before the economic recession, the four Japanese players in this very same class were pumping out brand new contenders every other year! Since then, however, 600s have become more than stagnant – the class has been teetering on life support. Suzuki and Honda have soldiered on with the same GSX-R600 and CBR600RR for years – the latter even halting sales in Europe due to increasing emissions standards and declining sales. Meanwhile, Yamaha introduced an “update” to its venerable YZF-R6 which amounted to new bodywork, electronics, and a series of relatively minor improvements. Compound that with rising costs rivaling prices for liter-class machines and many questioned the reason to buy a 600.
Kawasaki believes it may have found the answer, and it’s been hiding in plain sight since 2013: introducing the 2019 Ninja ZX-6R. Kawasaki calls the 2019 ZX-6R a new model, and to its credit the bike does get a few choice upgrades: new bodywork, a quickshifter, one tooth smaller front sprocket, adjustable clutch lever, and a new instrument panel with fuel gauge and range display. So, it’d be a lie if we call the 2019 model a carryover, but the same 636cc four-banger is back, as are the frame, chassis, and suspension components from the ZX-6R’s last update in 2013..
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