dainese

Skip to Main Content »

select your country
0 items
Search Site

You're currently on:

 
 
 

Authors

Renzo Giust
I Dainese Me
Nico Cereghini
Italian Legendary Tour
Gary Inman
 
 
 
 
 
 

KAWASAKI ER-6N

24 June 2011 | Reviews | I Dainese Me

Text by Janie Omorogbe

Kawasaki’s little ER-6n and ER-6f are urban twins, distinguished apart by one’s nakedness and the other’s stylish bodywork. There wasn’t an awful lot wrong with these bikes in the first place, but Kawasaki are keen to keep both updated and have tweaked them to suit the current economic climate.

It’s icy out there. The credit crunch has crippled many businesses and forced commuters to readdress their methods of transport in an attempt to save some much need cash. These Kawasaki’s have been reasonably priced since their introduction for the model year of 2006. But for 2009, the Japanese have decided to keep the cost to buyers competitive, while offering us a little more for our money. So this year’s bikes have subtle but effective improvements.

 

ER-6f is an unpretentious, capable bike. Aside from the obvious addition of a fairing, it also has different suspension to its bare brother’s to allow for extra weight over the front. When riding both bikes back to back as I did, it seemed marginally heavier on the steering than its naked counterpart but no more than you’d expect and certainly, in isolation, the ER-6f can provide a relatively rewarding, and weather protected ride.


The styling’s been bought up to date with a fresh, sharper look. Ninja styled headlights, a Moto GP styled dash and a taller tank amongst other changes make the ER-6f look neater and definitely more attractive for image conscious youngsters. Or oldies. But although both are relatively comfortable models, I found the close relationship between the low 790 seat height and footpegs cramped my style, and legs. But for the majority of riders considering these models, I suspect the fit will be just ideal.

 



The parallel twin engine that powers these models has been accused of being vibey in the past. Rubber mounts and pads now cushion the effects of the engine on the frame, handlebars and footrests and the reduced vibrations feel like part of the bike’s expected character rather than something that will eventually become irritating. During my test ride around Bedfordshire, I was impressed by the smoothness of the engine and tractability of the power delivery.

There’s nothing unexpected or unpleasant about either bike, just a reliable performance in all areas that’s bound to encourage novices and nurture their biking skills. And at the other end of the spectrum, you can push for quite an involving ride and never feel like you’re just about to open Pandora ’s Box. It’s all good, as the ER-6n proved. Somehow, I’d found myself chasing a 197bhp V-Max down a bumpy country lane, being ridden within an inch of its life . . by a copper. I know, don’t ask. The thing is, as I watched his bike bucking under the pressure and firing clear of corners like an oversized bullet, my little Kawa stuck to his behind like a strip of persistent sellotape. Its light agility and ample ground clearance makes a mockery of tightening bends, and when the going gets tough, the suspension feels almost plush. It’s this ease of riding which impressed me so much, especially when in hot pursuit of the law.

 



Of course, there’s no way I could match his acceleration, but I didn’t really have to. The smooth midrange has a confident surge which revs freely and progressively to at least 9,000 rpm. There’s plenty of torque too, which is ideal for rolling the throttle on and off for endless bends, while keeping enough punch on tap for determined acceleration. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t break the sound barrier, but you can carry good corner speed and hit the speed limits with plenty in reserve for nifty overtakes. What’s more, it feels like fun and you don’t have to risk a jail term to get your kicks.

If you do plan on riding like you’ve just been stung in the butt, it might be wise to bring your braking markers forward a tad. The brakes are adequate for both bikes under normal conditions, but I took the ER-6n for a brief outing on track at Bedford Autodrome. As I grabbed the lever to scrub speed for a fast right hander, I had to check if I’d accidently rolled the throttle on again with my thumb. There’s little engine braking which is beneficial for inexperienced riders chopping down the gearbox in a hurry, and on the road, the anchors seem acceptable. Just don’t expect too much from them. ABS in an optional extra.

Both bikes have received minor but apparently significant changes to the engine and frame which could be overlooked on paper. On road and in leathers, the ER-6f and ER-6n are still highly competitive in a genre that’s welcomed an updated Yamaha XJ6 Diversion and a brand new Suzuki’s Gladius. We’re truly spoilt for choice.

Tech Box

Model            £5,075 / £5,425 ABS Kawasaki ER-6F       
Engine            649cc liquid cooled parallel twin
Power            71bhp @ 8,500rpm   
Torque            49lb.ft @ 7,000 rpm               
Transmission        six speed   
Kerb Weight        204kg (ABS 208kg)
Seat Height        790mm   
Fuel capacity        15.5 litres   
   
Contact        Kawasaki Motors UK 01628 856600
 www.kawasaki.co.uk

Tech Box

Model            £4,699 Kawasaki ER-6n       
Engine            649cc liquid cooled parallel twin
Power            71bhp @ 8,500rpm   
Torque            49lb.ft @ 7,000 rpm               
Transmission        six speed   
Kerb Weight        204kg (ABS 208kg)
Seat Height        785mm   
Fuel capacity        15.5 litres   
   
Contact        Kawasaki Motors UK 01628 856600
 www.kawasaki.co.uk
 

Tags: Janie Omorogbe, Kawasaki ER-6N

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
0 Comments