2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R (ABS)

Sep 13, 2012 View Comments by

Kawasaki’s redesigned 2013 Ninja ZX-6R is sporting an extra 37cc over the previous year’s model … again. From late 2002 to 2006, the ZX-6R was powered by a 636cc inline-four, which was later been replaced by a 599cc version of the engine.

During a lively chat with one of the Kawasaki folks, it was explained that though the extra 37cc in the 2013 model may seem like a minor increase in displacement, it makes a significant impact on the engine’s power curve. In particular, low and mid range torque is stronger, which improves the riding experience for every day riding. The 16-valve, long-stroke DOHC 636cc inline-four in the lightweight twin-spar aluminum frame will surely give the six-three-six a leg up during the various upcoming shoot-outs with the 600cc competition with respect to engine performance.

Both intake and exhaust ports were widened and optimized for the new displacement, and the new airbox features 12.5 percent more internal value, which yields increased power and smoother power delivery. A new high-tech F.C.C. slipper clutch makes for quicker and effortless downshifting when scrubbing-off speed before a corner and it helps minimize rear-wheel hop caused by excess back-torque. Two engine power modes, full and low, allow the rider to unleash the bikes full potential or limit the bike’s power in the mid and high range by 80 percent, in addition to softening the throttle response.

The KTRC traction control offers four modes: (1) for maximum racetrack performance, which allows a certain amount of rear wheel spin, (2) for sporty street riding, (3) for nearly eliminating wheel spin and (off) which disables the feature. The first two performance modes use a complex analysis to predict when available traction is about to be compromised, and then intervening before slippage exceeds the optimum acceleration range to provide a maximum forward acceleration.

For improved braking, the middle-weight bike comes with Kawasaki’s Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), which monitors wheel speed, brake caliper pressure, engine rpm, throttle position, clutch actuation and what gear is currently selected. Using these data points, KIBS can sense potential lock-up situation and signal the Bosch ABS unit to temporarily reduce brake line pressure until wheel traction is regained. Stopping power is ensured by new one-piece “monobloc” radial-mount Nissin brake calipers paired with 310mm petal-type front rotors, while calipers from the ZX-10R superbike bite down on a 220mm petal-type rotor.

An all-new Showa Big Piston-Separate Function Fork (BP-SFF) combines the innovative concepts of a BPF and an SFF, to produce this new next generation suspension unit. The fork features springs on both sides, with adjustable spring preload in the left tube and adjustable Big Piston compression and rebound damping in the right tube. The bottom-link Uni-Trak rear suspension features a new 25mm longer shock spring with a lower rate, and a revised linkage with higher lever ratios for an improved ride in the city or on the highway. Rear shock adjustability includes spring preload, 25-position rebound damping and stepless compression damping.

Lastly, the fairing has also received a make-over to look slightly more aggressive.

Stay tuned for our riding impression in an upcoming issue of RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel magazine. Subscribe now, so you don’t miss it.



New for 2013 Ninja ZX-6R:

  • 636cc engine
  • Selectable power modes (full and low)
  • Four mode (including “off”)  Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC)
  • F.C.C. clutch with assist and slipper functions
  • Supersport-grade KIBS ABS with Monobloc Nissin Caliper
  • More aggressive fairing with projector beam headlights and integrated front signal lights



2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement: 636cc
Bore and Stroke: 67.0 x 45.1 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.9:1
Fuel Injection: DFI with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies and oval sub-throttles
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: 520 series X-ring chain
Rake/Trail: 23.5 degrees / 4.0 in
Frame Type: Aluminum perimeter
Front Suspension/
Wheel Travel:
41mm inverted Showa BP-SFF fork with top-out springs, stepless compression and rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 4.7 in
Rear Suspension/
Wheel Travel:
Bottom-link Uni-Trakwith gas-charged shock, top-out spring and pillow ball upper mount, stepless compression damping, 25-way adjustable rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / 5.3 in.
Front Brakes: Dual 310mm petal rotors with dual radial-mount, Nissin 4-piston, monobloc calipers Dual 310mm petal rotors with dual radial-mount, Nissin 4-piston, monobloc calipers and KIBS ABS
Rear Brake: Single 220mm petal rotor with single-piston caliper and KIBS ABS
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR17
Wheelbase: 54.9 in
Dimensions: Length: 82.1 in / Width: 27.8 in / Height: 43.9 in
Seat Height: 32.7 in
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal
Curb weight: 423.4 lbs 427.8 lbs
Color choices: Pearl Flat Stardust White / Flat Ebony
Metallic Spark Black / Flat Ebony
Lime Green / Metallic Spark Black
MSRP: $11,699 $12,699
Warranty: 12 Months
Website: www.kawasaki.com


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About the author

I've been riding street bikes since my early teens, and I've been addicted ever since. I can currently be found in Northern New Jersey on my quest to discover all the great backroads.