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Home » Kawasaki Motorcylce, motorcycle

Kawasaki ZX-6R 2009

Submitted by on April 5, 2012 – 4:05 amNo Comment

As such, it’s no surprise to see this new edition of ZX-6R with several tweaks to its modest motor. It begins with several modifications to the intake system of the injected engine. From the airbox, Kawi fitted new double-bore intake funnels that are a simpler form of the variable-length intakes on Yamaha sportbikes. These velocity stacks have inlets at two different (but static) heights, with the taller inlet boosting midrange power while the short stack maximizes top-end production.

Combustion efficiency is aided by new cylindrical guides at the top of the air cleaner to direct more accurately sprayed fuel from the secondary injectors. The distance between the dual throttle plates of the 38mm oval-bore throttle bodies has been lengthened 10mm for a smoother transition through to the revised cylinder-head porting.

The Ninja piles on speed at a clip worthy of what seems to be class-competitive power, keeping in mind Autopolis is located at an elevation of about 3000 feet, reducing performance from the thicker air nearer sea level. The ZX feels much livelier than last year’s bike, considering the track’s altitude. Power eventually tapers off by an indicated 15K, so there’s no need to take it to its 16.5K redline. Further evidence of this was the top speed indicated on the front straight registered 152 then 151 when letting the bike rev out in fifth gear. When upshifting to sixth, speeds climbed continually to 154 mph. It’s notable that this info is easy to read on the bike’s new digital instruments that include a handy and legible gear-position indicator.

Getting that speed scrubbed off for Turn 1 is a set of brakes pleasingly unchanged from the best-in-class binders on the previous model. It’s got all the trick stuff like radial-pump master cylinder, radial calipers and wavy rotors and, despite the moderately sized 300mm discs, perform as good as any sportbike brakes on the market (a hefty thickness 6.0mm instead of a more typical 4.5-5.0mm keep fade at bay). I can’t imagine brakes working any better than these, offering excellent feel at the lever and mondo power. A 220mm rear disc is 10mm larger in diameter and its lever has a new pivot mount, but there wasn’t much call for their use on the track.

So far, so good, but it gets unexpectedly better when the 6R is torqued into a turn. Instead of the somewhat lazy response from the old 25-degree rake angle, the ’09 edition carves immediately into an arc with the best of them, as its rake sharpens to a more typical 24.0 degrees. Trail receives a corresponding decrease from 110mm to 103mm to add up to a dexterous sporting scalpel. Quelling possible instability issues is a standard-equipment Ohlins steering damper like seen on the 10R.

The Ninja’s turning prowess is accentuated with some major modifications to what seems to be an unchanged aluminum frame. To enhance overall rigidity, the front engine mounts are now welded to the steering head structure, while a cross pipe now reinforces the rear of the frame. Chassis designer Hiroshi Tamura told Motorcycle.com that there have been many subtle changes to the shape of the main spars in an effort to gain back some lateral flex that is desirable for feedback and shock absorption while leaned over. In a conversation with Kawasaki test rider Shigeru Yamashita, he told us there were three major frame variations that were tested, plus several versions with smaller changes. Roll response has also been increased by rotating the engine 16mm upward for a higher C of G.

One of the greatest enemies of high performance is weight. The 6R is said to be 22 lbs lighter than last year. (Although it might not seem like it from the bike’s 421-lb weight in the spec chart. Japanese OEMs have now agreed to state their bikes’ weight in terms of a fueled, ready-to-ride form instead of the bogus “dry weights” they formerly tried to deceive us with.) Many pounds were trimmed from the chassis, and the sharper new bodywork and lighter fenders save about 3 lbs. The engine, despite being architecturally identical, also went to Jenny Craig, losing nearly a pound from the double overhead camshafts and about 1.5 lbs from the use of magnesium engine covers.

otomaps.com source article: www.netcarshow.com www.motorcycle.com www.roushperformance.com

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