The 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R: A middleweight legend

The 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is one of the few remaining 600cc Super-Sport bikes. Unchanged since a makeover in 2019, the Japanese-made middleweight remains one of the last true inline-4 600cc crotch rockets.

The Ninja ZX-6R is simply a damn good bike. It has been set up so well by Kawasaki. The choice of gearing makes the most of the torque from the 636cc 4-stroke, In-Line Four, DOHC, 16-valve, rev monster, both down low in the rev range and up near the 16,000 RPM redline. Making 94.9 kW (127.3 hp) @ 13,500 RPM and 70.6 N⋅m (52.1 lb⋅ft) @ 11,500 RPM, it has the jam to perform on the street and on the track.

The Ninja ZX-6R remains part of the 2021 Kawasaki Lineup but it makes me wonder if this could be the last of the legend. Euro 5 regulatory compliance mandates a change is coming, what that will look like remains to be seen.

Interestingly you can configure a Ninja ZX-6R a few ways. In Canada, you can get a non-ABS version, but only in KRT colors. In the ABS versions, the KRT graphics are a $300 upcharge. For the USA if you choose KRT graphics you get ABS standard, if you want either Pearl Nightshade Teal or Metallic Spark Black it appears there is no ABS option. This will need to be confirmed with your dealer.

The 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R starts at $10,199 USD / $12,399 CAD.

On this page: we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R in one place.

2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R


Model Overview

General Info

  • Price: $10,199 USD / $12,399 CAD
  • Key Features:
    • Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-lock Brake System (KIBS)
    • Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC)
    • Selectable power modes
    • Naturally aggressive ergonomics with an adjustable clutch lever
    • Multi-function LCD screen

Main Specs

  • Engine: 636cc 4-stroke, In-Line Four, DOHC, 16-valve
  • Power: 94.9 kW (127.3 hp) @ 13,500 RPM
  • Torque: 70.6 N⋅m (52.1 lb⋅ft) @ 11,500 RPM
  • Wet Weight: 195 kg (430 lb)
  • Seat Height: 830 mm (32.7 in)

Competitors

2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R


2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Specifications

From Kawasaki

ENGINE

Engine 636cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC 16-valve in-line four
Power 127.3 Hp
Bore x Stroke 67.0 x 45.1 mm
Compression Ratio
12.9:1
Fuel System Fuel injection: ø38 mm x 4 with oval sub-throttles
Starter Electric
Lubrication Forced lubrication, wet sump

DRIVETRAIN

Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual
Transmission 6-speed, return
Final Drive Chain

CHASSIS

Suspension Front ø41 mm inverted fork (SFF-BP) with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustability / 120 mm (4.7 in)
Suspension Rear Bottom-Link Uni Trak, gas-charged shock with piggyback reservoir, compression and rebound damping and spring preload adjustability / 151 mm (5.9 in)
Brakes Front Dual semi-floating ø310 mm petal discs with radial-mount, monobloc, opposed 4-piston calipers
Brakes Rear
Single ø220 mm petal disc with single-bore pin-slide aluminum-piston caliper
Tires Front 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Tires Rear 180/55ZR17M/C (73W)
Fuel Tank Capacity 17 litres
Color
Pearl Nightshade Teal / Metallic Spark Black

ELECTRICAL

Ignition Digital
Spark Plugs
Headlight LED
Tail Light LED

DIMENSIONS

Overall Length 79.7 in
Overall Width 28.5 in
Overall Height 43.3 in
Wheelbase 1,400 mm (55.1 in)
Ground Clearance 130 mm (5.1 in)
Seat Height 830 mm (32.7 in)
Curb Weight 195 kg (430 lb)

WARRANTY

Warranty 12 months
Kawasaki Protection Plus 12 / 24 / 36 / 48 months

2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R


2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Features

Assist & Slipper Clutch

Based on feedback from racing activities, the Assist & Slipper Clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam) to either drive the clutch hub and operating plate together or apart.
Under normal operation, the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever feel when operating the clutch.
When excessive engine braking occurs – as a result of quick downshifts (or an accidental downshift) – the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and helps prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding. This race-style function is particularly useful when sport or track riding.

Economical Riding Indicator

Using high-precision electronic control for engine management, Kawasaki models can achieve a high level of fuel efficiency. However, fuel consumption is greatly affected by throttle use, gear selection, and other elements under the rider’s control. The Economical Riding Indicator is a function that indicates when current riding conditions are consuming a low amount of fuel. The system continuously monitors fuel consumption, regardless of vehicle speed, engine speed, throttle position and other riding conditions. When fuel consumption is low for a given speed (i.e. fuel efficiency is high), an “ECO” mark appears on the instrument panel’s LCD screen. By riding so that the “ECO” mark remains on, fuel consumption can be reduced.

While effective vehicle speed and engine speed may vary by model, paying attention to conditions that cause the “ECO” mark to appear can help riders improve their fuel efficiency – a handy way to increase cruising range. Further, keeping fuel consumption low also helps minimize negative impact on the environment.

KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control)

KTRC, Kawasaki’s advanced traction control system provides both enhanced sport riding performance and the peace of mind to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence. Multiple rider-selectable modes (the number of modes varies by model) offer progressively greater levels of intrusion to suit the riding situation and rider preference.

Less intrusive modes maintain optimum traction during cornering. Designed with sport riding in mind, they facilitate acceleration out of corners by maximizing forward drive from the rear wheel. And because Kawasaki’s sophisticated software bases its dynamic analysis on the chassis’ orientation relative to the track surface (rather than relative to a horizontal plane), it is able to take into account corner camber, gradient, etc., and adapt accordingly.

In the more intrusive modes (and for some models, in any mode), when excessive wheel spin is detected, engine output is reduced to allow grip to be regained, effectively enabling riders to negotiate both short, slippery patches (train tracks or manhole covers) and extended stretches of bad roads (wet pavement, cobblestone, gravel) with confidence.

Models equipped with IMU incorporate chassis-orientation feedback to offer even more precise management.

POWER MODES

Models equipped with multiple Power Modes offer riders an easily selectable choice of engine power delivery to suit riding conditions or preference. In addition to Full Power mode, one (Low) or two (Middle, Low) alternate mode(s) in which maximum power is limited and throttle response is milder are provided.

KQS (KAWASAKI QUICK SHIFTER)

Designed to help riders maximize their acceleration on the track by enabling clutchless upshifts with the throttle fully open, KQS detects that the shift lever has been actuated and sends a signal to the ECU to cut ignition so that the next gear can be engaged without having to use the clutch. On models that offer clutchless downshifts, during deceleration the system automatically controls engine speed so that the next lower gear can be selected without operating the clutch.

Dual Throttle Valves

Late-model sport bikes often use large-bore throttle bodies to generate high levels of power. However, with large diameter throttles, when a rider suddenly opens the throttle, the unrestricted torque response can be strong. Dual throttle valve technology was designed to tame engine response while contributing to performance.

On models with dual throttle valves, there are two throttle valves per cylinder: in addition to the main valves, which are physically linked to the throttle grip and controlled by the rider, a second set of valves, opened and closed by the ECU, precisely regulates intake airflow to ensure a natural, linear response. With the air passing through the throttle bodies becoming smoother, combustion efficiency is improved and power is increased.


2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Photos


2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Videos


Kawasaki Official Websites

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