2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R unveiled: Return of the 636!
In 2003, Kawasaki made an unusual switch by moving away from the conventional 599cc norm for middleweight supersport machines and instead launched a bumped up 636cc ZX-6R motorcycle, which despite having to missing out on AMA Racing Championship in the USA due to the 599cc engine capacity regulation, managed to quickly garner enormous amount of reverence amongst street riders and track-day goers.
The last 636cc engined ZX-6R rolled out in 2006 and for 2007, the Japanese major reverted back to 599cc for the ZX-6R. A decade later since the first ever ZX-6R 636 turned a wheel, Kawasaki has re-introduced the “six-three-six” for 2013 What was considered to be one of the best middleweight superbikes in the world and went on to win two Masterbike Challenge for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005, the 636 has made a comeback in the 2013 Kawasaki model line-up completely replacing the previous 599cc model while retaining the revered moniker – Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 636.
The 37cc bump in capacity comes via increasing the stroke from 42.5mm to 45.1mm and the 636cc engine now churns out 132PS of power at 13,500rpm and an impressive 70.5Nm of torque peaking at 11,500rpm. A lot of focus has been put into enhancing the 2013 ZX-6R’s mid-range grunt with the connecting rods having shortened by 1.5mm in length.
This time around though, the middleweight beast gets a whole lot of tech-wizardry including Kawasaki’s revered traction control system (KTRC) that features three modes which can be employed depending upon track use, street use and during low-traction conditions. Mode 1 is suited for maximum acceleration and outright performance while Mode 2 provides a balance between performance with minimal wheel slip for regular street use.
Mode 3 focuses on slip elimination resulting in additional confidence for the rider, especially on slippery road conditions. Although for riders with suicidal tendencies, there is an option to completely turn off the KTRC system and let loose all that power in its wildest form.