Kawasaki is bringing back its ZX-6R supersport machine for 2019, with a 636cc engine and a host of electronic riding aids aimed at injecting some life into the slumbering middleweight sportsbike class.
Kawasaki quietly slipped the ZX-6R out of its range when Euro4 regulations came in at the start of 2017, but the new version will be fully compliant with the latest emissions laws. The 2019 ZX-6R also sees a return to a 636cc four-cylinder engine, the same capacity Kawasaki used on the ZX-6R from 2003 through to 2006, and again from 2013, meaning that it won’t be eligible for supersport race series unless given special dispensation by championship organiser. Currently Kawasaki race teams are using the even earlier generation ZX-6R first introduced in 2009, giving them an unenviable task against the 2017 Yamaha R6s, although paddock rumours indicate that the new ZX-6R may be allowed in British supersport and superstock racing, albeit with rev restrictions.
Kawasaki’s initial press blurb pitches the ZX-6R as a bike that’s equally at home on the road as it is track days and that’s backed up by a spec sheet that includes a 12 volt power socket for charging electronic devices, as well as a new dashboard that includes such practicalities as a fuel gauge and an economy meter. Visually, the 2019 ZX-6R benefits from a new sharp new fairing, complete with LED lights, while there’s also the adoption of two power modes, traction control, intelligent ABS and the KQS quickshifter, which allows for clutchless upshifts.
As was the case when Yamaha gave their YZF-R6 a Euro4 makeover, the 2019 ZX-6R looks likely to lose a few horsepower at the top of the rev range, although full technical specs have not yet been released by Kawasaki.
Full details of the 2019 ZX-6R are likely to be announced at next month’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, but early indications are that they will also be in British showrooms in November, costing around £9500 and coming in black and green colour options.