a while back I had been telling people that they'd probably redo the zx-6r to make it more angular than rounded like they did with the zx-10, and sure enough they did for the '09 model. turns out the dealer show was this weekend here in TX.
Use of lighter materials like magnesium case covers, lighter camshafts, lighter starter and a few minor weight saving treatments combine to pare away a few pounds. More importantly is that Kawasaki says they have made significant improvements to both bottom end and midrange power while smoothing out the delivery by implementing a couple tuner tricks to improve 'combustion efficiency'. The application of the 'double bore velocity stacks' is supposed to specifically help with midrange power as well. By incorporating a stack within a stack it should provide the benefits of multiple length stacks without employing variable length technology or some variation thereof. It will still utilize a slipper clutch and cassette-style 6-speed transmission. If these changes provide the significant boost that Kawi claims then it will address one of the issues we had with the 2007-2008 Ninja ZX-6R.
The previous ZX-6 was the heaviest of the current crop of Japanese super sports so we expect it to tip the scales at the 380-lb range, without fuel if the numbers pan out as advertised. A low-slung exhaust system, which locates the pre-chamber underneath the bike, will keep weight low and centralized.
Changes to the chassis include a 2-piece aluminum subframe that is narrow and light, a revised ram air intake casting that doubles as the support for gauges and mirrors in an effort to further reduce weight. Showa's new Big Piston Front (BPF) 41mm fork features a large-diameter internal piston, which is supposed to reducing the effects of damping pressure and eliminating the heavier internals found in cartridge-style forks. Kawasaki says this will improve frontend feel and decreasing turn-in effort. In addition to the new fork, steering geometry is altered significantly. This year the ZX features 24-degree rake and 4-inches of trail compared to 25-degree and 4.3-inches on the 07-08 model. Quicker steering, lighter weight and more power could put the 6R back in the hunt in the middleweight class comparisons. The same Ohlins steering stabilizer from the ZX-10 has found a home on the ZX-6R.
Kawasaki made it very important that the company's commitment to racing is an important part of the plan so expectations are high for the 2009 Ninja ZX-6R. It will be available in Lime Green, Metallic Black, Candy Blue, Flat Black and in Monster graphics with an MSRP of $9,799.
Damn. I bet that one with the Monster Energy graphics will be pretty bad ass. before you had to buy the graphics through a catalog.