It’s 2017’s biggest shake-up
Kawasaki’s bubbly, flexible ER 6 has been a middleweight mainstay for a decade. And it’s killed off. But fear not, as its DNA goes in two new models – the Ninja 650 and Z650. Replacing the faired ER 6f, the Ninja 650 is what the ER has always been known as in America. The parallel-twin 68bhp engine has almost 7% better fuel efficiency, and hangs from a new steel trellis with a gull swingarm. Styling echoes the ZX 10R and the tacho needle glows red when it’s time to change up. Oh yes. The Ninja was shown at Intermot but the naked Z650 version won’t be seen in the metal until EICMA at the start of November. It’s not the only new Zed as Kwak will be showing a Z900 alongside it, with 126bhp from a 948cc inline four and new steel tube frame. It’ll eventually replace the Z800, but the Z1000 meets Euro 4 regs. Changes for the UK’S favourite Kwak, too. Now with Ninja styling, the Z1000SX has improved weather protection, ‘clean mount’ pannier system, better seat and a new dash. The 1043cc four is smoother, and Cornering Management supplies traction, wheelie and slide control, plus ABS. Full test next issue. The ZX 10RR homologation special (500 for Europe) has lighter wheels, brick-wall brakes, stronger cases and tuned head, and up-and-down quickshifter. The H2 gets an Öhlins shock, bank angle display and even more electronics. A new H2 Carbon boasts carbon upper fairing. Just 120 being made.
Z1000SX (below), ZX 10RR and H2 Carbon. You spoil us