‘I’d 100% recommend one as a used bike’
‘Noisy exhaust pipes, air filters and stuff like that are common on these bikes’
“The 2003 to 2004 Kawasaki ZX-6R has always been a good bike for us but there are a couple of things to look out for with them.
“The rear shocks are set quite hard, so they tend to not take the bumps of the road very well. As such, a good modification would be to get a better shock, or to soften the preload – to help take the bumps better. You could also alter the compression damping a bit.
“These bikes also came with gold paint on the front and rear brake calipers. After heavy mileage, this paint tends to flake if you don’t look after them.
“The calipers are also prone to seizing. There are four tiny pads in each caliper and they tend to stick if the brakes aren’t serviced properly.
“There was a recall on the exhaust strap if I remember rightly. I think the weld used to come off and break on the exhaust end can and then it used to rattle or come loose. If it’s got a standard can on it, you should check whether the weld is in good condition.
“We don’t get loads of them in, they are quite rare. However, they have probably one of the best engines to ever feature in a ZX-6R. They used to wheelie on the power in first gear – I loved riding them! “We have probably seen maybe one or two ratty ones, but 90% of the ones we see are really clean. With a bike like this, though, it is important to make sure it hasn’t been a race or track bike in a previous life. “Check that the sump plug hasn’t been drilled, as well as the oil filler cap. Both could indicate a history of track use. You should also look for blue discs, as well as sticky or chewed tyres. Rearsets may also give some indication, but anyone can fit these.
“If it’s been raced, have a look and see if the unleaded baffle is in the tank. Make sure it’s still there. If it’s not, then obviously someone’s had a bit of a play.
“Noisy exhaust pipes, air filters and stuff like that are common on these bikes, and some fit Power Commanders. Nobody really went to town on them, though; most just added bolt- ons. I don’t think they did full systems back in the day, really. It was often just a can.
“Tail tidies are also quite common and the standard tail comes away quite easily. They are also not very thirsty on oil and barely use a drop! I would 100% recommend this as a used bike!”
Check aftermarket cans haven’t wrecked the fuelling and inspect the calipers
Phil Biggs Technician at Bournemouth Kawasaki