Keep it clean machine
The mid-to-late-’90s was a period of intense competition and development in the Japanese supersports sector and the ZX-6R’S development reflects this with changes virtually every year, between 1995 and 2002. UK model engine numbers are listed here so you can be sure of what you’re looking at.
High-compression, 16-valve four redlines at a heady 14,000rpm (while the rev-limiter kicks in 500rpm later).this unit is generally very strong, although some high mileage examples can sound a little rattly. Service intervals are typically frequent for Japanese motorcycles of the era being every 4000 miles. Best to have some proof they’ve been done in the form of receipts. Popular mods include Dynojet kits and K&N filters.
Common on most carbed Kawas of the period, the symptoms being a stuttering as if there is fuel starvation in cold, damp weather. Carb heaters reduce but don’t eliminate the problem. Of more concern is carburettor internals prematurely wearing leading to rough running.
The front brake set-up is fairly vulnerable with both the discs prone to warping. Check for a mild throbbing through the lever when applied (many were replaced under warranty).the calipers are prone to seizure if run through winter and not cleaned.and the finish on F-model calipers is particularly poor.
Although the ZX-6R’S paint finish and build quality is fairly good, its fasteners (nuts and bolts) can quickly look scrappy without regular maintenance while the paint on the calipers and elsewhere can flake off. Indicator rubbers can harden and crack too.
This is one of the ZX-6R’S biggest bugbears if not looked after properly. If left exposed metal finishes dull, the rear shock suffers from road grime and the stock steel exhaust downpipes will rot. Sensible preventative measures include fitting a fender extender and hugger. If it’s been garaged and pampered, however, it should be fine.
Although a reasonable quality unit with decent adjustability, the remote reservoir rear shock doesn’t endure very well. Road grime can affect the action of the linkage, grease nipples weren’t fitted until later models and once past 15,000 miles the shock’s damping goes off, ruining the ride quality and necessitating a rebuild or replacement.
As with the rear unit, the forks can also take a hammering from road grime, despite its fork guards while its overly soft ride is particularly exposed on track. Popular mods include a re-spring and re-valve for a more progressive feel and to stop them bottoming out under heavy braking.
Again, fairly commonplace on Japanese bikes of this era, the ZX-6R’S wheel paint is thin and prone to flaking if not kept clean.the wheel bearings are also vulnerable. Check for any lateral play at both ends.
Now becoming fairly rare due to its age and can be expensive to replace so it’s worth checking it closely. Look for any cracks, cover-ups, repairs or non-standard parts. Originality and condition will hugely affect value and is a hint towards any bike’s general condition.
Last of the analogue clocks Candy flake clutch cover