BUYING KAWASAKI’S ZX 6R
Supersport bikes are on the endangered list. But really shouldn’t be.
The Nissin calipers employ four little pads rather than two large ones, and if they’re not installed and serviced properly they are prone to seizing in the caliper next to the corresponding piston. To prevent this we smear copperslip on the edge of pad. We recommend using either genuine Kawasaki pads or EBC HH, which cost about £35 per side.
A pulsing at the brake lever may not necessarily mean a warped disc. Quite often a build up of corrosion between the carrier and the rotor can cause a bit of oscillation which can be felt at the lever. You can clean the buttons by spraying with brake cleaner and spinning them round.
The first time Showa’s Big Piston Fork appeared on a production motorcycle was 2009’s ZX6R. The larger than usual internal pistons mean the ZX6R’S front end is really nicely damped under braking and plush over potholes. It is also really reliable and never blows seals. Always service with Showa SS05 or equivalent SAE 5W oil.
The factory shock is good for road and intermediate trackday use, but serious track riders may find it starts to fade. Swapping the oil to a heavier weight can help reduce this fading, or go for a Ktech replacement at £750.
FI WARNING LIGHT
Illumination can occur if the bike’s been fitted with an aftermarket exhaust, or the subthrottle valve sensor goes out of adjustment. And the problem with the sensor is you can’t simply buy another one, instead you have to fork out for a whole new throttle body at £1500. A dealer will be able to diagnose this problem through the Kawasaki plug-in diagnostic system.
After the first service at 600 miles, the bike should be checked every year or 3500 miles. Oil and filters get changed at 7500 miles along with the spark plugs (£250). The major service comes at 15,000 miles and includes valves. Although rarely out of tolerance, this service can cost around £600 if the cams need to come out in order to install shims.
The ZX 6R is kind on chassis and wheel bearings, if previous owner(s) have gone steady with the pressure washer. Head bearings didn’t come packed with much grease from the factory so be sure they’re lubricated at the 15,000-mile service.
The cooling system is reliable and effective yet the radiator has fine delicate fins and is prone to puncture. A new radiator will set you back £624 so fitting a radiator guard is advised. R&G make a subtle but effective unit – £51.99.
TICKING FROM COLD
If there’s a ticking from the engine after a cold start don’t assume the automatic cam chain tensioner is knackered because they’re actually really reliable. However, they can get stuck so do need fettling to keep them from making noise. Loosening off the cam chain will allow the spring in the adjuster to extend a bit, then as you tighten it the spring pressure will pop it over the next tooth on the ratchet.
A regulator rectifier recall was issued for some ZX 6Rs manufactured between December 2007 and July 2011. A fault with the original component meant the battery wasn’t charging properly. Check the VIN with a dealer to see if the work has been carried out.
Aftermarket exhausts are popular but quite often when owners remove the exhaust valve servo cables while fitting an exhaust they don’t isolate the nut when they remove the cables and damage teeth on the plastic gear inside the motor. If the servo’s damaged you’ll hear a clicking noise from under the seat on start-up as the motor tries to actuate the gear. If the bike’s been refitted with its standard exhaust and you want to eliminate the noise, a new servo motor costs £243.