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 ZX‰6R. The larger than usual in­ter­nal pis­tons mean the ZX‰6R’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 K‰tech re­place­ment at £750.


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.


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.

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