Kawasaki’s ZX-6R 636 is an absolute cert for stardom
When a motorcycle manufacturer realises that they need not be constrained by such details as capacity when launching a sportsbike, wonderful things can happen.witness the Honda Fireblade or the Ducati 916. Now we’re not saying this month’s future object of desire is anything like as seminal as those two early 1990s beacons of brilliance, but it did break with the prevailing wisdom in the 600 class taking the the ZX-6R’S bores out 2mm with the 636cc A1P in 2002.
Their best move came in 2003 when they loaded it with 12.8:1 pistons, claimed a tasty 118bhp, and upped the game with the cycle parts too. As they said themselves in their blurb: “So let ’em cry foul.you and your advantage will be long gone by then.”
For those still constrained by the inconvenience of a capacity limit, that is racers or at least those who did play by the rules, there was the ZX-6RR which stayed below the 600cc cap.
The ZX-6R B1 boasted more than a bigger motor.an all-new pressed aluminium frame carried 41mm usd forks and an extruded swingarm had its pivot point moved forward from the old ZX-6R to bias the weight towards the front.there was a new aggression too in the Motogp inspired bodywork.and most Motogp of all were the radially mounted four-piston front calipers with individual pads for each piston, a production bike first.
Following the old adage that there is indeed no substitute for cubes, the 636 had a useful boost in the midrange where the competition could sometimes be found lacking, especially in an era when the pursuit of top-end power had become everything for manufacturers desperate to win championships.a close-ratio gearbox made it easy to keep in the power.
The Kawasaki ZX-636R is a great middleweight road bike. Sure it isn’t a 600 in the strictest definition but it has everything that made the supersports class great and then just a little bit more. Like 37cc more.
Looked great, went well. Still does both. Cheap too