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Crystal ball 2012: Kawasaki

No new ZX-6R expected for 2012 but industry speculations suggest a Z750SX may be coming next year

THE smallest of the Japanese “big four” is also the most mysterious when it comes to predicting its new models – with less development budget it can't slip into the predictable model cycles of its rivals.

Logic would suggest a new ZX-6R should be on the cards, but weak sales in the 600cc supersports market and a recent CARB (California Air Research Board) document that shows the 2012 ZX-6R has already been homologated with the same specs as the 2011 model means that any update we do see will be little more than cosmetic – it certainly won't be a ZX-10R-style revolution.

Instead, rumours in Japan are pointing at a new ZZ-R1400, and there's a good chance that we'll see some updates to bikes in the ER-6 range. Some are speculating that there's also a new Z750 coming (the Z750R is the latest in this family), emulating the style of the Z1000 – it's a possibility, but we wouldn't expect many mechanical changes. More likely, perhaps, is an “SX” version of the Z750, like the Z1000SX launched last year.