Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja J1-J3 (2000 - 2002)

Manufacturer
Category
Price
£6920
Available from
2000 to 2002
A sportsbike with fantastic road going performance. Flexible engine with an addictive induction roar and comfortable yet sporty riding position, it's good for pillions too.
Finish doesn't stand up well if left to the elements. Analogue clocks and a fuel tap age the ZX-6R. The ugly sister compared with Yamaha's R6 and Honda's CBR of the same time.
Updated with a facelift, engine internals and a new swing arm.

User Reviews

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Submitted by stevemcqueen on Fri, 19/04/2013 - 20:30

Overall Review

I have had this bike for about a month. I have previously had many bikes, including the SRAD 600. The Kawasaki is a nicer road bike and much more comfy than the GSXR. Winding it on past 12k rpm it takes off up the the redline and is very addictive. I had a bit of a tankslapper so I've now raised the rear by +8mm to put more weight over the front.

Strengths

Comfortable seat, footpegs and bars. Addictive engine and airbox sound. Brakes strong, Light clutch, good lights, big bike feel, good weather protection from the fairing, good mileage - 50 mpg easy. Fully adjustable suspension including rear ride height adjuster! Decent underseat storage.

Weaknesses

Fuel tap is hard to reach when it goes to reserve. Finish on wheels very thin.

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Submitted by Phil955 on Thu, 15/08/2013 - 15:08

Overall Review

Very impressed. Looks good, goes well, fast but not scary. More durable than a Suzuki, more cred than a Honda and less expensive and bigger than an R6. Enjoy !

Strengths

Bought a 2002 600 in very good nick locally as a track bike - but have only used it on the road. Mightily impressed - very user friendly and easy to ride at low speeds/revs, but once wound up goes like the clappers and makes a great noise through its Remus can. Handles predicably and seems well made, although would probably suffer if used through a salty winter - but what wouldnt? Good first sports bike - its bigger than more modern equivalents which is a good thing for a 6' 4 bloke like meself..

Weaknesses

I have read that the brakes on these are a weak point. They certainly are on mine and something to be aware of if buying - acceptng that its 10 years old. Mine has six piston calipers - I would imagine that a braided hose and new fluid may help but when braking hard from very high speed, its a bit scary. Reasonably torquey engine but you do need to change down one or more often two gears for safe overtaking. As mentioned elsewhere here, the fuel tap is a bit quaint as is the fairing subframe, but otherwise its frankly amazing what you can buy for under £2K.

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Aki's picture
Submitted by Aki on Fri, 10/01/2014 - 15:17

Overall Review

I has one of these new in 2000 for 4 yrs, overall it was a great bike, didn't like the cold but then neither do I. I did it all on this bike, sunday blasts, track days, touring, the lot and it lapped it up (except when it was cold)

Strengths

Roomy, comfortable, stable, quick enough and a good all rounder.

Weaknesses

Carb icing, you can add a fuel additive to lessen the problem but its still there, each cylinder just dies on you one after the other until it conks out, then you have to wait 10 mins for it to thaw again and then repeat the process 5 miles down the road, generally only happens in cold damp conditions though. Its got a fuel tap, all the others had a fuel light by then but not Kawasaki, you just had to wait for the tell tail stutter and then fumble around frantically for the tap before it conked out lol

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Overall Review

Bought my bike new in 2000. Been looking for something else new the last 5 years. So far, only the multisdtrada has been a better ride but it's 12k more than the ZX6 and there is no way it's £12k better especially when riding them back to back. So far, done 31,000 miles on it. It's been fully service from new and still runs like a dream. Gets ridden all year, and never had any ice carbing problems. Didn't like running on Super unleaded when I couldn't get 95 RON. I have had it lowered, lower seat. Quill exhaust, hugger, tank bra, Venturer rack, side exit tyre valves, braided hoses SBS. Complete pad/brake cyllinder strip down at 23k. It sat for 2 years while my leg was broken. Burst oil seals on the way to MOT station which soaked the original brake pads which were hardly worn at 17K. Now on SBS which are sharper. Fitted a scottoiler which is now disconnected. Chain lasted 27k miles. Heated grips are a must. I have decided not to get rid of it yet as it still is a great bike and I'd be chucking money away for something I may not be happy with long term as I tend to keep bikes around 10 years from new. I'd like my g/f to have it next but she still loves her Thundercat which is another underated bike and arguably better as an all rounder than the ZX6 but it is a generation behind and is a lot heavier.

Strengths

Great headlights. Fantastic engine. I had mine set up properly and the midrange now is superb. Way better than a sports 600 should be. It will do all that my mates big tourers will do in the same gears much to my amusement. Fitted a Ventura rack and now I can carry almost anything. Can tour easily doing 400 mile plus in a day, day in and day out. Super stable. Ecconomical most of the time. Great wind protection. Will hang on easily to most sports bike riders on the latest machinery, probably more to rider ability than the bike, but if the bike wouldn't let me......

Weaknesses

Too tall for me after an injury so had to have it lowered. Would like more MPG. Have run out under 100 miles being silly but then again have done 170 before reserve. I usually look to fill up around 120/130 miles. It's not a VFR though it is faster. It's very fast but as a sports bike, it doesn't really cut it on track. I soon found the limit to my tyres and even with making the steering faster, it's nowhere near as quick to turn as my R6 or CBR400rr, though I may try adjust again this year a bit. Can cost for major services if you use a dealer. Poor turning circle on full lock.

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Overall Review

2nd review as now owned this bike for 14 years. Have tried the z1000sx and I can'tesee or feel it being better in any way, especially when you cosider tyres, tax and insurance are all cheaper yet the zx6 performs better in all ways apart from comfort. Even then, I am not convinced the z1000 will be comfortable after a days riding and the zx6 has better wind protection and is faster and handles as well.

Strengths

Windprotection. Will average 55mpg on touring riding. 023 tyres. 5500 miles in and the MOT tester thought they were new. Fully loaded with kit for 2, it still handles very well.

Weaknesses

Want a new bike but when I get back on this after testing something, I always wonder why? Want a new seat. May try a cutdown gel seat. Have been using an airhawk for touring.

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Submitted by DSK2 on Mon, 21/09/2015 - 11:27

Overall Review

Perfect sports bike for the road with reassuring handling, comfort, strong engine and brakes and better for a taller rider.

Strengths

A good size bike for a taller rider with a good riding position for a sports bike making it easier to live with in the roads on a day-to-day basis. Excellent fairings coupled with a double bubble screen keep the wind off you making top speeds very comfortable. Great noise, good power, reasonably smooth for a carb bike and handles well coupled with excellent brakes. Makes absolute sense on the road.

Weaknesses

Rusts easily so it needs to be well prepped and cleaned promptly during winter use. During winter use I also suffered a sticky gear linkage leaving me stuck in 3rd gear which, was rectified within minutes under warranty. I was told it just needed cleaning.

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Overall Review

Overall a pretty tidy sports bike. Once you get the horrible standard indicators off, it starts to look a whole lot better already. Fuel economy isn't all that bad at all, I get just shy 150 miles to the tank and then start getting nervous so the reserve goes on! There's no fuel gauge but it's easy to set the trip and overall this tends to be more accurate than a standard gauge- they all differ slightly. You'll probably want a double bubble rather than the standard screen. Engine is pretty sound, built to last. Shame the same can't be said for paintwork.

Strengths

Twin headlights! I find bikes much more aesthetically pleasing with twin lights rather than one. Plenty of horses- choc full of BHP, pretty impressive for an older bike. Learner friendly (ish)- fair enough you need a full licence to ride one but aside from that it's pretty forgiving. You won't find the front wheel wanting to point skywards every time you pull off a bit hot.

Weaknesses

Brakes/calipers- known for 'spongy' brakes and calipers being a bit on the poor side. Braided lines help massively. Wheel paint- fair enough, it's an old machine but the wheel paint is flaking off pretty easily now having been ridden through a few winters. Restrictive full lock- Easily get used to riding a bike like this but manual handling and U-turns can be a bit of a pain.

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