Wonderfull vibrations comes thru the seat and the sound from the silencers brings a wide smile to my face, as the overtaken eighteen wheeler is left behind me.
Tested by Frode Johansen
All pictures by Ruth Helen Kjśrran, RallyRuth
In this entery class the competition is hard, and the producers does their best to give the bikes some personality. Kawasaki has succeeded when they made their ER-6n. It is also available in a ER-6f version, known as the Ninja 650R in the USA, with more plastic. But I do not think it look as good as the naked version tested here.
The design of the front light, instrument panel, excaust system, integrated turn signals in front and the horizontal monted rear suspension makes the bike really stand out from the competition. Golden frame, black paint and aluminium goes very well together, and makes the bike look really good.
As the parallel twin engine is brought to life the very nice sound get's your attention, and with a little more open silencer the sound should be even better. The wonderfull vibrations goes from the seat and into my body, and brings a nice smile to my face. Cruising along at highway speed there is no anoying vibrations. When the wire is winded up tight the engine just spins through the rpm rage with no hesitation, all the way to the redmark at 11.000 rpm. From down low the engine will pull strong from just over 3.000 rpm.
The engine is strong enough to do overtaking's in 6th gear. But if you for some reason want to spend less time in the opposite lane, just drop down two or three gears and you are done with the overtaking. Both the clutch and gear box is easy to operate, and jumping two gears at the time is no problem.
On the road
Out on the road the driving position is the classic one, but the angel of the knee's can be a little to sporty for those with long legs. Up to 55 mph the wind is no problem because of the front light and instrument design. But when you get all crazy and pusshes past 70 mph you can really feel the wind, and over a distance it will be a problem.
The bike is very found of twisty roads, and feels stable thru the turns, at the same time the bike is very easy to drive. And if you spot the police laser officer coming out of a corner just a little too fast, you can trust the breaks to get the speed down quite fast. What bugs me is the mirrors, I just can't see anything else than my arms. Another thing that is a little annoying is that when you go of the accellerator there is a little jerk, that can be a anoying when cruising around town and showing of for the opposite sex.
I know that some really do not like the vibrations a v- or parallel-twin makes, but I love them. And if you like twins or have not tried one yet, I will recommend you to take a ride on one of these. And as long as your legs are not too long, the knee angel will not be too bad. About the mirrors, buy new ones, they don't cost that much.
Engine: 39 cubic inches / 649 ccm
Engine type: Water cooled parallel twin, fuel injected
Horsepower: 72 hp at 8.500 rpm
Torque: 48,5 Ib-ft at 7.000 rpm
Fuel tank: 4,1 gallons / 15,5 liters
Front tyre: 120/70-17
Rear tyre: 160/60-17
Dyr weight: 393 Ibs