Kawasaki ER6-f (2009-2011): Usability is the key feature.Engine: The twin cylinder liquid cooled 649 c.c. engine delivers 72 bhp/8500 rpm and 6.7 Kgm/ 7000 rpm torque, claimed figures. Actually it¢s a pleasurable and vivid twin cylinder engine, concerning feeling and sound. It is considered to be an advantage of the bike.
A significant amount of torque is delivered from 2500 to 3000 rpm upwards, depending on the selected speed. There is adequate power from 3500 rpm upwards for town use, rider will take advantage of the lower part of the power band then.
Engine power delivery is linear up to 7000 rpm where sound is changed and a power increment is noticeable. Above that rpm figure, acceleration is linear up to the rev limiter at 1100 rpm.
Throttle response is instant. When turning off the throttle, the engine decelerates the bike considerably.
Consequently, power delivery is punchy at the bottom end, which makes the rider expect more power at the middle and higher areas of the power band. However this feature makes power deliver highly usable indeed.
The future customer of the ER will not be carried away by absolute power figures. On the contrary, bottom end power delivery and a characteristic twin cylinder operation are the key elements concerning the engine.
Riding position: The seat height is relatively small 790 mm, the seat width is narrow at the front, therefore it will be practical even for short riders, who will step a firm foot on the ground. Tall riders will not have an issue either.
The length of the bike feels increased, the width is narrow. The weight of the bike feels average, 204 Kg nominal curb, (208 for the ABS version).
Rider is placed in and over the bike. The handle bar is narrow, at normal height, which together with the seat form a comfortable and upright riding position.
On the road: The 41 mm fork feels rather firm while the stiffness of the shock absorber is average. The horizontal mounted shock features the only possible suspension adjustment, which is the spring preload.
Tyres used are Bridgestone BT-21, with dimensions 120/70-17 at the front and 160/60-17 at the rear. They are adequate for this bike only in case of touring use. Otherwise they should be replaced, especially on low friction factor streets as they tend to slide early.
On town rides, the ER6f will not face any problem. The narrow width and the user friendly character of the bike will help rider substantially.
During filtering, the height of the bike¢s handlebar and mirrors is the same with cars¢ mirrors. Due to the slim shape of the bike this is not a problem though.
Road imperfections are absorbed relatively well. Because there is no linkage at the rear shock, sometimes it cannot absorb sufficiently road imperfections, the rear end feels abrupt then.
Rider gets comparatively good feedback when cornering. Combined with the great steering lock, providing tight steering radius, the ER6 becomes a competent, user friendly and pleasant bike in town.
On low friction factor B-roads its neutral, light and agile. The rear wheel tends to slide under pressure on low friction factor roads. The short wheelbase of 1410 mm, doesn¢t affect the stability or even the agility of the bike.
On high friction factor B-roads the ER6 provides really nice handling, its stable, neutral, agile, together with a cheerful character. Feedback is not equivalent to that of supersport bikes under great pressure, however the ER6 can be really fun.
On the highway, air protection is relatively good, rider has to bow to the front to get decent protection from the elements. Travelling speed, considering solely air protection, lies between 170-180 Km/h, if rider is errrrr…, less emotional than usual: its typical for this bike category, engine feels stressed then, maintaining 8500 rpm at 175 Km/h, while at 210 Km/h, 10000 rpm are sustained.
Consequently an average rider will settle comfortably between 150-170 Km/h on the highway. Compared with the naked ER6n model, the ER6f is greatly improved on highway use, although its still not the most effective touring bike of the class. The previously mentioned speed figures are speedometer indications. Tank range is close to 250 Km.
If riding on dirt road is a must, the narrow handle bar cannot provide a satisfactory leverage, even for the shortest rides. Except from that, the bike is again, user friendly.
The front twin 300 mm wave rotors combined wit the two piston callipers are powerful, providing adequate initial bite, average feedback though.
The rear set of 220 mm wave rotor-single piston caliper is good, although on high friction factor roads it feels weak.
Concerning the front disc brake, an ABS would be a great advantage especially on low friction roads, due to the average feedback.
Reliability-Quality: No specific issues reported. Quality built could be better, given the Japanese standards.
Model history: It was introduced in 2005. A new model was also introduced in 2009. For 2012 new frame and swing arm are featured, as well as design and exhaust improvements.
Comments: Ångine output, versatility, and ease of use define the ER6-f attitude.
The differences with the naked model are located to the fairing, instrument and harder suspension springs.
The two sides of the bike are very different, only the left one exhibits the horizontal shock absorber and the exhaust attached beneath the engine. The ER6f character is much more integrated though than that of the naked model, being a competitive bike either downtown, or on comfortable short trips.
Price ER 6 f 2011: 7590 €, ABS: 8290 €
+ Engine torque
+ User friendly
+ All around use
- Abrupt reaction of the rear suspension over road imperfections
- Factory fitted tyres