2009 Kawasaki ER-6n riding impression



The 2009 Kawasaki ER-6n. Nimble, adequately powerful, fun to ride...

Pics: Motociclismo

With more than 22,000 units sold worldwide, the Kawasaki ER-6n remains a popular, all-around capable motorcycle. It’s no ZX-6R of course, but it looks interesting and manages to pack in enough thrills so it doesn’t bore you to death. So is the 2009 version better than its predecessor? The guys at Motociclismo recently got to ride the bike, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the ER-6n:

In the ER-6n, Kawasaki have a bike that responds to the needs of the urban biker, and it’s one machine that’s actually attracted many new/first-time buyers to the Kawasaki brand. It's utilitarian, modern and inexpensive, and it’s been further improved for 2009.

With the 2009 ER-6n, the aim was to improve the aesthetics, improve the finer details and make the bike even more stable and easier to ride. The overall styling has been retained, but the seat and bodywork have been chiseled, making the bike more compact and muscular.

While the new ER-6n looks more attractive, it actually feels a lot like the older model to ride, and that’s a good thing. Various things have been improved – the asymmetrical placement of the mirrors (for improved visibility), the lower seat and the different handlebars, which now seem closer to you, the additional hooks for securing soft luggage and other knick-knacks. However, the instrument panel, which looks cool, isn’t very readable…


Kawasaki ER-6n, the bike to have if you want to ride, not pose...

Coming to the more important developments, the 2009 ER-6n’s front suspension has been firmed up quite a bit, which feels right. The new bike feels more agile than its predecessor and the fuel injection system seems to have been improved, so engine response below 4,000rpm is quicker and more consistent.

The ER-6n’s 649cc, 8-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin isn’t as smooth as an inline-four. And despite all the rubber-lined handlebar grips, seat and footpegs, some vibration still filters through to the rider, especially above 7,000rpm. But it isn’t nearly enough to make it annoying.

With just 72bhp, the bike is easy to manage, fun to ride and practical for everyday use – both experts and beginners are likely to enjoy the ER-6n. At 200 kilos (204kg for the ABS version), the bike isn’t very light, but given its ergonomics, it feels very manageable and handles well. The brakes are adequately powerful and the ABS is non-intrusive.

So there you are – here’s a Kawasaki that’s just right for most types of riding and is capable enough to be fun for experienced enthusiasts as well as those whose riding capabilities are relatively modest. And at around 6,000 euros (about US$7,680), the price is just right. If you’re into riding – and not posing – the 2009 Kawasaki ER-6n could be the right bike for you.

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