The new Kawasaki NINJA ZX-6RR sportbike marks a dramatic departure
from the broad-spectrum appeal of the earlier Ninja sportbikes,
giving the bike a much stronger track bias. The limited edition
street-legal ZX-6RR boasts aggressive race-worthy features -including
engine, chassis, riding position and overall performance upgrades
oriented towards serious sport riding, track days or full-on racing.
Designed with the expert and professional racer in mind, this
new generation motorcycle is destined to dominate Supersport racing
around the world.
The heart of the ZX-6RR is a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 599cc,
four-cylinder four-stroke engine that delivers increased performance,
especially in the high rpm ranges. To make the engine more competitive,
new lightweight forged pistons weigh in at five grams lighter,
while longer rods and a shorter stroke produce the high revs required
for the track. The new plated, all-aluminum cylinders have 5mm
shorter skirts for reduced weight. The water passageways have
been reshaped for improved cooling performance. The new engine
is lighter, more compact, revs higher and makes more power.
Intake and exhaust valves for the compact engine are 10mm shorter,
resulting in less weight and improved high-rpm performance. Also
improving high-rpm performance and valve control are lighter,
oval-shaped intake valve springs. In addition, stepped spring
seats better stabilize the valve springs.
To reduce cylinder weight, vibration and engine noise, the outer
surface of the cam-chain tunnel has been redesigned. A new crankcase
is also lighter and more rigid, allowing oil jets to be positioned
closer to the pistons for optimal lubrication. To match the engine's
overall compact design, the engine oil pan capacity has also been
The ZX-6RR is fed by a new-age fuel injection system that utilizes
large-bore 38mm throttle bodies, while a 32-bit high-speed microprocessor-controlled
timing is ultra-responsive to engine needs. The integrated system
helps ensure smooth linear power characteristics and high engine
output and with low emissions. A new centrally located ram-air
duct system contributes to added performance, improves intake
efficiency and saves weight by eliminating a number of parts needed
for the prior Ram-air system.
Reductions in exhaust emissions are also aided by reshaping the
guide for the secondary air reed valve. Also assisting in the
reduction of exhaust emissions is the KCA (Kawasaki Clean Air)
system, which routes fresh air to the exhaust ports. What little
exhaust gasses are left are then expelled through a new lighter
stainless exhaust system that increases engine performance.
New to the ZX-6RR's six-speed transmission is a clutch back-torque
limiter, which helps prevent wheel hop during aggressive corner
entry. The new transmission uses closer ratios for gears three
and higher, resulting in improved racetrack performance. Easy
and smooth shifting is aided by a modified shift drum and ratio
change in the shift lever.
The ZX-6RR's engine rests inside a new pressed aluminum perimeter
frame that is rigid and delivers crisp and stable handling performance
to conquer a racetrack of any design. Sheets of aluminum are pressed
to shape, then welded together, to produce remarkable strength
and low weight. An aluminum subframe is also lightweight and is
easily removed for conducting routine maintenance.
Advanced engineering techniques were also used to design the extruded
aluminum swingarm. The new swingarm is longer and utilizes adjustable
pivot points, which improves suspension action. Other swingarm
features include internal ribbing that offers high torsional rigidity
and low weight. Lightweight aluminum components are also used
in the UNI-TRAKÆ rear suspension system, which produces
progressively stiffer damping and spring rates as the fully adjustable
rear shock is compressed. A nitrogen-gas charged Kayaba shock
with a piggyback reservoir features fully adjustable rebound and
compression damping, while a new top-out spring was added for
improved shock action. Racetrack suspension setup is an extremely
precise process so the shock utilizes a threaded collar spring
preload adjuster and stepless damping adjuster with a check valve
to improve damping. To alter ride height, various combinations
of 1mm-thick shims can be inserted between the shock and its frame
Up front, the ZX-6RR receives a new fully adjustable inverted
41mm fork to provide high rigidity and superior feedback. Top-out
springs and adjustable spring preload are fitted to the fork to
assist in optimal performance throughout the stroke range.
Traditionally used for racing applications only, a new radial-mount,
four-piston, four-pad front brake assembly graces the ZX-6RR.
The first for a production motorcycle, four independent brake
pads are used in each caliper to clamp down on new semi-floating
280mm dual front disc rotors. The state-of-the-art braking system
delivers exceptional feel and improves heat resistance, braking
performance and lengthens pad life. On the back, the single disc
measures 220mm and the brake pedal ratio has been changed for
To compliment its performance enhancements, the ZX-6RR looks totally
different for 2003. The new GP-style fairing offers an exceptionally
low drag coefficient for slippery aerodynamics and the reshaped
central Ram-air duct gives the front of the bike an aggressive
identity. Lightweight and very bright multi-reflector dual headlights
provide great visibility while enhancing the aggressive head-on
appearance for which Ninja sportbikes are famous. Tucked behind
the cowling is an all-new lighter and more compact instrument
cluster featuring a bar-type LCD tachometer, digital LCD speedometer,
and programmable shift light and a stopwatch-style 99-lap timer.
The cluster also includes a digital temp gauge, clock, tripmeter
and a comprehensive range of indicator lamps.
Riders will find that the relocated handlebar, seat and footpegs
provide improved track-oriented ergonomics. The new one-piece
forged aluminum clip-on handlebars are lighter and mounted in
a slightly more rearward position, while the tank and reshaped
seat allow the rider to mold to the chassis, making the ZX-6RR
an extension of the rider. MSRP $8399
4-stroke, DOHC, inline four
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 x 42.5mm
Compression ratio: 13:1
Carburetion: Fuel injection with 38mm throttle bodies
Frame: Perimeter, pressed-aluminum
Suspension, front: 41mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable
compression and rebound damping, adjustable spring preload
Suspension, rear: Bottom-link UNI-TRAKÆ system with
gas-charged shock, stepless rebound and compression adjustability
travel, front: 4.7 in.
Wheel travel, rear: 5.3 in.
Tire, front: 120/65x17
Tire, rear: 180/55x17
Front brake: 280mm dual hydraulic discs
Rear brake: 220mm single hydraulic disc
Overall length: 79.7 in.
Overall width: 28.3 in.
Overall height: 43.7 in.
Ground clearance: 5.1 in.
Seat height: 32.5 in.
Dry weight: 355 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 3.5 gal.
Wheelbase: 55.1 in.
Colors: Lime Green
The Kawasaki NINJAÆ ZX-7R sportbikeís resume speaks
for itself. With nine AMA Superbike Championships and a number
of victories with Kawasaki Road Racingís Eric Bostrom at
the helm, the ZX-7R has a history unmatched by any other sportbike.
A Rob Muzzy-tuned ZX-7R also carried Kawasaki Drag Racingís
Rickey Gadson to three AMA/Prostar Drag Racing championships.
A 748cc ultra-short stroke, inline four-cylinder engine helps
make the ZX-7R the champion that it is. The short stroke and large
bore help increase reliability at high engine rpm and allow for
more tuning capabilities for racing applications. Direct-acuation
valve-train components relay the fuel mixture from four 38mm carburetors.
Moderate exhaust-valve timing produces strong midrange for real-world
power on the street. To achieve optimum appearance, exhaust gasses
are expelled through a four-into-two-into-one system.
A pair of large, aggressive air intakes at the front of the aerodynamic
fairing feed the ZX-7Rís Twin Ram Air Induction system.
This system, combined with a steep carburetor downdraft angle
and Straight Shot Intake ports, increases volumetric efficiency
for more power.
The lightweight, aluminum twin-spar perimeter frame was designed
using computer-aided technology. Sheets of aluminum alloy pressed
to shape, then welded together, produce remarkable strength and
low weight. An aluminum rear subframe also keeps the weight down,
yet provides the strength to carry a passenger.
The same engineering techniques were used to design the hollow
cast-and-pressed aluminum hybrid swingarm. Lightweight aluminum
components are also used in the UNI-TRAKÆ rear suspension
system, which produces progressively stiffer damping and spring
rates as the fully adjustable rear shock is compressed. Front
suspension is handled by a fully adjustable, 43mm inverted cartridge
Strong braking is achieved through the use of 320mm semi-floating
front discs clamped by powerful, opposed six-piston calipers at
the front. The rear brake features a 230mm disc with an opposed
Available in classic Kawasaki Lime Green and a fiery orange color
scheme, the NINJA ZX-7Rís good looks accurately reflect
its winning reputation. MSRP $8799
4-stroke, DOHC in-line four, 16 valves
Bore x Stroke: 73.0 x 44.7mm
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Carburetion: Keihin CVKD38 x 4
Frame: Aluminum perimeter design
Rake/trail: 25 degrees/3.9 in.
Suspension, front: Inverted 43mm cartridge fork with adjustable
preload, 8-way compression and 12-way rebound damping adjustability
Suspension, rear: UNI-TRAKÆ with remote-reservoir shock,
threaded preload adjustment, 20-way compression, 4-way rebound
damping and rear ride height adjustment
travel, front: 4.7 in.
Wheel travel, rear: 5.1 in.
Tire, front: 120/70ZR17 tubeless radial
Tire, rear: 190/50ZR17 tubeless radial
Brakes, front/rear: Dual hydraulic discs/Single hydraulic
Overall length: 82.3 in.
Overall width: 29.1 in.
Overall height: 44.5 in.
Ground clearance: 4.1 in.
Seat height: 31.1 in.
Dry weight: 448 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 4.8 gal.
Wheelbase: 56.5 in.
Colors: Lime Green/Pearl Blazing Orange
From the 1984 NINJAÆ 900R ñ the worldís first
production 16-valve, liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder motorcycle
ñ to the 2003 NINJAÆ ZX-9R sportbike, Kawasaki is
continually extending its performance heritage. In a single 404-pound
package, the ZX-9R delivers awesome engine response, precise handling,
modern-day versatility and open-class performance matched by no
other open-class sportbike on the market.
The ZX-9Rís lightweight, all-aluminum cylinder block, with
chrome composite plating for wear resistance and superior heat
dispersion, is the envy of the road and the racetrack. The cylinder
head itself is shaped to provide a high compression ratio, while
the cam timing and profile are designed for massive torque across
the rev range. A dyed-in-the-wool open-classer with abundant power
on top, the ZX-9R also boasts usable lower-rpm performance for
negotiating tight corners or traffic congestion.
Four Keihin 40mm downdraft semi-flat-slide carburetors equipped
with the Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC)
provide excellent throttle response. K-TRIC, also linked to the
ignition system, adjusts ignition timing for all throttle settings
while a 16-bit microprocessor accurately adjusts timing from sensors
at both the carburetors and the crankshaft.
Spent gasses exit via a four-into-two-into-one exhaust system
with a lightweight, all-titanium muffler equipped with the Kawasaki
Clean Air System catalyzer (with the exception of California models,
which have a stainless-steel unit and an additional catalyzer
for reduced emissions). On all models, the exhaust system benefits
from an extended divider plate just aft of the collector for increased
The ZX-9Rís short-wheelbase and narrow aluminum frame features
a front engine mount close to the steering head to improve the
engineís ability to function as a stressed member of the
frame and increase rigidity. A detachable subframe houses the
streamline seat and tail section, providing an aggressive and
comfortable riding position. For riding two-up, lightweight seat
straps are standard fare ñ and so is a cowling that converts
the cockpit into a solo seat.
Underneath the rider, an extruded-aluminum braced swingarm features
a hexagonal structure with ribbing for reduced weight and exceptional
rigidity. Kawasakiís bottom link UNI-TRAKÆ system
features linkage ratios that provide a linear progression of damping
and spring rates on the fully adjustable single shock as the suspension
is compressed. The shock comes equipped with a ride-height adjuster
that allows for fine-tuning the chassis to suit racetrack or road
conditions. Damping settings accommodate the responsive chassis,
and a stepless damping adjuster uses a check valve for improved
Up front, damping settings in the 46mm cartridge fork match the
chassis and rear suspension settings to provide an even fluid
ride. Like the rear shock, the fork features the state-of-the-art
stepless damping adjuster.
With 320mm of semi-floating dual front disc brakes, clamped by
opposed four-piston calipers and a rear disc brake holder designed
to save weight, the ZX-9R can stop efficiently from virtually
any speed. Not that the ZX-9R rider wants to stop ó but
you canít enjoy Open-class power and true Superbike handling
without filling up the 5.0-gallon fuel tank every once in a while.
4-stroke, DOHC, inline four, 16 valves
Bore x Stroke: 75.0 x 50.9mm
Compression ratio: 12.2:1
Carburetion: Keihin CVKD40 x 4
Ignition: Digital with Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition
Frame: Aluminum perimeter design
Rake/trail: 24 degrees/3.8 in.
Suspension, front: 46mm Cartridge Fork with Adjustable Preload
Stepless Compression and Rebound Damping Adjustability
Suspension, rear: UNI-TRAKÆ with Piggyback Reservoir
Shock, Threaded Preload Adjustment, Stepless Compression and
Rebound Damping Adjustments
travel, front: 4.7 in.
Wheel travel, rear: 5.3 in.
Tire, front: 120/70ZR17 Tubeless Radial
Tire, rear: 190/50ZR17 Tubeless Radial
Brakes, Front/Rear: Dual Hydraulic discs/Single Hydraulic
Overall length: 80.7 in.
Overall width: 28.7 in.
Overall height: 46.1 in.
Ground clearance: 6.3 in.
Seat height: 33.3 in.
Dry weight: 409.2 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Wheelbase: 56.6 in.
Colors: Lime Green/Galaxy Silver
Kawasaki can always be counted on to raise the bar when it comes
to the open-class sportbike category. Legendary machines like
the H1, Z1 and NINJAÆ ZX-11 have often been imitated, but
never duplicated. The 2003 NINJAÆ ZX-12R motorcycle, a legend
in the making, is Kawasakiís top-of-the-line open class
sportbike. The ZX-12Rís powerful performance-oriented engine
and ultra-responsive nimble-handling chassis may be user friendly,
but itís not friendly on the competition.MSRP $10,999
4-stroke, DOHC, inline four.
Bore x Stroke: 83.0 x 55.4mm
Compression ratio: 12.2:1
Carburetion: Fuel injection with 46mm throttle bodies
Frame: Aluminum monocoque
Rake/trail: 23.5 degrees/3.7 in.
Suspension, front: 43mm inverted hydraulic telescopic fork
with 12-way adjustable compression and rebound damping, adjustable
Suspension, rear: UNI-TRAKÆ system with single shock,
20-way adjustable compression and rebound damping, adjustable
travel, front: 4.7 in.
Wheel travel, rear: 5.5 in.
Tire, front: 120/70x17 tubeless
Tire, rear: 200/50x17 tubeless
Front brake: 320mm dual hydraulic discs
Rear brake: 230mm single hydraulic disc
Overall length: 81.9 in.
Overall width: 28.5 in.
Overall height: 46.7 in.
Ground clearance: 4.7 in.
Seat height: 31.9 in.
Dry weight: 463 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Colors: Lime Green/Cosmic Splendor Red/Metallic Gray Stone
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