Kawasaki ZX6R – 1997 – Don’t Underestimate an Old Bike!

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    My old mate Mike bags a bargain superbike

    Mid 1990’s sports bikes are perhaps the bargain of all time right now. I discovered this recently when my old mate Mike came to call on his 1997 Kawasaki ZX6R. Naturally I took it for a wee spin on one of my regular jaunts along the A442 between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. This bike was most impressive and it was interesting to compare it with Champs later model that I had ridden in France recently.

    Still a Quick Bike

    As usual the performance was very strong from that punchy 600 motor. 100 bhp may not sound much by modern standards but the ZX6R is a properly quick bike. A top speed of 160 mph is not to be sniffed at. Obviously I didn’t hit that on the way to the cafe, but the engine lend the bike a muscular feel well beyond it’s 600cc. It felt like it had more grunt than my own Yamaha 600, despite having effectively similar power output. Another friend of mine had a slightly earlier example. I remember him recounting taking on a £150,000 Lamborghini supercar on his 1995 example a few years back! Apparently the supercar pilot had his hands full! So somebody on a modern bike will have to be seriously on it to get too far ahead!

    Not All About the Motor

    Backing up this motor was tight well controlled suspension that belied the 36,000 miles on the clock. The road to the cafe flows over the valley of the River Severn. The ZX6R just felt really planted in a corner. Holding a selected line well. Not only that but I found it was comfortable too. I was genuinely surprised by how well it coped over a variety of imperfections in the road surface, especially for a sports bike. The Kawasaki had a really slick gear-change too, under like my Thundercat.

    An older Kawasaki with Decent Brakes!

    Miracles do happen it seems: For only the second time on an older big Kwack in my experience, this bike was an example with decent brakes. They had great feel at the lever and really pulled the ZX down from speed efficiently. It had been fitted with braided lines and no doubt this helped.

    Cheap Kicks

     What a cracking bike…fast, assured, comfy and safe…it even had a full Kawasaki service history. All this for a little over a £1000! Makes you wonder why we bother with the new stuff when you can have this much fun for so little cash….

    Just for reference a brief review of the 2000 model:

    Kawasaki ZX6R – 2000 – Review


    These things are so capable and still out there for peanuts!

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