In what concerns middleweight streetfighter bikes, a powerful and smooth operating engine, comfortable ergonomics and light handling are all qualities that manage to do the trick each and every time. So what could have possibly been Kawasaki doing to the ER-6n that they ended up delivering such a versatile, aggressive looking and awesome performing motorcycle that it even ended up on the American market? Honestly, quite a lot.
The series of modifications improved almost every aspect of the light and attractive Kawi bike so that the highest demands would be easily met and so far it didn’t disappoint. Furthermore, the 2010 model year gets a lowered seat from 30.9 inches to 29.7 inches, making this an even more appropriate choice for beginning riders who need to be steady on their feet.
Relying on fuel injection and liquid cooling, engineers update the finishing touches of the 650cc parallel-twin DOHC, 8-valve engine in
71.15-hp fuel injected parallel twin engine
order for the 72bhp revver to look like is was meant to power the naked bike in the first place, not the Ninja 650R. A three-way catalyzer mounted inside the exhaust ensures that Euro-III regulations are met, just like in the case of the above mentioned.
Kawasaki knows how demanding U.S. consumers can be with the products they buy, especially the ones that don’t conform to their idea of a motorcycle so it ads a low (now only 29.7 inches from the ground), slim seat in addition to the comfortable riding position. Also, it is now claimed that a significantly lower level of vibrations will be transmitted through the handlebars and footpegs, making it a good recommendation for women orientating towards two-wheeled forms of transportation.
2010 Kawasaki ER-6n
Still, the bike doesn’t look as being powered by a two-cylinder engine and hides the low seat pretty good with its big Kawi looks. The headlight is nicely contoured in a greatly finished fairing while stylish signal lights are integrated into the side fairing, giving the ER-6n a stylish, distinctive look. Even though a naked, you will need a trained eye to spot the exhaust when all the 72 bhp are being rushed next to you.
As sporty as the engine might be, it remains a twin-cylinder one and these types always require a six-speed gearbox for a more impressive top speed and better mileage especially when riding on the freeway.
Like the mechanical parts, the frame was built to be as compact and as light as possible while remaining a top performer. Being a budget bike, it still relies on the high-tensile steel trellis frame instead of an aluminum one, but as long as that does the trick, we’ll declare ourselves satisfied. Suspensions have been reset for sharper handling and the petal disc brakes are both stylish and effective so that’s another well done job on the ER-6n.
Overall, the bike looks charming and very inviting.
Kawasaki turned to building streetfighter bikes in 2005 with the all-new ER-6n – a replacement for the Kawasaki ER-5 naked bike built in the 1990s – and started selling it as a 2006 model year. The bike was a radical new approach towards riders in Europe mostly and it was built around the liquid-cooled, 649cc, four-stroke, parallel twin cylinder engine. Fuel injection was there from the start (a 2 x Keihin system with 38 mm throttle bodies, to be more precise) and it brought a major contribution to the 71.07 hp at 6,700 rpm and 66 Nm at 6,700 rpm that the first ever model year developed.
As seen, the bike was top notch from the very beginning and all that Kawi later needed to do was to simply retune the engine for greater low and midrange torque. They came up with this change on the 2008 model year which’s engine developed 48.50 Nm at7,000 rpm showing how a bike can be improved with tweaks of the torque curve.
The year 2009 brought the all-new model, which started being sent to the United States as well. Candy Plasma Blue was THE paintjob for it.
2010 Suzuki SFV 650 Gladius
The 2010 Kawasaki ER-6n would have had all the chances to be free of competitors on the American market if it wasn’t for the middleweight Suzuki Gladius. Although not a veritable streetfighter, but a naked sport bike, the 2010 Suzuki Gladius is powered by a fuel-injected, 645cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90-degree V-Twin engine and has an MSRP starting at $6,899, pointing it as an ideal ER-6n competitor.
2010 Kawasaki ER-6n
It’s really hard not to notice the amount of attention to detail put into the 2010 ER-6n by simply taking a look at it. A blend of naked heritage and aggressive streetfighter looks, the bike is not just a stripped down Ninja 650R, but a compact and muscular model with both looks and character of its own.
The headlight is this bike’s most distinctive touch and so are the side panels (housing the signal lights), the instruments housing as well as the sharp front fender. The gas tank is positioned in between the trellis frame’s tubular bars and features a refined shape compared to the one on the first ER-6n model year.
Now more potent looking, the blacked out engine gives an aggressive note. So do the 17-inch wheels in between which the exhaust silencer is perfectly hidden. The seat, positioned only 29.7 inches from the ground, is impeccably finished and enhances that compact bike look.
Overall, the new Metallic Flat Spark Black color makes the ER-6n look like a much more expensive motorcycle and greater performer than it actually is.
"There have been some minor chassis and engine tweaks (a D-shaped swingarm and alterations to the fuelling, essentially) and the design brief was to make the bike appear more attractive to, well, ’young people.’" – superbike
"Powering the ER-6n is Kawasaki’s trusty 649cc Parallel Twin, the same used in the 650R and Versys, but it just doesn’t feel as lively in this machine. Sure it revs a little faster than the Suzuki and sounds a bit tougher but it just not as inspiring." – motorcycle-usa
"Accelerate off the line, and the ER-6n responds with reasonable low-end and strong midrange pull, redlining at an indicated 11,000 rpm. But a majority of usable torque can be found in the middle register, where the 649-cc twin hits its sweet spot." – popularmechanics
"Opening the ER’s throttle yields smooth, uninterrupted acceleration in all six gears. Transitioning from off- to on-throttle is seamless, giving the engine an electric fluidity." – motorcyclistonline
"The ER eagerly devours a serpentine road with more speed than you might expect. The upright riding position gives a rider the feeling of dominance over the ER, allowing confidence to soar for riders of all experience levels." – motorcycle
"...naturally enough, it feels very similar to the old bike, the engine is unchanged so there’s no difference there and it’s still a lot of fun to ride." – MCN
Having an MSRP that starts at just $6,699, Kawasaki’s middleweight streetfighter unveils a more aggressive marketing strategy of Kawasaki compared to that of Suzuki’s for the 2010 Gladius. And with more than 22,000 units sold around the world, Kawasaki can surely say their strategy is working.
2010 Kawasaki ER-6n
Without a doubt, Kawasaki knew how to grow the small ER-5 naked into an evolved piece of motoring that didn’t even needed more than two big evolutionary steps in order to call it finished. Retaining comfort and practicability while making it sportier and better looking has been a key to this bike’s success and we have a feeling that things are going to stay this way a very long time from now.