The 2015 Kawasaki ER6N - Going Naked

The 2015 Kawasaki ER6N is the naked version of the Kawasaki Ninja 650. It uses that very tubular frame identical tubular swingarm and some-to-same 72.1 horsepower 650cc parallel twin engine. This is a good thing because I firmly believe that the Kawasaki Ninja 650 is perhaps the most appropriate affordable big motorcycle on sale right now in Thailand.

The Kawasaki ER6N is very, very enjoyable. The twin engine has always been able to produce torque with absurd ease and that remains, for me, the shining highlight of this motorcycle. There's always thrust, a hint of throttle away and it makes riding this in traffic remarkably easy. Out on the highway, similarly, the torque allows the Kawasaki ER6N to sit at big speeds with ease while the huge tank spaces out the fuel stops nicely. It does feel a bit heavy – and it is – at slow speeds but you'll get used to that.

The Kawasaki Ninja 650 was a good, stable, trust-worthy cornering machine and the Kawasaki ER6N is no different. It isn't designed for being sporty but it is designed to be versatile. What that means in the corners is that the motorcycle's reactions are predictable and despite the torque, going quickly around corners is easy to get a hang of. Ride quality is pretty pliant for the power but full-on plush the Kawasaki ER6N is not. Brake again, are strong and equipped with useful ABS.

From the time I laid eyes on the Kawasaki ER6N, I've held the motorcycle to be not the best looking motorcycle. Seeing it in the flesh and enjoying its calm chassis and delightful engine has failed to change my mind about how it looks. I think that headlight, just the headlight, if changed will work wonders for how the motorcycle looks. But aesthetic issue apart, the Kawasaki ER6N does have one, solitaire issue that you'll have to deal with. And that is the lack of a fairing.

I know you're going to point out that a naked bike doesn't have a fairing. What I mean is that for a motorcycle this fast, that fairing is fairly critical to its highway ability. The lack of it hamstrings the motorcycle's ability to sustain high speeds and to me, that's a critical thing to consider when making a decision.

I've always maintained that the Kawasaki Ninja 650 is a terrific motorcycle for Thailand. It's fast, it's easy and it can handle our chaos rather calmly as well. The Kawasaki ER6N takes that same sweet package, loses the fairing and drops 16,000 THB off the price tag. You could get it for as little as 275,000 THB on-road. That's a pretty sweet deal. But if I'm honest, the really good deal is actually to splash out the extra cash on the faired Kawasaki Ninja 650 (at 291,000 THB). It's as good as this motorcycle but just a little bit more useful.

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