The Kawasaki ER-6N as a First Ride

When you decide to get a new motorcycle there's an big obstacle to deal with – choosing the right ride. This can be a pretty intimidating decision.

Starting out on a Kawasaki ZX-10R, Yamaha YZF-R1 or even the Yamaha FZ1 is just plain stupid and a Yamaha YZF-R6 is a equally poor option. A 250cc? Many people don't see that as a real big bike. So what are the alternatives? Enter the Kawasaki ER-6N.

With a name sounding like a small round robot straight from Star Wars, the Kawasaki ER-6N is a great choice for new riders wanting to get their feet wet or for more experienced riders who desire a unique fun and inexpensive commuter motorcycle.

If we look at the Kawasaki ER-6N. From the rear seat forward, the Kawasaki ER-6N is all fighter. The most obvious feature is the aggressive dual stacked headlights. Pulling styling cues from other popular Kawasaki models, integrated shrouds combine with things previously unseen in the entry big bike level sect. A small gauge pod sits atop the headlights and features an analog speedometer, digital tachometer, odometer, trip meters, clock and the always useful fuel gauge.

Braking power on the Kawasaki ER-6N is plentiful for the nature of this motorcycle thanks to a pair of 300mm discs up front squeezed by dual piston calipers. ABS is a standard feature on the ER-6N.

Handling is what you'd expect – this ain't a sportbike after all. For city duties it's plenty capable. Although an experienced rider will explore its limits quickly on a twisty back road, most newer riders will find it competent. The unique rear suspension features a trick looking adjustable offset rear shock, very similar to what you find on the Kawasaki Ninja 650R. Shorter riders should take note that while the motorcycle can be lowered both front and rear, it can't dip quite as deep as a motorcycle with a traditional 'dogbone' linkage. The most we could drop the front and rear of the ER-6N was just under 3cm using aftermarket parts. Kawasaki offers a 2cm lower seat for an ever better fit as well.

The relatively light weight 200kg combined with a low seat height and upright, top mounted handlebars helps to inspire confidence for shorter legged riders.

There's plenty in the peppy parallel twin engine to get up to speed quickly without fear of power wheelying or spinning the tire. Passing cars on the highway is an easy task but does require more right hand twist than a typical sportbike. But for those making the move from behind the wheel to the seat of this 650cc they'll find this Kawasaki more than happy to do as it's told.

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