Kawasaki ER6n review

June 13th, 2006 Jesper Bram 47 Comments » | View blog reactions

Kawasaki_ER6nKawasaki has taken quite a while replacing their old trusty workhorse and beginners bike the ER5. So I expected them to come up with something that could maybe knock Yamaha’s FZ6 off its pedestal. In terms of modern design and technique it’s a big leap ahead from the ER5, but is it a good bike?

My absolute first thought was that the handlebars are very narrow. But otherwise it was quite comfy – everything sitting where you would expect. Heading off, I found no issues with the brakes and suspension. You have to get a bike under your skin before you can really start to test the brakes. But for a beginner’s bike, I’m sure they are more than capable.

The Kawasaki ER6n feels very light and with its 174 kg it is also 20 kg lighter than what I’m used to. Which would be just fine, but my impression was that the weight combined with the narrow handlebars made it very wind sensitive. It was a bit windy that day, and once when I overtook a car and gave the throttle an extra notch, it didn’t feel comfortable at all. No doubt the engine would like to play, but the steering was holding back on the fun. I certainly didn’t experience that on the FZ6.

Kawasaki_ER6n_sideviewLooks wise I think the bike is pretty sharp. Rear suspension spring tugged in asymmetrical on the right hand side, Buell style exhausts hiding beneath the engine, not your average square swing arm. There are a lot of nice details on the bike, except for the headlight and gauge area that looks like they forgot to give it gauges and had to come up with a quick fix. I wonder if you can pick up Zeta Rocks on the clock radio Kawasaki put on top of that fly screen. Seems the good old classic round motorcycle headlight is seriously going out of style.

I’m going to be nice and give it three helmets, because of the long awaited design update and the side by side twin engine. It’s not Kawasaki’s fault that they don’t know round headlights and wide handlebars is the coolest thing next to the Tesla Coil. For a beginner’s bike, it’s not a bad choice at all.

First impression rating: First impression rating 3/5 helmets
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47 Responses to “Kawasaki ER6n review”

  1. spheed - sportbike industry news » Blog Archive » Kawasaki ER6n review  June 14th

    […] [source] […]

  2. ilipier  June 20th


  3. Jesper  June 20th

    I see what you mean, a bicycle with 70hp. That was a bit scary to me. But no question its a good bike.

    I prefer motorcycles that are a bit more directional, and need to be leaned into a curve rather than steered in.

  4. Draculas  June 26th

    I’ve learned to ride a bike, with ER-6n, it’s really great, i drove normally within 2 days!!

  5. Jesper  June 26th

    That’s great, Draculas.
    I’m seeing more and more ER6n on the street, and it’s no wonder if you compare it to other bikes in the same category. Like the CB500 or the GS500E, that should have been updated years ago.

  6. Helmet Hair - Motorcycle Blog » Choosing your first motorcycle  October 1st

    […] If you fall in love with a new model, that you for obvious reasons won’t find used, so be it. Riding motorcycles is a lot about passion, and taking the sensible approach can be a bit tough when your mind is set on that shiny new motorcycle winking at you in the dealer’s show room. This year it could be motorcycles like the Yamaha MT-03 or the Kawasaki ER6n which I would consider good entry level motorcycles. But consider your self warned; the first scratch in the paint hurts like hell. […]

  7. mistersim  December 5th

    Having researched for months amongst SVs, CBFs, FZ6s. What can I say; the ER-6N is the perfect bike for newbies like me. It feels so stable I almost forget to put a foot down when I come to a stop. All the controls are tame and compliant. It’s a 650 that feels like a 400, which is fantastic. For a bike priced at basic commuter prices, you can’t put your money on a safer bet. If like me you are nervous about the first step to bigger bikes, it doesn’t get easier than this! As for build quality, looks good, I’ll let you know how it stands up to the elements in a years time.

  8. Jesper  December 5th

    Thanks for the input Mistersim, the ER-6N is a very good choice for a beginner or commuter bike.

    Enjoy your rides on the bike, and keep us posted on how you’re doing.

  9. Rudy  January 25th

    Newbie biker riding an ER6n and have to say I’ve found it a joy to ride. Great for commuting and the weekend trip to the countryside. All controls very newbie friendly (positive neutral gearbox is a god send) and the balance of the bike feels solid at low speeds and when cornering. The one gotcha is those mirrors – I have fitted universal mirror wideners and would strongly recommend investing in them for your own safety.

  10. John Davidson  August 14th


    What are the ‘mirror wideners’ of which you speak?


  11. Ranko  December 21st

    I am what most would class, an oldie but have had my share of bikes over the years. I have finally found the ER6n which has a seating position that doesen’t stuff your back or arms after 200km’s. The seating position is more like the old Trumpies of the sixties. If anyone wants more speed than the Er6n , I suggest they go to the race track.

  12. Tony  January 2nd

    Anyone know what exhaust system was fitted to your test Kawasaki ER-6N as it is not the standard and what did you think of it??
    Cheers Tony
    PS I think it looks like a great bike and have just bought one.

  13. Christian  January 14th

    @ Tony:
    It looks like the Ixil exhaust, try youtube.com for videos/sound of it…

  14. Jesper  January 15th

    Yea, that’s right Christian. I couldn’t remember what the heck they where. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

  15. Biljana  April 29th

    I am from macedonia and i have er6n about 2 weeks and its great, but its my first motorcycle.So I am haveing a bit of problem but I am getting it right so I dont rigret a bit. Sorry about my english.

  16. Jesper  April 30th

    Good luck with the bike, Biljana, it’s a perfect start out bike. I’m sure you’ll have years of fun on that machine, when you get a hang of it.

  17. ginger 72  June 1st

    I have just bought an er6n it’s being delivered tomorrow,but it will stay in the garage untill this damn weather improves. Had a gilera runner before which was a nice fast scooter, hope this proves as good.

  18. Jesper  June 2nd

    Sounds nice Ginger, happy riding.

  19. Ben  July 9th

    Anybody hav any negative comment about this ER-6n. I was thinking of changing my CB400 Spec2 to EN-6n.. Top Speed for ???

  20. Dusan  September 17th

    Please let me know what part number is for that exhaust Vance & Hines ? And where I can find to buy online .O
    r if you guys have any suggestion for other exhaust ..
    Thanks a lot .

    Top speed over 200km/h.

  21. george panagos  October 28th

    I got mine 2 months ago. It’s a 2006 silver galaxy with ABS and 17,000km. It was more than i expected. It’s too early too say but i think i made the best buy for that money. It has a very good feeling when riding it, small enough too pass between stopped cars, but also enought big too take it seriously es a 650cc sport bike. Strong brakes but not so feely. Power and torque from 2000 rpm like 1cylinder bikes, and hungry for redline rpms like 4cylinder middleweight. Althought the 41mm fork and the 160 rear tire does not look like it can handle difficult corners, it does! And it may not be a muscle bike like Z750, or a bike that was created for MV AGUSTA, but everyone says good things when he sees it. And it really really looks like a 21st century motorcycle. IF AN OWNER READS THIS PLEASE SEND ME A MESSAGE (hairstylistgeorge@hotmail.com)TO LET ME KNOW IF IM THE ONLYONE TO SAY THAT I AM TRULLY SATISFIED WITH MY CHOICE…

  22. susie  November 4th

    …has anyone found the headlight to be a bit weak like me??..or maybe it’s just me

  23. sean far north queensland  January 30th

    yeah george. i’ve had mine a bit over two years. my uncle was selling his after buying an s2r8oo so i took a demo out and rang him to say deal. it had 7000 km on the clock, a custom seat job (the std seat tends to make you sit on your nuts), an ermax hugger and chain guard and best of all a micron titanium can. sounds great and pulls a bit deeper into the rev range, still useful to run it through to ten and a half or so, where i found with the std pipe eight five or nine was all that was worth trying, that was a tight motor though. i put a dna filter in as well. mine has indicated 212 kmh which may not even be 200 in reality but for me it’s about the tight stuff in the ranges, which are plentiful here. holds it’s own in 99% of company. alot of riders here buy litre hyperbikes but, like me, lack the skill to let 150 hp out mid corner. with the er6n i have found i can go into a corner a bit soft and accelerate through it rather than needing the optimum entry speed, as increasing it mid corner on the big bikes is often suicide up here. it lets me get a look at what is in or just through the corner too, all too often a semi doing 10 kph or a tourist on the wrong side of the road saying “isn’t that a lovely view”. anyhow, enjoy the ride.

  24. Dirt bike dan  March 5th

    Hey everyone, my names dan.
    i am 16 years old and have ridden and been around motorcycles all my life. They are a true passion of mine. I will get my license in a few months and am really excited. I have always looked at motorcycles in showrooms and ect but never for consumer purposes. Now that I am getting a real one (yay) it had to be reasonably priced sonce i will be paying half along with my parents. For a long time i wasnt able to make up my mind weather i wanted a dual purpose (onn-off road) or street bike, but knew i would be on the street all the time weather i got a dual purpose or not. So. i decided to go street. I looked for a long time and i didnt seem to particularly like many that i sa within my price range untill I came about the ER-6n. The second i found this on the Kawasaki website and saw the price O couldnt stop thinking about it and still cant. I have spent many nights researching and looking up info and specs on it and it seems like something i will love more and more each day. I will get the ER-6n and want to know if anyone who has read my input would e-mail me with exaust suggestions that are about 300 dollars that are loud. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and any tips or anything else you could send or inform me. My e-mail is schwinddan@yahoo.com

  25. aric  May 7th

    all those bikes r kool

  26. Robert Henry  May 18th

    “For a beginner’s bike, it’s not a bad choice at all”.

    You seem to have placed this bike in a beginners box. Have you ever ridden it hard under controlled conditions, such as a race track?

  27. Jesper  May 18th

    Not exactly sure what you mean, Robert. But what I mean is that it is a good bike for beginners compared to say a CBR1000 which I’d say is not a good starting point.

    I have not ridden the ER6n on a race track. But I imagine it would be fun, not my first choice for a race bike though.

  28. mark partington  May 27th

    Yeh I just passed my test and am seriosly leaning toward an er6 (probably the faired version). In response to robert henry, i was up watching some mini twin racing, mostly sv’s and er6’s and they certainly dont look slow on the track, plus they look real nice with race fairings, clipon bars etc

  29. johnfreniq  June 19th

    Im sure everyone has watched this youtube video of the er6 with the Ixil exhaust:
    Amazing sound! Can anyone identify the exhaust – I don’t think it is the one for the er6 from the Ixil website. Anyone who can tell me where I can buy it will move fairly high up my hero list.

  30. michael  August 9th

    i am a newbie to the motorcycle community and am about to take a basic riders course. I plan on buying a bike in the next week or so and have been considering the er 6n. Is this bike to big or to much for someone to learn on? I have done much research and this seems like a good bike for begginers but i just want to make sure. thanks for the advice.

  31. David  August 16th

    While I own a 2009 ER-6F (Ninja 650) here in the U.S., not a 6N, I have to agree that the 6N and 6F are good beginner’s bikes, but they are a lot more than that. A whole lot more. These bikes will keep more experienced riders happy also. Let us not forget that while they are not built for high speed, they do have darn good acceleration and will give many bikes that are much bigger a run for their money in a 400 meter drag race.

  32. Aleksandar  January 14th

    I dont think this is a bike at all,it is japanese and it is not begginer it is girls bike,I ride it few times and I preffer 49ccm if somebody ask………my bike is ducati monster s2r 800 and that is a street fighter,er6-n is make up……..I didnt enjoy one second on that bike……

  33. ClubPenguinCheats  April 4th

    It will stay in the garage untill this damn weather improves. Had a gilera runner before which was a nice fast scooter, hope this proves as good.

  34. ER6!  April 10th

    Wow, dude…you have a Ducati…wow, that makes you a real man!!!! jajajajaja….LMAO!.

  35. health  May 23rd

    …has anyone found the headlight to be a bit weak like me??..or maybe it’s just me 🙂

  36. tattoos  May 23rd

    God bless him 😉

  37. Dan  May 24th

    Aleksandar (Jan 14). Ducati Monster? Come on, get real! There are bikes out there that will eat that toy alive. Are you serious? Many a rider consider THAT to be a “Girl’s Bike,” whatever that means. Doesn’t it really boil down to what each individual wants? Why did the Almighty One Above choose you to be the person to decide what’s a “Real” bike? Too many riders go out and buy a powerful bike but NEVER learn to ride it to it’s full potential. Then, they look like fools when riders on less powerful bikes, but who have more experience and PROPER technique, whip their butts in the twisties/canyons every single time. “My car is better than yours.” “My house is bigger than yours.” “My computer is faster than yours.” “My bike is a REAL man’s bike.” Don’t we sound like little boys with a serious inferiority complex when we talk like that?

  38. Joakes  June 2nd

    Hi guys,

    I just returned to bikes after a 11 year break. I bought an ER6n just yesterday and have been mighty pleased with it with just a couple of exceptions.
    I find it is a little on the light side so you get blown around a bit in the wind or when you are passing large vehicles. Has anyone else found this?
    Also, the mirrors give me a great view of my shoulders and upper arms!!! (as mentioned by Rudy) I will be getting some replacement mirrors or risers/extenders very soon.
    Other than that, bags of power and torque for a little 650, nice low seat giving good low speed balance, the lights seem to be bright enough for me (answering Health’s question) after a country night ride. Of course this is only after one day and 180 k’s riding. My opinion could change over time but I see myself keeping it for a couple of years.
    Happy riding all.

  39. Sarah  July 6th

    Just bought the er6n, now im nervous to drive it, had a honda rebel, but havent ridden in a year was bored with it, moved up a few cc’s but as i said im a wee bit nervous now. Anyone got some words of encouragement for me 🙂

  40. Jesper  July 7th

    @Sarah, take a motorcycle safety class, or a beginner track day. Just to get comfortable with the bike where there’s no traffic. It might cost you a bit of money, but it is very well spent.

    Yea, and where the whole package in safety gear. So you don’t have to worry about that either.

  41. javier  August 6th

    im from peru and been ridding this bike for 5 months, and i deeply recommend this naked bike for 3rd world contries y have to literally fight the traffic like its war here… four wheel drivers are really beast in the streets…. i only wish it was a 4 cilynder but this i believe will play against de agility of the machine. Well, hope to contribute with my comments… keep ridding n be safe

  42. Harvester 58  August 9th

    consider me different : one’s i saw the first scratch on my bike’s paint job, that’s when I get the feeling “This bike is finally mine”, if you know what I mean…

  43. javier  August 9th

    no what you mean harvester, down here we have no motorbike culture and the streets are really caotic and either police an thiefs are almoust the same thing. i´ve only been down in one ocation and i had to wait for 2 months to have the original parts of the bike in the meantime i weld the broken pats to keep ridding… anyway i dream of having roads like in other countries…

  44. Joakes  August 11th

    I’ve had the bike now for 10 weeks and have done 1,800 klms. Would have been more except for the crappy weather (Melbourne). I’m still enjoying riding it. I still get that flutter of excitement as I put the gear on hit the starter. I mainly use it to get to work and back. Very good commuter and easily gets between the traffic at the lights in most cases.
    I have put mirror extenders on and it has improved rear vision quite a lot, but there is still room for improvement. That is really the only bad thing about the bike.

  45. ANDY  October 11th


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