Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Kawasaki ER6-n

Mon, February 22nd, 2010

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Featuring a different Kawasaki street bike each day.

2009-2010 Kawasaki ER6-n
The 650 twin is classed as a 'beginner bike' and dismissed by many as 'just a midsized twin.' But let's put that in perspective: the ER-6n would have been amongst the fastest production bikes in the world 30 years ago. It is still no slouch. Some say it vibrates a bit too much, but once again, that is just being nit-picky by anything but 2010 standards.
There is nothing to complain about the ER-6n's handling, it steers nicely, corners and is reassuringly steady on the highway. Again, this score is a sign of how much bikes have improved over the last decade or so, and just how many excellent bikes are out there now.
At first, the silly sideblades and overly-ambitious styling looked horrible to me. The fact that it is functionally excellent prompted me give it another look, and I must confess it has grown on me over time. Many of the details are still too cluttered (especially the exhaust and lower engine shields, and that silly headlight) but it does have a certain panache. It certainly isn't boring or bland.
Despite a few chintzy covers and plastic pieces, you shouldn't have trouble with one for years.
The only issues are a too-wide tank and a lousy seat. But the ER6-n's price means you can afford a nice Corbin saddle.
It looks like a transformer and is heir to the EX500's squid-bike throne. I should hate it, but I must grudgingly admit to being intrigued, perhaps even a bit enthralled by it.
It's on my short list of bikes to buy.