A motorbike sportier to ride

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THE outgoing ER-6f was already a very popular bike and thankfully Kawasaki haven’t felt the need to radically alter it, rather improve its slight failings and make a good bike even better. The new chassis and looks are improved and the fairing adds an element of practicality that its naked brother, the ER-6n, is lacking. The seat height is low, engine punchy and fun and the handling light. In or out of town, the ER-6f is a brilliant commuter and a great first big bike. What’s not to like?

With its suspension slightly firmer than the ER-6n, the ER-6f feels a touch sportier to ride. In town it is just as adept at absorbing potholes, however when the pace increases outside the city’s streets the ER-6f is surprisingly agile with predictable, stable and light handling. The fairing is reasonable effective at deflecting the worst of the weather and more importantly it gives the ER-6f a cool sporty look. Like the ER-6n, anyone over 5ft 2in will have no problem reaching the floor, making it a very reassuring bike to ride at low speed.

The small changes Kawasaki have made to the ER-6f’s fuel-injection settings and ECU have increased the parallel twin’s spread of torque and made it feel even punchier and quicker to accelerate. There is a different rasp from the more angular exhaust and the 650 fires off the throttle with near-perfect fuelling. For newer riders the engine is friendly when needs be, yet get it going and it is deceptively fast which is satisfying for more experience riders. It’s not intimidating in the least, just faster than you would expect of such a relaxed machine.

The engine is reliable but the build quality and finish can often come in for criticism and the fairing is known to rattle.

Whether you want a capable commuter or a bike for weekend thrills, the ER-6f can give you both. It may ‘only’ be a 600 but it’s a bike that’s accessible and fun for everyone. The dash has a fuel gauge, eco mode display and the petal discs are a nice touch. ABS is an optional extra. — SG


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