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Engine refinements makes this Supersport contender even stronger
Introduced last year with AMA SuperSport competition in mind, the NINJA(r) ZX-6RR sport motorcycle returns to the 2004 Kawasaki lineup with upgrades to the engine and powertrain for even higher on-track performance.>br>
With feedback from Kawasaki factory roadracers Tony Meiring and Tommy Hayden, both of whom compete aboard NINJA ZX-6RR sportbikes in AMA Supersport roadracing, several modifications have been made to the middleweight NINJA, including new cams, larger intake valves, a revised intake system and new gear ratios for the six-speed transmission.
The ZX-6RR engine is a liquid-cooled, DOHV, 16-valve, 599cc, four cylinder, four-stroke engine that delivers performance worthy of AMA Supersport competition. To give racers and sportbike enthusiasts even more power, Kawasaki engineers changed the shape of the combustion chambers, redesigned the piston crowns and added molybdenum coating to the skirts to reduce friction and mechanical loss. In conjunction with these changes, intake ports are smaller to further increase induction velocity, intake valves are 0.5mm larger for better breathing at all rpm and camshaft profiles have been changed to produce more lift. Gear ratios for the oil pump have also been changed to reduce mechanical loss, contributing to the engine's high-revving nature.
The ZX-6RR is fed by an advanced fuel injection system that utilizes large-bore 38mm throttle bodies with new twin injectors - one located near the airbox and the other t the intake manifold. A 32-bit high-speed microprocessor-controls timing and is ultra-responsive to engine needs. The integrated system helps ensure smooth linear power characteristics and high engine output and with low emissions. A centrally located ram-air duct system contributes to intake efficiency and saves weight by eliminating a number of parts needed for previous Ram Air designs.
As a production sportbike that must meet homologation rules for AMA competition, the NINJA ZX-6RR must also comply with important emissions standards. Helping to do this is the KCA (Kawasaki Clean Air) system, which routes fresh air to the ZX-6RR's exhaust ports. What little exhaust gasses are left after combustion are expelled through a light, stainless steel exhaust system that increases engine performance.
A multi-plate wet clutch with back-torque limiter transfers power to a revised six-speed transmission with even closer gear ratios for better on-track performance. The back-torque limiter feature helps to prevent wheel hop during aggressive corner entry, while lime green coating has been added to the side plates of the X-ring drive chain for a cool, racy look.
The ZX-6RR's engine rests inside a pressed aluminum perimeter frame that is rigid and delivers crisp and stable handling performance. Sheets of aluminum are pressed to shape, then welded together, to produce remarkable strength and low weight. An aluminum subframe is also lightweight and is easily removed for conducting routine maintenance.
The advanced, rear aluminum swingarm features internal ribbing for high torsional rigidity and low weight, and utilizes an adjustable pivot that allows riders to fine-tune handling for specific conditions. Light weight aluminum components are also used in the UNI-TRAK(r) linkage system, which produces progressively stiffer damping and spring rates as the fully adjustable shock is compressed. A nitrogen-gas charged Kayaba shock with a piggyback reservoir features a threaded collar spring preload adjuster and fully adjustable rebound and compression damping, while a top-out spring improves shock action. To alter ride height, various combinations of 1mm-thick shims can be inserted between the shock and its frame mount to further tune handling.
Up front, the ZX-6RR rides on a fully adjustable inverted 41mm fork to provide high rigidity and superior feedback. Top-out springs and adjustable spring preload are fitted to the fork to maximize performance throughout the stroke range.
Traditionally used for racing applications, radial-mounted, four-piston, four-pad front brake calipers grace the NINJA ZX-6RR. This high-performance braking system utilizes four independent brake pads in each caliper to clamp down on semi-floating 280mm front disc rotors, resulting in exceptional feel, high heat resistance, superior braking power and longer brake pad life. Braking power for the rear wheel is provided by a single 220mm disc brake.
The NINJA ZX-6RR's race-inspired fairing offers an exceptionally low drag coefficient for slippery aerodynamics and the central Ram Air duct gives the front of the bike an aggressive identity. Lightweight and very bright multi-reflector dual headlights provide great visibility while enhancing the aggressive head-on appearance for which NINJA sportbikes are famous. Tucked behind the cowling is a compact instrument cluster featuring a bar-type LCD tachometer, digital LCD speedometer, programmable shift light and a stopwatch-style 99-lap timer. The cluster also includes a digital temp gauge, clock, tripmeter and indicator lamps.
Features that compliment the track-oriented ergonomics include one-piece aluminum clip-on handlebars, while the fuel tank and seat are shaped to allow the rider to mold to the chassis, making the ZX-6RR an extension of the rider.