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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









New Sportbike Models for 2008

Ninjas and more

5/26/2008

Kawasaki offers a wide variety of models in its sportbike category including the only 250cc sportbike on the market, the Ninja 250R, a popular choice for entry level riders. For 2009, the ER-6n has introduced a cousin to the 650R Ninja. Click on images to make them bigger.               
            

ER-6n


Description
The new ER-6n offers the performance of the popular Ninja 650R sportbike, but with a tougher street fighter image. The new styling reveals the trellis frame and parallel-twin engine whereas the fairing covers it on the 650R. For those who like the handling and performance of the 650R, but want a more stripped down, aggressive look, the ER-6n is that bike.
    
Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 649cc
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gallons
Weight: 442 pounds
Price: $6,399
Ninja 250R
Description
This is Kawasaki's top selling model in 2007 and for 2008, it received a complete makeover. The price is this Ninja's biggest selling point. You get a lot of bike for the money. It is ideal for new riders (66 percent of buyers are first timers), or experienced riders looking for a fun and reliable commuter bike. The Ninja 250R has 6-speeds wtih a carbureted engine. New features include a full-fairing similar to the Ninja ZX-6R and 10R supersport bikes, and more aggressive styling that goes head-to-head with big boy sportbikes. It no longer looks like a beginner bike. The 250R also has a natural riding position with a slightly forward-slanting seat and wide, raised handlebars that put the rider in a more ergonimically friendly position.
     
Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 249cc
Seat Height: 30.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons
Weight: 335 pounds
Price: $3,499
Ninja 500R
Description
The new ER-6n offers the performance of the popular Ninja 650R sportbike, but with a tougher street fighter image. The new styling reveals the trellis frame and parallel-twin engine whereas the fairing covers it on the 650R. For those who like the handling and performance of the 650R, but want a more stripped down, aggressive look, the ER-6n is that bike.
    
Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 649cc
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gallons
Weight: 442 pounds
Price: $6,399   
Ninja 650R
Description
The Ninja 650R is an impressively powerful middleweight that is so easy to ride. Confident beginners should have no problem handling this bike because the ergonomics and ride are dialed in just right. While seat height is a bit taller than its smaller Ninja cousins at 31.1 inches, the 650R has a compact feel to it inspiring confidence in riders. The 650R features carefully designed ergonomics for a more comfortable upright riding position. Click here to read WRN's review of this bike.
   
Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 649cc
Seat Height: 31.1 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gallons
Weight: 393 pounds
Price: $6,499
ZZR600
Description
For riders desiring a sportier ride but power in the middleweight category, the ZZR600 is an ideal choice. It features a powerful four-stroke, inline four, liquid-cooled, 6-speed, chain-driven engine with a seat height that's higher than the Ninjas at 32.3 inches. The higher seat allows for more ground clearance for a more aggressive ride. A short wheelbase increases cornering confidence and a lightweight aluminum frame provides a favorable power to weight ratio. An easily reachable and more ergonomic handlebar design adds to rider comfort. The sleek lines of the 600's aerodynamic bodywork give it a lean, athletic appearance.
   
Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 599cc
Seat Height: 32.3 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons
Weight: 377 pounds
Price: $7,299    
Z1000
Description
The Z1000 is a naked bike meaning minimal bodywork. It features aggressive street fighter looks with a ride that's smooth and comfortable due to rubber engine mounts that reduce engine vibration transfer to the rider. This is a bike for those who steer away from the every day and desire something different. It has a lot of power with most of the torque felt at the low end giving it a lot of oomph. We did a brief test ride of this bike and noticed some issues with a front end wobble when cornering due possibly to the steering dampener not being dialed in just right. Be sure to test ride it before purchasing.
         
Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 953cc
Seat Height: 32.3 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gallons
Weight: not provided by Kawasaki
Price: $8,899
Versys
Description
New for 2008, the Versys made its debut to rave reviews by the motocycle press. It is a 649cc, four-stroke, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 6-speed, chain driven motorcycle with a seat height of 33.1 inches. Admittedly, Kawasaki says it's style and positioning is hard to define. Sporbike? Commuter? Tourer? It can be all of them. The Versys is a naked street fighter with engine characteristics and styling designed to appeal to the most advanced riders, yet the bike is predictable enough to inspire confidence in less-experienced motorcyclists.
   
Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 649cc
Seat Height: 33.1 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 399 pounds
Price: $6,899
Prices, specifications and features are subject to change without notice.        


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