Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R – First Ride Review

Kawasaki changes the game with their 2019 Ninja ZX-6R. Dollar for dollar, the most fun you can have for under 10K.

When Kawasaki announced the manufacturer suggested retail price of the 2019 Ninja ZX-6R, $9999 (ABS $10,999, ABS KRT $11,299), the excitement was palpable. The only thing more apparent than the thrill of a new Ninja ZX-6R was the intrigue in what type of package could be contained in a motorcycle that has been priced at less than ten grand. A brand new middleweight sportbike for less than ten thousand dollars with real value?

As motorcycle technology advances, the price trend over the last several years has been on a steady incline with costs that eventually trickled down to the consumer level. Maintaining a motorcyclist’s lifestyle has never been inexpensive. While a portion of the expenses was about keeping up with the proverbial Joneses, a more significant amount is dedicated to having the best performing equipment so that our rider experience was all that it should be, could be and then some. It is one of the reasons why the secondary or used motorcycle market has been so strong in the last decade. A large slice of the market would purchase a “new to them” bike for a fair price and then spend a few more grand on upgrades to get the machine closer to their desired level of appearance and performance. And this is not about taking into account the number of bikes sold privately, that never hit the showroom floor. Modern technology has a modern price tag.

So the question was, what could a new, from the factory to the showroom floor, midsize motorcycle with a price tag of $9,999 offer the people? To answer that, Kawasaki held a two-day press launch in Las Vegas to show what the 2019 Ninja ZX-6R was bringing to the table, on the street and the racetrack. Day one consisted of an in-depth introduction to the new model, followed by a spirited ride on the ABS version up to Mount Charleston, just outside of Las Vegas. We followed that up with a full track day on the base model at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, complete with pit crew and personal crew chief…


Images: Kevin Wing

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