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2012 Kawasaki ER-6N

2012 Kawasaki ER-6N


This is the latest evolution of the model that introduced the “Fun. Style. Easy.” concept to the world. Increased engine performance makes the new ER-6n even more fun. Aggressive street-fighter looks make it even more stylish. And a slimmer new chassis and comfortable new seat make it even easier to ride than before. Whether a new rider getting acquainted with the joy of motorcycling for the first time, or an experienced rider looking for a fun, stress-free way to get around, the package offered by the ER-6n has never been more tempting.



The latest evolution of the ER-6n design is the result of the pursuit of the beauty inherent in a naked motorcycle. Sharp new bodywork is complemented by a new double-pipe perimeter-style frame and
characteristic offset laydown rear suspension to create a package with aggressive street-fighter looks. Like on its predecessor, all lines move forward and downward, suggesting a crouching countenance, however sharp new bodywork gives the new machine a much more condensed, mass-forward appearance. The ER-6n’s simple design avoids all superfluous design flourishes, highlighting the functionality of each of its
components. Attention to the smallest details contributes to the new bike’s high-quality finish.

Frame/Rear Suspension/Swingarm

Like on its predecessor, the all-new double-pipe perimeter-style frame is a key component of the ER-6n’s identity. As before, the new bodywork accentuates the frame, rather than hiding it.

Double-pipe design of the new frame, made from high-tensile steel, contributes to the bike’s lightweight appearance.

The design of the frame, rear suspension and swingarm create an integrated line running from the steering head to the rear hub.

Offset laydown rear single-shock suspension flows smoothly from theframe to the swingarm.

Following the lines of the frame and rear shock, the swingarm also features the new double-pipe design,
complementing the design of the frame and contributing to the ER-6n’s high-quality appearance. The
swingarm’s gull-arm style design on the right side enables the more aggressive angle of the muffler.

Elegant design of the one-piece rider/passenger footpeg stays complements the new swingarm.

Finish at frame joints is very clean, adding to the overall quality of the bike.


More compact headlamp shroud is shorter front to back, and designed to make it look slimmer vertically as well – an image reinforced by the smoked instrument visor.

Angular design of the stacked dual headlamp helps maintain the identity of the ER-6n while contributing to the sharp new street-fighter looks.

Fork guards mounted under the headlamp shroud contribute to the condensed, mass-forward image. They also offer protection against dirt and debris for the fork inner tubes.

Similar to the design of the Z1000, the key cylinder moves rearward to create the space needed to enable the more compact front area. The key cylinder is now located at the front of the fuel tank.

Fuel tank is 20 mm taller, helping to visually concentrate the ER-6n’s mass at the front of the bike. The rear
of the tank slopes back in a straight line to the seat.

Revised shrouds are narrower when viewed from the front. Front turn signals, previously built-in to the
shrouds, are mounted on the headlamp shroud.

Clear turn signal lenses with orange bulbs further enhance the machine’s high-quality appearance.

Blacked-out side covers help make the rear of the bike look lighter.

Sharper tail cowl is 10 mm shorter, helping to move volume away from the rear of the bike. A sharper new LED taillight contributes to the slimmer look.

Sculpted new grab bars offer an easy grip as well as tie-down points for securing small items to the rear seat.

Sharper front fender design contributes to the aggressive new image.

Sharper design for the belly cowl adds to the street-fighter image.

An inner fender helps keep the underside of the tail cowl clean and contributes to the ER-6n’s sporty look.

Attention given to detailed parts and care taken to ensure clean welding lines result in a high-quality finish.


To enable the more compact front area, the instrument cluster was moved as far back as possible. It is mounted above the handlebar.

Smoked instrument visor helps give the instrument cluster a compact appearance.

When viewed from the side, the dark colour also contributes a slimming effect to the front area.

Stacked instrument cluster features an easier-to-read layout. Analogue-style tachometer uses white
LED backlights for excellent visibility at night. The multi-function LCD screen has blue backlighting. In
addition to the fuel gauge, digital speedometer, clock, odometer and dual trip meters, new features include:
remaining range, average/instant fuel consumption and the Economical Riding Indicator.

Raised tick marks on the tachometer dial face, a bubble lens and elevated instrument frame construction contribute to the instrumentation’s greater legibility as well as a high-quality image.


The attractively bent exhaust pipes and under-engine muffler arrangement contribute to the ER-6n’s attractive styling.

Muffler end-cap has a sharper design and both the end-cap and silencer are set at a steeper angle, contributing to an aggressive and lightweight image.

Hairline finish on the header pipes and silencer adds to the quality finish in this area.


Triple petal disc brakes contribute to the bike’s sporty image. Attractive 6-spoke wheels give the bike a light look while reducing unsprung weight.


The ER-6n’s Parallel Twin engine configuration was chosen as the best balance of good power characteristics and compact size. Engine tuning delivered both a rider-friendly character ideal for new riders and performance to put a smile on the faces of more experienced riders. The engine’s compact size was one of the keys to realising the ER-6n’s slim package. The 2012 engine offers more low-mid range torque for more fun and greater usability in everyday riding situations, while maintaining the smooth, high-revving character of its predecessor.

Engine Performance

Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve 649 cm3 Parallel Twin with fuel injection delivers smooth, responsive performance, especially in the low and medium rpm ranges. The engine was tuned for rider-friendly power characteristics that will inspire confidence in new riders.

The engine’s excellent mid-range power characteristics make the bike especially fun to ride at medium speeds on city streets. Roll-on response is exceptional, offering impressive passing performance.

Intake ducts extend through the frame tubes to ensure a source of cool fresh air for the engine. This also
contributes to the induction note, adding to rider excitement.

Air cleaner uses a paper filter element (previously oil-wetted foam) for improved air flow and dirt filtration

Large-bore 38 mm throttle bodies feature sub-throttles for high power output with smooth, sensitive throttle response.

Connector tube joining the header pipes helps eliminate peaks and valleys in the torque curve, resulting
in smoother power delivery.

Under-engine muffler with larger volume and revised internal construction delivers increased torque in the everyday range below 7,000 rpm. The increased performance facilitates control at lower rpm and contributes to the enhanced enjoyment of the new ER-6n.

Compact Engine Design

The ER-6n’s 649 cm3 liquid-cooled power unit is loaded with innovative technology that enabled its compact design to be realised:

Triangular layout of the crankshaft and transmission shafts makes the engine very short front-to-back.

Transmission input shaft, output shaft and change drum are contained in a “cassette”-style package that both allows a compact layout and facilitates transmission maintenance chores.

Semi-dry sump design reduces engine height.

Plated, linerless cylinder is lightweight, and the narrow cylinder pitch reduces engine width.

Under-engine muffler improves mass centralisation and lowers the bike’s centre of gravity.

Euro-III Compliant

The combination of efficient fuel injection and a 3-way catalyser inside the muffler result in low emissions.

Revised muffler internal construction and catalyser layout ensure clean emissions that will pass stringent Euro-III regulations.


The ER-6n’s compact size is due largely to its compact Parallel Twin engine, which enabled the use of a narrow, lightweight frame. While the new double-pipe perimeter-style frame, clearly visible, maintains the key design elements of its predecessor, a new backbone-style rear frame design enables an even slimmer package. Rigidity balance of the new frame and swingarm, and new suspension settings deliver lighter, easier
handling, while maintaining the sporty nature of the previous model. And with a new seat contributing to both comfort and peace of mind, care of an easier reach to the ground, the new ER-6n is more accessible than ever.

More Compact Package

Together with the compact engine and new rear frame, the frame’s design realises a package that is slim, low, lightweight and compact.

The compact engine allows use of a slim, minimalist frame, resulting in a design that is narrow at the knees and feet.

The compact engine also allows an extremely short wheelbase, giving light and nimble handling.

Because a long swingarm can be used, rear suspension action and handling are both improved.

3D analysis was used to achieve the ideal stiffness balance for the frame, contributing to the superb handling characteristics.

The frame is constructed of high-tensile steel, giving it a lightness rivalling that of aluminium frames.

The layout of the offset single-shock rear suspension allows the battery to be located beside the shock instead of beneath it. This elegant arrangement allows a lower seat height as well as a slim design.

Slim backbone-style rear frame design allows all components to be positioned closer to the bike

Up top, the tubular seat rails are replaced by a single beam (formed from interlocked C-section pieces).
The slim design enables the more comfortable seat construction.

At the swingarm pivot, the lower part of rear frame is supported by two sleeves through which the swingarm
bolt passes. This enables a narrower design between the rider’s feet, facilitating the reach to the ground.

The new rear frame also enables an increased payload (180 kg - 200 kg).

The same characteristics that make it fun to ride (responsive handling and rider-friendly ergonomics), also make the ER-6n ideal for new riders.

A short wheelbase and tight turning radius contribute to the ER-6n’s high manoeuvrability.

Lighter Handling

The rigidity balance of the double-pipe frame and swingarm contributes to a lighter, easier handling package.

Rigid-mount engine is a stressed member, contributing to the frame’s idealised rigidity balance.

The swingarm’s new double-pipe design makes use of a D-section tube (upper right tube) for optimal rigidity.

Revised suspension has longer stroke front and rear, offering both sporty handling and enhanced comfort. Rear shock length and stroke are 2 mm longer; front fork is 15 mm longer with 5 mm longer stroke to match the rear. The longer strokes enable lower spring rates. Damping was revised accordingly.

Increased Comfort

Two-piece seat features thicker cushioning for increased comfort.

The front seat is not only thicker at the top edge, but thanks to the new rear frame design the plastic seat
base construction was completely revised, enabling much thicker cushioning throughout.

Sporty looking tandem seat with thick cushioning ensures good passenger comfort.

Ergonomic passenger grips are positioned to make them easy for tandem riders to grab. Good
passenger confidence makes it easier for riders when carrying a pillion.

Revised suspension settings also contribute to an overall increase in ride comfort. Handlebar is rubber-mounted to reduce vibration transmitted through the handle grips and to the mirrors.

Seat bracket is rubber-mounted at the front to reduced vibration transferred through the seat.

Footpeg stays are rubber-mounted and both rider and pillion footpegs are rubber-coated to further reduce vibration.

Rider-friendly Ergonomics

The riding position was specially designed to inspire rider confidence. An ideal relationship between the handlebars, seat and footpegs results in a comfortable and natural position suitable for a wide range of riders.

Slightly wider handlebar (10 mm each side) offers larger riders a little more room.

The narrow frame and engine create a narrow overall package, allowing the rider to keep his or her knees and feet close together.

Thanks to the low seat height and slim overall design, it’s easy to keep both feet firmly on the ground when stopped, an important consideration for many riders.

While the new seat does not lower the seat height, its construction and the narrower distance between the pivot covers (both possible thanks to the slim new rear frame design) result in a slimmer package between the rider’s feet. Riders are now able to put their feet on the ground approximately 50 mm closer together
(each side), which makes the reach to the ground feel significantly shorter.


Dual 300 mm front petal disc brakes and 220 mm rear petal disc look great and deliver plenty of braking power.

Front brake master cylinder uses a 14 mm piston; 27 mm pistons are used for the twin-piston front brake calipers.

Revised front brake pads for non-ABS models offer increased stopping power.

In addition to the very effective petal disc brakes, customers looking for an added degree of reassuring braking performance can also choose models with front and rear ABS (available in certain markets).

Compact new ABS unit has a more advanced processor that enables more precise ABS control.


Auto-fast idle system simplifies starting and ensures the catalyser reaches optimum temperature quickly.

Simplified cooling system routes coolant through the engine cases to the cylinder and head to reduce external plumbing.

180° crankshaft drives a balancer shaft for silky smooth engine operation. The water pump is driven off the right end of the balancer shaft.

Oil jets located in the rod big-ends direct oil to the undersides of the pistons for added cooling.

Lightweight plug-mounted ignition coils deliver a hot spark while saving space.

Lightweight fuel pump mounted inside the fuel tank.

Revisions to the cylinder head and header joints (now collars and gaskets instead of flanges and gaskets) offer increased reliability and durability.

Clutch cable made with thinner strands results in a lighter lever pull, reducing the effort needed when shifting gears, and also facilitates feeling the clutch engagement point.


Mirrors are positioned higher (10 mm) for a better rear view.

Both clutch and brake levers are position-adjustable.

thicker front rim is stronger, contributing to the increased payload.

Compact new battery is shorter, which also contributes to the realisation of the new seat construction.

Four tie-down hooks allow baggage or a spare helmet for a passenger to be secured to the seat.

Under-seat storage space has room for a U-lock or similar device.

The turn signals also function as hazard lights.