The 2023 models will hit U.S. dealerships by late spring.
Changes to the FIM Supersport racing rules effectively put the 600cc supersport sector to rest. Yamaha abandoned the YZF-R6 platform even before the amended criteria were implemented, owing to high production costs and low sales.
We expected more manufacturers to follow Yamaha’s lead in 2022, with versions like the KTM 890 Duke R, Triumph Street Triple 765 RS, Ducati Panigale V2, and MV Agusta F3 800 lining up alongside the 600cc inline-fours. Team Green is already scaling up production for the 2023 Ninja ZX-6R model, which isn’t the situation with Kawasaki.
Kawasaki isn’t just sticking to its guns; it’s also not fixing what isn’t broken, and the ZX-6R keeps many of its distinguishing features. The 636cc liquid-cooled DOHC engine has a modest advantage over its 600cc supersport competitors, and Kawi makes full use of that extra displacement. The brand hasn’t disclosed power estimates for the 2023 model, but we expect it to be similar to the 127 horsepower and 52.1 lb-ft of torque claimed by the 2022 ZX-6R.
A quickshifter, selectable power modes, and a slipper and assist clutch help the user extract the most performance from the time-tested mill. On the other hand, two power modes, multi-level traction control, and ABS enable riders to adapt the Ninja to different conditions, whether on the track or on the road. Of course, Kawi shoehorns the potent powerplant into an aluminum perimeter frame suspended by a Showa big piston inverted fork and Uni-Trak rear shock.
Radially-mounted, four-piston Nissin monobloc calipers clamping twin 310mm discs provide all the stopping power and feel necessary for track duty. Kawasaki offers the Metallic Matte Twilight Blue/Metallic Diablo Black colorway for $10,699 and the Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray / Metallic Diablo Black commands a few extra bucks at $10,999.
Thanks to Team Green’s early production schedule, Kawi customers can expect the 2023 street models to hit U.S. dealerships by late spring. Yes, the 600cc supersport segment may be thinning out, but the 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is still intent on dominating the competition.