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Monday, August 1, 2011

ER6n-R Mod - Objective and Direction

The ER6-n was first introduced in Malaysia in 2006 as a CBU (Complete Built-up Unit) which means that the bike is a fully imported completely assembled vehicle and is subject to Import Taxes by the local government agencies. It was retailing for about RM50+ thousand ringgit malaysia at the time. Being a middle weight parallel twin motorcycle with aprox 70+hp with a price tag of a locally made car was not very appealing to the local bike guys. It was not until 2009 that Kawasaki Sunrock (Local Kawasaki franchisee) decided to assemble the ER6-n locally making it a CKD (Completely Knocked Down) hence was exempted from certain Taxes & Duties that made the ER6-n stand out from the the other 600cc bikes as its cost nearly half or its original CBU price. The other competitors such as the Suzuki Gladius retails about RM10K more then the ER6-n.
As a seasoned rider having been riding since my high school days, my previous bikers were:
- Suzuki Panther 150 - 1987
- Kawasaki KRR 150 - 1990
- Yamaha Virago 400 - 2002
- Kawasaki ZZR600 - 2004
- Kawasaki ZX7R - 2006
- Kawasaki ER6-n 2011

Guess you can say that I am a Kawasaki Guy...but the local support for the brand is commendable. Even today you could get spare parts locally for a 1995 ZZR600. Good Job Kawasaki Sunrock !
Here are some pictures of my previous ride..the legendary ZX7R P2 which has been modded with a front and rear end of a ZX10R.

My first ride on the ER6-n was an eye opener for me. Never did I ever think that a 600cc bike would handle like a 250, guess the advantage lies with the narrow width of the parallel twin config presented by the Er6-n engine. Having braved the KL traffic on a daily basis previously with the Monstrous ZX7R, riding the ER6-n was a breeze, even able to keep up with the mopeds & scooters.
But the ER6-n was not a totally perfect machine. Having being built as a entry level budget sports bike, designed to appeal to a wide-ranging audience from newcomers to seasoned riders. The initial nagging weaknesses in the earlier versions were frame weakness. Owners had complained of a Frame crack near the area where the radiator mounts to the frame. The frame weakness was addressed by the 2009 version with a few re-enforcements at the weak joints. I am riding the 2010 version of the bike and I can't help but to notice that the suspension of the bike is screaming for an update. The front has a standard 41 mm telescopic fork, 120 mm (4.7 in) travel and the rear comes with a single offset lay down shock w/adjustable preload; 125 mm (4.9 in) travel. My research on the web shows that the most cost effective improvement was just to swap the internals of the 41mm fork with the Top of a SV650 fork and that will give you at least a Preload Adjustment at the top of the fork.
However I decided to go for the Zx10R fork swap option which i will be documenting in detail further in my blog.
I am doing these mods to the ER6n as a Technology update on the ER6n as I intend to keep the bike for some time. With these updates you will be able to ride the bike for at least another 5 years (no matter what kawasaki comes up with in 2012) as they will definately not upgrade the ER6n to such a Technology level as its intended as a budget entry bike