The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is set to return to a 636cc displacement, according to a spreadsheet released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With alleged spy shots of the new ZX-6R already hitting the press, the supersport-class bike noticeably takes a design cue from its liter-bike counterpart — a move that should surprise no one.

Listed by the EPA as making 129 hp (96.4 kW) at the crank, the move to have the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R be a 636cc displacement machine is interesting, as the EPA’s document does not list a 599cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6RR analog, something the Japanese brand did last time it bumped its middleweight’s displacement figure beyond the norm.

Not a true 600cc-class machine, Kawasaki will have a hard time racing the ZX-6R in any proper supersport class here in the United States, though we doubt it would be hard for Team Green to get the bike homologated for AMA Pro Racing’s Daytona SportBike class mash-up, but that’s not saying much.

Other pieces of information gleaned from the EPA’s document is that the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R has a 13,500 rpm red line, optional ABS, four-cylinders, and four-valves per cylinder. Expect the new 6R to debut this fall, at either the INTERMOT or EICMA show.

Source: EPA

  • johnny

    It’s great. Make a difference rather than stick with a defined category ;).

  • 13.5k redline? Are we going backwards? I thought the current iteration has a 15.5k redline?

    You sure they plan to make an I4?

  • Bob

    I don’t get it. I know the major OEM’s don’t really care about their 600’s but what’s the benefit of going to a 636?

  • MikeD


    Trying REALLY HARD to be the 2013 600cc I-4 ODD Ball ?

    IMPO: 36cc more ? ! , MEH….BFD. Maybe if they went 650 or more…or TRIPLE…they used to make some wicked triples, albeit 2 smokes.

    If they are making that HP # at 2k rpm lower they have made some progress there. Can 36cc more really make such difference ? If so, impressive.

    ALSO, i hope they re-dress the whole thing cause the current bike looks horrible, wich i doubt after seeing the “spy shots” of the ’13 model. Liked previous generation style way better…it looked racy w/o hurting the eyes.

    I hope too they finally bring the Versys 1000 State side…looks like something i see myself riding in 5 years or so if i can’t afford me a lightly used Super Tenere…would like it better if it had a drive-shaft instead of that needy chain.

    Rumors of the current Ninja 250 growing to 300 ? Looking forward to it too…specially if EFI becomes standard and ABS an option.

    Can’t wait for October and November to get here.

  • 2ndclass

    In terms of racing, I’d imagine Kawasaki will stockpile frames and engines of the current 599cc machine for teams to use. Just because it’s not the current model doesn’t mean it can’t be raced.

    ^^^And anyone who’s ever ridden one will tell you that the 36cc does make a difference. The old 636 models had noticeably gruntier motors.

  • Frenchie

    I agree, if these numbers are true (redline 13,500 rpm, 129 hp) it seems that Kawi is going backwards, on the last 636 model (2005-2006) the redline was 16,000 rpm and power at the crank was 130 hp…

  • MikeD


    Going back on the Tach ? Sure

    But think again….less RPM + same HP output = more efficient/powerful engine and u don’t have to wring it’s neck as hard as before to get the same results.

  • Damo


    MikeD is right. If you make the same power lower you have a much more usable powerband, which is the main issue with today’s rev hungry middle weights.

  • Frenchie

    Good points.
    That would be a complete change of philosophy, going back to 636cc and playing on torque instead of adding 500 rpm redline and 2.7 hp at each supersport iteration.

  • Just had a thought about the RPM and power figures. Does anyone remember what happened when the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R came to America?

  • MikeD

    I hope they “made their homework and studied” this time around before handing in their test sheets.

    But….and that’s very unlikely….if they have put an “electronic lid” on it to keep it at lower RPM to comply with 2013 noise and emissions standards and the thing still produces the same power………THEN……..if u UN-CORK IT (higher RPM = more HP ) it will probably RAPE the other 600s. Is being said that the smaller the bike the more felt any performance increment ?

    Just thinking out-loud. Nothing but pure speculation and conjecture of my part.

  • MikeD

    Jensen, i don’t know if linking is allowed in this case…please, proceed as u see fit. (^_^)
    Seems that Kawasaki will drop a couple of “NEW bombs” September 13 on NY Times Square.
    Maybe we won’t need to wait for Intermot or EICMA ? !

  • MikeD…no worries on the links….you must have missed the follow-up article on the Ninja 300.

  • 2013 zx6r

    Amazing what a bit of lighting an image will do. This is the 2013 zx6r, you can see the side indicators. Baby zx10r.

  • MikeD

    @2013 zx6r:

    Im gonna be the “Negative Nancy” here and say that’s the 300 and not the 636…i don’t think they woud “risk” xposing their pretty little refreshed 600 darling just like that.

    Hope im wrong………….because i sure as hell want to see new “stuff” start to leak by now.
    If both models are going basically with the SAME ZX-10R look my “claim” is total vaporware.

  • Nick Fotopoulos

    I searched that EPA document and found zilch about the 636 in there. Maybe it’s changed since you first viewed it. The only ZX listed is the ZX-10R…

  • Yup. One the news got out, the document got cleaned out of all the good bits.