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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of getting back into riding and considering the ER-6N. Looking for any opinions/comments about the bike. Things you like, thinks you hate, anything and everything.

I've done some reading on here and another forum. The only mechanical issues that I've spotted is that the Kawi 650 engines tends to run hot, specifically the ER-6N/F fans either don't do a good job of cooling the engine during slow movement or at idle, or the temperature gauge isn't detecting and activating the fan. Some say it results in overheat shut down, others say it just runs really hot. Any other owners had any problems?

I guess some back ground about myself:
Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Seasonal rider, March - November, typically don't ride in rain.
5 years riding.
Bike history: 1988 CBR250 loaner, 2001 WR250, 2008 Ninja250, 2005 ZX-6R.
60% of riding done commuting to and from work.
30% canyon carving.
10% cruising town.
Attended 4 track days which are fun but; the times I most enjoyed riding were day trips through the valleys and mountains. Probably will still want to ride the track at least once a year.

Any comments would be appreciated.
 

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Sit on it, if you like the look and how it feels then buy it and ride it like you stole it. I have a 650 ninja and I love it. I don't think you will have to worry about the heat in Vancouver, maybe it getting wet ;)
 

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I have had an ER6n for almost a year, it just turned 10,000 miles last week. I live in Vegas, rode all summer, no problems with overheating. The bike is great for around town, it is really agile and I can maneuver it at low speeds really easily. It has a grunty motor with as much torque as my 600 sportbike and for around town, they get off the line about as quick as each other.

The biggest problem I am having with bike is the suspension, it feels oversprung and sometimes it gets a little bouncy in bumpy corners. It isn't so bad I want to spend the money to change it, but depending on how aggressivelly you ride, it could be an issue. I also feel like the steering is a little twitchy at high speeds.

The seat is a bit hard and for longer rides I found myself looking forward to stopping for fuel to give my butt a rest.

As a commuter, I would have a hard time finding fault with the bike, great gas mileage (42mpg with a mix of highway and in town, 50mpg highway), comfortable riding position and enough power to put cages in the rearview when necessary. The bike is fun for riding the twisty roads, but here is where some the previously mentioned issues show up.

For track riding, I have a sportbike, and here there is no contest, the SS feels more planted (I did get the suspension reworked on this bike, however) and has way more top end (+/-100hp for SS, +/- 70hp for ER6). But people do take ER6's to the track and have fun with them.

Another issue with the bike is the brakes. I have upgraded the pads, but they still feel a bit vague sometimes. Again, not so bad that I want to spend money to upgrade, but compared to my sportbike they are not as good.

The ER6n is a great bang for the buck, however, after a year on this bike, I am craving a bit more power, better braking and better handling in a similar midsized naked bike. This is a budget bike, and it doesn't have top spec equipment, but it is a lot of fun for the price point. As long as your expectations are realistic for what these bikes are capable of, you will get lots of smiles for the miles.
Hope this rambling monologue helps.
 

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I have had my ER6-N for 4 months now so getting used to it a bit. I love it. everyone tells me they love the look of it, and when other riders sit on it they all compliment the riding position so it must be good. I think its a great mixture of bikes in one, its got lots of grunt in all gears so will happily sit at 30 in 6th if its slowish traffic, but is happy at high revs too if your on twisty roads. Iv had 2 sports bikes before this and always felt a bit uncomfortable for no reason considering on my 6:30 AM commute to work on a cold wet morning, the sports position made it seem alot harder. But the er6 is so much more rideable its a joy to ride. There are a couple of bad points for me but these are more aimed at naked bikes in general rather than the er6 itself, iits horrible on the motorway (highway). The wind hits you so hard because you have no fairings to direct the wind away so its not ideal if you do commute on highways. And also at 80mph in top gear its revving its nuts off so i almost felt like i was over revving it even though i know they are good for 120 mph. But i only commute through a sleepy villiage and then a small town so they dont affect me day to day so depends on the riders needs. I agree with DAZO about the brakes, they are a tad spongy, iv fitted shorty clutch and brake levers so thats improved feel alot but i cant wait for my current pads to run out so i can stick Brembo pads on and see if that helps. Let us know what you get! Happy buying.
 

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things i dont like about the 650; brakes + suspension. everything else does the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips y'all. Yes, I have taken a 2012 for a spin at the dealership as I didn't want to waste anyone's time who's reselling. I did like the rider's position, the foot pegs are high like a supersport but the high handle bars gives the back and core muscles a rest. After the test run, it's what made me decide on finding a ER-6N or similar bike.

I've read about the bad reviews regarding the brakes. Yeah definitely the first thing to get replaced.

As for the heat, I do ride up to the edge of the central interior of BC where temperatures do reach mid 30C, I thinks that's around 95 degrees F. Sure would suck to have your bike overheat up there, it would be a long, late ride home.

Thx all.
 

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you dont need to really replace the brakes. upgrade to stainless steel lines and some better brake pads and it will suffice.

the overheating thing is probably more mental than anything. being a naked bike the heat isnt really directed by plastics on a faired bike so it probably scatters the heat. in reality i dont remember my 650 being a very hot bike; i dont think any modern liquid cool bike really overheats; atleast i never heard of such a thing
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feed back all. I think I'm going test ride a few more bikes similar bikes, SV650.

Great info. I think you guys are right on about expectations, can't compare to a supersport. I got to keep a open mind.
 

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Bought my ER-6N in May 2012.

As a commuterbike it can't be beat.. good acceleration.. quick steering... and as mentioned the fuel consumption is good.

If you like bike trips on weekends, anything more than 100kms on highways is a pain. Fun on back roads.

It needs to be revved for the engine to wake up.. anything below 4k on the tach and its pretty lame. As mentioned earlier, you need to ride it like you stole it!

If you carry a pillion often then look elsewhere... in this respect its more like a sports bike..

Hope this helps.

Anil
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the input Anil.

Aside from my early learning how to ride with the WR250, this would be my first bike minus fairings. I didn't get a chance to rip the ER on a highway or at any "over the limit" speeds to get a feeling of the wind. Here in Vancouver, you pretty much need to take the highway 50-100km before you get to the good roads. But I'm thinking it shouldn't be that big of a deal because Vancouver highway speeds limits are at 80 to 100 km/h (50-60mph). My commute to work is on a 70-80km/h highway.

As for the bad seat mentioned earlier, I was hoping that an Air Hawk or a seat cushion would remedy this. I'm also hoping my butt might have a high tolerance as I have done 600kms on a ZX-6R in a day.
 

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i can easily do 300km a day on my 12 ER6N with a passenger but then they rarely weigh more than 50kg. its a pain to fly 10,000km to meet them but the weather is much better over there :)
 

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I had an 2012 ER6N for a little over a year and put 30,000km plus on the clock. Fun bike, easy to ride. Although I did several long trips on it, it isn't really built for it. I have since moved on to a Versys 650 which I am loving because I do a lot of somewhat long distance trips. It has better suspension and to my taste better handling.

Having said that, the ER6N is a better commuter (easier to flat foot if you are under 6') and fun for shorter day trips. I had hard luggage installed on mine but again it didn't like it much, especially the top box once you got past around 140km/h.And two up isn't great for longer trips unless the pillion weighs less than 50kg. These issues are partly to do with the short wheel base, which on the other hand make it so flickable and nimble. Considering your needs it's probably more suitable for you than the Versys - bang for buck it is a good buy. Go for at least the 2012 model if you do.
 

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Perfect commuter, and GREAT fun on the twisty back roads.

I had a 22yr break from riding, after a BIG smash in my teens. It was the look of the 'N' (along with 12yrs of soul destroying traffic jams getting to work) that enticed me back to riding!

I test road the N & F + Versys, Z750, Z800, VN900 models (Also test road, Honda VT750 & CB600, Suzuki Gladius, Vstrom & SV650) but was ALWAYS gonna buy Kawasaki
I have also ridden the 636 on a Track day at the Chris Walker race School. Great fun, but not a practical 'everyday' bike (IMO)

Here in the UK we commute on the motorways the other side of 70 mph.

1: Without the fairing, these speeds were not fun on the naked bikes. When you add a little water spray in there on the 'not so sunny days' we get ALLOT of here in the UK, it can be & is quite miserable.
2: When lane filtering, I found the Versys a little to high to securely plant both feet in heavy traffic.
3: The cruisers (for me) were like riding Prozak, + terrible for lane filtering (WAaay too heavy & wide & scraping foot plates is not something I like the sound of when cornering!)

Points considered, I settled on the 'F' (650R) model in the end, and have not regretted it!

When having fun (above 6K revs) the parrellel twin has a throaty burble that's utterly endearing, especially with the Scorpion exhaust I fitted.

When commuting, it'll sit at 80mph 6K revs with the eco light on & I get approx 60mpg!

Torque wise, I can easily keep up with the guys I ride with (who have much bigger bikes) until they hit the other side of 80mph

+ Loads of companies out there providing aftermarket mods.

I have also added, and recommend upgrading to a set of braided brake lines & updated the pads, but other than that, these little budget machines are EXCELLENT ALLrounders!
 

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Hello there, I own a first generation Er6-n and I would definitely recommend you to buy one for your intended use.

As concerns the overheating issues that you mentioned, all I can say is that the Mk.I model has a smaller radiator but I never had any overheating issues despite riding in extremely hot conditions. I only remember a couple of instances of coolant “spitting” from the overflow valve.

You will have a lot of fun almost everywhere except for the highway but only if you want to go faster than 160kph.

You can even cross Transfagarasan:


Or have fun in a racetrack:



So go for it and you will not regret it!


 

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I own 2010 ER6N and i ride it every day all year long for last 42000km :)
Everything have been said, so just try few bikes and you'll find what suits you most.
(If ER can handle Israeli summer heat, you have nothing to worry about)

But it does heating up, you can always cool it down ;)




Ride on and have fun!
 

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I ride the hell out of my 650r in the Florida heat all summer and have never had an overheating issue. I DO use Engine Ice on my bike, but even before the switch the fan would cycle while sitting a red lights and never any coolant spew.

Great, inexpensive bikes for commuting, flicking in twisties, gas mileage and long riding (if you're a true long rider - any bike works for long rides!)

As for the seat, to help with multiple day rides on a trip I'd suggest checking out Spencer's work at greatdaytoride.com. He does good things.
 
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