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The faired Kawasaki Ninja 650R, also known as the ER-6f, and its un-faired sister model Kawasaki ER-6n were introduced in 2006 by Kawasaki. They are middleweight, parallel-twin engined motorcycles, designed for normal use on paved roads. They have modern styling and features, with low-seating ergonomics, a low center of gravity, and respectable, manageable power output. The design was intended to appeal to a wide-ranging audience from newcomers to seasoned riders. The engine is relatively unusual in employing a 180 degree crankshaft. This results in an uneven firing interval (180 degrees, 540 degrees) which gives the engine note a distinctive “throbbing” quality.
The 650R/faired ER-6, known as the ER-6f overseas, was introduced to the market in 2006. The unfaired ER-6n was not sold in North America until the 2009 model year. The motorcycle fits above the Ninja 250R and Ninja 500R models, which already existed in Kawasaki’s sportbike lineup, which includes the Ninja ZX models. For 2009, Kawasaki released an updated Ninja 650R which includes new bodywork, mirrors, gauges, lighting, and a new tune on the same 649 cc engine. The curb weight is reported as 440.9 lb (200.0 kg) instead of the previous dry weight of 393 lb (178 kg).
In Europe the Ninja 650R is sold as the ER-6f (“f” denoting faired) version of the ER-6, the “naked” roadster version is sold as the ER-6n. In 2009, Kawasaki introduced the ER-6n in the USA. The ER-6f differs slightly from the Ninja 650R as it features the passenger handlebars as standard (as does the ER-6n). In addition, the option of ABS brakes were made available for both the ER-6n and ER-6f. There is also a derivative of the ER-6 called the Versys which utilizes many of the same component parts as the Ninja 650R. In many European countries the 6n naked version has proven considerably more popular than the ER-6f; however in other countries, such as Australia, the faired Ninja 650R has proven to be more popular than the un-faired ER-6n, becoming the most popular ‘sports-tourer’ in the Kawasaki lineup.