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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hiya guys and gals! today at work, my coworker told me something that i found rather troublesome. i thought this would make for a good discussion. well, i hope it does. if anything i'd get better schooled in kawasaki history and what not.

anyway, he mentioned that all ZX 6 kawasaki's from 1992 - 2006 uses the same engine. i'm not at all mechanically inclined. nor have i been keeping up with all of kawasaki's activities thru the years. so here is my question. is it true, did kawasaki use the same engine from 1992 to 2006? hope to hear from all those knowledgeable kawiriders out there.
 

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same ........ I don't think so........... maybe the same block
 

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Most engines evolve over a period of time, mostly to keep up with ever tightening emissions regulations. So you could go dissect just about any engine & say it dates back to whenever.

So yes you could say that the 600 in 1992 is similar to the 2006 one but when you anaylise the improvements that have been made to them over the years, there may be very little that would be interchangeable.

The other way to look at it is that if an engine has had a long lifespan then the original design was probably right in the first place. Kawasaki have been very good at making good robustly engineered engines which stand the test of time.

Kawasaki were the first people to introduce a 600 water cooled engine in the mid '80's so you could in theory say it dates back to the original 600 Ninja. Likewise the 1200 had evolved from the GPZ900R, the 500 twin being half of an oversize 900 and is still in use today in the 500R Ninja.

Something that Kawasaki have realised in the last few years is that even though these old designs are competent against the other Jap makes, is that they do not have an edge over the compatition & are getting ever more difficult to make them comply with emissions legislation. This is why Kawasaki are giving most of their range a serious makeover, with the introduction of the 650 twin, the 1400, the 10R a few years ago and a total redesign on the 600 for '07. Kawasaki were treading water for a good many years in the 90's and are catching up on lost time.

End of the day the basic design of most makes is similar, i.e. water cooled, chain driven double overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder, wet clutch etc, it's how they implement the design that makes the difference. What is significant at the moment is that the new Kawasaki designs are on a par with the best out there and with a bit of development even Honda will be struggling to better them.
 

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Seen how engines every year only have minor changes made. Think there's a philosphy. Once a good design is established why chance it.
If an engine is water cooled, 4 valves per cylinder. Same as what's used in new engines. It's possible engine is same for all those years. You could tell if they look the same for starters.
 

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Seen how engines every year only have minor changes made. Think there's a philosphy. Once a good design is established why chance it


Thats why the in line four cylinder hasn't changed since 1969. Sure the particulars of the engine have been improved but the basic design is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hey all!

thanks for the responses! in my absence i've also been brushing up on my kawasaki knowledge during my non riding time :smile as i have been reading a lot on past articles i find online. i thought this article from motorcycledaily on the 2007 ZX 6R sums it up pretty nicely! here is just a piece of the article:

The all-new engine is the first time in ten years that Kawasaki has completely redesigned their middleweight four-cylinder - according to the company, all their other 600s in the last decade have been 'evolution' designs. The new engine follows all the usual conventions of redesigning a modern sportbike inline-four for more power: careful design of the cylinder head, intake and exhaust tracts to improve breathing; refinement of the internal components for reduced reciprocating weight, greater strength, and less friction; more efficient cooling passages to keep operating temps lower; and finally, larger crankcase vents reduce pumping losses. The whole target of this engine-development program was to produce not just a more powerful motor, but one with a much broader, more useable powerband - one that would give the ZX-6R ultimate performance firing out of a corner at any speed
i'm not at all troubled as i was at the time that my coworker mentioned the engine design. in fact, reading the response here put it all in prespective very nicely! after reading your response, i agree. why mess with a good thing! i'd like to thank you zxforum members. but, the engine is not entirely the same. with changes to specific portions being upgraded. obviously kawi felt that they only needed to improve on specifics thru the years. as it was mentioned by Shortcircuit! woot! tho, now i'm some what sad :runaway not in a down way, tho. just reading up on the articles on the new ZX 6R for 2007. makes my slimer feel old already and the beast is not even a year old :lol

oh, if you want to read up on the entire article here it is:
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/21december06_6rpt2.htm

hmmm, which brings up a new question... i wonder if the 2007 motor could be mounted in a 2006 frame? :headscratch

thanks again for the responses, ride safe and fun!
 

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hmmm, which brings up a new question... i wonder if the 2007 motor could be mounted in a 2006 frame? :headscratch
Reports so far are that the bike is a total redesign from the ground up. Kawasaki are looking at making a real impression in the various Supersports championships. Apparently the new one handles more like a 250. I guess we'll see how good it is as the racing season progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Reports so far are that the bike is a total redesign from the ground up. Kawasaki are looking at making a real impression in the various Supersports championships. Apparently the new one handles more like a 250. I guess we'll see how good it is as the racing season progresses.
total redesign, after i bought the slimer, :lol talk about timing! can't wait to see how kawi does in the race season. after thinking about the engine question. i was contemplating, may be trading in the slimer for a 2007. shameful i know but, it seems easier to swap out the rear then an engine. besides don't think that 2007 engine would mount in the 2006 frame. dig the 2007 models just can't stand the rear.
 
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I wouldn't worry about it to much, if you consider that for 10 yrs they were making improvements to the old engine it means that there were a lot of potential bugs to be worked out, what you have is the farthest they could go with that engine. Next year who knows what'll happen, not saying that it'll be bad, but what your riding is probably a little more bulletproof.

At least that's the way that I saw it happen in the car business. I sold Hyundai's and Suzuki's for the better part of a year last year and Hyundai has recently compltetely redesigned all but 2 of it's model's. The most extreme case of NEW not being better, recall on all Hyundai Van's, turns out the brake lines rubbed and failed after 5000 miles... bummer. Just an example of why "new new" can sometimes be a little frustrating.

(I ride a 86' zx1000R Ninja, I hear that was in the Concours right into 04' or 05'!!)
 

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put it this way...

take a 1996 motor side by side with a 2006 motor, and you'll find there are NO parts similarities. none. zip. zero. nada.

but if you look at the design evolution, you'll see where changes were made, changes in each part that eventually resulted in a completely different motor, but technically, a different motor.

the only things you'll find similar are cylinder spacing, valve arrangement, and cylinder angle.

everything else has pretty much changed... from cam design, valve timing, profile, head profile, combustion chamber profile and volume, piston skirt length, rod/stroke ratio, crank design, intake runner profile, exhaust design, tranny case dimensions, tranny shaft arrangement, gearing, lubrication, and even cooling.

different items received changes during the evolution, "small" changes that when summed up become a wildly different motor in the end.

the difference for 2007 is that the motor is built on a new platform, and not an evolution of the previous motor. this is to make it even more compact and lower the center of gravity even further. changes to current cylinder design theory allows for a more compact profile plus head angle allows for lower CG thru better positioning in the chassis. shortening up the tranny case allows for a more compact length to allow for longer swingarm length without sacrificing overall wheelbase length.
 
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