Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R vs Triumph Street Triple RS: Specifications comparison

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R vs Triumph Street Triple RS: Specifications comparison

17th Jan 2019 1:42 pm

If you are after a middleweight motorcycle that is at home on the racetrack, you now have another option.

The newly-launched Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is the only bike of its kind in India, since the Triumph Daytona 675 is no longer on sale. It is a true middleweight supersport motorcycle that is made mainly for blisteringly fast lap times. But there is one other bike at a similar price- and power-point that also does very well on the race track, and that’s the Triumph Street Triple RS. At the 2018 Autocar India Track Day, the Street Triple RS impressed by setting the third-fastest lap time ever recorded by a motorcycle. So despite the fact that the RS isn’t fully faired, it’s still a formidable track weapon. This is why we have decided to pit the supersport against the sport-naked on paper to how things stack up. Read on see what each offer.

Engine & gearbox                

Unlike litre-class sports bikes, track-focused mid-capacity sports bikes don’t make a whole load of power throughout the rev range. The powerband only begins somewhere in the middle of the rev range and peaks at the top of it; and this is for good reason. You see, on a race track, you are always in the upper half of the rev band which makes having power down low redundant. This is why both, the 6R and the RS make their peak power and torque figures well past the 10,000rpm mark. While we haven’t ridden the ZX-6R, we believe its higher redline figure will be enjoyable on the track whereas the Street Triple RS’ additional 129cc and 7Nm of torque will make it more tractable on the on the road. Nonetheless, both bikes will undoubtedly record lap times that are very close to higher-capacity superbikes.

Both motorcycles also use 6-speed gearboxes with slipper clutches and quickshifters (upshift only).

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6RTriumph Street Triple RS
Engine layoutLiquid-cooled, inline-fourLiquid-cooled, three-cylinder
Bore X Stroke67.0 X 45.1mm77.9 X 53.3mm
Power130hp at 13,500rpm123hp at 11,700rpm
Torque70.8Nm at 11,000rpm77Nm at 10,800rpm
Power-to-weight ratio663hp/tonne657hp/tonne

Suspension & brakes

Bikes that belong on the racetrack have to be well-equipped when it comes to the suspension and brakes, and both these motorcycles don’t disappoint. The Kawasaki is equipped with a 41mm Showa USD fork (Separate Function Fork-Big Piston) and a Uni Trak monoshock. The Triumph also uses a fully-adjustable 41mm Showa USD fork (Big Piston Fork). However, at the rear, it is equipped with a more-premium Öhlins STX40 monoshock.

Taking care of braking on the Ninja is a four-piston, radially-mounted Nissin-branded caliper at the front. Similarly, the rear caliper is a single-piston Nissin unit. Like with the suspension, the brakes on the Triumph are also a little more high-end, it uses Brembo four-piston M50s at the front and a Brembo single-piston at the rear. The Triumph also gets a ratio- and span-adjustable Brembo MCS 19 front-brake master cylinder. While both motorcycles feature dual-channel ABS, it is switchable on the Triumph Street Triple RS.

Suspension, brakes and tyres
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6RTriumph Street Triple RS
Front suspensionFully-adjustable USD forkFully-adjustable USD fork
Rear suspensionFully-adjustable monoshockFully-adjustable monoshock
Front tyre 120/70-17120/70-17
Rear tyre 180/55-17180/55-17
Tyre brandBridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Front discs310mm310mm
Rear disc220mm220mm

Electronic wizardry

As you’d expect from modern track-day machines, both bikes feature a fair deal of electronics. The new Ninja has been equipped with traction control and two power modes. Other electronics include a tyre pressure monitoring system. The 6R also features a LED headlight. While the instrument cluster displays all the relevant information, it remains a digi-analogue unit.

The Street Triple RS gets a total of five riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Track and a programmable Rider mode) which get different throttle maps and varying levels of traction control. The amount of ABS intervention can also be adjusted and rear ABS can be disabled. The Triumph also features a 5.0-inch TFT colour screen that is highly customisable and displays a host of information. While the Triumph gets LED DRLs, the headlight continues to be a halogen-powered unit.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6RTriumph Street Triple RS
Kerb weight196kg187kg
Wheelbase 1400mm1410mm
Fuel capacity17 litres17.4 litres
Seat height830mm825mm

Summing it up

Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-6R has been priced at Rs 10.49 lakh, which is more than Rs 60,000 cheaper than the Triumph Street Triple RS (Rs 11.13 lakh). However, Kawasaki has said that this is only an introductory price that would be raised quite significantly soon, which means, we can expect to see its price get closer to the Triumph’s.

While they may not be the same type of motorcycle, the comparison above clearly reveals how closely stacked they really are in terms of numbers. If you love fully-faired sports bikes and want to spend most of your time at the track, it is the Ninja ZX-6R that will tickle your fancy. That being said, the Street Triple RS is no slouch at the track, it's better-equipped and thanks to its ergonomics, is also an easier everyday bike.

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