The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R has been homologated for AMA Pro Racing, making it eligible for the Daytona Sportbike and Supersport classes for 2013. The news comes as a bit of a surprise as those classes typically consist of Inline Four racebikes with a displacement smaller than 600cc.
The new Ninja ZX-6R immediately carries a displacement advantage over its I-4 competition in the class such as the Honda CBR600R, Suzuki GSX-R600 and Yamaha YZF-R6. Also eligible in those classes are the Ducati 848 (a Twin) and the Triumph Daytona 675 which uses a three-cylinder engine. The 636 will carry a weight penalty however, facing a minimum weight of 375 pounds compared to 355 pounds for the sub-600cc bikes.
The last time Kawasaki had a 636cc Ninja, it produced a 599cc ZX-6RR for competition purposes. Kawasaki did the same this time for Japan, introducing a limited production run of the 599cc Ninja ZX-6R because the 636cc version did not qualify for its domestic racing program. The AMA has decided this wasn’t necessary and gave the new, larger Ninja approval.
The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R will also be eligible for various classes in the WERA, CCS, AFM, MRA, CVMA, CMRA and UtahSBA championships.
The competition will likely find the Ninja’s displacement advantage unfair. But this isn’t the first time AMA Pro Racing made a surprising exception to its Daytona Sportbike class. Back in 2009, the series homologated the Buell 1125R in the class, and Danny Eslick won the championship on it.
Oddly enough, the current AMA Pro Racing rule book does not list displacement limits for the Daytona Sportbike or Supersport classes. The series’ media guide does however list the eligible displacements of 600cc, 675cc, 848cc, 990cc, 1000cc, 1125cc. This is in stark contrast to the World Supersport Championship which clearly states four-cylinder engines must have displacements between 400cc and 600cc. AMA Pro Racing also reserve the right to implement restrictions such as increasing the minimum weight limit to restore competitive balance if any motorcycle prove to have an unfair edge, as was the case with Eslick and the Buell 1125R.
“Kawasaki has a strong racing heritage,” says Reid Nordin, racing senior manager. “Our Ninja brand is synonymous with success on the track. When we brought back the 636cc engine we knew there would be interest in racing and we have taken the steps necessary to have the new Ninja ZX-6R on the track and out front in 2013.”