Mar 7, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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A 2013-model Kawasaki ZX-6R. Photo courtesy of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
Kawasaki proudly announced Wednesday that its 2013-model Kawasaki ZX-6R had been homologated by AMA Pro Racing and was eligible for competition in the Daytona SportBike and SuperSport road race classes. But the move is not a precursor for an official return to the series by the manufacturer.
“It is not,” Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. spokesman Sean Alexander told Roadracingworld.com Thursday. “It is simply a desire to have the bikes be eligible. As you know the ZX-6R was homologated last year when it was a 600[cc], and we would like to have the Ninja ZX series homologated so anybody who wants to race them has the option of doing so. It’s not an indication of a future plan on Kawasaki’s part.”
The question was raised because the 2013-model Kawasaki ZX-6R has now become the first four-cylinder motorcycle with an engine capacity greater than 600cc to be homologated for the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class, and the same motorcycle is not homologated for the FIM Supersport World Championship.
But allowing motorcycles with engines other than 600cc inline fours in AMA Pro Daytona SportBike is nothing new. The class, which was introduced in the 2009 season, has always been open to motorcycles with non-traditional engine configurations using special allowances to theoretically level the playing field.
The Triumph Daytona 675 and 675R models, which are powered by a 675cc three-cylinder engine, are eligible for AMA Pro Road Racing (and FIM SuperSport), but they must carry five more pounds than 600cc four-cylinder machines, which must weigh no less than 355 pounds. AMA Pro Racing even made allowances for the Ducati 848 and 848 EVO, which are powered by an 848c V-Twin engine, and the Buell 1125R, which is equipped with an 1125cc V-Twin, as long as they weigh no less than 375 and 380 pounds, respectively. Even certain Aprilia RSV1000R and KTM 990 Super Duke models are still eligible for AMA Pro Daytona SportBike with special allowances/restrictions.
Following this precedent, AMA Pro Racing has decided to require the 636c 2013-model Kawasaki ZX-6R to weigh no less than 375 pounds, 20 pounds more than 600cc four-cylinder machines, when competing in AMA Pro Road Races.