Why would anyone in their right mind spend upwards of $20,000 enhancing a 600 of yesteryear? Attempting to explain the reasoning behind such a project isn’t usually worth the breath because you either get it or you don’t. Behind each build there is an owner who loved the now outdated bike, got a bit carried away and years later ended up with their interpretation of the perfect motorcycle.
Years back, the ears of track dayers worldwide perked up when Kawasaki announced the nimble 2005 Kawasaki ZX-6R and Harold “JD” Hagedoorn was one such rider who had to have one for the track.
Realizing his “new at the time” Ninja worked as well in street trim as it did in race plastics didn’t take long. The opportunity of riding a range of regional tracks during his travels (he’s an MP in the Army) had him hooked on improving his pace, and he used the local roads as another place to practice. When the order came in to move from New York to Italy, his 636 already sported a nice package of handling upgrades, but with the new environment would also come fresh parts:
“I was in Italy and the mountains and all the other riding there favors handling over horsepower. I went a little bit overboard with it and did things like the Öhlins FGRT 804 forks that actually fit a ‘08-‘10 ZX-10R. I wanted to make the handling the best I possibly could.”
The 636 began to be dressed in more and more big-buck goodies not normally seen on a streetbike. The goal of reduced weight and enhanced power led to carbon fiber, race-grade components and motor work. Externally, the addition of BST wheels, carbon bodywork and monobloc Brembos left JD pleasantly confused about the money spent and how to sort out the logistics of such a light ride. The carbon fiber wheels reduced rotating mass drastically but required new suspension settings to get it all working properly. Becoming acquainted with the new binders didn’t require a wrench but a change in lever pressure. Two fingers were just too much for such a tight setup unless the aim was a quick stoppie—otherwise one did the trick. Being able to stop faster and easier led the charge in going faster.
Internal changes turned an already swift 600 into a bullet. Added compression and airflow from degreed cams and a race-spec head combined with a Kawasaki race kit ECU for added timing were tuned to perfection. The beefier motor produced a nice horsepower gain that kept the front coming up off throttle through second gear—even with a large rider at the helm.
Front End: BST wheel, Brembo calipers and 19 x 18 radial master cylinder, Goodridge superbike lines, Galfer rotors, Öhlins FGRT 804 forks and damper, custom ram air inlet bracket, Attack Performance adjustable triple clamps, Dunlop Q2 tire
Rear End: BST wheel, Ohlins 46PRXLS shock, ZX-6RR shock linkage, Spiegler brake line, Galfer rotor, AP Racing billet caliper with custom mounting bracket, Supersprox sprockets, EK 520 racing chain, Attack Performance lift brackets, Dunlop Q2 tire
Motor: Nassert-Beet titanium exhaust, BMC race filter, Factory Pro velocity stacks, degreed cams with ZX-6RR cam sprockets, port, polished and decked head, KHI Race Kit ECU, PCIII, SpeedCell battery
Accessories: Becker Carbon components, Powerbronze and MDI carbon fiber bodywork, Puig double bubble windscreen, Hotbodies Racing hugger, titanium mounting hardware and bolts
Owner/ Builder: Harold “JD” Hagedoorn