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I guess it depends on the test and the criteria they use -and which bike company gives them the most advertising cash-

Buyt you know.... I've nearly always found that the UK mags favor the race-oriented bikes
 

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Re: '03 600s, Other choices

This whole 600 thing is getting confusing. I understand the need to test the "high end" 600cc (or thereabouts) bikes, but most of us, most of the time, ride on the street. For that realm, are any of these new guys better than the Yamaha YZF600R? Are any of them more fun to ride than the SV650? How about an article on the effect on the calibrated gluteous maximus of 300 miles on a 600?

Vlad
 

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The R6 is also the best looking bike (the new Duc is growing on me but still not near as pretty as the 748) of this bunch. Funny how the manufacturer's are inconsistent class-to-class with their approach: Kawi has the well-rounded 9R and the focused 6R. Suzuki usually seems to go for the sport side while Honda usually goes for a more capable overall package, with Yama and Kawa seemingly changing goals with each redesign, though Yama keeps the well-rounded older bikes in the lineup for a few years, when they start looking like great deals. If Yamaha would style the big FJR1300 like this R6, including the liquid silver with black paint scheme, I'd have no choice but to buy one.
 

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Couldn't agree more. It's a totally subjective thing. Even for bikes almost universally panned by reviewers you'll find a group of fanatical supporters.



I love reading the reviews (nice job once again MO), but certainly don't let it make my decision for me. In the end, the only way to decide is to ride it yourself... and if you like it, ignore what anyone else says!
 

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Not so weird when you think about it. Roadracing World? Well, the ZX-6R won the racetrack part of MO's comparison too. Cycle News, well, we love those guys but...

Sport Rider and Cycle World agree with us, and both magazines have very experienced testers. British mags for the most part travel to Spain to test cause it's too cold and wet in Britain in the spring, and they all want to be First! In Spain, you go 100 mph-plus all the time, and stiff bikes with peaky powerbands feel less so under those conditions. In the U.S., you don't ride that way and it makes a big difference. As with all information: consider the source.
 

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Your review was bang on. I test drove a 2003 ZX-6R and R6 back to back last week. The R6 was a far more refined, confidence inspiring ride (not to mention a blast). The ZX-6R was a rocket, and curled my toes everytime I cranked the throttle open. Power everywhere, but not nearly as comfortable nor as stable a mount.



I couldn't find a 600RR anywhere to test drive. All of the dealerships were selling them out before they hit the showroom floor. They were even doubtful that they would have one available during an upcoming Honda organized demo ride. Hmmm.....



My 2003 R6 should be arriving in two weeks. Yeehaw!!
 

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I was thinking the exact same thing! Old body + new motor = best street bike, if not as sexy as the new one. BTW, the MOrons were not kidding on the hardcore ergos on the new ZX6R. The theme song for this bike should be the Nutcracker.
 

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So, what are your guys plans once the 600RR is FINALLY released?? Will you do another comparison, a stond-alone review, or will you just let it b forgotten because Honda isn't playing nice??
 

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Re: '03 600s, Other choices

For the type of person that would enjoy a YZF600R or a SV650... they don't really CARE about the latest and greatest 600's. They care about a reasonable ride and know exactly where to find them and what they will provide, being as they have been exactly the same for about 5 years now.
 

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Well the ZX9-R is an old bike relatively speaking. It was designed when Kawasaki were going down the same lines as Honda - building bikes that the populace should ride. Now HOnda and the big K are deciding to build bikes that people have been asking for for ages. Watch out for the 9R replacement the 10R, it should be very narrow focussed. And the new Fireblade will be another race bike. As for Suzuki, the GSX-R series are all fairly narrow minded sports bikes, just not quite as narrow as the R6 and 6R at this point

 

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Re: '03 600s, Other choices

Vlad,

I should be getting a 03 R6 to replace my 98 YZF600R for the very beginning of next season. I'll let you know if I do the 8 hour trek to Springfield, Illinois on the R6 (done it twice on my 600R, and 860 km (530 miles) is a little TOO much for any sport bike in one day, IMHO). Wondering if it is possible to even survive such a journey at all on an R6... If I survive to tell, I'll post ;)

Regards,

Shaun.
 

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So, I can't remember from the articles I've read, but is it possible to adjust the Kawi's ride-height in the rear? Looking at the pics, there doesn't seem to be a ton of room left to drop the forks much. But, it would seem to me that if you lowered the rear a tad and dropped the forks down through the clamps (i.e. raise the front), the two adjustments might level the bike out a bit to prevent the crotch-cramp and also slow down the (apparently) snaky steering?? A couple of millimeters here and there might make a big difference, hmm? Or, does stuff like that go outside the scope of a test of showroom-stock bikes? (time constraints and all that...)



Great info though, glad to see that there's no real dogs in the test.



-James
 

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In my opinion, this comparo is worthless without the Honda. I realize you couldn't get one from the factory, I just feel the need to state that point for the record. I couldn't make a purchase decision based on this incomplete comparison, and that's what comparisons are for, right?
 

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Seems kinda obvious -- Roadracing World? Wonder what their orientation is? Probably commuting?



If I remember correctly, their test was entirely a track test, so big surprise that they had the same pick as your track test (I think it was even the same track).



When you read any reviews (books, movies, or motorcycles) you need to understand the reviewers' perspective, and I usually find the reasons WHY they like or don't like a bike (or book, movie, etc) more useful than the specific ratings they give.



As you say, consider the source.



Bob
 

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Inconsistencies between Part 1 and Part 2?

Basically, Part 2 concluded that the 636 is inferior to the R6 based on its ergos and nervous handling. Fine, but those comments appear to contradict some statements in Part 1, such as:

From Part 1 of the 600 shootout, re the 636's ergos and handling: "Don't let my description scare you away though, the bike is actually surprisingly comfortable in EVERY DAY LIFE and doesn't feel like it is going to bite you ... That seat may be too steeply raked, but it's still comfortable to your tailbone after OVER AN HOUR on the freeway." (emphasis added)

From Part 1 of the 600 shootout, re the 636's ergos: "The riding position feels natural, could even be OK for DAY-LONG sport touring." (emphasis added)

Re R6 vs. 636 ergos from Part 1 of shootout: "Overall, aside from the ultra steep seat on the ZX-6R, the Yamaha feels quite similar to the Kawasaki in ergonomics. The funny thing is, in the real world, even with a flatter seat, it doesn't seem to be quite AS COMFORTABLE to ride." (emphasis added; presumably comparing the R6 to the 636)

Also, there were comments in Part 1 about the R6's seeming tendency to tuck.

So, MO, pls. explain these the apparent inconsistencies between Part 1 and Part 2.
 

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Just to clarify: I think the 03 6R's 636cc motor is different from the euro-02 6R's 636cc motor. I believe the latter is just a bored version of the previous motor, while the 03's motor is new. (Sorry if this is old news)



But I agree - I would be thrilled if they would stuff the new motor in the old body. But I would still be glad if they had to use the 02 636 motor in the old body (e.g., to reduce costs).
 

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The whole "buy a bike based on road tests" is flawed anyway because you're assuming that the bike you buy and ride in your enviroment is going to perform like the bike the testers rode in their enviroment. I'd buy the Triumph because I think it looks cool, in fact the best place to learn about a bike is in the owners reviews that some web sites have. Magazine road test's are strictly entertainment. Brit. tests especially, I don't think you're going to last long on the street around here riding like that.
 

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Too sharp for their own good?

Bike complained about a full lock-to-lock tankslapper on the CBR-RR. MO got a nasty shake/slapper on the ZX-6R.

Are the geometries just getting too sharp for their own good? The needs of the racetrack overwhelming the street?
 

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Re: Too sharp for their own good?

Y'know, people with serious engineering qualifications have studied headshake for eons and never figured it out. Steep geometry alone isn't the cause--look at the rock-solid Buell Firebolt and Lightning, bikes with super-steep rake and short trail. From my own experience, headshake results from a combination of steepish geometry and suspension that doesn't react quick enough over bumps--either too slow or too fast... I think.
 

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Re: Please tell me it ain't so...

I dyno'd the 749S back to back before and after the ECU reprogram and the peak HP and torque numbers were unchanged. The bike makes peak power at 9,800RPM either way and trails off above 10,000RPM, therefore that extra 1,000RPM is mostly overrev (like JB just said) and wouldn't have made a huge difference on the track.
 
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