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The new Yamaha R6, Honda F4RR or whatever, and Kawasaki ZX-6R are the most exciting bikes to hit this class since 1998. Given that it's the most exciting class of motorcycles going, that's something.



I just joined the ranks of 600 owners, though I bought a less-than-cutting-edge 600, a silver '03 YZF600R because I'm a fat old mouth breather who's into self pleasure to such a degree that he values comfort over performance. But even my old cow of a 600 is incredible fun. Given how good that old design is, this new crop of 600s should be unbelievable.



I don't know if I'd buy once, since I already have a 600, but when Yamaha adopts its aluminum casting technology to the R1, I might consider a two-sportbike garage. (Or if Honda updates the Superhawk...or if Suzuki doesn't screw the pooch and use crap suspension on the SV1000...or if Kawasaki makes the ZX-9R into the mother of all sport-tourers...)



I'm sure some of the new '03 models will disappoint, as did Honda's 954, 919 and Interceptor last year, but overall, things just keep getting better and better. If I didn't measure my life in coffee spoons, I might be tempted to use an exclaimation point.

 

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Re: '03 Honda? Oh baby but Kawa and R6 look better

I have some doubts about Honda's two-bike 600 strategy. Yamaha offers two pretty distinct 600s, one a cutting edge sportbike, the other a borderline sport-tourer.

The Hondas are awfully close together in function. The new bike will almost certainly outperform the F4i, yet the F4i cannot be that much more comfortable than the RR. So why would anyone pick the F4i? Unless Honda plans to sell it at firesale prices (I'm talking in the $6K range), it seems like a sales disaster in the making.

Perhaps Honda should redesign the F4i, keeping the current powerplant and chassis, but giving it more comfortable ergos and a seat that is more than a vinyl-covered hemmorhoid. This would give buyers a reason to choose one bike over the other.
 

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Re: '03 Honda? Oh baby but Kawa and R6 look better

This would seem like the most logical move. It would make more sense than putting R&D money into what is going to be their second tier 600.
 
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