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2003 ZX-6R Track Test Reader Feedback

13304 Views 49 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  coyn586
Allthough I have little disire to own a 600 class sport bike ( or any other sport bike for that matter ). I do appreciate the technological advances brought about by the oneupmanship of the Japanese manufacturers. Herein lies the rub with the ZX-6R.

Of course any of the bikes that currently make up this class could be made quicker with added displacement. This type of development tends to stifle the more esoteric advances that have made this class so interesting to watch. Yes I know that Kawasaki is offering a true 600 for racing purposes, but that is what makes the 636 so silly. Why increase displacement by a mere 5%? Certainly a 650 or 700 would really spice things up, and maybe start a new class of sport motorcycle. VWW
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what am I talking about? I'm comparing a 600-class Supersport to the king of open class v-twins. This is twisted. "
Technology can be a beautiful thing :)

"Is a 636cc bike moral and "fair" to use in our upcoming 600cc shootout?" Yes cause I think Honda and Yamaha will have other attributes that will make up for the lack of displacement. But better yet include a Kawa 600 as well.
I don't think you should include the ZX-6R in the shootout simply because it isn't a 600, pure and simple, regardless of the rules for most 600 events.

IMHO, Kawasaki should have kept the 2002 ZX-6R as the ZX-6, and called the ZX-6RR the ZX-6R for consistency's sake. Their marketing group's current strategy with the ZX-6R and ZX-6RR will simply confuse their customers.
In a way I think you should only compare the ZX-6RR to the other 600s. However, look at the open class. The 929, 954, the Gixxer at 988 and the Yamaha at 999 (I think, I can't remember for sure). No one really whined about the differences in displacement in this class. Of course, if you look to the AMA, the FX class allows for a variety of displacement sizes. The bottom line, I think, is that most people will consider the 636 to be in the 600 class (which is probably why they didn't make it a 700) and will comparison shop as such.
Re: "Is a 636cc bike moral and "fair" to use in our upcoming 600cc shootout?"

Morality has to do with intention; yours is unknown to me.

Fair, it's not. Especially when the 600RR is available without the extra displacement. Since the 600RR is a Supersport homologation bike, it should be tested against competitive 600cc class Supersport homologation bikes. That's the closest you can get to comparing apples with apples in the bike testing business.
I think that if you want to have a kawasaki in the 600 shoot out, it will have to be the ZX-6R and not the ZX-6RR since they are going to be pretty much impossible to get. The only stipulation I think should be imposed on the ZX-6R is that its speed performance should not be a factor in ruling a shootout champ. Its obvious that it will be faster than the others since it has extra 36cc's. The points of determing a winner of the shoot out should be all the points that is usually used such as driveablity, handling, etc. What ever you guys decide, I knonw I can't wait until you have it.
The 6R should absolutely be included in the 600 shootout. Sure it has an extra 36cc, but it has an intended competition (and I mean SALES not racing) group of the F4I, 600 RR, R6, and Triumph's new Daytona 600. And the craziest thing, is that the 6R is cheaper than all of the Competition's offerings.

As a rider and a consumer, I'm interested in bang for the buck. And Kawi is giving us exactly that. Being a Honda fan, this kills me, especially considering that the new CBR 600 RR, though displacing the normative 599cc, will cost and additional $600 over the price of the 636.

The racers can do what they want, I just want the most bike my money can buy.
Yup! With inverted forks, radial brakes, and 36 extra CCs it's a steal at 8 Gs. Especially when compared to the competition's prices and respective hardware. 15,500 RPM even! Go Kawi!!
Anybody who says that the ZX-6R shouldn't be included in the 600cc shootout are damn loons. Either that or they are just fanboi's worried that it will spank the bike from their favorite maker.

As Nplateau has already pointed out, when Joe Public goes out to buy a 600cc sportsbike to go scratching on his favourite roads with his mates he's not going to pass over the ZX-6R because it has 37cc more capacity. Get real.

If MO doesn't included this bike in their shootout then they are doing their readership and Kawasaki a great disservice. Many people read this site to help them decide on their future motorcycle purchases. To not include the 6R is depriving these people of pertinant info, and MO would be less because of it.

Good on Kawasaki for making the smart decision to bump out their capacity a few cc's for the good of the street rider or trackday scratcher. If the other makers followed Kawasaki's lead then the class would be all the better.

BTW, as someone above asked, the reason Kawasaki didn't bump the capacity out any further was because the extra 37 cc's was all they could get without a major redesign of the motor. So they just increased the bore for hardly any expense at all. Smart I call it.
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You should include the bike. However, as mentioned above, it's added displacement should be taken into consideration when evaluating all of the bikes. I'd imagine that there will be other areas where the other manufacturers excel. If the Kawi is top on power/acceleration, then all we need to do is look to 2nd place for the fastest "pure" 600.

IMHO, it is not correct to draw an analogy to the liter class bikes when discussing the Kawi's displacement advantage. In a perfect world, a "liter" bike is 1000cc. All of the bikes in this class are at or under that level. If there were a bike with say 1036cc, then that machine would be in excess of the displacement for a liter class bike. All of the manufacturers who produce sub-1000 machines do so out of choice, but no one is over.

Regardless, I definitely think that if anything, the added displacement of the 636 will make it more attractive on the sales floor...I can get 6% more motor for less money than the competition? Sold!
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I'm glad I'm not the only one that saw that obvious logical inconsistency in the other replies (re: open-class cc-diffs).

No one has cared (much) about open-class bikes and their various sizes. Granted, the term 'open class' does mean 'run what ya brung'... but so what... this is a street-bike, and the other companies had a chance to do the same. It's not like Kawi just did this for the first time this year... they had this 'format' (different motor, same size) out last year (well, in the rest-of-world markets anyway...).

From what I read in the foreign press, they loved the extra ooomph of that 636.

I say it's fair to include it in the 600 shoot-out. The same people are going to look at it for buying, so why not.

Besides, MO's test is not called the 'AMA/FIM Super-Sport Shootout', it's just the '600 (class) Shoot-Out'.

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Hell import a Bulldog and race it against it too. Maybe even put the 250cc two stroke Aprillia GP racer in the line up. Then race those bikes and the rest of the 600's, 750's and a HD Fatboy against the Kawa on a super moto track. Don't forget lots of beer and naked cheerleaders!

Take care,

Of course you should include it. The past many years the ZX9R was included in open bike shootouts of 1000cc machines. It's approximately 100cc less than all those, but was rarely, if ever mentioned or taken in consideration. Now the Kawi is up 36cc and can't be included? Nonsense.

O.K. I'll reconsider. Test it. Who cares about fair?

The thing is, we're big boys. If you give us the facts we can decide for ourselves. The more facts (and feelings) the better.

Why do you fit into the 6R and the 600F4i you crunched when nobody else over 6 feet can stand them for more than 15 minutes?

Share your volume management secrets, man!
I agree because if you dont build a total package you will lose a 600 shootout. The great thing about this shootout will be that the competition has some advanced technology vs the less expensive 636. We will see what realy gets you around the track quickest wizardry or cc,s
First what's up with these brakes? I thought it was fitted with excellent stock brakes? And you're saying Kevlar lines will greatly improve them?

Second that's a shame you got stuck with the blue one. The worst looking color of the bunch IMO.
How easy to see was the LCD Tach compared to an analog one?
Yamaha announces new R6....

Today in a surprise announcement, Yamaha USA said they would be adding another model to thier award winning 600cc sport bike family.

Along with the existing R6 600cc displacement mill, they intend to introduce the R6 "super sport", a Yamaha spokesman said "For just $1500 more than the price of a R6 the consumer can get the fastest R6 ever."

With it's completely redesigned 1200cc "super sport" engine Yamaha hopes to put other 600cc industry competitors firmly in the runner up spot.

When questioned about the displacement increase possibly disqualifying the R6 "super sport" from the 600cc class, Yamaha responded by saying "600 is a multiple of 1200, in our minds that makes the R6SS a legitimate contender in the class."

At the moment the R6SS is the undisputed 600cc class leader, but the industry is holding its collective breath waiting for Yamaha's challange to be picked up. In the wings, Kawasaki is rumoured to be about to release the ZX-6RRR which supposedly boasts a Williams/ Lotus developed 2.4 litre straight four.

We can't wait!!
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nice writeup. i hope they start paying you soon. i would love to see how the Kawasaki compares to the new Honda, handling wise.

i watched the video, and i was amazed that you hit a higher speed on the back straight than on the front. i think you are lifting too soon going up the hill.

will you be at the streets this weekend with the SV, or are you going to be a middleweight guy now?

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