If you prefer more sport than comfort, the ZX-6R is for you. If making slight (and these are very slight) real-world performance sacrifices is acceptable in exchange for a bit more comfort, the VFR800 will serve the rider nicely.
However, a few paragraphs above, you say :
With the Kawi you can easily (in complete comfort) do 600 mile days on the bike, just like on the VFR...
What gives? The Kawaski is apparantly completly comfortable on long rides, so the VFR is a bit more than completely comfortable? Any bike I can do a 600 mile day on and be in complete comfort must be pretty damned comfortable.
The conclusion seems to be to go with the VFR if you like/need fuel injection (and more consistant power at various altitudes), otherwise the 6R is the way to go, regardless of weather you are an agressive sport rider or a sport-tourer kinda person.
Anywho... it was a neat comparo. I like seeing stuff like this, even though the comparison, or maybe it is the write-up, appears to be largely useless.
Overall nice review. However, it would have been nice if you had tested them with soft bags and a tankbag. Will both accept magnetic tankbags? How do loaded saddlebags change the handling characteristics? What are the load limits? These little details would have been nice for those that like to include overnight stays when touring.
I agree with about everything you guys said about the VFR. I don't particularly like the linked brakes, they would be better if you could employ all front pistons at once, but I guess they're still O.K. for stoppies. They are fade prone too, but like the article said, I've rarely pushed my bike so hard that I've ever had it happen to me, and I push pretty hard. I would have liked to see what you got for stopping distances between the two (not what manufacturers report), and top speeds/quarter mile times, just for kicks. This sounds more like a report/excuse for a day ride instead of a real comparo. I went for a ride the other day with my friend who was riding a Hayabusa, can I write a report? I liked the article, just wish there were more hard facts/figures, not that I would sell my bike and go get a zx-6r, but just so I knew.
Keep up the good work guys just throw in more details.
OR you could shell out the bucks for an Aprillia Futura....although i havent yet seen one from what I read its the best of both worlds.By the way,as a 49 year old who sometimes rides my son's 6R for short jaunts i cant imagine doing 600 mile days on one....MAYBE 300(with lots of ADVIL)
6R vs. VFR? Apples and oranges, when Kawasaki makes a much better bike for that comparo. The ZX-6, not the ZX-6R, is what really should be compared to the VFR. Then, you wouldn't end with the ultra-predictable (paraphrase) "If you like sport more, get the 6R; if you like real-world riding, get the VFR."
The least you could have done is include a link to your review of the ZX-6 in the "Related Readings" section.
Like others, I'd like to start by saying that this type of comparison is the right way to go. Most comparisons focus on bikes with a similar engine displacement configuration. When I'm shopping for a bike, I don't really have my heart set on a particular engine configuration, I'm focussed on which bike best suits my riding. Kudos to MO for doing this comparison.
That said, I also agree with others that there wasn't enough info there. I would have liked to see more than 2 bikes in the comparison. Triumph and Ducati make bikes in this category.
Question about the VFR brakes... Do you think changing the pads would make a significant improvement, or not? If you get a chance, could you try that out, and let us know?
Given the very similar rating of the two bikes, I would say that it is the VFR that is due for a revamp (which will come in one year or less). The VFR is $1500 more expensive than a 600, and $1000 more expensive than a FZ-1, which has more power and hard bags. Sure, it is enough to see a VFR next to an R6 to understand where the money went: the quaility of the VFR is stellar. But is it enough to sell, these days?
As for the R6: it would be nice if it had rear rebound damping control, a better , nicer colors and, if possible, valve maintenance intervals of 15,000 mi (as opposed to 6,000).
Since you are doing a "sport/touring" comparison, don't you think you should include minor things like...umm, bags? Based on the pictures, I'd really hate to see where you stored your toothbrush on this "tour". A comparison of the Triumph Sprint ST or Trophy would have been interesting. Or maybe the Ducati ST2 or ST4. Then you could have had 2 cylinders v. 3 cylinders v. 4 cylinders.
You know, I'd read this comparo...in fact, I'd read a LOT of stuff on this site...but apparently your servers don't like me...
no matter WHAT it is...be it your home page or your reviews...I keep getting a 403 FORBIDDEN error anytime I try to access your files...any files that are on your http://www.motorcycle.com domain are inaccessible to me!
I can get into news.motorcycle.com just fine, but I'm having NO luck getting into the www.motorcycle.com part...
Yes, I've tried doing this in both IE5 and Netscape Communicator 4.77 and no luck...yes, I have cookies turned on...did I offend the MO gods? Minime! I SWEAR!!! I DIDN'T MEAN IT!
Great comparo concept. A few additional pieces of information would be nice, however.
1) this costs money, but what the heck, I'll ask: track times? Not important per se, but it would be interesting.
2) The evil print competition has taken to measuring the bikes for reach, seat to footpeg distance, etc. This is cool.
3) I have been considering the impact of gearing and available RPM. to that end, I have made some graphs which show the force at the rear tire divided by total bike weight vs speed in each gear. The graphs are REALLY enlightening and would handily explain your subjective acceleration findings. To do this for these bikes, I need gearing data for each of them. Speed in gears would work, but it would be nicer to have Primary Ratios, each Gear's Ratio and the Final Gearing. Roadracing World publishes such stuff and it would be great if MO did too.
You mentioned the horsepower difference as only 1.1 hp at peak... but you didn't mention that the VFR has a torque advantage of 10.2 lb/ft at peak, which occurs 1500 RPM's lower! I'd say that's a fairly significant difference, and I'd think that the extra torque would overcome the weight differential? Guess not... maybe it's gearing?
Ummm, doesn't the VFR cost a lot more than the Kawi? You don't mention prices in your article. On the other hand, the local Honda dealer is selling brand new VTR-1000's for $6,900. Add a set of heli-bars and some luggage with the cost savings... hmmm.
I continue to be amazed at how our expectations for comfort have changed. Not even a decade ago, a bike like the ZX6 would have been considered to have an extreme riding position. Now you claim it's a great ride for 600 mile days?
I agree, totally enjoyed this comparison. It is a concept that I have always wondered about, how differant are the differant types of bikes in the real world. As someone who is shopping for a new bike, reviews like this will help me nail down a winner for me.
Currently I have an F4 and would like to have something a little more comfortable for the 600 mile ride to Daytona (each way). I'm looking hard at the FZ1. The stats look great for the Yamaha but I want to know how much twisty road fun I'll be missing?
FINALLY!!! I've been complaining to anyone who will listen for over a year about this problem. If you compare bikes that fit the EXACT same category, you will start splitting hairs. Example: praising a 600 for it's midrange.. But compare it to a 1000cc sportbike? What midrange? I'm looking at EVERYTHING out there in the sport and sport-touring category when I buy a bike. From FZR400's (remember those) to Bandit 1200's to Buell X1's to YZf-R1's. EVERYTHING.. I WANT to see apples and oranges compared, it's how I can decide what displacment/engine config I want to try. Keep 'em coming.
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