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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this in the general section. I think this is a better place for it...

For any of those that have come from an older generation ZX6R 98-02, how much of a diffrence is there in your opinion between the old ZX6R adn the new ZX6R 636? I am contemplating getting rid of my 99 ZX6R but am hesantent if the performance isn't a big improvement. Understanding that gearing is a huge factor, performance number are not that compelling. Each does about 158 top speed (the 636 becasue of gearing), quarter mile times are very close, .... Wieght is a big diffrence 445 wet old - 415 or so new. Also HP is up from 94 old to 107 or so new.

I would think there would be a good diffrenece but other than being able to ride back to back which some of you may, reading the articles is my only means of excploration. I'm on the fence!

I weight about 220 and was thinking of getting a liter but love the 6's!

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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I believe there was an article in Sport Rider or some other magazine where they compared a souped-up previous generation ZX6R vs. a 636 and they concluded that the difference was minute. By souped-up, I mean they changed the rear shocks, exhaust, and other stuff that I don't recall. Anyway, that's something you may want to consider.
 

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Originally posted by micty
I believe there was an article in Sport Rider or some other magazine where they compared a souped-up previous generation ZX6R vs. a 636 and they concluded that the difference was minute. By souped-up, I mean they changed the rear shocks, exhaust, and other stuff that I don't recall. Anyway, that's something you may want to consider.
I believe it was the October 2003 Sport Rider edition.
 

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You are correct sir. They put a f/s on the old one. Also went through the suspension, added ign. adv., and Ivan's jet kit and then it was about even w/ the 636. It was about equal to the 636 on track and like 3hp on the dyno. But, they did not add anything to the 636. If you were to add f/s and powercommander + suspension mods to the 636 the older generation won't be able to keep up w/ it.
 

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You guys are right. But let me tell you its the whole package I just moved up from a 2001 6r to a 2003 6rr and the power is not much different but the bike is better. The seat is actually softer, the Digital cluster is awesome, the fuel injection is like butter, it revs higher looks better than any other 600 out there the suspension is rock solid, and it the lap timer is pretty damn trick. My 2001 didnt give me the same feeling the 2003 does its the best bike out there by far well except for the 2004 636 in green of course.
 

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yratellim, I just went from an '02 6R, to an '03 636. You're right in what you mentioned on how the performance of the bikes are similar, but there are major differences that add up in performance. Remember that the 'old' 6R was no slouch - it was, after all, a world and supersport champion (a la Bostrom and Pitt...).

The main thing that I noticed was that the bike feels far more nimble. Tune your suspension right, and you're going to be razor sharp. It feels tighter, and flickable - the ergonomics of the frame tell you right away what you're meant to do with this bike.

The engine is noticably torquier (in my opinion...), and I came from a full Ti Hindle, K&N, and engine jetting. It feels to me like it revs quicker, and the throttle reaction is far more responsive to your input. I'm excited to see what an Akropovic system with a PCIII, and an air filter will bring to life.

The brakes are a dream. I rarely use my rear brakes, so I found the front radials to be a real treat. Just squeeze 'em, you'll be able to tell right away. On the '02, where I'd be in a rush to stop - the '03 is a full on stoppie. I'm sure you'll find them more than capable. I do.

I guess the last real opinionated point is that the new design is a change for the better. The 636 isn't necessarily the 'all arounder' it used to be. I haven't rode any great distances yet, but I can tell you that it felt like I was sitting on a totally different bike. It's racier, and far more agressive rider position make for some good times though. It just takes some getting used to. It didn't take long though, I'm 6' at 170 lbs.

The next thing on my list of 'things to do'; Ohlins damper. The front end feels a touch flighty compared to the more planted feeling of the last generation 6R.

Hope that helps. :)
 

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I came straight off a '98 to the '03, and they're night and day. I have spent HOURS in the saddle of more than one '00-02 model, and they're also night and day. I don't think you guys have a good reference if you honestly believe the '00-02 is almost the same performance-wise as the '03. They're not. I ride with three guys on '00-02 models REGULARLY and they can't come close to me in a straight line or when it gets twisty. Sorry, it's true. As for your size, I am also 6'1" and 220 pounds for what that's worth. Even though they're lighter on their '00-02's, I can blast by them down every straight to the point where they get frustrated.

The Sportrider article is a good one. It involved a guy completely doing up a 2002 model, not just a shock and exhaust - a fairly complete overhaul of both the engine and the chassis. For the engine, that included an Akrapovic Evolution exhaust ($1395), an Ivan's jet kit ($120), and a Factory Pro ignition advancer ($54.95). The result was a staggering 9 horsepower gain, raising the peak from the stock 95hp to a more than respectable 104 horsepower. The 2003 model stock put out 107.5hp!

For the chassis, they started with a complete makeover of the fork ($525), a Penske 8981 shock ($775), DP brake pads ($37), steel braided brake lines ($109.95), and s 42-tooth rear sprocket (some $75)...

In all, they spent around $3100 US on mods for a 2002, then took the bike to a track to compare it to a bone-stock 2003. The end result was that the heavily-modified 2002 could give the 2003 a good run for its money, with a lap time within a second of the 2003 at the Streets of Willow 1.9-mile track (1:28.06 for the '03, 1:28.90 for the modded 2002).

The article proved that putting money into an older generation ZX6R could definitely turn it into a bike comparable to a stock 2003. It also proved in my mind that EVEN a bone-stock 2003 is faster and sharper than a heavily-modified 2002. Put that same $3100US into the 2003 and there literally will be no competition.

The 1995-2002 ZX6R's are ALL great bikes, and I enjoy riding any of them. But to say there's not much between the 2002 and the 2003 is more than a little misleading. It's a huge jump in terms of power, sharp handling, and track-oriented engineering. If aggressive riding is your style, the new 636 is very much advanced from the 2002 in every way you'll care about, but if you don't spend your time riding past that 90% mark, and do a lot of highway riding, the 2002 or previous might be just your thing.

Another article you might want to check out is from Superbike Magazine (July 2003) where they talk about the 2003 models vs the 2002's in the 600 class. Here's a couple quotes:

"The engine delivers an enormous spread of power that simply destroys the opposition."
"Likewise the new ZX-636R is by far the keenest on a bit of wheelie action. From 10mph in first to 60mph in second the ZX is always ready to hook one up and leaves the old bike feeling like a real bloater."
"Power delivery is as smooth and seamless as the older carb'd bike but with a crisper edge. Applying the power from deep in a bend is easier and as the long final turn opened into the front straight the new bike would pull three lengths clear thank to the better application of the increased power."
"It rides better than any 600 in the world. Ever."
"The old bike wasn't a complete dog around the track by any means and, behind the mass, there was a genuine integrity to the steering that has been handed down to the new bike. The difference is that the 2003 ZX has a lot less weight to move and is much smaller beneath you meaning you can fling it around with abandon."
"Kawasaki has shocked the world by moving so far in one go. The new bike improves on the old in every way, with the possible exception of huge motorway miles, and has moved to the very top of the class."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That you everyone for the feedback. I have some solid answers to my questions. I don't know if I can tear myself away from the 6's for a liter just to say I had one adn to fell it's raw power... Thanks again!
 

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Originally posted by yratellim
That you everyone for the feedback. I have some solid answers to my questions. I don't know if I can tear myself away from the 6's for a liter just to say I had one adn to fell it's raw power... Thanks again!
First of all, Great info by The Godfather and Streetwalker - thanks guys, it was great reading and mirrored my thoughts exactly. My last bike was an '02 ZX6R that a large deer saw fit to dance with.

I LOVED that bike! As far as an allrounder goes, it is better than the 636 IMO, BUT, as far as a sportbike goes - not even close. My '02 was tweaked to put out just a smidge over 100 on the dyno and was an absolute blast to ride all day. My '03 636 is just over 110 HP and is great fun in the twisties but after 3-4 hours its a bit of a torture rack.

It's been said a million times - Go with what you honestly think you need. If you're carving every Sunday get the 636, if you're commuting and doing the occasional spirited backroad foray, the '98-'02 series is so much more than adequate its not funny.

My '02 prior to Bambi...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Man I'm torn. I don't ride that much so comfort isn't that big of an issue (living in PA demographics don't permit, F'ed weather). What to do........
 

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Go with the 636. You won't regret it... unless you sit on the 10R. I had the chance to rub my berries on one tonight.

Wow. What a machine that's going to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm leaning towards the 636 as long as a liter bike price isn't cheaper that I'm looking at. Thanks man.
 

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Ummmm, Mike? Hope it wasn't the BLACK one you were rubbin' those berries on. Eewwwwww. I spent a lotta time drooling on that bike... :(

Well, maybe you were there AFTER me...
 
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