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· Registered
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Ok, a call out to all you experienced riders. I'm thinking of getting myself a '14 but not sure which one.

This will be my 1st BIG bike and am not sure how I'll best handle the beast.

from what i can tell, the 2006/7 models were toned-down below 6k which on the one hand sounds like i'll be able to deal with things better - but then it hits 6k and you're sitting on the devil?!

The 2008+ models had this "restriction" lifted - so whilst i wont get a major jump in power, will it be too lively from the start?

make sense?

trying to read up on this, there sounds like there are a lot of far more experienced bikers out there that want it all from the start (totally get that), but im trying to pitch this against my own capabilities

do i go for a 2006/7 at the risk of not handling the launch at 6k, or wil the 2008 require too much for normal riding?

Is neither a problem? is the 'step' at 6k easy to handle? am i reading too much into all of this?

fundementally, the last thiing i want is for the bike to 'run away' with its;ef & me just holding on for dear life - is it like that?

I have a few 2006's in mind & a 2009.

I'm not a speed freak, just love the bike & cant tell which would suit me better. I'd like the 2009 for the abs etc, but if the trottle-control needed is too much, i might go for 2006?

CONFUSED! - help!!!


· That Fighter Guy
2006 Kawasaki ZZR600 street fighter
15,167 Posts
First "big" bike? What have you ridden in the past? If it's anything smaller than a 599 cc, then you're not ready. I'm sorry but I can tell by your post that you have no clue what you're getting yourself into. The 06/07 had random models that the engine just shit itself (not sure why, but I believe it was a rare thing). "Toned-down" thing you mentioned is called "timing retard". Kawasaki and other brands cut the timing in gears 1 through 4 in order to make liter bikes (anything bigger than 998 cc) more "street-able". A TRD (timing retard eliminator) does exactly what it's called. They basically trick the bike's ECU into believing it's in 5th gear all the time, hence balls to the wall in all gears. Even with the timing retard in place, this bike is going to be too much for you to deal with. OR maybe you'll be able to ride it around and whatnot, but I don't believe you'll have a full handle on it and be able to fully enjoy it. You know what I mean? I'm really not trying to bust your balls, but a liter bike is nothing to sneeze at. Thinking "oh I'll just be easy on it" isn't good enough. Throttle response it nearly immediate, and if done incorrectly or mistakenly at the wrong time, can be dangerous. I was leaned on my GSXR1000 at a slow speed turn one time and accidentally bumped the throttle and that powerful bitch jumped and scared the shit out of me. It's things like this that drive most people to a 600 I believe. Liters have too much power for street riding that they tend to be frustrating to ride in my opinion. Most people that buy liter bikes only care about the crazy acceleration, which again in my opinion, is a stupid fucking reason to get one. A 600 also is nothing to take lightly. They're still fast as shit, tons of fun, and a lot more forgiving than a liter bike.

Long story short, I think you're looking at the wrong bike.

· Registered
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

yes, a bit of a ball-bust ;)

Last bike was a 750 street which i've put 20k miles on it over 2.5yrs

My language was simply put so I didnt get drawn into techy analysis (no dig at you, here), but rather what each are LIKE to ride.

I take on board everything you say. having had a z750, I want the following:

1) a physically big bike - i'm 6'5" / 260lbs
2) a faired bike - using a naked right now (Z hit the dust), & just dont like it
3) a "premium" bike as in kit & components - I ride all-year round (only snow will stop my daily commute around the back-roads/country lanes) and the Z just rotted too quick
4) having had the 750, I really dont want to go smaller
5) not a "true" sports bike (GSXR/R1/ etc) - i'm not a knee-dragger

Given my budget & type of bike I'm after, the '14 really is the best bet for me (fit/style), but I need to consider the possibility of over-cooking things. (very limited other choices that are faired/within budget/physically big enough - size, not CC) & no, I'm just not ready for a pan european/goldwing ;)

I've read from others that the '06-07 with the retard, is much more like a 600/750 but is it too big a jump after 6k (is my question) - would i be better with an '09 (without the step, but then what's the throttle response like from the go)

I'm not into whipping a bike, nor having the front-end lift off at the slightest blip.

test-rides are virtually out of the question until i'm into negotiation mode - but no point in getting to that point for a bike that really wont serve me as i want.

given what i've just said, would you say anything different. (my language choice isnt a true reflection of my understandings, but having never ridden one, I just want peoples thoughts on how they are - is it a problem for them, do they prefer 1 over the other - that sort of stuff.

for example: if, as you describe your GSXR incident, the '14 is similar/worse etc, then it probably wouldnt be a wise choice - if, on the other hand, the 08's are like that, but the limited 06/07 not until you get up the revs, then i could be ok with that & take it further

look forward to your further thoughts


· Registered
205 Posts
Both bikes are good and they got their up and down! I like the 06-07 model cause you can fix the lower rpm by taking the secondaries off and the injectors are big so you can always add a lot of fuel to it!
I have the 07 model and got over 300 passes with NO problems at ALL!! I have a friend of mine that put over 1500 passes on it and he weight over 200lbs and he never opened the motor to work on it! The 14s are great and the clutch are the best and very friendly and easier to ride, good luck with your decision and dont worry about you jumping from a small bike to a bigger bike...

· Registered
179 Posts
BB - I am an older, experienced rider and bought my 06 new (19K on it now). On a stock bike, the 6K surge can be described as a turbo spooling up --- the secondary butterflies open all the way up at that RPM and it pulls hard and immediate. Unless you are WOT in gears 1-3, it is not that bid of an issue. If you are in gears 1-3 and WOT, you better have it pointed in the correct direction before it hits 6K and you better have good traction or you will get into trouble real quick. You can pull the flies and add a PC to get rid of the issue (or add a TRE, which actually isn't even a TRE but that's another story). The motor is pretty tame under 6K - my 02 FZ1 feels like it pulls harder. Kawasaki claimed they toned it down under 6K to make it more rideable around town, but I feel it would be safer for the average rider to have the 2nd gen config, or to pull the flies and add a PC. Then the powerband would be consistent. Riding a stock gen 1 requires a smooth throttle hand as very minor inputs result in pretty substantial results.

Regarding the 14 in general - great bike. Leg room will be tight for someone 6'5". Long reach to the bars. Pretty sporty riding position, almost the same as my 02 ZX6R. Sport tires 3K. ST tires 4.5K. Motor throws a lot of heat. I've done everything from touring to trackdays on mine. I've also swapped bikes with 5-6 of my riding buddies (all older, experienced liter-bike guys) for 20-50 miles at a time on twisty roads. Every one of them loved the bike, but everyone of them also feared it. The fears were two-fold; the 6K impact, and that the bike is so smooth and aerodynamic that they had trouble judging their corner entry speed (they were entering corners much faster than they planned).

The most important recommendation I can make is that this bike demands respect. More than any bike I've ever owned or ridden.

· Registered
5 Posts
Hey BB, I been riding rockets for about 8 years now, been riding bike for almost 20. given I started on little dirt bikes etc. I rode my 05 636 for 6 years and 10,000 miles (I couldnt ride much after I joined the Air Force because of safety requirements that were tough to meet because of my work schedule). I just bought a 2008 SE zx14 and I have only been a couple hundred miles on it due to not enjoying riding when the rain is downpouring. a couple suggestions:

1. Stretch it, I can only get the front wheel up if I try really hard, lean really far back, stand on both back pegs and give it a good bounce. Given, I haven't tried too much yet. My back wheel breaks free very commonly... so be very careful at all times and be incredibly careful when in corners, because if you break the rear free in a corner, and your not quick to recover its gonna go on you.

2. I hate the idea of them messing with the bike to dumb it down, this is a personal opinion so I would go with the 2008+, respect the bike, and she will treat you right.

3. The thing handles like a dream. Although I don't like the feel of the front when I hit sharp bumps but other than that, cornering on it is a thing of beauty. I have rode plenty of other liter bikes through the years and I love this one.

4. I am biased, I love Kawasaki.

5. When I say be easy on it, I really mean it lol, I couldn't beleive that my back tire broke free with a 1/4 of the throttle in 2nd and not even at the peak in the power band. Although, I do ride in ND and our roads suck here, so that might be part of it.

6. I am also a lighter guy (170 give or take 10). So you should have a little more traction on that rear with the added weight.

7. You are going to piss yourself when you feel how smooth and beautiful this bike is.

---hope this gives you an insight to what my first 2 - 3 days on the bike were like. if you have any other questions feel free to hit me up.
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