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I am helping my son purchase a new street bike, both financially and advice wise. He currently has plenty of riding ability. He is 21 and been racing motocross for 11 years, trips to Loretta's, pro arenacrosses and a top contender in the pro class for 5 years. He wants to take a break from dirt racing and get a street bike. He has his eye on an 07 or 08 zx-6.

My current street ride is an fjr 1300...after many cruisers and a Kaw zrx 1200. I have learned that comfort and the ability to carry 'stuff' and a significant other is a nice benefit to have for street riding. Also not having to run around town at 15,000 rpms. I am not concerned with his ability to control the bike and the discipline to gradually and safely increase his abilities on the street. I am concerned that the rx-6 will not be as much day to day real life fun for him as he thinks.

Am I just an old fart or is there another model that would suit him better and still allow him to enjoy some adrenaline, twisties, day long/weekend tours and still be happy with his choice? If this bike doesn't "fit", he will not be able to purchase another one.

Sorry for the long post but I want him to be happy and enjoy his new ride...Especially when we take off together for a weekend of fun! Good roads are about 3.5 hours away.

Thanx for your input!
 

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It really depends on him. I ride my bike (05 zx6r) as a daily commuter to school and work for 3 years now. Lots of people have ridden them on long trips, and I've done my fair share of several hour trips without any issues. However some people will complain about being uncomfortable for long trips and it's certainly no FJ. Because he's young I'd say it will be fine and a lot of fun for him. On the other hand don't assume that he will be able to seamlessly transition from dirt to street. There are some fundamental differences between street and dirt that could get him into trouble, and a supersport bike isn't very forgiving. For instance he can't go stomping on the rear brake or counter leaning anymore or he will end up in a whole lot of trouble.
 

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there are some differences with street riding...however some of the things hes learned in the dirt will transition, and may be very beneficial. i do think that he should probably take a basic rider course to get acquainted with street riding. he may not think he needs it but it would probably open his eyes to how different a street bike actually is!

i think the ZX-6 would be a good choice. i went from a KX125 to my ZX-6. i just took it easy around the neighborhood at first, getting used to the bike, and now ive been riding on the street for a couple months and have been having a blast.

as for riding around at 15000 RPMS...thats not necessary. when im just riding around i have it below 6K, unless i just want to take it up a little higher. theres really no need to get it up that high IMO.
 

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For instance he can't go counter leaning anymore or he will end up in a whole lot of trouble.
counter balancing is a good technique to know for low speed manuvers...u turns and slow turns primarily. i do agree on not stomping the rear brake though!

one other thing that will be useful from riding dirt is getting off the seat to absorb bumps. i see people all the time just sitting down on the seat. but when i go over some nasty bumps or train tracks i rise up off the seat just a tad and allow the bike to work underneath me, just like when riding dirt. saves your kidneys some pain too :)
 

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If he's been riding dirt bikes for that many years, and he's 21, the ZX-6R is perfectly fine. I've ridden dirt bikes, fat cats, quads, etc. since i'm 12, and a Ducati Monster 620 up until this past January. The ZX-6R is plenty of power for me and I too have a blast on it.
 

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I went from never being on a bike in my life, to a zx-6. May 08. Love my baby.. If carrying things is a big thing for him, he MAY want to look elsewhere, although I just use my backpack if i do need to carry a little something here or there. As for the 15K RPM around town-- not a worry. I RARELY pass 9-10K. Only time i ever do is if i'm really getting down on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow...thanx for the quick replies and advise concerning him adjustiing to proper street techniques. He does realize they are different beasts and I know he will be cautious and want to slowly advance with the proper and correct techniques. We will discuss extensively the fact that he needs to relearn some basics for safe and in control street riding and I will be praying that he does not have an "experience" to soon where he reacts based on his current skill set. Again, I am not to worried about that versus the comfort and real life practicality of a supersport. Can he ride for 3.5 hours to get to the twisties and then ride all day on mountain twisty roads? (that is why I am currently on an FJR, plus i am an old fart) Can his girlfriend ride on back and be comfortable. Will they be able to carry 'stuff' with them to make the ride enjoyable. (rain gear, purses, additional clothing, etc) Does the bike have enough torque to ride comfortably around town without revving? etc.

I know in his mind that the zx6 is the bike he should be on. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have that bike in the stable to be able to jump on and go play for a while. But will it practical enough for him/them/us after the new wears off?

Thanx again!
 

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The question is, does he care about daily commute comfort and being able to carry stuff or is it you being a concerned father from experience wanting that? I'm asking because if I remember when I was 21, that was farthest from my mind. You also mentioned you just wanted him to be happy, without really knowing your son and having to guess......I'd say the sportbike is much more likely gonna make him happy. While the cruiser is more practical for the mature stuff discussed. Speaking about mature stuff, insurance rates is probably night and day between the two bikes.
 

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pffft.... im 20 and i pay 250 a year for insurance on my 06 ZX6R. my buddy has absolute full coverage on his 08 R6 for 500 a year but under his dads name as primary, theres plenty of ways around insurance, as for fun, this will be a great bike, if this wasnt his first sport bike i'd recomend the zx1000 because it will have the grunt for 2 people positioned more properly for long rides and has the room to strap on luggage bags and stuff and still handles great. but as his first one id stay stick in the 600's even with all the years of motocross riding taken into mind. back packs is the only way to take stuff with you on the zx6r imho the seat compartment can only hold paper unless you get a solo cowl which then theres no rear seat then you can hold glasses and a wallet and tiny things like that haha. they make tank bags but they are tall and get in the way if you want to crouch in any bit and i doubt saddle bags would work on this haha. so back pack or bust.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MB...you just hit the nail on the preverbial head! It is me being concerned and wanting to help with experience. Anything other than the zx is not currently on his radar, and right now, he could care less about the 'mature' stuff i am talking about. However, in short time he may wish he had some of those options. I just don't want him or his girlfriend to not want, or be able, to ride as much because of these "mature" factors. And yes, the insurance bill is going to suck!

I am not suggesting he consider a cruiser...not enough performance, lean angle, etc...but what about a standard or sport rather than supersport or something that might more easily accomodate and yet still provide the performance he will desire.
 

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I'm surprised BC didnt mention the passenger seat. I sat on that seat just chillin in the parking lot & its hard as nails! She's gonna hate it, thats for sure.

As for the around town torque, i'd say theres not a whole lot of torque really. I almost want to say that he may fit a ZZR or 636 better, but in actuality my very limited overall experience nearly nullifies my opinion.
 

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Whether he's got motocross experience or not, street riding is a WHOLE diff world, the motox guys tend to adapt but, ANY newer 600 can bite you in the ass if your not careful, i personally would look to a used 03+ bike instead of a new bike, because no matter what ppl say your eventually gonna wreck, just the nature of the beast.
 

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MB...you just hit the nail on the preverbial head! It is me being concerned and wanting to help with experience. Anything other than the zx is not currently on his radar, and right now, he could care less about the 'mature' stuff i am talking about. However, in short time he may wish he had some of those options. I just don't want him or his girlfriend to not want, or be able, to ride as much because of these "mature" factors. And yes, the insurance bill is going to suck!

I am not suggesting he consider a cruiser...not enough performance, lean angle, etc...but what about a standard or sport rather than supersport or something that might more easily accomodate and yet still provide the performance he will desire.
Man, sounds like your son's mind is made up already. I think anything less than a ZX-6R will leave your son wondering "what if". He may be satisfied with something else, but more than likely not truely happy until he learns what it is like on the ZX-6R on his own (ahhh...to be 21 again!). A good compromise might be the ZZR600. Then again, to your son it will be a "compromise". Tough choice as a father.
 

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I personally would suggest a 636 model if he's gonna be riding someone on the back. A little more grunt down low to deal with the extra weight. And the seat on a 636 will be a little more comfy. Both seats. But most deffinately make sure that he ride and gets some good experience on the ss before putting anyone on the back. And as for the luggage... I always just carry a back pack, and have taken a couple of 5-6 hour trips for a few days with nothing more than a back pack with no problems.
 

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I'm surprised BC didnt mention the passenger seat. I sat on that seat just chillin in the parking lot & its hard as nails! She's gonna hate it, thats for sure.

As for the around town torque, i'd say theres not a whole lot of torque really. I almost want to say that he may fit a ZZR or 636 better, but in actuality my very limited overall experience nearly nullifies my opinion.
thats not nec true that she is going to hate it... I rode a friend of mine last week on the back of my zx-6r and she said the seat felt more comfortable to her that my 250 and that it wasn't terrible...

guess it all depends on how big the rear end tush is lol..

I think your best bet will be take your son to a very large powersports store and let him sit on a few different bikes and see what feels best to him.....

I love my zx-6r and I had a 08 250r before that....

I do get more tired quicker on my zx-6r and they are not made for super long trips.. but I have noticed the more I ride my bike, the more I get used to it, and the less sore my rear is after riding...

but there are things you can do to combat this such as get a more comfortable aftermarket seat... change out the rearsets, adjsut positions of bars and things like that... nothing is set in stone and certain adjustments to the bike can be made within its limitations...
 

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if the 3.5 hrs is gonna be all slab. hes not going to be very comfortable. once the "twisties" start, he will be "tired"

and storage? hahaha. yeh, insurance card, and registration. thats about it. unless he wants to run a tank/tail bag.

i recently did 650 miles. it wasnt too bad. but hardly any slab. over 2 days, 440 or so the 2nd day. i was still hurting by the end of the day. all this on an 05 636. while its not an 07+ the ergos are similar.

the 3+hrs of slab is going to take its toll....being stuck in the one position is the problem.
 

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my buddy on his R6 pays 500 a year for all the stuff i have plus comprehensive for 5k i think. maybe 6k and thats on his own main rider 20 years old. also i to have gone 4 hours straight riding, that was just around wasting gas lol no destination i was just bored as crap, and i got spacers/risers on my foot pegs so my knees are much more bent and the only problems i've ever had with comfort is like 3 times ever my knee joints got pretty sore but a quick stop walk around for 5 minutes lay down for 5 then good to go!!!
 

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The zx6 is not nearly as bad a commuter as some may lead you to think.

I daily drive mine and have no problems at all. At first anything over a two hours or so was pushing it, but you quickly get used to it. Now a 2 hour ride is nothing.

I put 9 hours of riding in one day on my zx6r, with just driven grips, puig DB, and smokinkawi rearset raisers for "comfort" mods. All three will help a LOT on the long highway rides.

As for the city commuting and passengers, a 20 dollar or less -1 front sproket more then makes up for the seemingly lackluster low end. They are heavily race geared from the factory, which is one reason why they seem like such turds down low. Close to 90mph in first gear is really unneccesary for a street bike.

If he has his mind set on the zx6r, the truth is he will not be satisfied with anything else. I say let him get it, and I bet he will love it more and more every day.

I am very happy that I chose the zx6r over the zx10r, although I admit the power of the 10r is dangerously tempting. The zx6r is just a light, easy to ride and flickable bike that you don't feel like you have to manhandle at low speeds and in traffic, but still really comes alive in the twisties.
 
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