If you're going to be riding around town a lot the 6R is the most comfotable, and practical. The seating position is less radical, and the grab rails and trunk space make it more versatile (passengers will thank you for the grab rails).
The 6R might be a tenth slower then the gixxer in the quartermile, but whats a 10th/s really
I was faced with the same question as you last year, similar circumstances too (mainly use to commute, little experience) and I picked the Kawi, and would do it again in a heartbeat.
I started out on a Honda F3, and found it to be a great beginner's bike, never gave me any handling or power trouble. I have never owned a Kawi before the 03 636 so I can't give great recomendations on those. All bikes are easily uprgradeable for cheap, so you won't get sick of them fast. I hate R6's for beginners bikes because they are notorious in my experiences for too easily tucking their front tire in comparison to the others. Go for the 6R or the Gixxer, not much diff except for looks & small ergonomics.
Hey I've planning on buying a midsize sport bike and i'm not really sure which model to pick. The ones that i'm considering are: 2002 Suzuki GSXR600, 2002 Kawasaki ZX6R, or a 2002 Yamaha YZFR6. Any other recommendations would be appreciated. I am a young biker about 17 and I weigh about 140 pounds. I don't have a lot of experience except for attending motorcycle school and guidance from my parents (who are riders). I have about $10,000 to spend on the bike and I plan to just ride it around the suburbs and some city driving (I live in Seattle). I need a bike that is a good learner bike and can accomodate me when I get a little better. Thxs for your help.
i agree with sgates on the r6... never had one personally, but have heard the same things about them being notorious for having nervous front ends - tucking and headshake = bad beginners bike as far as i'm concerned. The gixxer i would also stay away from as a first bike - they are pretty sharply focused... great bikes and awesome on the track, but may be a little too aggressive to start with.
The '00-'02 zx6r is a great 600. Performance is essentially equal to the other 600's of that year, and though it still would make an awesome track bike, it may fall a bit behind the others when pushed hard on a track by very experienced riders. I would say though that from '00-'02 it's probably hands down the best 600 for every-day street riding due to its strong motor (very good low-mid range compared to the others), comfortable seat and seating position, wind protection, stability, awesome brakes, smooth power delivery, etc. (great headlight output at night too... better than my '03 IMHO)
Of course I might be a slightly biased kawi enthusiast, but honestly from the bikes you mentioned, I really feel that the zx6r is easily the best as a beginner bike, and is the best street bike of the three period... regardless of how much experience you have. To show that I'm not TOTALLY biased, I've heard that CBR's are great beginner bikes as far as 600s go also. Though I noticed you left Honda out of your original post so I assume you are not considering one. I've never owned a CBR so I can't say first hand, but I bought and learned on a '01 zx6r and it was a great first bike. Just take it slow on whatever bike you wind up getting and ride safe! [8D]
I'd buy a used bike personally and put the leftover money into good riding gear. I have trouble saying that ANY supersport 600 is a good BEGINNER'S bike and if you MUST have one, get a used one so you won't feel so bad if you end up dropping it when and if you get in over your head. I've said it before, a Suzuki SV650 makes a FANTASTIC learner's bike with the potential to grow with a rider a bit (unlike the 250 and 500 Ninjas...), and it's a twin so the power won't OVERWHELM in top speed runs but will still give ya a good grin under the helmet once you get the basics down... and if you spend a year or two on a used one, you can sell it off for not much loss at all and wham, there's a good downstroke on a brand new supersport 600 when you are REALLY ready for one. Just MHO...
"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
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