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The '95-'97 are the same with minor changes (fork and frame reinforcement). The '98-'99 are pretty much the same and have the single headlight like the '95-'97. The engine is completely different than the '95-'97 engine and it is a little faster. Just about nothing is interchangeable between the '95-'97 and the '98-'99. The '00-'02 have the twin headlight. There is not a lot of difference in performance in any of them. The latter models are 20-30 lbs lighter than the '95-'97. I would get a '98 if the prices were similar.
 

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Im going to buy my first bike and it'll be a zx6r (probably next year)so what's the big difference? does it worth the extra $ for a 98 instead of a 97 and between 98-02 does it have some minor changes? thanks for your help
 

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I was reading in sport rider or one of those magazines that some early 98 models actually have a too tight tolerance on the cylinder bores. Just thought I'd put my 2 cents in.
 

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Performance on any of the 4 Jap 600's is gona be close. The performance difference from the 95 - 02 zx6r models is only slight. (approx 10hp, slightly less quarter time)

The 98 - 99 models look better than the 95 - 97 range. They have slightly smaller dimensions, reduced weight, shorter wheelbase, better brakes, new frame and body and slight engine tweaks (like new carbies).

The 00 - 02 models have the twin headlights which make the bike look awesome. They again have been upgraded from the previous model. It is better alltogether, but nothing radical.

The later the bike, the better it would perform on the track. But a better rider could beat an 02 rider on a 95 model.

It depends on how much you wana spend. I would go for a 98, but if you got the cash, an 00 or later would be sweat.

Ninjas kick ass!
 

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I`ve got an 02 ninja but on an 03 plate one of the last before the new model. Great bike and you get the 636 engine what more could you want.
 

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You won't see a lot of diff between the 98-99 and 00-02 models (except for the euro 02 636). I have owned one from each range, most noticable diff was the suspension. The latter may have a tad more power (and I stress "tad") but you'd have to dyno to find it, or be really sensetive to such things.
 

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The 636 engine in the 02 bike has over 40 differences from the old engine and you can`t just add the parts to the old engine either. I know the 03 636 is fuel injection but its nice to know that kwaki made an engine just for one year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!paul636 has attached this file: 06280008.jpg
 

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I've spent a LOT of time on the '98 and on the '01 / '02 model and even though cosmetically they're similar (at least once you get past the front end) and the ergos are near identical, the '00-'02 model is less top-heavy and that alone makes a BIG difference in how the bike handles. It's also got a few extra ponies due to a rework of the engine for the '00 model. If you can find one for near the same price, the '00 is a very strong update on the '99, and in the end is a better motorcycle.

And for the record, I also had a '96 ZX6R which I really liked. For some reason I found it torquier than my '98 and was a real wheelie demon. The updates between the '99 and '02 to me seem more noticeable than the ones between the '97 and '98...

Good luck.
 

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Right on DJ:D I love my '96, and like you said, it really likes to pull the front end off the ground. In the twisties, it handles anything you throw at it and still feels solid. I can't even imagine what the 636 must be like. I know if I test drive one I'll have to have it, so I must refrain for now and be content with paying the bills and tuition. Maybe next year!
 
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