Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just moved to San Diego and a friend of mine asked me if I had ever thought about getting a super sport bike...well, I never had, but now that I am looking into it, the 2002 zx6r sounds like the best bet. I am a new rider and I have actually never ridden a bike before so I figured I should get some advice. Considerations were: a. would i get tired of it (i.e. not enough speed) b. will it kill me the first time i throttle back (thinking carbs will be a little more forgiving than fuel injection) c. my understanding is that the 2003 went to a more aggressive riding style, but the 2002 is one of the more comfortable of the big 4 d. can i do this w/out spending over 8 to 9 grand (bike/helmet/2nd helmet/gloves/etc) If anybody has a better suggestion for a beginner I would love to hear it. I am trying to learn as much as I can about all of the bikes before I jump into it. Also, if anybody has a nice 2002 or similar bike, that would like to sell for cash, please let me know...
thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
If you've ridden dirt bikes in the past, or taken a motorcycle course, the ZX6R IS a bike some people can start with... but ya better give it respect, because it's got enough power to bite you in the @#$^*! if you get over your head someday...

I know a guy who started out with a pretty old '85 Honda Interceptor and upgraded to this. It's pretty hard to lose money on an older bike, and you can learn the ropes without worrying so much about dropping it. But, having said that, I also know a guy whose first street bike was a zx6r, mind you he had raced some motocross in the past too, so he at least was good on "bikes"...

Just my humble opinion. If you have good "road" experience (ie/ not 16) and are pretty good naturally on bicycles and so on, you could likely do it no probs...

I've been riding for over 17 years and I'm still buying supersport 600's so I can't see you getting bored of the power too quickly... people that tell you they're too fast for a 600 are usually full of it, not many people can ever push the 600 to its limit, even on track...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I just got a 2000 ZX6R for my first bike. Like dj dunzie said, if you were good on a bicycle and have some good common sense and respect for the bike, you should adapte well. Just do not try to do too much too quickly. I also found it helpful if you have ever driven a manual car too, so that you are basically used to having to shift and the feel of using a clutch and so on. I caught on quickly to mine, but watch it, cuz those little suckers will MOVE without you even knowing it!

Naz :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well, I don't have any dirt bike experience, but I do have a lot of experience with faster sports cars...just had to get rid of my saleen when I came to cali...would never pass the emissions tests.

As far as most people not reaching the full potential of a 600, for top end wise or just straight 0-60, a 1000 will be noticably faster, right? The reason I ask is only one of my friends has a 600 anymore and he is about to trade up on a new gixxer 1000. I am just wondering if I am going to be embarassed to get out there and ride with them and if they are going to make me feel like I am standing still.

One other question, bikes from california have modified exhaust to lower emissions and I was told it would lose 2-3 HP. Is 2-3 HP too much to lose for a bike or would it be worth the trip across state lines to purchase my new bike?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,191 Posts
being a new rider, a 600 is not going to hold you back at all.
a 600 has more power then anyone needs really.

a 1000 will pull away from you, but not a lot. Think the difference between a car with a stick, and the same car auto.
The stick will win, but not by a hell of a lot.

You're 600 will also be a lot more manerverable.

Kawi raced 2 600's in the AMA 750 class this year, and won some races, and overall finished 2nd. The 750's got the 600's on the staits, but the 600's passed em in the corners.

I would go 600 for sure. I got a 2002 6R as my 2nd bike (first was an 86 gixxer 750 with an 1100 dropped in it, but I only rode it a couple months b4 getting the kawi)
starting on a 750 or 1000 you won't learn a lot of stuff you should. Consider how much faster the 600 is then your saleen too, I don't know what your saleen could do, but the 6R can do 0-60 in around 3.1s, and quartermile in low-mid 10's.
The gixxer1000 cuts that down to 2.9 and 9.9s

The HP cut is annoying, but again it won't make a huge difference. Remember if you're friend gets their 1000 in Cali it will also be down on HP.


-=Welcome To Canada=-
2002 Green 6R
1986 Gixxer 7/11
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
Jamal, it's not hard to figure out you're a car guy... bike guys never really talk 0-60. It's such a split second thing, most bikes are through that test in well under 3 seconds now, it's almost a worthless comparison. And for that matter I bet most 600's are quicker 0-60 than big bore bikes because you can launch 'em so much easier...

Think of it in terms of roll-ons. If you're riding a 600 against big bore bikes (which I do regularly btw) and you're cruising at around 5,000rpm and everybody hammers it without dropping a gear, you will get left behind, and pretty noticably too... As a 600 rider, you have to realize that in order to make the 600 keep up on the straights, you need to be ready in the right rpm range to keep the power "on tap"... in other words, ya gotta really work 'em. Where a Gix 1000 will pull HARD from 4,000 rpm roll ons, 600's are kind of anemic in this range. You gotta get 'em screaming to keep up. When we come to a long straight I generally anticipate we're going to be letting her go and drop a gear so she's revving when they let it go, and then I have no problems running on their tails. But if I don't anticipate, bye bye.

Here's the thing though... monkeys can drive fast in a straight line. Hit some twisty roads and watch those big bore guys hold you up. 600's are lighter, more flickable, and actually GAIN from less horsepower, because it's much easier to be smooth and hold lines in the tight stuff, and you don't have to worry about "babying" on the power or powering out the rear to the same extent that Gixxer does. Of the 8-10 guys I ride with on a regular basis, my bike is likely slowest or 2nd slowest in a straight line, and yet I am almost always one of the quickest 3 guys. Just have to anticipate and work the bike.

Well, my bike WAS one of the slowest, I'm guessing straight line runs will be more fun for me this year <img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>... new bike oughta do alright at hanging with the big boys this year on the straights...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Do the jet kits and the after market exhausts really add enough performance to make it worth while? I was talking to a dealer earlier and he said he would put a carbon fiber slip on (whatever that is) and take a couple hundred off the price if I paid cash right then. Is this something I should consider doing? Take mods instead of trying to talk them down on price? I don't think I am going to care if my bike is really loud. Also, about the 2-3 HP I lose in Cali, would a full exhaust system eliminate the emissions regulator?

And are there any modifications that I should plan on making shortly after I get the bike, like better tires, or a jet kit, or the steering dampener. I guess what I mean, is are there any must haves that I could use in negotiating for my new bike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
I see several potential problems with you buying a bike currently. First off, your friend's influence seems to be more important than your safety, from what I've read so far.

You need to remember something. Just because you've drive fast cars doesn't mean that you can handle a fast bike. The two aren't even close in terms of what you need to be able to do to control the vehicle.

With a car, your eye to hand or eye to foot coordination is important, but if you screw up, you have a protective cage and seatbelts and airbags to protect you in the event that you hit something hard.

With a bike, your eyes have to transmit information to every part of your body, all at once, and you body needs to know how to react the right way to the incoming situation. You need time to learn those proper responses. If you screw up, there's no seatbelt, no protective cage, and no airbags (currently) to make the impact softer. All you have is a plastic/foam helmet, and a mm or two of cowhide to keep you in one piece.

So far in your posts you're concerned about keeping up with your friend who has an unknown amount of riding experience, and unknown riding style. Plus he's planning on moving up to a more powerful bike, and you're worried about being left behind. That's exactly the last thing you should be concentrating on now.

You should concentrate on learning how to ride safely, then concentrate on how to ride safely fast, then concentrate on how to ride safely fast, while under race conditions. And in that order.

Here's what I would recommend that you do. Buy the 6r if you like the way it looks, but for now, leave it stock. Work out the lowest price you can with the dealer. That alone will make you feel good.

Go take the MSF beginner's course. Use the bikes they provide, if you drop a bike during the training session, its a much better idea to drop someone else's bike than your brand new $8000 toy. Maybe ask your friend if he would be willing to join you. After you take the class, sign up for the advanced MSF class, and take it too.

After you take the advanced course, hunt down a Riding School and get in some of the go-fast training that they provide. Make sure that you bring your friends. Then sign up for track days. Being able to race your friends under safe conditions is incredible.

Then after you learn how to handle your bike when you are pushing the envelope, and you know what your limits are, you can then worry about making changes to the bike to keep yourself competitive with your friends.

Worrying about keeping up with your friends the very first day you own a bike will only lead to a dangerous situation, if not for you, then for someone who is following behind you. Crashing sucks, but the only thing worse is knowing that you caused someone else to lose it and wind up hurt.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't get the bike, but I am saying that you should learn to handle it before you try to keep up with guys who have more experience than you, and who are on bikes that have capabilities that far exceed the bike you are currently considering.

Plus you'll have alot more fun learning how to ride from race instructers on a closed track than you will learning how to not kill yourself on twisty roads with oncoming traffic inches away from you.

BC.


Edited by - bladecutter on 12/27/2002 09:39:16
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I guess I gave the wrong impression. Before I worry about going fast, I will take the MSC...I have to in order to bring it onto a military base. Besides that, a benefit of purchasing a new bike is the break in period...I think it is like stay below 4000 rpm for the first thousand. From what I have heard, 4000 rpm is around 45 to 50 in 6th gear, so that would eliminate hwy driving so I was thinking that would give me ample time to learn to ride. As far as keeping up with my friends, I was wondering about later. i.e. next year or the year after that, would I feel compeled to upgrade to a bigger bike. But since being on this site, I have talked to people who have been riding 600's for years and feel that they still haven't gotten everything out of it, so I am not really worried about speed anymore. Sure when they feel like it, on an open stretch of hwy they could probably leave me behind just to laugh at me, but I don't know if I would even want to go 160+...
Earlier I was more worried about 0-120 which is where I will spend 95 percent of my time on my new bike.
I agree with you completely though, I am definitely not going to come close to pushing the bike or try to go out and ride with my friends on the hwy for many months to come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
bladecutter hit it right on the head.

I started out on a 01 zx6r, I went to all the places the sportbikers hang out at.. and the 1st impression I got after talking to a bunch of them was.. Drive to your..and only your level. Do not let your friends influence your decision making process at all. You have to learn your bike. And being military should help you cope with it. You should have developed some if not more disciplinary skills by now.
Sportbiking is an incredibly fun experience.. just be carefull and keep the shiney side up.

01 6R Yellow Micron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
P.S. go to Santana's on the corner of Rosecrans and Harbor drive and have a steak burrito for me.. those things rock!!

01 6R Yellow Micron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
No offence to jamal intended here...

I am always leary of riding with new riders from a couple standpoints. First is that the group I ride with are NOT inexperienced and we tend to ride certain roads fairly aggressively. I'm always worried newer guys will either try to keep up and crash, or at least not enjoy themselves. Also, when you ride with experienced riders, you tend to learn their riding behaviour fairly quickly (when they're going to approach / pass, different types of signalling like double up / solo / slowing / lane changes / offsets / turns, etc etc etc), and you can trust them when they're BEHIND you most of the time. I find newer riders are just, well, scarier to ride with, never really can read them the same...

Having said that, I'm amazed at how quickly some people can get onto riding bikes and becoming more comfortable on 'em. We ride with a guy who started into biking about 3 years ago - he was STRAIGHT UPRIGHT and slooooow... today, we hardly wait for him at all even in the gnarliest roads... very impressive. And he's also much more predictable.

Guess I'm saying just get out there and RIDE RIDE RIDE... it all comes with practice and experience. (Track days are invaluable)

"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I understand completely, and no offense taken. On the plus side, I happen to live on north island in san diego, and most roads north of the bridge are fairly straight, fairly predictable roads with speed limits less than 50. That coupled with the 1000 miles break in, plus the safety course, the advanced safety course, and the fast course, that i have scheduled for 3 consecutive weekends will hopefully keep me alive until I learn a lot more. I already promised myself, can't cross the bridge until mile marker 2000....plus I have heard the gusts up there are really unpredictable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So, guys what do you think? 2002 zx6r or the 2003? For a new rider, do you think the 636 with the more extreme riding position would be a little too much or will there not be enough of a difference for a novice to detect in the first place?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,191 Posts
the 03 will certainly not be as comfortable on long rides as the 02.
It will be quicker for sure, but will you notice? No, probobly not for a couple years...

The 02 6R is a very refined bike. It's basically been a evolution since 98, so Kawi has it rock solid.
I do not regret getting my 02 6R, by the time I'm good enough to want something quicker, the ZX10R will be out :)

-=Welcome To Canada=-
2002 Green 6R
1986 Gixxer 7/11
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
Just my humble opinion, but if you are a brand new rider, the 636 is gonna be a REAL handful for you at 125 crank hp and very aggressive handling.

It's hard to lose much money on a used bike, but if you aren't happy with a brand NEW bike, you definitely will...

Why not learn the ropes on a slightly older (say '96) 6R or even a newer "more beginner type" bike like an SV650 or a YZF600 or similar??? You might enjoy the experience more than hopping right on to a hardcore sportbike for learning the ropes.

Or did I read your other post wrong and you aren't a new rider? In which case, any 6R is a good investment in my books ! <img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>

"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
no, dunzie, you have me pegged...never ridden a bike before in my life. I do know what you mean and I have thought about getting a smaller/older bike, its just when I see the pictures of the 03 zx6r my eyes get real big. does that seem stupid to you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Doesn't seem stupid to me that you want a new 6R, after it it does look superb. I started learning to ride about 3 months ago and 2 weeks later bought my first bike, a 2000 ZX-6R. As someone who had never ridden a bike before either i did find that bike a bit of a handful for the first week because you won't have confidence in the bike. Once you get more used to it, the bike will seem smaller and you will start to gain confidence and speed. My advice would be get what will make you happy, but respect the power of the bike and don't get over confident because you have been riding a few months. If so you will probably end up giving yourself a little scare on the road (i did this). If you dont want to shell out for the new one get a J1-J2 model. They are alot better than the older ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Hey jamal, i was in your shoes at the begining of the summer, never had riden a bike before in my life, until i rode my buddies 125 dirt bike down his street, and wow, i needed a bike! I went out and got a 250 Ninja pretty cheap for some private seller. the biek was pretty much brand new and it was perfect to learn on. I learned really quick how to ride a street bike. I also took a Motorcycle Saftey Course, which was really helpful in increasing my confidence. After about a month of riding the 250, i was looking on the internet, and found a 2002 zx-6r for sale for $6200, with only 450 miles on it, and it already had a yoshi can, and double bubble windscreen. So i traded my 250 in on the 600. I only got to ride the 600 2 weeks before i had to store it for the winter, but i can't wait for march to roll around, so my insurance kicks back in. I still have a ton of learning to do, but with respect, i think i could have started out on the 600. I have happy i started smaller and cheaper though, if you don't like it, you are not out that much. Also, it is usually in the first 6 months of learning that you will lay your bike down,it happened to me, and i am still mentally recovering, it was only like 2 miles an hour, but still hurt my confidence and pride, and i was more pissed about the bike than anything. Point is.... it happens, and there is nothing you can do, so do it on a crappy bike before you get your perfect new bike. As for money, bike, helmet, gloves, jacket, mods to your bike( I know you say you won't, but you will, trust me, it is like a drug, you can't stop), and other litte things, you for sure can be under $8000. HOWEVER, INSURANCE WILL KILL YOU!!!!! Be careful, you will have to carry full coverage if you get a loan, and my insurance was around $2000 a year, yes two thousand dollars a year with full coverage. I am 22 and live in ohio, so it might be different for you. But just be careful with insurance. It have been expensive, but i have loved every second on my bikes, and can't wait for spring and the rest of my life to be on 2 wheels, and one every now and then! Good Luck riding!!!!!!

2002 zx-6r
green, of course
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well, mojo, thanks a lot for the good wishes. I am going to learn on a cheaper bike though; the colleges. I will take the safety course and the adv course before i ever turn the engine over. As far as insurance, I have heard that it isn't that bad if it is a casusual vehicle, since I already have my car, adding a bike sometimes even makes the insurance go down (or so i have heard and hope). Plus we get great discounts for being in the military.

happy riding, i'll see everybody out there soon...hopefully i won't be the one picking my bike up off the side of the road.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top