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Well, let assume that you want a brand new ZX-6R(636). To answer your last question, there is no way that your buddy would leave you behind if you take in consideration the specs on both bikes. I guess that it would be up to each rider's ability as to who bites the dust. And that applies even if your buddy is riding on a liter bike.
IMHO I don't think that you will "outgrow" a 600. Unless you have some serious riding skills there is no way that you will push your bike to the limit and live to tell the story. Having a 600 has an advantage, maneuverability! You can take turns that a guy on a GSXR1000 wont dare to.
I have a friend who's first ever bike was a GSXR600 and he has not had an accident or really big scare yet. His trick is to ride within his limits and only pushing a bit at a time to increase his learning curve and riding ability. He doesn't let his lack of experience ruin his rides. It also helps that all of us in the riding group understand and respects his decision to take it "easy".
With that said, dont let your friend's opinion about brand influence YOUR decision. He is just getting his first bike so what does he knows about them, what his buddies tell him??
I am gonna catch some hell for what I am about to say, but here it goes anyway. It makes no difference if you buy honda, suzuki, yamaha or KAWASAKI. All four companies have great bikes in the 600cc class that will give you many hours of enjoyment while riding. My advice is that you need to sample each bike and find that best suits you. Riding positions can make a big difference. Sit on the bikes and the one that "tickles your pickle" should be the one to go with. All 600s are priced around the same so that shouldn't be a factor, unless you can get a REAL good deal.
If your buddy wants a go, tell him to come on down to MD and see how good he fares against my 2002 ZX6R!:D

Let Saddam come and play!
 

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I felt the same way you did about starting on a 250 so I went with the 6r. A 600 is ok for a starter if you can respect it. The second you don't, she will turn around and bite your ass. I also have a friend with a F4i but his is a 2003. He was faster then me, but then agian he is experienced and I'm not. If you get the 636 you will have him everytime once you get some experience.
 

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Get the new 636!!!! I've road several street bikes and the new 2003 zx6r has been my favorite. The engine is a little flat at lower rpm, but once you reach about 9,000 that bike really flies! Actually for being a new-b, it might be too much power for ya. Take it easy at first until you get use to it. My fear isn't dumping it... it's looping it. The front end like to come up a lot! Be careful and good luck. And by the way... you won't have any trouble beeting a '02 F4i with a new 636...[8D]
 

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wow. Thanks for the quick responses.

I've been around to a few dealers and sat on the bikes to get a feel for them. Like I mentioned, the Kawi just felt right for me.

Another thing I was asked to ask here...I must admit I'm a little curious myself. I'm 5'10 and have no problem holding the bike. The problem is I only weigh 130lb. At 5'10 I'm a bean pole to say the least. Is my low weight going to be any significance when riding?

once again, rather than starting with a 250 I plan on being cuatious with the 6R. I know it has a lot more power to say the least. I would definitely respect that. I'm not the daredevil type to go out and *try* to push the bike any furthur than I know I have control over it.

Ohh, and yes, the bike would be an '03.

Anything else worth mentioning?

Thanks again,
Daem
 

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Daem,
I was looking at your post and was not going to say anything at all but decided I would give you my recomendation.
Do you have any motorcycle experience at all? Do you have a MC license? Have you ever ridden on the street before? I ask you these questions because I have seen a lot of my close freinds buy bikes and get hurt bad because evryone told them 600 were small, or down on power. I have rode just about everything on the market, and prefer the 600. Let's face it 100+HP on a stock 600 is more then anyone needs on the street.
I would suggest you find a used Suzuki SV 650 and ride that for a while and get used to riding with cars and other on road obsticles first. The SV is an awsome bike to ride (much better than a EX250/500)
and then move up to a six hundred. It is better for you to learn on a used bike that you don't have to pay alot for than to buy a new ZX6r and have to repalce the plastic because yopu dropped it while getting your license.
Just a thought. I have had several street bikes all kawasaki's(I like the race green color ok!) From ZX6 to ZX12 and have always favoured the 600.
Good luck!
 

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MX is absolutely right. If you are talking about buying the new ZX636R, not only will you be in over your head on a very extreme motorcycle, but you'll also be hard on an engine that wants to be driven by an experienced rider (ie/ revved not lugged)... it probably won't be an enjoyable experience.

You will not lose out much money at all buying and selling a used motorcycle. Used bikes hold their value very well... find a clean SV650 to master your skills. It's more than enough power for a new rider, and won't seem "out of place" with your buddies. On top of that, it's a twin so it is WAY more forgiving than the new 636 would be. Take some courses, do some track days, and once you're ready to buy a supersport 600 do it, again you won't lose much cash on the deal... I've made money on the last two used sportbikes I sold, trick is to find a good deal in the first place.

I've been riding 17 years, and I ride a supersport 600 (the 636). I can't see you "outgrowing" it in your first years. Nobody this side of the AMA ranks can ride the 636 to the limits of its potential. And most good (but not pro) racers are faster on supersport bikes than open class bikes on most tracks, most days.

As for which is faster, the ZX636R would EAT the F4i in ANY type of ride. However, the F4i would be a much better beginner bike than the 636 anyway if you MUST have a 600 supersport. The riding position is FAR less extreme, it's not as demanding to ride, and you should be able to find a used one to save some cash. They're still a good all-around streetbike, they just aren't hardcore enough to compete with the new 600's. The 2002 Kawasaki ZX6R is also an outstanding all-around motorcycle, very much on par with the F4i, only better because of the Kawasaki logos ;)

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

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Well, I'm a total newb but think a bike would be fun for this summer. I plan on taking things easy but think a 6R would be better for a first purchase so I'll have room to grow. My brother made the mistake of getting an EX250 for his first Ninja and while he loved the bike, he always complained of the lack of power. I don't want that to happen to me. He's owned several Kawi's and loved them so I kind of took his brand loyalty and would like to get a Kawi for my first bike.

I've been warned by others that starting with a 600cc bike isn't a good idea but I'm not made of money. Whatever I choose I'm going to be stuck with for quite some time. I don't want to be lacking on the power later when I'm comfortable with the bike. I have ridden before, but not for a very long time so my experience is somewhat limited.

Should I start with the 6R?

Another thing that's been getting to me is my best friend of a long time moved away but we stay in contact. He has a bunch of friends where he's at now that have swayed him out of cars and into bikes. He's about to take the keys of an '02 CBR 600 F4i and has kind of critisized my choice of going with the Kawi. How does the 6R fair against the F4i?

I know these are total newb questions, but please bare with me. I'd love to ride a Kawi. Having been on a few others in the past the Kawasaki's always felt best to me.

So, general warnings? Any advice for a newb? Things to watch out for? When I meet up with my friend later am I going to regret the 6R and see him fade away in the distance if we decide to be stupid and race?

Thanks,
Daem
 

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I never recommend a 600 to a newbie either. I'm not saying ti can't be done, but it's a much easier and safer route to learn on a more forgiving, and easier bike to learn on.

I'm reminded of a line from "On any given Sunday"... I don't remember it word for word...but the narrator is describing the HD dirt-track bikes that had somewhere between 70-100HP and lightweight (so, similar to the ZX-6R but not as fast) and to put this into perspective for the people new to the sport he said "this would be about equivelant to having 1000HP in your family car". That's due to the HP/weight ratio. If you think a 1000HP car is a good candidate to learn on...
 

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There is always a debate on whether a 600 is too powerfull to start on or not..
I don't think there is a set answer, it depends on how you handle it.

I started my 02 6R with almost zero experience (my only experience was a couple weeks on a GSXR1100 actually) :)
I have not had and scares, but 2 people I know had accidents within a month or two of getting their 600's.

I'd take either of the Kawi's (02 or 03) over the F4i. The 02 Kawi has almost identical power/performance, but it much more comfortable, especially on long rides. The 03 stomps the F4i, but again you'll probobly not be a good enough rider to notice one way or the other for a couple years (I know Im not good enough to tell)


-=Welcome To Canada=-

2002 Green 6R
1986 Gixxer 7/11
 

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I began reading this thread with horror although thank god some sanity prevailed in the end. For every one total novice that started riding a high powered sport bike and survived ten didn't. Only problem is those who don't survive are not around to tell the story on sites like this so we tend not to hear about them.
If you are asking questions like this here you are obviously very unsure of your abilities start slow.

In your post you comment that you are not made of money.... well in that case don't get a new 6r, insurance cost high, tyre cost high, maintenance high. We all drop our bikes, even if it is in a carpark slipping on chunder, at some stage. The chance of if happening in the first couple of years of riding are high, 6r repair cost high .... Chances of coming off at high speed high...maybe slight over use of high, it happens.

"See him fade away in the distance", not likely, in the mirror maybe.

Reading over your post again I do not believe you will be able to control the urge to use all available power!

[^]"if we decide to be stupid and race?"[V]

Confidence and Ability should not be Confused
 

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Very good advice people. Starting on a smaller bike is not exactly what I want to hear even if it is the right idea and I am strongly considering going lesser now that I've read all your replies. I spoke to my brother on the issue late yesterday and his personal opinion is get the 6R and he would help me with it. He has over five years of experience with bikes > 600cc. I should have mentioned I have rode a EX250 and various other street bikes with few problems if any. I know they're not in the same class at all but I have *some* experience vs. none at all. He said taking the MSF course first is a must and his wife has agreed to let me use her EX250 to get my MCL on.

If you all honestly don't think I could start on such a bike I will look for a smaller more friendly bike. If you think having guidance and an experienced rider to ride with would make it any easier to get started on a 6R then I'll probably go that route and hope for the best.

The comment on whether or not we were stupid and decided to race was just to see how the 6R would fair against my friends bike. It wouldn't under any circumstances be in the near future at ALL.

I respect and appreciate all your opinions and views on the issue. I'll start looking into a smaller bike today if that's the route I need to go.

Thanks,
Daem
 

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look into either a katana 600, or the yzf-600r. Or heck buy an older used 600 ninja. This way insurance will be lower, they have less power, and if you drop it, hey it's used. You don't have enough experience to break a bike in. Even if your brother could, this bike will do wheelies in third gear![xx(] I am starting to think that a 600 may not be good for me either. I could get an aprilia rs50 and put in a big bore kit, a few other items, make it the best two stroke sportbike, that will top out at 85 mph, which is perfect for around town riding. Bike is only 3 grand. 32 inch seat height and it weighs as much as you do.in three months I could have it, if I make a grand a month, another two months for gear, I will be riding before winter, and I can ride it to the most the bike can handle, and not be going the speed limit. This couldreally help my skills in riding and the 50 has the same characteristics as a 600, light flickable and fast.

RE[]DE[]\[]-|-
 

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Hey Daem, sounds like you got a good head on your shoulders. You don't necessarily have to go smaller displacement... just go less hardcore. There's been some very good more "starter" like bikes mentioned... the SV650, the YZF600R, the Bandit or Katana 600's, or if you're really confident, how about a Kawasaki ZR-7S or like red_rocket says an older 600, like an older CBR600... bikes that will still grow a bit with you, but not be so demanding to ride, and save you some money. To me the SV650 / SV650S is ideal, because it's a twin, it looks pretty cool, and will grow with you AND still be forgiving while you get onto it. And yes, it always helps to have a more experienced rider to ride with while you're learning, as long as they are actually helping you rather than tempting you into riding above your abilities...

Good luck... and keep us posted.

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

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I am with DJ fully on his statement about riding within your limits, not the people you are with. Just because someone on a gixxer hits a turn at 80 doesn't mean you have to come close. If you ride with a good group, they should not be leaving you way behind. I made that mistake a few times when I first started riding, and overcooked a few turns myself. Luckily, no accidents though! No matter what you start out on, take your time!!! That is the single best peice of advice I can give you. No matter whether or not you start out on a 250, or a liter bike, ride at your own pace. Go to track days, get some time there, probably the best thing you can do for yourself and your bike. If you can't afford track days, find a clean parking lot with very little obstacles and practice turning both directions, doing circles, emergency stopping, clutch control, shifting, everything. No matter how much experience you have, nothing will substitute seat time. You do seem like a responsible guy, and that is a good thing. Maturity, and experience will make or break you. Good luck! Happy riding!

-Cops want a hot pursuit, so entertain them! -Shadee
 

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Well people. My eyes have been opened. I made the long drive up to where my brother lives and talked more about my options and rode my brothers friends GSXR600. I'm speechless. "whoa" is all I could utter. All it took was a shaky ride around the block to make me realise that's WAY too much power to begin with.

I'm gonna look for a good deal on a used ex250 for starters. =)

If it hadn't been for all the replies here I might have rushed out and bought a new 6R. I would have been in way over my head then.

Once again, thanks for all the replies and opinions. I really appreciate it. Sorry for wasting your time. :(

Thanks again,
Daem.
 

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Thats good you found out before you dropped all that cash :)

a 250 is good to start, but you should also look at the suzuki sv650, it is quick, but very controlable (V twin). It's a sport-touring style..good on long rides, and reasonable on insurance.





-=Welcome To Canada=-

2002 Green 6R
1986 Gixxer 7/11
 

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Well, I think I'm just going to spend as little as possible and get something to ride for experience. I'll have a 6R...some day. Just not yet.

Daem
 

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Originally posted by Daem

Well, I think I'm just going to spend as little as possible and get something to ride for experience. I'll have a 6R...some day. Just not yet.

Daem
Good choice! That's what I tell people too...the bike will still be there when YOU are finally ready for IT. There's no rush, take your time and do it right, the consequences are too high. Most people don't listen to this kind of advice though, they already have the seed planted in their head and put the bliders on. Not you, bravo!
 

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WOW... a newbie just bristling with common sense... I'm impressed... you're gonna be a star someday. [8D] Good luck finding the right ride and keep us posted.

I like this guy already.

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

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Let me be the last guy to jump in here.

Daem,

First off, there is nothing wrong with a Ninja 250. It will save you a ton of cash and it is a lot lighter to deal with your first time around.

Yes, a 250 is slower than 600 and bigger bikes. But at a normal pace (in town and moderate freeway speeds) a Ninja 250 is plenty capable. A 250 will easily go over 100 MPH. Learning the art of motorcycle riding is not a race or contest. Anyone on a group ride that would haul off and leave you in the dust with you on a 250 isn't someone you want to be riding with in the first place.

Nothing wrong with learning and honing your skills on a Ninja 250 or a Ninja 500 even. Start slow. Buy proper protective gear. Take the MSF course. Take your time.

Also Ninja 250 and 500's resell really fast, you will have no problem getting rid of the bike when you are ready to upgrade.

Also at 5'10", you do not have a height issue, which is a good thing. So it will be hard for you to topple over. Just stand up and balance the bike. So having height helps. Ask anyone that's short and rides a motorcycle. They'll tell you they'd love to have a few more inches in the inseam, I guarantee it.

Ride the smaller bike say 6 months to a year. By that time you will have gained skill and will be ready for something bigger. A 600 is a great sized bike, it has power and manuverabilty. I rode a 929 a few days ago, I didn't like the feel of it. Yes it was more torquey, but, my 600 does everything I could possibly want a bike to do and more. A 250 is easier to ride than a 600, everyone will tell you that.

Also, most (not all of us) but most of us here have a 2000-2003 Ninja, but we all didn't start on those bikes. Most of us started on older bikes and/or smaller bikes. We worked our way into the newer 600 stuff.

As far as group rides, most will put an experienced rider up front. Then the riders with less experience or smaller sized bikes go in the middle, then a more experienced rider follows in back. That way the pack has a good pace.

Good luck and keep us posted. And pardon me if I repeated some of what has already been said. This is a good group of guys (and gals) here and they all know their stuff.

-Flash





"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but habit" - Aristotle
 
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