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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, and sorry if this seems like a dumb thing to ask others, but I just cannot make up my mind. Start upgrading my bone stock (only tires) 02 or switch to the 03.
I post in this forum because track riding is (almost) all I care about.

I got my license and my 02 pretty much a year ago and did maybe 20-25+ track days this summer, some longer 10*20min, some shorter 3*20min. On the last one I got within 5 seconds of the fastest street riders on my local track. They in turn are about 5 secs slower than SS winners. In the "B" or "amateur" 600 class they would finish in the top 5 and they would not be last in the SS races either. They don't race on my local track and I did not get enough time on any other track to say for sure, but I think my speed should be similar to last place finishers in the "B" class. This is based on lap times only, and somewhat loosely. And at the national level, with a population of 5million. I have no idea how fast European top level riders go. Or american, for that matter.
So what I'm trying to say with this is that I'm not that slow anymore but certainly have a lot to learn. I decided that I would not[:M71] start racing next year but just do all the track days I can[:p]. I need some (1)more speed and (2)better finances.

I am, however, still a newbie and I'm looking for a bit of advice.

I love the 03. The look, the sound when you ride it, the feel of it and it turns so much faster than my bike, even after I raised the rear on my 02 by 6mm. Not that I really feel a terrible need to able to turn faster. Only in one 200+kmh "chicane" would I really have wanted a faster turning bike.
I would probably be a little quicker on the 03 but would I learn faster as well? I'd like to fool myself that I would, because the bike has more potential and so pushing myself farther would be easier. But that is probably not true.

But while my original mindset was that the 03 would be the "ultimate track missile" and I would not have to upgrade it for a while, that seems not to be the case. A recent post here makes me think the 03 rear shock is junk, as Dan Kyle would throw it away. Now I'm not stupid and that was grossly exaggerated, and I realize I won't be racing with my street bike. But still, given continued drops in lap times next summer, will the stock shock start to piss me off?

My budget is supertight, as I still have to study for some time and can't keep a year-round full time job, so IF i switch to a 03 I won't be upgrading it. And either way, I'll be selling my street bike after next summer, to make way for a race bike[:p].

I can probably get 11K for my 02 and a new 03 for 13300euros. So 2000€ difference to be spent on either a new bike or hopefully less than that for suspension mods for my 02.

03 pro's
-faster
-lighter
-like it more
-better suited to the track
-guarantee
-if I total it insurance will buy me a brand new bike, as opposed to a bike bought used, like my 02.
-shift light, really want one of those, but kinda bad rason to buy a whole bike, I know[:I]

keep my 02 pros
-cheaper
-no hassle with selling and buying (I'm the king of sloth[:I])
-err? cheaper

keep my 02 cons
-any mods will not better resale value(I think?) and I'll only have it for one season, so it feels a little like throwing away money.



Do you have any thoughts on the matter? Besides: yawn[:I]
Have you owned both? 00-02 and switched to 03. I'm repeating myself here but street riding is not important, the track is where it's at for me.
Thanks in advance for any input.
 

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Get a new one!!! Otherwise you´ll just keep drooling every time you see my Kermit :)
And make sure it´s a green one... they´re the fastest [^]
 

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Grab the latest Sport Rider magazine: they compare a 2002 ZX-6R with the new '03 ZX636B (also a '98 vs. '03 R1, same article). Both "older" bikes received upgrades such as pipe, jetting, and suspension work. The new bikes are mostly stock.

The results are very interesting. I think that article's right up your alley. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag, except to comment "never underestimate the value of aftermarket suspension!" On sale now at your local news stand...

I find the '03 an interesting bike. But it's brand new, a radical departure from the previous bikes, and makes waves in the moto press. That always catches people's attention, living as we do in the 15-second-sound-byte generation.

Same thing happened with the 1996 and 2000 Gixxer 750s, respectively, each a radical overhaul of a previous design carefully honed by racing R&D. The older designs weren't "bad," but the new clearly a step forward.

I'm sure there will be teething issues with the '03s (possible transmission issues under hard use, e.g.). The '02 ends a seven-year dev cycle, with moderate upgrades in 1998 and 2000. My '95 Gixxer 750 was last of a long line of well-understood, finely-tuned bikes: the transmission shifted like butter, it never broke, etc. and certainly hauled ass by the standards of the day. Don't write off that '02 just yet, IMO.

-=DRB=-
 

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If you will be selling your street bike after next summer anyway why bother doing anything. By the sound of your experience you have more gains to be made from improving your riding ability rather than improving your bike. What the hell do you want a shift light for .... if you have time to see that whilst pushing hard ...well... your not pushing hard.
If you are really serious about going quick on the track you are going to come off, forget insurance as it will not cover track use, so sell your road bike now before it's worth nothing, you obviously can't afford your addiction at the moment.
Seriously, sell your road bike now and buy a cheap race bike that does'nt matter what happens to it and bank the rest. If you need your road bike for transport don't keep pushing it on the track it will fall down eventually.

Enjoy and Stay Upright
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Falling off, yeah, unfortunately it's probably going to happen (again) sometime, hopefully not for a while yet, I'm not pushing my limits as much anymore.

Funny thing about insurance over here is that they DO cover track use, as long as it's not a timed event or practice aiming at racing:D. Now this situation might not last forever and some companies you have to pay 20% of the value should you crash at the track, but most cover it completely. I'm certainly not going to go running to them for some scratched plastics, or bent clip-on, but should I total the bike, I might have to claim it.
Someone screams:you bastid, my premius go up beacause of you. It was uncovered last year that the Finnish insurance companies were making over 50% winnings on their bike coverage, and will be forced to drop their prices since that is against some law about acceptable profit for mandatory insurance. Oh and 95% of costs for insurance companies go to health care fixing bones&flesh, plastic&steel is REALLY cheap in comparison. I can say now, with a massive 1 year experience on bikes that would I not have discovered the track so early, I would probably have been in a hospital or dead by now. So insurance companies should really thank me:D for riding at the track. Maybe they would sponsor me too[:M22] lol


Sport Rider, eh? I actually saw some post about that earlier too, I'll go try and find it right away, thanks.

Shift light. I thought you could register that through your peripheral view? Maybe not when you're hanging off like crazy but when you're fairly upright? Haven't gone really fast on any bike with those, so I don't know. On my own bike I tend to rev it all the way to redline and that's not the fastest way to get ahead. I guess my ears are used to hearing that 14k+ rpm scream before shifting since that's how I did it for a looong time, I didn't know or care about power curves and peak power and that, I just wanted to hear it scream and go really really fast[:p]. It just feels weird shifting at 13k+ rpm. Maybe I'll get used to the lower pitch sound and won't need a shift light anyhow. I'm just so infatuated with the 03 right now I'm desperately looking for plausible means of rationalizing the upgrade:D

But you're right Brian, it probably would not be the smart thing to do. Sigh.

Milla, yeah I caught myself just kinda obnoxiously staring at it when you weren't around last weekend, hope you don't mind:D
 

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Originally posted by RedFinn

Shift light. I thought you could register that through your peripheral view? Maybe not when you're hanging off like crazy but when you're fairly upright?
You can. If you're truly focussed on the track ahead, it's less obvious, and to be honest, you'll probably shift more by sound than light anyway once you're onto the track you're at... but you can see the light peripherally, especially down the straights, which is the only time you need it.
 

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RedFinn, here's my story. I hope it helps.

This is my first year racing after a fun year of track days. Because of work restrictions and waiting for race parts to come available, I've made it to 2 race weekends- 1 race weekend for the licensing school at Streets of Willow (alternated between using 2 friends' bikes because I didn't have bodywork yet) and my first official race weekend at Firebird East in AZ. I began the race weekend about where you are now skill wise (based on times) and finished mid-pack (10th of 19) with the amateurs on my bone stock '03 ZX-6R. I only added race tires and bodywork. I had the time of my life and can't wait to get back out there! [:M86]

That first race weekend really helped me to drop my times. During trackdays, the urgency to go fast just isn't there, where the energy associated with racedays is just something else. Everyone is there to go fast, even during the practice sessions, and the competitive desire made me put my head down and get to it. I've since been back to Firebird East for a trackday and easily got down to my best race times consistently and comfortably. To give you an idea of where I am now, I did a few 1:07's during that race weekend, could string together a bunch of 1:07 laps during that last trackday and the amateur class-leading race times are in the 1:04's. The 600SS lap record is a mid 1:00.

For someone at my level, the suspension really isn't that bad on the '03. It can be adjusted to work pretty well. Here's two examples of how good the '03 really is: 1- a friend (who is front running expert) took my stock bike out during a trackday and was doing consistent mid 1:03's (the same track, different day). This was with the stock tires, stock bodywork and a taped-up headlight. Amazing! The only thing I did to the bike was set up the stock suspension. 2- Ken Hill, a fast expert racer won the AFM 750 Production race on a stock suspension, stock exhaust, race tire- equipped '03 6R. You can see his results here, scroll down to almost the bottom of the page:
http://www.afmracing.org/downloads/TH0503.html

After setting the sag correctly and dialing in the damping, I never had a single suspension related problem out there. As I improved, I did notice bike could use some more rear ride height to help it hold the exits better, but without a steering damper (at the time) I didn't want to chance it. Now that there is a good choice of available steering dampers, I wouldn't consider racing the '03 without one. This may sound crazy, but I have the same opinion regarding tire warmers.

BTW, the shift light does help on the track, although I tend to shift when I feel the power drop off. I also have a bunch of new stuff to install- Ohlins steering damper, Ohlins fork upgrade, Ohlins rear shock, new ride height settings and shorter gearing. No exhaust, PCIIIusb or paint yet, I need more $$ for these! My next trackday is in 2 weeks and I'll let everyone know how well this stuff works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
gagaga, now you made me want to race again![:p]
My carefully laid brick wall of caution crumbled as easily as a deck of cards:D

No, seriously, this stuff is gold. Thanks, Rrider.

Ken Hill, not only did he win, his fastest lap was 3.5 seconds faster then the Sus750 that took second place. Wow. Kwak ruled that day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't think she has the money:( But maybe she'll get it somehow
 

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Creep, so you think I should by RedFinn´s bike.. ;) Hmm.. that sounds like great idea for me.. [^] but money is the problem, and I´d have to find good home for ERkki first.. But maybe we can arrange something, ´cause we really look good together, RedFinn´s bike and me. :D Or what do you think? ;)



RedFinn, maybe we should start talking about the money.. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You know you love it, now you just gotta buy it. For you, 1K off the shop price
. IF I sell it;). I spent 3hours washing it so it's squeaky clean now. Tomorrow I might do quick clean up and then polish it. That's when you'll have no choice but pay my asking price:D

But this thread was supposed to be about the 02&03 on the track.
Let's continue the buying&selling part locally.
 

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Hello again RedFinn.

If you are going to sell the bike next year anyway, it would be foolish to trade it to a -03 now. At least financially, especially if you're on as low budget as you say. If money would not be an object, then it would be another story... But hey, it's your call. Financially thinking, there is no sense in this hobby anyway =)

But you can still increese your speed with your current bike a lot. You've only rode one year. Patience, patience... =)

If I were you, I would not buy almost any aftermarket parts. I think that spending 700-800 eur on an Öhlins shock, 100-200 eur to Öhlins front springs etc. will not make you notiacebly faster. Well, maybe there will be some weight savings, because your wallet gets thinner =))).
Also, if you're going to sell it, remember that the aftermarket parts will usually not raise the resale value. Some parts might even drop its resale value. Again, if monew would not be an object...

I rode 3 summers with my -00 ZX-6R, and in this season I did want a "faster" bike. Still I could have ridden much faster on the -00 too. It's all down to the rider. Not to say, that you are not allowed to buy a new bike, until you ride your old on par with Rossi =)

Ah, and by the way, it's sometimes so nice to pass a guy with his Öhlins/Akrapovic/etc. -prepped 1000cc gixxer with an old, almost bone stock, 600cc bike =)))). On the other hand, there is allways someone faster too...

Well the last but not least: the insurance company claimed my bike, so I will get a -03 ZX-6R (or a CBR 600RR) this autumn or a -04 ZX-6R next spring. Most likely I will get a used bike this autumn. So as you said earlier to me, "you'll stick with your -02 and I'll get a new one" [:p]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally posted by _6R_


Well the last but not least: the insurance company claimed my bike, so I will get a -03 ZX-6R (or a CBR 600RR) this autumn or a -04 ZX-6R next spring. Most likely I will get a used bike this autumn. So as you said earlier to me, "you'll stick with your -02 and I'll get a new one" [:p]
Damn, now I'm GREEN with envy. That 04 ZX-6RR with the black frame looks SO fantastic, wonder if the 04 636 gets it too[:p].

I was desperately trying to rationalize the crazy expense (for my budget) of trading up, but you guys just had to go and talk some sense into me:(.
Just j/k:D

But you and -DRB NW WA State USA- and Brian are prob right, the smart thing to do would be to stick with my present bike. Perhaps sense can override emotion or should I call it lust[:p]. Only time will tell.

I wish I could follow StrongBads three step programme to bliss, I'll certainly give it a shot:D

Thanks everyone for all the input, I'm now pretty sure I'll stay with my present bike (for now[:M91] <--That's the other voice on my shoulder, fighting the voice of reason, lol[:eek:)])

(This decision is easier because I got such a lousy quote from my local dealer:(, but maybe it's for the best)
 

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Originally posted by RedFinn

Originally posted by _6R_


Well the last but not least: the insurance company claimed my bike, so I will get a -03 ZX-6R (or a CBR 600RR) this autumn or a -04 ZX-6R next spring. Most likely I will get a used bike this autumn. So as you said earlier to me, "you'll stick with your -02 and I'll get a new one" [:p]
Damn, now I'm GREEN with envy. That 04 ZX-6RR with the black frame looks SO fantastic, wonder if the 04 636 gets it too[:p].
Heh... Hold your horses man =). Anyway, I currently have 2 options: Either buy my friends -03 red/black CBR 600RR or buy a green or black -03 ZX-6R from the private market. There is one green one with an Akrapovic slip-on, that interests me particularly...

I think the ZX-6R will not get a black frame and swingarm, because it seems that Kawasaki has already announced all new models and changes to older ones for -04.
 

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Originally posted by _6R_
Heh... Hold your horses man =). Anyway, I currently have 2 options: Either buy my friends -03 red/black CBR 600RR
NOOOOO! It's not an _real_ option ;) LOL... Just kidding, if the price is right, why not...

Originally posted by _6R_
or buy a green or black -03 ZX-6R from the private market. There is one green one with an Akrapovic slip-on, that interests me particularly...
That's more like it [:eek:)]... now just get the bike so we can go and ride Spjutsunds twisties before it starts snowing...
 
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