Time to get a "newer" bike, looking for veteran advice! - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Time to get a "newer" bike, looking for veteran advice!

Hey guys! So while riding to class one morning, some guy changed lanes right into me not more than 2 blocks from my house (its true what they say, most accidents happen not far from home). Needless to say, my poor 99 zx6r is totaled and im waiting on the insurance settlement. The 6r was my first and only street bike, and now im looking to get something newer. Ive rode for 2 seasons now and put in about 8k miles, so I'd say im still roughly squidd'ish

Im 6'1'' and only 145lbs. So personally i think stepping up in CC size would be a mistake for me. I'd like to stick to the 600 class and my budget should be roughly 3500-4000 usd. So im looking to get an 00-04 model bike within reason. I live in Los Angeles to give you a gauge on what kind of used bike market im in.

With that being said i dont know much about the newer bikes as far as stability, reliability, and features such as integrated steering dampener and such.

Can anyone give me some advice as far as makes are concerned? Anything would be helpful, even if its silly (or not) brand loyalty like "i've rode hondas all my life and they rock rock rock rock rock out hard!!1!1oneone"

Personally, im looking at the following:

KAWASAKI 636
+looks nice, always been a ninja fan
+integrated sterring dampener
-not so great resale value here in CA

HONDA F4i
+rode one before, great throttle response, slightly better handling than my zx6r
+all my cars have been hondas, i know they make quality motors, (also read a statisctic claiming that more than 1/2 of all honda motors in the world are NOT in cars, but other recreational vehicles... interesting)
-stolen often, lots of f4i stunters here so parts whether stolen or legitimate are in high demand.

YAMAHA R6
+can you ask for a more agressive looking bike? love the raven look
+i "hear" theyre pretty reliable and easy to handle
-i've heard complaints of the bars being in too close contact with the tank while making tight turns
-stator cover sticks out more than any other maker, i hear they're notorious for being the first thing to rash in a fall (or moreso than other bikes anyway)

SUZUKI GSXR 600
+everyone and their mothher has/wants one, guess it must be a good bike?
+i hear they have improved majorly from the late 90's models (back then i remember none of my buddies would ever buy one) now theyre extremely popular?
-not a huge fan of the cyclops headlight, i much prefer raven'esque style

If anyone could shed some advice on any of theese bikes that would be great! I just really dont know where to start
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 02:46 PM
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I've ridden 3 out of the 4 bikes you've listed (not a 636). As a Gixxer owner, I'm obviously biased that way. I've never had a problem with the power or handling of the bike, it's an absolute dream. Only problem is, like you said, everybody's got one. I personally like the looks of the '04-'05 Gixxers better than any other year.

The F4i feels a little less powerful, but it is still a very capable bike. Every honda I have ridden has given me much joy in the twisties. They just feel like they're easier to turn.

The R6 is also a very capable bike. I don't see myself ever owning or wanting one. But I've had a lot of fun on a friend's until I wrecked it. I don't know what it is about them, they have awesome looks, plenty of power, but something about them just doesn't appeal to me.

As for the Kawasakis, I've never had one, never ridden one, probably never will.

I'm sure I've been absolutely no help. You're welcome.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 04:58 AM
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First things first, when did they start making bikes that make themselves moist? Its a Damper not Dampener...sorry but I just had to say something.

Second, 636's don't come with a damper stock, the zx-10 does but not the zx-6r. IIRC the gixxers are the only bike of the group you mentioned that has one stock, a lot of people replace it though becuase its not adjustable and its not the best damper in the world.

Third, I've owned a 01 F4i and a 05 ZX-6R. While I really liked my honda I absolutily looooove my 636. There just something about a kawasaki that says you dare to be a little different. They just seem to have a little more personality than other bikes. As for performance, my zx is stable as all heck a when leaned over. It has that little extra something (36cc's to be exact) that makes it pull just a little harder than a true 600 in the lower RPM range. The only negative is that its a little slower in the fast switchbacks than say an R6.

I really can't coment too much about the f4i. It was my first bike and lets just say that I never really pushed its performance to a level where I could really feel the bikes capabilities. I will say that its slightly more comfortable for longer rides becuase of the egros but the seat SUCKS.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 08:07 AM
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For $4k you should be able to find an '05 636, I believe. The prices have plummeted pretty amazingly. Don't have much to add to ryan's notes on the 636.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 08:39 AM
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For $4k you should be able to find an '05 636, I believe. The prices have plummeted pretty amazingly. Don't have much to add to ryan's notes on the 636.
I agree, the 636 would be a good choice.

I haven't seen 05's in my neck of the woods going for $4k yet, but that might vary by region. They're still going for $5,000-$5500 here. Even an 03 or 04 would be great bike though.

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Last edited by zxrider; 04-21-2008 at 02:18 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bittersweetryan View Post
First things first, when did they start making bikes that make themselves moist? Its a Damper not Dampener...sorry but I just had to say something.

I really can't coment too much about the f4i. It was my first bike and lets just say that I never really pushed its performance to a level where I could really feel the bikes capabilities. I will say that its slightly more comfortable for longer rides becuase of the egros but the seat SUCKS.
Ah, steering damper. Thanks for the correction... but... if the bike did wet itself... well. that would be a sight. (insert childish fantasy here). From what i understand, the dampener... sorry, damper. works when your front forks encounter rough terrain or when you accel a bit too much and the front lifts up a bit. does it at all make normal commuting a little stiff on the bars? ommiting of course that some are adjustable.

I've rode a buddy's f4i but not long enough to get a feel for the long ride comfort. What is it about the seat? Is it just not as ass-contouring as one would like?

snakesht, I agree that there is something about the r6 that i just dont get, in fact, just today i found a place called sportbikerentalLA that rents brand new bikes for an amazing $170/day, quite an awesome deal to testdrive something before you go out and buy one. unfortunately i learned during the application process of renting an r6 that you need to be at least 25 with 2 years riding, and im only 23 with 1 1/2 years riding

How does your gixxer fair in the everyday commute realm of riding? twistie capacity is a must for me, but commuting would be my first priority. I see nothing but gixxers in the canyons, and the occasional ducati going up PCH (pacific coast highway, a MUST if any of you guys ever make it out to LA. Scenic ride, tons of nice pit stops, loads of women, what more can you ask for? /drool ).

kanwisch, thats my main issue with kawi's nowadays, any insight to why the market value has gone down so much?

Oh, im also budgeting a bit out for a new pipe, any thoughts? whats the difference with the shorty pipes that come out at the bottom of the fairing under the front peg?

Thanks for the words of wisdom!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sippona View Post
How does your gixxer fair in the everyday commute realm of riding? twistie capacity is a must for me, but commuting would be my first priority. I see nothing but gixxers in the canyons, and the occasional ducati going up PCH (pacific coast highway, a MUST if any of you guys ever make it out to LA. Scenic ride, tons of nice pit stops, loads of women, what more can you ask for? /drool ).
Last year I rode it to work a lot. It was about 45-50 miles round trip. Never had a problem. There's been many times where I've put 2-300 miles on it in a single day, and not been hurting at the end. Compared to my Duc, it is very comfortable. I have a hotbodies undertail exhaust which is significantly louder than a stock pipe, so riding at freeway speeds for a long period of time (an hour or more) can leave you with ears ringing but most pipes aren't as loud as the HB. Besides, if you're hitting up twisties that isn't a factor at all.

Handling is very good for my level of riding. I'm sure with some track experience I might find some areas that need tweaking but "out of the box," it's done fine for me. I had the chicken strips worn off of my most recent set of tires the first day I rode on them.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sippona View Post
I've rode a buddy's f4i but not long enough to get a feel for the long ride comfort. What is it about the seat? Is it just not as ass-contouring as one would like?
I will vouch for the F4i seat, I've ridden two of them fairly extensively, and they were total ROCKS! At least that is the case for the 2001-2003 model year F4i. Which is really strange considering that the rest of the F4i ergonomics are very comfortable- almost sport-tourer-ish. In 2004 Honda went to an all new 1 piece seat that is much bigger, cushier, and looks much more comfortable. (although I haven't actually tested an 04+ to experience the difference firsthand)

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by zxrider View Post
In 2004 Honda went to an all new 1 piece seat that is much bigger, cushier, and looks much more comfortable. (although I haven't actually tested an 04+ to experience the difference firsthand)
A friend of mine has an '06 F4i that I've ridden a little bit and those 1-piece seats are much more comfortable. The riding position is more upright, but you can still rip it up with that bike. I wouldn't rule that out myself.

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