Originally posted by J-in Germany
Just curious what you think about these new Kawasaki's. Any opinions would be a big help......
Don't happen to get Motorcyclist Magazine over there, do ya? If so, check out the June '02 issue-they have an open class shootout. 'Course, as with the 600's, the Kawasaki surprised, kicked some butt in areas it wasn't supposed to, and was right there in other categories. As usual, although the test read like it should have finished higher, once again they gave it 4th place! They did the same on the 600's, but after lookin' at 'em all, I thought the 6R was the best of the bunch. Based on what I know, and especially after reading the test (4th place finish aside), if I was going literbike, I'd get the 9R.
I laughed when I read the lap times around the Streets of Willow, as racer Andrew Trevitt could turn faster lap times on the 9R than the much vaunted R1, and was only .02 seconds slower per lap than the Honda! Heck, you'd think a big, heavy, outdated bike like the 9R would be out of its element on the tight Streets of Willow course! Wonder if it would do even better on the full course?
Lap Times at Streets of Willow
At the Strip
GSXR 9.89 @ 145.35
R1 10.07 @ 142.13
ZX-9R 10.16 @ 138.28
CBR654 10.20 @ 139
So...we have the 9R beating the R1 at the track, beating the Honda at the strip, usuable ergonomics, excellent stability, and a great everyday machine, yet it finishes 4th, and according to the magazine: "Yes, we know; maybe the Kawasaki doesn't belong in this class anymore."
BTW, ya might find this quote about the 9R from the test interesting:
"A classic case of overachievement: giving everything you've got, rather than finishing high on potential, low on performance."
Fer some reason the magazines just can't find it within themselves to like the Kawasaki! Dunno 'bout you, but I ain't paying big bucks for 'potential': the sucker better be darn good off the showroom floor! Heck, iff'n you're going to have to spend some money, etc in order for the other bikes to reach their "potential", you can spend the same money on the 9R to make it even stronger (if that matters).
Oh yeah...forgot to mention that the 9R sells for $800 to $1100 less than the other 3 contestants, and Kawasaki USA is cuttin' deals on 'em to boot!
Hey, the mantra seems to be "the R1/R6 are for experienced riders" (to cover up for the bikes quirks?). OK, I'm gonna give 'em that, if they'll admit that the Kawasakis are for enlightened riders!