I'm a new member, and i'd just like to introduce myself. Been riding street for a couple of seasons now, and dirt for a while. I started on a ninja 250 and put a several thousand miles on it in a few seasons, and i just bought a new 04 zx6r. Before riding the zx6r, i considered the ninja 250 a sportbike, because it was compared to the other motorcycles that i had been on before other sportbikes. Not that the 250 couldn't rail around corners, though, cause it does. I mainly found it insufficient when my experience grew, and i took it out on the freeway. In actuality, the 250 was an excellent learning tool. It was an excellent way to transfer off road skills on road. Total cost of 250, $2000. Knowledge gained, priceless.
Anyway, on to the 6r. Definately not a 1st bike. maybe not even a 2nd bike, but i got it for an ok price otherwise it would have been an sv-650. right now, kawasaki has a very good deal with their financing, too.
The good: sounds cool, looks cool, very smooth, instills confidence
The bad: gearing is not conducive to riding in traffic, otherwise its ok, though
The ugly: suspension feels a little stiff, and get ready for big bumps or you'll slam your junk into the gas tank. i did.
The new riding position is not so bad. In order to keep a loose grip on the handlebars, you just have to use other muscles to hold yourself in position. corners like its on rails, though. its quick to counter steer, and there's not a whole lot of untouched rubber on it. speaking of counter steering, may i suggest that y'all read A Twist of the Wrist, I and II, by Keith Code. Not that i'm suggesting speeing excessively on the street, but he does wonders to explain the physics behind the way bikes behave. might even do harley riders some good to read it.
Thanks, and have fun