Between a EX500 and a ZX6R - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 16
Between a EX500 and a ZX6R

I'm a new rider. I've only ridden a bike like once or twice. I'm not going to bullsh!t with "I know how to ride". I'm going to take the MSF and I'm going to learn from manuals and I'm not going to get on the freeway for a while. I have plans of being a VERY safe rider and I want to ride for fun.

My question is the choice of bike. Luckily I'm going to be a factor that backs up that when young people (I'm 19) look up research and find out information, they actually do tame the beast. I had plans of starting out on a CBR900RR. After doing research I know better and I have decided to start out on a lower performing bike. My question is this... Is it possible to be a beginner on a ZX6R? Because I came across an unbelievable deal for a 6R and I want to know if it's possible to be safe on one.

If not, reasons would be appreciated, maybe 0-60 times, 1/4 mile times, and horsepower ratings and I'll just go with the 500, it's just that i really want a bike that will last me a while.
DifferentOne is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 322
Sensibility says the EX...But I'd be damned if I'd get one of those over a ZX6.

Last edited by BobbyDazzler; 08-26-2002 at 09:24 PM.
BobbyDazzler is offline  
post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 03:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 591
Re: Between a EX500 and a ZX6R

Originally posted by DifferentOne
I'm not going to get on the freeway for a while.
I'm sure your freeways out in CA are a bit more congested than they are 'round here, but one mistake I see a lot of folks make is thinking they'll be safer 'round town than they are on the freeway/highway. Being new, I guess they're intimidated by highway speeds, feeling safer puttin' 'round town, but you're probably much safer out on the highway (fewer cages/sidestreets, etc). Learn at MSF, practice in a parking lot, etc, then move out on the highway. Around town is probably the most dangerous place to ride.

I had plans of starting out on a CBR900RR. After doing research I know better and I have decided to start out on a lower performing bike. My question is this... Is it possible to be a beginner on a ZX6R?
You'd definitely be better off starting on a bike smaller than a 900, but don't think the modern 600s are 'beginner bikes'! Most newbies think they're 'performing' by just twisting the throttle. As Nick Ienastch was so fond of saying, "Any Gomer can twist a throttle!"

I came across an unbelievable deal for a 6R and I want to know if it's possible to be safe on one.
It is, but it depends entirely on your level of maturity. There's no guarantee (always fight!), but you're probably gonna dump it a time or two at slow speed, so ya better factor in bodywork prices!

If not, reasons would be appreciated, maybe 0-60 times, 1/4 mile times, and horsepower ratings...
Fer a newbie, it's starting to sound like ya got your priorities a bit skewed. Don't worry 'bout performance differences between a 500/600 (unless it's just to determine it has enough power to get you out of trouble) as both of 'em can get you in trouble.
Just had a co-worker's brother lowside on his brand new 1400cc Suzuki Intruder. It was his first bike, he went through the MSF course, they took him down a crooked road (but were taking it easy since they knew he was a newbie), yet he still lowsided in a slow speed curve. They think he panicked and grabbed a handfull of brake while leaned over. The 1400cc's didn't get him, the curve (and inexperience) did!

BTW...go to and pick up a couple of David Hough's books (ther were running 2 of 'em for a good price). His street strategies will really steepen your learning curve, and may well save your life by teaching you many of the hazards to watch out for on the street.

Hey, we want ya in the sport for a loooooong time!

Last edited by basicblur; 08-27-2002 at 04:09 PM.
basicblur is offline  
post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 04:38 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 45
From my experience with the MSF class, and riding my friends 97 Suzuki GSX 600 for a few weeks, the brand new ZX6R is to much bike. it really is. do you really need a bike that can go sub 10's in the 1/4 @ 130+MPH? i dont lol

With that said, the ex500 is a good bike, but you would get bored in 6 months. I have decided to get the ZX-6 not the R model. it is heavier, more stable, and not geared as aggressivly as other high performence 600's.

reddragonmd is offline  
post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 301
A couple years ago I helped a friend decide on his first new bike. He was also looking at the Kaw 500 twin and 600 fours. The dealer was willing to have me test ride the bikes. I fully expected to pick one of the 600s; in fact I didn't see much point in wasting time on such a silly test. I have been riding ZX-11s and other liter bikes for years so the bigger 600s seamed like an obvious choice. What a surprise, after riding both Suzuki and Kawasaki 600s, the little EX 500 was the easy winner. All the 600s buzzed my hands and feet big time. The 500 seamed extremely long legged, and far smoother at highway speeds. Well, he wound up getting the EX-500 and putting a header, jet kit, and a few other goodies as well. After about one year he traded it on a 750 Suzuki. I asked him how he liked the bigger bike and he said that he wished he had kept that great little bike. It always came down to the much smoother engine in the 500. The only real problem was the wimpy sound of the 500 and the manlier image of the 600 fours.
DaveL is offline  
post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 06:46 AM
Registered User
FZR400Tony's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Pittston, PA 18640
Posts: 3,644
Send a message via Yahoo to FZR400Tony
first off, corrado's are cool cars. i had a 92 vr6, red, winter package, no leather bbs's (which look nice clean, but never are, i wish i had the 93-4 speedlines). i loved the thing. now that my mechanic and i have become good friends, he talked me into a honda (well acura integra). i don't see him as much now, and i noticed he sold his mercedes...

anyway, to the topic. i'd like to break this up a bit.

first thing. at 19, do you own your car, or is it in a parent's name and insurance in anyway (i know a lot of young people get mad at that question, but hell, i did it until speeding tickets came). if the anser is yes, you need to find out if their insurance will write a bike on that policy or discount appropriately. otherwise, unless you pay cash and fix your own crash damage, a new 6r (or any 600 supersport) is likely a dead issue already. i know in 91 (19 at the time), no tickets, full coverage for a new gsx-r750, stand alone policy would have cost $3600/yr. the bike was like $6600 to purchase. the 600's weren't much cheaper, i think it was like $3300 for $5700 f2. and i live in a low-risk insurance area. just to put it into perspective, the insurance payments would have been A LOT more than the bike payment.

now buying a used bike takes a big chunk off of that insurance hit. also, buying a smaller displacement bike helps.

second thing. what do you want to do with it? if you pick a goal that you want a motorcycle to do, there's a bike out there that will do your top priority best. for example, when i bought my first sportbike, i had some street time on a standard. what i was looking for was a bike that would be able to do sportbike things (great handling, fast, good looking), but i wanted to do the things i learned to love with my standard, like sport touring, taking the bike to work and school, taking girls out, riding to places i've never been. at that time the 750's i loved so much were torture racks, so they didn't fit into what i wanted. i went for a cbr600f2. the zx6e probably would have done a better job, but the f2 had more poser value (i.e. it was faster). the ex500, katana's and few others bikes may have been better choices, but i did love my f2. and honestly, if work didn't get in the way of my sport touring schedule, i would probably still have it. or maybe i a futura, but anyway...

third thing. have you looked anywhere else besides kawasaki? they do have the BEST starter bikes that fit into the sportbike catagory. though, a street and trail bike is a million times better for learning (unless you're short). anyway, honda, suzuki, and yamaha have some good choices too. i've owned 4 streetbikes, one from each of the big-4 japanese makes. they are all good bikes. my kawi and yamaha were both older. and both have given my regular wear issues. the honda wasn't as dependable i thought it should be. not bad, just surprised. the suzuki is more dependable than people say it should be (but i did change the infamous shift shaft on it).

and last, a motorcycle's perform means very little to a new rider. most new riders can ride smaller, slower, more conservative motorcycles faster than they can the last, greatest, plastic fantastic.


Coward stays behind freedom.
A braveman stands in front of freedom and defends it for others.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FZR400Tony is offline  
post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 06:54 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 14
To a newbie from a newbie

Hi all,

Just want to comment that when I finally decided to get a bike, I have never rode previously. I didn't know the difference between the 500 or 600 except that the 600 was bulky with lower handlebars. My first ride was scarely as hell on my little ex500.

I also thought of the money as well. I could get a used ex500 for half as much as a good used 600.

Being 5'5" the 600 was what I called a "tippy toe" bike and the lower handlebars made it very aggressive looking and intimidating.

Anyways, I went with the 500 and found that I made a good first choice. When riding in packs on the Atlanta freeway, I get left behind often but who wants to run over 160mph anyways.

After about two months, I am bored with my ex500 and want something bigger and flashier. My suggestion is to learn to ride on a friends bike or take the class. Then go out and get a 600. A friend once said that it is better to have the power and not use it then to not have the power at all.

hotrod is offline  
post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 10
I'd like to make one key point that I don't think has been mentioned yet. If you buy a more appropriate beginner bike like an EX500 (only one example of MANY), you'll find it has more than enough performance for a while. If and when you decide to upgrade, you will probably get most or all of your money back when you sell it, even if it's been tipped over.

Good luck and factor in quality gear into what you can afford.
jgbnm is offline  
post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 04:08 PM
Registered User
saturntangerine's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: La Vergne, TN
Posts: 848
Send a message via AIM to saturntangerine Send a message via Yahoo to saturntangerine
Go for a used 600... CBR 600 F3's are good starter bikes if you are a controlled driver and can keep yourself in check... IF not, then go 500 b/c it's much harder to get in trouble on a twin when you ride in a pack with R6's and CBR900's... Trust me, I know.

I like my GS500, don't get me wrong, but I already want more power after less than 2 months. And I"m not that crazy of a rider... I just want the ability to accellerate on the highway w/o downshifting into 5th gear in order to get any pull....

I'm 5'9" and 140lbs but still sit comfortably, and mostly upright on my bike... But I won't misdirect you and tell you to go smaller just because it's more "reasonable". Feel free to PM me if you have any insurance questions or other bike questions. I'm 19 in PA, so I can help a little bit with that kind of thing even though I'm a relatively new rider.
saturntangerine is offline  
post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 22
I have a thought. If you aren't going to hit the highway just because you don't need to it might be good for you to get a 250. Even cheaper to buy, insure, maintain, and repair. Not only that they are super light which makes for suprizingly good performance and great handling.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is that the power from a sub 600 bike will generally be friendlier than the I4s. They are natorious for bringing on all the power all at once which can get you where you don't want to be REAL fast.

I'm looking at a bike that's a "great deal" but it's got a huge motor. The good news is it's a Buell so it's basicly a touring motor and has lots of smooth torque and a wide (read easier to use) power band. I'd trust it's 1200 CCs as a beginner bike before I trusted one of the I4 600s because they both put out about the same power (some 600 are actually MORE powerful), just the H-D does it much smoother and easier to control.

If you get a lot of tickets or find yourself showing off in your car a lot I'd stay away from the more powerful bikes for sure. It all comes down to you (and what you can afford ).
Black_Snowman is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome