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2009 ZX-6R Test Ride

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by notorious_nick, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Background: im quite honestly a noobie folks. ive been riding for about a year and a half on my CBR250RR which is great fun. ive ridden my brothers suzuki across many times, been on my mates GS500 a few times and ive test ridden an RVF400 before. these are the fastest bikes ive ridden untill now.
    ive had my knee down on corners and pushed my CBR to within coo-ee of its limits (or so i think i have anyway). So im not the type of person to grab the fastest bike possible, gun it in a straight line the redline all the time and have chicken strips bigger than anything on the menu at KFC.

    Review: I just got my full licence during the week, and after being told this morning that ACTION motorcycles in the city didnt have any 600 test bikes at the time and were busy, me and a mate rocked up at flywheels alexandria. the feller there was more than happy to give us a gander at some fine kwakas.

    I opted for the ZX6R cause i love my sports bikes, while my mate grabbed a Z1000 as he is into his nakeds and is addicted to power. after filling out the necessary paper work the guy pulled out a black ZX with monster energy stickers on it saying "now be careful with this one mate, shes mine". "... uhhrrr yeah no worries mate... (oh crap)".

    She was fired into life and it has a great tone to it. i jumped aboard and was as nervous as hell. Its the first non-learner bike ive ever touched. my mate had the Z1000 out the front waiting for me, so i headed out onto the road. I decided id be easy on the clutch and throttle since it was a powerful bike and sure enough i didnt stall it, easing out the clutch and only giving it a hint of throttle. so far so good! As i headed down the road i realised that the bottom revs werent very scarey or potent and felt easy-going as i got to learn the riding position and feel of the bike.

    I glanced down at the speedo to see how i was doing. At first i was looking around trying to figure out where my analog speedo was untill i quickly found a digital display with a big 48 written on it. i though great here we go. with a squirt of juice she started accellerating at what i thought was a reasonable pace, fully in control. after turning the corner out onto the princes highway i gave the throttle a good turn, pinning it back to the stop. HOLY BEJUSES!! i barely left it there long and mustve been doing about $1.20 before i knew it. my heart was being ripped out of my chest and vision going blurry before i knew it. The taco, which is nicely layed out with a green section and bigger numbers where the bulk of the power lies was supposed to be showing me the red line. instead i saw that i was only at around 9000 revs. The green zone starts at 8000. i was barely gettin started! What the ... That thing is a loaded weapon with hard-and-fast POWER!! jabbing at the brake lever demonstrated what solid breaks feel like. they had no sponginess what-so-ever and wiped off the kays very very quickly.

    A few bends and corners came swinging around soon enough but the road surface had potholes, bumps and oil patches so i didnt want to pitch over someone elses bike to find myself on the sidewalk and the bike in a mess. i did however grab few nice lean angles and it coped like nothing else ive ridden. the steering didnt feel overly light at first, but when i went to lean over there was no resistence or delay. it leaned over as far as i wanted it to, not falling into the turn too fast, or fighting to lean over. when i had my lean angle, i tried both braking and accelerating while leaned. none of this phased the bike at all. it stayed dead stable on its lean and only stood up when i commanded it to, and it was dead easy to get it upright again. the suspension took all of the bumps exceptionally well, leaving me thinking i couldve tackled those corners alot faster than i did and still have had plenty of traction.

    it was very hard to get even upshifts perfectly smooth, not to mention downshifts. i always felt a bit of initial grab before it was smooth which was slightly tedious at times. this may be due to my riding talent, or lack there-of. there is apparently a slipper clutch aboard but i never seemed to notice either the slipper clutch or steering dampner working. either they do their job exceptionally well or i was blown back by everything else to be worried about those more minor things.

    as i arrived back at the bike store with my mate who had apparently been with me the whole time (i was enjoying the ride too much to see if my mate was still around), i had a massive grin on my face. the power and handling were far better than anything ive touched, and now i know that an upgrade wont be in the distant future.

    Regarding the seating position, the seat felt very high but it had tonnes of leg room as a result. the handlebars were on the lower side but werent a massive reach, so even though the seating position was slightly wristy, it felt confidence inspiring. The fuel tank did however get in the way of my elbows when i tried to tuck underneath the fairing on straight bits of road, and my elbows ended up finding their place in the same indent in the fuel tank where your thighs grip it (im not sure if this is normal but it felt pretty whacky at the time).

    the overall highlight i must say was the handling and stability of the bike. it was absolutely sensational! it made me comfortable with leaning and made it easier to ride faster. the suspension was also top notch and it had an ohlins steering dampner which is apparently factory fitted. You can really feel every bit of power in the ZX6. it is highly strung and very refined with a hard edge on it. it really lets you know you are going fast, which is half the fun of buying a sports bike.

    to put it in a few words though id have to say:
    - Sweet / stable handling
    - Punchy power
    - Confidence inspiring

    it is definitely on the cards as a bike to upgrade to.
  2. Nice read and nice ride.

    One of the best things about riding, is going bike shopping.
  3. the bloke at the shop must have nerves of steel, lending his own bike out for test rides...

    {Or maybe it wasn't and he was just hoping that if you thought it WAS, you might be a bit careful with it :LOL:}