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600cc Sports Bike Review - Noob's Perspective

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by kuang7, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Happy New Year everyone!

    I am upgrading from a 250cc to a 600cc sports. I have been looking at a number of them in the market and I want to share my findings - might come in handy for some of you thinking of upgrading as well. I stand 164cm tall (+ 1cm with riding boots), so I'm considered short. I find that plays a significant role in my decision on which bike to choose. I weigh 63kg.

    Current bike:
    Honda VTR250 - 2004

    The bikes I have testridden so far:
    Triumph Daytona 675 - 2006
    Yamaha R6 - 2006
    Kawasaki ZX-6R 2006
    Suzuki GSXR600 - 2006

    * All quoted prices are for brand new bikes (ORC included unless otherwise stated).

    Triumph Daytona 675:
    The tallest seating amongst the lot. I was balancing on my toes at traffic lights. This is quite unnerving but, given time, I will get used to it.

    The bike pulls very willingly - handy in normal traffic. Exhaust sound is raspy. The tank is one of the narrowest - feels easier to turn into corners because I can grip it with my knees and squeeze. For other bikes with fatter tanks, I can't squeeze the tank with my knees as good and as a result I feel less confident - like driving a fat fast van vs a lean mean coupe.

    Instrument shows a fairly comprehensive range of info - clock, current gear number, rev, speed, temp, gear change light. i forget if there is a fuel gauge... I think it has a trip computer so you can see lap times, max speed, even avg fuel consumption - i didn't expore the other settings in the instrument.

    The stock suspension setting is hard, at times jarring. A couple of times in mid-corner, the bike skipped. Another thing to get used to? Otherwise, setting can always be changed.

    Currently, there are no crash posts available for this model. I was told that Ozzy knob is making one, but whether it requires drilling of the fairing or not, I do not know.

    Quoted price: $16,000 ride-away.

    Yamaha R6:
    Seating height is a little shorter than the Triumph. I can get the balls of my feet on the ground in the showroom. On the street, at times I will be up on my toes.

    The engine feels a little hollow at low revs, like when rolling along in traffic, coming up to a light etc - a stark contrast to the Triumph. There seems to be a slight delay - twist the throttle and the bike responds a few milliseconds later. I was told this is due to the YCCT (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) fly-by-wire throttle control. I was dying to hear the sound of the stubby exhaust. Took it along the Citylink and opened her up a little. I can only describe it as a howl. Awesome! I only managed to get the bike to 5000rpm during the duration of the testride. I wonder how the bike would be at higher revs... As for the tank, it felt fatter than I expected. The whole front end of the bike looks wide and feels wider than expected - it looks so small overall until I hopped on. Reminds me of those warrior ants, wide massive armored mandibles in the front and a tiny back end.

    Instruments look.... fully siiick! Classy. The analog rev meter sit in the centre and dominates the cluster. However it doesn't show much info. Rev, speed, shift light.

    Nothing to say about the stock suspension. I rode it on a different road to the Triumph, so I can't really compare. It felt alright riding in the city.

    The fairing makes way for crash posts, ie. no need to cut into the beautiful fairing! EXCELLENT!!!

    Quoted price: $15,900 ride-away.

    Kawasaki ZX-6R
    Seating felt about the same height as the Yamaha. On the balls of my feet in the showroom. On the street, sometimes I need to be on my toes, although if I hang off one side, I might be able to plant 1/2 a foot down. One thing I noted about the front end: the mirrors are mounted way to the front & out of reach. No way I could adjust it while riding. Makes the bike feel long. I thought I was riding a stretch limousine!

    The engine is torquey and is easy even in the low revs. Then in higher revs, the bike turns into a screaming maniac. The front lifted off a couple of times. I have to say something about the gear change: the gear shift is so far up that I have to get my left foot off the peg and kick it up! I hope this is adjustable.

    The instrument cluster is the hardest to read! The engine rev is a thin strip of digital display that runs along the perimeter of the centre display. Not much information shown either.

    I think some cutting of the fairing is required to fit crash posts.

    Quoted price: ~$15,000 ride-away.

    Suzuki GSXR600:
    Seating is BY FAR THE BEST! It almost felt like my current VTR250 :shock: That is a big plus for me! In the showroom, I could plant both my feet down. On the street, sometimes I would be on the balls of my feet, but when stationary I can hang a little off one side and plant one foot completely down. The handlebars are quite close and allows me to sit up without much problem.

    When the bike started up, it sounded loud. I thought it was like a car! The tank felt wide, couldn't squeeze much with my knees. Didn't feel so confident turning the bike. Maybe stick on some stomp pads for better grip. The engine felt rougher than the other bikes. It doesn't feel solid in the low revs - like the R6. And like the R6, at higher revs it is in its element and asserts its power.

    Instrument cluster doesn't look classy like the R6. In fact, it looks like some science fiction instrument panel - "GSXR" on stark white background. BUT. But, it shows a whole lot of useful information. I think it is the best amongst the bikes I have testridden. Clock, speed, rev, current gear position (so I don't keep searching for the 7th), fuel gauge, temp... anything else?

    Crash posts need to be installed on brackets to avoid the need to cut into the fairing. That makes crash posts for this bike more expensive - ~$240.

    Quoted price: $14,500.

    Bike(s) yet to be testridden:
    Honda CBR600RR - 2006
  2. Nice review and very helpful.

    I'm curious....

    So which of these did you like the best so far?

    Are they all easy for city riding? Easy to handle? Are the riding positions tolerable or too aggressive?
  3. No wonder you thought some of the bikes were a bit breathless... The 600cc class tend to need to be up around 10,000rpm before they hit the giggle zone.

    I think in your case comfort has to rule your decision - while all the bikes can be lowered, it alters their steering geometry and this leads to extra fiddling before you get them to feel right.

    If you're comfy on the gixxer, then go for it.
  4. hi livingstonest, objectively i am leaning towards the GXSR more, because of the seat height, position and good instrument cluster.

    subjectively, i would choose the R6, or the triumph. they both look sharp. especially the R6, she rocks my boat.

    city riding:
    the triumph puts a lot of strain on my wrists and lower back. they all do because of the sports bike sitting position, but in varying degrees. the GSXR is the best in this aspect. i can't imagine riding around in the city on the triumph for too long. worrying about tipping it over, balancing it on my toes, the strain in my back from stretching out to reach the ground while holding the bike up at every light...

    all would handle well i think. the whole geometry of the triumph makes it feel sharp like a knife. R6 feels small and compact, as does the GSXR, although the GSXR seems to have a wider/fatter tank. ZX6R feels long, and didn't inspire much confidence in me.

    Loz, i also think comfort will be the deciding factor. i asked the yamaha dealer about lowering the bike and i was told that because i am pretty light (63kg) it wouldn't affect the bike so much. is that true? another option for me (and other vertically challenged people) is to thin out the seat, but with the 675 and R6, i don't know how much can be taken out - the stock seats look really flat already.

    so, if i go with my head: GSXR. if i go with my heart: R6 or 675.
  5. We're almost identical height and weight so I find this interesting, although I am only on my Ls.
    One thing I was surprised to read was that you found the 675 seat height the tallest and the R6 shorter? The r6 seat height is meant to be 85cm... Standing next to one I honestly thought I'd have trouble getting even one foot down... Was it lowered?
  6. Off the spec sheets
    Seat Heights

    Go test ride the new CBR600 its very nice, similar seat height 820mm and it has one big advantage it a "HONDA"

    As Loz said these are all sports bikes and are designed to be ridden as such,they need to be high in the rev range to perform how they are designed.
    The other point is your relatively light weight and you may need to spend some money getting lighter springs fitted and if you gonna go down that track you could lower the bike slightly if required, take it somewere that knows what they are doing and it wont be a problem and you will get a really nice handling bike for your trouble.
  7. Thanks for the reviews, and AFAIK, all gear levers are adjustable so you'd have no issues adjusting the Kwaka's

    And for what it's worth, I like the Trumpy

    You guys look for seventh on a sportsbike :shock:
  9. as far as i know, the bike was a stock standard demo bike with nothing adjusted. looking at the numbers:

    the 675 is shorter than the R6, but it felt just the opposite. The ZX6R is about as high as the 675, but when riding on the bike, the 675 actually felt much taller. do they measure seat height from the centre of the seat? or from the lowest point of the seat?

    By the way KevS, '07 CBR600RR comes out in a couple months. price would be about $16,000 ride-away. it sounds very good. i think the claimed dry weight is something like 155kg. have you been on one? won't be any '07 model demo bikes here until then. even for '06 model, very hard to get a testride - noone seems to have them.

    for the '06 CBR600RR, since it is about to be superceded, the price is really attractive, ~$13,600 ride-away. i think it would drop more as the '07 release approaches.
  10. Hmm, yeah that's interesting. Maybe the r6 has a much narrower seat.
    Btw, which bike looked the smallest and which one felt the smallest? I've always thought it'd be the cbr600, but you haven't had a chance to test that yet.
  11. Sorry its the 06 that Ive ridden and it was very nice, the 07 is suppose to be even better (according to the reviews). I would say you are right they will be trying to sell off any remaining stock of 06 models before the 07 arrives. Do yourself a favour and test ride one because like I said its a HONDA
  12. if you put the bikes side by side, R6 looks the smallest. it also feels the shortest lengthwise. 675 has the narrowest tank when it comes to gripping it with your legs. i sat on the CBR600RR for half a day while waiting for the GSXR testride. it felt bigger than the R6.

    when at crusing speed and above, the R6 feels the smallest. but at the lights, the GSXR feels the smallest.

    i am waiting for a CBR600RR testride this weekend. i think there is 1 demo bike in the whole of melbourne and it gets loaned to all the dealers...
  13. Seat height is measured from the highest point on the seat (so this is usually at the back). If it's tilted forward more on the r6 the front (where u generally sit) might be lower than the 675.

    I found the 675 tall too... I have a feeling it has to do with the distance between the seat and the handlebars also. Tried the 600RR and that was slightly tall for me too. The width of the seat was a bit of a problem. I've got a gixxer750 now for the same price as the 675. So it's within ur budget I presume. The tank felt wide at first but after a couple weeks you won't notice it. Feels the same size as the 600, just more torquey. Take a look at one if you like the gixxer but want more urge in the low revs. I'm about 172cm and have no problems with height on it.
  14. Great review..Well done
    When you get the R6 up in the rev range it's like hang-on, they are a bloody awesome bike that has been designed for the track.
  15. i would think with your height you would have no problems with the CBR, or any other bikes for that matter. 172cm is almost 10cm over me. when you sit on the GSXR, do you feel squashed? i'll keep your suggestion on the 750 in mind, thanks.

    that's one beautiful bike. i'm still thinking about that sweet howling induction noise ringing in my helmet. either i get taller (unlikely) or the bike comes down!
  16. What is the maximum it can be lowered?
  17. don't know. with the R6 i was told that dialling down 1 might be sufficient, and because i'm quite light, wouldn't affect the ride.

    it would be great if people can say what price they paid for their bike, and what sort of package they got (free seat cowl or after market exhaust etc.) to give an idea of how much can be negotiated. that would be useful for us as reference when it's bargaining time.

    the prices quoted to me are pre-nogotiation prices. the sales people claimed that there is really not much of a margin on the bikes - they make money on parts, gear, servicing.

  18. let us know what u think of the cbr600rr when u try that (also pls let us know if its a post 2007 model or something else).. also have u though of the gixxer 750:?
  19. Yep the higher seat sounds great ... think I'd love to give the Triumph Daytona 675 a test.

    I am past the dropping a bike like a n00b stage so its safe to consider a shiny bike now.

    All I have to worry about now is dropping the bike like a gumby.
  20. Minor point -

    There are crash posts available in a non-cut way for the Daytona 675.

    GSG are some of the most popular of these.