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Magazine's 600cc comparison

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Tack, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. I have 10 months to go before I am allowed to legally buy and ride a bigger bike. I have been thinking that it might not be a bad move to get a 600cc bike next. Something with a bit of go but not too heavy. So to increase my knowledge about 600cc and help make a decision about which one I might buy, I have been buying magazines and reading about 600cc bikes.

    Which brings me to the subject. I read a comparison done by two wheels. The bikes they tested head to head were: 2005 Kawasaki ZX-6R, 2005 Yamaha YZF-R6, 2005 Honda CBR600RR, 2005 Suzuki GSX-R600 K5 and the 2005 Triumph Daytona (however they crashed the triumph so it wasn't directly compared).

    The people testing the bike were from two wheels, however I can only identify two riders, one is the author Mick Matheson and the other is kevin Magee (because he has MAGOO written across the back of his leathers).

    The second all out bike comparison that I read was done by Rapid. They tested the same bikes however the triumph wasn't actualy there for a back to back comparison again.

    the test riders for rapid were: Jeff Ware, Wayne Gardner, Ben O'brien and Wawick Maguire (apparently known as Wazza).

    Here's the thing.......Two Wheels said that the Kawasaki was by far the best supersport bike. It had huge grunt, it stopped well and it handled well. The second placed bike was the honda and then Yamaha and suzuki were pretty neck and neck. the overall impression that you got from reading their report was that any of these bikes were great and all had some great bits but they all choose the Kwacka as number 1.

    I thought, fair enough and considering that I had read that Kawasaki had been voted sportsbike of the year by other mags etc, I though it mustn't be too bad a bike.

    However....the rapid people bagged the kawasaki and put it last and voted the Honda the best. I thought...what the....?

    The two wheels people said...the kwacka brakes were the pick of the bunch...the rapid people said they were the worst.....

    The two wheels people said the kwacka was pretty stable at high speed...the rapid people said it wasn't...

    the two wheels people said the honda had a great front end but the back was a little harsh which limited its cornering a bit but was equal to the other bikes whereas they said the kwacka had a flighty back due to the amount of power it had.....however rapid said the Honda was the best handling bike of the lot by far.

    After reading the rapid article I came away thinking that they were biased towards the Honda...only because of Wayne Gradner and most likely his affiliation with Honda....and the fact that Rapid looks like a personal advertising medium for Gradner and his businesses.

    What really crapped me off was they don't publish times of the bikes around eastern Creek just for comparison purposes.
  2. I think the Oz motorcycling press is far less critical of test vehicles than the Oz motoring press.

    Certainly they seem to trot out the company line (this year's bike is lighter/faster/nimbler/whatever) without questioning whether it is any better suited to riders' needs. Or whether it's better than last year's model in any quantifiable way (other than lap times - fine if you're going racing but pretty meaningless otherwise).

    Having said all that, perhaps the discrepancy between the mags' findings illustrates how close the competition is in the 600 sport bike market. And also, maybe bike set-up played a part?
  3. Interesting post Tack, I never look too close at the personal impressions of the riders, each has their own idea of whats important, that might not be what's important to you.

    I look at the specs, the standard equipment and the general observations, cos lets face it, I'm not ever going to be as demading on a bike as them.

    You said it yourself, there all good bikes, and unless someone makes a big mistake in the setup, there's only minor detail in the differences, to us mere mortals, they all go like the clappers, stop in incredibly short distances, and handle brilliantly. You really need to be a Wayne Gardner to pick the differences.

    Test ride them all, and see what suits you the best, bet you'll be absolutely stoked with any of them.

  4. Yeah i know what you mean.... Ive read every recent supersport comparo because i wanted to buy one and was therefore doing the research.

    Although in saying that i also thought that the comparisons were all quite fair. Just depends what different people look for in a bike.

    Also you have to remember that bikes arent always consistent out of the factory. Maybe rapid bikes just got a really good honda...
  5. Maybe most of the test riders are ex-racers and their opinions aren't especially relevant if you're buying the bike for road riding?

    I've read most of the 600 comparos in the mags over the last 3-4 months, and they all say something different. Most, except Rapid, liked the ZX6R. But all the Rapid reviewers seemed to say the same thing... which reeks of them all just deferring to the most senior rider's opinion.

    And that's just MY opinion. But realistically, you'd be hard pressed to find the differences in power and capability for most of these bikes on road. Your best bet is to have a fang on each, and see which one gives you the best feel. After all, we're all a little different in size/weight and what we like, so why go for a bike someone else likes? My plans for upgrading involve copious test riding, pricing comparisons, insurance comparisons, etc. At the moment the Trumpy looks good for it's $2k price advantage, but maybe I won't like the way it rides. Then there's the Z750 - cheaper insurance, for sure, but can I live with a naked? Choices, choices!
  6. Tack, looks like you're going to have lots of fun test riding.
    Each bike will have its own ergonomics, as well and testing will give you an idea of which bike suits you.
    AMCN Vol 54, No 20 April 20- May3 also has a 600 comparo and includes ergonomic data. Word on the Trumpy is there too.
    Copies prolly at your local library.

    Cheers, :)
  7. Sad fact; magazines test bikes, not on behalf of riders who want to buy, but manufacturers who want to sell.

    As honest as we'd like to consider tests to be, no tester is beyond being "influenced" by a manufacturer to avoid comment on a less-than-perfect aspect of his bike, or a "great new feature" etc etc.

    There are many other reasons for wild variations in results from comparos, but you must not forget this one, because you don't know how much influence has been brought to bear.
  8. All of the above.
    But most importantly, buy the bike with the conditions under which you are going to ride it in mind. If it's for track days and some road riding, buy the gun track bike, and vice versa.
    Remember the roads are not smooth like a race track, and a few quick laps around Eastern Creek are a world away from living with the bike in the hurly-burly of Sydney traffic.
    Buy for the right reason.
    Go out and test them all and forget what the mags say, the bike is for YOU, not them.
  9. I do intend to ride every bike I can however what I really didn't like was the huge difference between the reports. The most glaring one being the brakes.

    How can one bike report that the brakes a great and the other that they're woeful???

    That doesn't make sense to me!

    Brakes are not something that should be that different even between the exact same bikes and really if that's the case then quality control of bikes must be crap.
  10. Of course, you're right.
    Remember that the distributors provide the bikes to the mags to test and they are usually brand newies. If it hasn't been prepared properly before being sent out (though why they would do this is beyond me), then there can be faults and shortcomings with the bike that other testers who test similar bikes at a different time may not find.
    That's just one possibility.
    Also, different testers have different expectations and treat the bike differently too. This can be reflected in their results. I might think a bike's brakes are fantatsic based on the way I use them, but someone who uses them differently might think they're crap.
    It is, I agree, VERY frustrating though when you're relying on those tests for some direction as to what to buy.
  11. Kawasaki ZX6 just won masterbike's 600 class.
    That test is done with magazine reviewers from all over the world, not a biased event. Apparently it will be in AMCN shortly.

    the official results

    I'd say rapid mag was having a bad day.. every other magazine think the kwakka is the best bike but them??? :roll: Prob trying to sell more issues by being different
  12. It's a really good point you make - I've been reading 600 reviews for the last couple of years, and everyone has different opinions. I can see trends in their selections over time, such as the ZX6R usually winning, followed by either the R6 or the CBR600rr, the rest after this with the Daytona last. I got the message after a while that there was one standout on the track - the Kwaka, and one not so flash one - the Daytona (which they always seemed to crash!), so I figured there wasn't much separating the middle runners.

    A few things which come into play are the test bikes (which are not the same between reviews) and the suspension setups that they have. Some riders will setup the bike for themselves, some won't touch the settings.

    I think you own review will give you the best idea (will you be doing track days, or just commuting/touring/weekenders?). Having ridden most of the new 600's before getting the R6, I couldn't split them, so I went with the one that looked the best. :D
  13. Some of the reports do say that the Daytona's a really nice street bike.

    Given that 90% of purchasers won't be going near a racetrack, you'd think they'd sell a few more of 'em.

    Still - that might mean you can negotiate a really good deal if you try one and like it. :)
  14. Buy the one that's most comfortable, who's sound you like, who's colour you like best, etc.... because in all reality - ALL these bikes are good - it's not possible to buy a bad supersport. And the other reality is - who cares if bike x does point 1 of a second faster to 100kph than bike y.... Unless you're racing it, it isn't gonna make a lick of difference on the road.
  15. Don't rule out a 750cc Twin either.
    They put out as much power as an inline 4 but have far more character.

    Do a search on v-twins, and read the lengthy discussion about the differences.

    I owned a ZX6R and it was an amazing bike, truely amazing for a 4, then I bought a twin, never did get back on the |4.

    Just another idea and thought to confuse the shit out of you :LOL: :LOL:
  16. What else can be said, it's a kwaka !!
  17. Absolutely on the money there, good call! As i keep saying, buy whatever turns YOU on..
  18. Yah... don't make the mistake of being sensible when you buy a bike... buy the bike that makes you go
    "phwoaarrr nice bike! oh... it's mine" ;-)