Another ZX-6R 636 Ride Report
Yeehaaaaa.... I just took the new 636 at Burnaby Kawsaki out for a 30 minute ride this afternoon.
I had a 2002 zx-6r and this bike is a completely different beast with major attitude. Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Having ridden many bikes over the past 7 years and been to the track a few times I feel fairly qualified to give an experienced perspective on this new toy. Bikes I have tested or ridden in the past include RC51, 954, ZX-9, 02 ZX-6R, SV650, Hawk GT, ZX-6, VFR, VTR, TRX 850, blah blah blah...
The roads were a little damp, but I still got to stretch her legs.
First of all, a few riders I chatted with had already taken the bike out (DAT from action) and Kevin fom BK. Both are very experienced riders... both seemed very impressed with the power of the new bike.
So, without further babbling here are my impressions...
The fuel injection is absolutely flawless. I intentionally lugged the bike around some 90 degree corners and rolled on the throttle early at around 3500 rpm -- no problem, the bike didn't hiccup at all.
Sound wise, this bike is louder than my old ZX-9 with a muzzy pipe! You don't believe me, try it -- the ram air sound is fantastic.
On hard acceleration, the front end gently lifts in 2nd gear. Yes, a 600 that power wheelies in second (Oh yeah, this with no leaning back, 185lb, 6' rider) Disclaimer: I'm no wheelie king and did not do any intentional ones during the ride.
The brakes are perfect. One finger is all y aneed and very linear. On the way back I went down a backroad and didn't see a speed bump so I hauled on the front brake and the rear end gently rose in the air until I released the brake. Oops, an unintentional rolling stoppie.
Now, not all is roses on this bike. I'm not a huge fan of the digital clocks and when you are riding in an upright position you can't see them at all -- it feels like you are flying because all you can see is the road ahead of you. Once in a tuck, the clocks were much more visible. I played with the lap timer a bit -- a fun add on. I don't mind not being able to see the clocks since the intake roar lets you know how fast the engine is spinning. After 15 minutes or so, I knew what RPMs I was at just from the engine noise -- sweet.
The handling was spot on, perhaps a tad stiff in the rear (this can easily be fixed with less compressions dampening etc.) Even on the wet stuff I felt very confident.
And now for the part which I feared the most - the comfort. Being 30 something, I need a little comfort for some longer rides. I had heard this bike is much more aggresive than previous years. Compared to the '02 model it definitely is more weight on the front, feels smaller, and a tad bit lighter. After about 10 minutes I was feeling a little pain in the wrists. However, after 15 minutes I felt no pain for the rest of the ride. I attribute the initial discomfort to being a little stressed about riding a new bike and not having my usual full gear on. Once I got used to the bike, and relaxed it really was an absolute hoot.
Overall, this bike has something that is hard to describe...it has the "Kavorka" (Kramer from Seinfeld). It simply has attitude.
This is the kinda bike I got into motorcycles for.... it is just plain fun to ride... and isn't that what its all about?!
PS, I don't work for Kawasaki and do not consider myself "brand loyal".
PPS, Take one for a ride and let us know what you think...
Last edited by Basilla; 02-01-2003 at 06:47 PM.
I heard the gearing is really short on this bike, is this true?
The gearing is short, but I think its great for the street. I rode an RC51 recently and although I liked it, the gearing was really tall for around town. The rev range on the 6R is so great, I didn't find I was shifting too much. The engine defintely revs faster than the 02.
sweet probably explains why this thing wheelies easily