95 ZX6 steerin sucks, any suggestions??
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Thread: 95 ZX6 steerin sucks, any suggestions??

  1. #1
    Wasn't me Array DoctorP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002

    95 ZX6 steerin sucks, any suggestions??

    Hey all, Recently my girl has picked up a 95 ZX6. That thing is a freakin tank. It is her first bike and she is workin on goin to get her novice licence this week. Last night we were down practicin some figure eights and what not and she was havin a hell of a time keepin her balance. so we swapped bikes for a bit and she was busting figure eights all over the place with my bike, was no problem. So i started doin some hard turns on her bike and almost dropped it myself a few times. I wasnt expecting the front end to be as heavy as it is. What I'm wondering is if any of you have experienced this and if you know of anything we can do to improve it. The bike does need new tires which will make a difference but other than that im at a loss. If we cant figure somethin out we will probably sell it and get her a differnet bike. Thanks for any advice you can offer.


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  3. #2
    Registered User Array Sewman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    North Vancouver
    98 Suzuki TLS
    I owned a zx6E for a couple of seasons and got to know that bike's handling real well! It's got a low center of gravity (stock exhaust has ground clearance problems when going over speedbumps) so in theory it should be an easy bike to do parking lot stuff with. I tried to put weight on the foot pegs when doing slow speed manuevring in efforts to further lower the center of gravity.

    Old tyres more than likely have aLOT to do with the heavy feeling. Does it fight you as you try to turn and get a little wobbly as you lean more? After you get some new tyres it will handle like a completely different bike.
    I love my squared off tyres. Torque rules.

  4. #3
    Entertainment Poster Guy Array rearwheelrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Da Village
    05 750 gixxer (no,seriously)

    Re: 95 ZX6 steerin sucks, any suggestions??

    Originally posted by DoctorP
    Hey all, Recently my girl has picked up a 95 ZX6. That thing is a freakin tank.advice you can offer.

    Flog it and buy a zook

    People who never do any more than they get paid for never get paid for any more than they do.
    – Albert Hubbard

  5. #4
    Team No Team Array
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Check yer tire pressure.
    Check your steering stem to see if its lubed.

  6. #5
    Moderator Array Harps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    A couple of Suzukis
    DoctorP: I had a ZX-6E and a CBR F2 (same bikes as you and your girlfriend). That thing IS a fuckin' tank. No matter what you do, it's not going to feel as light as the F2. Either sell it, or get use to it. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was a GREAT bike, but if she feels uncomfortable, it may be time to try something different. However, at high-speeds (especially in a straight line) the ZX-6 will feel a lot better than the F2...but low speed stuff the F2 owns.
    Maybe Mediocre
    BCSB - I hate you

  7. #6
    Ride to you limits Array clutch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Lower mainland why who wants to know???
    To big and to fast for you
    I had a 93 zx6E two things you can doo...
    Replace the tires with a sticker compund I used the Metzlrs ME1
    When going slow lear to ride the clutch with hight rpms 5-7grand
    at this rpm you can turn on a dime...

  8. #7
    Try one or all of these:

    1. put higher pressure on the front tire like 40lbs
    2. lower the front by pushing the forks up like 10mm thru the triple clamps
    3. increase the idle speed to about 2000~3000
    4. Make sure you have very little gas in the tank.
    5. You can also try this too: push the rear axle all the way to the front so that the wheel base is at its shortest. This will also make the bike easier to turn. You might ended up with a lot of slack in the chain but it should be ok if you are only doing figure-8 or some slow stuff in a parking lot.

    !!!BUT make sure you reverse it when you are riding normal on the road!!!!


    ps sticky tires will not make your bike turn any quicker, in fact it will slow down your steering. It has more to do with the profile of the tire. When the tire gets old, the center part is more "square-ish" because of the milage, so it is going to be harder to initiate a turn. Higher pressure will give you a bit less contact patch so it will become easier to turn. Lowering your front end will sharpen your steering because the geometry of the bike has changed and the weight is more on the front too. By increasing the idling RPM, you will be able to ride smoother when you can't really open the throttle at very slow turns.

    Hope this will help.
    Last edited by tchan748; 06-13-2003 at 01:22 AM.

  9. #8
    definately check steering head bearings. Recently I've noticed more and more bikes with problems in this area as people are starting to stunt their bikes. Wheelies are extremely hard on steering head bearings and fork seals.
    If head bearings are going flat it will steer like a tank especially at low speeds.

  10. #9
    Moderator Array TeeTee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Out to pasture in the 'Wack
    04 Kawi Z1000,
    Another vote for the basics. Tires make much more difference than you can ever believe. If the old ones are squared off from too much commuting then the bike will be totally different with a new set. Make no judgements that you'll later regret until it's got new rubber.

    But having said that it's wise to check for the following;
    • Has the back end been lowered or set to a very soft sping sag in an attempt to make the saddle lower for a short rider? If so then correct that. It slacks off the steering angle making for a sloppy feel. Find other ways to lower the bike.
    • Check the steering head bearings for slop or notchiness around center. For the slop put the front wheel up against a wall and have a buddy push HARD at the rear of the bike while you straddle it for stability and put a finger down by the stearing head to feel for any play during the push. For the notchiness put the bike on the center stand and have your girlfriend sit on the passenger seat to lift the front end. Move the bars side to side and feel for any notchiness or roughness around center. Any play or roughness at all is cause for either adjustment or new steering head bearings. Often bearings that have gone loose will pound notches into the races that show as roughness when adjusted later. Watch for signs of this if you have them adjusted from a loose setting.
    • Do much the same to check for play in the swingarm but this time you put it on the center stand and try to push/pull the swingarm side to side while holding a finger on the swingarm to frame interface. Do try and not pull the bike over in your fervor....

    There may be other causes but these are the most likely.... especially the rear shock bit. The 6E isn't quite the same as a modern sportbike for handling but it's no slouch either. I've ridden one and that example was a nice perky but stable bike to ride. I'd say from your description that the problem is mostly mechanical rather than due to any design comparisons. The 6E is probably all the bike that her, or many of us here, will ever need for the street.
    A backyard mechanic without a service manual is just like a hooker without a lamp pole.... they are both in the dark.

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