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Question about the 2005 ZZR600

3702 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Calamarichris
Has anyone had a chance to drive the 2005 ZZR600? I've seen it at a dealer and am considering upgrading from my '02 Ninja 500R to the '05 ZZR600.

Basically, I just wanted to know how well it handles and if it would be a good step up from the 500R.

My previous bikes have been:
1991 Honda XR250L
1992 Honda Nighthawk 750
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'05 ZZR6 = '02 ZX6R

The ZZR6 is exactly the same bike as the '00-'02 ZX6R, so you don't have to wait for KHI to "work the bugs out of this new model". It's a well-established and proven design. My wife has ridden more than 45,000 miles on her '02 ZX6R. She started on the '01 500R, and loves-loves-LOVES her 6R. How much? Last year she rode from San Diego where we live up to British Columbia, Canada and this year, we rode all the way to Philadelphia and back.

The only (and I mean only) downside to this design is that you have to adjust the valves every 7500 miles and it's a PITA to remove & clean everything (including the cams) to adjust them. Perhaps the ZZR will have a longer valve adjustment interval?

Second valve adjustment in one month.

-Calamari Chris in Carlsbad, CA

P.S. And yes I have ridden it and it's a sweet, sweet bike. Once while we were riding north on Hwy 395 I saw a sherrif's SUV coming the other way down the deserted desert road. Thinking we were doing 85-90, I slowed and glanced at the speedometer to see...120mph. The bike is so smooth and quiet, I had no idea we were going that fast.
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P.S. Nice Handle, Mod

(check wife's plate)

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Not OT at all Robert, and while the new model might be slightly less comfortable than the previous, my wife was still able to ride from San Diego to Philadelphia and back on hers this August. 6300 miles in 12 days. Stock bars and seat. We got tired on some days, but even Goldwingers get tired after averaging 550 miles per day for more than a week.

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Differences between the R6 and the 636 or between the 636 and the ZZR600? Between the 636 and the ZX6RR? The R6 and the ZZR600? The '05 ZZR6 and the '02 ZX6R?
Both have minimal fairings and are less comfortable than the '05 ZZR600. And the rider makes all the difference anyway: my friend Tom used to SPANK guys on R1's, 954's and Ducatis with his stock '93 EX500.
I've ridden an R6 and it was indeed fast (and indeed uncomfortable) and the first thought that came to mind when I sat on a 636 was "So Kawasaki's making an R6 now; glad we got Lisa (my wife) the last of the comfortable ZX6R's."

The interesting things to me about these bikes is their approach at getting high hp numbers. The Kawasaki uses tall cams and big valve lift, which means they must also use stronger valve springs, which in turn necessitates shorter valve-adjustment intervals. The valves must be adjusted every 7500 miles on my '02 ZX9R and my wife's '02 ZX6R, but perhaps they've found a new magic material to reinforce the valve seats to lengthen the intervals between valve adjustments on the 636/ZX6RR.

Now Yamaha uses a different approach. Instead of using the extreme-lift cams and stiff valve springs, they get the high hp numbers with the 5-valve engine. They get good flow with 3 intake valves and easier cams, which also means softer valve springs. Easier cams and easier valve springs mean less mechanical friction and wear. The only real downside is that you've got 20 valve clearances to inspect instead of 16, but if you only have to inspect them half as often (say every 16,000 miles or more)...you do the math.

I really like the Yamaha approach and almost got an FZ1 instead of my current ZX9R, but the one thing Yamaha does that I don't like is boring the cylinders directly into the upper crankcase. They save lots of money in production and a little weight, but the end result is that you cannot simply bore or replace your cylinder block at your neighborhood machinist. You must find a specialized place (like Erion Racing in Torrance, CA) to do it and they charge almost as much as an entire new crankcase set. And if you want to simply replace the cylinders of these engines, you must replace the entire crankcase, because they are drilled as sets at the factories. So you're basically replacing the entire engine.

If you are fortunate enough to simply trade-in for a new bike every 2 or 3 years and don't ride too many miles, maybe this doesn't matter to you. But if you expect to get 100,000 miles out of an engine...

Blah-blah-blah...I've rambled enough. Either bike would be fast enough. Arguably too fast for public roads. Good luck.
-Calamari Chris in Carlsbad, CA
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Actually now is the time to go to your dealership, not Spring.

~Go there with cash in your pocket. All of it. No down-payment, no trade-in, no layaway, no Funancing. But don't tell them you've got the cash until at least ten-minutes into the negotiating.
~Go in on a rainy or snowy day.
~Go in either as early as possible before Xmas or a few weeks after Xmas--salesmen are less haughty when they've gone a few days or weeks without making a sale, and you want to avoid the time when they're enjoying the "dirt-bike-for-my-kid's-Xmas-present" rush.
~Have an excuse handy like doing laundry in the laundromat just down the street and just popped in while my socks were in the dryer--be prepared to walk politely away: if they know you're definitely going to buy a bike there today, you won't get the best deal possible.
~While you want to give the impression that you "just stopped in," slip them a hint that your ex-girlfriend got really furious when you bought your 500R, which you admit in hindsight "was kinda impulsive of me. Heh-heh."
~Get them to throw in the first-service for free, and get it in writing if you think this salesman will balk when you return for your service.
~Be sure to mention that you are aware that this '05 ZZR600 is basically identical to the '02 ZX6R and there are plenty of those around in good shape, because everyone traded them in to get the new 636/6RR.
Go get 'em Killer--No prisoners!
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