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Is a ZX6 (not ZZR600) a good starter bike?

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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to take the MSF class and am looking to find my first bike. I have liked the ZX6 (now the ZZR600) and am thinking of getting a used one for cheap. I dont have a lot to spend so price is definetly concern, one reason I am going to Kawasaki.

I am 20, 6'1" and 225lbs. I heard a 500cc might be too small for me and I dont want to have to buy a new bike anytime soon. I hear a lot of concerns about newbies getting 600cc's, but I definetly understand the power of the bike and dont plan to race or do anythign extreme before I get years of experience.
 

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15-20 years ago a 600 only had like 70 hp and your choices them were the Gpz 550 - excellent bike, Honda Interceptor 500 another great bike and easy to learn on and the Ninja 600 which was top gun. The 600's then had plenty of zoom - scream it in 2nd up to 70 in a blink of the eye if you so desired.

The issue becomes, all the horsepower of a new bike in a 600 class is closer to 100hp. The bikes have more technology, speed, better brakes etc. Most new riders are not ready for all of that in a canyon and can get themselves in more trouble by over riding themselves into situations above their ability - compound that with peer pressure (your friends riding at a fast pace and you trying to keep them in eye sight) and you have the chemistry for a crash. It's easier to maneuver a smaller bike and work on technique. Speed and power hides alot of deficiencies until you really need to be proficient and then wham!

What do you do when you panic break? Can you swere effectively? If you lock the rear tire,(have you even done that) what do you do? IMHO most riders will put themselves in a crash situation prior to being ready to deal with that situation on the road. Even with MSF, you are just understanding the basics of what to do.

Better to find a used bike and upgrade - It will give you a chance to work on your technique.
 

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I dont see the problem. Yes I see everyone talk about how bikes are dangerous and whatnot. I agree, they are very dangerous and powerfull. On the other hand, I was in your exact same position about 3 months ago. I was debating buying a smaller bike to start off with and then when ready, get a 600cc bike. BUT, I did not want to have to sell and buy another one. I took the chance and started off on a 600cc, the ZZR600, ZX6, pretty much the same thing. Anyway, yes it has power, but to be honnest, if you have a good head on your shoulders and you dont get overanxious and crazy, you will be fine. Ive been driving it about 2 months now, and havent been over 120km/h. For acceleration, yes I can accelerate fast from time to time, but I dont overdo it and I wont in the future either (the near future at least!! :p ). For me, I thought the ZX6 was the perfect bike to start off with. My friend also started with a zx6r,which is even worse, but driving responsibly, he has been driving for over a year and he is ok. Your pretty tall, and the 600cc bike will be perfect for you. Keep that head on right and you wont regret it. Plus, the 500cc will be good, but you WILL want to change the year after -->hassle. Alright, enough for me, drive safe!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am thinking going with a ZX6 as opposed to a ZX-6R(R) would be OK. Plus every single person is telling me I am gonna mess myself up, so I am already really cautious, and I haven't even started riding. Plus I hear the ZX6, without the R, is pretty good for 600cc without being too much.

Also, I mentioned earlier that I want to get a few years older because of cost. What are some good years to look at?
 

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ddocta,
Definitely think about a 500 or even a 250 since you said you weren't worried about racing, just look at some of the forums of ninja's and ask people sizes, you'd be suprised.

I'm 6'4" 280 lbs. and I have more than enough power to break the speed limit in every which way, but I don't because I choose to ride safe, just be aware that a 500 will not outgrow you as quick as you may think. By the time you get a 500 to it's edges it may be years and years down the road
 

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Stuart said:
By the time you get a 500 to it's edges it may be years and years down the road
Oh, yeah. It's going to be a LONG time before I can do half of what my Ninja 250 can do.

Ddocta, the ZX6 is a gorgeous bike. I don't blame you for falling in love with it. But it sounds like you wouldn't mind getting something tamer except for having to buy another bike anytime soon when you want to move up. That makes a lot of sense until you look at actual numbers. Add up your total cost to own that ZX6: purchase, insurance, license/taxes, maintenance, etc. Then compare that to the cost of a same year Ninja 250 or 500. Sell the 250 or 500 after two years (you should get close to what you paid for it) and buy the ZX6 then, when it's even cheaper than it is now. Insurance companies don't like to see new riders on 600's. The premium will probably be hundreds (more than a thousand for some people) of dollars difference over two years, plus you get an easier (and safer) bike to learn on, plus if you wreck it, you're out a lot less money. You're much more likely to wreck your first bike than your second bike. Wouldn't you rather wreck an old 250 and only be out a grand or so? If you wreck that ZX6 you might be done for and have to save up another couple of years before you can buy another one.

We want you on your ride, not sitting and wishing you had enough money. So go for the older, smaller, and a lot cheaper Ninja 500 or 250. Besides, that way you can spend a wad on top notch gear that not only saves your skin, but also scores big points with the babes.
Curt
 

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FIRST BIKE

THink with numbers in mind, with your head and maybe a pencil and paper for everything ...instead of just looking at a bike, literally. Look at insurance, look at weight, power, cost of fairings (really I'm not kidding), look at maintenance 2cylinders versus 4, look at tire prices, even look at what it would cost to modify all the bikes and get a custom "serious custom" paintjob on the bike. Should someone steal your bike na dyou don't have insurance, should you get into an accident and can't pay for the bike or worse it is your fault, or you have a large deductable...Put everything on paper...a Ninja 250R 304lbs(dry) 65mph less insurnace than, Ninja500R 388lbs(dry) 45mph, a little more on insurance, ZZR-600 (Still carbs) 430lbs(dry) a little more insurance, ZX-6RR (636) Fuel Injection 355lbs(dry) lot more insurance, ZX6R (599cc) Fuel Injection 355lbs(dry) more insurance...Now investigate the prices of the mentioned bikes. add taxes, delivery fees, set-up fees.........out the door costs from your dealer. I'm 51 na went to Lawrence<KS today a college town and thy have a customer paying over $1,000 every 6 months for his bike in insurance. In college and good grades discount, because of his age. I'm not saying you can't have what you want, but you should seriously plug every blank in when you go to tally up the TOTAL so that you are being fair to yourself na dnot just going for a bike because it looks really cool. EVEN if you do have the money...like CURT said, and I'm 100% with him on this, that a 250R is a great bike and you can save some money get great gear, some serious experience, and your age will be greater as well as your knowledge, riding capabilities...and you will already know how to ride so you can go out and test bikes all year round till you find the one that you just have to stay on...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is the 100cc upgrade from a 500cc to a 600cc that big to cause such an alarm?

WHen I first got interested about riding, about a year and a half ago, I was determined to get a EX250, but after having sat on it and read some more posts, I am convinced that it is too small for me. THe EX500 gives me the similar feel.

I definetly plan to cautious and weary, but I think a ZX6 might be better given my size and cheapness (I'm cheap)

U make a good point Zx-25, but I still question it since I can get a used ZX6 for under $3000.
 

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LOcation//Profile

YES! The difference is that when you go to a 600 you have 4clyinders in stead of two like you do on a Ninja 250R or Ninja500R. I wasn't including the 250 or 650 dual sport singles they are completely a different story. Yes switching to a 600 is a 4 clylindr bike and the insurance company is smart even if you tell them that it is still a [599cc (ZZR-600) or(ZX-6RR)] or even if you tell them a ZX-6RR they know tha it is really a 636cc motor.and.and.and they can tell you actually what their books tell the,, because they know nothing about bikes, but the serial numbers and model numbers plug in nad your rates are just that. If you want to have lots of fun and really learn to ride I'd go for the 250R, and learn to really ride it. Take a few books and VCR/DVD's hme and learn then after taking the MSF course try for an advanced MSF course and even try to get on the track. Some tracks allow you to remove or tape up all glass, and let the road bikes run to get the juices flowing into them about racing...thats how most people get hooked into racing...just by taking their regular street bike in and doing some track time on certain days or evenings...IF YOU ARE REAL SERIOUS...take a track school. a real bike school! YOu will learn a lot about racing. Meanwhile your Ninja 250 is no slouch...IF you remember that the POWER range is between 8-13,000RPM. That sounds high, but this particular engine is MADE for this. IT is not just a Gimick or a toy...it is for real. Take one for a test drive and rember just what I said! 8,000-13,500RPM!!!
 

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ddocta said:
I was determined to get a EX250, but after having sat on it and read some more posts, I am convinced that it is too small for me
Okay, the 250 is out because you want it to be out. That's okay, not everyone can handle a 250. But please consider the Ninja 500 then.

ddocta said:
I can get a used ZX-6 for under $3000.
Um, so what? A Ninja 500 is even cheaper for the same age and condition. Plus, your insurance will be less (not as low as on the 250, but still less than the ZX-6).

And like ZX-2R said, watch out for the cost of those fairings. They are hundreds of dollars each. That's why it's so easy to total a sportbike. Be careful out there.

So here are my questions for you?
1. Is there a particular ZX-6 you're considering?
2. How much will the registration and sales tax be?
3. How much is insurance for you for the ZX-6 vs. the Ninja 500?
4. How much are you budgeting for gear before you buy the bike?
Curt
 

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WHY ASK?

IF you are convinced about waht you want then just go for it...no sence asking and wasting our time...we were only trying to get you to think...if your mind is completely set on the ZX then please get on with it and ask something that we can help you with...Sorry to be blunt...but it doesn't work very well if someone ask for advice and alraedy has their mind set on something else. YOu will find on this site that we promote safety, First and foremost. I'm a little more blunt than most of the forum members are most of the time. We play nice on the site. A ZX-6 anything is not a bike for beginners, because it has more power than anyone needs for learning. A 250R has more than some people need. You wrap a 250R out you had better be ready for some serious power. It is not a toy as some of the Fourm members will have you believe...I don't care if you weigh 300lbs it will still twist aned throw you off in a heartbeat if you are not completely focused. Curt, you try...you have a way with words, and common sense...I'm just not with the program this evening to see someone else get hurt. While in the shop today Lawrence is a College town...saw yet another piece of twisted wreckage....Kawasaki and Orange...so I walked away...I did set on a Vulcan 2000! WOW! Nice bike...the ZX-6R was okay and the ZX-10r sccared me...just setting on it!
 

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I agree ZX-2R, the 250 or 500 would be a better newbie bike. I own a ZX-6R and it is hard to learn to ride(but i think im doing all right), the hardest part of the whole process would be learning the braking, you really have to be extra careful with a ZX6R or a ZX6 for that matter it your a newbie.
 

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Ya mean, its not a car and you can't slam on the breaks -- especially using the rear brake which you are conditioned to do so since you have been driving a car all your life. Or that your brakes are so strong you can feel your lunch coming back up when you brake?

The r's brakes are nice though. Are those 4 piston/pad brakes?
 

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Yeah there 4 piston/pad brakes. the guy who owned the bike before me had just put on some high performance brake pads so my brakes work extra good, which might be the reason i have trouble with my braking skills. Im sure i will be better at braking when i go to my riding class this fall.
 

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1Adam12 said:
15-20 years ago a 600 only had like 70 hp and your choices them were the Gpz 550 - excellent bike, Honda Interceptor 500 another great bike and easy to learn on and the Ninja 600 which was top gun. The 600's then had plenty of zoom - scream it in 2nd up to 70 in a blink of the eye if you so desired.

The issue becomes, all the horsepower of a new bike in a 600 class is closer to 100hp. The bikes have more technology, speed, better brakes etc. Most new riders are not ready for all of that in a canyon and can get themselves in more trouble by over riding themselves into situations above their ability - compound that with peer pressure (your friends riding at a fast pace and you trying to keep them in eye sight) and you have the chemistry for a crash. It's easier to maneuver a smaller bike and work on technique. Speed and power hides alot of deficiencies until you really need to be proficient and then wham!

What do you do when you panic break? Can you swere effectively? If you lock the rear tire,(have you even done that) what do you do? IMHO most riders will put themselves in a crash situation prior to being ready to deal with that situation on the road. Even with MSF, you are just understanding the basics of what to do.

Better to find a used bike and upgrade - It will give you a chance to work on your technique.

Glad to see your going to take the MSF class!! :wink:
 

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i am doing what the shop i got my bike from recommended. i got a ex250 and i am gonna ride it at the minimum of 1 year after that if i feel i am ready to step up then i can trade it in. my insurance wont be as high because i have some time under my belt without accidents (i hope).
 

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bdropped said:
i am doing what the shop i got my bike from recommended. i got a ex250 and i am gonna ride it at the minimum of 1 year after that if i feel i am ready to step up then i can trade it in. my insurance wont be as high because i have some time under my belt without accidents (i hope).
Congrats on your new bike! :D Remember, keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up!
 

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Freakinout said:
bdropped said:
i am doing what the shop i got my bike from recommended. i got a ex250 and i am gonna ride it at the minimum of 1 year after that if i feel i am ready to step up then i can trade it in. my insurance wont be as high because i have some time under my belt without accidents (i hope).
Congrats on your new bike! :D Remember, keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up!
There you go bdropped - that is sound advice from the shop. Once you get used to riding some miles and build confidence, check your status the following year. There is a huge market for the 250's and they seem to hold their value well too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
soad said:
i would buy the zx6r if you knew what your getting into. but look into a suzuki gs500f its just as popular as a zxr250 and looks like a gsx-r but i would try to go with a bike that fits you first.
Thsi is somethign I could see myself doing more. I am not sure why, but I am not a big fan of the EX's, and this is one reason I was pushing for a ZX-6. I heard the GSX line was designed for more racing in mind and wern't great beginner bikes. Anyone with experience on the GS500. And yes, I know this is a Kawasaki Forum.
 
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