Advice for a new sport bike rider. - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-05-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2019
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I Ride: 2018 Versys 650 LT, 2005 ZX6R 636
Advice for a new sport bike rider.

Hi everyone, I have been riding motorcycles most of my adult life (over 20 years)

I own a 2018 Kawaski Versys 650 and this last season took it to a track day and it was a blast, I was instantly addicted. The Versys did great, though I could definitely tell my bikes limitations in comparison to the other sport bikes on the track.

I live in Colorado, we have a few Tracks here with track day options pretty much every weekend. I plan on taking the super street course next season and working into my MSA racing license.

With that said, I got a killer deal on a 2005 zx6r 636 with a good running motor and frame, and some heavy cosmetic damage to the fairings for $500 (it had been stolen and recovered).

I've got the bike running great, fairing set is on it's way.

Here is where the tough part comes (for me at least) I want to obviously track day the bike mainly, but it should still be street legal in case I want to ride on the street.

It already has a full 2 brothers exhaust, though I doubt it has been tuned for it, the F1 light is on all the time. I would like to add some things but not sure what brands/types are good for my purposes.

1 - A quick shifter is a must, I am pretty sure, just not sure what's good out there, and I'm 90% sure this year came with a slipper clutch, correct?
2 - The brakes feel a little soft, thinking of upgrading to some ss brake lines and maybe a more aggressive pad.
3 - Tuning - should I just get an mid-aggressive tune from a shop or do the power commander thing so I can have a couple different tunes to switch between depending on what I'm doing?
4 - Rear sets - I'm 6' tall and weigh 210-220 depending on how hungry I was vs how long ago I visited the porcelain throne. When I took it for a test ride, it almost felt like I was squatting on the bike, my knees were near the top of the tank. Is this ideal? Am I just too used to the upright position of my Versys and other similar bikes I've had in the past? Do I need to get a rear set I can lower for my height?
5 - Anything you might suggest that should be obtained that I am ignorant about because it's not on here lol.

While I can buy quality components, I am not looking to put thousands upon thousands into this project, but I don't want cheap chinese knockoff stuff either, middle of the road for now, and later on in future seasons after I have gotten some good time on the track under my belt I will start looking to make a dedicated track only bike with the good stuff.

Any suggestions, and order of importance are super appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-06-2019, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Miller View Post
Hi everyone, I have been riding motorcycles most of my adult life (over 20 years)

I own a 2018 Kawaski Versys 650 and this last season took it to a track day and it was a blast, I was instantly addicted. The Versys did great, though I could definitely tell my bikes limitations in comparison to the other sport bikes on the track.

I live in Colorado, we have a few Tracks here with track day options pretty much every weekend. I plan on taking the super street course next season and working into my MSA racing license.

With that said, I got a killer deal on a 2005 zx6r 636 with a good running motor and frame, and some heavy cosmetic damage to the fairings for $500 (it had been stolen and recovered).

I've got the bike running great, fairing set is on it's way.

Here is where the tough part comes (for me at least) I want to obviously track day the bike mainly, but it should still be street legal in case I want to ride on the street.

It already has a full 2 brothers exhaust, though I doubt it has been tuned for it, the F1 light is on all the time. I would like to add some things but not sure what brands/types are good for my purposes.

1 - A quick shifter is a must, I am pretty sure, just not sure what's good out there, and I'm 90% sure this year came with a slipper clutch, correct?
Don't bother.... the bike can shift just fine without one. This is money you can save for tires... I've done thousands of track miles on my '09 ZX6R with nothing more than clutchless upshifts. Done right it'll never have a problem. Sold the bike with over 50k miles and no transmission issues. Yes.... bike has a slipper clutch.

2 - The brakes feel a little soft, thinking of upgrading to some ss brake lines and maybe a more aggressive pad.
Absolutely... upgrade the lines and toss in some HH sintered pads and you're good to go.

3 - Tuning - should I just get an mid-aggressive tune from a shop or do the power commander thing so I can have a couple different tunes to switch between depending on what I'm doing?
Always best to get it custom mapped if you have the availability to do so. Helps in performance, rideability, and fuel economy (yes even at full throttle). However... this is something that's totally elective. If the bike has a full exhaust it's worth it just to make sure it's not running too lean.

4 - Rear sets - I'm 6' tall and weigh 210-220 depending on how hungry I was vs how long ago I visited the porcelain throne. When I took it for a test ride, it almost felt like I was squatting on the bike, my knees were near the top of the tank. Is this ideal? Am I just too used to the upright position of my Versys and other similar bikes I've had in the past? Do I need to get a rear set I can lower for my height?
You're 6 feet tall. On a bike designed for small Japanese people. No... it is not ideal and your knees will ride high on the tank. I'm 6'3" tall but slim. My gut doesn't get in the way... but my legs are longer. Cut some belly weight so you can bend over the tank and leave the stock rearsets on there. Replace with aftermarket if you ever crash and break one. Save the money and just get used to the bike. Bike I mentioned above was sold with stock rearsets.... not joking... literally thousands of track miles.

5 - Anything you might suggest that should be obtained that I am ignorant about because it's not on here lol.
Spend the money on gear and track days/track training.

While I can buy quality components, I am not looking to put thousands upon thousands into this project, but I don't want cheap chinese knockoff stuff either, middle of the road for now, and later on in future seasons after I have gotten some good time on the track under my belt I will start looking to make a dedicated track only bike with the good stuff.

Any suggestions, and order of importance are super appreciated!

See my notes in red
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-06-2019, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Miller View Post
4 - Rear sets - I'm 6' tall and weigh 210-220
At your weight I would suggest getting the correct rate fork springs and shock spring. Have a suspension tuner (usually there is a service at track days) set the suspension up for you and then go ride as much as you can.


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post #4 of 6 Old 11-06-2019, 08:46 AM
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In order of importance, and most bang-for-buck you can get for that platform...

Replace the calipers with 07+ Nissin's...search on here/google is your friend. I know a guy (me) selling a complete setup soon...keep an eye on the classified page. I'll probably have it posted by mid week next week.

Don't waste your time/money with a custom tune, but the bike will be much better with an off the shelf map for a 2 Bros exhaust in a PC3. Don't waste the money on a PCV, find a used PC3...it'll be cheaper and does the same thing. The newer PC3 QS sensors are pretty slick and work in both pull and push.

Vortex rear sets are going to be the most adjustable. Attack rear sets are really nice as well, but not made any more, and unsure of future parts availability.

Pull the shock/forks off and have a reputable shop refresh them and sprung for your weight.

I've also become a fan of the Motion pro throttle with the biggest reel they have for a quick throw. The OEM throttle throw is way too long and you have to almost regrip it to go WFO.
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It is always those that use their brakes the least that want to upgrade them the most.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-06-2019, 07:10 PM
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Look at going with an alternate chemistry battery..... you can shave quite a lot of weight going to a Lithium Ion from a lead acid type.

Braided brake lines, and HH pads are never a bad thing to do.

Honestly the best thing you can do is invest as much as you can in your protective gear. The thing that makes the bike go fast is not on the bike until you swing a leg over it.

"Basic stuff fellas. Use your head for something other than to break your next fall."

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-06-2019, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
Honestly the best thing you can do is invest as much as you can in your protective gear. The thing that makes the bike go fast is not on the bike until you swing a leg over it.
+1

Look good, ride gooder.
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