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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started off with an air cooled Ducati Monster S2R, which was a wonderful bike to learn on. V-twins IMO are easiest to learn on as the power delivery isn't nearly as brutal as an I4. Eventually, I wanted a more sporting bike, so I moved up to the 848 after 2 years of riding and learning with the old monster.

The 848... well, it's a compromised bike. Ducati wanted to make a beautiful bike first and foremost, then function. Initially, I though the 848 was the bees-knees! The stability, power, sound, and handling. The stock suspension wasn't what I would call great. I upgraded the front forks to Ohlins cartridges and replaced the rear shock with TTXs. I even had Michelin Power Ones on them. It transformed the bike, but I never was truly 100% confident riding it. I wish the 848 had a (much)longer swingarm and more aggressive geometry. While very stable in a straight line, it never had the quickness of turning in, and the ludicrously short swingarm made it a little squirmy in tight corners. It's a great bike, no doubt. But falls below the Japanese competition in more categories than one.

I sold the 848 eventually. Put a good number of miles on her... around 20k or so and she found another home. As I was deployed overseas, I started to look for another bike. After much research and deliberation, I decided to go for a red/black 2012 ZX6R. I found her at a local dealership with 0 miles! And a smoking OTD price.



The 6R is an amazing bike. The engine is well... amazing. Power everywhere. Handling is exceptional. It doesn't turn as quickly as say, a CBR600RR or an R6, but it's a lot more stable mid corner and at corner exits. Brakes are top notch. Better than what Ducati can offer in their junior superbikes. It's a little touchy until you get used to it. I can't think of better stock brakes than the 09-12 6Rs. The transmission is smooth and I've never had any false shifts. The 848 was pretty bad at that. The slipper clutch works really well. I have yet to lock up my rear wheel or have it squirm when I'm banging downshifts. The front end feel is phenomenal! You can literally feel what the front tires are doing. The rear shock can use a little bit of work though... Feels a bit... detached. I got the front and rear preload set up for my weight. And then I softened up the rebound and compression to make it more compliant, and so that I use all of the travel. I've still got a little more tweaking to do with the suspension, but at it stands, it's a very stable bike in the corners. It's still a bit stiff, but not nearly as bad as the stock settings.









Riding position isn't R6 bad, but it isn't CBR comfortable either. In any case, I don't mind it for long trips since I'm used to the uncomfortable riding position of my 848. I can ride it all day and not feel like I've been beat up. The seat is a little firm and my ass cheeks are the only sore parts of my body after a long ride. The stock Bridgestones are pretty horrid tires. I never felt confident with them even in warm weather. They took forever to warm up and it was a bit squirmy when flicking the bike. I replaced them with Q3s. Amazing, amazing tires. That'll all I'll say about that.



The 6R is a very high strung bike... It demands to be ridden hard. The harder the bike is ridden, the better it gets. Some people don't like the high strung nature of the bike, but I love it. I'm very, very pleased to own this bike. There will be many mods to come, but they will be deliberately chosen to improve the handling, braking, and to save weight. Unlike the 848, I have yet to take my 6R to the track, but will be doing so in the next couple of months. The 09-12 6Rs are arguably the best 599cc supersports that have ever been made... so far. It's still getting podium finishes and winning races in World Supersport, so that should tell you something about the bike's performance, even at the world stage.
 

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After owning mine for 3 years and riding some of the other supersports, I would have to agree with everything you said. :) Enjoy the bike, I still love mine, don't think I'll ever sell it.
 

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Nice write up. Thank you for your service.

I've got my '09 very nearly all the way soft on the springs for street riding. Since I got to a comfortable spot, I don't feel the need to change the springs -- and there's lots of room to adjust if I ever take the thing to a track.

I can understand the change with the '13 + bikes to a softer spring; at 200lbs my '09 is where I want it to be for street riding with very, very little remaining adjustability. A 150 lb rider couldn't get there, IMHO. With the '13 model year, the softger springs put street riding for the vast majority within the normal adjustment range -- too soft for really spirited riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice write up. Thank you for your service.

I've got my '09 very nearly all the way soft on the springs for street riding. Since I got to a comfortable spot, I don't feel the need to change the springs -- and there's lots of room to adjust if I ever take the thing to a track.

I can understand the change with the '13 + bikes to a softer spring; at 200lbs my '09 is where I want it to be for street riding with very, very little remaining adjustability. A 150 lb rider couldn't get there, IMHO. With the '13 model year, the softger springs put street riding for the vast majority within the normal adjustment range -- too soft for really spirited riding.
I'm about 175-180 with full gear, so I have a decent amount of adjustability. I have my rebound and compression settings set roughly one or so turns from full soft. It's definitely made the ride a bit more plush, but still kinda rough on bumpy roads.

I think the stock forks work extremely well when set up properly. During spirited street rides and canyon runs, it feels just as good, if not better than the Ohlins cartridges I had on my 848. I have yet to take it to the track, so I can't really comment on what the inherent weaknesses of the forks are.

The rear shock isn't near as good as the front end. It works well when set up. My only gripe with it is that it doesn't have the 'feel' that the front end does. I know it's working, but it's sometimes hard to gauge what the rear is doing. It's weird and hard to describe. On my 848, I had TTXs and I knew the rear was planted no matter what. Nothing was gonna make the rear step out of line. I just had Q3s installed, so maybe it was the stock tires all along? I'll find out when I go on a shakedown ride.
 

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I'm about 175-180 with full gear, so I have a decent amount of adjustability. I have my rebound and compression settings set roughly one or so turns from full soft. It's definitely made the ride a bit more plush, but still kinda rough on bumpy roads.

I think the stock forks work extremely well when set up properly. During spirited street rides and canyon runs, it feels just as good, if not better than the Ohlins cartridges I had on my 848. I have yet to take it to the track, so I can't really comment on what the inherent weaknesses of the forks are.

The rear shock isn't near as good as the front end. It works well when set up. My only gripe with it is that it doesn't have the 'feel' that the front end does. I know it's working, but it's sometimes hard to gauge what the rear is doing. It's weird and hard to describe. On my 848, I had TTXs and I knew the rear was planted no matter what. Nothing was gonna make the rear step out of line. I just had Q3s installed, so maybe it was the stock tires all along? I'll find out when I go on a shakedown ride.
The rear shock is cheaper than the fork, for sure. Good enough for daily riding.... the Ohlins unit I put on the back of my FZ6 tells me that it could be better. As I am purely a street rider, I can't justify spending the money to improve it. The nasty arse POS that was on the FZ6 mandated it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Took the 6R out today to break in the new Q3s I got installed. It's a lot more stable mid corner and exit. What I really like about the Q3s is that I don't get corner entry wobbles like I did with the stock tires. I still need to play around with the tire pressures and dial in the suspension more, but so far so good. New tires make this bike much, much better.
 

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i cannot get my lightech spools to attach and i feel like this should be easy... i see you have them as well. i have a 2013 636 and i ordered the 10mm 1.25... any suggestions?
 
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