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Discussion Starter #1
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Many non-hobbyists and beginner riders ask this question. What sets each brand apart? We have chosen Kawasaki, but what was the reason for your choice?

Personally, I owned a Honda CBR 600RR prior to owning my ZX6RR. I've had a chance to ride a wide variety of streetbikes throughout the years ranging from R1's through Aprilia's and ending on Ducati's. However I'd like to focus on Japs in specific. Kawasaki's seem to be more "alive" than other bikes. I love the slight vibration, the feedback and the feel of the machine that other manufacturers lack. Seating position is also optimal for me. I feel like I sit in the bike more than on top of it. I have noticed that Kawasaki tends to be slightly superior in handling also. Then again, I shouldn't be so certain since much of the handling comes from the set up of the bike.

Do you simply think that the only thing that significantly differs each manufacturer is style? What's your opinion?
 

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:popcorn:
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Many non-hobbyists and beginner riders ask this question. What sets each brand apart? We have chosen Kawasaki, but what was the reason for your choice?

Personally, I owned a Honda CBR 600RR prior to owning my ZX6RR. I've had a chance to ride a wide variety of streetbikes throughout the years ranging from R1's through Aprilia's and ending on Ducati's. However I'd like to focus on Japs in specific. Kawasaki's seem to be more "alive" than other bikes. I love the slight vibration, the feedback and the feel of the machine that other manufacturers lack. Seating position is also optimal for me. I feel like I sit in the bike more than on top of it. I have noticed that Kawasaki tends to be slightly superior in handling also. Then again, I shouldn't be so certain since much of the handling comes from the set up of the bike.

Do you simply think that the only thing that significantly differs each manufacturer is style? What's your opinion?
 

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I was looking for a bike with 636 cc's. For some reason, that number appealed to me. Oddly enough, Kawasaki is the only manufacturer that makes one in that size.
 

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Green is cool.
 
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Never owned a Yammy, But I did have a Suzuki way way back.
Mostly I've had Hondas & Kawasakis. I think their build quality is better.
Hondas are great bikes but Honda is a bit conservative, Kawasaki just suits my crazy wild ass better.
 
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Suzuki = squid
Honda = conservative/bland
Yamaha = square
Kawasaki = awesomeness!!

In all seriousness I'd have any of the modern 600s by any of the above manufactures but I always have seen Kawasaki as having that slight edge in attitude and to me at least just feel that little more special. Each to their own though
 

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I bought my Kawi mainly because you don't see many of them where I'm from, and the fact that Kawi always seems to be the most innovative in the 600 class. Oh, and I got a great deal on it haha.
 

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Always been into Yamaha's and Kawasaki's. The ninja is the epitome of the supersport. What all other bikes strive to be
 

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They're all equally reliable in the long run, so I'm going to go into detail about what makes them different in TODAY'S market:

Honda - Their engineers, designers, and builders have a little extra attention to detail when it comes to refinement and overall quality. However this comes at a premium in terms of cost, and considering the other brands don't exactly SUFFER in those areas, it's questionable whether or not it's worth it. Also, they pride themselves on making things more "user-friendly."

Kawasaki - I think that in the present market, Kawasaki is somewhat lacking when it comes to overall identity because the other brands have recently (as in just over the past few years) begun to surpass them in the areas they used to be known for, and the ZX-6R is the only bike they make presently that stands out in the crowd. It carries on what USED to be the Kawasaki tradition of making supersport bikes that focused just as much on street practicality as track capability.

Suzuki - Right now, Suzuki has no real brand image outside of the GSXR series and are scrambling to establish one.

Yamaha - Yamaha has reinvented themselves in recent years by focusing on the value end of things, which is needed to revive the motorcycle industry in the modern world. Their large number of sub-$10k offerings for bikes that are more than respectable performers puts them at the head of the pack currently.

Ever since the 2008 crash, which deeply affected motorcycle sales in the US, there has been a big push to focus on offering bikes that offer strong performance at lower prices, and Yamaha is spearheading this movement, followed by Honda. Sales of Supersport bikes in general have fallen greatly, as has public interest in most organized racing leagues. It wouldn't surprise me to see the 600 class as a whole die out (Kawi has already bowed out, in a way, by going with the 636) and go the way the 750 class did.
 

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For street riding - none of them. I want a twin or triple for the roads.

For the track:
Óver here i would say Yamaha or Honda. They have had the best service, been easiest to find parts for and most dealers for the last 20 years, so they have sold a lot more bikes then suzuki and kawi, that means more used and cheaper parts, and more knowledge about them.
 

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For street riding - none of them. I want a twin or triple for the roads.
Óver here i would say Yamaha or Honda. They have had the best service, been easiest to find parts for and most dealers for the last 20 years, so they have sold a lot more bikes then suzuki and kawi, that means more used and cheaper parts, and more knowledge about them.
The Yamaha triple (FZ-09) is amazing. I sold my ZX-6R for one. LOVE IT.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interesting answers. Gathering all of those opinions together shows that Kawasaki isn't really the greatest choice afterall. Then again, it's a matter of opinion. None of us are really experts. Enrosabil and Weaponzero stressed an important factor. They have introduced street vs track into the discussion.

I think all supersport classes were always meant to be track ready. The manufacturers merely adapt those machines for street use. I am looking into making my ZX-6RR track only meanwhile getting something more street friendly on the side. The Triple isn't a bad option at all.

Thanks for all the replies! Keep them coming!
 

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Interesting answers. Gathering all of those opinions together shows that Kawasaki isn't really the greatest choice afterall. Then again, it's a matter of opinion. None of us are really experts. Enrosabil and Weaponzero stressed an important factor. They have introduced street vs track into the discussion.

I think all supersport classes were always meant to be track ready. The manufacturers merely adapt those machines for street use. I am looking into making my ZX-6RR track only meanwhile getting something more street friendly on the side. The Triple isn't a bad option at all.

Thanks for all the replies! Keep them coming!
Originally all bikes were street-biased and the race bikes were adapted from purely street platforms. The original GSXR750 changed all that when it threw comfort, user-friendliness, and low-end torque totally out the window in favor of being the most badass racebike out there. In the beginning they were alone in that, with the other "big three" being mindful of keeping their supersport bikes heavily street biased. When Yamaha introduced their "R" series starting with the R1, however, it was only a matter of time before the others followed suit. Kawasaki held out the longest, with the most relaxed ergonomics and the most midrange-biased powerplants in the genre, and that was what established their identity. The fact that the current generation 636 threw racing regulations out the window for being the best STREET bike in its class is a testament to that. However, the current "metagame" if you will is about focusing on the budget-conscious end of things. And this is what will make or break the manufacturers for the next decade.
 

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I know a big part of it for me, when swooning over the zx6r, was that it was the only bike that seemed like it had any kind of real update to it in a while. At the time of my looking (2013) I think the last meaningful update the r6 had was in 2010, and the GSXR was just a year later (2011). I'm not certain about the Honda's updates, but I remember walking into the dealer, sitting on one, and just not liking how it felt or looked. In the end it came down to the r6 and the zx6r. I chose the kawi because it had the most recent update and seemed to be much more rider friendly for the street, where I knew I'd be spending most of my time. Not to mention it felt good and looked good.
 

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For just street riding, i honestly probably would of chosen any of the 4 given the right opportunity to purchase one. They're all good performing bikes capable of doing what i was looking to do. There wasnt many options where i was when i was looking to buy a bike so when i saw a zx6r pop up, i hopped on it, not knowing the next time id see one. So for me it came down to availability and pricing. Now that i live somewhere different and know alil more about bikes and have ridden one to compare too, my reasons for my next purchase might be different. I might test ride a yamaha, only to come back after and say "im sticking wit kawi" due to comfort/handling etc.
 

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The Yamaha triple (FZ-09) is amazing. I sold my ZX-6R for one. LOVE IT.
If you like yours...........great but that isn't my experience or any of the 6 owners of them I service........

OMG...no--I find and so do the owners I know, the FZ-09 as the worst mistake ever built by Yamaha and they have made some doozies...

Only a half functioning cartridge in one fork leg and the other fork leg it is non existent.........result, front suspension sucks ass unless you spend atleast $1300 fixing what is wrong with it!

The shock, another huge fail, damn near useless for anything unless you replace it ........another $900 suspension upgrade,

So already that oh so cheap "steal of a deal" has run you up over 10k and then add the cam chain tensioner that I have already replaced from failure on the only 6 FZ-09's I have even seen... and all these people wish they had never bought the damn thing, actually 1 of them just traded his in this past week for a 2014 Z1000........I think he will be ecstatic with his choice- he only paid $8800 for the Z and he had paid like $7700 for the shitty ass FZ and spent another $5 on it trying to make it work and nice

The reason it is an "inexpensive" bike is because it is cheaply made, plain and simple....
Exactly the same mistake Honda made with the CBR250R- not built at Honda Japan but out sourced to 3rd world low standards (Thailand) and its quality or lack there of, clearly showed......and they still priced the damn thing too high


Anyways... working on all of the jap bikes, and not just sport bikes for 3 decades....

Honda has always been the industry standard and leader in quality-- but it seems they don't much give a shit about being the fastest or best or anything with anything but the Goldwing.... which nobody but Victory even competes against

Kawasaki has always been pretty well know for hp and being a brute, not much else........People/racers use to joke you could throw rocks in the cases and it would still finish the race... But I am a brute so I like it!!-- I don't really think Kawi ever really gave a damn about racing, but they did come out with the 600 Ninja in 85 that changed everyones standard of what a sportbike is... sure they wanted to one up Yamahas FJ1100/1200 and made the ZX11 to stomp top speed, then the ZX14 to compete against the BUSA- I think they have primarily focused on street riders, which is good... far more sport bikes ridden on the road than the racetrack

Suzuki, well.... they have the gsxr, most everything else has come and gone and some came back only to go again... well except the SV- which is actually a quite decent bike, but they filed bankruptcy a few years ago and simply have not been the same since

Yamaha, up until the 2000's they really have not been much, sure they had the fzr600 to compete against the CBR600 and was marginally quicker at the expense of reliability and breakage....and the next year Honda answered with the CBR600F-2 and stomped it in the ground... Yamaha 600 really didn't get to be dominant again until 2008....where they have just left the bike alone since then and nobody else seems to want to push to improve or pass them--kawi gave up on the racing scene long ago and really doesn't give a shit.....but they did make the H2 just to show they could stomp ass if they wanted to. Sure they had the RZ350, whoopi, the fzr400 (hey I still own one of those) dominated for 1 year and done... They do have the always popular TTR series

I won't speak long about the quad or dirtbike realm since I barely work on any, but I do see more Honda 4 stroke dirtbikes needing top end rebuilds than any other brand, it may be because they sell more (atleast locally?)...all of the jap 4 stroke singles have engine rebuild guidelines of only 15 hours, so no big surprise on many needing valves and more quite often... in their defense most that have hour meters are running about 15 hours between valve adjustments and making it about 45 hours before there are no shims small enough any longer to keep adjusting so then they rebuild/replace.... But I have seen the same on Kaw, Suz and Yam....but I don't see many of them~ certainly not as many as the Honda's
 

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If you like yours...........great but that isn't my experience or any of the 6 owners of them I service........

OMG...no--I find and so do the owners I know, the FZ-09 as the worst mistake ever built by Yamaha and they have made some doozies...

Only a half functioning cartridge in one fork leg and the other fork leg it is non existent.........result, front suspension sucks ass unless you spend atleast $1300 fixing what is wrong with it!

The shock, another huge fail, damn near useless for anything unless you replace it ........another $900 suspension upgrade,

So already that oh so cheap "steal of a deal" has run you up over 10k and then add the cam chain tensioner that I have already replaced from failure on the only 6 FZ-09's I have even seen... and all these people wish they had never bought the damn thing, actually 1 of them just traded his in this past week for a 2014 Z1000........I think he will be ecstatic with his choice- he only paid $8800 for the Z and he had paid like $7700 for the shitty ass FZ and spent another $5 on it trying to make it work and nice

The reason it is an "inexpensive" bike is because it is cheaply made, plain and simple....
Exactly the same mistake Honda made with the CBR250R- not built at Honda Japan but out sourced to 3rd world low standards (Thailand) and its quality or lack there of, clearly showed......and they still priced the damn thing too high


Anyways... working on all of the jap bikes, and not just sport bikes for 3 decades....

Honda has always been the industry standard and leader in quality-- but it seems they don't much give a shit about being the fastest or best or anything with anything but the Goldwing.... which nobody but Victory even competes against

Kawasaki has always been pretty well know for hp and being a brute, not much else........People/racers use to joke you could throw rocks in the cases and it would still finish the race... But I am a brute so I like it!!-- I don't really think Kawi ever really gave a damn about racing, but they did come out with the 600 Ninja in 85 that changed everyones standard of what a sportbike is... sure they wanted to one up Yamahas FJ1100/1200 and made the ZX11 to stomp top speed, then the ZX14 to compete against the BUSA- I think they have primarily focused on street riders, which is good... far more sport bikes ridden on the road than the racetrack

Suzuki, well.... they have the gsxr, most everything else has come and gone and some came back only to go again... well except the SV- which is actually a quite decent bike, but they filed bankruptcy a few years ago and simply have not been the same since

Yamaha, up until the 2000's they really have not been much, sure they had the fzr600 to compete against the CBR600 and was marginally quicker at the expense of reliability and breakage....and the next year Honda answered with the CBR600F-2 and stomped it in the ground... Yamaha 600 really didn't get to be dominant again until 2008....where they have just left the bike alone since then and nobody else seems to want to push to improve or pass them--kawi gave up on the racing scene long ago and really doesn't give a shit.....but they did make the H2 just to show they could stomp ass if they wanted to. Sure they had the RZ350, whoopi, the fzr400 (hey I still own one of those) dominated for 1 year and done... They do have the always popular TTR series

I won't speak long about the quad or dirtbike realm since I barely work on any, but I do see more Honda 4 stroke dirtbikes needing top end rebuilds than any other brand, it may be because they sell more (atleast locally?)...all of the jap 4 stroke singles have engine rebuild guidelines of only 15 hours, so no big surprise on many needing valves and more quite often... in their defense most that have hour meters are running about 15 hours between valve adjustments and making it about 45 hours before there are no shims small enough any longer to keep adjusting so then they rebuild/replace.... But I have seen the same on Kaw, Suz and Yam....but I don't see many of them~ certainly not as many as the Honda's

I have a Penske 8983 shock in my FZ and I have springs/oil up front. Eventually going to go GP Suspension revalve. The CCT was an easy and cheap fix. Still not at $10k. It's been reliable to me. Anyway, I don't see anything else made by a Japanese manufacturer capable of competing with it. The Z1000 is bigger, heavier, and powered by a 4 cylinder engine. A different riding experience that isn't what people who know what to expect from a triple are looking for.
 
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