New user, considering ZX6R - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-27-2017, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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New user, considering ZX6R

Hey everyone. I joined this forum to gain some more info on the ZX6R before making a purchase and I don't know anyone with one I can ask. I have browsed around a bit and this forum provides a wealth of knowledge.

I guess my first question is for the riders who are experienced with the ZX6R and can comment an opinion on how they feel the bike would be a good match for me. A little background on me: I am 23 and have ridden dirtbikes since I was 5 throughout Kentucky and West Virginia. I have been riding on the street for about three years. I took the MSF safety course before getting my license and have been riding a 1999 Suzuki DR 650 since. I enjoy the dual sport bike but I believe I would like to make the jump to a sportbike. That said, I have never ridden or even sat on a sport so my first time would be test driving one I may purchase. I consider myself a responsible rider just looking for adventures in the street. Tracks don't interest me and stunting is definitely out (can't even wheelie a dirtbike without crashing). Im curious to see if others think the ZX6R would be a good starting place for a start in sportbike world for someone with my experience level.

My second question is more on the technical side of things although I am not sure exactly how to word it. Basically, I would like to know if the ZX6R is a very high maintenance bike. I enjoy doing most of the work on my bikes but I am busy with work frequently and my stuff can get neglected for a bit. Both my dirtbike and dual sport are great in that I can do the regular maintenance (oil changes, tire pressure, etc) but they don't require tons of work and still run great. I guess I am trying to figure out if the ZX6R is one of those bikes that more time will be spent working on it than riding it.

Thanks in advance for the help and I hope to join the ZX6R community shortly!
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-27-2017, 11:03 PM
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Hello and welcome,

I am sure there are many here who could provide you with some advice. If you really have been on the road for the last few years with that 650 and feel comfortable, I would say go for it. Out of the 4 bikes I have owned, the ZX6R is my favorite. Prior to owning the one I have now, I had a Ninja 250, 2007 R6, and 2008 R6. Last year I picked up a slightly used 2013 ZX6R. As soon as I got on it to ride it home, I knew I was extremely pleased with my purchase.

As for the technical side of things. I haven't had any problems (I hope I don't) in the last year. I am not the most technical guy... however I found it easy to work on this bike. I made a few modifications on it myself, and had no real difficulty. I think the biggest annoyance I have is when it comes time to take all the fairings off. Hopefully other's can provide you with more insight. I will again make it a point to mention that I prefer the zx6r over both of my R6's.

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post #3 of 13 Old 03-28-2017, 12:05 AM
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I think with your experience level, a ZX-6R would be good. As far as the technical side goes, I think they are very reliable, and you won't spend all your time working on it. Mine has ~65,000 miles on it, and the only real issue I have had with it is the stator going bad. It was an easy part to replace. I have done all the periodic maintenance myself. I have also worked on friends' bikes of other brands, and I definitely prefer working on the ZX-6R (easier to work on).
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-28-2017, 12:05 PM
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I think the ZX6R 636cc engine is a very good engine. Overall, my bike has been low maintenance. That said, for what you're looking for, I don't think a ZX6R is the best choice.

For most people who ride on the street, there's no need for the aggressive riding position a supersport delivers. Given that you don't need that posture for aerodynamics and speed and improved COG for sharp high speed cornering, perhaps something more comfortable will actually be better. If you're more relaxed, you can ride better, longer, etc.

I have a ZX6R. But I shopped for other bikes, and still dream of not constantly shifting and bending over and leaning on my arms in traffic (really it's only a problem in traffic. Otherwise I like the bike).

I would look at

Street Triple
FZ1 or MT-10
FZ-09
Tuono
Hyperstrada or Hypermotard

In the end, if there was a Z636 that was like the Z800 or Z900, I'd take it. I LOVE the power of the inline 4 and the way it's delivered from the 636cc engine. However, there's a lot more available in the used market if you look at the ZX6R; plenty of affordable bikes with lots of life left. If cost is a concern (as it was for me) the ZX6R can provide options that aren't available in some of the more rare offerings I posted above.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-28-2017, 12:16 PM
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I second the FZ1. Great bike, low maintenance, more power, better riding position. You would feel more at home on an upright riding position because of the dirt bike experience.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-30-2017, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider View Post
I think with your experience level, a ZX-6R would be good. As far as the technical side goes, I think they are very reliable, and you won't spend all your time working on it. Mine has ~65,000 miles on it, and the only real issue I have had with it is the stator going bad. It was an easy part to replace. I have done all the periodic maintenance myself. I have also worked on friends' bikes of other brands, and I definitely prefer working on the ZX-6R (easier to work on).

Do you really have 65k on your 2009 zx6r? Good on you sir.
Can you list some of your periodic maintenance that you do to keep the motor running that long? How many valve adjustment have you had? Were they ever out of spec? I had a 2010 R1 and put 28k and the valves were within spec when I had them inspect it.

So far, I love my 2014 zx6r, by far the quickest oil changes I've done on a sportsbike (2006 CBR600RR, 2010 R1, 2007 R1, 2014 Panigale R). You don't need to remove any plastic to do the oil change.

I haven't done much to mine since it only has 3000 miles.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-30-2017, 06:51 AM
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I Ride: 06 CBR600RR (Sold), 2010 R1 (Sold), 2014 1199R, 2014 ZX6R
I would say that the ZX6R is pretty comfy for a sportsbike I'm 6'1 195lb. But like others have said, buy the bike you want to enjoy. I do 50/50 Track/Street but if you do 20/80 street then get something thats more commuter friendly like a FZ09 which is still super fun and torquey down low for those hard pulls but it doesn't have the top end like the 636. If you buy the 636 for the street, you aren't going to get the full power till you get to the higher RPM's.

I think the best of both worlds is a sport naked bike. You can still have fun on the street and track.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-30-2017, 07:58 AM
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As others have mentioned, you're going to have to get used to the seating position but you'll get comfortable eventually.

It's going to be a HUGE jump in power and handling so just start slow... baby steps. And practice certain things like panic stops and the like so you get used to the brakes.

As far as reliability... Pretty much all bikes are relatively low maintenance. Just keep up on regular, scheduled maintenance like oil changes, Valve inspections/adjustments when they're called for, etc. But also make sure you're doing the stuff most people forget, like cleaning and lubing your chain every 300 miles or so. Making sure your fluids are fresh and topped off, nothing leaks anywhere. The better you care for the bike the better it'll care for you and not leaving you stranded somewhere.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-30-2017, 08:33 AM
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I think based on what you have told us that the ZX6R would be a good choice for a sport bike. They are very reliable and if properly maintained will give you many years of trouble free fun.

The riding position is a bit committed and can take some time getting used to. You may find it a little uncomfortable at first but the more you ride the more comfortable you will become. I am 6'1", weigh 182 pounds and am 56 years old and have no problem doing 150 to 175 mile rides on mine!

However, as some have mentioned the sport naked bikes are growing in popularity and they are more comfortable if you plan on doing any really long rides. Of those the FZ-09 would be my first choice and it is a great all around bike for the street.

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-30-2017, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the responses! It sounds like the zx6r is a great bike with relatively low maintenance. I wasn't sure as I know from experience that some dirt bikes require significantly more upkeep than others. It is funny that it was mentioned because my biggest concern is the riding position. My whole life has been spent on a dirt bike and the DR650 is a dirt bike with added weight and street tires essentially. I am sure it is something I could get used to but it does concern. I have looked into the FZ09 and similar options so I will definitely keep my eye out for those as well.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-30-2017, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blank View Post
Do you really have 65k on your 2009 zx6r? Good on you sir.
Can you list some of your periodic maintenance that you do to keep the motor running that long? How many valve adjustment have you had? Were they ever out of spec? I had a 2010 R1 and put 28k and the valves were within spec when I had them inspect it.

So far, I love my 2014 zx6r, by far the quickest oil changes I've done on a sportsbike (2006 CBR600RR, 2010 R1, 2007 R1, 2014 Panigale R). You don't need to remove any plastic to do the oil change.

I haven't done much to mine since it only has 3000 miles.
Yes, I really have ridden 65,000 miles on this bike!

The periodic maintenance I have done is:

  • Regular oil changes (using Shell Rotella T6 oil, and Purolator PureONE PL14612 oil filters)
  • K&N air filter cleaning and oiling
  • Clutch cable cleaning/lubing/adjustment
  • Spark plug changes
  • Brake fluid changes/flushes
  • Brake pad changes (EBC HH front and rear)
  • Did a fork oil change
  • Did a valve inspection/adjustment (swapped out several shims to bring them back to the middle of spec, but nothing too major... I need to do another valve check now)
  • Had to replace the automatic cam chain tensioner because the original one started locking up (installed a new OEM tensioner)
  • Chain cleaning, adjustment, and lubing (I use DuPont Chain Saver)
  • Chain and sprocket changes
  • Coolant change
  • The only other out of the ordinary thing is that I have had to change the stator twice
As you mentioned, you don't need to remove any plastic to do the oil change, but I have found that it makes it even quicker and easier if you remove the lower fairings. It only takes a couple minutes to remove them, it gives you more ground clearance to use a larger oil drain pan, and you can get to the drain plug bolt easier from the side. I also recently replaced the lower fairing bolts with Dzus fasteners, so now I can take them off even faster than before!

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Last edited by Strider; 03-30-2017 at 07:59 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-31-2017, 07:32 PM
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-06-2017, 12:07 PM
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I was in the same boat! I have to pick it up from the dealers yet (rain all day and I dont want to risk a drop because I know I am not skilled enough for wet weather riding). Either tomorrow or Saturday I will have the bike in my grasp! 2015 Zx6r 30th ann. edition
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