When you speak of "chatter" are you referring to the sliding of the bike felt by Moto gp riders?
Or is it a lesser version of that based upon maybe a faulty part or badly set up bike??
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No, sliding a tire or 'pushing' as we call it is another matter. Pushing is expected (even desired). Chatter is when the front end tries to react to imperfections in the road surface under significant front end load (either extreme cornering or cornering/trail braking) but cannot react fast enough. The result is that the front tire actually skips along the pavement. If you do it hard enough you can actually hear a rapid 'chirp-chirp-chirp' as it happens. NOT a good feeling I can tell you. It is the result of a weak front frame spur and possibly some metallurgy. Kawasaki has been known for this for many years. It only happens when you really push hard. I am talking the top 1%.
Chatter from the front end during hard trailbraking. I've heard some mixed opinions on this. I heard about it before I bought my '09 and was a bit concerned so I started asking others that have had '09+ zx6r's and was told a mixture of opinions. Overall it sounded like it's only noticeable to the guys that are very fast, like the top expert guys, or pros, and even then it's also fixable with geometry and suspension setup. I've talked to a couple of really fast guys, including Jason Farrell (our midwest area Kawasaki race guru), who had no issues with chatter once they made some adjustments to ride height and forks, as well as running on Pirellis.
I have yet to notice any chatter from mine, but I'm also not at that skill level.
Well, you hit the nail on the head there. Chatter can be tuned out if you are running Pirelli tires. You still get chatter but it is very manageable.
The main issues with chatter seem to come with a combination of a weak Kawasaki frame and the much stiffer sidewalls of Dunlop tires. Unfortunately, these are the spec tire for MA which is why you almost never see a ZX6R on the MA grid.
Not really dominating. In WSS, since 2008 Yamaha has had 3 championships (2009, 2011, and 2013), equal to Honda and Kawasaki. In BSB Supersport, only once in 2013, whereas Kawasaki and Triumph won a lot more.
The R6 dominates here in the US only, in the YamahaAmerica....ooops, I meant MotoAmerica championship
Of course it dominates when everyone is on a Yamaha. Sort of like how Ducati dominated WSBK for so long, during all those years where about 2/3 of the grid was on a Ducati! No shit, they're going to win a lot! lol
Don't get me wrong, the R6 is a fantastic bike, but it's not way better by any means. The ZX6R definitely gives it a run for its money. Those 2 are on very equal terms. I had a hard time deciding between those 2. In the end money talked and the ZX6R I found was a better deal than any R6 I came across at the time.
The simple fact is that the R6 is better out of the box. It is also easy to ride fast. The Kawasaki requires more skill and more setup time/money but has a higher ceiling for performance in my opinion.
There are several reasons why the R6 'dominates' US based racing: Yamaha was the last company to give up contingency
- meaning that Yamaha PAID you if you won races while running a R6. Racers go where the money is so the top guys all made the switch. The slower guys all saw what the fast guys were on and made the switch, figuring that was what made them fast (silly rabbit). Now there is a massive pool of R6s on the grids and they are easy/cheap to find used so the cycle continues. New racers come in, look at the grids and buy a used R6 that is already set up for cheap. The R6 is super easy to ride fast.
The Kawasaki requires more work from the rider. It requires a higher skill cap to ride it at the limit. The R6 just...goes. It is a very compliant package that inspires confidence early on. The Kawasaki still feels like it is fighting me most of the time. It does not inspire the same confidence that I get from the R6 (my GSXR was actually the best bike for this). Basically if you are of medium skill, you can ride a little bit above your level on the R6. Once you get to a higher skill level, again the Kawasaki shines. Spare Parts.
Because of #1 and #2 above, there are a plethora of cheap spares available.
Now, with all that said, why did I choose a ZX6R? More Power.
There is no denying that the ZX6R is a beast and can put down some very impressive numbers. The ability to modify cam timing is HUGE but Kawasaki is the only manufacturer to ship their bikes with OEM adjustable cam gears. Since the bracket that I race in requires that you do not modify the cams at all, the Kawasaki made a lot of sense here. I came from a very underpowered GSXR (104hp lol) so I wanted to make sure that I was the one pulling on the straights for a change. The Kawasaki is an absolute demon on the throttle coming out of corners. A higher skill cap.
As I mentioned above I feel that the ZX is able to go further than the R6 is in the right hands...I am just not certain if mine are the right ones =). If you doubt me, look at the BSS grids...a lot more Kawasaki bikes than anything else. A path less taken.
Sure, I could hop on an R6 and win but that is not me. I enjoy the learning curve. The act of figuring out the best way to do something, experimenting, improving, and trying again. It is more impressive to me to be standing on a podium next to a bunch of guys on their 'king of the 600s' R6s knowing that *I* did this. I did not copy someone elses racing campaign and rode it. This is mine.