World Superbike Racer
Join Date: May 2005
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'04-'06 R1 vs '06 ZX10R - The two compared..
Well I posted this on the R1-forum and the ZX10 forum, thought some folks over here might be interested also..
Well, here it is as requested.. I'm gonna try to be as fair as possible to both bikes considering I own them both.. I'll start with the smaller things first..
R1 vs ZX10 - Ergonomics
The ZX10 has ergonomics that take some getting used to coming off the R1. The R1 feels very narrow and more stretched out. It feels like you are riding IN it instead of on it, which is nice.. The ZX10 feels more cramped in the legs, and like you are sitting on top of it. It isnt bad considering I'm only 5'9" and after 50 miles I was used to it already.
R1 vs ZX10 - Dash and Controls
The ZX10 has more comfortable controls IMO, with the exception of the angle of the clutch and brake lever. The are rotated up a little higher than the R1. The R1 seemed like you didnt have to lift your finger, just stretch it out. The ZX10 requires a different movement. Nothing to speak a lot of, just something to get used to. The handlebars are more comfortable on the 10. The tach and speedo on the R1 and on the ZX10 are equally cool. Although the features on the R1 are kinda nice. The ZX10 has it setup so that if you set it to the mode to see the odometer, the clock isnt visible, and likewise with the lap timer. You can only see one of those at a time, your required to push the "mode" button to change what you look at. The ZX10 also lacks the gas odometer (the one that tells you how many miles the gas light has been on). It just flashes FUEL, and has a gas light. I'll spend a second griping about both bike. While we are throwin luxury items into the dash, hows about a gas meter and friggin gear indicator (one point to the SUZUKI). K, thats over.
R1 vs ZX10 - Appearance
This is strictly based on OPINION. I cant be wrong in this category so leave the flames out of it. The R1 is BRILLIANTLY beautiful looking. The ZX10 is not so brilliantly beautiful. To be honest, every modern litre bike made me want to vommit when I first saw them.. I thought the ZX10 was HIDEOUS, i HATED the R1, the SUZUKI was gross and I didnt really like the Honda at all. Each one has grown on me to the point of loving them. The ZX10 looks MEAN, the R1 looks beautiful. The ass end of the 10 is the worst part which is fixable with an aftermarket exhaust (a few of which havent been released yet). The front looks kind of fat, depending on how you look at it, you see either a man eating bullshark (good), or the head of a penis (BAD). I gotta say though, the R1 takes this category hands down.
Now on to the more talked about categories..
R1 vs ZX10 - Power, the curve, the transmission and the engine..
Hands down, no comparison, absolutely, by a lot.... ZX10! I'm sorry to say this R1 guys, but the R1 is WEAK below 8k RPM. My girl compared the transition from the R1 to the ZX10 as the transition going from a 600 to a 1000 for the first time. Its a world of difference. The ZX10 is a MONSTER from 2k to 13k. As I'm sure you know, the R1 has some serious street issues due to its powerband. The dip @ 7k is an absurdity and the hand of god slaps you in the ass for a whole 4k RPM! (said with sarcasm).. The ZX10 is not like this. You twist the throttle and you GO, but you go smoothly and COMPLETELY predictably. There are no dips, no weakness, no unusability. The R1 (at least mine and a few others), has a bit of a surging problem when cruising at steady RPM. Non existent on the 10. The 10 shifts smoother and the clutch is a bazillion times better. No sticking, no rattling, just the right amount of cluth to get her moving with seemless shifting. I'll say though, the ZX10 makes it a little difficult to find neutral.. On/off throttle transition is much cleaner on the 10 also.
R1 vs ZX10 - Handling
I put about 5k miles on the R1 and only about 450 on the 10. Keep that in mind when reading this. The R1 is thinner, like I said above which makes it slightly more nimble FEELING. The stock damper on the R1 is trash and that is noticeable when compared to the OHLINS. The R1 seems to flick faster, but the front feels less planted while in the turn and the tires dont feel as stable. However, the ZX10 is downright scary in a turn b/c of the difference in power. The R1 leaves much more room for error below 8k rpm than the 10 does. On the the 10, like with any litre bike, throttle control is incredibly vital. More so on the 10 than on the 1. The ZX10 feels thicker and fatter, but it seems to transition a little smoother.. It feels much more planted and stable when leaning also. I'm VERY used to the R1's lean angle and I can judge pretty well how far over I am. Not so with the 10 yet, not enough miles with it. It FEELS like there is less room to lay it over with the 10, but I'm willing to bet its because I dont have much judgement with it yet.
R1 vs ZX10 - Misc. bullshit
The R1 is much more frienly to passengers with regards to passenger seating position. (Kind of important to me, I do a lot of two up riding. My girl and I share our passion for bikes). The sound of the R1 and ZX10 are completely different. The ZX10 stock pipes make it sound like you are riding on a space ship from the future (kinda cool), the pipes on the R1 scream in comparison. The headlights on both are pretty effective.. Although the R1 takes that category also. The HEAT. The HEAT on the R1 is ridiculous. My legs and feet burn up on only a moderately warm day. The ZX10 has lower running temp while moving and stopped. When it does get hot, its not bad on the body parts at all.
R1 vs ZX10 - MY final thought, (maybe not EVERYONES, this is MY opinion).
For street, my money goes hands down to the ZX10. More usable (not to mention, fun) power band, better control, much more comfortable ergos and seat.
I would say the R1 would make a great track bike. Constantly revving over 8k rpm, flickable, thinner. A steering damper would be useful though (a new one).
If I forgot anything, let me know. Also, keep in mind that this is MY OPINION. I'm not a professional rider, I'm not paid by anyone, I'm just your average moderately riding, Joe. I own both bikes, so I'm not a brand loyalist, and I dont mean to bash either of them or try to make anyone feel bad about their machine. Both are great bikes, just in different ways. Happy riding!!
"And as I shifted into 6th........I couldnt remember a word she said.."