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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My test ride of R6 vs FZ6

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I had my FZ6 in the shop this morning, being fitted with some new hardware. While there, the salesman whom I have friendship with, suggested instead of waiting for the shop, that I take an R6 out for a spin. "Take as much time as you want", he said. Great! When before have I ever wished the shop to take their time? Within a few minutes he dug up the keys and I was off.

I have tested a few bikes from that shop last year, where I eventually bought my FZ6 last fall. Being familiar with the roads, I knew immediately the circuit I would take the anxious new R6 on. First, lets spend 10 minutes on the deserted roads of the industrial area - good to test out low speed maneuverability and some moderate launches. Then on to the highway - highway 91 runs for about 10 minutes and I can hook over to highway 99 - great, some ramp work. Then some fast straightaways, which finally lead me to some secondary country roads which are very twisty and slow. Then come back, for a second time around.

The roadtrip exercise took 1.5 hours on this cool Saturday morning. This will be a great evaluation (er, introduction) of the R6 and comparison with my FZ6. Upon returning the bike, I would retrace the same circuit on my refitted FZ6. So, how were the two rides?

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First, let me straddle the bike and hop on. If sitting on the FZ6 is akin to a comfortable coaster bicycle, then perched on the R6 reminds me of my days riding horses. When I was young my family had a race horse named "Leo"; he was a fast stalion with svelt confirmation. The R6 felt the same way. The R6, like sport bikes (compared to the touring posture of the FZ6) draws me into the horse riding position: knees up, feet back and high, chest foreward, and arms down. The bike begged to be started up - hey! you don't have to ask me twice. With a flict of my thumb, she started up with a smooth but firm howl (much smoother than the FZ6).

It is said the FZ6 has the same base engine as the R6, but the FZ6 is detuned to achieve higher torque at the lower rpm range. I did notice the absence of low-end (3000-4000 rpm) torque compared to my FZ6 when riding casual donuts in the industrial streets. Also, the turn radius is much larger on the R6. The shortcoming of the engine evaporated after the throttle rolled past 5000 rpm - from there the engine was muscular and smooth. I think the R6 has about 123 Hp and 50 ft*lb torque compared to the FZ6 94 Hp and 44 ft*lb; this would give 30% increase in power (top speed) and 13% increase in torque (acceleration). The R6 also has a shorter rear sprocket (even more torque). I don't care about excessive speeds but I have a healthy appetite for acceleration. The extra "umph" was noticeable but not abundant. If I "need" way more pull than the FZ6, then the R6 doesn't have it. But the R6 does give an appreciable bonus of torque over the FZ6.

Once on the highway the R6 engine really showed its charm. With speeds ranging from 80 kph to double that for brief moments, the bike had enjoyable acceleration when held in 3rd and 4th gears. In fact, 4th gear was such a spirited delight on the highway that I never needed 5th or 6th. On a few uneventful occasions that I kicked it up to the top two gears, the taller gearing took away from previous gusto - leaving the R6 pull with the same high-end relaxation as the FZ6.

Steering the R6 required more force (push/pull) on the clipons than does the FZ6. I don't know if this is the result of the clipon width being narrower or the posture being lower down. While the increased force is noticeable, it was not at all demanding, after all I have always felt the FZ6 to have very light steering.

Unfortunately my circuit didn't include many dips and rolls in the road to properly test the suspension. I did notice a few bumps in the asphalt were transmitted to the bike and rider a bit firmer than the FZ6 (OK if you like feedback like me, but not so good if you're a soft ass.) The definitive realization of the suspension was on my braking. When I did my first aggressive braking, in the first 5 minutes, I was stuned (and impressed) with how little compression there was compared to the FZ6. Uuwww, nice! - Let's try it again. Hey! that was fun, and again, only a little compression. The brake-feel seems similar to the FZ6 (under light and moderate loading), but the tire grip seems firmer. All this makes sense: the R6 is a sport bike, the FZ6 is like a touring bike (softer and gentler ride).

In the whole 1.5 hour ride I deliberately never stopped - I wanted to test the degree of rider strain in this sporty posture. My posture was supported by my abs holding my trunk up, knees clinched on the tank, and ankles braced on the foot plate, leaving my arms and wrists very relaxed. For the first half hour the posture was comfortable. After that time I began to feel some muscular aches everywhere. The strain was not unbearable at the least, rather just a little sore perpetuating throughout the remainder of the ride. Ah! so that is the difference between sport and touring bikes on the rider's body.

Out of respect for my friend, I returned the bike on time - grudgingly. While a bit exhausting - I was still up for more. What a fun ride!

In a nut shell. My test ride of the R6 showed the bike to be lots of fun, gutsy but manageable. While I enjoyed the ride and appreciate what the R6 is, it has also revealed to me more of what the FZ6 is (remember Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde?).

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What I enjoyed about the R6

- The engine felt smoother in the higher rpms (>5000).
- The engine delivered a noticeable increase in pull in the higher rpms.
- The sport riding posture was more fun and auxilerating (but eventually fatiguing).
- The bike looks really good (personally for looks only, I prefer the R1).
- Center of gravity feels lower (maybe it is just the sport posture of the rider).
- The ligher weight of the bike is noticeable.
- Way easier to properly hang off like a monkey.
- As far as sport bike seats go, the R6 seat was very very good.
- Instrument cluster (with tach guage) was very useable (can I have a gear indicator, please?).
- Suspension was noticeably better under hard conditions.

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What I learned from the R6 to use on the FZ6

- Ride the highways in no more than 4th gear when posturing will occur (ramps, passing, etc).
- Save 5th and 6th gear for relaxed straight away riding (ie: cruising).
- The FZ6 is a sport/touring bike - it is not a purebred sport bike, as the R6.

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What I appreciate of the FZ6 over the R6

- The rider's posture is more relaxed, allowing me to ride endlessly without body fatigue.
- The shorter turning radius is great for U-turns and back alleys.
- The higher torque at low-rpms is great for city traffic and other slow, slow speeds.
- Presence of fuel gauge is appreciated.
- The brakes required abit less force, and felt almost equal under moderate street conditions.
- Personally, I prefer its undertail exhaust over a side mounted can.
- Frankly, I feel the FZ6 is more flickable than the R6 (maybe cuz of the handlebars).
- Lighter and more responsive (but less smooth) steering.
- Windscreen gave bit more protection (but hey, I love the rush of the wind).
- The center stand comes in handy at each owner maintenance (never present on sport bikes).
- Blue is cool, but silver is better

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great post! and yes the R6 is quite an impressive ride to say the least, its not the comfiest bike Ive been on but you dont expect comfort on an SS bike, I rode a friends 01' FZR600 last year and yes its a great bike and very different from my 05' R6, just as you wrote pretty sums up how I feel also.
 

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Thanks for the comparo. Interesting you didn't mention how the suspension performed, I thought that's where the R6 would really shine?
 

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I enjoy your organized, in detail write-ups. Good, well thought out posts like these make this forum worth keep coming back to.

... And yes silver is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sarchi said:
Thanks for the comparo. Interesting you didn't mention how the suspension performed, I thought that's where the R6 would really shine?
Oops.

As I read your comment it give gave me a sudden flashback when I deliberately clamped on the binders at one of the stops. (I have edited the report to include suspension and brakes.) Thanks for the reminder.
 

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Well skeleton, I think your opinion has showed what a lot of us feel. The FZ6 is a good all around motorcycle. Not the best at everything, but good for most street riding conditions.
Power, handling and ergos(I'm not overly happy with the seat) are all pretty decent.
IMO the FZ6 is a great sport tourer with a bit of road race soul. :cheers
 

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The FZ6 is definitely geared more towards crusing and that is what it was meant for .... crusing. Now why the FZ6 is put into the "supersport" section of the Yamaha website, I don't know, but it's no big bother to me. I do find just like you that the FZ6 feels more "flickable" probably because of the posture and because of that it allows us to be more confident with our bikes. It's not as easy as everyone thinks when your crouched/hunched over a sports bike and leaning into a curve or carving the canyons. That's why they say the R6/R1 is meant for the intermediate/advance riders because of the fact it is a bit harder to manuever but once you get the hang of it, it'll definitely beat out the FZ hands down.
 

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I like your detailed write ups. Keep them coming.

My only comment is no fuel guage on the R6? Is that common on most super sport bikes?
 

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laimbeer said:
I like your detailed write ups. Keep them coming.

My only comment is no fuel guage on the R6? Is that common on most super sport bikes?

YEAH me too, I cant go w/o it I mean my changes in ride style whould leave me never knowing how much fuel there was left :bitchslap
 

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taurus574 said:
The FZ6 is definitely geared more towards crusing and that is what it was meant for .... crusing. Now why the FZ6 is put into the "supersport" section of the Yamaha website, I don't know, but it's no big bother to me.
I'm sure 'cruising' can be viewed several different ways. But the FZ6 with R6 motor and R6 sized wheels and underseat exhaust is not a cruiser.
Sure you can cruise around on it, like any bike. But its much more sport/perfomance oriented.
11.30 @ 119 mph(Motorcyclist) puts it way out of the cruiser league, and most everyone here calls the FZ 'flickable'.
And if it was a real cruiser, it would have a under powered v-twin motor, a 27" seat height, and be part of the Harley wannabe class.
Just my take on the FZ6... :)
 

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Maxxacceleration said:
I'm sure 'cruising' can be viewed several different ways. But the FZ6 with R6 motor and R6 sized wheels and underseat exhaust is not a cruiser.
Sure you can cruise around on it, like any bike. But its much more sport/perfomance oriented.
11.30 @ 119 mph(Motorcyclist) puts it way out of the cruiser league, and most everyone here calls the FZ 'flickable'.
And if it was a real cruiser, it would have a under powered v-twin motor, a 27" seat height, and be part of the Harley wannabe class.
Just my take on the FZ6... :)
Yeah I consider the FZ6 more of a lightweight sport-touring bike. That is what I use it for and it excels at it, even 2-up!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The FZ6 is definitely not a cruiser.

A cruiser is: sit back, toss your feet forward, relax and let the bike lead the way - rider just follows along for the ride. I have been on a few cruisers and they are competely relaxed. But if you are so inclined for a relaxing ride with a wider open view, the cruiser serves it up generously and graceishly.

I see the FZ6 exactly what Yamaha labelled it: a sport/tourer. In the older days this would have been labelled a "standard". It has many components originating from sport bikes but with a taller, relaxed posture (ergonomics) akin to touring. I rode a few times 2-up and didn't like the experience; the added weight of a passenger definitely taxed the engine of its torque, and the suspension was aching to be relieved of the added burden. But riding solo, this is the funnest tourer I have ever experienced (read: sporty).

As Maxxacceleration says,
"IMO the FZ6 is a great sport tourer with a bit of road race soul."
 

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skeleton said:
The FZ6 is definitely not a cruiser.


I see the FZ6 exactly what Yamaha labelled it: a sport/tourer. In the older days this would have been labelled a "standard". It has many components originating from sport bikes but with a taller, relaxed posture (ergonomics) akin to touring. I rode a few times 2-up and didn't like the experience; the added weight of a passenger definitely taxed the engine of its torque, and the suspension was aching to be relieved of the added burden. But riding solo, this is the funnest tourer I have ever experienced (read: sporty).

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If the FZ6's engine seemed taxed to you from the additional weeight, then you were not keeping it in the proper rpm range ie, 8000 and higher.

As for the suspension, this will depend on the total amount of weight on it. I do not have a problem but, if you do, there is Ohlins shocks that can be built to your specifications to handle any load you place upon it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
rennsport:

Don't get me wrong: I think the FZ6 is a great touring (and sport bike) of sorts.

It is just my personal style that I like acceleration. Understandably, anything less than a 1300cc FJR tourer or the like will reveal the presence of a passenger under acceleration.

I agree with your comment that I am riding too low in the rpm's. My recent ride on the R6 showed me this, as well as your kind reminder.
 

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skeleton said:
rennsport:

Don't get me wrong: I think the FZ6 is a great touring (and sport bike) of sorts.

It is just my personal style that I like acceleration. Understandably, anything less than a 1300cc FJR tourer or the like will reveal the presence of a passenger under acceleration.

I agree with your comment that I am riding too low in the rpm's. My recent ride on the R6 showed me this, as well as your kind reminder.

Well when you compare it to a litre sized FJR, I see your point. :D

The mud flap you have, is it on the front or rear fender? I am looking for one that fits the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
rennsport:

The mud flap is on the front. My Yamaha dealer sourced it from Kawasaki. It had a Kawi sticker on it, which was easily pealed off. Fastened on with three small machine nut/bolts.

The flap works - when riding through rain or wet roads, there is virtually no dirt collected on the front engine or header.

Your question makes me think that this same flap would work as an extension over the open end of the rear hugger. It would look odd, but it should work. That is the only part of the bike that gets really wet and dirty.

(Sorry for the deviation from the thread topic.)
 

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skeleton said:
rennsport:

The mud flap is on the front. My Yamaha dealer sourced it from Kawasaki. It had a Kawi sticker on it, which was easily pealed off. Fastened on with three small machine nut/bolts.

The flap works - when riding through rain or wet roads, there is virtually no dirt collected on the front engine or header.



(Sorry for the deviation from the thread topic.)

Would you happen to have the kawasaki part number or could you post a picture of this part?

Thanks

Robert


P.S. I also apologize for hijacking this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am going to start a new thread, called

"Mud flaps to make FZ6 faster looking (or dryer)"

I'll post the info on the front flap. My interest to pursue this is cuz I want to add a similar flap to the rear hugger (I am fed up with cleaning the rear wheel well).

Please stay tuned ...
 
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