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Topic: Anybody ride/own the new GSX650F?  (Read 110381 times)

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dankatz
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« on: February 19, 2008, 10:13:21 pm »

Looking for comments and ride reports. Also, what else did you compare it to? I am thinking of an FZ6 for an upgrade, but also like the GSX650F and am wondering how they would compare.
Dani
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2008, 10:27:30 pm »

I sat on both at a recent cycle show.  As I recall, the FZ-6 had a much more upright riding posture.  The GSX650 felt more top-heavy.  Which makes sense, since it has a traditional tubular steel cradle frame and a larger engine.  

The FZ-6 has a much more high-tech frame.  The engine is a stressed member, meaning that it forms the structural bridge between the swingarm pivot and the front of the bike.  There's no frame member there, which allows the engine to sit a couple of inches lower.  

Also, the FZ-6 engine is a street-tuned version of the modern R6 motor, whereas the GSX motor is the same as the Bandit 600 from Europe.  I would imagine that the GSX produces a good bit more torque than the FZ-6.  I've read that the FZ-6 is pretty biased toward the top end in terms of power.

So the GSX isn't as light and modern as the FZ-6, but it's probably a better streetbike in terms of power delivery.  That's my guess, at least.

Is there a reason that you're not considering the SV650?  IMO, for the middleweight category, twins and v-twins are more fun than inline fours.
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dankatz
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2008, 10:34:28 pm »

Well, I do finally like the SV650SF's fairing, but the riding position is too aggressive. Minor point, but I also like the more complete instruments in the FZ6 and the GSX (which has a gear indicator, fuel gauge and miles to empty meter!). I haven't ridden the SV in years, so honestly don't even  remember.
Dani
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2008, 11:53:04 pm »

We've got a 1st gen SV650 nekkid and a 2006 FZ6. My wife has been riding one or the other for awhile and seems to be choosing the FZ6 more often lately so the SV650 may not be in our garage much longer. I get my own V-twin fix from my SV1KS.

I prefer the torquey SV650 V-twin motor over the FZ6's revvy I-4 strictly for fun factor but they both have their strong points and weak points. The FZ6 handles like a sharp-edged knife and is a dream in twisty stuff and fairly comfy for long rides. Our SV650 has two extra teeth on the back sprocket which softens the torque a bit but it ends up being a good compromise for a combo of street/highway riding. It feels nicely relaxed at freeway cruising speeds.

With all that out of the way, I've recently sat on the GSX650 and like the concept. I think it would fit right in between the SV650 and FZ6. More wind protection than a SV650 naked, comfier than a SV650S, similar or possibly a bit better wind protection than an FZ6 but with a torquier motor. It seems like it might be a great comfy middle-distance sports tourer. A slightly lower seat height than the SV650 and FZ6 might make it more appealing for entry-level and/or short-inseamed riders. I wish the GSX650 had been available when my wife upgraded from her GS500. I suspect she'd probably still have it.

It'd be really interesting to see a comparo including the GSX650, Ninja 650R, SV650S and the FZ6. I don't think you'd go far wrong with any of these machines.

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2008, 06:14:28 am »

Heard of MCN article on bike, they enjoyed it, approve. Heavy.
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2008, 06:22:09 am »

Appreciate the comments. Yeah, this would be a nice comparo. MCN compared the Ninja 650, Honda CBF600S and the Suzuki GSX650F on 2/13. Unfortunately, here in the states, I don't know where to get a copy of this article.  Thanks for the good info.  I did like the FZ6 when I rode it and it behaved very well for such a sharp machine.
Dani
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 10:39:16 am »

There's a review in this month's Rider magazine. They like it.
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2008, 11:00:36 pm »

BTW, motorcycle consumer news had a review approximately half a year ago comparing Ninja 650R, SV650S and the FZ6. The 2007 FZ6 beat the other two in a almost all categories.  The SV did have better low/mid range torque, but the newly modified for '07 FZ6 blew the other ones.  Now, all I need to decide is between the two...
Dani
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2008, 04:46:00 pm »

I'm kinda in the same boat you are, looking for a good, middleweight sport tourer, with around 600cc's.

I have sat on the GSX650F, and I find it pretty comfy, but I just find it REALLY heavy for what it is (500lbs dry!). I'm about 5'9, 165lbs, but I just feel that I would probably drop that thing at one point (pushing it/out of the garage, low speed mishap in a parking lot etc..). Otherwise, for the price, you get a lot..nice guages, good wind protection, decent motor and riding position.

I am now looking at the FZ-6, as it seems to be a better bike all around. I did sit on one at the recent motorcycle show, and it felt OK...but the clutch really felt BAD! It was all "grainy" for lack of a better term. Wasnt smooth at all. And that was on BOTH FZ-6's they had there. *shrug*

By far, my favorite (and least expected) lightweight sport tourer was the Kawasaki ZZR-600! Yes, it is a "sports" bike, but it had really comfy ergos, and was pretty light! Price seems to be decent at around $6-7K. I think a ZZR-600 with a set of HeliBars or bar risers would be perfect! This is what I'm looking into now.
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2008, 09:58:36 pm »

The ZZR won the review in motorcycle consumer news (online pdf) vs the CBR600F4i and YZF600R. It is an excellent bike for the price, but, is way to sporty for sport touring stock. Also, it is carburated and has very old fasion instrument panel with a petcock for fuel! I don't think it would be as comfortable as the FZ6 or the GSX650F. I know that the YZF got better scores for touring purposes and the FZ6 and GSX are probably slightly more touring oriented.  In any case, it still is an excellent choicee and there are plenty of people on kawasakimotorcycles.org who love the zzr. If it has better instruments, fuel injection, more upright sitting position and a centerstand I would consider it. As for the GSX650F weight, it is 475lbs dry which is on the heavy side due to its steel frame mostly. Some of the best sport touring bikes are slightly heavier (look at the VFR and YZF for example). Once you start riding it you won't feel it unless you compare it to a supersport. As much as I would prefer it to weight 60 lbs less, I don't consider it as much a deterrent as other nagging things...
Dani
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 10:02:50 pm by dankatz » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2008, 12:54:56 am »

I totally hear ya on all those points Smile I think I'm just used to my super small, super light Bandit 400 (all 370 lbs of it!) so I'm finding that all the bikes I try (VFR, Bandits etc) feel heavy and/or large to me, and for some reason, as much as I am not into sports bikes, the ZZR really feels comfortable (as does the SV650S).

Then again, its too damn cold and snowy for me to test ride any of them, so I cant make a real desicion.

Keep me posted on what you find out! Sounds like we're kinda looking for the same thing!
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« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2008, 04:50:45 pm »

I am in the same boat...after riding the FZ6 it felt big to me compared to my Ninja 500. I think every bike will take a little time to get used to. I am in Boston and the snow just keeps coming...There are some leftover FZ6 bikes out there that are very tempting, but I really would like to test ride the Suzuki. I also need to sell my Ninja, which hopefully, won't be too hard. It is a great color (lime green), in excellent condition, and is a great starter bike.
Let me know what you end up getting...
Dani
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2008, 01:13:54 pm »

Write up in BIKE UK magazine,  4,000 miles in winter rides, liked.
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2008, 03:41:28 pm »


I am in the same boat...after riding the FZ6 it felt big to me compared to my Ninja 500. I think every bike will take a little time to get used to. I am in Boston and the snow just keeps coming...There are some leftover FZ6 bikes out there that are very tempting, but I really would like to test ride the Suzuki. I also need to sell my Ninja, which hopefully, won't be too hard. It is a great color (lime green), in excellent condition, and is a great starter bike.
Let me know what you end up getting...
Dani


I hear ya! Snow keeps coming here in Montreal too..looks like I wont be riding until June!  Rolleyes Lol I'll keep you posted on any bikes I test ride.

One bike that REALLY stands out to me is the BMW F800S(ST). Very lightweight, comfy and doesnt feel HUGE like most other bikes! I'd love to buy it, but not at $11K Sad
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2008, 09:20:21 pm »

I've been riding whenever I can, like today. It is very cold in the morning, but my commute is short, so only my hands freeze (the cold-tex from tourmaster aren't cutting it).  Still haven't decided. Yeah, the BMW looks nice. But, I don't even have a garage and need to keep the bike outside, so I am not going to get such a nice bike (not to mention the price).  Still, narrowed down to the GSX650F and FZ6S2. I bought BIKE and read the article. They overall liked it, but found the bike not particularly exciting.  Plus, I am concerned about the fuel consumption especially since I think they use the imperial gallons! Also, I could probably get the FZ6 for $1000 less...
Dani
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2008, 12:30:24 am »

Got offered $6700 OTD for the Suzuki GSX650F and a decent trade for the Ninja, so the FZ6 may not be that much cheaper. I am very tempted, though still can't make my mind since I think the FZ6 has unique styling. I wish I could ride them both and decide!!!  EEK!
Dani
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2008, 11:41:54 am »

dankatz, where did you get the quote?  I'm looking to get out of my cruiser and get into a midsized sport tourer, ( if I can convince my wife they are not crotch rockets). so I'm looking for dealers in the greater Boston area to trade my Vulcan 800 for one of these types.

I sat on a FZ6 recently and liked the ergos, but I think I want a little more wind protection and I'm very used to a tourque Twin engine, so I'd probably be better off with the GSX650F or a Ninja650.
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2008, 12:33:12 pm »

It was Parkway Cycles in Everett. If you go there the sales person I dealt with is Daniel Davies.  I actually decided to go with an FZ6 there for the same price - I put a deposit on one and they are locating me a bike.  The GSX650F is not a twin. It has the new Bandit 650 I-4 engine.  This engine IS tuned for low and midrange and probably would be better than the FZ6 down low.  It is supposed to be a very smooth engine.  I heard only positive reviews of this bike and have researched it quite a bit. The ergos are very comfortable. If you end up getting it I would be very interested in meeting up with you and maybe swapping new bikes for a ride.  Interestingly, my wife liked the GSX's looks better.  Bigsmile
Dani
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2008, 10:02:04 pm »

Wives and/or g/f ALWAYS go for fully faired bikes  Rolleyes Lol

Wow...so you went for the FZ6 huh? Good choice! Did you get to test ride it (weather permitting)? I sat on one at the recent motorcycle show, and it felt nice, but the clutch lever felt all gritty, and it really turned me off. It was like that on both FZ6's they had.  Headscratch

Anyway...I'm gonna have to take a look at the FZ6 again....

Congrats on the new ride! Cant wait to hear your review! Bigsmile
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2008, 10:10:25 pm »

I got a very short test ride one evening of a used 2007 from a private person, but he was asking way too much. He did have frame sliders, touring windshield from Yamaha, and extended warranty for 3 years.  Compared to my bike, it was great, but anything would be...I think I would be happy with either bikes. I decided to go with the Yamaha because: 1)slightly better reputation 2) lighter and more maneuverable in the city 3)standard center stand 4)excellent FZ6-Forum.com while the GSX doesn't have one yet 5)GSX is fairly new and I am just a little worried that there maybe small glitches (I do know it is based on the Bandit 650S) 6)peer pressure  Headscratch What I like more on the GSX is the instrument panel with gear indicator, full fairing, and motor that is tuned more for low-mid range.
Anyway, I am sure either would make me very happy and I am still not sure I made the right choice. They still haven't located a bike for me. I'll post comments when I get it.
Dani
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