Poll
Question: Which do you choose and why?
Suzuki GSX650F - 88 (33.1%)
Kawasaki 650R - 102 (38.3%)
Yamaha FZ6R - 76 (28.6%)
Total Voters: 265

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Topic: head to head lightweights: GSX650F vs. 650R vs FZ6R  (Read 163821 times)

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chimera
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« on: September 05, 2008, 09:59:02 am »

With the introduction of the Suzuki GSX650F in 2008 there is now a fully faired challenger for the Kawasaki Ninja.  These bikes have such similar specs and are exactly the kind of bike I would want in a lightweight sport-tourer.

The question is which one?

Discuss

EDIT:   Yamaha has a new player for 2009.  Fully faired FZ6R.  I added it to the poll and reset the counter.

Previous results were 27 for the Ninja and 17 for the Suzi

« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 10:23:39 am by chimera » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 10:11:26 am »

I would choose the 650R primarily because of its lighter weight.
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 10:34:46 am »

Quote from: "Rincewind"
I would choose the 650R primarily because of its lighter weight.


+1

However, if I did a lot of highway riding (like I do).. I would go with the heavier GSX650F -- I have also heard of alot of fairing vibration and noise with the Ninja that I didn't want to chance.   I would first define what you're trying to accomplish and then you can choose which suits your purpose best.
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Phenix_Rider
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 12:33:03 pm »

650R 100%

The GSX whatever is just fugly and heavy and uncomfortable.
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 01:06:34 pm »

100% - GSX650F

Better looks, its heavier and more stable for distance riding and much more comfortable.
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ctbandit

« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 02:46:32 pm »

If I was to go down in displacement I'd also definitely want to go down in weight,  so that would push me towards the 650R. The styling also seems nicer, and the all black looks VERY nice. And list is cheaper. Just seems like a better buy.

But in that price range I'd prob give a look at the versys too.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 02:48:35 pm by ctbandit » Logged
Hickey
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2008, 09:18:30 am »

I chose the 650F.

I didn't get a chance to test ride them, but I was able to examine both in person while making up my mind.  They are both nice looking bikes and both feel nice to sit on.  In fact I really liked the look of the Ninja how narrow it felt between the knees.  The exhaust location is just cool.  Plus that bike is supposed to get very good fuel mileage and is fairly light weight.

However, the 650R does not have a fuel gauge and its fuel capacity is pretty small.  It doesn't have and can't have a center stand because of that exhaust placement.  Its alternator output is probably not enough to run a heated jacket liner with gloves -- or would be at the limits of the charging system.  I prefer twin side-by-side headlights to share functions, instead of one being high-beam and one being low-beam.  That narrowness includes the seat which made it feel unsupportive and weird to me.

The GSX650F is heavier, weighing around 530 pounds when ready-to-ride, but that still felt light to me coming from a 680 pound FJR.  It handles very well, accelerates and brakes just fine, is stable through even bumpy turns, and deals with cross winds excellently.  There are several luggage options for it, including a color-matched set from Suzuki.  The stock seat is fine but I add a Bead Rider cover for long rides.  There is some room for small items under the seat.  The headlights and mirrors work well.  Vibration is minimal.  The instruments are excellent.  The charging system puts out more than enough for my heated gear.  Fuel mileage has been averaging around 46 MPG giving a tank range of over 200 miles.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a216/wmhickey/Suzuki/CIMG0136.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a216/wmhickey/Suzuki/P8290190.jpg
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 06:19:09 pm by Hickey » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2008, 10:29:29 am »


I chose the 650F.



Great info and choice I should say. My words were completely based on never having sat on these bikes, just from knowledge of their specs and visuals. Seeing the 650f bagged out really makes me like it a lot more, and if you're thinking of hard bags, I bet it'll look better with them.

I really would hate to try and buy a bike without riding it though.
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2008, 12:47:56 pm »

I voted with my $$

That said, I would bet the GSX is a bit better on long highway stretches given the additional weight. Should hand extra weight of luggage a bit better as well - the Ninja isn't really up for it. I need to upgrade the brakes, suspension, and change sprockets this winter.

Still love her though, 20k kms later.

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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2008, 01:17:52 pm »

I've never ridden either of these but I voted for the GSX based on what I've read about the very broad torque curve.
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2008, 10:42:59 am »

Having not ridden either one, I voted Suzuki.  I've sat on both at the IMS show and at the dealer and preferred the Zook.  Felt like it fit my frame better.  The Kawi felt a little cramped and I didn't like the handlebar at all, whereas the Zook felt more spacious all around and feet, ass and hands had much better placement for me.  BTW, I'm 6', 34" inseam and shortish to medium arm length.  The GSX650 felt more substantial (more weight I would guess), but having come from a cruiser, I don't see the additional weight as a big factor.  Also, as others have mentioned, having an available centerstand and factory luggage is a plus over the Kawi.  The GSX has roughly 10ish more hp over the Ninja.  I'm sure either is a fun entertaining ride, but my preference would the GSX.  
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 11:15:34 pm »

Having test rode both, I ending up buying the Ninja. The GSX was a nice bike, but it was just a bit too heavy and wide for my tastes. It felt very utilitarian to me. The Ninja is lighter, and feels more filckable in the corners. I found that I prefer the twin to a I4. The low end toque of the Ninja makes it alot of fun. I'm also cheap, and while the price difference between the two is only $500, it's still $500. That's enough to keep my gas tank full for most of the summer.
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2008, 08:23:55 pm »

I like my Ninja for it's sporty, fun, do-it-all nature.  I'm sure the Zook would make a better tourer though.  It just looks blech, and weighs a ton, and is really wide, and has silly ergoes. Razz

Oh yeah, the Suburban Machinery Bars make the 650R perfect- the stock bars are just goofy.
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2008, 11:22:51 am »

EDIT:   Yamaha has a new player for 2009.  Fully faired FZ6R.  I added it to the poll and reset the counter.

Previous results were 27 for the Ninja and 17 for the Suzi
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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2008, 10:42:52 pm »


EDIT:   Yamaha has a new player for 2009.  Fully faired FZ6R.  I added it to the poll and reset the counter.

Previous results were 27 for the Ninja and 17 for the Suzi



Yanni's doing the same thing as Zook- taking an old design, and detuning it.  PASS.
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2008, 09:06:55 am »




Yanni's doing the same thing as Zook- taking an old design, and detuning it.  PASS.


Yep, not just the engine, either. The FZ6 has 4 pot monoblock calipers, 43mm forks and a cast aluminum frame. The 'new' FZ6R has 2 pot calipers, 41mm forks and a steel tube frame. Shrug

I do like the seat/tail section of the 6R, but everything else seems like a step down from the FZ6.
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2008, 11:58:46 pm »




Yep, not just the engine, either. The FZ6 has 4 pot monoblock calipers, 43mm forks and a cast aluminum frame. The 'new' FZ6R has 2 pot calipers, 41mm forks and a steel tube frame. Shrug

I do like the seat/tail section of the 6R, but everything else seems like a step down from the FZ6.


I think the Yamaha is aimed more at new riders who see the looks but don't know much about brakes, frames, ect.
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2008, 12:28:25 pm »



I think the Yamaha is aimed more at new riders who see the looks but don't know much about brakes, frames, ect.

Ding ding!  We have a winnar!

I've been very impressed with Maggie's Ninja.  Tours well, sports well, crashes well.  I like it.
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2008, 12:33:05 pm »


Ding ding!  We have a winnar!

I've been very impressed with Maggie's Ninja.  Tours well, sports well, crashes well.  I like it.


Exactly.  The bike is not designed to appeal to experienced riders.  Less people will start on a 600SS this way.  It's a great idea by Yamaha!
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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2008, 12:41:43 pm »

Kawi 650 because it is the only competent middle weight (when did 650cc become lightweight?!?).

The other two are just mediocre UJMs wrapped up in sportbike plastic.
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