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I bought my ZX-6R brand spanking new in May 98 at £6600 which was a snip then. It was one of the first G1 models, that was when Kawasaki revised the model substantially from the F3 I think. You can tell the difference because the F3 is squarer in appearance.
Anyway, I held on to it for nearly a year in which I did eleven thousand miles around the Highlands of Scotland. Given the severe winter we had and the fact I was in Oz for a month that amounted to a pretty high daily mileage - testimony to the comfort of the machine. I used to get up early and go for a 120 mile blast before work - how sad!
Some serious points though:
Performance: For a 600cc on your average road the bike will keep up with anything. I found you could get away with murder on the throttle since it was just on that fine line between too much power making you worry about how far you could go and being able to nail the throttle nearly everywhere. Very nice. The only drawback, which is inherent with lower cc machines, was the need to keep in a lower gear for overtaking - i.e. keep the revs up. In saying that I liked to pass as quickly as possible so perhaps I was a little excessive in that respect. Needless to say, given the right gear, acceleration was phenomenal so if the bike fitted the gap you could go. Top speed - the clock went up to 170mph and mine went off the clock (only on three occasions!!!). However, I had my bike fitted with a Micron race can and Dynojet kit and I think this helped.
Comfort: Brilliant. Make no mistake, despite all the flashiness and performance you can go touring on this machine no problem. Initially my wrists felt sore for the first week but this was because I was used to a GSX600F which was like a sofa in comparison. But the ZX-6R is a true all-rounder. I am six foot tall and the bike fitted me well. In saying that I had a friend who was only 5'6" and he had to tip-toe around on his. Pillions also liked the back although a few of them found the side grab rails disconcerting since it isn't the best set up for hard acceleration. But then again, you do want them to go pillion again - don't you? So, the bottom line is it's a big bike for a 600cc machine.
Equipment: It has decent hand rails for a pillion. Bungee hooks and a toolkit which can take a few more tools. In the cockpit it has a digital clock - no more no-handers as you push up your jacket sleeve to see your watch.
Running costs: Compared to my older GSX600F the costs were high. Insurance for me with one year no claims fully comp was nearly a grand. However I was 27 at the time. I think I could have found a better deal. Tyres - well it depended on how hard you rode. Expect 4,000 miles happy riding from the back tyre and not much more from the front. However, I think you could stretch this to 7 or 8k miles if you were sensible. I fitted BT-56s after the original Dunlops which were far too hard and didn't really give any confidence on the front end. I don't know what they sell with now. Servicing costs were about normal for a bike of this calibre. Beware though - do not skip a service. The valve shims on three valves needed adjusting after 6,000 miles.
What else? Well I mentioned I added a race can and Dynojet kit. This improved bhp from around 95 to 102 or 105 if I remember correctly. You must get the bike properly set up on a dyno else the valve seats can burn out - at least with the Micron can. More importantly the can really smoothed the delivery out. Oh yes - and the sound. A deep, rich, throaty, growl which when on full song would give any mortal being goose bumps. I used to wash mine a lot and the paint on the wheels was quite soft. This is a typical Kawasaki trait I've been told!
And that's it! I would definitely consider another one if I could afford it! Compared to the CBR600F before it was revamped to the current version (in 99?) the ZX-6R is a much better bike. A serious contender for value for money sports biking with every day practicality and nice looks (in my opinion).
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