Article that compares Yamaha FZ6R, Suzuki GSX650F, and Kawasaki Ninja 650R (… and FZ8!)
September 4, 2010 at 5:05 am #4222
These 3 bikes are at the top of my list of what I would like to have for my second bike. This article does a great job comparing the 3 of them and pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each. Their winner was the FZ6R, but they also pointed out that it was THEIR favorite, and that each person’s preference may be different, depending on your previous experience level.
The article also has an accompanying video, and a large section in the middle that points out that these are beginner SPORT bikes, and not necessarily beginner bikes. My choice? Hmmmmmm, it’s a tough one. However, I happen to have sat on the FZ6R at the store today during my lunch hour, so I guess I would lean in that direction, if asked today which one I would pick. Tomorrow may be another story.
Oh wait… There is also, if you haven’t seen yet, coming for 2011, the Yamaha FZ8. (Reminds me of the naked style FZ6, but with more power.) I just found out about it yesterday. Pretty sweet! It will be interesting to see what price they put on it. Check it out…September 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm #28472
Absolutely read between the lines and choose the best bike based on your own preference.
Since your first bike is a GS500 (me too), it’d be nice to get an inline 4 next so you’d get a taste of an I4. To me, a torquey twin is nice on a very tight road or at lower speed, but an I4 is more thrilling when the road opens up.
The 531 lbs curb weight of the GSX650F is mind boggling. I read it uses the same frame/chassis as a Bandit 1200 except they put a 650 engine in there, and that explains the weight. That’s way more weight than it should have for a 650.
FZ8’s expected MSRP is US$8,490.September 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm #28476
Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
The lighter the bike, the better it is for city riding and tight corners, and for a beginner to learn with. The heavier the bike, the more comfortable it is at 75 mph for long trips. See which one fits your needs the best, which one feels the best after sitting on them for 20 minutes with the sales person holding it up so you have both feet on the footpegs, which one has the looks you like, and which one you can afford.
To me, this is the ultimate bike for short trips (not for beginners):
This is my ultimate bike for long trips, for comfort, power and looks (also not for beginners):
This is my compromise for my next bike, a bike that is fun for tight corners, but still can do some long trips:
I have rode one of these the last 8 years, and paid $5,200 for it new in 2002:September 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm #28478
If you already have a middleweight moto, why get another middleweight?
Go big or go light..
Nothing like a nice liter-class sport touring moto that is able to melt the miles for hours at highways speed with decent comfort.
Nothing like a supermotard that allow you to zip in and out of tight traffic and hop on & off curbs in the city.
Yeah FZ8 looks awesome, but is it really that much different that your current moto?
Will it cruise at highway speed for hours with much much more comfort and ease than your current ride?September 4, 2010 at 7:11 pm #28480
About the same weight but much more powerful and with more modern design, a late model 600 I4 or 650 twin will feel way different from a GS500.September 4, 2010 at 7:12 pm #28481
Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
My wife is requesting that I sell my 600cc Honda Shadow to lower the insurance costs by not having two bikes. I could disagree, but I would have to deal with her being miserable afterwards.
Since my usual ride is 22 miles long, and I do 1 or 2 long trips a year, it makes sense to me to get another middleweight, but with more power, better tires and a better suspension. I am waiting until my car is paid off this coming spring.September 5, 2010 at 1:51 am #28482
I like my GS500F for it’s size, comfort, fuel efficiency, and power, but there’s no way I can afford the cost or space for keeping 2 bikes. However, I wouldn’t mind having fuel injection, less vibration at higher speeds, and a more sophisticated panel display. And, yes, costs are a definite concern. Otherwise, I’d be looking more at the Honda NT700V, BMW F800ST, or the Triumph Sprint ST. Thus my favorites are the three listed in the original post.September 5, 2010 at 3:11 am #28483
When I went to the Dallas Motorcycle show last year I rode the FZ6R and the Ninja 650R. After 2 years of riding experience under my belt I really liked the FZ6R, my first experience with an I4. But I ended up buying a 2007 Ninja 650R because the price was a no-brainer and it is cheaper on gas.
If money were no issue, the FZ6R might be a lot of fun and it looks great. Well so does my Ninja:)September 6, 2010 at 1:05 am #28496
These bikes are closely matched in terms of real world performance and the two I-4s are very twin like in terms of torque and linear power delivery.
Please don’t trot out the old line about the GSX650F being “mind-bogglingly” heavy. I’ve seen that said often in internet forums, and always by people who’ve only read the specs and never ridden one. The strong, heavy steel frame on this sport-touring bike is actually an advantage in that it doesn’t get blown around on the freeway and the handling is very predictable; no scary frame-flexing mid-corner.
You may notice the weight when pushing the bike around the garage, however, once rolling, the weight disappears and the bike has more than enough performance for any sane riding situation (including the odd track day). In fact, I’m actually thinking of getting a slower bike next time as this one rides so nice and smooth at speed, that 100 mph+ feels like 60 (it’ll do 130+ mph apparently). How fast do you need your “heavy”, “slow” bike to go?
That said, if you want to ride it conservatively, it’ll be quite happy to oblige due to it’s low gearing and down-low torque (for an I-4).
All of these bikes are good second bikes (first bike should be a 250 IMO) and it’s just a matter of which one you like the best (in terms of looks and/or fit, and/or price etc.).September 6, 2010 at 2:34 am #28499
I noticed that you like the bike for it’s comfort and size…well the GSX650F has an almost identicle riding position to the GS500F, except it has an extra 40Hp…still pretty good on fuel and fuel injected…they have also been around for a couple of years, so you could pick one up used…save a few bucks…
I would ride you bike down to the Suzuki dealer and go in…sit on one right after getting off your bike, and it will be very familiar…even the seat looks the same. The four cylinder bikes are much smoother, and this one actually has torque to putt around town…and better gearing…
Check this out…
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