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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a hard time deciding what my next motorcycle should be. I've only ridden a Ninja 400, I like the low and mid range punch, but I feel that it is very lacking in the top end for passing power. I often ride city, highway, and backroads. There are so many good bikes on the market right now, but I can't find anywhere near me with demo's or test rides. I'm hoping you guys can give some recommendations so I can limit it down and find a dealer to look at them in person. I understand the dangers and risks that come with speed, and I am fairly sensible (though still make dumb decisions sometimes lol). I would be selling my current bike before buying the next, so it will be my only one. I often take rides anywhere from 30 mins - 6 hours, so I'd prefer it be bearable. Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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If you like sportbikes, wait for the new R7 to hit dealers. Thats got exactly the powerband you described.

If you're looking for something cheap and a little more like your Ninja, the old Yamaha FZ6 and FZ6R are excellent bikes. Not a ton of low end torque, but imo, high revving/high HP screamers are way more fun than a torque monster.
 

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My V Strom 650 is an excellent all-around bike. It handles really nicely, is comfortable all day, and has plenty of power for anyone who doesn't require really high performance. On the highway I just drop down to 4th and crank it and 85 comes quickly.
 

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Ducati was very free with scheduled test rides a couple of years ago, not sure if that has changed.
 

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How about the Ninja 1000SX, lots of torque, lots of high end, lots of comfort, with lots of technology in the later model years.
 

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The inline 600 fours are not that good for around town. The Suzuki 650 or the Kawasaki 650 would be better IMO.
The 600s are meant to be track bikes. They get boring quickly. I do not think a 1000cc bike is the answer.
Foist try the fit, so you can decide on what is comfortable for you. UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ducati was very free with scheduled test rides a couple of years ago, not sure if that has changed.
Yeah unfortunately Ducati and BMW are the 2 big brands I don’t have near me. It’s about 3 hours each way to the closest one, and for a high end bike I’d prefer to take it in for any big work on it.
 

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The inline 600 fours are not that good for around town. The Suzuki 650 or the Kawasaki 650 would be better IMO.
The 600s are meant to be track bikes. They get boring quickly. I do not think a 1000cc bike is the answer.
Foist try the fit, so you can decide on what is comfortable for you. UK
Hence the saying, "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."
 

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I dont think 600s are hard to ride around town at all. At least not hard with an upright seating position. The FZ6 has 35ft-lbs of torque on tap by 3000rpm. Its only like 7-8ft-lbs less torque than a 650, and almost twice the torque of a Ninja 400, at the same RPM, respectively.

Also, 600s really aren't that fast. Compared to my torque monster FZ09, which makes like 55ft-lbs at 1500rpm, my FZR600 feels like a 50cc scooter. And when/if I hit a huge pothole on the 600 and accidentally blip the throttle, it doesn't instantly put me into a wheelie/backflip at any speed, any gear, and virtually any conditions like the torque monster 09 does. Less low end torque is much safer when it comes to mistakes. Its much more forgiving. Not that Im suggesting 7-8ftlbs that big difference.

For me, the 600 is the slow bike fast because its got no torque. You get to wind it up and wring it out everywhere without getting into too much trouble. Its like the B16A Civic of the motorcycle world. Its not fast, but its incredibly easy to drive, exhilarating to hear/ feel that high RPM scream, and is truly rewarding to drive/ride.
 

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I dont think 600s are hard to ride around town at all. At least not hard with an upright seating position. The FZ6 has 35ft-lbs of torque on tap by 3000rpm. Its only like 7-8ft-lbs less torque than a 650, and almost twice the torque of a Ninja 400, at the same RPM, respectively.

Also, 600s really aren't that fast. Compared to my torque monster FZ09, which makes like 55ft-lbs at 1500rpm, my FZR600 feels like a 50cc scooter. And when/if I hit a huge pothole on the 600 and accidentally blip the throttle, it doesn't instantly put me into a wheelie/backflip at any speed, any gear, and virtually any conditions like the torque monster 09 does. Less low end torque is much safer when it comes to mistakes. Its much more forgiving. Not that Im suggesting 7-8ftlbs that big difference.

For me, the 600 is the slow bike fast because its got no torque. You get to wind it up and wring it out everywhere without getting into too much trouble. Its like the B16A Civic of the motorcycle world. Its not fast, but its incredibly easy to drive, exhilarating to hear/ feel that high RPM scream, and is truly rewarding to drive/ride.
An FZ6 isn't a ZX6-R "actually 636"......not even close in performance and capability. One is a wicked 127 hp race bike that can easily exceed 150 mph and with very good factory suspension/brakes, the other is a budget built 98 hp street bike that can barely break 125 mph, so no not all 600's are the same. ;)
 

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An FZ6 isn't a ZX6-R "actually 636"......not even close in performance and capability. One is a wicked 127 hp race bike that can easily exceed 150 mph and with very good factory suspension/brakes, the other is a budget built 98 hp street bike that can barely break 125 mph, so no not all 600's are the same. ;)
Its that true the FZ6 motor is detuned via the fuel map, but the motor itself came straight out of the R6. And there are other options if you dont like the FZ6. The GSX-S600 is another good one. My point is simply that 600 powerplants are not in any way a hindrance on the street. Rather, they are really well mannered and docile, very easy to drive at low RPM and scream when you wind them up. Its the best of both worlds. I dont understand why you think making more power in a 636 would hurt street riding?

All 600cc motorcycles are not the same, but the power and delivery of all 600cc 4 cylinder motorcycle engines are nearly identical since the beginning of time. Really doesn't matter how old or new, FI or carbs - a 600 is a 600.
 

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And I also just want to point something out about the HP figure for the 636. Horsepower is directly related to RPM. The horsepower always climbs the higher you rev the engine because its doing more work. So if I take two identical 600cc engines, that both make the exact same 50ft-lbs of torque to the rear wheel, and I let one rev to 10,000rpm and the other to 15,000rpm, you get much larger peak HP numbers on the higher revving motor, despite the fact that they are the same motor with the exact same torque. The higher revving motor isn't actually more powerful, it just revs higher. That is the explanation for the major HP difference between, say, an FZ6 and R6. They both have the exact same grunt when you twist the throttle. If you buy a 636 and never go over like 10,000rpm, its probably a 75hp bike. And with motorcycles there is such a wide range of rev limits, that I don't think HP figures paint any kind of discernable picture of a motorcycles powerband. You have to look at torque, and where in the rev range it makes it to get a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You have to look at torque, and where in the rev range it makes it to get a good idea.
What do you think is a good general amount of torque for lower speed riding, city riding for example? I’m fairly new to all of this and don’t have experience with any bikes other than the one I own currently.
 

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And I also just want to point something out about the HP figure for the 636. Horsepower is directly related to RPM. The horsepower always climbs the higher you rev the engine because its doing more work. So if I take two identical 600cc engines, that both make the exact same 50ft-lbs of torque to the rear wheel, and I let one rev to 10,000rpm and the other to 15,000rpm, you get much larger peak HP numbers on the higher revving motor, despite the fact that they are the same motor with the exact same torque. The higher revving motor isn't actually more powerful, it just revs higher. That is the explanation for the major HP difference between, say, an FZ6 and R6. They both have the exact same grunt when you twist the throttle. If you buy a 636 and never go over like 10,000rpm, its probably a 75hp bike. And with motorcycles there is such a wide range of rev limits, that I don't think HP figures paint any kind of discernable picture of a motorcycles powerband. You have to look at torque, and where in the rev range it makes it to get a good idea.
Fair enough, but you originally stated that "600's really aren't that fast", when some very much are. :) IMHO any 600 supersport is likely too much bike for the OP, where in comparison something like an SV650 or MT07 would be very ideal.
 

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What do you think is a good general amount of torque for lower speed riding, city riding for example? I’m fairly new to all of this and don’t have experience with any bikes other than the one I own currently.
I like the 600 motors. I really dont ever feel like I need more torque than that. I like that you can ride a bit sloppy on your throttle inputs and it wont bite you. My FZ09 you always have to be very careful as you pretty much always have enough power on tap to break the rear tire free or lift the front tire. It's not so much about the peak numbers, but how much you make on the low end. Again, FZ09 feels like a big block V8 where it's just got stupid power right off of idle.The FZ09 and a 600 are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I had an FZ6 in 2004/5 and really liked that bike. Not the most attractive bike, but super comfortable and I just love the power delivery. And they are super cheap used. Prices are probably creeping with inflation, but I was looking last year and the going rate looked like $2500-$2700. I dont know what you want to spend. Lately I've been trying to buy cheap used bikes to try out different types without a big investment.
 

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Yeah unfortunately Ducati and BMW are the 2 big brands I don’t have near me. It’s about 3 hours each way to the closest one, and for a high end bike I’d prefer to take it in for any big work on it.
Seriously who cares how close your motorcycle dealer is to you unless they are a close friend.
High end product is easier to work on, it's the cheap stuff that is near impossible to fix. That applies to almost every machine you buy.
 
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