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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

Hey folks,

For bike #2, I'm considering either the F4 (or F4i depending on price), ZX6R and the 600R between '99 and '02. Technically I'm also considering the R6 and it's at the top of my list, but depending on my budget in the next couple of months I might have to scale back a little to one of the other three.

I know that the F4 is slimmer between the knees than the 600R, and the F4i's fuel injection will make throttle control a litte smoother. Other than that, any major differences that anyone can think of?
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

I can only tell you about what I have...I have a '99 YZF600R that has been a wonderful bike. I have over 37K miles one with no big issues other than getting the suspension sorted for my 240lb body. I have done many 400+ mile days as well as a few 600+. The bike, for the money, is a very capible well rounded and comfortible bike.
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]
ShadeTree said:
...the F4i's fuel injection will make throttle control a litte smoother.

[/ QUOTE ]

If anything the opposite is true. I have not ridden an F4i but I recall magazine reports from a couple of years ago mentioning that throttle control became less smooth when the carbureted F4 became the injected F4i. In fact, harsh on-off throttle transitions is a classic bugaboo of fuel injection systems that manufacturers have long struggled to overcome. The problem is even more pronounced on engines with really small cylinders like a 600cc I-4, which is why 600s were the last sportbikes to get EFI.

Fuel injection does have advantages. Emissions are easier to control, the bike is less sensitive to climatic conditions, and with the right computer and software it can be much easier to fine-tune. But manufacturers figured out how to make smooth carburetors a LOOONG time ago and a carbureted YZF600 or ZX6R represent some of the most refined examples.
 

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eScreaming Dizbuster
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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

I like CBR's but if I were considering a 600 I'd take a real close look at the YZF.

I second what Keith said about fuel injection. Carbs are smoother and more reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

Thanks for the replies thus far! Please keep 'em coming.

DyMag996, thanks for the rider opinion. They're always welcome (and if anyone has some to share, post up). This will primarily be a commuter bike. While I don't see really long rides in my near future, there will be some mid-distance rides (as long as I can get there and back in a day) if the bike's comfortable enough.

When I was first looking into a bike, the 600R was actually one of my favorites that I'd gotten to sit on. While I haven't sat on one recently, I sat on a F3 (which I think is comparably sized) and it felt like a boat! I'm sure a lot of that is due to me being used to the EX500 though.

KeithU: Thanks for the clarification! Any thoughts on the carbs on the F4? Also, Could you elaborate on what you meant by less sensitive to environmental condition?

TravellinJones: Why the 600R over the CBR F4? Is it more comfortable, has better performance, cheaper, what? Would you take it over the ZX6R? Also, why are carbs more reliable? I thought that the opposite was true.
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

I stacked up 12k miles on my '01 YZF600R (first bike) and I've ridden a friends '01 F4i for all of 15-20 miles? From what I remember the YZF is easily the more comfortable bike...bars were up higher, seat was MUCH more comfortable, fairings were a lot bigger (especially the windscreen) so you get better protection from the wind. I don't recall by how much but I know the F4i was physically smaller and the 600R felt a porky after getting off the F4i. I never really had any problems with my YZF600R at all, if I were to get another one though and stack up soem miles on it...I'd look into getting a "shift kit" (YZF600R specific boards know what it is), something to improve the shifting and it suppose to help make 2nd gear take more abuse...I guess you shift without the clutch a lot 2nd gear is prone to go out/break on these bikes.

On the other hand, the F4i is also a GREAT bike, a good 50 lbs lighter and 10 more horsepower. Minus the hard Honda seat, the ergos are pretty comfortable for a full on race replica from what I remember. It's fuel injected and I thought it was pretty trick that it doesn't even come with a choke....just thumb the starter and forget it, cpu & FI does the rest. Plus compared to my 600R, the F4i just sounded so much sweater...something about the airbox I think, my friend later added a Micron slip on and that maybe one of the best sounding I4 combos I've heard.

Never riden a Kawi but I would think the ZX6R would be a bit of a mix of F4i/YZF600R...aluminum frame, big fairings, comfy seat, motorwise probably inbetween the YZFs and CBRs.
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

Either the F4 or F4i should be fine, and I've never heard the F4i described as "problematic" WRT throttle response.

Environmental conditions can greatly affect the way an engine breathes. The biggest factor is air pressure, which usually changes as you go up in elevation. Have you ever noticed that when you go up into the mountains you find it harder to breath? Your motorcycle engine has the same problem. EFI is able to automatically compensate for air pressure changes, but carbs can't. If your riding includes a lot of elevation changes this is something to think about.
 

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eScreaming Dizbuster
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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]
TravellinJones: Why the 600R over the CBR F4? Is it more comfortable, has better performance, cheaper, what? Would you take it over the ZX6R? Also, why are carbs more reliable? I thought that the opposite was true.

[/ QUOTE ]

I haven't ridden either bike, so I'm going by magazine reviews and reports such as ENP's. The factor I'm considering here is comfort. I need a bike that can go five hundred miles a day for a week. I also like the looks of the Yamaha.

Carbs are more reliable because there's no electricity or electronics involved, unless they're fed via fuel pump. KeithU makes another good point about injection at altitude, but it's never been a problem for me with carbs except on the higher roads in Colorado.

I've never been a Kawasaki guy, even though I've been happy with my KLR. Just a matter of personal preference.
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

I myself have a "99" YZF600 and the bike is one of the best for the buck, it's alot easier on your wallet which i'm sure you are looking for and one of the most comfortable bikes to ride. Try one out and i'm sure you would agree that on those long rides you'll be praising that seat when it's all over :waytogo:
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]
TravellinJones said:
Carbs are more reliable because there's no electricity or electronics involved, unless they're fed via fuel pump.

[/ QUOTE ]

FWIW, I've owned fuel injected motorcycles for 12 years now and I've never had a single reliability issue related to fuel injection. My TT600 had some throttle control issues when I first bought it, but it was functional, and free updates from the dealer eventually smoothed it out.

OTOH, I've spent countless hours dealing with carb problems like stuck floats, clogged jets, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]

ENP83 wrote:
I've ridden a friends '01 F4i for all of 15-20 miles? From what I remember the YZF is easily the more comfortable bike. <snip> I know the F4i was physically smaller and the 600R felt a porky after getting off the F4i. <snip> The F4i is also a GREAT bike, a good 50 lbs lighter and 10 more horsepower. Minus the hard Honda seat, the ergos are pretty comfortable for a full on race replica from what I remember.


[/ QUOTE ]

I was recently at a dealership that had an R6 (also on my list of want to buys), an F4 and an F3, and so I got to do a brief seat test. The F3 I think is dimensionally similar to the 600R, and that sums up what I felt going between the two: porky. Especially since I'm used to the EX500, which in comparison is just about anorexic. The R6 and F4 felt more at home because of their slimness.

How did the handling of the 600R feel after the CBR?

[ QUOTE ]

KeithU wrote:
Environmental conditions can greatly affect the way an engine breathes. The biggest factor is air pressure, which usually changes as you go up in elevation. <snip> FWIW, I've owned fuel injected motorcycles for 12 years now and I've never had a single reliability issue related to fuel injection. <snip> OTOH, I've spent countless hours dealing with carb problems like stuck floats, clogged jets, etc.


[/ QUOTE ]

I live next door to the Texas Hill Country, and have spent some time riding in it. There is a fair amount of elevation changes. You can get an idea of it in this thread. However I never noticed much of a difference during that ride, so perhaps the changes aren't drastic enough or the area isn't quite high enough above sea level.

I can feel you on the clogged jets and stuck floats thing. When I was working on the bike, I got it started and running only to have it die when I tried taking off the choke. Several frustrated days later, after too many hours plugging away at it, I took it to a friendly mechanic who determined a plugged jet and fixed it for me (as well as a whole bunch of other stuff, Thanks Fred!). Since then, I've had to take the carbs apart a couple more times, and can get the bike and carbs apart rather quickly now. Practice makes perfect.

I'm assuming though that EFi has it's own problems. What can I typically look out for, and what are the common fixes?

[ QUOTE ]

TravellinJones wrote:
The factor I'm considering here is comfort. I need a bike that can go five hundred miles a day for a week. I also like the looks of the Yamaha. <snip> Carbs are more reliable because there's no electricity or electronics involved, unless they're fed via fuel pump. <snip> I've never been a Kawasaki guy, even though I've been happy with my KLR. Just a matter of personal preference.


[/ QUOTE ]

Unfortunately, comfort isn't a big factor for me. I have a 5-7 mile commute to work, so I don't get much lengthy riding in. I usually spend the weekend bonding with the wifey, although that's partly because I don't trust the EX too much over long distances. Some nice Sunday morning riding would be great, like I did in the thread above. Actually, it was all day Sunday while the wife was at work. However we're in the process of adopting a baby girl who, if everything goes ok, will spend her first birthday with us. So even on my vacation days I probably won't be able to roam too far from home, so I can be there to pick her up from daycare, or be with her if the wife's working on weekends.

I like the looks of the 600R. It was actually first pick for me when I first started looking at motoring. However I prefer the looks of the R6 more, and enjoy it's looks about the same as the F4 (maybe a little less than the F4i because of the split seat).

From what you've read, which one is more liable to give a sporty ride?

[ QUOTE ]

RedCatz wrote:
I myself have a "99" YZF600 and the bike is one of the best for the buck, it's alot easier on your wallet which i'm sure you are looking for and one of the most comfortable bikes to ride. Try one out and i'm sure you would agree that on those long rides you'll be praising that seat when it's all over


[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, easy on the wallet is definitely a good thing with this baby coming! I refuse to be one of those "New baby, must sell bike!" guys, especially since this isn't exactly a surprise. So there's a lot of budgeting going on.

I think I'll be ready to buy in about a month and a half (end of February). Would now be too soon to call local people who are selling and go look (maybe test ride)?

I'm kind of surprised the Kawi is coming out with no real supporters. Any more opinions and advice, please post up!
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]
ShadeTree said:
I'm assuming though that EFi has it's own problems. What can I typically look out for, and what are the common fixes?

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, I can't speak for all EFI systems, but overall they tend to be pretty reliable. Fuel pumps can fail, but they usually don't unless you frequently run your tank dry.

The most common EFI "problem" on motorcycles that I've seen or heard of isn't really even a problem. If injectors get dirty they will make a ticking noise that people often confuse with valve tapping. The ticking doesn't really hurt anything and can be fixed by pouring some injector cleaner in the tank and running it through.

Dead batteries can cause all kinds of weird problems with EFI systems. Sometimes you can push start a dead EFI bike, and sometimes you can't. If the battery doesn't have enough juice to run the fuel pump for a second and pressurize the system, you're generally screwed.

Vacuum leaks can cause starting and idling problems if your EFI system has an automatic cold start throttle advance.

Noth much else. Overall I think EFI systems are a little easier to live with, although when I look for a new bike I really do not care if it has EFI or not.
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

The YZF has the best brake and stock suspension components. I am 240lbs and since I put stiffer springs and Red Line medium fork oil in the forks and a Penski Sport Shock from Tarxxion Dynamics on the bike, the the handling is supurb. The only limitation I have seen so far with the YZF is the guy in the saddle!

:smile:
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]
ShadeTree said:
How did the handling of the 600R feel after the CBR?


[/ QUOTE ]
Hmm, well I didn't really get that much seat time on the F4i or ride it on any real twisty roads...plus I was still a relatively new rider, it also didnt help that I NEVER actually knew what I was doing while fiddling/adjusting my YZF's suspension so I'm sure it was always outta wack (very dumb noob then lol). However, you could obviously tell the F4i was lighter, smaller, thinner, easier to flick, had more power uptop...I think the midrange felt about the same, I know the YZF has better power down low and maybe in the midrange too but compared to the F4i you cant really tell the difference since the F4i weighs 50lbs less.

I went from the YZF600R to an '03 SV650S and I sure wish the SV had the YZF's four pot calipers up front (SV only has 2pots and they do feel weaker)...they're the EXACT same brakes the R1 and R6 had up until the '02 R1 I think and the newest R6. Also I wish my SV had the YZF's fully adjustable suspension, like I said I NEVER got anywhere close to having my dialed in right...I really wish I had the chance to get some time on a YZF again with a dialed in suspension to do a better comparison. Like others have said and from what I've read the YZF's suspension very adjustable.

And like redcats said, you'll be praising the YZF's seat and big wide/tall fairings on those longer trips (or when it's a bit cold outside).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]

KeithU said:
Well, I can't speak for all EFI systems, but overall they tend to be pretty reliable. Fuel pumps can fail, but they usually don't unless you frequently run your tank dry.
<snip>
Noth much else. Overall I think EFI systems are a little easier to live with, although when I look for a new bike I really do not care if it has EFI or not.


[/ QUOTE ]

Keith, thanks for the info! I'll definitely keep that in mind as I'm looking around. I think that the F4i is about the only bike on my list that has EFi, unless I jump ship to the SV650; while I know they're currently fuel injected I don't know when they made that jump or if they've always been.

[ QUOTE ]

DyMag996 said:
The YZF has the best brake and stock suspension components. <snip> The only limitation I have seen so far with the YZF is the guy in the saddle!


[/ QUOTE ]

Oh, I'll definitely be the weak point to any bike that I buy next. I'm hoping to hit a track day next year if things go ok.

[ QUOTE ]

ENP83 said:
And like redcats said, you'll be praising the YZF's seat and big wide/tall fairings on those longer trips (or when it's a bit cold outside).


[/ QUOTE ]

That would be a good thing, especially since I've been riding around here in 30 degree weather to get to and from work. 'Course, just about anything will be an upgrade from the EX. The fully adjustable suspension would be a good thing to have though, so I could play around with it. I'd probably throw it completely off... but that's half of the fun!
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

I was looking at those same bikes a few years ago. I picked the F4 for a few reasons. In no order:

I like Honda quality. The Hondas will hold their value better if cared for. The F4 has a more comfortable seat and position than the F4i and gets much better MPG. Alot of reviews of the F4i thought there was a problem with their bikes due to the huge drop in economy from the F4i.

The YZF is a steel frame and heavier than the F4. It has a smaller rear time if I recall 160 vs. 180 if you care. It was down on power too. More like an F3 overall.

The ZX has a good motor, but I read of carb icing in UK tests which scared me since I ride in the cold. Also, to me, most of the color schemes of the ZX were just plain ugly. Compared with the F4 they were less comfortable bikes too.

So I had an F4 and loved it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

[ QUOTE ]
f2benny said:
The F4 has a more comfortable seat and position than the F4i and gets much better MPG. Alot of reviews of the F4i thought there was a problem with their bikes due to the huge drop in economy from the F4i.

The YZF is a steel frame and heavier than the F4. It has a smaller rear time if I recall 160 vs. 180 if you care. It was down on power too. More like an F3 overall.

The ZX has a good motor, but I read of carb icing in UK tests which scared me since I ride in the cold. <snip> Compared with the F4 they were less comfortable bikes too.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks for the review. Can you recall what the MPG difference was between the two? Also, what do you mean by the "drop in economy" with the F4i? Was it a reference to the fuel economy?

As I'm still learning, this will be an incredibly n00b question but, what are the benefits of the larger tire? I'm guessing increased contact patch when leaned over. I've never heard of carb icing before. Care to elaborate?

The ZX is sadly falling off of my list. Pity 'cause it started pretty high at the top. The top 3 right now (in no particular order) would be the 600R, R6 and F4.
 

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Re: Comparison: \'99-02 F4/i vs. YZF 600R vs. ZX6R

It's funny because some people swear up and down that Honda makes the most reliable bikes, and then therse an equal number of people it seems that swear up and down that Hondas are some of the least reliable bikes out there. Yeah Benny was talking about a drop in fuel economy in the F4i, I remember reading that it was always last in MPG compared to GSXR6, R6, ZX6R of those years (and I think Kawi was usually the highest).

About the whole tires thing, it really doesn't matter...the 180 on the F4 will look more muscular, but you won't have problems with a 160 on the YZF600R (Honda didn't have a problem with a 160 on their F2 <maybe F3 too?>), my SV is perfectly fine on it's 160 too. Infact a lot of literbike guys switch from the stock 190 tire size down to a 180. One thing though, never try and put a 170 or 180 on the YZF600R's rim...I did that and the 170 dunlop was SERIOUSLY squared off, looked horrible and definately hurt the handling.

You really just gotta go and sit on the F4 and YZF600R back to back, they still make the YZF600R and the F4i with it's post '03 seat should have the exact same ergos (if not damn close) to the F4...I don't think they changed the position of the handle bars at all (if they did only ever so slightly).
 
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