The New Face of Fast - ZX-6R V Daytona 675, GSX-R600, R6 and CBR600RR

Kawasaki’s all-new ZX-6R is making a big push for the 600. Is it good enough to kick the others into touch? We rode all five to Holland and back to find out...

Sometimes it’s easy for us chaps in Magazineland to forget a few things. Living in our hazy little bubble of luxury launches, racetrack tests and sunny photoshoots, we need reminding every once in a while what it’s really all about. And that’s getting out there and riding with mates to somewhere you’ve never been, savouring the freedom of two wheels and exploiting what is still the most rapid form of transport on the roads today.

Busy lives dictate that getting away from the stresses of the everyday grind isn’t always easy, though. After all, the chance of a weekend kitchen pass from the missus and four like-minded mates all being available at the drop of a hat are so slim, opportunities can easily slip through your fingers. When our chance came along, there was absolutely no hesitation; passport, cash, go.

So, after much texting, phoning and a little cajoling, there were five of us, which of course meant having to arrange a five-bike test – the most obvious being the contenders in the hugely popular supersport class. Kawasaki have re-entererd the fray revved up and refreshed with a totally new ZX-6R and, with a few tweaks to the Triumph Daytona 675 for 2009, the British bike is once again a real match for the Japanese competition. Add to the mix the dominant Honda CBR600RR, Yamaha’s awesome R6 and the erstwhile Suzuki GSX-R600 and you’ve got five very happy blokes.

With the bikes sorted, the next decision was where to take them. With so many British riders in World Superbikes and World Supersport, and with Assen just a few hundred miles up the road, the answer seemed to be staring us in the face. There we could go and see for ourselves how these bikes are supposed to be ridden and speak to the guys who ride them better than anyone – the fastest 600cc motorcycle racers in the world.

So, after ex-racers Niall Mackenzie and James Whitham had spent a day on road and track to give us the answers only guys like them can, we excitedly packed our rucksacks, swore at our tankbags, narrowly avoided injury by bungee strap and hopped onto the ferry to spend three days riding across three European countries.

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GSX-R600 - pt.1


Once the shell-suited hooligan of the middleweight massive, the GSX-R’s refusal to grow old gracefully is a double-edged sword

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, maybe the GSX-R600 really has had its day in its current guise. Many of the dealers we phoned weren’t going to order any 2009 bikes because they still had 2008 bikes to shift. With the global cash crisis pressing down on everyone’s shoulders and the only difference between the two bikes being a few paint and sticker details, you can’t blame them. Particularly when it means they can afford to make the GSX-R the bargain of the bunch, with several dealers dropping their prices as low as £6600 to offload their surplus, pre-registered GSX-R600 K8s.

Ridden in isolation the GSX-R is still one hell of a bike. Every time the favoured choice when it came to covering any kind of distance, the Suzuki’s generous fairing, comfortable (and adjustable) riding position and amply-padded seat proved a big hit with everyone on the test, even if the now-dated styling didn’t – when it came to the vote on aesthetics, amongst some very handsome company the baby GSX-R was almost unanimously declared the least favourite. The notable exception being Whitham, who loves the GSX-R’s lines.

Whatever your view, from the rider’s side of the bars, everything works incredibly well on the Suzuki. The clocks are clear and easy to read and the mirrors are arguably the most useful of the lot, giving clear rearward vision without the need to perform some kind of Egyptian mating dance with your shoulders.

With the other four bikes constantly breathing down the GSX-R’s somewhat hefty neck, it’s just as well you can see what’s coming up behind you – the GSX-R’s lack of midrange and constant need to be thrashed to get at the power means one mistake with the gearlever and you’re straight to the back of the pack.

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GSX-R600 - pt.2

It would seem that Andy and myself are quite keen on pulling wheelies. In Holland, where the roads are mostly long and straight, it’s the only respite we get. Sadly, the GSX-R doesn’t really want to play. The GSX-R’s reluctance to ping one up off the clutch in anything other than first gear is symptomatic of its lack of midrange grunt and the extra weight the Suzuki carries.

Along with its resistance to indulge in the irrefutably irresponsible act of riding along on one wheel, the GSX-R keeps its rider out of trouble in many other ways, too. The chassis is ultra-stable at speed and, even ridden aggressively over the bumps and lumps that make up the back section of Bruntingthorpe’s test circuit, the GSX-R never once tested its steering damper or threatened to run wide as the solid but supple front end dealt with the rippled surface, kept the front tyre’s relationship with the tarmac sweet and held its line perfectly.

Compared to any of the others the GSX-R is something of a barge to get turned, and through tight hairpin turns and chicanes will always lose out to the more modern competition. Just ask our new mate, Barry Veneman.

But if you’re not a world class racer, you’re looking for something of a bargain, you don’t need a bike that comes with bragging rights as standard, you ride mostly on the roads, you don’t give a toss about lap times and you have similar tastes to James Whitham, then the GSXR600 won’t leave you feeling disappointed. Just so long as you don’t get a go on any of the other four, that is.

Second Opinion

Niall Mackenzie

The Suzuki is a bike that takes no getting used to. From the moment you set off, it delivers good feedback making you feel safe and secure at any speed. It does everything well but at the same time doesn’t really excel when it comes to looks or performance. The GSX-R600 seems to have also lost its edge in racing this year but in this fast-changing market sector I’m sure that could easily turn around in 2010.

James Whitham

The Suzuki is the best-looking bike of the lot. And I reckon the generous riding position and good wind protection would make it the easiest to own if you did a lot of miles or used it to commute.

The motor is free-revving and has a lovely induction roar. It did feel as though it was lacking some grunt compared to the others though, which surprised me, because torque was always the GSX-R’s middle name.

It’s a stable bike but not as quick on the steering as the Honda, Triumph, and especially the agile Yamaha.

Fastest GSX-R600 Rider in the World - Barry Veneman

“The Suzuki is a great bike to ride. But it’s also a little bit behind the others – they have developed their bikes further over the last two years where the Suzuki has stood still a little bit. The biggest problem we have is that the bike is heavy and we can’t get it down to the minimum weight. It also makes less power. It’s great through high-speed corners though, and it’s very stable, with a great bottom-end. Where we lose out is in tight corners because of the weight, and at the top-end because of the power.”

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CBR600RR - pt.1


Dominant in World Supersport for the last seven years and one of the best-selling bikes of all time, the ‘09 CBR has a lot to live up to

It’s only after a quick bit of mental arithmetic that I realise just how good this bike is: “Right then, the ferry is at 20.50 and we have to be there at 20.35 at the very latest else we’re not getting on. It’s now 20.10 and we’re 84km from Calais, which I think is about 50 miles. Thought it was nearer than that. Shit, we shouldn’t have spent so much time in Amsterdam. So, 50 miles and we’ve got 25 minutes. That’s an average speed of 120mph then. We can do it. Go, go, go.”

Of course I’m not advocating speeding, but if needs must then sometimes it can’t be helped. A bit like the weather really. It’s absolutely belting it down and, as the water runs down my neck and eventually down the crack of my arse, the decision has been made. We’re not missing that ferry, not on my watch.

As I gaze down at the speed displayed on the useful but dull clocks that look for all the world as though they’ve been pinched out of someone’s Nissan Cherry, I watch it creep up to 125mph. I settle at 128mph as I try to work out the true speed, hoping that our average speed can be maintained and that the Gendarmerie Nationale has better things to do on a wet and blustery Monday evening.

Cameras flash behind us as we quite literally head down the E40, the spray from the trucks and the glaring sheen from the smooth road surface heightening each and every one of our senses. The hairs on the back of my neck may be soaked, but there’s no way of resisting the adrenal flow as they stand proud, erect from each follicle while a shiver of pure delight blows through me. It’s a little bit like racing. Not in terms of the physical act, but in the mental pressure there is to focus on riding to the best of your ability with precious little room for error. With the Honda, it lets you get on with the job in hand without making too many demands on your already overloaded cerebrum.

It’s something that Honda has done for years, and that is to make a bike that fits everyone. It’s so well balanced front to rear and gives such feedback that getting a shift on in less than ideal conditions is always going to be a Honda strong point. It’s just about comfortable enough for distance too, though the hard seat became a regular complaint and that low front fairing doesn’t offer anywhere near the protection of the GSX-R’s broad nose.

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CBR600RR - pt.2

In other ways, the Honda still cossets its rider. The handling on track is sublime. Even if you’re not the most experienced rider, confidence quickly grows and if you’re already on the handy side of fast, then you’ll love the way the bike steers and holds a line at pace – the front-end feel from the neutral-handling Honda is quite simply superb.

There really is little to dislike about the Honda. But, there’s not a great deal to love about it either. It’s the kind of bike that is almost too talented and perhaps a little lacking in charisma. It’s Lewis Hamilton to Yamaha’s Ayrton Senna, the Nigel Mansell to Kawasaki’s James Hunt.

Where the others at least try to snarl through their airboxes and growl through angry cans the Honda gets on with it almost too quietly. While we all liked the Honda, there was no escaping the fact that it wasn’t the bike that everybody wanted to be on – that honour was bestowed quite clearly on the Yamaha and Kawasaki, both of which had- a much sought after and fiercely defended ignition key.

As a piece of engineering that’s quite clearly very effective in race trim, the CBR600RR is one of Honda’s crowning glories, having given the firm more world championships than any other machine in their range.

And while it might not have flicked all our switches, this year might just see another CBR600RR world title. The smart money is on you, Eugene.

Second Opinion

Niall Mackenzie

The graphics on our test bike certainly got everyone talking but I’m not sure how many of these spotty specials will actually be sold. I’ve liked the CBR600RR from day one (and still do in the right colour), however, although the solid handling and feel of quality is still there, the others have moved ahead when it comes to midrange power. Carrying more revs overcomes this but you have to work the engine harder to get the same result. Aftermarket goodies will fix this of course but the other four are better straight out of the box.

James Whitham

The Honda feels the most compact and yet still has quite a comfortable riding position and is easily the most confidence inspiring of the bunch. The motor isn’t the most powerful, but it’s in the ballpark and definitely the smoothest. Overall, the CBR is a good bike with a real quality feel to it compared to the rest. The only thing I could find to have a bit of a moan about would be the fact that it lacks a little character somehow.

Fastest CBR600RR Rider in the World - Eugene Laverty

“The engine is very strong with really good top-end speed. But it’s more than just an engine and the Honda is a very good all-round package – strong in all areas. I’ve ridden the Yamaha and I know some of its downfalls, but the Honda is easy on its tyres and the chassis is sweet; it’s not fickle and you don’t have to change the settings too much from one weekend to the other. The front end is also very good, much better than the 2006 Honda I rode in Britain and we definitely have a big advantage with corner-entry speed over the competition.”

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ZX-6R - pt.1


The last firm to win a World Supersport title before the Honda era, Kawasaki’s revisions to the ZX-6R go way more than skin deep

When Joan Lascorz’s Motocard team switched from racing with a competitive Honda to an unproven Kawasaki, many feared for his career at the sharp end of world championship racing. In the World Supersport class, Kawasaki has done nothing since Andrew Pitt took the title in 2001 without winning a single race. Even then it seemed the Kawasaki wasn’t a race winner, it just had the world’s most consistent 600 racer riding it and chalking up the points.

But things can and will change, and while Pitt’s reputation for consistency has taken a battering of late, it would seem Kawasaki has taken a massive step in the right direction for 2009, sorting the ZX-6R’s chassis and seeking treatment for its long suffering Achilles heel; a motor that has long been outgunned by the evolution of Yamaha’s R6 and the might of Honda‘s dominant CBR600RR hit.

Practical demonstrations are often far better than any data gained from the dyno room. As if emphasising this point about the ZX-6R’s midrange prowess, during a particularly mundane section of Dutch dual carriageway, Andy comes screaming past me, on the back wheel, stood up and keeps it going for ages past several buses all headed for Assen – I couldn’t help but think that he’d just passed the Dutchy on the lefthand-side.

Certain acts of idiocy magazine testers tend to have a leaning towards do have their merits though, and often highlight a bike’s strength. Andy’s fourth-gear, 115mph stand-up mono, did exactly that. While I tried the same on the somewhat flaccid GSX-R600, I felt like an impotent man at a gangbang while the ZX6-R was brazenly freestyling, cuckolding the GSX-R with its huge torque sword.

Without question, the sudden kick-up-thearse the boys in the engine department must have received after six years of playing third or fourth fiddle to the competition has played a massive part in getting the Kawasaki back to the sharp end of World Supersport action. And it doesn’t stop there.

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ZX-6R - pt.2

BPF is the acronym of 2009 and, as with so many new ideas in motorcycling, Showa’s Big Piston Forks have been eyed with a certain amount of cynicism. Suzuki’s new GSX-R1000 uses them to great effect and so too does the ZX-6R, despite giving a completely different feel.

Stability under hard acceleration over bumps isn’t all that great, but I’d say that’s more down to the standard damping and preload settings than any fundamental flaw in the suspension itself. In every other riding situation the forks, married to those superb Nissin brakes, give amazing feel and feedback, providing suppleness when needed on the road and composure under hard braking on the track.

Over the three days spent mostly on motorways with a fair spattering of fast B-roads thrown in to relieve the monotony, no one had a bad word to say about the Kawasaki. Tester Jon Urry was positively loved up with the green bike and reckoned that even for his not-so-svelte 6ft 2in frame, the ZX-6R was the most comfortable.

Indeed, if we had to repeat the journey tomorrow and had to stick to one bike, it would be the one I’d choose every time, without question. Kawasaki has achieved the almost unachievable in creating a great track bike that’s practical enough on the road, too.

Second Opinion

Niall Mackenzie

This was my big disappointment of the test. I have heard so many positive things about this bike, not least the big-piston front forks that work so well on the new GSX-R1000. The engine was screamingly beautiful as always, the brakes are awesome and the regular exhaust a big improvement. But the flighty handling scared me. This wasn’t the opinion of everyone on the test so I’ll reserve my final judgement until I can spend some more time on it.

James Whitham

I like the distinctive, aggressive looks of the ZX-6R. The motor is good too; it feels the gruntiest of the four-cylinder bikes and revs hard, although it doesn’t have the top end of the R6. The slipper clutch is the best of the bunch, with just enough slip to keep the rear in line.

Fastest ZX-6R Rider in the World - Joan Lascorz

“The Kawasaki is very stable in the fast corners and it doesn’t move around too much so I can go very fast when it is leant over. Unfortunately it isn’t very good at going into the corner, stopping, turning and driving out – the Kawasaki prefers to take smooth, flowing lines around the bend. However the engine is very fast. It is faster than the Suzuki and about the same on top speed as the Honda, but in fifth and sixth gear at the top of the revs the Honda is a bit quicker. The Yamaha is slightly faster in the low gears.”

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Daytona 675 - pt.1


Without question the best bike ever to come out of the Hinckley factory, the Daytona 675 is even better for 2009

At full bore there’s no mistaking the gravel-throated howl from Triumph’s unique and remarkably compact three-cylinder motor. Especially as our test bike has somewhat unfairly, not only been fitted with a race can, but also with a quickshifter by those fine fellows at Jack Lilley’s.

Both of these performance-enhancing cheats can be quickly forgiven, though. The sound from the road legal Arrow isn’t noise; it’s music. A fusion of heavy thrash metal and Tchaikovsky escaping from the almost perfectly straight exhaust ports and out into the ether for all to enjoy. Combined with the occasional pop from the quickshifter, it’s utter magic.

Dressed in black, there’s a certain elegance and class about the Triumph. The smooth lines and flowing curves bathed in black look almost molten. And while most of us thought that the three-year old design could have done with a touch more sharpening for 2009, none of us could deny the fact that the Triumph is one handsome motorcycle.

Riding a Triumph Daytona 675 is a unique experience that makes it incredibly difficult to compare it to the other four machines. Where the others are all about a midrange that starts at around 8,000rpm, the Triumph boasts a bulging bag of torque that starts closer to 4,000rpm with a dyno curve flatter than the Dutch landscape. Best of all, it doesn’t tail off until the rev limiter chimes in just short of 14,000rpm, 450rpm up on last year’s bike.

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Daytona 675 - pt.2

On the vast majority of roads, this extra grunt is exactly what a rider wants and, after spending any time on any one of the ‘true’ 600s, riding the Triumph at pace feels unhurried, almost lazy, with far less gear changes needed to get a lick on. It also feels decidedly skinny thanks to an engine that while larger in capacity is physically narrower than the others, giving the 675 a real ‘racer on the road’ feel to it, as though it’s been pared down the bone, right out of the box.

But the capacity has to come from somewhere, and for the Triumph, it’s the engine’s height. Subsequently the riding position can make you feel a little perched. It’s something that a rider quickly gets used to and if anything, the taller seat means that the distance between arse and ankle is greater, making it more comfortable for longer. Or at least that’s what you’d hope.

Perhaps it was because a load of weight had been removed from the rear end of the bike when the heavy catalytic converter was replaced with a race can or maybe the Triumph is simply sprung a little too hard at the rear. On anything other than billiard smooth roads at speed, the Triumph’s rear end felt too hard, kicking off bumps and forcing the rider’s spine to act as a supplementary damper.

Get the 675 on a racetrack though and it all starts to make sense. The way the Triumph can carry corner speed is like no other bike on this test. The narrow crankcases mean huge ground clearance and the feel from the front end breeds confidence. Direction changes are effortless thanks to the smaller crank with less rotating inertia and stability is seldom an issue.

The Daytona 675 is so very nearly our winner. On the road, the engine is its strength and on the racetrack it’s the chassis. The balance between the two is so very nearly perfect. It’s the only thing I can think of to come out of the UK that truly makes me proud to be British. But sadly for its patriotic patrons, it’s not the best. Not quite.

Second Opinion

Niall Mackenzie

The 675 is probably the thinking man’s middleweight as it stands out from the crowd in so many ways. Being British, having one less cylinder, and making a great noise along with having superior midrange power gives a completely different riding experience to all the others. The riding position may feel a little perched but it’s comfortable over long trips, for me at least. The Daytona can also cuts it in racing.

James Whitham

The three-cylinder 675 lacks a little bit of top-end power and won’t rev as hard as the others, but this is more than made up for by the three bucketloads of toque you get all the way through the midrange. It feels good and sounds better even better; distinctive and nape-prickling. It’s a narrow bike with a high seat that can make you feel a little perched on top, with a lot of weight on your arms. Handling is very good. It responds quickly to steering inputs and once in the corners it holds a line well.

Fastest Daytona 675 Rider Out There - Gary McCoy

“The Triumph isn’t the best Supersport bike out there. With its triple engine it has different power characteristics to the fours, which has advantages and disadvantages. I can carry a lot more corner speed mid-corner because the chassis is really good and punch out of the bends better because of the engine. But once the fours hit their powerband they drive away from us. I have to run into the corners harder and carry more corner speed to make up for the lack of top speed. If I get stuck behind a four cylinder bike it tends to hold me up and I can’t use the triple’s advantages.”

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R6 - pt.1


This R6 almost took the World Supersport title at its first attempt in 2006. And the latest version is by far the best yet...

Never in my life have I been so buzzed up about a race I’m not involved in. Squinting into the sun from the packed-to-capacity grandstand, watching in awe as the best Supersport riders in the world trade red, white and blue paint around the historic Assen circuit. Gasping at Lascorz, Laverty and Crutchlow riding on the absolute limit of physics is a memory that will stay with me a lot longer than some of the other, erm, things we found to do in Holland.

Watching the Kawasaki and the Yamaha match the Honda everywhere is refreshing after last few years of CBR stranglehold on the class. While the CBR’s dominance of World Supersport very nearly came to an end just before Kevin Curtain inexplicably dumped his R6 at the final round of the 2006 World Supersport Championship at Magny Cours, no one has threatened to upset Ten Kate’s winning streak since Pitt’s winless yet title-winning season on the Kawasaki in 2001.

As much as the revolutionary R6 was a huge leap forward in 2006, it didn’t make for a particularly good road bike. With all the power shoved towards the top end of a leggy rev-range, the peaky motor was always hard work. This was matched to a fickle chassis focused purely on racetrack prowess, leaving the little Yamaha as somewhat of a fish out of water as a road bike.

So I was taken aback by the transformation Yamaha made to the bike for its bi-annual re-engineering. And what a difference two years makes.

Where there was once a hole in the midrange, now there’s an exciting induction noise and a massive kick up the Yamaha’s shapely jacksie pretty much anywhere past the 8,000rpm mark. Jon Urry still found the R6 hard work compared to the Kawasaki and in particular the Triumph, while Andy, Ian and myself thought it felt impressively strong.

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R6 - pt.2

It all depends on how you ride and also what you consider to be midrange. Accept that anything below is 7,000rpm is merely bottom end with the R6 and you’ll struggle to find the power delivery anything short of sensational. Keeping the smooth yet raucous motor spinning halfway through it’s rev range means you’ve still got 8,000rpm to play with, making the R6 incredibly flexible for such a high-revving bike.

Chassis revisions were made last year to damping and geometry. While these subtle changes are without doubt a big improvement for the track, the difference they’ve made to the R6’s road manners is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s as though Yamaha has finally woken up to the fact that anyone going seriously quick on an R6 will re-valve the suspension anyway, so they’d just as well make it work on the road.

It’s still on the firm side of sporty but with a plush, quality feel to the initial part of the stroke that makes keeping the throttle pinned where the ZX-6R – and even the Triumph – would be wagging its bars an almost twisted, demonic kind of pleasure.

From the classy-looking clocks to the four-way adjustable forks all the way through to the beautifully engineered die-cast frame, there is a feeling of quality with the R6 that the others – even the Honda – can’t quite match.

Last year the Yamaha was the only bike to consistently challenge the Honda for top honours. This year they’ve got a year of development behind them and one vital component that could really make all the difference to what we reckon is the best 600 ever built. A fired up, hugely talented little geezer from the Midlands called Cal Crutchlow. Come on my son.

Second Opinion

Niall Mackenzie

There isn’t a bad supersport bike these days so you really have to split hairs when putting them in order of preference. I struggled to do this with the R6 as it’s sharp looks, handling and performance won me over on our test. It is also difficult to tell which is the fastest when riding them individually, so after getting the jump on all the drag starts with the other bikes the Yamaha always blasted past at some stage down the straight. Where do I sign?

James Whitham

The R6 is still the most race-orientated of the bunch for me. The harder you go on it the more at home it feels. It lacks a bit of bottom end on the others, especially the big-capacity Triumph, but once wound-up the Yam was easily the quickest bike on test. The riding position is pure race, as is the speed of turn-in and change of direction. The only time I could unsettle the bike was hard on the brakes over bumps, and even then it was nothing to worry about. She’s a beauty.

Fastest R6 Rider in the World - Cal Crutchlow

“We’ve still got a little way to go with the R6 to be totally honest. It’s such a good bike, but here at Assen, I’ve really been struggling with front-end chatter (despite this, in qualifying Cal was almost half a second faster than everyone else – RH). The motor is very strong though with a top-end and midrange performance to match the Honda and the Kawasaki. I’m very happy to be where I am at the moment and I know that there’s still more to come from the bike – the team are always moving the R6 forward.”

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Conclusion and specifications


As much as I’d like to comfort everyone that’s already bought a bike outside the top three by spouting the usual magazine drivel that “we’re only splitting hairs” and that “they’re all winners in their own right”, that would be a load of old cock, so I won’t.

The Suzuki’s a nice bike in as much as it does what a 600 is supposed to, albeit a 600 from three or four years ago. It’s dated and feels a little bit porky, but it’s cheap and undeniably cheerful.

The Honda is such a great feat of engineering in race trim, but as a stock road bike it fails to

get the juices flowing like the others do. It’s as well-balanced a motorcycle as you’re ever likely to find, and will suit just about every type of rider, it’s just a little too clinical and doesn’t truly excel at anything in particular, leaving you cold.

The Kawasaki on the other hand is a very exciting new bike. Great motor, sweet handling and neat touches to the aesthetics such as the anodised footrests and exhaust hanger put the ZX-6R right back up there. But where the Honda needs livening up, the Kawasaki needs calming down a touch. It’s the flawed genius of this bunch and needs a little owner fettling to get the best out of it.

Triumph’s styling tweaks for 2009 may have been a little conservative for our tastes, but as a whole, it’s really quite hard not to fall in love with the British bike. Arguably the most useful, real world engine in the supersport class works with a chassis that delivers everything except long distance comfort. If you ride for thrills, there’s now no real reason not to buy British. Do it.

Well, when I say “no real reason”, there is one: Yamaha’s fantastic R6. That said, these two bikes are so different it’s tough to compare the two. But, ultimately it’s our job to work out which bike is best. It took us a while to come to a unanimous decision but for us, as they come out of the box, there’s quite simply no better 600 on the market than Yamaha’s phenomenal R6.


Suzuki GSX-R600
Price: £7,600
Engine: 599cc, liquid-cooled, 16-valve inline four
Power (tested): 109.61bhp @ 13,800rpm
Torque (tested): 46.46lb.ft @ 12,200rpm
Front suspension: USD, fully adjustable
Rear suspension: Monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake: 310mm discs, radially-mounted four-piston calipers
Rear brake: 220mm disc, single-piston caliper
Wet weight: 199.7kg (tested)
Seat height: 810mm
Fuel capacity: 17 litres
Top speed (tested): 156.9mph
Colours: Blue and White, Black, White/Silver

Honda CBR600RR
Price: £7,353 (£8,753 with C-ABS)
Engine: 599cc, liquid-cooled, 16-valve inline four
Power (tested): 106.72bhp @ 13,100rpm
Torque (tested): 45.66lb.ft @ 10,500rpm
Front suspension: USD, fully adjustable
Rear suspension: Monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake: 310mm discs, radially-mounted four-piston calipers
Rear brake: 220mm disc, single-piston caliper
Wet weight: 195.8kg (tested)
Seat height: 820mm
Fuel capacity: 18 litres
Top speed (tested): 156.6mph
Colours: Blue/Black/White, Red/White/Black, Ten Kate Replica, Green and Black

Triumph Daytona 675
Price: £7,589
Engine: 675cc, liquid-cooled, 16-valve inline triple
Power (tested): 119.58bhp @ 12,700rpm
Torque (tested): 52.01lb.ft @ 11,000rpm
Front suspension: USD, fully adjustable
Rear suspension: Monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake: 308mm discs, radially-mounted six-piston calipers
Rear brake: 220mm disc, single-piston caliper
Wet weight: 189.2kg (tested)
Seat height: 825mm
Fuel capacity: 17.4 litres
Top speed (tested): 160.5mph
Colours: Black or Red

Kawasaki ZX-6R
Price: £7,899
Engine: 599cc, liquid-cooled, 16-valve inline four
Power (tested): 113.51bhp @ 14,300rpm
Torque (tested): 44.77lb.ft @ 11,800rpm
Front suspension: USD, BPF, fully adjustable
Rear suspension: Monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake: 300mm petal discs, radially-mounted four-piston calipers
Rear brake: 220mm petal disc, single-piston caliper
Wet weight: 190.2kg (tested)
Seat height: 815mm
Fuel capacity: 17 litres
Top speed (tested): 157.2mph
Colours: Green, Black, Blue/Black

Yamaha YZF-R6
Price: £7,499
Engine: 599cc, liquid-cooled, 16-valve inline four
Power (tested): 112.05bhp @ 14,600rpm
Torque (tested): 44.60lb.ft @ 11,200rpm
Front suspension: USD, fully adjustable
Rear suspension: Monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake: 310mm discs, radially-mounted four-piston calipers
Rear brake: 220mm disc, single-piston caliper
Wet weight: 191.2kg (tested)
Seat height: 815mm
Fuel capacity: 17 litres
Top speed (tested): 161.7mph
Colours: White, Black, Blue