Tony Suarez | Nevada
I’d been wanting to buy my own motorcycle and had a pretty good idea of what I thought I would like to purchase. After gathering information about motorcycles and talking with Nick Zarras, who proved to be a good source of information, and Nick repeating the phrase, “First things first, take an MSF training course,” I signed up for the Basic Rider Course. I passed the BRC two years ago, last month.
With motorcycle endorsement in my pocket, now came the fun part, looking for my first bike. There were so many to choose from, I just had to narrow it down to what I really liked. I first chose a dual sport bike. I went to a dealership and sat on one for the very first time and boy I could not even feel the ground as the seat was too high for me. My second choice was a sport bike, I sat on it and I could touch the ground. I liked the weight and balance of the bike but I was a little intimidated by it to be honest. After months of contemplating I finally decided to start with a Kawasaki Ninja 250R. This bike gave me a sense of confidence in riding, I’m glad I started with something that I could handle and I did have fun with it.
After six months, I felt like it was time for me to move up. I had my eyes on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and the Yamaha YZF-R6, both 600 cc class motorcycles. Looking at the specs, the YZF-R6 seat is one inch higher than the ZX-6R. Both bikes are beautiful. But I chose and am a proud owner of a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
How does it feel to ride? The first time I rode it, it felt like a complete package: the power, the brakes, shocks and handling were superb! When compared to my first bike, the Ninja ZX-6R has more torque, horsepower and comes with a factory steering damper which I like. The front seat is now lower and makes it comfortable for this smaller rider.
How is it to live with? The big difference between 250cc and 600cc is in the area of the bike’s performance. Accelerating up a freeway on-ramp on a 600, happens more quickly, when compared to the 250. Acceleration from 35mph to 70mph seems to happen in half the time. For my riding style I don’t have to shift the 600 as much in town, which I like. I can pretty much motor around in 3rd gear as long as I like; the motor buzzes a little around 4-5K RPM, so I usually shift in that RPM range. I like being able to ride around town at low revs where the bike doesn’t sound and feel like it’s working very hard.
What modifications do you have on it? It’s all about safety! I installed modulating headlights, Knight Rider Light Bars Light up the night with 12 high-power dual intensity LEDs. In running light mode the LEDs sequence from side to side in a “Knight Rider” sequence. When the brake is applied the LEDs will flash for 5-6 seconds then go to a solid state until the brake is released. I also installed a Two Brothers’M-2 VALE Slip-On Exhaust. The exhaust system is best described as being deep and throaty without suffering from the shrill whine normally associated with other manufacturer’s straight through muffler canisters.
Do you do your own maintenance? Yes I do my own. I do my oil change every 3,000 miles and replace the oil filter. Check all fluids, lube the chain and check for proper tire pressure. I adjust the clutch cable if needed.
RIDE SAFE! Riding is fun, a joy, a feeling of being free. People ride for many reasons, but for me, now, it’s the experience