Yamaha YZF-R6 Versus Suzuki GSXR-600

So you typed this into Google to try and figure out which one is better. It’s really a choice only you can make. But here is my two cents.

I have owned both the R6 and GSXR-600. Here are my experiences.

R6 Pros

1. Faster on a track
2. Slightly more comfortable (for my size)
3. Better looking

Yamaha R6 Cons

1. Harder to work on
2. Pathetic low end power (worst of all the bikes)
3. Harder to keep clean (more nooks)
5. Higher insurance
6. A lot of the parts are really soft aluminum which can be distorted easily.

You should also know that the differences in performance is dependent on rider skill. In my opinion there are probably less than 2000 people in America who can truly ride these bikes to their limit, even in stock form. Add some HP mods and that number gets even smaller. For a normal rider it’s not so much the performance that should matter but the ergonomics, insurance, visual taste, and budget. All of these bikes are incredibly reliable. The Kawasakis, Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis, etc, etc, are GREAT MACHINES. If they break down a lot it’s probably because the user is doing something wrong.

Suzuki GSXR-600 Pros

1. Better all around power band (great for all around riding, best of all 600s)
2. Very easy to do regular maintenance. Just a bit easier than the R6.
3. Very easy to find parts for (not to say it is hard to find parts for the R6, it’s just that GSXRs are more common)
4. Easy to mount frame sliders

Suzuki GSXR-600 Cons

1. Not as fast on the track (very relative to rider skill)

The R6 is definitely better looking and faster on a track. There is no doubt about that. However, making the bike easy to work on was an after thought. I think the R6 is more comfortable. I am about 6′ and 155 pounds.

I rode my GSXR on a 1300 mile tour of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and survived that. The GSXR is also much easier to work on. The construction of it is much simpler and easier to access. Frame Sliders are also easier to mount as well as protect.

The truth is these are both spectacular bikes and both require a lot of skill to handle well. Be honest with yourself. Are you buying the bike for looks, fun commute, racing, etc?

The other thing you must be honest with is the cost. YOU WILL NOT SAVE MONEY ON A SPORTBIKE. It doesn’t happen. Between maintenance, supplies, insurance, fuel, tires, and gear I have spent well over $10,000 on a bike worth about $6,500. It’s not an investment, it’s an expensive toy. If you are trying to justify it with the cost of fuel you will quickly discover your unfortunate error.

Update: I have put a lot more miles on my R6 now. While I still appreciate the GSXR as being a great road bike the R6 is starting to shine as well. There is no doubt about it, if you want a serious racing machine, GO FOR THE R6.

On this blog I have all sorts of information on modifications, how to’s, reviews, and tips. This site is where to go to find more about the R6 and the information resource for when you do get one of these beautiful machines.

Comment on what you decided!

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