Honda Hornet 600, Kawasaki Z 750, Suzuki GSR 600, Yamaha FZ6


Honda Hornet 600, Kawasaki Z 750, Suzuki GSR 600, Yamaha FZ6

All-rounder comparison test

Do you do a job in a high position? as the darling of the masses. Your requirement profile: You are four-cylinder, active throughout Europe, light and strong, but not too strong, make life easier for beginners without boring experienced ones.

And they all have ABS on board.

Four to the fourth, how much was that again? From a purely mathematical point of view, the answer is simple: 256. But it can also simply be called "a hell of a lot". At least as far as the sales success of four-cylinder top sellers from the four Japanese manufacturers is concerned. With all due respect: With all the hype about 180-horsepower super sports cars, the backbone of the Japanese fleet are medium-sized machines. This has not changed since the days of the CB 500 Four, Z 550, GS 550 or XJ 650.

Today the Honda Hornet 600, Kawa-saki Z 750, Suzuki GSR 600 and Yamaha FZ6 with at least 98 hp are significantly more powerful and more dynamic. All four proudly hold their individual fronts and a total of 16 stainless steel elbows in the airstream. Every exhaust system presents itself extravagantly here.

Despite all the similarities, the quartet is divided into two parts: Honda and Kawa-saki offer brightly painted, heavily renovated models with upside-down fork and lamp mask. Shimmering and eye-catching. The Hornet in particular is a completely new development. Suzuki and Yamaha made it easier for themselves. Left their inconspicuous achromatic machines as they were. Only an ABS was added and new software for the current Euro 3 emissions standard, that’s it.

In purely motor terms, the greed for the four has a tangible cause: All types in this comparison use engines in a supporting function that super athletes borrowed and are trimmed for more pressure from below with less peak performance. That saves development costs.

After all, the Hornet relies on the fiery drive of the 2007 CBR 600 RR. Therefore, it may also form the prelude to our curve discussions and functionality calculations. Even before the exciting question of whether a quarter more displacement of the Kawasaki also means 25 percent more plus points such as driving pleasure.

"Pretty yellow." Does the brunette in the beer garden mean that sentence nicely? Yes, the gold tone, she explains with a smile, looks really good on the motorcycle. "But has the color run out at the stern?" Still, the chic Hornet has an Italian design. An elegant styling made of flowing, curved shapes. It is built in Italy according to the Japanese law of fineness. History is now the high-level exhaust pipe of all previous model series. Now a knobbly potty puffs out in the basement.

Typically Honda, the Hornet also perfectly integrates a wide variety of riders into the motorcycle. Small or big, fat or thin? No matter. The ergonomics with the slim wasp waist suit everyone. Sporty and comfortable. Even a passenger sits passably. The good seating comfort together with the lowest weight of just 207 kilograms with a full tank is also ideal for beginners.

Without ABS, the hornet would be even five kilograms lighter; Unfortunately, Honda does not offer the anti-lock device as standard. But who wants to do without this extremely important security feature voluntarily? Especially since it also includes better brakes for a surcharge of 700 euros: In the ABS version, three- instead of double-piston calipers delay the front. And how! Easy to dose, wonderfully transparent and firm to the bite. And coupled on top of that: the foot pedal also activates one of the three pistons in the front right brake calliper. First-class braking values ​​come naturally.

The Hornet cheers at 2000 rpm after the push of a button, only slows down. But it sounds nice and dull. Honda has put a lot of effort into creating a good country road engine from the 120 hp of the current CBR 600 RR. The diameters of the throttle valves and intake ducts have been reduced. However, the nominally 102 hp four-cylinder now falls out of the inexpensive 98 hp insurance class. In liability and partial coverage, this easily costs an additional 100 euros per year. Annoying given the measured 100 PS and the already highest cost price of 8360 euros including ABS.

The Honda engine behaves in an absolutely exemplary manner. Accelerates well without ever stressing, hangs on the gas, hardly changes load, vibrates little. Fine. Only the hooked transmission requires a bit of emphasis when shifting. And the landing gear? With its easy backbone frame made of aluminum, it is simply great. The spring elements respond finely, which makes it easy to get over the lack of adjustment options. They are designed to be crisp, taut without being uncomfortable.

The hornet around the steering head feels a little more sluggish than the other two 600s. Not overly handy, it goes around curves, with the precision of a dragonfly in a hunting flight. And with clear feedback. Despite the noticeable righting moment when braking in an inclined position, the Hornet conveys a lot of trust. With Michelin Pilot Power instead of the Bridgestone BT 012 in special specification »J« (both original equipment), the Hornet drives even better, according to the experience of MOTORRAD.

“It really is a nice motorcycle. Compliment. But the exhaust ?! ”A friendly Mercedes driver hangs himself half out of his E-Class at the traffic light just to say so. The new Z 750: more aggressive, sleeker, more consistent? except for the exhaust. A martial diva in a bright green dress. Pure seduction and feeling. But their lovers should be capable of suffering. The cut of the wide tank and two-part bench is anything but ideal.

The right contact with the Kawa is not entirely established, especially tall drivers do not merge much with the Zett. The curved seating furniture is thin and ruthlessly hard. You have the feeling that you are only sitting up selectively. No wonder, then, if the buttocks moor to the cerebrum after a short SOS drive. Until then, the combative sitting position conveys a lot of front wheel control. The second row is also tough, with no grab handle and extreme vibrations in the right passenger footrest. Must be due to the exhaust suspension, because the nominally 106 hp 750 cc engine runs the smoothest in this field.

Its suspension on struts that are now placed around the cylinder block has a vibration-reducing effect. The four-cylinder, originally from the ZX-9R, reveals more maturity than ever. A fighter gentleman whose smoky, muffled sound creates goosebumps. Sound and charisma. Thanks to double throttle valves, the engine accelerates as smoothly as silk. Even if there is a minimal delay at the bottom and a slight drop in performance when engaging the clutch at low speeds. Annoying: After a cold start, the long-stroke engine initially just gushes on gas.

Reduced intake cross-sections are intended to improve the filling at low and medium speeds. Mission successful, the four-cylinder has gained traction, hitting the 600 pack in this discipline. In terms of acceleration and top speed, however, the predecessor was faster, the three 600s are now practically on a par. The lush weight takes its toll: 232 kilograms make the renovated Zett a real Moppel, a whopping 14 kilograms heavier than before and a hefty 50 pounds heavier than the Hornet. No, that is no longer the daring, light-footed appearance of the previous model. The Kawa is a mighty macho motorcycle, one for guys from the gym.

Everything is much more difficult on her than on the others: maneuvering, turning, coupling, braking. You have to pack hard to keep the 750 on course. She likes to look for her own curve radii, reacts sensitively to bumps or brakes in an inclined position. Apparently the front and rear wheels don’t want the same thing. The up-side-down fork responds insensitively, the shock absorber trampling. The Z jumps over Hubbel, in extreme cases up to displacement.

You can quickly learn what too little rebound damping means on the Kawasaki. The tail rebounds too quickly. So the adjustment screw is almost completely closed. Then it gets better, but not good. Is a little weak on the legs, the beauty. What the tires, Dunlop Qualifier with special identification "PTL" and "NK", play a role. Experiments with other tires are worthwhile. But not with the standard Dunlop, so the Kawasaki drives even more nervously, less harmoniously.

Very commendable: the standard, properly regulating ABS. Less praiseworthy: the muddy pressure point of the front brake and the moderate braking effect. Electrifying and sobering, the Kawa can do both.

"Damn fat tank." A clear case for 16-year-old Adrian, who casually sneaks around the Suzuki, the bottom of his pants hanging at the back of his knees, the base cap wide over his face. Looks powerful, this fuel barrel. And bunkers just 16.5 liters. Plastic panels with integrated indicators and a voluminous airbox inflate the mini-tank. Which limits the steering angle and increases the turning circle. And spread your legs wide. Apart from that, sitting on the Suzuki with its wide handlebars is extremely well-mannered. The narrowly contoured saddle suits short-legged people. A passenger crouches comfortably, despite the unsuitable grab handle.

Discreet and delicate is different, but be careful: you shouldn’t be fooled by the massive outfit of the GSR. Although it is the heaviest of the 600s at 216 kilograms, it is easy to handle. And offers an almost equally high payload: 214 kilos.
The Suzuki alone has four-piston fixed caliper brakes, its ABS works fine. The aluminum frame, which appears massive, is screwed together from two mirror-symmetrical halves, analogous to the FZ6 chassis. A tangle of lines, sensors and cables envelops the engine. Not to forget the dominant cooling water hoses, just like the Hornets once did.

The GSR shares its dimensions for bore and stroke with the current hornet: 67 by 42.5 millimeters. Despite the short-stroke design, it appears quite powerful. In fact, the readings confirm between 8500 and 11500 tours after the Z 750 the most power. And so the GSR also loosely depends on the FZ6, especially when it comes to pulling through. compliment.

Unfortunately there is another truth: the four-cylinder vibrates annoyingly, especially at higher speeds. And that’s what it takes for the last bit of speed. Whether the sound is hissing or unpleasantly shrill, because it is quite high-pitched, is up to the officer.

Flawless: clutch and gearbox. Almost digital? "On or off" ?? is the throttle response. Gas-to-gas-to is no fun on the GSR, although Suzuki also uses two throttle valves per cylinder. The extreme load change reactions cost nerves in city traffic. They can ruin the line on serpentine routes. There is a lot of play in the drive train. With a fine motor-trained throttle hand held evenly under tension, the GSR transforms into a speedy speedster in the thicket of bends. Very easy to drive, it circles curves of all radii in a handy, round and homogeneous manner.

Despite the soft fork, the chassis works surprisingly well; the shock absorber offers more reserves. Funny, bandits sell like sliced ​​bread, but the GSR leads a wallflower existence. Wrongly. After all, a water-cooled 2007 Bandit 650 is only 300 euros Cheaper, but 15 HP weaker and 36 kilograms (!) Heavier. No wonder that the GSR outperforms a 650 bandit in acceleration, top speed and even in pulling power. Do we need any more proof, which is the wirier motorcycle??

"Dude, do you drive Ducati?" The taxi driver at the Stuttgart gas station from Iran only saw the FZ6 from behind. But these two exhausts, which are raised under the pillion seat, do not belong to a 916 or 1098. He should have simply counted the manifolds. "Welcome home", that is the feeling that the Yamaha conveys when you sit down for the first time. The handlebars are high, the seat is well padded, the posture is upright and sublime. The backbencher also feels completely at ease on his comfortable high seat: great handles, comfortable knee angles.
When engaging first gear, it hits hard out of the gearbox. The gear pairs of the three lower gears only come together with a loud crash. The rough throttle response from overrun is not only a problem in the city; for example when you roll up to a red traffic light, which then changes to green and puts the engine under load again.

Like the GSR, the FZ6 also has a lot of play in the drive train. However, it does not come close to their performance development. Almost over the entire speed range, the Yamaha is the limpest machine in the comparison, and has the red lantern in the driving dynamics chapter.

The FZ6 starts up lethargically, continues weakly and drops sharply at the top despite five-digit speeds. In addition, the vibrations in the middle of the speed are annoying. Euro 3 has obviously not done the four-cylinder any good. The series only has 78 PS, only for 50 euros surcharge is uncorked again to a full 98 PS as in the test. Unworthy: the insensitively regulating ABS. The rear brake tends to lock at an early stage and is then adjusted extremely clumsily by the electronics. Decelerating in an inclined position acknowledges the 600 with a clear tendency to stand up, and emergency braking towards the end with a lifting rear wheel. Especially for two, you shouldn’t be surprised about stoppies.

In general, cornering. No other is as handy as the yam. It circles bends loosely and easily. In the city, their appealing spring elements, which slide over cobblestones and take the edge off potholes, inspire. Only on country roads that have been taken for sport do they reveal a downside. The front, in particular, is way too soft and underdamped, something we haven’t seen before. That costs a lot of feeling for the front wheel and makes the FZ6 look wobbly when driving fast.

The fork dips far when braking into curves, goes downhill even on a block and lets the whole load fold down suddenly and irritatingly. Neutral is different. The FZ6 also wriggles the handlebars the most on undulating slopes. Their long "fear nipples" under the footrests are the first to create furrows in the asphalt. Despite great comfort and particularly low costs for maintenance and purchase price: the facelift couldn’t hurt.

The four are fascinating. It is a powerful and sacred number, with great symbolism. There are four cardinal points and four seasons, primal elements and Daltons from Lucky Luke. And four fine representatives of a self-confident upper middle class. Which send a good signal in times of climate change: On the country road, all candidates are content with a gasoline consumption that ?? You guessed it? carries a four before the decimal point.

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Honda Hornet 600, Kawasaki Z 750, Suzuki GSR 600, Yamaha FZ6
All-rounder comparison test

Half naked in the wind

Hornet, Z 750, GSR 600 and FZ6 are all uncovered, their top speed is at least 220 km / h. Downhill on the train, the digital speedometers storm well over 240. And the driver? Flaps helplessly like a sail in a double hurricane.
Only Yamaha offers a remedy, providing the FZ6, which is nominally only 78 hp strong, with a half-faired version called Fazer. Its premium variant, the FZ6 Fazer S2, has a full 98 hp ex works, a finely designed aluminum swingarm and better, one-piece brake calipers. They also ennoble an analog tachometer behind the insect-like, newly styled cladding and a seat bench with better grip (see MOTORRAD 9/2007). The S2 looks more adult and much more valuable than the FZ6, at a moderate price of 721 euros. Unlike math, building motorcycles apparently has little to do with logic. Because, paradoxically, the choice between naked or half-shell is standard in the 78 hp class. For good reason: The "S" versions, which protect against the wind, are much more suitable for touring and motorways.

And more popular: With Suzuki’s Bandit 650, three out of oven customers opted for the half-shell, with the SV 650 two out of three. The same applies to the Honda CBF 600. And the fairing is definitely easier to see for drivers who doze off. So bring on the half-shell option for Hornet too & Co! If you let yourself be guided by bad sales figures from various predecessors, you’re doing something wrong. Their disguises were probably just too ugly. Naked bikes may be puristic, but logically they are not particularly suitable for long journeys.

Noticeable in everyday life

Main stands are missing because of the extroverted exhaust systems. Furthermore, all clutch levers are not adjustable ?? in contrast to the brake levers. After all, immobilisers are standard, and multi-reflector headlights are good form.
HONDA The cheap foot brake lever is annoying. Simply punched, quickly corrosive, rusting inside. Too much of a good thing: The reserve indicator lights up when there are still five liters of fuel in the tank. This drives you to the tank too early.

Missing wheel covers mean that the shock absorber on the Hornet and Z 750 can be built in. A painted splash guard costs 189 euros at Honda. Alpha Technik offers throttle kits to 98 PS or 34 PS via throttle stop (phone 08036/300720,

Lambda probe (Photo) and G-Kat are standard. In addition, the Z 750 has a flap in the exhaust to optimize the torque curve and noise behavior.

Two throttle valves per cylinder improve the flow conditions in the Z 750 and GSR 600. But only the Kawasaki really takes on the gas smoothly.

The heavy chain slack made it necessary to retension the new machine after just a few 100 kilometers. Cheap material? Always-there: The aluminum swingarm with upper pull and the inner fender look extremely high quality and stable.

Noticeable: the heavy chain slack made it necessary to retension the new machine after just a few hundred kilometers. Cheap material? After all: the aluminum swingarm with upper pull and inner fender looks extremely high quality and stable: torsion-resistant and yet light.

There is only an oil dipstick on the FZ6. With the other three, checking the oil is even easier via the sight glass. Cranked tire valves would be nice now…

Important for frequent drivers: The FZ6 alone enjoys long 10,000 service intervals, which lowers inspection costs. Out of date, the competitors have to be serviced every 6000 kilometers. That can get annoying.

1st place: Honda Hornet 600

Honda: She can do something! The clear winner has excellent brakes, combines a great chassis with excellent seating comfort. The Hornet offers a lot for a lot of money.

2nd place: Suzuki GSR 600

Suzuki: Inconspicuously good. The GSR has hardly any weaknesses apart from strong load changes, but apart from the payload it is nowhere top.

3rd place: Kawasaki Z 750

Kawasaki: The best engine in this comparison unfortunately encounters an inharmonious chassis and poor seating comfort.

3rd place: Yamaha FZ6

Yamaha: Comfortable, comfortable and strong in everyday life. But slack motor, soft fork and rough ABS need fine-tuning.

How engine

The Kawa pushes like crazy, but its displacement and torque advantages can only be exploited in terms of driving dynamics in better torque. Further weighty pluses are the best gear, the lowest vibrations and the smoothest load change reactions. In terms of engine power, it is a real winner, the Z 750. You will forgive its high manual clutch power. Also strong: the fast Hornet. The GSR 600 operates hardly less rapidly. However, its extreme load change reactions are annoying. Even for a 600 with its small individual displacement, the FZ6 pulls through really poorly in sixth gear.

Winner engine: Kawasaki Z 750

How chassis

The 600s turn the tables. They are lighter, more agile and more stable than the 232 kilogram 750. The Hornet sets new records, especially when it comes to steering precision and stability in corners. In addition, it runs like clockwork and has the best fork. The GSR 600 follows it completely inconspicuously, without ever being top, but also without negative outliers. In terms of comfort and handling, the FZ6 is the leading companion. With a sporty driving style, however, the soft front wheel guidance of the Yamaha reaches its limits. The chassis of the Z 750 lacks balance, its spring elements respond too rough.

Chassis winner: Honda Hornet 600

How everyday

Well-served and strong every day: The FZ6 is the oldest model in comparison and is still very useful. A pillion rider sits well on it, and the driver enjoys a well-formed workplace. This makes it easy to fully enjoy the long range. The Hornet has to refuel only slightly earlier. And it embeds its driver a little better. Ergonomics ?? they can do that at Honda. Kawasaki could take tutoring there. The seating furniture is too hard at the front and back. After all, her lamp mask offers some wind protection. Unmatched: the 214 kilogram payload of the GSR 600.

Winner everyday life: Yamaha FZ6

How security

Clear thing. The Hornet shines when braking. It dominates the effectiveness, controllability and control quality of the ABS. The GSR 600, on the other hand, stands up least when it comes to its flawless four-piston brake. At the technical level
In terms of anti-lock braking systems, Kawasaki and Suzuki are in the good midfield, Yamaha again at the end of a test field. Time for the world’s second largest manufacturer to do something.

Safety winner: Honda Hornet 600

How cost

It’s so simple: The significantly longer maintenance intervals of the FZ6 (10,000 instead of 6,000 kilometers) significantly reduce inspection costs. The higher insurance premiums from Hornet and Z 750 are reflected in the maintenance.

Winner cost: Yamaha FZ6

How price-performance

The most expensive machine is the best (Hornet), the cheapest (FZ6) is only the third winner. Insider tip: GSR ?? cheap and good. Kawa is offering a 750 for the 600 price.

Price-performance winner: Honda Hornet 600

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