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Discussion Starter #1
So, I am having a bit of trouble deciding between two bikes at my local shop. They will be used almost exclusively for the track like 80/20%. I have an F800ST road bike, so maybe a quick trip out to the twisties now and then.

I love the look of the 07, and it has nice rear-sets, a steering damper, sliders and spools, nice levers, piped, safety wired, and probably some stuff I'm forgetting, but basically fully upgraded and track ready. The red and white color even matches my leathers. Thing is, it has like 32,000 miles on it and was track ridden (but never crashed too hard I don't think, steering stops and frame are perfect and no rash on it anywhere).

Now, they also have an '03 that was in a minor crash and is waiting for a set of cheapo auctmarts fairings to arrive. It doesn't have any upgrades but has lower mileage (like 20,000) and is quite a bit cheaper. Looks well taken care of over all. Big chicken strips and touring tires so at least the previous owner probably wasn't pushing it.

I live in S Korea so prices are different (MUCH higher here usually) but the '03 is about 5 grand and the '07 is like 7 grand (pretty much going rate here). I am looking at racing in the 600 class here in a year or two but it is pretty competitive That '07 would be ready to go racing with a few minor mods. I am thinking I would need to resell the '03 and get something more modern later if I go into competition.

What would you guys do?
 

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Buy the track-prepped bike.... even though the 03 is "cheaper", you'll spend just as much, if not more, buying the extra parts and other goodies that you'll need/like to have. Seeing as it had touring tires I can only assume it was a street bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Buy the track-prepped bike.... even though the 03 is "cheaper", you'll spend just as much, if not more, buying the extra parts and other goodies that you'll need/like to have. Seeing as it had touring tires I can only assume it was a street bike?
Yep, I was thinking along those lines too. Thanks for the input. The '03 is bone stock except for a slip-on. I have never had a bike with such high mileage though, but after some research I guess it really isn't all that high, even with the track time it has seen. I will be riding the Korean F1 track which has some pretty complex corners, so the slipper clutch could come in handy on the 07. Another nice thing is the rear sets are adjustable so I could drop them down for a bit more comfort when i take it out on the street.
 

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"The Dude abides .. "
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my 2 cents, having raced an r6 for the past 9 years..
for a track day bike (and maybe even as a race bike in the rain and at some tracks).. i would SERIOUSLY consider the 2003.
Now, had you said 08 or later vs. 03? I would more likely tell you to get the 08+, but the fact remains the 03 may be a better choice for the following reasons. Would have been nice if you provided a U.S. $ difference

1- the 03-04 has probably the best "feel" front ends of any r6. The non-inverted forks provide lots of feedback to the rider.
1a- the 2nd gen bike is EASIER for most to ride fast.
2- steel valves. They don't wear as fast as the TI valves of the 3rd gen bike. And at 30,000+ miles on that 07?? THOSE VALVES are not long for this world. especially track mileage vs. street. $1100 for a set of TI valves, and $200+ to have the head seats cut.
3- The 03 WILL STOMP the 07 in the midrange power. No bull shit. Fact.
4- the 07 CAN hustle around the track faster, but only in the hands of a capable rider.
5- it's an 07. as i stated, if it were an 08 with a better front end, softer frame, 10hp more in the midrange?
6-parts. There will be lots of spare stuff for the 03.
7-the stock 3rd gen slipper isn't bad, but you can likely find an aftermarket if you REALLY have to have a slipper clutch. remember, your saving a wad of money on the less expensive bike. But that said, at a course with lots of tight turns, MORE engine braking COULD help.

again, this isn't a perspective of what i read, this is the perspective of having raced and 03, and 04, two 05's, two 07's (god they sucked) and now two 08's (love em).
Still, if the 2nd gen bike had the aerodynamics of the 3rd gen, and the top end power of a built 3rd gen, i would still race a 2nd gen bike at some tracks and in the rain. That 2nd gen bike was DARN GOOD.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
my 2 cents, having raced an r6 for the past 9 years..
for a track day bike (and maybe even as a race bike in the rain and at some tracks).. i would SERIOUSLY consider the 2003.
Now, had you said 08 or later vs. 03? I would more likely tell you to get the 08+, but the fact remains the 03 may be a better choice for the following reasons. Would have been nice if you provided a U.S. $ difference

1- the 03-04 has probably the best "feel" front ends of any r6. The non-inverted forks provide lots of feedback to the rider.
1a- the 2nd gen bike is EASIER for most to ride fast.
2- steel valves. They don't wear as fast as the TI valves of the 3rd gen bike. And at 30,000+ miles on that 07?? THOSE VALVES are not long for this world. especially track mileage vs. street. $1100 for a set of TI valves, and $200+ to have the head seats cut.
3- The 03 WILL STOMP the 07 in the midrange power. No bull shit. Fact.
4- the 07 CAN hustle around the track faster, but only in the hands of a capable rider.
5- it's an 07. as i stated, if it were an 08 with a better front end, softer frame, 10hp more in the midrange?
6-parts. There will be lots of spare stuff for the 03.
7-the stock 3rd gen slipper isn't bad, but you can likely find an aftermarket if you REALLY have to have a slipper clutch. remember, your saving a wad of money on the less expensive bike. But that said, at a course with lots of tight turns, MORE engine braking COULD help.

again, this isn't a perspective of what i read, this is the perspective of having raced and 03, and 04, two 05's, two 07's (god they sucked) and now two 08's (love em).
Still, if the 2nd gen bike had the aerodynamics of the 3rd gen, and the top end power of a built 3rd gen, i would still race a 2nd gen bike at some tracks and in the rain. That 2nd gen bike was DARN GOOD.
Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to reply. You have some great points. My prices were in US dollars, the 5 grand vs 7 grand was an estimate in USD. The exact prices at today's rate are $6,712.50 for the '07 and $4922.50 for the '03. Looking on cycle trader I guess those prices really aren't that far off U.S. prices now that the exchange rate has begun to favor KRW a bit more.

I always assumed inverted forks were all around better, but my only comparison is from my old CBR1000rr to my F800ST which is kind of apples to oranges since (among other things) that F800 doesn't even have cartridge forks and it is severely under-sprung for my weight.

This decision is so tough because even test riding the bikes won't tell me much about the track performance. I really just have to rely on other people's experience. Thanks for the input and great to hear from someone who has had both on the track!
 

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"The Dude abides .. "
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no problem.
the 07 is just a very stiff bike. they fixed some of those issues as WELL as got a 10hp midrange loss back in the 08 and later bikes. Lots of info on this in older threads..
You can get a bit more feel from the 07 with an 08 or later lower triple clamp, and cutting the frame spar out that runs from side to side under the airbox. (not hard)
The missing 10hp though? big $ fix.

A former champion roadracer from Canada, Pascal Picotte, has been quoted as saying the 04 r6 was his favorite bike (same as o3). The NON inverted forks proved awesome front end feel, and the motor is amazing. Will never have quite the top end the 3rd gen bike will have, but you need MID range to get around most tracks.. and if your saying the tracks you will be on will have lots of slow tight corners, you have to accelerate out of those. You want MID range. the 07 is a screamer. Due to the lack of midrange power, If you can't keep it near the rev limiter, you can't go faster than the 2nd gen bike. Throw into the mix the numb-er feeling front end and i bet money if you rode both back to back.. you would go faster on the 03.

not saying the 3rd gen bike isn't good! it is. Just it is way more race oriented and needs requires a better rider to go fast.
Talk the dealer down on the 03.. the 07 will always sell for more just because it's a 3rd gen bike. Few understand the capability of the 2nd gen bike though, having only track ridden the 3rd gen bikes!
 

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Hmm….07 track bike…I'm sure if you poked around on this site you can find one…:popcorn:
 

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"The Dude abides .. "
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Hmm….07 track bike…I'm sure if you poked around on this site you can find one…:popcorn:
just need to ship it to S Korea.
 

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Melk had some nice points.

I don't have a whole lot to add, but by personal experience I have my 05 out on the track and I LOVE it! Never ridden a newer R6, though I don't quite like the seating position of them as compared to my bike.

From reading your posts, I would likely go with the 03, learn to ride it and ride it well as it is, while saving yourself a couple grand, and even more over the next year or two, until you decide to get into racing. At that point you can reevaluate your situation and get an even newer bike or one with nice mods that would be competitive for your racing experience.
 

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just need to ship it to S Korea.
I know right! I'd be willing to meet half way---just not sure where exactly that would be!

You make an interesting point about changing out the triples to 08 and later..I have some 2011 ones laying around…if I keep the bike I may switch them out. Straight swap or ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How concerned should I be about the valves? That is the main thing holding me back from the '07. I am not sure if they were checked on schedule (I will have to ask) but the bike was owned by one of the few motorcycle mechanics here that I trust. I have been trying to research all day how long the coating on those Ti valves should last on a bike that was ridden hard like that but I haven't come up with any real answers.
 

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How concerned should I be about the valves? That is the main thing holding me back from the '07. I am not sure if they were checked on schedule (I will have to ask) but the bike was owned by one of the few motorcycle mechanics here that I trust. I have been trying to research all day how long the coating on those Ti valves should last on a bike that was ridden hard like that but I haven't come up with any real answers.
do a leak-down test.. check the valve clearances. Be willing to pay for both. if the leak down is less than 5% it's really really good (like 1-2% is a fresh motor), if it's less than 10%-55.. that is ok (but racers would be rebuilding). with the leak down you will hear the air passing the valves in the exhaust. or the air passing the rings as you have the ignition cover off (to move each piston to tdc). you will have some leak down i'm sure. but have the valves checked. that should not be expensive, but may want to have an independent mechanic do this.. not the seller :)

But there is no way to say "at hour x" or "mile x" the coating wears and the valve begins to move up into the valve seat.
 

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Is the 06-07 really that bad as a track bike? I realize its not the most forgiving and is really pipey but when it came out (before the 08 updates) ppl were going nuts about how awesome they were as track weapons. I talked to a guy for quite awhile about them, before I bought mine. He races Hondas but has ridden the 06-07 R6s on the track and had all very positive things to say. Only complaint was that its much easier to make a mistake and not recover from it as easily as the previous gen (or Honda). Also, i hear so much about the 10hp midrange of the 08, but how many casual track riders are really pressing these bikes so much that they are feeling like the 06-07 is lacking in a certain area? Not trying to dispute, but just asking for my own knowledge, as an average rider.

To the OP, if it were me, i would've jumped ont eh 07 since I assumed it was a better platform and done up. Maybe just try to knock the price down a bit, if you are concerned with miles?
 

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As an average rider, who already owns an 06-07 bike, it's tits.

If you're in the market and don't currently own the 06-07 bike, I'd skip it for something the prior gen or the 08+.
 

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Is the 06-07 really that bad as a track bike? I realize its not the most forgiving and is really pipey but when it came out (before the 08 updates) ppl were going nuts about how awesome they were as track weapons. I talked to a guy for quite awhile about them, before I bought mine. He races Hondas but has ridden the 06-07 R6s on the track and had all very positive things to say. Only complaint was that its much easier to make a mistake and not recover from it as easily as the previous gen (or Honda). Also, i hear so much about the 10hp midrange of the 08, but how many casual track riders are really pressing these bikes so much that they are feeling like the 06-07 is lacking in a certain area? Not trying to dispute, but just asking for my own knowledge, as an average rider.
your post is a bit confusing as you discuss the 06-7 r6'S' .. or just the 06-7r6 3rd gen? any "S" is pretty much a 2nd gen bike.
and the 10 hp midrange is even MORE noticeable for the average rider, as only proficient riders/racers can keep the thing up in the high rev range. And that isnt' even going into the details of the stiffer chassie of the 06-07 3rd gen vs the 08 and later (frame,swingarm and triple changes).

10 friggin hp midrange, is like HUGE.. lol.. 30% more power or so?? And i have a dyno chart from KWS motorsports showing it was SEVENTEEN HP difference midrange for a supersport built 05r6 (thin gasket, cam timing) vs. a stock 06-07r6.
 

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"The Dude abides .. "
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As an average rider, who already owns an 06-07 bike, it's tits.

If you're in the market and don't currently own the 06-07 bike, I'd skip it for something the prior gen or the 08+.
and that was all I am trying to convey. That it's not worth it to go seek out an 06-07 if there were 08 or newer available for a bit more (not the case with the op), but to NOT ignore the awesomeness of the 03-04-05 as a track day bike. it's cheaper, sturdier, likely cheaper parts available, and for MOST will be easier to ride to good lap times. Is the 06-07 a good bike? yea. but for less money and all else in similar condition, i would likely choose the 2nd gen bike if i were the original poster..
 

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That was a plural, not the R6S.

And as far as hp goes, this might be comparing apples to oranges, but since I can relate more to mx racing, people complain about a CRF450 having a soft motor compared to the other 450s for racing etc. But for the majority of racers, that hp disadvantage is not an issue, as all the bikes are so fast. I kinda assumed the same with track bikes here, as most people probably are not pushing these motors to the limit anyways.
 

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That was a plural, not the R6S.

And as far as hp goes, this might be comparing apples to oranges, but since I can relate more to mx racing, people complain about a CRF450 having a soft motor compared to the other 450s for racing etc. But for the majority of racers, that hp disadvantage is not an issue, as all the bikes are so fast. I kinda assumed the same with track bikes here, as most people probably are not pushing these motors to the limit anyways.

i hear what you are saying, all i can tell you is once i had to ride the 07r6 with a supersport built TOTALLY differently from my supersport built 05r6. It was pretty sad the loss of midrange, and having to gear it much more correctly, keep it on the side of the tire longer so revs built faster, run 1000 rpm more pretty much everywhere.
For sure, if you are just track riding and these are the ONLY two bikes around that are track worthy, pick the one that is the best value for you. It's likely that if the bikes are running, they are both in decent shape. but i have outlined my reasoning for giving serious consideration to the 2nd gen bike..

it's not just the better midrange of the 2nd gen bike vs. the 06-07 either (although that is interesting the 2nd gen bike stomps the 06-07 midrange), it's the "FEEL" the front end gives. Front end feel inspires confidence. Confidence allows a track rider to go faster. A well set up 06-07 can go faster, but it has to be ridden HARD to get that front feel.

IF you get the 06-7.. consider loosening the upper triple clamp bolts. make em snug to where the fork won't wobble, but not torqued down. and remove the 12mm upper motor mount bolt that is up/back from the BIG frame slider motor mount. this softens that stiff bitch up a bit.. (a trick Robert Jensen showed me way back and i was quite thankful for).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks guys. Unfortunately there aren't many mechanics in S. Korea that work on import bikes, the place I am buying from is the only one in town. I don't know if doing a leak down test is possible from another shop before purchase, aside from listening to the exhaust. Logically I should go with the '03 I guess, it is a pretty big gamble on the '07. I love the look of that '07 so much though, they have stylistically always been one of my favorite bikes. I have wanted one since they came out, but the lack of road practicality is the only factor that turned me away. I know, I shouldn't even be considering looks on a track bike, there is a good chance it will be covered in duct tape and spray paint when I get through with it anyway. My wife would be much happier if I go with the cheaper bike too. Still my heart is saying to go for the '07. I probably shouldn't be making this decision based on emotion, though. Also, the '07 is ready to go and I might have to wait a month for the '03. That is another thing I really shouldn't be allowing to influence my decision since I won't likely get a chance to take either out on the track until spring.

I totally understand the confidence thing you mentioned Greg. With my limited experience on track, I believe I probably would be faster on the 2nd gen.
 
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