Real world observations
Came across this test today, thought I might impart my observations about it. My credentials are 40+ years none stop riding experience. Funny how magazine road testers view these bikes as a stepping stone, quite often they are all you will ever need. There is absolutely no reason to assume that everyone will want to "progress" to a superbike. Strangely enough I have owned each of these bikes albiet for a short while, so I speak from a strong position. I currently have a 2010 ER6N and whilst the engine and chassis are excellent, I do miss some wind protection. In respect of my actual bike I did have the benefit of a road test on a demo bike first and felt the poor tiny analogue speedo and rev counter might be a minor irritation. However if you are unlucky enough to need specs for reading (not for distance) DO NOT BUY THIS BIKE!! Crazily the earlier bikes 2006/7/8 had an LCD Speedo.
The irritation has developed into a major gripe, first ever speeding ticket!! My bike also came with an annoying vibe/buzz at about 4000 rpm, which I traced to the afore mentioned speedo pod. Reported this to my otherwise helpful dealer, who said "they all do it" I have now rammed a bit of rubber tubing between the headlight cowl and the speedo head, not ideal but it works! This coupled to the too narrow mirrors and Kawasaki customers service response to my observations, I cannot recomend this bike.
Turning to the Hyosung I actually traded this in for the ER6N in May 2010 as I had tried unsucessfully to sell it privately for 6 months, and the sequal to that is the dealer I px'd it with couldnt sell it either and subsequently traded it on. It remains on sale today on the web! A 2008/08 3k miles for less than £2k
Compred to the suzuki SV on which it is based I am afraid it is in a different league, the quality, fit and finish do not come close to Japanese standards, although it rides reasonably OK. I actually has the almost naked (flyscreen) comet version, unfortunately the ergonomics of the bike are also very poor. If you think that by buying the version with the upright bars you will have a more comfortable riding position, forget it as the seat, foot pegs etc are identical to the sport!
In respect of the SV during my many years as a used car dealer I happened to take an 06 sport in px for a car. I delivered the car to my customer and rode the bike back about 30 miles. I absolutely fell in love with it and decided to keep it and did about 3000 miles on it. The previous owner had put a Leo Vinci can on it and it sounded sublime, the bike gave me a real buzz every time I rode it, unfortunately some one came in to showroom and wanted it. I am always unable to refuse a profit! So it went.
It was head and shoulders above the other two and when you consider that it is £500 less than the ER6's 2011 price and only about £250 dearer than the Hyosung which doesnt take an einstien to see the used values.
What a pity that Suzuki chose to re introduce the SV 2 months after I bought the ER6. Ah well if I can come to terms with the drop I will take on a 8 month old ER6 I would go back like a shot. Incidently 0% finance is really good when buying, but a real stumbler when trying to sell a nearly new!!!