Originally Posted by solus
that triumph is a sexy bike... and not too expensive either. I've been kinda looking through craigslist trying to get the feel for a used 600.
I've heard good things about the 2003-2006 Ninja 636, any one ride one and care to give their opinion?
If you are looking new I would also vote for the Triumph. That bike is a peach. If you decide to look slightly older I would highly recommend the 03-04 ZX636R. I raced an 04 for years and it is a nearly perfect package even against some more modern equipment. The "cheater" extra 36 cc's is really nice for the road and gives you some more grunt compared to the 600 models. Stock it had excellent handling, brakes, suspension and a real great motor. I had no problems with it on the street or after I turned it into a track only bike. The only thing I wish it had was a slipper clutch. The 05-06 models are also excellent but I prefer the look of the 03-04 generation.
As others have said all the current japanese bikes are excellent it really is a question of flavour.
The only other option I could throw into the mix would be to consider a GSXR750. Worth considering if you can find a nice one.