My present opinion
is that the FZ1 is an affordable, technologically modern
riding and performing motorcycle which does a very good job of bridging
the gap between my old Muscle Bikes (V65 Magna & Vmax) and the sportbike
developments of the recent years. Since the FZ has so much power and
agility for all types of street riding it is very functional
selection for a broad band of motorcyclists.
Use the FZ1 Sitemap to navigate all of the FZ pages.
 IowaZ Sitemap  Send Email  FZ1 Owner's Association  IowaZ Vmax Sitemap  IowaZ V65 Magna Page 
Personal Riding Impressions
Gas Mileage: a 1042 mile trip with
very aggressive high speeds used 23.3 gals = 44.7 mpg First several tanks appeared to be around 42-47.
200 miles at extreme road speed, runs to 150, quick starts, hard roll-ons,
40mpg with 1900 miles on bike.
Tires being run at 36-37, front 39-40 rear.
Oil Change at: 500mi (Yamalube 20x40 dyno), changed to Mobil 1 cycle at 1,600
Never ran a slow break in period. Just ran out of the box at typical road speeds,
but also never pushed over 7k very much. Bought FZ to run and replace, not baby.
Mods/changes: Memphis Shades Hell Cat Shield installed on bars,
homemade plate/footpegs/case guard installed, Battery Tender installed,
stock windscreen replaced with the Givi windsreen,
radar detector mount installed, manual fan switch installed.
Sigma Bicycle Cyclocomputer installed, stock speedo 60=57, 70=66, 80=75, 90=84, 100=93,
I have not had enough road for runs above 100 but will do that sometime,
the interpolated values would be 110=102, 120=111, 130=120, 140=129, 150=138, 160=147, 170=154
top actual speed would appear to be 153-154, which corresponds to the Cycle reviews.
The odometer has about a 3% error. For every 100 miles on the odometer the actual distance is 97 miles.
Gas mileage range has been from 49-41+ stock odometer or 47.5-40 actual; average 43-44actual.
FZ's locally appear to dyno at 120-121hp, 70-71ft-lb of torque.
I still continue to wait for Yamaha to cough up a Carbon Can. A pox on Yamaha!!
I am still waiting for MAW to deliver a back-orderd MS Demon Shield.
Impression Highlights regarding
listed by time sequence.
First Riding Impressions
....The FZ1 received a lot of attention and compliments while sitting on the showroom floor waiting for the maiden trip south of the border (Iowa to Missouri).
....With the engine exposed, the aggressive looking machinery in view all over the bike, the attention getting body works, the Black FZ1 was a cycle people magnet on the showroom floor. Being a new model in 2001, it has commanded a lot of interest.
....The shop had to trade a 4wheek ATV for a Blue FZ!, then the Blue for my Black FZ1. Of course in the process there was unlimited amount of "shop" talk about what color was best looking. I just like black bikes, as least when compared to blue, well I like any cycle, even Hardley's:)) Chris, the fine salesman at Midwest Performance is fantastic to work with. He went out of his way to find a black Fazer and had me on the road within two weeks of my request for one. Midwest is the real deal. Professional service and very experienced riders throughout the organization. Chris sold me my '95 Red Vmax.
....The FZ1 sits a little tall for me. Having a 30 inseam, I can stretch it to 31-32 with boots on, meaning I can just barely touch flat footed when I slide clear to the front of the seat. However, the bike is so much lighter than anything else I have run, that being a little on the toes or with one foot flat on the ground is not an issue at this time.
....The bike feels or rides "tall" compared to the Max or Magna. I like that feel of the extra clearance.
....The clutch/shifting was given a moderately poor review, but I am sure those squid riders are too young to remember real shifting by hand. They just need to clunk around on some of Honda's better ideas of clunky-clutchs, or go iron-butt on my Max or Magna, to really now what "shifting" is all about. From my perspective the FZ1 shifts like a dream, smooth and sure.
....The engine is a "hummer." That is the nature of the inline four; lots of buzz from high rpm's. One can feel the buzz when touching various parts of the bike with foot or hand while at speed. You can feel the buzz from the bar with the hands, but it is ever so slight. This is a very high frequency, low amplitude wave that transfers throughout your arm. After longer mileages, you may feel some type of symptom in the hands/forearms. V4's throb, not buzz, so the inline buzz is a bit back to my "roots" of cycling. I always liked the inline four engines of the 60/70/80's. They made cycling what it is to anyone that likes performance. There is a lot of rubber used on the FZ1 to reduce the buzz. The hands will still feel it and on some people will be numbed by the very high frequency buzz in the bars. A couple of things generally can help the a buzz problems. Wear gloves and do not hold the bar all the time with a "death grip." I do not have trouble with "buzzards" even on very long tours because I ride with a very "light" hand on the grip.
....Since the stock bars are rubber mounted you can see and sometimes feel the give in them. I have not been very aggressive yet on curves, so cannot at this time predict the effect of the "soft" mount of the bars. I suspicion riders that have been living at the bottom of the sea will consider them much too sloppy, but for "droolers" like me, I bet I will think they are better than a "Boston shake" (choc shake with a choc Sundae right on top of it)!
....The seat on the initial 100 mile ride was fine. People have trouble with the Vmax seat, but I like it. The Vmax seat is akin to sitting on the top rail of one of Abe's fences. The FZ1 seat is wider and more conventionally shaped. Padding is firm and just right for me. I can also slide around on the seat for different riding positions from straight up to semi-squidy. The back of the seat and the rear fender blend into a 20inch "shelf" on which a duffel bag or other bad can be lashed with bungee cords, or a net could be used. Well I that that back, Damaha in their typical wisdom forgot they had a fantastic long-hauler in the making and did not put any significant attachments around the passenger compartment. The net idea does not work, IMO. There are very functional grab rails along the back seat which work well as bungee cords attachments, and it looks like bungees can be run off the passenger peg mounting plates. I will try some various configurations of bags, etc. on the back and report what is working for me, as I intend to take several 2-4 day trips this summer. I will be interested to see what the hard bag accessories will look like. However, I have never liked hard bags or saddle bags of any type. I want my gear strapped behind me on the seat. I do not like the feel of hard bags and what they do to the handling of a bike. I tossed my first set decades ago into a garage sale and them the dumb and have never gone back. Soft saddle bags seem to be made of some type of sandpaper material and are always sliding where they should not be. So you see I have convinced myself that duffles and bungees are the only way to "ground fly." The real reason is probably just because the look cool on a muscle bike, and one does not want to be uncool on an FZ.
....There is a helmet lock on the left side under the seat. I have not had a helmet lock for years :) The helmet lock mechanism also is the release for the seat. Hold the key over and lift up the back of the seat and the seat easily removes to access the compartment under the seat. For some riders this area would seem tiny, but to someone without any onboard storage of this type for several decades, it is wonderful. The tool kit is strapped in to the back side of this compartment area. There also is a rubber tie down at the base of the shallow compartment and another tie down attached under the base of the seat. Both work to secure small tool/equipment/supply packs. I will be playing with the "survival" items I normally pack with me, to see what will fit under the seat, with a report coming later. A few of the things I like to carry are: tiny first aide kit, 1-2 throw-way poncho's, multi-tool, AA MagLite, specialty tools, glasses, map, one-shot camera, personal items/papers, handiwipes, shield wipes, and a few other odds and ends. I think most of these things can be carried onboard, under the seat, but that does not leave much diet Dew room.
....Brakes, yes Brakes, real good Brakes. Wow, smooth, modern, fantastic. So good, one immediately gets used to not thinking about braking, or more precisely, wondering what is going to happen when you brake. The FZ1 brakes are just there, there all the time, and do exactly what is expected every time to the point of letting you concentrate on just riding. Well, why wouldn't they be, the brakes are right of the R1 and race track!!
....The same can be said for the radial tires and suspension. Once again, I have not been truly aggressive with the machine yet, but all systems work together so well that the only thing going through my mind is riding. Never worrying about power, cornering, acceleration, deceleration. All systems a big GO, for fast, aggressive street riding.
....I have not run at night yet, but the fellow I trailed home indicated that he had never seen such a brilliantly observable set of headlights on a bike during the daylight.
....The instrument panel is very hard to see on bright days. The dials need to be white not dark. Tac is nicely placed right in front, with the speedo to its left. You know how on many autos the 55-60 is straight up, like normal driving mind-set? Well, on the FZ1 speedo 100 is straight up, and honestly that feels like the normal driving speed!! Lots of acceleration and smooth cruising, especially if Damaha had not gone brain dead again, failing to design a functional windscreen. DO NOT BUY THIS BIKE UNLESS YOU WANT TO RIDE WITH A FULL FACE HELMET AND TOLERATE CONSTANT WIND BLAST OR WANT TO LIVE WITH AN ADD-ON WINDSHIELD.
....I really like having a fuel gauge. A real gauge that shows full to empty. And the tank holds 5.5 gal. Even at 140mph that is a lot of miles before having to find gas. I am used to looking toward the middle-east at about 80 miles with the Max, and have been on reserve by 95 multiple times. I will enjoy the bigger tank, not that I want to sit on a bike for a straight 200-250 miles, but I have been on many trips where I have been searching for gas (and Boston Shakes) rather than riding.
....And do I like the shape of the tank. Dang right I do. Something to get the legs into, put an arm on, lay on a little, put a magnetic tank bag on. Easy to fill, nice looking. Realizing beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but remember there has never been a cycle that did not capture my interest. I might not want to own it, but can still like any cycle for what it is, even an Hardley or two.
....FZ1 needs a temperature gauge and not an idiot light. Both the Mag and Max have temperature gauges, and both rapidly show what happens in slow riding condition, especially in hot weather. The motor temp really climbs, and it does not have to be all that hot outside. In 60+ weather, in slow 20-35mph riding the temp elevates enough to be of concern to me, thus I have manual fan switches installed on both cycles that work very nicely to keep the temp down by flipping on the fan manually.
----Okay, here is the weak link. Our pretty &^%* designed an upright jockey style riding position and put basically no wind protection for the chest and head area on a factory designed windscreen. I just knew after fighting all the Damaha ignorance to make the Vmax run right that Yamaha just had to remain Damaha in at least one major issue on the FZ. I have a taller screen from Givi on order, but knowing what I know about straight up bikes like the Magna and Vmax, it will not be enough. The company should have designed their front end for nearly total upper body protection and then made a very short shield for the few riders that want to ride totally "buff." There is no reason not to have full protection, similar to the National Cycle, Plexistar II on both of my "Real Musclebikes." The upper body and head in an upright position are aerodynamically dirty, so a good shield would clean that up. Nobody can enjoy long rides/trips with wind blast. Cannot see or hear the surrounding. And this bike is not a lay down twister-runner, like many of the squids. It is a sit-up and beg riding position. Damaha, Damaha, what ails you?? DO NOT BUY THIS BIKE IF YOU EXPECT A LONG HAULER WITH RIDING COMFORT FROM GOOD WIND PROTECTION!! Unless you are willing to add a shield to your bars. I will begiving a full report of the after-market screen from Givi which is several of inches taller with a Euro-flip that "pops" the over the head. Yah, sure!!!! I will also be trying to find a true shield to fit on the bars behind the screens for long-hauling and maybe listening to the local birds.
....Initial impression after 100miles, is that the bike is everything advertised and stated in the many reviews. BUT DO NOT BUY THIS BIKE IF YOU EXPECT WIND PROTECTION TO ENJOY THE RIDE, THUS IT IS NOT, I REPEAT, IT IS NOT A LONG HAULER WITHOUT SOME MODIFICATION IN THE SCREEN AND/OR A SHIELD ADDED.. Have I said that before??? I do not see that happening with the present configuration of the nose of the bike. One bike that can do it all? No, not without adequate wind protection. I shall overcometh the wind issue one way or another, or just go buy a Harley and be a brother.
....Sixty miles on good country roads with sweeping to tight curves and some faster straight section. Had to watch out for cars pulling onto the road in the area, but other than that can ride as hard as desire, which I did. My break in period was while this bike sat on the floor, and everyone was straddling it trying to break down the seat and dreaming of 150mph hoggie rides. Bought the FZ to ride high miles without worry of front end wobble at high speeds, without worry of lean angle or jumping around on corners. No time for break in at 55. Has been up to 7k rpms a number of times. 150 total miles, most from 60-75, with many faster runs. Will post future finds on any break in problems, like adding a quart every so often, the Hardley way. I have not been hot rodding it, but have been riding any speed/style I desire.
....Fuel mileage on first fill up was right at 40 mpg, and this was at speed. On the Vmax it would have been considered hard straight line speed and impossible cornering speed. It is hard to tell from one fill as topping off the tank is completely inconsistent on a cycle.
....I keep repeating I come to this bike with a background on old stuff and not modern technology thus my impressions will be overly complimentary of the FZ1 traits compared to someone that has been riding sportbikes and has racing abilities. But I would like to see "use" guys (drooler speak) survive years on a Max trying to buck you off like a rodeo bull, somewhere between 125-150 mph, or trying to chatter his teeth out like a polar excursion when becoming just a bit over zealous on the corners. But we Maxer's being real men just ignore the little things because we keep telling ourselves that we ride the Beast, the Bad Boy, thee Max.
....Wind whip was not as bad as on my initial ride, probably because of the lack of strong head winds and the more aggressive riding position used on the back roads. I still content, do not expect any wind protection for the chest and head from the stock set up. I am hoping an aftermarket shield will help, but have received communication that they will not be available until at least mid-June.
....Clutch lever/clutch response/shifting seems quick and smooth. I rate it excellent compared to the Vmax on which I have installed SS lines so the Max shifts very nicely, and fantastic compared to the Magna.
....The chain is much too loose, will need adjusting before the next ride. Chain had enough slack (2+ inches of total up/down movement) to slap up onto the shield. Under load still rain fine, however. I have not adjusted a chain driven cycle for over 25 years! Buy good tools!!
....Ran the FZ a little near dark. Head lights are just as described in reviews. Dual, double reflecting lights give a very wide illumination band. Much better night vision over my other bikes. Have not run in full dark yet. High beam seemed good at dusk.
....Do not like the extended plastic "mud flap" hanging below the license holder. Has to be cut off.
....Remain impressed by the total package, but depressed regarding the poor wind blast design. I ride all winter, this thing will not function in cold weather. No major hand protection from wind, and no upper body protection.
....Tightened chain. Very easy to do on the FZ1. But check out my chain page if you have not done this operation. You will need to get a good 32 mm socket for the axel nut and a big old 1/2 inch drive breaker bar. Then find a rent-a-gorilla to hook up to that apparatus and hope. No, you will be able to break the axel nut loose, but not without the right tools. Trust me, you are going to make a mess out of the axel nut with you try a crescent wrench. Yamaha in their god like wisdom put (I think) blue-locktite on the axel nut. Now, just what their thinking on that one. Chain never needs adjusting??!! The axel nut has 108 ft-lb of torque on it, so maybe it is just tight. Either way, you will need good tools. I may have the chain a bit tight but will ride a little before adjusting again. Have a little over an inch of up/down travel. Owner's manual says 1.6 to 2.0 inches of travel and gives basic directions.
....Used a Dremal tool to cut off the "mud flap." Started to tape a line, but ended up just cutting straight across a bit under the license plate and then angling the cut smoothly up toward the front of the seat. I "eyeballed" the final cuts, scraped the edge relatively smooth with a small knife and then lightly dry sanded the base of the edge with wet sandpaper. I plan on trimming it a bit more later, but remained conservative to see how strong the remainder of the license are will be without the flap, plus I may change the lighting configuration on the back. I like the looks better without the flap. Big back tire appears "bad." Maybe the Hardleys will stop making those obnoxious noises when coming up from behind.
....30 miles of in-town and edge of town riding. My impression is the FZ1 is as a great "townie." Temp's above 75, half helmet with flip up face shield and tee shirt. Speeds slow to moderate, can hear, see, smell the surroundings. A sports cruise? So much lighter than the Vmax/Magna. Even with being just a bit tall the FZ is much easier to navigate around town. Suspension and power plant operate perfectly under town conditions. And sit-up riding position, of course, is the only way to fly, especially around town, unless one is running hard on the back curves or all out on the highway, the squid way.
....The suspension that some indicate is too soft for them, is really just the checker for rough town roads and aggressive on the road riding. I am sure it is too soft for a racer, but this is not a racer, it is a do-everything machine. I cannot call it a real muscle bike. They were all made in the 80's and called, Sabre, Magna, Vmax, etc. They do not make muscle cars anymore, do they? They were all made in the 60/70's. Everything after that are copies of muscle cars. Same with today's copies of muscle bikes. The FZ1 is muscle right out of the box for the street. It is sport muscle, but not a muscle bike. Well maybe I can concede a little. It is a modern muscle bike, a Super Standard.
....Odds-an-ends: I like having a little storage under the seat. I like the deflectors protecting the fork slides (I had a total mid-set against these deflectors when I saw them on the 2001 Max. Being with-stupid I thought the spandex was too tight again in the board room and living in the back-woods did not know this was race proven technology, those little plastic things on the forks). I like the riding position, seat, feel of the tank. Trying to find some dislikes, but right now, except for very poor wind protection, other traits are so good it is hard to "rip" into the FZ too much.
....With the half helmet on I can hear a little of the shifting noise. Is only a slight "clunking" in my book. Come ride my Magna if you want some Honda clunking! Even with a little shifting noise, shifting is very quick, light, responsive compared to many other street cycles. I like the clutch.
...I like the mud flap cut off. Much better looking. "Nasty" looking. Put the fear of god into the meek of cycle land. Respect and curiosity from others. Hard core Hardley fellows, no clue :)) There I go again. Sorry.
....Still thinking about travel aspects. Wind protection, cargo carrying. Have ordered a modern Eclipse magnetic medium sized tank bag. Think my 70's Eclipse is retired for good. Bungeed a 12x24 duffle across and lengthwise on the seat. I have used these duffels for decades to cycle travel/camp. I will test ride both ways and report. I am thinking about other bungee attachment locations besides the seat handles.
....I like the seat handles, but they should have been designed better for consideration of bungee cord attachment.
....FZ1 is getting looks and compliments. Not many sport bikes or sport looking bikes in this area, so many have no clue what they are looking at, but with race engine and power train, brakes, suspension and riding style explained it is impressive in a moderately priced street package, even to the Harley gods.
....Interesting, passing a $24k Harley tonight while just loafing around town, it struck me. I have three "muscled" bikes in the basement, from the first true muscle bike, to thee muscle bike, to thee new muscle bike, total value of all three is 4-6k less than the "24 carrot."
.....60 miles on all types of street/road riding.
....A pox on the Yamaha idiot team that dreamed up the fairing without consideration for adequate protection from wind blast for the chest and head, and hands. The hands are not protected enough from cold weather riding. All that had to be done was extend and/or reshape the fairing just a little to kick the air out from the hands. I know they wanted to sell the R1 look, but I want the "little devil" with me on a 3k trip and fry his little butt across Kansas then freeze him to the bars in the cold Lake Superior region rain and mist. Some spandex rider had to be in charge of this little gem. All that had to be done to the shield area, was to extend the shield mounting points across the front with only a little redesign of shape and mounting points. With more lateral mounting points, screens could have been offered in many configurations of width and height for all kinds of riding/riders. DO NOT buy this bike if you want wind protection. Am I repeating myself?? I am pondering ways to produce a FZ1 worthy of 400-600 miles a day for 7-10 days. And for those that want to ride with the wind blast, that is all right for a little fast stuff on the back roads, or some town cruising, but not 2-4k tours. Anyone that feels distance without wind protection is their bag, needs a few serious days in the saddle.
....Continue to remember I come at the FZ1 with an old Muscle Bike background and not from a sportbike background. Many of the traits I rate high would be much lower from a rider wanting high level sportbike performance, but they understand the R1, R6, R7 are for them. I guess other companies make squids too? I hear there is something called Buell. Gads!
....The FZ1 is a much safer bike to ride than the Vmax or Magna due to a combination of traits. Lighter, more agile and quicker. The FZ is "nimble," yes, that hits the nail on the head. Being from "team dinosaur" the FZ is just plain nimble. Faster acceleration/deceleration. Great engine, great brakes. Overall much more responsive. And I mean a significantly better ride. It is what I would like the Vmax to be. And from my point of view, is the new "Vmax."
....I am forming a stronger opinion of the suspension. I like it more than just a little. What some reviewers called a too soft initial spring, in the dual rate fork springs, I call just right. Some reviews were calling the ride plushy. That is about right. It is plushy. It absorbs all levels of bad roads I am used to riding on. Love it. The Vmax even with dual rate springs and shocks from Works, is a fight all the time on our roads. Not the FZ1. Poor folk have poo' roads. You just ride away at any controllable speed and the suspension handles everything. Just a great ride under all types of everyday conditions and a variety of riding styles.
....The Vmax always gets a not of attention. It has been thee muscle bike for nearly two decades. The FZ1 gets a lot of attention also. So new that only the most informed know what they are contending with. But the naked street bike look is an attention getter. The Vmax may be the bad boy yet, but the FZ1 is just plain nasty. It handles all roads, all riding levels, all speeds, all distances.
....What lack of intelligence decided to not put any net or bungee cord hooks on the tail. The handles are nice and do work to tie some things on if you are careful, but there is no stopping point for the hooks so they can in general slide together. Plus the very back of the handles have an open area that is not useable for bungee hooks as they can/may slip off. A bungee down on a shaft drive bike is not a significant issue, but it is on a chain driven bike, so be careful.
....Thank heavens the engineers that worked on the power systems were not of the same background as the pretty boys doing the body works and cowling, although after digging out some double knits, I am learning to actually like the appearance. Yes, old dogs can learn.
....FZ1 riding position still reminds me of the Vmax. The handle bar grips are a little more swept back and not as flat out as the Vmax, thus there is a slightly uncomfortable wrist position for me. Nothing I cannot live with, but definitely feel the stress in the wrist. I think I will adjust to the slightly different hand angle after a few more rides and not notice it as a minor problem. The bar position places the body slightly more forward than the Vmax, thus there is usually a little more weight on the arms/hands. By sliding just a little, up or back in the saddle, one can go from literally straight upright to slightly-squidy. I like the ability to change riding positions. In fact, I think the FZ will offer me more riding positions than any bike I have sat on. We shall see after a long ride. I like the sit-up-and-beg or jockey riding position, plus being able to put a moderate amount of weight on the shoulders/arms. Squid-style or a Hardley-chair-style are not the way to "ground fly" on long tours. Being able to get some weight forward save a lot of stress on the lower back.
....Although the FZ1 is an inch plus higher in seat height, the leg/knee position if very similar. In fact the FZ1 may have the legs up and under a little more than the Max, but very little. There definitely needs to be a second foot position for long rides. I am pondering that situation and will try something eventually.
....The V4 of the Vmax produces a lot of engine heat that boils up as high as the hip area or beyond depending on the type of fairing. It is the warmest bike I have ridden very long. No, it is the hottest #$@# thing you can imagine. Since I ride in cool/cold weather, I actually like that trait. In hot weather I am not affected by the heat off an engine, however many do complain. The FZ1 is not as hot to ride, but you can feel the heat on the front of the lower leg to about the knees, and also in the back of the knee, under the thigh area. Again, this is not uncomfortable to me and may be even better in the lower body area during cold weather. The lack of hand protection does worry me about cold weather riding.
....The FZ1 is fun and easy to ride because the bike does everything for you without worry of cornering or head shaking, accelerating or braking. It has few equals in acceleration and stopping ability, and it absorbs road punishment with ease. Cornering on the FZ1 is like riding on a banked track all the time if one stays under the "out-of-control" level. You just use a combination of power and laying the bike over to the instinctively correct levels and sweep the corners about as fast as any street rider wants. Racers and competitive level riders would find it too upright and too soft in the suspension, but not an old muscle biker and street rider. If you do not know what countersteering is, be sure to look up the technique and practice it religiously when riding the FZ agressively. The bike is capable of such fast cornering that without counter steering you may not be able to react and control your line. Trust me, you need good tools like Sear's sell, you need to know and use countersteering.
....I might add another thought or caution at this time. Be very careful you do not lead Hardley and other non-squid types astray. You could get some easily hurt/killed. No, I am serious. The FZ will be a street machine for many of the "new order," but the FZ is a racing machine in street clothing. If people try to keep up with you in heavy traffic, on the hidden corners of backroads, etc. they are going to get hurt. Be careful about leading the meek into a new land as they may lose their way.
....Took a digital camera and some supplies with me today. Used a range bag (shooting bag), which sat upright on the back seat and then ran four bungees over the top and secured them to the passenger handles and foot peg areas. Worked very nicely, looks fine and is a good way to carry a moderate amount of cargo.
....The FZ1 remains a fantastic bike for me. I continue to look for major design problems but the body work is the only issue, and like I have said, I am actually learning to like it. Besides it irritates the cruiser boys, who apparently think they know butt-ugly. I also enjoy the attention of being looked upon as a traitor know that I have converted over to "squid-land." Bikers are a sick lot.
....Early morning town and county 20 mile ride. Playing tourist, shopping, eating. Hard core Harley bandito's wondered what it was :) Do they really know what a performing bike will do? No!
....The bars are rubber mounted and given a hard/sharp push, the give can be seen/felt. This might be a problem under race conditions, but under normal to hard street riding is not noticed. The rubber mounting does reduce hand buzz to "forgotten" conditions unless you are a rider that "squeezes" the grips.
....The footpegs are also rubber mounted and if one presses hard on the pegs, the buzz can be felt. Under normal riding with light touch, under my style of riding the buzz is not perceived. We shall see after a 4-500mile day if I feel the same.
....It is really nice to look down at a real fuel gauge and also not be be looking for gas at about 80 miles such as with the Max, due to the hot-rod mileage and a 4gal tank.
.....I am certainly glad Yamaha did not charge me for a self-canceling turn signal. After all another buck or so :)) And *&%^, who would want to know is you engine temp is climbing up by having an actual temp gauges. Idiot lights are wonderful inventions by idiots. And lets see, most motorcycle mileage is at night? That must be the reason for using little bitty, tiny, dim lights on all the gauges. Or maybe by making an instrument package nearly impossible to see, it was to create the habit of never looking down so one could just ride away. Maybe that was a plan to keep the eyes on the road. Or just maybe the same spandex riders that designed the body work was responsible for another Damaha's better-not ideas.
....FZ1 continues to get my high praise. Just a fun bike to take out of the garage for any type of riding. I really like the way it soaks up the bad roads. And of course the unlimited acceleration/speed/cornering for street riding is fantastic, but at the other end of the scale, it is a great slow/moderate speed town cruiser. Just does everything.
....Evening ride of 25 miles. Have to overcome the windblast to enjoy the majority of riding on the FZ1. Cannot hear the motor/bike/surroundings. Cannot look around and the environment. The bike is not a lay down rider, and will not be so for most owner's or they would have bought a true laydown sportbike.
....Speedo is hard to read. Dark, small number, 20mph increments. Where is the temp gauge??
....Mirrors are functional but prefer bar mounted and not fairing mounted mirrors. Would like this bike without "spandex-mans" idea of a fairing.
....Do not look for the old petcock when the reserve light comes on, as there is only a low fuel light that in theory goes on at "E", to warn you there is 1.1 gallons of gas left, or about 45 miles if one takes it a bit easy . There is a real fuel gauge that works!! And I am told by the "Owner's Manual" a self-diagnosis circuit that pauses/cycles the tach when the low fuel circuit is not working.
....Rubber mounts on the engine seem to keep buzz/vibration to a minimum. At least with the present ride lengths of under 100 miles, I am not noticing significant buzz that is annoying. I will find out in June when we go to the Superbike Races at Elkhart Lake, WI, which will be at least a 1000mile trip. After that trip, ride impressions of the seat, foot position, wind protection, fuel mileage, etc. will be better understood.
....Received a Memphis Shades "Hell Cat" model windshield from MAW. Took only six days for delivery, and over a weekend. Installed in 15 minutes. No modifications or hitches. Shield mounts at two points off the bar and sits between the bar and stock wind screen. Bar turns fully in both directions. The instruments can be seen without difficulty and the ignition area can be reached.
....On the initial ride of about 20 miles with the shield it would appear the wind blast to the chest is under control, and much of the wind blast to the head is gone. I can look over the top of the shield and when sitting "tall" still get a little wind blast on the head, but not much. The wind protection to the hands is not improved, in fact it is possible the shield directs more air flow over the hands. It will take more rides to evaluate. The shield look fine to me, but will be a cosmetic issue to many others. Looks is generally secondary to function for me. Well, I lie, because no cool muscle bike rider will travel with hard bags or saddle bags:) My main objective is to get the air off the chest and head, for distant riding and cruising. For semi-sportbike fast riding the shield removes in under a minute. FZ1 Windshield
....I think the wind blast issue has been overcome. So it is time work on devising another foot position for longer rides. I will attempt to fashion an aluminum mounting plate for a solid round aluminum foot pet. The plate will mount on the two lower front motor mounts if successful. I would also like a little motor protection in this area, so the pegs will serve a dual purpose. They mount with a single 10mm bolt and also will be easy to remove.
....I will report on the pegs, windshield and cargo carrying capacity, gas mileage in future posts. I want to make the FZ1 work as a Muscle Tourer. Having been on the Vmax and Magna, I can rank the Fazer as a modern muscle bike. It fits all of my personal parameters for a muscle bike except for the age factor. It is a modern muscle bike.
.....I guess I may have to consider the Bandit and ZRX in the same class. I like my muscle bikes :)) You sit on them like I think a motorcycle should sit and they run "high performance" like I think a motorcycle should run. In my book the naked bikes to date, the Bandit, ZRX, FZ1 are mothered by the eighties true muscle bikes and the modern sportbike technology. The nakeds are the modern muscle bikes, the modern muscle street bikes, the super standards. These are three potent, rational, economic, modern, nasty machines.
Outing 7 & 8
....80 miles, town to town. Have to love the cars that want to play:)) and have no clue. They have been beating too many Hardley's, I guess.
....Second tank of gas, 46mpg. All types of normal street/town riding but no extended speed. Also fill level varies a little every time.
....Now have foot pegs and windshield mounted now. Both are doing their job and I am satisfied with the outcome.
....Lets, see what do I not like today. No wind protection for the hands. No temp gauge. Instruments just hard to read. Light glares from the faces. Number increments are not right on the speedo. Numbers too small at speed. Really dislike not having self-canceling turn signals.
....Bike is too tall for me by an inch. That is an issue. I will end up dropping it in bad terrain or bad conditions.
....FZ1 suspension really soaks up the bad road around this area. Could not be more happy with suspension compared to older rides. I will play with harder setting later, but for now just enjoying the suspension.
....Have not babied the engine during break-in, but also have not 'lit' it up. I tend to keep the rpm's on any bike below 6-7k most of the time. After a couple of thousand, I will run it up a little more.
....Going to change oil soon, probably around 450 miles. Will use Yamalube, straight dyno for a probably 3-4k miles than transfer over to full synthetic. Either Torco or Mobile 1 Cycle. I run Torco syn. in the Max and Mobil 1 auto in the Magna. I am a champion of synthetic oils after spending so much time the past few years reviewing the info and theories online. To date the Max and the Mag have no clutch issues on full synthetic. At least at the macro level. Who knows about at the micro level.
....FZ1 is certainly fun/pleasant to ride anytime/anywhere. Coming off the old muscle bikes, it is difficult to believe and not get a bit excited, no very excited, about the lean angles possible and the ease of cornering. As I have said, the FZ1 is a much safer bike to ride than the old technology because of suspension, tires, brakes. I certainly would have liked to have seen the Vmax motor in a modern frame with the amenities of the FZ1. The Fazer will take corners 30-50 mph faster with ease compared to the Vmax. You had better be lining up your cornering with the Vmax and be off the throttle going in. Coming out, the awesome acceleration of the Max can be used, but not going into a corner. An analogy would be driving a big SUV hard into a corner compared to a tuned Mustang.
....Am I ready to throw the Magna and Vmax away for the FZ1? By no means, they are great rides in their own right and very respectable. Magna just dynoed out at 98hp/65ft-lb, while the Max produces 112hp/76ft-lb, on the same dyno. I intend to put the FZ1 on this dyno in late June. Watched a tuned Sportster stir up 56hp and a Valk 91hp/93ft-lb at the same time. Will see some sportbikes on this dyno in June for a comparison. Watched a lot of sportbikes being dynoed last year on this platform and the FZ will destroy most of them stock.
....What did I like about the FZ1 today. It was cool and the warmth of the motor is noticeable on the lower and upper leg. Actually very comfortable. Have to like the total power/suspension package unless one has major sportbike experience enough to pic it apart, and then get a sportbike, maybe. I definitely like the agility and lightness compared to my other bikes. However, that does not mean a squirrely ride on the FZ. By no means, the FZ1 is very stable and quick. I like the big fuel tank and the higher mileage.
....I like the fork guards. I laughed at them on the 2001 Vmax until I learned they were race proven on the R1 and R6. I have always been paranoid about bugs and rock nick on the fork tubes. The first thing I do upon returning from a ride is to wipe and inspect the fork area that slides through the seals. Not to worry so much on the FZ1:)
....Two 35 miles trips for FZ digital pics and business. Pleased with the FZ1's ability to handle all types of normal street riding. Today's rides were not test rides or just out for fun rides. I was traveling with the intent of accomplishing some everyday tasks. The FZ takes all types of everyday riding, bad roads, all curves, bad traffic in stride. Just a great all round street bike for my varied style of riding.
....Even more pleased with the forward pegs and Memphis Shade windshield with more riding time. The wind shield could be bigger however for better street/travel wind protection but is very adequate. I have never been pleased with the National Cycle Plexistar 2 that I have on my Vmax. Their shields do a great job, but National Cycle has had the same dysfunctional mounting hardware for several decades. The Memphis Shades mounting system is right on the money. Solid and strong, looks good and functions great. I am going to order a Memphis Shades shield of the Max, and at that time see how the bigger shield fits on the FZ. For now the Hell Cat shield if fine. At least I have protection from direct wind blast to the chest and head, can look around and enjoy traveling at any speed, can hear the surrounding and generally enjoy street riding much more than in a full face helmet with wind blast/noise. Well, I have to confess, the real reason is to keep Hardley thugs from sneaking up from behind and scaring me. That happens quite often at 120+ :))
.... Thinking about other functional mods to make. I intended on ordering slip-ons but have changed my mind. I will leave it stock at least through this summer or until I find just the right slip-on. Vowed to find a bike already set up that did not need a major wrench to make the mods necessary to make it run half right, i.e. the Magna and Max. The FZ, I think is that machine. The only reason for slip-on's for me is the sound factor. I already have that in two "real" muscle bikes. The FZ comes with headers and is tuned to run right out of the box, so I am going to attempt to be good and leave it alone for a little while, at least. I do like the quiet headers of the FZ after a day with the Magna's Kerker's.
....I repeat, wonderful bike, the FZ1. My favorite things today: suspension takes everything, light/quick feel, big gas tank, wind protection, smooth powerful engine, center stand, radials. My least favorite things today: instrument cluster too difficult to read/use, too tall for me.
....Rain for several days has kept the FZ1 inside. I had a little spell of forgetfulness as to how smooth, powerful and pleasant the FZ is to ride.
....Cool day, the heat off the motor can be felt on the legs and is going to be pleasant to have in weather below 45 degrees, or those cool early morning rides on long trips.
....The Hell Cat shield is keeping the wind off better than I remembered, and the foot pegs were very functional on just a 50 miles round trip to pick up an oil filter and some Yamalube. A 24x12 nylon duffel was bungeed lengthwise down the the passenger seat and worked fine. This is the same arrangement that will be utilized for multi day trips, such as the run to Elkhart Lake, WI. However, I suspicion I will need to attach the bags across the seat and not lengthwise.
....I continue to complain and miss such things as a temperature gauge and self-canceling turn signals. The speedo dial is also not very functional, however it is nice to have a large tach instead of the watch dial tach that is down on the hood of the Vmax. Magna has superior instrument to both of these bikes.
....First oil change at 500 miles, in order to have it ready for the 1100miles run to Elkhart Lake next weekend. Put in Yamalube 20W40 dyno. Will run that for one or two oil changes and then probably switch to Mobil 1 Cycle. I am a full synthetic fan. Big time! If and when a clutch slips or goes, I will change over and re-evaluate, until then it is the drastically superior lubricating qualities of synthetic oil that make sense to me. Both the Max and Magna have been on them from birth, and both can rip a clutch :))
....Third tank of gas, averaged 42+ mpg. I really like the big tank. Like the looks of it, like the feel of it. In fact, after working on the bike installing a shield, pegs, changing oil, installing a battery tender and just general maintenance and inspection, I have really become fond of the structure of the bike. FZ fetish, it is called. I got it. FZ just looks good, feels good all over, whether looking at the sum total or individual parts on the bike. By today's standards a lot of value for the initial price. It is nice to get all of this right out of the box; a header system, race quality brakes, a race quality engine, radials, comfortable seat, etc. So far, I have to rate the overall workmanship on my bike as excellent. I know, I know, even the spando-boys fairing and junk-yard intruments.
....I know the "from the factory settings" on the suspension have received criticism from reviewers, but the FZ1 soaks up every bad road around poor-folk country, and just keeps on looking for more. I have never been on any land machine that fly's anywhere on hard surfaces at will. I will leave the suspension settings alone for awhile, just to enjoy the fantastic ride at any speed. I am not hammering the corners, wheeling, or racing, however, the FZ is taking everything up to that level with ease, with the stock settings.
....As one reviewer stated, there may be no land machine on modern roads capable of getting from point A to point B as fast as an FZ1. I should have said that. The reason being the all round superior handling, cornering, accelerating, cruising characteristics. A pretty total package for all types of hard to easy riding, short trip to long haul.
....Had not been on the Vmax all of the month of May due to riding and enjoying the FZ. Interesting, at first my return impression to the Vmax was, 'Big and heavy, old technology like climbing into an old souped up Mustang.' The front wheel seemed heavy and had to be man-handled. I was rolling around the question of why I keep these old muscle bikes. Any thoughts of abandonment disappeared within the first couple of miles. There is nothing quite like the feel and sound of the big V4 with Hindle headers. Not race loud and obnoxious like the Kerker on the Magna, but a V8 power rumble. For being an old heavy bike, still the Bad Boy. The suspension/exhaust mods that I have done to the Max have made it a very, very good cycle. But again I relate, all of these mods are right of the box on FZ1 :))))) Neat cycles, these Muscle Bikes, old and new!!
....Took the FZ for a 30 miles run along the Mississippi River to see if there was any detectable difference after its first oil change. I could notice no difference. I did notice the same thing someone posted on the FZ board regarding exhaust smoke/vapor after starting the bike up immediately after changing oil to check for leaks. I suspicion is was just a relatively cold engine with the warm exhaust gases hitting the outside cooler air (55 degrees). I just opened the garage door from the warm basement and stuck the back of the bike to the outside. Today upon startup and running outside, I did not notice and extra exhaust vapors.
....It was in the high 50's today and certainly can feel the warmth off the engine on the legs. Very comfortable. Much of my riding is in cooler weather so the way the engine heat moves around the legs if a good thing for my riding. I have never been on a bike that rides hotter than the Vmax so the FZ in hot weather will not be a problem for me.
....Hell Cat windshield is being accepted more and more. My eyes just fit in the unobstructed area right above the top of the shield. This is the area of least wind movement. Head can be turned to observed the surrounding and also can hear the surroundings and bike.
....Ran the bike a little harder today with new oil and slightly over 500 miles. I have not babied it on break in but have not run it over 100+ very much. Just a couple of times on most outings:) No extended speeds over 70+, just run ups and back down. On the other hand I have not putted along at a varying speed from 40-55 either. Ran the curves faster today and several fast runs, one to 125. Very quick bike, very stable bike to that point, even with the Hell Cat shield in place.
....At 60 mph on the speedo the rpm's are just a bit over 4k. At 70 mph they read about 4400. I have not wound the rpm's up to anywhere near redline so perhaps I was fibbing when I stated I was not babying the FZ during break in. I did not look to see what the rpm's were at 125, but other runs have only been 6-7k. Most of the first 500 miles were from 3000-4600 rpm's. I tend to run the rpm's on my cycles periodically up to moderately high rpm's. Too mechanically ignorant to have any real logic however. If one is taking about the rings and other moving parts of the power train meshing with one another and if that is a needed reality, which to some extent if certainly is, then one has to argue that the rings, cylinder walls, cams, valves, etc, also need the periodical higher heat levels and pressure levels that higher rpm's and loads create. Only a fleeting thought. For most of us it is about like watching a sand storm on Mar's, who the hell really knows what is going on.
....I will continue to make some faster and faster runs, which is similar to the break in process I used on the Vmax and it is running like an awesome muscle bike should. I will report any break in troubles as they develop. Actually part of my little break-in theory is just an adolescent excuse for the boredom of the slow riding syndrome, Hardley-itis.
....And now for a more little Harley bashing. If I wanted 'slow man's disease,' a Harley might have been in order :) Let's see, V65 $3000, Vmax $6000, FZ1 $8000, Total $17,000 330hp 212 ft-lb torque or one Fat Boy, more cash, a few ponies displaying moderate pulling ability :))
....The FZ remains a delight to ride.
....Lots of rain has kept the FZ contained in the stable. Just received and installed the Givi windscreen and test rode. Looks nice, functions at the very basic level for a sit up rider, day tripper or long-hauler, but at the good level for a sport rider, way too thin and fluttery at interstate speeds and in disturbed air flow around traffic. I suppose any aftermarket windscreen will have to be thin and flimsy because the cowling is thin and light, so will not take major weight or stress on it. Thus I have my doubts that in the present configuration of the 2001 FZ, there will be any aftermarket screen that can give really good protection for a sit-up riding position. Therefore, wind protection will probably have to come from a bar mounted shield like the hell cat.
....FZ has good roll-on abilities. That is one thing I like in a bike. One thing a muscle bike has to have, the ability to light it up on the road at any speed with little or no downshifting. Everyday riding on the street or interstate is of that type. In everyday highway riding I do not find a great deal of difference in performance of the FZ/Vmax/Magna. For a really good sport rider or drag style rider the differences would start to come out, but not for the average good hard street rider. Where the FZ shines is agility, power+suspension. I am trying to find negatives according to my riding style, but only rave reviews are flowing thus far, for my abilities and riding demands.
....Adjusted chain, checked tires, slapped on an Eclipse magnet tank bag, laterally bungeed on two 12x24in black nylon duffel bags with gear for the 3-4 day run of about 1000+ round trip miles to Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the bike races. Went for a 25 miles test run with everything in place. All works well, however Yamaha needed to have designed some sensible bungee attachment points into the FZ. I will put up a travel page later. At this point after 25 miles loaded with gear, I am guessing the FZ will go beyond my expectations when I bought it to handle everything from long hauling to trolling for Harley's.
....And for some more Hardley bashing...Which brings me to the FZ's first experience with an obnoxious Hardley rider. While stopped politely at a red light, FZ and partner wave at Hardley Arider, who was turning the corner while staring daggers at "Rice Boy", then lighting up the coffee-can-flames, making that obnoxious noise they make while going almost nowhere. No I did not chase him down for a little humiliation, so he still thinks he has a bad machine ;) Some of those folks do that all the time to me on the Vmax, now the FZ. Dumb @$$*$ have NO clue. I am easily going, but I am really starting to dislike the Hardley disease caught by so many of the shortchangers. I like their bikes. But do not want one, we want performance. Grew up with the real bikers, Harley/Indian riders, my parents, uncles, so I am really offended by the pseudo Hardley cult of today. Something happens to many of them when they plunk down 2-3 times more that an FZ or Vmax and have 2-3 times less performance. And these people vote!!
....It was very cool tonight when testing the ride with cargo. The protection from leg wind blast from the radiator area was apparent and the heat coming off the cooling system/engine compartment feels great. I will like that because of all the cool riding days I am out on the road. The hot days, as stated before are not a problem to me. I just tolerate it better than most, and riding the V4 of the Vmax, heat from the FZ is only moderate in comparison. Just a little warm spring breeze.
....Dual headlamps seem much better than lights on any of my other bikes. After a longer night ride, I will know more about their function. They do spread the light beam very wide, which I like.
....Still very, very impressed by the total FZ package. So enjoyable not to fight handling and not thinking about what the next mod will be in an attempt to make it handle better/safer. Elkhart trip will be a good test of machine and set up. Report to come next week.
....Readjusted the chain. Really hard to tell on the FZ just how much slack to leave in the chain when on center stand. The 1.6-2.0 inches seems too much, but then when down on the ground with the rider aboard some of the slack is taken un to the point of about an inch + or - or slack. Rode 25 miles and seems to be fine. Concern is a 1000+ miles round trip this weekend without a good feel of the chain situation. Almost impossible to adjust on the road due to the big 32 mm axel bolt. Would have to shop at a Sear's store to do it, or catch a cycle shop.
....Installed a manual fan switch for slow, hot, stop-and-go riding. Will put a page up in the next week with those procedures. Was not happy with my installation but can tell you what to do to eliminate the mess I made on the wiring lead to the manual switch. If you are going to do the process acquire some relatively thin black or blue wire. The wire may be a little visible in a couple of areas so you may want to use just black wire, or blue. Red or yellow will show up a little as one looks down inside near the headset. Nothing major in looks however. You will need several small wire nuts and several small tie wraps. Then a normal two pole toggle switch available at any auto or hardware store. You can also use a handle bar switch sold my many cycle supply houses for electrical leads off the bars. If you do not understand about the toggle switch and locations I use, surf into my Vmax fan switch pages. The process will be exactly the same. I am a champion of synthetic oil and manual fan switches to control engine temp. V-4's have created my following to both items.
....FZ loaded for trip to Superbike weekend at Elkhart Lake,Wis. Cargo carrying will be okay, but FZ needs good bungee tie locations.. I have seen/used worse however. Will put up a page of a basic list of what I took for travel and how it was strapped on later. Except for camping gear, I could probably travel a normal 7-10 day tour on the FZ. Report on thoughts of camping trips later.
Outing 15---Three Day 1050 mile trip to Road
America, a Race Tour
.Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, AMA Superbike Double Header, about 1050 total miles, 320 first afternoon, 190 second day, 520 home third day.
.1042 miles on 23.3 gallons equals an average of 44.7 mpg. I used several fills of 89 octane, but ran everything from 87 to 93 depending on what was available. A fill was at about 100+ miles as other bikes needed to stop that often for gas. Not the FZ :)) Thus generally there was a half tank mix at gas fills. A couple of times I gassed up every two stops. The range of the FZ is a very enjoyable luxury. In decades of riding, I have never owned a bike with this kind of range. I did not detect any mileage difference on various octanes but that would take a better set of data, using only one octane for many fills as each fill will vary so much in level or amount. I did not notice any performance issues on any tank of gas. Performance was "extreme" at all times.
.The 465 miles into the racetrack were very hard, fast interstate riding. Traffic was running 80+ most of the way. We were running 80-95 nearly the entire distance to the track, when on the highway at cruising speeds. There were of course many fast passing bursts from 90-105, but nothing over 120+. I ran with a very good bandit rider who likes to "play," so there was a great deal of hard accelerating going on during the entire trip.
.The return trip was 12 hours in the saddle with stops for gas every 100 miles for the other bikes and lunch. The return was on Wisconsin two lane roads, which made me homesick :)) The speeds were still 75 or over most of the way, with a major amount of hard accelerating and decelerating on the corners, plus a significant number of small towns with stop and go riding.
.What is my overall evaluation of the FZ after three days of major riding? PERFECT for me!!!!!! There are still only small issues that I can live with or adjust too. One must remember my opinions come from a lot of years of long hauling on old Honda inline fours, the V65, the Vmax. I now have a race level machine, disregarding what class one wants to throw it in, that will haul enough "stuff" if one is conservative, for 3-10 days on the road, and it will do it at literally any level of hard riding one can throw its way. Total power and handling performance. Try taking 45-mph curves at 70-100 on any muscle bike, sport tourer, cruiser, or land barge. Cannot be done. It can be done on the FZ, and done with confidence and safety, assuming one is a good rider making sure decisions on road conditions/environment.
.Get the point. The FZ is an absolute blast on a tour; out on the road for 8-14 hours a day experiencing a total variety of riding conditions. There can be very few if any bikes every developed with the ability of the FZ on a tour. Well, there just cannot be a bike on the road right now that can be a better total package. Talk about total riding performance and just plain fun day after day, it is an FZ, a Super Standard, Modern Muscle, a Road Predator, the Mantid, a Racetourer
.Actually I am guessing the FZ just stands alone at this point in time.
.I use no hard bags, only duffels/bags held onto the bike with bungee cords. I want speed and power when touring, but I want a street muscle bike when not long hauling 3-10 days, and that of course is most of the riding time for the majority of riders.
.I cannot comment at all on the FZ in comparison to a real tourer in the Goldwing class or a sport tourer in the ST1100 class. I really do not want either of these styles in the stable, which is not a put-down to any other bike or class, as for most/many people they will be much better option than the FZ.
.The kind of person that will find the FZ a grand touring option is the type of person that wanst to experience high riding speeds, rapid acceleration/deceleration, g-forces in corners. They would like the bike to handle all kinds of road conditions and speeds without worry of what is next, knowing the machine will handle it all and then some for the average good rider. They do not want to apologize or be looked down upon by the sportbike/muscle bike/Harley that pulls up along side. The FZ rider likes the feel of knowing even when fully loaded for a tour, they are more than a handful for anything on the road, whether on the straights or in the corners. Well, they will be the 'baddest boy' on the road.
.Footpegs worked great, and are a must for me on long riding days. I only use them periodically but they offer enough stretch and relief from the normal jockey riding position of the FZ to drastically increase comfortable time in the saddle.
.I considered the saddle of the FZ in the very good category. Much better than my Vmax or V65 or long trips. I am sure the saddle is not as good as a custom seat or seat on an actual touring machine, but I do not want that type of soft, shaped seat as they do not ride well for more aggressive riding that the FZ owner is capable of experiencing.
.I need to retract my former statement that the Givi aftermarket windscreen flutters about an inch or more. It actually flutters only about Ό to ½ inch at the edges. After re-evaluating the Givi on a longer ride, I can live with the flutter, even though at times it is a distraction/annoyance to me. The cowling of the FZ like most sportbikes is very light, small, thin by design to reduce weight. Any aftermarket shield will have to also be light and probably very flexible so as not to stress the attachment points and cause destruction of the cowling. I left the Givi on for this longer tour as it "throws" more wind away from the Hell Cat shield I have mounted on the handlebars. Thus the Givi reduces the pressure on the Hell Cat and reduces the amount of air coming in behind the Hell Cat onto the rider.
.Since the cowling on the FZ will not support, IMO, any major type of large wind shield necessary for most long rides, the "cobble" job wind shield like the Hell Cat that I have mounted on the bar seems the best option that I can come up with. As stated earlier, I am probably going to order the next side of Memphis Shades shield to see if it will fit as a replacement on for the National Cycle Plexistar 2 on my Max. At that time I will see if the larger shield is an option for more protection on the FZ. The Memphis Shades mounting system is quality stainless steel, which the National Cycle mounting hardware has basically not changed for decades and in comparison is very poor quality and functions at a much lower level.
.After several long days in the FZ saddle, what were the biggest personal issues with the bike? Number one is there is no self-canceling turn signal. Number 2, is the poor instrument dial design, with the numbers being too small and the dials being too dark during normal riding conditions.
.As you can see, I am hard pressed to find anything of "value" to complain about on this bike. Engine buzz was not a problem at all to me. The two places I could feel any major engine vibration were the pegs and the handle bars, but that was not severe, nor was it a perceived issue for any length of time. I tend to ride with a very light touch on the bar grips. I did experience any after ride buzz or feel in the hands.
.How did the Hell Cat windshield work? Great. I wore a half helmet about half of the trip and no helmet the other half. Wind blast is off the chest completely, with only the top of the head exposed when totally stretched upright. There is a nice dead air pocket several inches behind the shield where the head/eyes rest much of the time when leaning a little on the bars. There is no significant back pressure from the Hell Cat that 'sucks' exhaust fumes in on the rider. With this shield set up, you can turn the head and look to the sides without fighting constant wind blast. You can see, hear, experience the riding environment. Trust me, if you plan to make the FZ a long hauling "racer" then consider the best wind protection possible. If you are not a believer, go out about 7 days on a trip, ride 8-14 hours each day in hot wind, cold rain, heavy traffic, etc. If not a long hauler, then the Givi or similar shield my be the way to go, or like me, have both options available.
.What were the biggest surprises from the FZ on a longer trip? The 44.7 mph over 1042 mile trip at very high highway speeds and very aggressive, hell-bent-for-leather riding, and that is just was it was
.The next pleasant surprise would have to be the overall riding comfort. The wind protection of the shield worked great, the seat was comfortable for me, the suspension handled bumps and bad roads like a dream. Cargo weight/bulk did nothing to interrupt the unlimited power and handling.
.I will put up another page of more detailed information regarding equipment and supplies I utilized this short trip of 3-4 days, which may give ideas for someone thinking about an FZ or similar bike utilized as a long hauler.
.This is the most comfortable bike to ride I have owned, due to the great suspension/power and also I have multiple riding positions. Straight up or laying down, and everywhere between. One or two legs on the pegs. Up to the front of the saddle or pushed to the back. Like the Vmax, because of the jockey riding position, I can stand totally up on the pegs and stretch out often, generally in and out of towns or before stop signs, but the FZ is easily controlled out of the saddle at any speed. Most FZ riders will be experienced so riding out of the saddle is not an issue to them. New and intermediate riders need to be very careful about such little "tricks."
.The FZ is so new that most folks do not recognize what it really is, however, those in the know seem very interested in knowing how it performs and how I like the machine. My answer if usually a one-liner, "Total package for any type of riding." It does everything beyond my expectations. Great bike. Super bike. Fantastic bike. I have never owned anything I liked any better.
Road America Thoughts as a Cycle
Rally point for the North Central Region
.....After being back from the Elkhart Lake Track, it is obvious the FZ is going to be a great long hauler for me. Came out in the rain and rode all day Sunday to get back to work.
.....Saw two other black FZ's and one blue. I never did catch up to their owners, however. One could spend most of the race weekend just walking and looking at hundreds of bikes. I enjoyed running into models I had not seen for decades, many rare models, with a great variety of street performance/appearance mods. Good to see that number of performance bikes in one spot. Unless one is blinded with Hardley syndrome you have to like all the brands. Fast is fast, is fast.
..... Superbike weekend would make a good Rally point for cycle groups in the northern/central states. I notice online that many of the groups have small regional rallys with only a local agenda, but no central drawing item like a Superbike weekend. The Vmax group has numerous gathering around the country. It looks like any region with Superbike races could set up a central motel location, plan ahead letting members know to reserve rooms, ride in to the races, keep things simple, small group gatherings/meals/rides, etc. Nothing very formal on the organization body. Maybe have a central location for meeting/parking at the track. Northern Wisconsin leads itself to a bunch of riding loops if one wanted a day before/after or during a race ride. Superbike weekend in Wisconsin would make a great 4-6 day riding vacation, rally, bike weekend.
.....No, I am not interested in organizing anything, but the north/central FZ group might become more organized down the road, depending on how the bike and its following progresses. I remember when the present Vmax Owner's was started in about 94/95 by Clint. It has grown to nearly 2000 paying members, a major web sight and a sizeable web ring of some pretty complete Vmax information sites. The FZ may be here to stay more than a few years. Or something similar with the same performance/suspension. If the FZ does stay around I visualize quite a following. As an example, unless also blinded by Hardley syndrome a Vmax rider would have to consider a bike like the FZ as a second bike or replacement. It has all the performance issues we fight on the stock Vmax.
.....FZ riders could rally with the Yamaha Vmax or other cycle groups. No not Hardleys!! I can see FZ's laying all over the pavement from trying to do burn outs with the Max boys, and Maxes in every ditch trying to stay with the FZ on the open road.
.....I am getting a bit of a kick out of listening to a little Vmax interest regarding the FZ, but instead of homing in on performance/power/suspension/speed/ability and all the things Vmax folks try to get out of our "old" bikes, it gets down to old mind sets on looks and "squids." Poor boys do not know what they are missing. There was only One, now there are Two, thee Max and thee FZ
.....Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin leads itself to a rally point for riders due to several attractive reasons. There are several smaller cities within 50-70 miles for a central motel location without entering very large cities. It sits out in the county, is big and easy to get into. You can ride the entire grounds area and park a cycle at "any" available space. You can get into the Paddock (pit) area with the teams, rider, mechanics. The racing atmosphere is like a state fair of various activities and interests.
....Took the FZ out for 30 miles ride after a couple of days off from the long weekend into Elkhart Lake. All of the little things I have been complaining about have gone by the way side after living on the bike three days, except for the lack of self-canceling turn-signals and the poor visibility of the speedo and tach at speed. And of course the lack of bungee points for long hauling.
....Air blast has been solved. I have learned to even like the cowling and looks.
....I find myself comparing the FZ less and less to other bikes. It is just in a class by itself right now. The bike is so light/agile/powerful that I find myself riding it much like a good racing bicycle, in that you just get on and put the power down, going anywhere. You ride it. Or better stated it does not ride you or fight you in any way during normal all round aggressive/fun street riding.
.....I am guessing my impression logging will decline in volume except for an occasional new observation on performance/maintenance/issues/innovations.
Outing 17 High Speed
....Today was the day to start top speed break in of the FZ :))
....Just back from a 200 mile round trip from Hannibal to Nauvoo, ILL. The place the Mormon's migrated from on their trek west in the 1800's. The Mormon's are in the process of building the original temple back to specs but with modern materials. Originally that was a huge building in the 1800's sitting on a hill overlooking the eastern bank of the Mississippi Valley wetlands.
....We ran the east side of the Mississippi on the way up. Three young sport bike riders and the old FZ. There is a little known road on the Mississippi River bottoms that runs straight and flat for 10 miles and the rest of the road has sweeping curves and straights for another 40 miles. A very rare "race" track and "drag" strip. Almost no cars for 40 miles. Good place to try out a bike for straight line speed. No critters, no cars, cherry lights, an occasional tractor.
....This was the first time I have had a chance to really work on the speed of the FZ. With 1700 miles on it, I felt more comfortable running a little hotter than the 120-130 previous top speeds. We ran the first 25 miles to this road at 75-100 so all engines were warmed up. I ran the FZ up at alternating 10mph intervals before the straights. Up to 120+. Then on the long straight did a couple of quick runs to 130 and maintained for short time, following that by a sustained 140 for a couple of miles. Everything seemed to be working perfectly at 140, so on the last run coming up on another bike I ran up to 150, held for a few seconds and backed down, out of road. Which for now is just fine. I have no idea what it will do beyond 150. I was watching the speedo and not the tach at that speed. Will try t run it again on the same road another time soon and report, trying to watch the tach a little more as it approaches redline .
....What are my opinions of the FZ at speed. Well, coming off the Vmax and Mag, I was expecting some type of head shake or wobble at about 135+. Kind of like a trip to "Cheyenne Days." That is why I ran it up at 10mph intervals, looking for any signals "the gate is about to be opened on the bull" with the "new kid" on its back. To my pleasant surprise I detected absolutely to indications of suspension problems anytime during this ride, from 130-150. The wind was out of the south or from behind at a moderate breeze. I do not know what a strong crosswind will do, especially with the Hell Cat shield in place, like it was today. Actually I expected the FZ to run to 140+ without difficulties based on what has been said about the bike and what appears to me a very good street suspension system for all out straight line speed. One has to remember I am doing 150 sitting straight up behind the Hell Cat shield and not ever in semi-squid position. Which by the way, I will be on the next run over 150 :)
....These guys are good riders and like their speed. The elder on the FZ was not innocent and was just as big a hooligan. Last week was the fastest 1000+ miles on a bike I have been able to maintain. This was probably the fasted 200 mile day trip. Cruising speeds often 100+. This is not bragging on speed, just pointing to the abilities of the FZ. Like others, one thing I must pass on to the unsuspecting, this is not a R-6 in the corners. It is a sit-up riding style with rubber in the bar mount, etc. It is not a race level curve-cutter, so be careful not to go ballistic in the corners and high-side it. On the other hand, the FZ is not at all inept in the the corners and will allow speeds unimaginable to we old muscle bike riders or cruisers or Hardley converts.
....Now here comes the kicker. I filled the FZ up with gas when I got home after 200 miles of very, very hard, fast riding and it took a shade under 5 gallons. FZ fans, I am getting at least 40 mpg no matter what style of riding. Under extreme riding like that, I would have not expected 40 mpg. We are talking constant high speed runs. Very hard acceleration and roll-ons over and over. Highway speeds consistently in excess of 90. I am getter really good mileage with my FZ. I would never have guessed this kind of mileage was possible the way I have been riding the bike from the 'git-go.'
....Now I must confess. My main reason for riding with the hooligans, like a hooligan, was to visit the dealer for some impulsive buying and order a carbon-slip on. I promised myself, I would be good and live with a quiet bike and not spend anymore money on mods. The Max and Mag have been money pits, and FZ muscle out of the box is very nice. Just should not make promises. I am weak. I need to know if the motor is running. I need to hear something, even if does get obnoxious on long trips. I am hoping for a little motor music like the Hindle on the Vmax and not "hard rock" like the Kerker on the Magna. I was going to wait for other systems to hit the market, but ordered the Yammie carbon. 'Sides, I have just about had it with the Hardley crowd making fun of my new powder puff ride. I will be able to play them a new tune as they hunt for their socks.
....Plan on getting a dyno read out of the FZ stock and then do a run with the ship on right after, so will post some results in a couple of weeks if I get the slip on in time.
....Going to throw Mobil 1cycle oil in this week, before the dyno runs, plus it is time for me go synthetic, as will have 2k miles on the engine.
....150mph and no sign of going to the 'hop.' 40mpg as a hooligan. Gads! Will my wonders of the FZ never stop. BE careful of extreme cornering with the FZ, it is not an R6.
June 17, 2001--- Changed to Mobil 1 Cycle at 2k
.....The FZ is relatively easy to work on with right tools. Tool 15 minutes to change oil and tighten chain.
.....Threw in three quarts of Mobil 1 cycle, left the oil filter in place. First time in my life I have not put on a fresh filter when changing oil.
....Old dogs can learn new tricks. This filter only has 1500 miles on it, and when really getting involved in the oil issue as the internet became more functional starting about '94/'95 there were a number of folks that made a very scientific argument for quality filters doing their best filtering process after they are used for a few hundred miles up into the several thousand. Thus, the thought was to change every 2-3 oil changes. Most of us will not do that, but I am confident enough in the the theory to leave this filter in place through the next oil change. There is nothing magical about a fresh filter unless the old one has its "pores" shut down so much they are not allowing enough oil to flow through and the by pass is then letting "dirty" or unfiltered oil to go through the system. But that is not going to be the case for at least past the third oil change unless one has a really "bad" engine or is passing a lot of grit into the oil through the air system.
....Again, do not do as I do, make your own decisions. I am just posting what I am doing and what I pick up and process. One thing about not replacing the oil filter too often is the filter maintains its oil charge. There is a number of people quite concerned about what they consider is the "terrible wear" time for an engine. They claim most wear, 70-90%, is from metal to metal contact during the time the lubrication coat is lost or oil quantity/pressure is way down in the system. Such as after long sitting periods and at oil changes. Using these thoughts, I tend to change my oil in haste. I drain out the main quantity and not "drip dry," plug it up, add oil, start it up and get going.
....I generally never idle or warm an engine up sitting around at low rpm's, as this is another very vulnerable time. I start the engine, get it running and drive off, warming up under light load/speed. I keep the rpm's up to at least 2.5k and usually try to run very little time under 3k.
....Another thought on the superior qualities of synthetic oils, is the fact it "stays" on the internal metal surfaces much better and for longer periods of time, thus reduces the lubrication issue at start up, during cold weather and oil change time.
....I will be interested if synthetic improves gas mileage on the FZ. I have enough data recorded now to detect any changes. Generally, since lubrication from synthetic oil is so much better, that with friction greatly reduced the gas mileage will go up. Some folks claim 2-4 mpg. I think they may be right on my Magna. On my Max, an educated guess would be 1+ mpg more, but it is hard to tell, as the Max is such a "hot rod" engine, it is very sensitive to riding style. In my experience going from 26 (my lowest) to 48 mpg. The FZ, right now at least seems to be getting 40-48 no matter how it is ridden.
....Bottom line, smoother shifting and smoother engine with synthetic oil. I did not notice any clutch slippage but the initial 30 miles was a cruise. I will monitor the clutch issue carefully. Synthetic has been run for years in my Max and Mag without any detectable slippage to date and both of these engine although old are still formidable weapons.
On Chain Adjustment---
....I am kind of fighting the chain adjustment issue. It is me and not the FZ. It takes just a tiny change in the adjustment screws to tighten up the chain too much. I have run the chain 1400 miles since the last adjustment because of the longer trip to Elkhart. It was getting sloppy and hitting the guard way too much upon deceleration or stopping in town. Seemed fine at high speed on the highway.
....Now I have it too tight and will have to loosen it up a bit. I seem to have a tendency to get it too tight on every adjustment try. I would rather have it a bit loose than too tight and stress the cogs and engine.
....The FZ chain is very easy to adjust with the right tools and because of the quality parts. I have to keep saying, go to Sear's or another high quality tool supplier and start collecting the "right" tools. They are a must and a life time investment. You can pass them down to the next little hooligan if you will not loan them out to droolers and Hardley men, plus keep them out of the "rain" yourself.
....That big back axle nut, 32mm, is just to massive to play around with and needs to be torqued down to a spec of 108 ft-lb. which is a lot of force. If you want to ride with the cruiser crowd fine, but you are on a machine that will go 150+ any moment and you need to have your "ducks" in order, meaning "tight nuts" :)) Buy a 32 mm 1/2 inch drive socket and a big old 1/2 inch drive breaker bar for the axle nut. Then spend another $98 plus tax and get a good Sear's 1/2 inch drive torque wrench and learn how to use it. You can get by with cheap tools or tools that do not fit the job, but they will eventually get you into trouble, taking time and money for repair/parts. Of course the about little gems are just a start of the "tool time show."
....No FZ riding. Rain and work. Withdrawal problems in only a couple of days. It has become a chore to dig out the Max or Magna, just to keep the fluids flowing in them. I need a stable boy for Muscle Bikes! I tend to forget how light and agile the FZ is until climbing aboard the Max.
....In a thousand years of life or so, I have only owned a few things I really, really liked; Cannondale racing bike, Mercury outboards, '72 Montego Broughm, Sony Mavica Camera, Dell, Weatherby's and the likes, which is really a very small list of things considering I am near the front of the great toy race. You do not see the Max or Magna in that list, or any other cycle. They are all major headaches in some fashion. The FZ is finally the "machine" for all round "land flying" we poor boys have been waiting for.
....List response to our being discovered:
....You snooze, you lose!
....Good answers from the list. Our complaints are from initial sensitivity and looking for "trouble."
....I am still trying to pick the FZ to pieces, and continue to laugh at myself for many early "observations."
....The FZ is too tall for me, so I was hung up on that issue, but now the extra height/clearance seems the only way to "land fly." Getting back on the Vmax, it seems way too low, heavy and sluggish. Did I say that about the "Bad Boy" of all time? Gads! The FZ has put the Max to bed :(
....Every FZ item I home in on is insignificant and disappears with hard riding time and/or mods.
....All of the concerns posted and gleamed from the list are really not major concerns. You can beat or delete all of them, or they are just typical cycle things.
....You can do you own basic maintenance with a few tools and time, and know they are done right. I am beyond basic and the FZ will never see the dealer unless there is a major defect or issue, or major engine work needs to be done. With a manual and some tools you can save mega bucks and trips to the shop, which more than pays for tools and lost waiting time. You homed in on carb synching, which is generally the last thing to top off good tuning. That is rather easy on the FZ. I will have a page up and running before it would be an issue to you. I presently have a Vmax page online showing the basics with a Carbtune II, which can be delivered to your door from the UK for under a $100, will last a lifetime and save mega bucks in sync cost from the shop. There are a lot of other sync instruments but the Carbtune II is one of the best.
....Jetting and other tuning issues are going to be no more necessary with a stock FZ than any other bike, probably less so, from what I have seen thus far. If you want to do them fine, but a stock FZ is the real deal.
....I could not ask for better performance top to bottom, better mileage, better suspension, better agility right out of the box. I am guessing one could buy an FZ leave it stock, run the $&!% out of it for years, never take it into the shop for major issues, toss it in the heap when done with it and buy a another one with the interest saved from one Fat Boy.
....I have waited decades for a real world cycle. Finally!
....This is undoubtedly the best all round street machine produced to date. But only tell your friends, as we do not want our secret out :))
You snooze, you lose! Just get it.
....Gas fill 42+ mpg (moderately hard riding) before heading out to a cruise spot in Quincy, Ill, to meet up with some riders of the past.
....Speed on this tank will not be sustained high speed, but rarely conservative.
....Notice the same thing with the FZ, that I have noticed with the V65 and Vmax. Synthetic oil dropped the rpm's at 60 mph from nearly 4100 down to just a little over 4000. Synthetic seems to drop rpm's by 50 +/- on the cycle I have used it in. That would, I suspect stand to reason, superior lubrication, less friction to overcome, thus fewer rpm's to maintain, say 60 mph.
....People have no idea the "devil" that lurks in the "tiny" engine. The entire bike is so delicate/light/strong compared to the old technology. I wiped off as much insect residue as possible so it would be half way presentable. I am still amazed, every time I wipe the bike down, how small the power plant is and how well built the bike is.
....How do you explain to anyone out of the loop what an FZ really is. *&&^%*& I heard the comment tonight, "It looks like a Buel." I just about threw up, but held my Frozen Custard and refrained from choking.
....I often find myself just responding, "It is superior motorcycle from another planet, above anything we have known on earth." Well, it is!!
.....Gas fill 46+mph (moderately hard riding with a little more 60-70 cruising. It is really hard to be "good" long enough to see what the mileage is at 55-70 and without hard acceleration, newbe style riding.
.....Made an 75 miles run to Midwest Performance at Keokuk, Iowa, where I purchased my Max and FZ1, to get on a dyno they have come in several times a year. Living 100 miles from nowhere and in an alien land, I have to head to heaven real boys have real toys.
.....Let see, what can we "b" about today. I am still on a toot with Yamaha for not taking care of the little things with the wind protection, instrument cluster, bungee hard points. I did notice buzz more today than in the past few rides. Nothing unexpected from a high performance inline four, I just seems to be more aware of it. Ran the same river bottom road we were on last week at 90-150 for about 30 miles, only today being alone I ran it much more conservatively but still at a speed most cruisers and street bikes would not handle on the sweeping corners. The FZ is wonderful for all kinds of road/street riding.
.....Took a look at my rpm's at 100. Right on 6700. And I am at 4000+ at 60mph. Mobil 1 Cycle oil has brought the rpm's down just a little at 60. Proably about 50 +/-.
.....The dyno has run three FZ's. All three are basically exactly alike when significant error is considered. They dyno at 120-121 on his machine, with 68-70+ lb of torque. Rob attempts to keep his machine very accurate and the values are not inflated from what I have watched with many other bikes. He has run probably 6000+ bikes on this machine. My V65 was 98hp and Max was 112hp, which from what I know and feel about them, is about right on the money. I was actually expecting the FZ to show 115-117. A couple of the reviews indicated they were not at 120 as claimed by Yamaha. Leon in Australia indicates his wife's FZ ran 125 stock.
....Another interesting observation was that R1's are getting 134-136 on his dyno. That is 15 hp above the FZ, and much more of a difference than Yamaha claims.
....A lot of people are taking a very good look at the FZ and seem to like what it offers. Midwest's owner, Rich, who is a major, major cyclist is likely to end up on one soon. FZ is not for the hard core squids, wingers, cruisers, Hardley's, but for the person that wants all round performance in a modern street package, the FZ more than fills the bill, especially for old Muscle bike fanatics, unless the high speed wobble of their steeds has not jarred their retina's loose and blinded them.
....I had ordered a carbon can from Yamaha. Not in and Yamaha has given no delivery date. Sound familiar? Apparently companies, or should we say Yamaha takes orders, lets them accumulate and then "jobs" out the lot to secondary manufactures (which we know). Yamaha has worn out most of the Vmax group with their poor delivery of accessories, plus all of the other Yamaha cruisers that I know are having the same problems. Interesting how a company that can put out such good "machinery" cannot get it together with accessories and service. They need to exchange ideas on products and scamming with Milwaukee.
....I will put up a dyno page with a few pics sometime soon. Going to stable the FZ just a little bit, as planning a five day trip south, and get the heavy tackle out, thee Max, for some Hardley trolling :)
....If I do not stop running the FZ, I am going to have varnish in my Max and Mag carbs!! Dang bike anyway ;)
....Filled up with gas; 40+ mpg. This tank reflects a great deal of in-town, stop and go riding.
....Installed a Sigma Sport 800 Bicycle Computer. Procedure and impressions are outlined on http://www.angelfire.com/ia/z/FZ1sigma.htm
....The information on the initial comparison of the speedo value to the computer value is at the bottom of the page, and indicates the stock speedo is registering significantly faster speeds than actual. The computer interpolated top speed of about 154-155 corresponds to the calculated top speed reported in reviews. I will not repeat the values as they are at the bottom of the Sigma page. If anyone installs a Sigma, I would like your settings and data values to compare with mine.
....Well, I did get the Vmax out and proceeded to snap a motor mount bolt, which was probably ready to do anyway, but riding the Max like the FZ certainly "encouraged" the bolt to go. Whacked the throttle in first and snap goes the mount bolt. Max has a major engine.
....Have been running both muscle bikes, while mothballing the V65. There riding characteristics are quite different but both perform like a muscle bike should non the street. The compliment each other for riding enjoyment. If Yamaha would get their act together and listen to the actual riders comments and make just basic changes they would appease present owners and attract new muscle men.
....No major complaints or issues right now with the FZ. The comments regarding looks, etc. have all been complementary at this point. The bike is so easy to ride, I have been using is as transportation to work, for errands, etc. Something I would not do with the Max due to weight and handling, plus I would not think of letting the Max sit out in the sun, given a choice :) Now the FZ, who cares, ride it to death, buy another because of the price and basically no mods are needed. Muscle right out of the box. It takes 2-3k to make a Max ride anywhere near potential, and that is doing the work yourself. Not an FZ. If you want sound, take ten minutes and throw on a slip-on for about $400 +/-. Slap on different wind protection for $100 +/- and there you have it. Maybe a K&N and jets down the road, but you can live with a stock FZ and run circles around, I think everything on the street, for all purpose riding. Fasted out of the box affordable land machine for major distance street riding and long hauling, no doubt. I liken the FZ to a dirt bike for concrete, just can go anywhere and do it all.
....Not riding the FZ any major amount of mileage, however, it is so easy to maneuver around town, I find myself running it on local errands over digging out a car/truck. And definitely much easier to ride in traffic and around town than either of the bigger bikes.
....I have been riding the Vmax and V65 often, just to keep the fluids running. They make one appreciate the FZ even more, and yet they are as cruisers go dominate. The Max is still a scary machine, especially to the Hardley set and the "little" squids:)
....Preparing for a five day trip of 1100-1400 miles south along the Great River Road to Shawnee National Forest, then through southern Missouri and the Mark Twain National Forest to Bass Pro in Springfield, on to the south into Arkansas then return via the Truman Lake area. I will be interested in the gas mileage as this trip will not be race touring, but cruiser style with a variety of other bikes. I intend on setting the Sigma and keeping good notes on the stock speedo and Sigma for speed and mileage comparisons.
....Some gas mileage and speedo-to-actual comparison values, however, the figures are based on one trip of just over 200 miles. Next week I will be out on a longer trip and be able to keep a series of fills and thus have better data.
....Filled up before leaving on a 200mile ride toward St. L and then returning on the IL Great River road. Pre ride fill was 41.1mpg using stock odometer. In town, stop and go riding. This seems to be about what I am getting "around town," somewhere between 40-41+.
....Rode a little over 200 miles, about half at four lane at 65+/- and about 1/4 cruishing speeds of 50-60mph, and about 1/4 "running the curves."
....Stock odometer indicated 215.6 miles while Sigma Bicycle Computer indicated 209.6 miles which means for every 100 miles the stock odometer shows, is actually on about 97.5 miles, or about a 2.5% distance error.
....Gas mileage for this one 200+ trip was 49mph stock or 47.6 actual, which I consider very good, as I still was not running a constant even speed. There "urges" often taking over the throttle hand, but the speed was more in line with "normal" highway cruising.
....It would appear that with my riding style I am going to average about 44mpg stock or 42.5 mpg actual.
....Bike is performing wonderfully to this point with about 3300 stock miles registered.
....Today was a relatively hot day to be out on the road and dinking around in antique stores in little towns. With temps in the high 90's and humidly likewise high, the heat off the FZ engine is definitely an issue. At stated before I an relatively adapted to riding the Vmax and in really hot weather the big V4 of the Max if a big heat producer. Thus I know what to expect from the FZ and just live with the heat blowing off the engine. Folks, yes, it is hot sitting on an FZ in hot weather. I almost always ride in at least jeans, so the heat is felt but not unbearable. With shorts, too hot for me. From so many years of bicycling and having a habit of drinking a lot of fluid while riding, I do the same on a motorcycle. In the case of the FZ with an Eclipse tank bag in place I just carry a couple of bicycle water bottles with me and drink on the go.
....I might add the manual fan switch is wonderful for the engine while sitting at stop light after stop light in St. L traffic with temps in the high 90's. I absolutely would not run a cycle without manual fan control, given the choice.
....Have some type of rattle toward the front end which I have not pin-pointed. Something sounds very loose and reminds me of sheet metal or plastic rattling.
.....FZ seems to be attracting more attention just sitting on the street or filling up. People seem to like the looks. Many wonder just what model it is and what it "does."
.....Vmax comes out of the stable for a couple of days to let the FZ get ready for a run down the Great River Road and over to Bass Pro. I am thinking about the buffet at Hemingway's already. If you have not had the breakfast or lunch buffet at Bass Pro in Springfield, well it is one of the best "human" lures sold.
.....Still waiting for Yamaha to cough up one of their Carbon Cans. Why does it not surprise me!!! If it were not for making things like the Vmax and FZ, I would recommend they stay in the tuning fork business.
.....Presently running 36lb front and 39lb rear, air in tires.
.....Have about 1.8k miles on this batch of Mobil 1, will change after the coming longer trip and run that batch to fall, then change for the winter.
....I am trying to think of something to "b" about, but the FZ remains like climbing on my racing bicycle when I was relatively good with it, becomes almost a metal-living part of the body. An extension of ones own biology, doing just about all that is asked. I still like it, well maybe more than like it!!
July 9, 2001 Re: Hand
.....Hand buzz seems to be a question that keeps coming up. At this point in time I personally do not see hand buzz being a problem, although I am sure it IS a problem with others and causing some numbing of the feel after riding. There are many individual characteristics coming into play, both perceived and actual.
.....I am having no trouble with handlebar buzz. BUT that may be just me. The only time I ever remember having numb hands from a bike was after a ride on an 883 Sportster. I would assume if the FZ would cause problems to an individual many other bikes would also be an issue.
....If you squeeze the FZ bars or press against the frame looking for vibration it is present. Since a high rpm level of the R1 engine in the FZ is so normal, one can experience a high frequency vibration. High rpms, high frequency vibrations. But that is true with almost all inline fours anyway. I am guessing since the motor sits in a relatively stiff big tube steel frame, vibration in the FZ is amplifide when bars or frame are squeezed. There are so many rubber mounts that the actual vibration to the rider is quit minimal depending on the riders ability to relax the grip and leg squeeze. Initially I was "looking" for FZ vibration and the bar buzz to numb the hands, since that seemed to be the review from many of the riders. In my case, I should have known better, as that has been a constant complaint from many Vmax riders over the last 5-6 years of net chat. They would be "concerned" about their hands and trying everything from #9 lead shot to foam in the bars. I never knew what they were talking about, as I thought the Max was like sitting on a big purring tiger, it just throbbed and did not bother the hands at all. Also it must be considered, one is sitting right on top of 140-150 hp engine output, what is expected, a sofa outing. I finally figured out they were not comforable/safe unless they were squeezing saw-dust out of the
bars. The Max throbs while the FZ buzzes like most inline fours.
.....If buzz is an issue, I feel it will be more with the rider and not the FZ. That is in warm weather. In really cold weather riding any bike will assist
in numbing the hands, but that is generally below 45degrees for prolonged time.
.....There is more FZ buzz in certain rpm ranges but that is true with any engine. I basically have not even thought about buzz except as to attempt to figure out what everyone was worried about. I was trying to find buzz/fault with the FZ but could not. If buzz in a bike like the FZ is really a problem to an individual, they should consider bikes like the wings, or V2's. I would have to think someone having trouble with FZ buzz squeezing too hard and maybe they need to ride a lot more and eventually their death grip will lighten up. I am sure there are riders with much better feel due to genetics and job requirements, and really will have problems with FZ vibration causing numbness, but most of should not.
.....I would not worry at all about the buzz issue on the FZ unless you think you are super sensitive to engine vibration in your job or cannot
ride relaxed. I have about 3.5k on my FZ and only notice buzz if I press down hard on the forward foot peg mod and after a few seconds i do not even notice that. I do not ride with gloves except in cold weather but a lot of the squids, I have noticed, around here wear gloves most of the time, and it is
not just for protection, it is to reduce their perceived hand buzz.
....Long answer to short question. Buzz should not be an issue. There is more perceived engine vibration generally in the 3-5k range, but the amount also depends on how the engine is being driven/lugged. The only really significant issue I have found is the lack of wind protection and I have overcome that one for me. The minor issues have gone out of the thought process by now. The FZ has become like pulling a good racing bicycle off the rack and just riding the dickens out of it without any thought of issues as it becomes a mechanical extension of the body.
.....I would not try to talk anyone into an FZ, but on the other hand, would not want someone to miss such a good thing, assuming they want to do more than cruise slowly down the avenue seated cruiser style or want a show bike with chrome. The FZ is relatively light, very agile, very quick, very powerful, and also very safe because of its overall abilities depending on rider background and abilities. If you come from a sportbike background, then definitely you can handle the charateristics of the FZ and any issues with vibration. After the V65 and Vmax, I consider the FZ very smooth, more like a sewing machine running at high rpms.
......So many good bikes on the market, but very few are really great all-round performers.
July 10 Re: Hell Cat
????What tint did you get on the Memphis "Hell Cat?"
????Can you feel the wind hitting the "Hell Cat" in the handlebars ? Is it unnerving at all?
---------NO, one does not notice any direct wind force vectors on the handlebars. The steering and feel on the bars is not an issue. Perhaps a very good rider, one with race level abilities or experience would notice the weight and forces on the bars, but I doubt there are very few even aggressive street riders that can tell the difference.
---------There is some secondary air movement coming under the Hell Cat, but it is not a problem at all and is not noticed unless one concentrate on where the air is coming from. In warm weather of course it becomes hard to even perceive or find. As the weather gets cooler the air movement is more noticeable. The wind coming in under the Hell Cat is much less than that coming in under the National Cycle Plexistar 2's on my Max and V65. That is because of the cowling throwing a lot of it away from the rider in the mid section. Most of the air movement is coming from the fork area and not from the top of the cowling. However, I did notice more air coming in on me when the stock screen was in place and thus the Givi is just big enough to throw the air up and out more and "assisting" the Hell Cat in taking the air away.
---------I might add this combination will totally eliminate direct air blast to the chest and head. And only in colder weather does the air on the hands and deltoid area of the shoulders become more perceived. A jacket and gloves will suffice until the weather drops below perhaps 45F and I am guessing by the high 30's the riding time is going to be cut to 20-40 minutes before numbness is perceived in the hands.
---------I am short at 5'8" so when I say their is good wind blast protection that must be considered. Someone 6'2"+ would probably have their head up above the screen a lot of the time. If I sit perfectly upright, my eyes are 2-4 inches above the Hell Cat, but still getting protections from direct blast. Bugs will come in on the eyes if above the shield at all, so I always wear glasses. In warm/hot weather I wear a half helmet unless riding very aggressive. There is a very nice, almost totally air movement free pocket of air when the eyes are forward 3-6 inches from the shield and down 1-3 inches from the top of the shield. One has to extend the head up well above the shield to have 100% air blast.
---------For the size of the Hell Cat there is a very nice air pocket for the body in any riding position. There is insignificant or no back pressure pushing the body forward or bringing in exhaust fumes, and I am very sensitive to both of those issues.
---------I was just showing a Shadow rider how quality the Memphis Shades mounting hardware and workmanship is over the three National Cycle shields I own and have championed for thirty years :( At this time I am totally please with the performance of the Hell Cat. It takes the wind blast issue out of the picture and had been rock solid up to 150 on the stock speedo. The looks is a personal issue for each rider to address. Unless "too uncool" looks is secondary to performance to me, and at this point in time on the 2001 FZ, I do not know of anything else to try or of anything else that will work better, for the cost and availability.
????It sounds like the GIVI flutters even with the Hell cat right behind it?
---------YES, the Givi flutters all the time, even at lower highway speeds. At first, of course, I homed in consciously on the fluttering and it was a distraction, an irritation. Sometimes it still can be, but in general I no longer notice the fluttering and it is not distracting my riding or concentration or "site seeing." My concern has become the fluttering causing cracking the Givi Screen or the vibration causing fatigue and cracking in the cowling. At this point I have not noticed any structural issues. I am guessing everything will be fine with the Givi and the cowling.
--------It would appear that I am not going to ride much without the Hell Cat in place, so I am not sure I would spend the money again on the Givi. The Givi does throw the wind away from the Hell Cat and thus is an active part of my present system, but I could also easily live with the stock screen and the little extra air that comes in around the Hell Cat with the stock screen in place.
????What tint was the Givi?
-------I cannot remember the tint options on the Givi. Mine is the tinted or smoke screen. You can see through it, so it is not like a blackened screen.
July 15, 2001, 1200
mile loop south of Hannibal
....I just returned from four days on the FZ. About 1200 miles, many of them at cruising speeds of 50-60 mph, as we had a group of ten bikes. The days started at 7am and stopped at 6-8pm. The only time off the bikes was at multiple ice cream breaks, gas, food, map stops, etc.
....The roads were almost entirely rural southern ILL, MO and northern ARK. Major hills, constant curves. Only moderate city time and straight flats. We had to have some time in Springfield at Bass Pro ;) and we ran the Mississippi and Missouri River bottoms at times. Visited historical areas of midwestern Indian cultures, Lewis and Clark, mountain men, early pioneers. Cruised trough Shawnee and Mark Twain National Forests and the Ozark hills and mountains.
....After living on the FZ for four days, I cannot find one major thing to complain about. After that many miles, curves, hours, the dang thing just becomes a part of the body, responding to every request.
....The Hell Cat shield is working even better than I thought. There is a nice air pocket for the head as far back as I can hold onto the bars. There is no wind whip at all on the head when taking in the sights. It is quiet enough to hear a radar detector with the stock exhaust on and a half helmet. Cannot imagine touring without the Hell Cat or similar wind protection. I do not see any aftermarket windscreen being functional. Even with a Hell Cat sized screen mounted out on the cowling there would not be wind protection, as it would be too far away. The rear of the air pocket of the Hell Cat out on the cowling would be right in the face. Unless I miss my guess, only a bar mounted shield is going to give wind protection for a jockey style seating position. In a nut shell the screen/shield has to be relatively close to the face/body.
....There is some engine buzz but I have to actually think about it, or squeeze hard. Never leaves me with a numb feeling, and I never think about buzz when leaving the bike.
....My cargo carrying methods works very well. I am using the Eclipse magnet tank bag, and by the way, I have not had trouble with credit cards being placed in the bag, but I keep them clear to the top of the items in the bag. I think the next trip I will make it a habit to place my "mini" billfold in the map pocket, that way one is sure of keeping the cards toward the top and away from the magnets.
....Two black 12x24 duffle bags are bungeed laterally across the passenger seat. Yamaha should have closed off the open end of the grab rails for bungee tie down. That set up is shown on another page. A gardener's foam pad is placed in the bottom of each bag, and a scrap piece of 1/8 inch plastic is placed on top of the foam. The foam softens the load on the seat, etc, while the plastic acts as a "floor" stiffener in the bag, while riding on top of the foam.
....The tank bag usually weights about 12lb, while each duffle weighs around 14lb, for a total load of under 40lb.
....We ran in moderately heavy rain for one day. The FZ performs nicely in the wet. The Hell Cat shield works great. The air bubble is enough to keep much of the water blown out to the sides as long as speed is maintained. Of course this was not in a cloud burst type of storm. I used a yellow cheap dry rider suit on this trip. I have more expensive rain gear, but tend to like the "cheap yellow." It can be seen, it is heavier and does not whip in the wind, it is replaceable and who cares if it gets filthy. Remember riding is a water sport in a a very dirty river.
....I try to get my bike to a car wash and cleaned up quickly after a rain. I do not like the sand/grit/clay particles in anymore "things" than necessary. On trips I generally carry Honda Cleaner/Polish and several pieces of only sweat shirt material to clean the bike and shield. I have tried many different cleaning agents for bikes, but find the Honda Cleaner is the best for me. I use in on everything. I try to keep the bugs off the bike and shield when their is a little break time on trips and almost always do a complete cleaning at night upon arrival at a motel or camp ground.
....Another thing I have used to clean bikes for decades, and this started with racing bicycles, is WD-40. It works great to clean everything but the seat/shield, etc. I carry a small can to clean chains, and to wipe them down and lubricate after rain removes the wax. I periodically wipe down all my cycles with WD-40, which removes the grease/tar/oil, and then go back to Honda Cleaner/Wax for several times.
....For me, the instrument cluster is pretty mediocre. I use the Sigma bicycle computer most of the time, plus it is accurate. I checked my Sigma readings with two other riders with Sigma's and every time they were within 1-2 tenths of a mile of each other in every. Bottom line is the Sigma is accurate and the stock speedo/odometer is off by about 3 miles in every 100 or 3% and off about 1mph in every ten after about 50mph. Thus a stock speed reading of 50 is about 48, 60=57, 70=66, 80=75, 90=84, 100=93, etc. It is very hard to read the stock speed for an exact comparison to the Sigma while on the move, but the comparison values are very close.
...I rode four days and cannot complain at all about the seat, riding positions etc. In fact just the opposite. I could not sit in one chair that long without complaining. With foot pegs and consistent position changes I generally do not fatigue anymore than riding in a car that long. Sure one is tired but not from the bike and seating position. I stand out of the saddle a lot which helps to keep stretched out. It is hard to ride that kind of time without being on a standard and without wind protection.
....I rode with a half helmet and can see/hear everything, including the radar detector. No wind twist on the helmet at all when turning to watch the landscape.
....I hope Yamaha refines this model and changes the little things I want for the better. They have a real winner that can do just about anything on the street. Long hauling for someone that likes to ride anywhere on hard surfaces, at any level of speed/style is more than just putting along, it is constant "fun." Always something to do on the corners and straights, always a car that wants to play. Or at slow cruising speed the FZ is close to being on auto-pilot as it takes any corner/condition without much forethought. For a motorcycle, it is very safe, because of its abilities.
....Lets talk gas mileage. Before this trip I had been running the FZ exceptionally hard. At high speed the mileage has been 40-44. During normal hard road riding 43-46. Now after some more normal cruising time of 50-65mph it would appear the mileage at civil speeds is 48-51 on the stock speedo.
....Some actual trip values of which I will state stock speedo, and also Sigma or actual. For the entire trip the average stock was 49mpg, actual 47.5mpg. There were some fast riding times and times of hard acceleration, city riding, etc, so the entire trip values are a little less than the time spent cruising at the rural roads at relatively constant speeds of 45-65 mph.
....Gas mileage for the cruising mileage was 51mpg stock or 48.6mpg actual. While on more aggressive days it was 47.8mpg stock or 46.0mpg actual.
....Personally, I am more than pleased with the gas mileage, tank capacity, etc. for all types of riding. I ran several tanks 250mpg and had a half gallon left at fill-up. We ran some roads without stations for 50-80 miles, so one can get into petro trouble without constant fill-ups on many other bikes. It is nice to have FZ range.
....I ran high octane gas this trip to see if I noticed any performance difference or mileage changes. I can detect none at this time. I have been running 89 octane in the V65, Vmax, FZ this season. I think, but an not sure, that the 89 is not letting the Vmax run smoothly. So I am going back to high octane on the Max to see and will report if I notice improved smoothness in the Max. It could just be that the FZ runs so well and I have been riding it so much that I am detecting in the Max a false sense of rough running. I cannot put my finger on what I think the difference is in the Max.
....The FZ commanded a lot of attention and positive statements on this trip. It is an awesome looking machine loaded for touring. Loaded for touring it performs just as good at during normal street riding. Not many tour riders can light it up above 140 with packs on, or take the extreme cornering.
July 15, 2001, my response
regarding the Iron Butt on an FZ1---
....You might surf my Shield page and also look at some of the material on the Impressions page. I just came off another 1000+ miles trip on the FZ and have some info on mileage, Sigma computer, wind protection, lack of problems, seat,etc.
....If you are thinking about the Iron Butt the FZ is more than capable, BUT for the Butt you will need to add the Hell Cat shield and make some foot pegs (look at that page also).
....I have not come up with anything better than the Hell Cat for wind protection, but you can read that info. I have ordered the Demon in an attempt to replace the Plexistar 2 on my Vmax and will see if the Demon will offer better wind protection. Do not attempt to get wind protection from any of the aftermarket screens. They are sitting out way too far on the fairing to create any kind of a functional air bubble for the rider. No matter how tall they get. The shield on the bar is the only thing that will be close enough to the rider to created a functional air bubble. The Hell Cat will do that for the Iron Butt. Also you can lay in behind it in really bad rain and get very good protection.
....The stock speedo is off about 1mph in every 10mph from about 50mph on up to 100mph. I have not had enough road to run it up at 10mph increments beyond 100 but have to assume the error remains about 1 to 10. The odometer is off by about 3miles in every 100 or by 3+/- %.
....I could easily do the Iron Butt on the FZ just the way I have mine set up for touring, i.e. shield, pegs, tank bag, duffles bungeed on. Look at the Race Touring page. It would not be the FZ that would be the issue for the Butt it would be my stamina.
....I repeat, DO NOT consider the FZ for the Iron Butt if you are not going to put on a Hell Cat and are not going to make up some pegs.
....If you do ride the Butt on an FZ and do not have your own personal web site, I would like to place your impressions of the bike somewhere within my site.
July 15, 2001, my response to a
Vmax owner as to why the FZ1 is the bike to compliment the Max---
....The Bandit and ZRX are great modern street standards but just not the best right now for all purpose riding, the FZ is the best for what I want.
....The Bandit and ZRX are what many Vmax owners have basically produced with hundreds/thousands of dollars of performance and handling mods, while the FZ1 is the bike every Vmax owner would like their Vmax to be right out of the box. There is a small rather elite group of Vmax owners in the 120hp club. Shoot, every FZ owner is in the 120hp club!
....FZ's have headers and do not need new systems and tuning mods. FZ's do not wobble at 150 mph, and the Vmax may start shaking itself apart at any speed. The FZ is the performance Vmax owner's have been begging Yamaha to produce with the big V4 engine. No Vmax can be an FZ ride because of the weight and agility issue, but we want the nearest best thing for a new Vmax.
....Would I buy a "new Vmax, a Bandit, a ZRX? Hell no, they can never have the power, performance, lightness, agility, quickness, addictiveness of the FZ. If we have a love affair with the FZ, there is nothing mystic about the attraction, it is because of a total package performance.
....I want all purpose riding on a modern performance machine. The FZ does it all. Two weeks ago it was riding to work, the week before and the week after the FZ was out touring 350 miles a day. And between times scaring Hardley's and little squids.
....The FZ1 is on the road for more miles per month than my other cycles have been for several months, because it is an additive performance machine with absolutely no major issues. Everything is there right out of the box. Personally I am worn out trying to make other bikes perform.
....The Bandit and ZRX fall in place between the Vmax and FZ in overall street performance. They would compliment a Vmax owner, but not be the best choice, as the FZ is in another league. The love affair FZ owners are experiencing is because of the superior performance right out of the box, not only light-to-light and roll-on ability, but handling performance.
....I will still call my V65 and Vmax real motorcycles. They will stay in the stable but be out for exercise less and less because the FZ1 is REALLY A MOTORCYCLE.
July 18, 2001
....I took the FZ out for the the first time in several days as I had been riding the Vmax/V65 since getting off the FZ from a 1200mile tour. What a difference in ride quality and ability. My intention was to make a malt run of about 20 miles, but instead ended up running twisting roads around Droolerville for 100 miles. This thing is certainly "easy riding." So while on auto-pilot, and in ground flight around curves that give an adrenalin rush to any Vmax rider, I was "mauling" over all the "problems" of the FZ. I presently have none with it. The wind blast is solved for warm weather. I do not find buzz to be a problem at all. The seat is super compared to the racing saddle on the Vmax, plus I do not want a cruiser seat. My V65 is close enough. Wide seats do not work for me on racing bicycles, they do not work for me on motorcycles. I do not find the forward angle of the seat a problem. I can sit forward, or move to the back, thus sit totally upright to semi-lay down. Seats on bicycles cannot be angled upward without pressing on the crotch, the same with standard motorcycles, and even flat seats are a problem. The narrow front on the FZ seat is needed also. I personally like the seat. I move around, change seating positions, can slide to the sides on curves, can sit up, can lay down, can stand out of the saddle.
....Like any bike there are issues, but for me everything is minor and completely gone from my conscious with touring time, unless I intentionally try to home in on problems. Of course some days one is more sensitive than on others. My time on the FZ is spent not thinking about buzz, seat, wind, etc. It is spend riding the hell out of it as an extension of what my body wants it to do. I continue to repeat, it is a much safer than any other standard I have owned, due to its agility, weight, brakes, performance combination. The more time spent in the saddle the less the severe the problems seem on most cycles, by most riders. Try several consecutive 300-500 mile days , and then if something remains a severe problem, it probably is for the individual and a trade may be in the making.
....Dang, I hate to see all those guys/gals on the Vmax and V65 lists miss out on a ride like the FZ offers. We had been begging for this for so long.
September 1, 2001
....Time flys and so does the FZ :) I have been busy with work and activities. Family history is taking up nearly all of my computer focus right now, thus FZ pages have not been worked on for for many weeks. However, very recently I added two changes to my FZ worthy of noting for others to evaluate. I will not post major opinions on either, as there is info on pages addressing both the Demon shield and the GYTR slip-on.
....As noted earlier, I had ordered a Demon shield by Memphis Shield from MAW way back in June, but did not receive until mid-August. I had been in hopes the Demon would give some hand and shoulder protection for very cold weather riding, however, that is not the case. The Demon mounts just like the Hell Cat and gives about the same protection. For my style of riding I like both, probably leaning slightly toward the Demon. I am done playing with wind protection. My feeling is that a shield is the only answer for stopping the direct wind blast of a standard. And a nice thing about the Memphis Shades shields is that they really do come right off quickly with only a 6mm hex wrench, and reinstall just as easily. Thus if one wants to ride naked he/she can. I also am of the opinion that the Givi screen sitting in front of the shield, along with the mini-fairing keeps most of the air off the shield. Since the shield is connected to the bars and receiving very little wind blast itself, the "wobble" effect on the headset/front end may be greatly reduced by the setup. I have run the FZ to just under 150 actual (Sigma) which is about 162 on the speedo. I just cannot focus in on the speedo at that speed but the Sigma of course locks in the top speed. Absolutely no head shake at that speed. Neat bike, after the "death wobble" on the Vmax. Also the shield does not have severe back draft like some I have run. I am guessing the air bubble created by the fairing, screen shield combo is much less "dirty" to air flow than the body unless totally tucked down on the tank.
....I also finally received the GYTR carbon slip-on, having blamed Yamaha for lack of delivery for three months when in reality the system apparently sat at the dealer for weeks and weeks without notification. I had a couple of reservations regarding the system which are explained on the slip-on page. At this time and having made frequent rides, I have no issues with the Yamaha system. It goes on easily. I like the sound and quality enough to say to someone, "You can consider the GYTR system along with several others recommended on the list." I always look for negative qualities in products which I can use to say to someone, "Be careful of this item, or do not order this item." The GYTR slip-on on my FZ is just fine. I like it. I am running stock carbs and air box at present. I hope to dyno in late Sept, but may have to wait until late May 2002. At that time I will evaluate a jet kit. If the dyno looks good, I will not fix something that is not broken, as being a tuning rookie, I do not want to enter the "tuning wars." I find no hesitation, no power/acceleration issues during normal hard street riding. I am sure most FZ riders can tell by the seat of their pants all the flat spots in the dyno curves ;) I cannot. It runs great and of course will beat the pants of nearly everything from point A to Z that prowls the roads. Have to feel sorry for the poor uninformed Hardley rooks being exposed to such performance sounds, as noise was their only thunder :)
.....I like the bike and set up so much and have said about all I can about it, that I am guessing I will have very little to add in the future that might help others understand and select this model at their ride. I shall be very interested in how other companies respond, and if Yamaha has the sense to understand what they have and to refine some of the little issues of the bike.
Mid October 2001
....I do not have much to add to my overall thoughts on the FZ that I have not already stated. At this time I am totally pleased with the bike. In fact, so pleased, that I find it an absolute chore to get the Vmax and V65 out enough to keep them running properly. Anyone that wants to pay top dollar for a couple of old classics modified enough to make them run up to their potential, make an exuberant offer. I might take you up on it and buy another "real" bike, an FZ1. The FZ still remains like a new toy every time taken out of the garage. Just too much fun to ride, and ride, and ride. ZGuy George, the "Long Ranger," knows, having well over 20k on his FZ this season, and the season is not over!!
....With the cooler weather, riding temps from the high 30's to the 60's, the movement of the engine heat up and over my legs feels just fine. Like with the Vmax, the high heat level on the legs is great for most my riding days. I can tolerate the heat on the very hot days, never a major problem to me, and the heat on the cool days make riding pleasant.
....I wear a variety of leather and cordura gloves with gauntlets so the weather has not been severe enough yet to develop an opinion on really cold weather riding. The Memphis Shade shield I am using does an adequate job of offering wind protection for the chest to mid head. I will start using a full face helmet when the temps get consistently to the 20-40 range. The shield/fairing does not protect the hands at all, so it is obvious at this time, hand warmth will be the limiting factor. Cold weather reports to come later.
....The more I run the GYTR slipon the more I like it. Cold starting is better. I will leave everything stock at this time, as the bike is running too good to take a chance of de-tuning it. And I certainly do not want to get a reduction in gas mileage. I am presently getting very good gas mileage. At this time however, I get the feeling the FZ may, like the Vmax respond well to having the needles shimmed, unless one wants to get a jet kit installed.
....I still do not care for the instrument cluster on the FZ. The Sigma bicycle computer is the way to go. The stock FZ needs white instrument dials with larger numerals and letters. A temperature gauge is in order, also.
.....I can still highly recommend anyone wanting a modern performance standard look at the FZ, but of course there are other great standard options on the market, plus Honda has an FZ copy coming out. I certainly do not recommend buying old tech standards like the Vmax, used V65's, etc. or newer lower performing standards. Not with bikes like the FZ hitting the market. Since all of the riding I do is standard street or touring riding, the athletic, powerful FZ fits the bill.
SELECTED IMPRESSIONS OF OTHER
(I enjoy other's impressions of the FZ. These are some of my favorites, and express many of my ideas. Z)
Impressions, Lutz, Germany---
....Since today :-))) my new big fazer is on the road! I owned an Yamaha XJR 1300 SP before but an automobilist didn΄t like me. So we crashed and this was the end of the XJR. So it was an easy decision to buy the new big fazer, more power, less weight. Today I cruised around for 220 km and a am totally satisfied! In comparision to the XJR 1300, the big fazer is like an bicycle to me.
Very easy to use, very powerful and fast :-))) By the way, I am legally driving with full power and we have no speed
limit :-))) Did you check out my homepage yet? You don΄t know, how to find? Try this link: http://www.schreider.de Sorry, its only in german for the moment.
Impressions from Patiotray
not sure why this thread became active again, since I got my bike 5 wks. ago,
but it raises a question I have been asking myself since I picked up my new
ride. It seems there are several former YZF1000 owners here, which doesn't
really surprise me. (warning: this is probably going to turn into my
long-winded, long-overdue, and little-anticipated review of the bike)
....The FZ1, at least on paper, is the YZF with real handlebars and more overall comfort. This is why I bought it. I loved the YZF in every way except comfort, and especially two-up. The bike handled great with a pillion, but it wasn't much fun for either of us after 45 min. I was seriously considering the B12 until Yamaha announced the FZ1 (you listenin" Coin?)
....Looking strictly at weight, horsepower, etc., the FZ1 is actually a "YZF for the real world," rather than an R1. In fact, the engineers considered using the YZF motor, but decided they wanted newer tech (not to mention less weight).
....How do they compare? Let's start with the totally subjective area of looks. Sorry, but the YZF still does it for me. I had both bikes for about a month, so I was able to compare, and even photograph them side-by-side. The classy paint scheme, the smooth, yet muscular and aerodynamic bodywork, the aluminum frame etc. made it one of the best-looking sportbikes I've ever seen.
....The FZ1, however, is a very sharp-looking bike, and it grows on me every day, especially after the first time I cleaned it and got really familiar with it. I think it looks like a big, blue, high-tech dragonfly. I even like the long mirror stalks.
....But enough about looks. How's it go? I just topped 1000mi. so I haven't totally explored the motor's limits. I think it is only slightly less aggressive (powerful) than the YZF. This may be partly due to the fact that it is even smoother and quieter. This bike really does seem like a sewing machine at times. This is not a criticism, but a compliment. We all know how to make a bike sound meaner.
....Also, the YZF's power was perfectly linear, with perfect carburetion. The FZ1 is very smooth, and I haven't noticed the "hole" at 4000rpm that MCN experienced, but I have felt the big "hit" around 8000rpm, which is exhilarating with both wheels on the ground, but I'm not used to it in wheelie mode (I'm no great wheelie king). So the motor is more than mean enough, but I think it's a hair short of the YZF. I'll never miss it, and it's a great motor overall.
....The tranny is significantly smoother on the FZ1. I guess I've never been spoiled with a really smooth gearbox b/c the FZ1 seems buttery smooth to me. Ditto the clutch action. Very light, early engagement (like the YZF), you barely have to touch it to shift, which is good b/c I was very concerned about the longish lever travel and my tiny hands. I do have the occasional thunk shifting into 1st, but this is normal. Who cares? No missed shifts, no false neutrals after 1100 miles. If this tranny is "notchy" then I'll take "notchy" any day.
....How about suspension/handling? My jury is still out on this one. So far, the YZF is still the better bike in the twisties. Again, I'm not an expert. I've been riding for 9 yrs. totally self-taught, I can get around a curve pretty well. Obviously, in expert hands, the YZF wins.
....What about the real world? The FZ1 front end feels light, even when I lean forward, and it bobs a bit more than I'm used to, but it feels very good, just different. I'm still on the stock settings up front, but this is likely to change. My concern is about the rear. Even with the preload on max, it doesn't feel as stiff as I like, especially with a pillion.(I'm 190lbs.) It's almost maxed out with my wife on board, and this is odd for a bike with touring pretensions. My YZF felt much better, and had more RR shock travel in reserve than the FZ1.
....Overall, the bike handles great, and I know it's not a full-on sportbike, so save the flames. Everything is a tradeoff, at slower speeds this bike is like a Goldwing compared to the YZF. Also, the YZF RR felt just about finished after 13k, so I may be replacing this one soon anyway. ...Bottom line, I'm not as quick through the turns on this bike, yet! The riding position and overall feel are different enough that I need more time. The magazine reviews make me confident that eventually I will be as quick, and probably quicker.
....The tires are excellent. No complaints, and they are scrubbed almost all the way w/o me getting anywhere near my limits. I've only been out in full leathers once, before final break-in. Despite my previous comments, this bike does inspire confidence.
....So what about the all-important comfort factor? This is probably the most important thing to me b/c I already had a fantastic bike in all other respects. The FZ1 is terrific. After 5 hours on the bike, nothing hurt except my slightly numb butt! For someone who is used to back, wrist, and forearm pain, this is amazing.
....The seat is very comfortable, however the forward slope is a mixed blessing. It's great for attacking the twisties, but causes butt burn on longer, slower cruises. I'm short, so the tall riding position is a slight bother at stops, but it sure gives a commanding view of the road. I will have Sargent reshape it a little this winter, but it's pretty good as is. My legs are comfortable, vibes are minimal, life is good.
....My wife is 5'9, she gives it 2 thumbs up. Big improvement over the YZF.
....A word about the wind protection. Again, the YZF wins hands down. It kept my 5'8 frame out of the wind completely. The first time I hit 120mph on the FZ1 I thought the wind was going to beat me to death (yes, it was a very windy day). No surprises here, I knew what I was getting, and actually hoped this bike would slow me down some. I spent way too much time on the far side of 130mph on the YZF. Not too smart on public roads. Still, it's unsettling to have the wind flapping your chest in a 110mph sweeper, especially as the bike is dead stable, and it's only the flapping that makes it seem unstable.
....I will be changing the windscreen. A slight improvement is all I'm really after, and I think a dark tint will look great.
....I love the center stand. No more early morning rides with improperly-lubed chain b/c I didn't want to wake the wife to help with the swingarm stand.
....What about miscellaneous gripes? I have a few... The mirrors are well-positioned, with nice view, but they buzz from 5000rpm on up, just like the YZF. I don't have to tuck my elbows anymore, but the buzz has got to stop. I will be trying the "goop" fix, but I think I will try the expanding foam kind. Also, there was a bad buzz at 5000rpm in the fairing, which I fixed by removing the little rubber bumper under the fairing (thanks Rabeet), but now the buzz has moved down to just off idle. I'll get it eventually.
....Also the speedo goes 20 40 60 80... I hate this. It makes no sense in a country with speed limits ending in 5's, and is harder to read overall. My Ford Escape (no flames, I love it) is the same way. I think it's a European thing everyone is copying. Also, the fuel gauge is wonky. Great gas mileage, but you burn through 1/4 tank in no time 'cause the gauge doesn't include the reserve portion. Instead, the needle drops way below empty. It's a minor quibble, I know. Also, no temp gauge. We can't have it all, but I like to know when the engine is truly up to temp.
.... The YZF wouldn't power wheelie properly until the engine reached a certain temp. If I tried it earlier, the motor would start flat, then hit hard, the sort of thing I don't care for as an amateur.
....Finally, what's up with the whole choke/starting thing? The bike starts reliably, but sometimes takes three tries, which looks a little foolish on a brand-new bike (ah, vanity). I don't get this. Kawasaki had it figured out 15 years ago on my '86 600 Ninja, so what gives?
....Okay, I'm gonna sum it up now. For those of you who read the whole thing GO FOR A RIDE AND TURN OFF YOU POOTER! Except for the whole looks thing, I like the FZ1 more than the YZF. It doesn't have quite as hard an edge as the YZF, but who among us could really use it all anyway? I couldn't. I made the right choice, and I'm very pleased. "The FZ1 is a YZF1000 for the real world" is more accurate than Yamaha's claim, though they are not far off the mark. The extra 75 lbs. is the only real difference. I could go on for days
.....These were the only negative comments about the bike.
1. Notchy transmission sometimes ends up in neutral when going up to second. Sometimes doesn't shift up between higher gears.
2. Twitchy throttle makes it difficult to maintain a steady cruising speed.
3. Revs high at 65 mph - in the 4,000s - about 1,000 rpm faster than the Kawasaki KZX1200R at the same speed.
4. Flat spot in the power curve at highway speed - 4,000 to 5,000 rpm.
From the reviews I thought I'd prefer the Kawasaki's lower rpm punch, but the thing is just pug ugly. I can't bring myself to own one. The FZ1 is gorgeous! Any insights into these criticisms, or any other tips?
Responses----....Of the listed challenges, the only one I have encountered is the tranny. It does seem to be a bit clanky...but then again, I don't think I would have noticed it if it had not been brought up on this page. It actually seems about the same as my last bike, a 1990 750 Katana. I have yet to reach the break-in mileage, but I can say that a low rpm's and slow speeds, the bike is fantastic! I also found that it is a superstar riding two up!
Motorcyclist, July 2001
Performance of Mr. Nasty
The R1-based relatively tiny high performance race engine is the star of the FZ1.
Corrected Ό mile: 10.57 sec @ 128.76mph
0-60 mph: 3.04 sec
0-100 mph: 6.67 sec
Top-gear (6th) roll-on, 60-80 mph: 3.26 sec
Fuel mileage: 32/47/38
Cruising range (exc. Reserve): 170 miles
Peak hp: 117.4 @ 9500 rpm
Peak Torque: 70.9 ft-lb @ 7250 rpm
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