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First Ride: Yamaha FZ-1

33430 Views 97 Replies 47 Participants Last post by  enewmen
Yaaah! The obligatory first post!
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I give the Yamaha FZ1 2 thumbs up

That's about as wishy-washy as it gets. Either MO hates it as a R1 wannabe or sorta likes it as sport-tourer, but.... Until someone has the cajones to pit similar rides (get it MO and others; the SAME KIND of bikes) from Kawa, Yammi, Aprilia, Duc, Suzuki, etc. and give honest objective comparisons to bikes of a similar nature, we the buying public will be left guessing.

BTW, it might be a good idea to start checking fluids and pressures before riding...even if you don't care 'cause it's not your bike.

PSS: MCN had there review of this same outing 10 days ago...can't blame this one on snow.
Review falls short

A freebie is a freebie, and I appreciate MO giving us a more indepth look at the bike. But the review was, like MCW's, a bit wishy washy. The writer could have said in a sentence or two that it didn't match the R-1's performance parameters, then, judging the bike as a standard, could have clearly reported on its performance in a variety of situations instead of giving us a meandering tale that raises more questions than provides answers. During the road test or in that 10-day gap since it took place, MO could have also rustled up a Bandit to do a brief comparison. That would be the kind of reporting that would make MO top dog and get people to open their wallets and subscribe....

--Jim Adam

Do you have the web page for mcn. I'd like to add it to my book marks.


Re: Review falls short

Jim -- the was a press introduction in Spain, so no comparisons are possible, and we didn't get to take the bike through our normal paces/comparisons.

It's a Brit publication. They have some of the most timely reporting on the web, IMHO.

Re: Review falls short


He didn't say a comparo at the intro....he said in the last 10 days (since MCN filed their report) you should have been able to get your hands on a B12 (and ZRX?) and made some comparisons.

I regret not pointing out Mini-me's obvious burnouts from the sneak peak pic with the stand up wheelie now. Definitely could tell the center of the rear tire was nice and clean :)

I love the recurring hooligan pics on all the articles as of late. Everyone can and moan, but a little fun done within reason and in safe surroundings is always fun.

Mixed Signals!?!?

It looks like there will have to be a deliberate comparison between the FZ1 and the Kaw & Suzook 1200s before any real conclusions can be drawn.

THEY ARE THE COMPETITION, not the R1. Hackfu meant to say "down on the horses but UP 4 foot-lbs" on the torque. I would love to know if the "lower down grunt" differences between the Yam and the Bandit are fuzzy memories of his last Bandit ride or a failure on the FZ1s part.

ON PAPER the Bandit shows about 6 foot-lbs of torque LESS at only 250 less rpms... And that, with noticably more weight. In fact, both the Suzuki and Kawasaki are supposed to be heavier, less powerful, and less torquey than the FZ1. If this turns out to be the case, the only way the FZ1 loses out in a head-to-head is if Yamaha has screwed up the frame or if the numbers on all 3 turn out to be different than what has been published so far.

I'm anxious to see it all unfold.
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Re: Review falls short

No no, you're not understanding. This was the WORLDWIDE PRESS INTORDUCTION. There are no bikes in the US. How a UK magazine got the bike before the worldwide press intro is a mystery, but not surprising, the UK gets bikes before the US, sometimes a year in advance. Regardless, MO had the first real test up after the official launch. While I like MCN a lot, the stringer that wrote the FZ story for them focuses on food, Expresso machines and other nonsense, it was a gastly review that they should've held. I would have.

I'd bet the person that wrote it was somehow involved with the Yamaha photo shoot, or involved with Yamaha in some way, otherwise, they couldn't have gotten their hands on a pre- pre-production bike.

We have a long-term Bandit 1200 here, so we don't need to "get our hands on one," which is moot, as you can't compare a bike in Spain to one here in the US. Certainly not after traveling 20 hours, riding for a few, traveling 20 back and churning out the story a couple days later.

Anyway, Brent Avis worked his backside off getting there and back, and hasn't had a day off in weeks. Show some respect to him and MO for getting the review up this quickly!
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I agree with most of the above comments. Your cryptic descriptions and emphasis on meaningless points have resulted in more questions from your audience than delivering what you should have...useful information.

What is it you exactly mean by:

1)"...the motor also features a 10-percent heavier crankshaft that's meant to provide smoother acceleration and, basically, lessen the vibes.."

Well? does it?

2)"Suspension is supposed to be more compliant"

Is it?

3)"We expected more, quite frankly"


4)"we started to feel a bit of flex from the FZ-1's chassis"

More, same or less than the B-12 and ZRX?

5)"Sure this bike has power, but it just felt too sketchy"

Too what?

What about drive-lash? In-line 4 buzz at cruising speed? Wind protection compared to the Bandit? Seat comfort?

C'mon guys. Tell me the sun in Spain has not seared away a few of those brain cells destined to provide even adequate commentary!

Please clarify the above comments for all of us who are dying to know what this bike is really about. I'm about to drop the cash on a new UJM in the next month and I'm still no closer to a decision based on your ambiguous observations. This highly anticipated machine deserves more than what you've offered. Please correct this unfortunate situation.

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I find the comments above telling. Granted, I too find that article short of data, but then it wasn't a prime opportunity. That's not the point.

The reaction seems to suggest there's lots of folks thinking real hard about owning one of these. Or wanting to own the promise of the bike, and hoping its real.

I think the reactions show real hard legs behind the naked bike movement, and the hard responses are because we want - need, to know more. Riding time, she is a comin.

So, see, don't take it to hard, it just we want it so bad. And so, that shoot-out I mentioned a few times, and that we all seem to want so bad, seems to be in order.

My guess? We all want a bike that can blow the adrenals out when we want to, manuever around the parking lot with ease and ride, without sore ( 40 year old) wrists or back, for a couple of 2 hour legs. And oh, yeah, can it have some sense of style?

In fact, as I think about it, I NEED TO KNOW whhich nakes is sporties, and then I need to know about it vs the VFR. Then I can spenda da money.

So now I'm done preaching. To any and all give me your thoughts:

Assume the FZ-1 ends up with the "sportiest" title 'tween the ZRX, 1200s & FZ-1,

Now what fits the bill better, The FZ-1, the '97 ZX-9r or the VFR? (If you wonder why the '97, it was the last of the more upright do it all 9's. Kind of a sporty 900cc VFR). I worry about not enough motor in the VFR, and I hate the instrument cluster/inner fairing view of the 9r. but in a life of compromises...

Oh Honda... Can I have a VFR-1000 for $8,500 please?

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Re: Review falls short

Thanks for the trouble so far Brent. I can imagine that you and MO are just as anxious to put it through your (controlled) real world tests and make the proper class comparisons. I look forward to reading the results of this next step.
I'm with Fuzzione and dfischer. See? This bike appeals to those of us that want the power and fun, but also have very practicle matters to consider. Our taste just doesn't include cruisers, and after all the years and toys, we know what we want.

And, we want/need more info. The article was mini's typical interesting read, but seems to me to be too worried about it living up to marketing (the hype only hurts if you believe it) and a touch vague on the specific things I need to know.

So, my vote is to know more about things like the vibes. Hey, I wish it wasn't a make it or break it issue for me, but it is. Some of us don't give a rat's south end how manly it is to have numb hands.

Ah well, at least I know to keep shopping, and not lean too hard on the FZ-1 deposit. Maybe I'll wait and see what other bikes come around later in the year.

I think you fellas should find some local old, cranky, fat guy, and have him ride any bike you review here in CA. Then have a sidebar as to whether the bike is "old cranky dude approved."

In any case, thanks for the article. Huge improvement over the one by the brit mag.

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Re: Review falls short

I don't know how you do it blip. I'd get the sheets real quick having to state the bleeding obvious to people around here.
For the record, there were a number of waves of the intro. The US press was the last wave. It's because of this, not snow, that we got the review up after a Euro-book.

Also, in regards to the comment that we "don't care 'cause it's not your bike," the bikes were prepped by Yamaha Europe to their specs. Every magazine always starts out with manufacturer's settings and goes from there. Why start messing with something that might not be broken in the first place?

And as for comparing it to other similar bikes, we will when we actually get it here on our soil. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of shipping sevral bikes with us to each overseas intro.

Re: Review falls short

Badsac, and others -

Brent (Blip) is a good guy. He's worked his ass off around here for years, constantly going unrewarded for his efforts. We (the staff) don't kiss his ass and some people who read MO are either too dumb, blind, or both, to see what's going on in front of them when it comes to motorcycles and reviewing them.

I agree with Blip, some people need to show a little respect, eh? It's a beautiful world out there when you get past all the BS people love to generate so blindly and feverishly.
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