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First Ride: Yamaha FZ-1

33434 Views 97 Replies 47 Participants Last post by  enewmen
Yaaah! The obligatory first post!
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Re: Writers...

Okay. I see your point.

Forgive me if I'm wrong since I don't know what MSF is. I'm from Aus, so I'll asume that means new riders. But as for a test of beginner bikes by novice riders, that would be a crack up reading about all the new ways they found to wedge themselves in bushes and car bumpers. ;) (made me laugh just thinking about it)

As for Goldwing riders doing Goldwing tests. You make a good point. While I'm sure the MO staff do plenty of touring, I'm sure there are many little things that a dedicated tourer would be able to point out that MO might miss. But I think the MO staff are still capable of covering 95% of the issues that would come up with testing bikes in different categories.

I think an issue here (especially if the stories we hear of litigation crazy America are true) are that I'm sure there is more to testing bikes than just getting any old biker, poking a bike at him, and telling him to go off and do a review. I must admit that I'm fairly ignorant here, but I could imagine that their would be many legal and financial issues (eg insurance) that would stop MO giving their bikes to just anyone to test. You've also got to find someone who can actually spin a good yarn as well as ride the things. Then I guess you'd have to think about what MO would have to pay these freelance reviewers.

I guess there are 1000 different reasons why it wouldn't be worth MO's while to have these guest testers, just as there are many good reasons to have them.

Maybe when MO goes subscription, they will be a better position to offer some reviewing variety.
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Re: Writers...

I find that I agree with both of you. I do want to read how the machine does when pushed to its limits.

On the other hand, I honestly don't care if the reviewer likes the bike. What I care about is if I will.
An experienced tester should be able to make some comparisions to similar previously tested bikes. Notice that there was no hesitation to compare with the R1 even though it was not a "back-to-back" ride. Also, where are the nuances? It all seems pretty superficial and written almost entirely from a closed track riding point of view.

The most irritating and stupid comment was the reference to the FZ1 having "big 'ol mirrors so you can see that truck sneaking up behind you, ye who thinks they own the fast lane even at a snail's pace." Anyone that commutes or otherwise uses a bike in the real world knows that good mirrors are essential to quick riding in traffic. Also the observation that one tester was innovative enough to actually carry and use a tire guage -- wow, what a revelation.

Finally, the preview to this preview mentioned options and accessories - I heard heated grips would be one - why no discussion along those lines? Was it because the reviewer writes from the perspective of 10 to 12 hot laps on a track instead of 175 miles of bad road in 35 degree temps?

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Maybe I wasn't clear. Not trying to dog the existing report. Don't think I said a negative word, in fact... Even I tried to share why I think there is so much emotion.

I am giving input in what we'd like to see next.. I thought in a supportive way even. Hope you don't take it as dogin ya.

We love ya man.... (no you can't have my bud!)

Re: Review falls short

Hayzus, are we thin skinned or what? The comments that seemed to wound so deeply were merely an expression of exasperation in that neither of the two online reviews (in English) have given much more than lip service to subjective comparisons of the newest of a very popular class of motorcycles owned (or lusted after) by many of your readers.

I appreciate your efforts and look forward to visiting the site daily...I even voted to pay to subscribe in the last poll. Criticism of journalistic effort does not equate to a lack of respect; responding in a defensive and personal manner does.
Re: Review falls short/Don

Brent, before you guys at MO get too thin-skinned about the feedback from your ride report, just remember that a lot of the upset people put down deposits at their Yamaha dealer many months ago and yet they still don't have an FZ1 to ride. So they are bound to be "on the rag" so to speak. Some understanding is in order, these guys want their FZ1s reaaallll bad, and are grasping at any info they can. FZ1 people: Hold on a little longer, your bike is almost here. Call Yamaha and tell them you are NOT happy about having to wait so long.

I am a big fan of bikes like the FZ1, Bandit 1200 and ZRX, these are the most practical motorcycles around. I'm especially a fan of the new 2001 Bandit 1200 because its prices undercuts both the FZ1 and ZRX, yet gives awesome low-RPM torque and likely the best wind protection in its class. I noticed that you noticed the Bandit should have comfier ergos too, thanks to the Suzook's lower footpegs.

I place emphasis on other aspects of a bike than simple quarter-mile times and peak horsepower figures. The fact that the FZ1 will be slightly faster than the Bandit is not an issue for me. The fact that the FZ1 costs substantially more than the Bandit IS an issue though, money doesn't grow on trees. I've seen 2001 Bandits going for $7500-$8000 out the door in some places, the FZ1 will probably be around $9000-$9500 out the door. Having rode both the Bandit and FZ, do you think the FZ is $1500-$2000 better than a Bandit? I think the answer to that question is an easy "no way, man."

Also, regarding the "141 hp and 78 ft-lbs of torque" the FZ1 is supposed to have. Let's not forget that these are CLAIMED figures (crankshaft horsepower, not rear-wheel horsepower) and have yet to be proved by any dyno run. I'm thinking about 118-120 at the wheel with about 72-75 ft-lbs of torque will be the FZ1's end result. Gawrsh I hate when manufacturers quote crankshaft power just to inflate the numbers.

And another thing....please oh please, if you do a shootout between the ZRX/B12/FZ1, make sure you pop a slipon on all three bikes and do a quick dyno run. Even without touching the jetting, I think you'll find the B12 jumped 10-15 hp over the stock B12, while the FZ1/ZRX jump only 5-6 hp. This is a huge "low buck power" advantage the Bandit has that I've never seen mentioned in any hop-up articles. The Bandit is truly the king of bang-for-buck performance.

In the end, I think your ride report is pretty accurate. There's simply no way the FZ1 could've lived up the incredible hype generated by Yamaha's PR people, who were crowing the FZ is a "naked R1." Obviously, the FZ pales in comparison to the R1, so Yamaha should be chided for barking up that wrong tree. I'm glad you guys pointed that out!

It wasn't YOU who claimed the bike was a naked R1, it was Yamaha, and you are correct in shooting holes in that theory. Just adding some cat-eye headlights can't hide the fact there is a flexi steel frame wrapped around a detuned engine...just like the Bandit and ZRX. Hey, I thought the FZ1 was supposed to be "revolutionary?" Sounds like a very familiar recipe to me...

At the end of the day, I think the FZ1 will be faster and more nimble than the Bandit/ZRX. After all, it makes more peak power and weighs less. But for my hard-earned money, the '01 Bandit is the bike for me, and I feel it's the better sport know, what these bikes will be used for. And the Bandit has been available since last September, while the FZ1 is still in "don't call us, we'll call you" status.
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I bet Yamaha thinks that they are really cool with ther new yz250f. I would love to see how it stacks up against my RM144.
minime, I am right with you. I wish a good number of these guys would just take a Pamprin and quit there whining. I thought the article was interesting. I am baffled on how the whiners expect you to make in depth comparisons from a short ride on foreign soil. I anxiously await your full road test and comparison.

My parting shot is as follows, If you do not like the articles posted then don't read them.
It's called a "test ride"!

Too all of you complaining so hard about MO's lacking article, I have a suggestion for you. Go down to your friendly Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha dealerships and do your own comparo!!! It's you that needs to be impressed and happy when you buy the bike, not MO or any other biking publication. Then you can see if the seat is alright for you, and if the motor has enough punch for your tastes, etc. Stop depending on the motojournalists to make or break a purchase everytime you want to buy. Test ride all the bikes you are considering, and make your own decision!

After your lips have been surgically removed from minime's hind quarters, lipsync this parting shot:

"If you don not like the feedback comments posted, don't read them."
Re: It

Ummm, Darkspy, you DO realize that the bike is not yet in the States, don't you? Kinda tough for those of us that are NOT spys (or are relagated to staying Stateside) to have the ability to make comparisons when the articles are not available here....
Re: It

Patience, grasshopper. Everything will be revealed in due time.
Soon enough you'll have a Hornet 929 for $8500. Will that do?
Surgery was sucessful! I do like to read everyones opinions on this forum. It is my opinion that there are already so many negatives about what is going to be a fantastic bike. Some think it will be too slow,then buy an R-1. Some say it does not have enough wind protection, then buy a Goldwing. Some say it will not handle well enough, then buy a race rep. Come on guys it's a sport standard. Regardless of how Yamaha marketed it, how could any of us thought it was going to be any more than it is?
I doubt it. Honda is reportedly going to use the older 918cc powerplant. Early word is that their naked entry will has less in common with thier sportier sibling than the FZ1 has with the R1.
Re: It

You mean your dealership will let you take bikes to the drag strip, road race track, dyno, and then do top speed runs on them? Cool!! Please forward the name of your dealer my way, please......
So much for "R1 for the real world"

After all the Yamaha hype, I was hoping for something along the lines of the Speed Triple - light, powerful, loud, nearly naked.

Consider me very dissapointed.

What the hell are you talking about? It's only 26lbs heavier than the triple, yet it has 35hp more kick. Have you ever even heard a Speed Triple? It shounds like crap, all you can hear is clicking and whooshing. Unless of course it has an aftermarket pipe. Oh, and the FZ1 certainly is nearly naked.

Consider me dumbfounded.
Re: Writers...

I "totally" agree, hell after coming off a "fast" cruiser (87 VF700C Super Magna) and a BMW R80RT touring bike, I'm jazzed by the "power" my 21 year old Suzuki GS 1100E has!!

Now, I've ridden a new 1200S bandit and it's even more of a "kick-A!!" machine, let a guy like me ride a new FZ-1 and watch me come back with a "[email protected] eating grin" from ear to ear! :D

Track jaded journalist and squidly sport bike riders, need not apply, LOL!!
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