This sounds a little bit like, "It ain't the tool." Being 6'3" the FZ-1 would be the obvious choice for a one bike stable. Take the $2500 you save on buying the FZ-1, set the bike up exactly the way you want, spend the rest on track days and proper instruction. For the average rider (me) learning to ride properly on a FZ-1 will always be faster than using 48% of a R1's potential.
Now, if I could just find a way to get really good at being 5'9", I would already own the R1.
The R1 has got to be one of the finest looking sport bikes ever, pure eye candy. Given my style and type of riding the FZ1 would be my only choice. In fact it came out a few months after I bought my Bandit, if it would have been available when I was shopping It would have been a tough call.
I'll give my favorite dead horse another whack and point out that the Japanese should be building bikes along these lines like this FZ1, Bandit, Z-REX and 919 instead of neo-retro-bargo cruisers. Maybe I'll have to vote with my wallet and get an FZ1 next, that really is a nice blue they use.
I lust after the R1! And the insurance quotes in the article are outrageous! My insurance company has those rates beat by hundreds of dollars per year for the older rider. You do have to shop around to find the best rates.
I'm heading out the door, so I just caught the first paragraph. That doesn't matter much, anyway; this one's a no brainer. The squids can spray all the ink they want; I've ridden them both and it's the FZ1, by a mile. In a one to one comparison - where each bike's overall abilities are considered - right off the top of my head, I can't come up with a bike that beats the FZ1 in the do-everything catagory.
This sounds a little bit like, "It ain't the tool."
Being 5'9" the R1 would be the obvious choice for a one bike stable. Work a few Saturdays to earn the additional $2500 need to buy the R1, set the bike up exactly the way you want by moving the stock suspension adjusters, spend the week breathless and the weekends at track days. For the average rider (me) learning to ride properly on an R-1 will always be impossible.
Now, if I could just find a way to get really good at being 6'3", I would already own the FZ1.
Another great article, guys. And props to Fenton for the prose.
Sheesh, longride, these are truly four great bikes. Performance wise, there's probably not much to separate them. I'd personally rank them:
4. 919 just because it's too understated. Great bike for short people, but the choice of asphalt gray or matte blechh-I mean black?
3. FZ1 because I'm short. Freakin' fabulous bike, though. Almost bought one.
2. ZRX great ergos for me personally, supposed to be a bit lardy and old-style chassis, but I doubt if I would ever work it hard enough to notice.
1. Speed Triple. 2005 version or the '99 to '04 version. I've always had a woody for the all-black version that came out in '99, and the bodywork revision in '02 left me unimpressed, but they're all charismatic bikes and the new one is supposed to be fantastic. Be interesting to see what the MOrons think about it.
You're relatively tall, so the FZ1 would be the ticket.......
OR how about a TUONO??? Would your license survive? Would it be worth it anyway?
Great article, just what Ive been wanting to see. Kindof wish you'd included an FZ1 dyno video/audio though, as I dont recall see one anywhere. But, the bottomline seemed to be that the FZ1 is more than enough motorcycle for the vast majority of riders, and you get a little extra comfort in the bargain. I know one thing, when I step up to an FZ1 or its successor, maybe about 10 years from now at the age 60, its not going to be a Slow bike.
I just sold an '02 ZRX, great bike. Love the torque, just a wonderful motor.
The only mods I would recommend as "must", Zero Gravity windscreen +3", Bar-end mirrors (Napoleon), Frame sliders. I understand that if you throw your bike down w/o the sliders the insurance co. will write you a check before they replace engine cases.
I can promise you the ZRX will not catch a Speed Triple on your local twisty road. The suspension, weight and dual headlight make it a better (faster) ride under most people.
All this aside, my local dealer just put an undertail kit and flush mount signals on an '05 Liquid Silver FZ-1 and man is that bike cool. It has better wind protection than the ZRX and will hang in there with the S3. BTW, at 6'3" the 18.1" seat/peg measurement is a bit cramped on the ZRX.
Great article MO. Love the insurance rate comparo... Love the interesting unexpected comparison. Though I have sportbike for pretending I am Matt Mladin on weekends, its great to see how the other half lives.... Thanks guys...Great pictures and video...
Old old MO in Marina del Rey was right next to a recycle center and we could weigh all the bikes on certified scales. We've been slumming it ever since with roll-up scale systems and it's definitely a lesser quality of life!
To make matters worse, the recycle center won't let us weigh bikes anymore...
The R1 is by far the best looking superbike for 04-05, IMO. I've always had UJMs so I'd buy the FZ1 personally, but I'm not trading in my naked SV1000 until the next gen FZ1 comes out, hopefully with style and tech from the latest R1. BTW the new Speed Triple is scrumptious for 05.
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