November 26, 2009 at 8:48 pm #13985
Its a bit of a Sleeper
Do you remember that bit in the iconic film ‘The Blues Brothers’ when Elwood turns up in the new Blues mobile? It’s an ex police cruiser, much to the disgust of his partner. He immediately leapt to the beaten up cars defence stating coolly
“It’s got a cop motor, 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic convertors so it’ll run good on regular gas.”
He then nailed the throttle, smoking the tyres and leapt across an opening bridge. My recently acquired FZ1S somehow reminds me of that ex-cop cruiser: Unassuming looks but
“it’s got R1 shocks, R1 brakes and a R1 motor” to paraphrase old Elwood
So what we have here is the proverbial ‘wolf in sheep’s’ clothing’, the ultimate sober suited assassin who looks like the nice bloke next door, but the attaché case he carries doesn’t contain his butties, but rather a dis-assembled snipers rifle and sights! In first 800 miles I have covered on the Fazer this was the image that came through strongly.
With barely 1,000 miles on the bike in total I am yet to really to open the throttle right up. However I am looking forward to letting loose all 132bhp available. Some 40-50bhp shy of the frontline sports bikes but still plenty for me. Potent and arrogant are the best two words to describe the performance so far.
The upright and relatively high riding position gives a feel somewhere between a Supermoto and a Range Rover Sport! I doubt however that the top-end will have the ultimate rush of a R1 or GSXR1000. I wonder if the Fazer engine and gearing is generally more realistic. Is the FZ1 possibly even quicker in the give and take riding at sane (ish) speeds on bumpy, pot holed British roads?
The Weak Spot
Mention of the gearing brings me to the Fazers’ Achilles heal: The clunky gearbox. Sadly this is a bit of Yamaha characteristic and is particularly noticeable as 1st gear is engaged. This harsh action is also evident when you shift from 1st to 2nd. Suzuki for example always seem to manage to design and build smooth changing boxes. Even on their most powerful bikes, so why Yamaha fail so consistently on this point eludes me. If it is follows my experience with other Yamahas I have owned it will ease as the miles rise.
A stiff, R1 based frame and brakes back up that potent engine 100%, and the Fazer is great fun to ride: Really chuckable and confidence inspiring. I felt really home straight away and can’t wait for next summer so I can explore the talents of this fantastic bike more in full…watch this space…November 26, 2009 at 11:23 pm #59848HippoDronesParticipant
nice write up mate, I look forward to your updates as the miles mount up! November 27, 2009 at 10:34 am #59849TT07Participant
Yes well emphasised write up as usual Radar, currently the waiting for next summer feels a long way away.December 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm #59850imperialdataKeymaster
Yup, very nice bike (I know, I had a go on it!). Even that exhaust is growing on me. Good point about going fast on potholed and lumpy roads.December 14, 2009 at 7:05 am #59851GordyParticipant
Well R, you’ve got the right bike at last, just don’t sell the 600.
(I still think that exhaust looks like a Klingon space-cruiser laser cannon!)December 16, 2009 at 12:45 am #59852
I wont Gordy, the 600 is still tucked up in the Garage along side the FZ. The exhaust is growing on me…not literally, but you know what I mean!December 19, 2009 at 2:01 am #59853GordyParticipant
If you’ve got the snow we have then keep both of them tucked up and use a closer pub!
(Gordy… always full of good advice. I should listen to myself sometimes).December 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm #59854BigBenParticipant
cmon boys, snow riding is funDecember 24, 2009 at 7:04 pm #59855
Sorry Ben but both are tucked up for winter…at least we have passed the shortest day now. Spring is not so far awayJuly 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm #59856ScouserParticipant
Nice bike Don but the exhaust looks like a daleks todger!July 6, 2010 at 11:45 am #59857imperialdataKeymaster
Thanks for the new mental picture that ruins any bike I see with that style of exhaust, Scouser!July 6, 2010 at 11:06 pm #59858
Originally posted by imperialdata
Thanks for the new mental picture that ruins any bike I see with that style of exhaust, Scouser!
Initially I wasn’t keen on the can either, but i am getting used to it. I will post up an update soon…how you getting on with the 9R ID?July 12, 2010 at 11:04 pm #59859
Spotted one up at Quatt the weekend with a rather better looking pipe fitted
I am going to have to start saving my pennies!
Also good to see a FZ1 in the 1970’s typr colours too:December 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm #59860
Well with nearly 5500 miles on the clock now it seems a good moment to update you all on how I am getting along with my Fazer…In my opening review I said how it was a bit of a sleeper…a sober-suited assasin: sensible on the outside but actually a bit of a wild child when the vaneer is scraped back a little. Well that remains as true as ever.
Over 5000 miles the bike has peformed as faultlessly as a bike now listed at an eye-watering £11200 should and to date the only thing I had to lay out for as a set of new tyres at 4200 miles. Oddly the front Dunlop was shot before the rear…I have never experienced that before in knocking on for 30 years of biking. Bikersworld at Coleshill near Birmingham were doing a good deal on Metzeler Rennsports at the time – £200 the pair ride in, ride out. Early days, but so far I like them.
To ride the bike has been excellent, very quick, great in the bends especially the more open sweeping type where its’ inherent stability really comes to the fore. In tighter bends the 220kg+ weight starts to have an influence, but it can still be hustled along with some aplomb. The brakes are superb, but I cannot get the fronts to stop squeaking which is getting a bit annoying now. The engine is a peach and has loads of power available right through the rev range. This is just as well as it means the need for gear changing is reduced, no bad thing on this bike as it has been ‘blessed’ with Yamahas’ standard clunky gearbox. This is without a doubt the worst thing in the dynamic profile of the bike.
Comfort is top-notch though, thanks in the main to a relatively upright and relaxed riding position. I have rotated the bars around slightly in the yokes, this serves both to lower them and bring them slightly closer. This is a more sporting stance and one that I prefer. On one of my regular 150 miles jaunts into Wales I never feel uncomfortable and the Fazer was a superb companion on the recent jaunt over to France with Ses310 and Thumper. It was on that run that it struck me just how wide the capabilities of the bike are: It could cover the ground with 95% of the ease of Thumper’s BMW GS and 95% of the verve of Ses’s Blade when the opportunity arose. However the design of the tail piece made fitting my throw-overs awkward and I had to cram 4 days kit into my tank bag. A bit of a design flaw there Mr.Yamaha!
The 700 mile trip into France to showed up another concern with the FZ, and this is a common one with many of the latest 1 litre injected bikes…fuel consumption. I was not expecting it to sip fuel like a C90, but the Blade was consistently 2-5mpg better. This slight heavy thirst combines with a small tank to limit range to about 120 miles before you start hunting for a place to get more fuel. Bikes in general need to be better on fuel in a day and age where even cars like a 5 series BMW or a Jaguar XF can hit 150mph or better 40mpg with the right engine selection.
Another niggle is the design of the fuel filler which makes it a bit too easy to spray fuel over the tank as it approaches full.
I managed to let the bike topple over once too, I am rather embarrassed to admit I thought the side-stand was down when it wasn’t…crunch. She is a tough old bird, as a snapped clutch lever was the only casualty. £6 for a replacement…can’t complain!
So overall the FZ has been a corking bike and am I looking forward to another couple of years with it until the thorny problem of what to get next will have to be tackledDecember 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm #59861ses310Moderator
Must admit that even though its a Yamaha it is a cracking bike to ride. Felt like an armchair compared to my Blade in France and goes and handles really really well.
A true bike that does it all, well apart from the fuel economy!
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