Yamaha FZ1000 Fazer Review – As unbiased as I can

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  • #12764
    Gix
    Participant

    Ok, with my GSXR 1000 K2 off the road I was entitled  to have a loan bike whilst my bike made the journey down to Ringwood to be assessed and repaired.  I rode the FZ1000 ’55 plate for 2 and a half months, I am grateful that I had the bike, I could have been off the road for all that time, I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to try out something completely different to my own bike, however, I am still struggling to figure out just what “category” the Fazer 1000 belongs in.  Its most certainly not a sports bike, its not much use as a commuter – being heavy and lumpy and difficult to manoeuvre at slow speeds through traffic, as a tourer it doesn’t mile munch comfortably, the seat is not comfy and anything near motorway speeds is tiring with its lack of weather protection. Dirt – er no definitely not.

    37663077525_151618fef9.jpg
    It’s fair to say I didn’t bond with the Yamaha

    Handling, well once I had finished comparing it to one of the best japanese handling bikes there is, well it wasnt to bad as long as you didnt ask too much of it.  Soft suspension and long rake had it wallowing at speed round sweepers, slow speed twisties had you aching from the effort of active countersteering, but, despite this, it coped with everything I threw at it, and I threw lots at it, although the wallowing was unnerving at first, it still always made it round the bend, surprising me at times that it did lol
    Power – well, when the driver of the van pulled the FZ out the back of the van I thought, “well cant be too bad, its got a detuned R1 engine in it!”  I was wrong, the most frustrating thing about the FZ was its lack of pulling power, its said to have loads down the bottom of the rev range but although it will pull from lowdown, it takes for ever, to get the best from the engine I worked it like a screaming 600.
    The gearbox was one of the worst I had ever experienced, but that may have been down to wear rather than a manufacturer weakness, but it drove me mad.  On other bikes I have ridden, you knock it up a gear, and the lever returns to original position, on the FZ, it didnt return itself, I either had to gently tap it back, or really heft up to find the lever and then the next gear.  Once I got used to doing the tap down it was ok, but when I didnt tap down it was an almighty whole body shifting experience.  The clutch was very heavy but that was most likely due to adjustment…..oh, and the engine likes its oil lol, I rarely have to top up the K2 between filter/oil changes, I had to top up the FZ twice in just under 3000, yet the bike only had just over 7000 when I took delivery of it.
    Looks – what can I say?  Its ugly, would be better without the silly, useles little airing and screen, they serve no useful purpose.  The looks of the bike were not helped by the fact that, being a loan bike that passes through many hands, it was fitted with humongous engine bars, affectionately known as the scaffolding [:o)]
    Despite all of its faults (and it has many!), I still had some good rides on it, I pushed it hard, and it survived.  I still kept up with, and on occasion flew passed, the sportsbikers, which also made it rewarding at times.
    Would I buy one?  Definitely not.  Would I be happy to have one as a loaner again?  Not happy, but satisfied, yes [:)]
    Please bear in mind that this was a loaner bike, and may not have been set up correctly, it did seem to like its fuel, it used more than the k2, and may have had as much abuse thrown at it in the past that I subjected it too, so this little review may not be doing a well maintained and looked after FZ any justice whatsoever, and I have heard that there have been vast improvements to this years FZ1000, but this review is what I found with the loan bike I rode for some miles on.

    #53074
    Radar
    Moderator

    Interesting review Gix, I must admit that when you went up to Rutland Water on it with me you seemed to go very well on it. However the FZ seems to be trying to please everybody and winding up a sort of mush with little resolved character. As you said, I suspect it has had a hard life. I had been pondering buying one to replace my departed XJR but having ridden a R1 now I know where my money will be going when the time comes.

    #53075
    Gix
    Participant

    quote:


    Originally posted by Radar

    The FZ seems to be trying to please everybody and winding up a sort of mush with little resolved character.


    I think this too, I think with a shorter rake and tweaked suspension, better tyres and a bit of tuning it would be a totally different review, oh and an overhaul on the gearbox lol. I think yamaha have tried to appeal to too many markets with just one bike, its not an alrounder, but I think thats what yamaha wanted it to be, I have heard there have been vast improvements since the model I had on loan. Its not a bad bike, but its not anything really, and thats one of the problems I suppose, it doesnt fit into any “niche”.

    #53076
    Radar
    Moderator

    It would be interesting to try the latest FZ1 and see what has changed

    #53077
    Radar
    Moderator

    Rod Gibson, editor of Classic Motorcycle Magazine , wrote in his editorial this month about a Fazer Thou he had access to recently:

    “A recent extended spell on a Yamaha Fazer 1000 left me completely cold. There was nothing wrong with the bike, quite the contary in fact. It went, stopped and handled with great poise, it was reliable as clockwork and exceedingly comfortable to ride. It was also very fast. But at the end of the ride there was simply a feeling of having arrived at your destination, no sense of adventure along the way”

    Taken from CMM October 2007

    http://www.classicmechanics.com

    #53078
    Radar
    Moderator

    Fair to say Gix didn’t think much of the FZ1000….made me smile re-reading this and I even dug out a picture of her with the bike to add a little emphasis…

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