Just got back from a 6 day trip to see my parents in Southern California this past weekend. I've been riding for over a year now and still hadn't been able to ride with my dad. Long story short, a friend of his loaned me his 2002 Yamaha FZ1 Saturday morning so my dad and I could go for a ride (my dad rides a Goldwing).
The only other bike beside my V that I've ridden was a 90's something Nitehawk in my MSF course a year ago. This was my first experience with a sport(ish) bike and my first experience with a bike bigger than a 650.
It took about 20 minutes to get used to the different feel of the clutch, but once I got the clutch down, I took right to it. Here's a few of my thoughts on it:
Power: Holy crap. Compared to the V, the FZ1 is a rocket. The guy who loaned it to me actually told me I should let it go once or twice, so I took him up on it. When I did, it reminded me of the feeling I got when I first opened the V up...that "I just peed a little" feeling. The power band is way different than the V and the torque and power really kick in above 5500-6k rpm. It definitely felt less "torque-y" in the lower rpm's. In short, I could REALLY get used to that power and kind of feel that I wouldn't mind trading up for something with more power.
Riding Position: I've never ridden a GSXR or R1 or the like so I can only compare it to the V. In short, it wasn't as leaned over as I thought it would be and I really didn't feel any worse than I do on the Versys for the same amount of time. That said, I did notice an ache and slight pain in my wrists and hands the two days after. Probably due both to the riding position and my own fault for placing to my weight at the hands.
Handling: Once I got used to it, it was almost
as easy as the V. I could definitely notice a difference in the height. It didn't feel like I had to lean the bike over as much as the V. I did notice though it did feel more sluggish and slower to respond than the V. I'm attributing that to the weight and height difference.
Overall feeling: The engine was very smooth. The bike was really quite overall, no buzzing, no rattles, etc. I noticed there was a tad more vibration in the handlebars. But I really loved the sound of the Yoshi exhaust
The guy I borrowed it from commutes on it 5 days a week in OC (60 miles a day I believe). I'm not entirely sure I could handle the riding position for that commute.
But...I really liked the bike. As much as I really like my Versys, riding the FZ1 really left me wishing the V came in a 1000 version.