Rode an FZ1...my thoughts - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Rode an FZ1...my thoughts

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.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Oops, didn't realize there was an "other motorcycle brand" forum. Admin, feel free to move if needed.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 12:18 AM
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I had a 02 FZ1 before I got the Versys. You are right, it is a rocket. I miss it a little but realistically it was more power than you really need for the street. Besides, if I had kept the bike I would probably be dead right now. I have found it is much more fun going fast in the twisties than in a straight line but that's just me. If you want to really have some fun, ride a supermoto bike. Trust me, it's a hoot.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 01:52 AM
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I went from an '04 Yamaha Fazer (FZ1) to the Versys. The Yamaha is a perfectly good machine, but for me, I may have well bought a washing machine or fridge as it was just too bland. It fits well with the old moniker, UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle). But each to their own and isn't choice a wonderful thing.


Good luck exploring the infinite abyss
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 06:43 AM
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I recommend you watch for demo rides in your area. You get to try out a lot of different bikes and decided which one is for you. That is how I ended up with the Versys. Rode the Concours 1400, Ninja 1000, Vaquero, and Versys. The Versys put the biggest smile on my face so that is what I bought.

There are definite drawbacks going with a super fast, super nimble motorcycle.
1) riding near or just above the speed limit is so easy it gets boring so you tend to speed more which increases your risk of ticket and/or wrecking.
2) lower fuel economy.
3) higher insurance costs.
4) the acceleration from a stop can put you into a dangerous situation real fast. Say a car is approaching an intersection from the other direction. He sees the light has just turned green and judging the normal acceleration of vehicles assumes he has time to take a left into the parking lot on the left. All of a sudden the fast accelerating motorcycle that he barely noticed is upon him. BAM!

I know; more power is sexy. more power gives you bragging rights. more power gives you a euphoric rush. But it can get you into trouble, expecially when you get addicted to that rush.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchristian79 View Post
I'm not entirely sure I could handle the riding position for that commute.
you might be surprised. maybe the versys position is better on city streets, but on the highway (and in the twisties), a little lean ain't so bad.

Davy, you've made a fine choice in automobiles, sir.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
Seal/CRAZY/misquoted


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
4) the acceleration from a stop can put you into a dangerous situation real fast.
i'll disagree with this one. this is the same whether you're on a versys or ninja1k. i doubt anyone here is limited by the bike when leaving a stoplight. a person who would hit redline three times leaving a light will wreck on any bike. well, except for the guy with the TU250.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 09:56 AM
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Davy, you've made a fine choice in automobiles, sir. :clap

Why , kind Sir. Just back from a foray into France. Great roads, great scenery and great food.



Back to topic. The big Yam is obviously a different bike to a Versys. Now regarding riding position, I spent some time last winter trying to modify mine to give me a more upright style. I bought Gen2 risers and Renthal handlebars to sort out the comfort factor. But then that is a problem I suffer with and need a virtually upright position nowadays (getting old sucks). And as others have touched on, it's a bleeding fast motorcycle and I reckon I was eventually going to lose my license as it was just too easy to go too fast on it. Yes, the throttle works both ways, but it was very easy to do triple digit figures without noticing it (which is no excuse for the rozzers).

Good luck exploring the infinite abyss
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