FZ8- the Forgotten Yamaha
My son recently upgraded his stable.
After riding his new/used WR250 for a few months this winter, the old SV650S started feeling really cramped. He decided on the new FZ-07 that Yamaha brought out this year. It's a pretty cool bike, super light, and pretty sporty. I kinda wondered if it was too close to the WR tho- great for a day ride but not so nice to tour on. I mentioned the FZ8 and Kellen came over to get some research materials. After reading up on the bike he started looking and found a great deal on a new left-over 2013. I finally got a chance to ride it last week.
My V had been in the shop with a Stator problem, I was jonesin for a ride. Kellen made the offer as he was working, so I tossed my gear in the van and went to his place. I had my tank bag, but decided not to use it on the matte finish paint. Put a few items in his Kriega tail-pack. Took off down the freeway for about 20 miles, then hit a nice route of back roads I've ridden a bunch on my V. The FZ8 handles pretty nice and has a lot more power and brakes, but the ride wasn't as fun somehow. I had the choice of three gears at all times, so shifting was really optional. The brakes were so effective and the fork firm enough that I couldn't really dive it in on the brakes. I could do the whole ride by moving my right wrist a few mils. In order to have any fun with it, I had to push the bike a whole lot faster than seemed socially responsible.
I went up and took care of a few meetings, then headed out for some more twisties to stay out of rush hour traffic. The route included some beat-up mountain roads with potholes and gravel. Definitely not as confidence inspiring as the V in these situations. The seat started feeling pretty hard and the pegs pretty high before the low-fuel warning came on at about 150 miles. Old man complaints! I was headed back to town anyway.
Happy to get the V back the next day.