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Old 02-16-2003, 10:50 AM   #1
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

Dang, get whatever bike you like. I'm 33 and regularly ride with guys up to age 50. We all have R1's and routinely ride 6 hours plus. He doesn't seem to whine much.
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Old 02-16-2003, 12:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

I'm 42 and I'm looking at both the VFR and FZ right at the moment...I've ridden both and in fact I sat on both just yesterday. So I'll give you my impressions:

The FZ is a taller bike, with a higher seat (33" vs. 31.7"). So taller people may prefer it for that reason alone...it 'feels better' for them.

Ergonomically, once you're riding, the two bikes feel very close. Although the VFR has a reputation for being the most ergonomic sport-tourer around, the FZ has a very upright position, and perhaps even a shorter reach from seat to handlebars.

OK, I just looked up the specs online; here they are:



seat-to-handlebar: 28.8"

seat-to-footpeg: 18.1"

effective handlebar rise: 6.1"




seat-to-handlebar: 28.1"

seat-to-footpeg: 19.3"

effective handlebar rise: 9.5"


So my impression is confirmed. The handlebars on the FZ1 are a bit closer and higher, and even shorter people might prefer those ergos of the FZ. I thought that the VFR bars felt a bit lower and further away, and thought that I'd probably buy some Helibar risers if I went with the VFR.

And the FZ is not only taller, it has a larger gap between seat and pegs, so taller folks will no doubt feel more comfortable there as well.

On the other hand, I'm not tall, and I felt fine on both bikes. If I buy the FZ, I'll probably have the seat shaved down an inch, but otherwise it's fine.

My biggest decision between the two is not the ergos, but which type of bike do I want?

Do I want a naked FZ with that stonkin' engine?

Or do I want a more expensive, full-faired, lesser powered bike, but with the added safety feature of ABS?

What it really comes down to is this: do I want uber-performance, or safety? I haven't completely decided, and I'd be happy to hear others' opinions about this so that I can stop flip-flopping and make up my mind....
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Old 02-16-2003, 12:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

I currently own an FZ1 with multiple riding buds on VFR's. Here is what I know and the reason I bought an FZ1 over the VFR:

1. FZ1 valve adjust at 26,600mi vs. VFR at 16,000mi

2. FZ1 mpg is in the 46-48mpg zone while a 99 VFR bud gets 44mpg... another on a 02 VFR gets 38mpg for the same corners/straights.

3. Even though a more relaxed riding position, I can ride it faster and harder than if on one of my buds bikes.

4. Fully adjustable suspension on the FZ1.

5. FZ1 is cheaper.

6. The FZ1 is more powerful but has a smoother power delivery.

The VFR is fuel injected though... I would wait to see what the SV1000 is like if fuel injection is important to you. Add a lower fairing for $500 and still be $1k under a VFR.


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Old 02-16-2003, 12:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

I ride the earlier VFR the 750, and I am a short ass at only 5'5" and I find the VFR fits me well as they are a reasonably compact bike. What this all tells me is I don't think a person of 6' or more would be comfortable for long distances on the VFR, they would be too cramped. The seat to peg dimension mentioned above would be the key one - you would have your legs bent a lot more than on the FZ1 or what I do being shorter on the VFR. I fitted helibars to mine to reduce the reach across the tank. You can't pull the seat forward like in a car so I had to bring the bars back to be truly comfortable. Try them out and choose the one you feel good on. If you are tall, I doubt it is the VFR even though they are marvellous bikes.


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Old 02-16-2003, 01:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

You guys are leaving out one other bike. The YZF600R. As good ergo's as the VFR (Maybe better). easily as powerful as the VFR, great seat, and a steal at only $6999. Great bargain, great all arounder. I normally do 600+ mile days on mine all season long (MO should hire me to write a long term evaluation, as I think I may be one of the mileage leaders on this bike. I have 45,000 on my '98 as we speak.)

All in all it's an excellent motorcycle that does everything perfectly. I'm 43 years old, and I have no problem riding this bike long distance at all. Definitely worth considering.
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Old 02-16-2003, 01:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

I'm 52, and 6'-2", and do three / four day rides on my '99 VFR. I did put helibars and a sargent seat on it, but it is great for 300+ mile, two lane rides.

I've just bought a '03 K1200RS, as I'm interested in longer tours, and it fit the bill closest with hard bags, heated grips, big smooth motor, and shaft drive.

I kept the VFR though...
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Old 02-16-2003, 02:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

My last bike was a '97 VFR, current ride is a 1200S Bandit, Prior to that I had a ZX10, K100RS, R100RT, GPZ 750, V1100S sabre, and a bunch of Harleys, The ergo's on the VFR weren't bad for me @ 6'2- 250 lbs, and 45yo, Comfort/distance wise I did 5-6 hour rides with no trouble, stop and go on the freeway was hard on my wrists and elbows, but not as bad as the other sportbikes I had. The FZ1 ergo's are similar to the Bandit, which is just about perfect for me and my riding style, and I'd recommend it over the VFR if comfort/performance is the only criteria. I'd look at the ZRX1200 also, the Bandit/ FZ1/ ZRX ergos and price are all pretty similar.
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Old 02-16-2003, 02:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

I have been sport riding for 19 years and have been at the scene of many accidents that could have been avoided with ABS. The problem is when a car comes out of a side street, or jams on the brakes in front of you. even expierienced people use too much front brake and go down. The ABS is great for the real world. So my advice about the ergonomics is you will feel more comfortable sitting on your bike than possibly laying next to it on the street.
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Old 02-16-2003, 05:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

I am 6'3" and I was disappointed by the FZ1's ergos. the upper body posture is excellent, but the pegs are too high and rear set, affording little relief at the knees. That knocked the bike completely off my wanted list, never to be returned to it.

The VFR has a VERY comfortable riding posture, much more so than my ZX-12R.

I have ridden my ZX-12R on 8 hour rides but they have always been back roads, not highway drones. I can't stand to ride the 12 more than 50 miles on the interstates.

You might want to consider the ZZR1200. very comfy, very fast.
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Old 02-16-2003, 05:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ergonomics. VFR 800 VS Yam. FZ1

Both are superb bikes, so i doubt you'd be disappointed either way. However, as a 52-year-old-owner of a VFR, I have to confess that it is the most comfortable bike I've ever owned. I'm short (5'8"), so I may not be the perfect test subject, but, as Bike magazine said in their 01/02 review of the VFR: "You could ride twice around Jupiter and get off with nary a twinge. The human shape, it seems, has evolved specifically to fit VFRs."

The trick to understanding the VFR is that it's not the most comfy on the showroom floor. It gets comfy when you get it on the road and lean on the tank, taking pressure off your arms. A tankbag can increase the lean area if you adjust it right.

That said, the FZ1 is a spectacular machine. Again, Bike, obviously one of my favorite pubs, ranks the Yamaha R1 engine and the VFR engine as the best two motorcycle engines ever built (in that order).

To be honest, I don't think you can make a mistake here.

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