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Old 02-14-2009, 08:23 AM   #11
sachiwilson
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Hey Kodiak, sitting on a bike in a showroom doesn't give you a very good idea of how comfortable a bike will be on the road. Once you are moving, the wind, vibration, and other factors play a really big part on what is comfortable and what isn't. So be a little more suspicious about fit and feel for a while.

As for the bike being more capable for a beginner, it has less peak horsepower than the older model, but a beefed up low end. That tends to encourage riders to go easy on the throttle, because you can get moving without revving the engine too high. Whether that change is enough for you or other beginners I don't pretend to answer, but it is a factor.
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:24 AM   #12
newagetwotone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KodiakRS View Post
As someone looking for their first bike I am seriously interested in the FZ6R. I'm still in the 'doing your homework' phase of learning but was in town today and decided to go into the dealership's and sit on a few bikes to just see what was what.

The FZ6R was BY FAR the most comfortable bike I sat on today. This included a few 600cc+ inline 4 bikes I have no intention of buying, a 650R, a sv650, and a V-strom 650. The catch is that I am 6'4 and weigh in at about 280 LBS.

My only concern is that this is an inline 4 600CC bike, something I have been told to avoid. I really don't want to buy a bike that is beyond my capabilities as a newbie so have been staying away from bikes like this. For some reason Yamaha has touted the FZ6R as a beginner bike, and this review sort of confirmed that. What gives? Is this bike going to get me into trouble? If not, what is it about this bike that makes it OK that's different from other 600CC inline 4's that I have been warned about?
NO! see you're right in your last paragraph there, it is NOT a beginners bike. It wouldn't be a bad sports bike for someone who's ridden dirt or been on the road on a stardard or cruiser but its NOT a first bike.

2009 Yamaha FZ6R - Top Speed

Right hand side there, if you page down, is a bar take a look at the numbers

78 hp. no. Its not as powerful as an R6 or a CBR but that is NOT the type of power a beginner should have, no matter what your dealer says, no matter what the friends of yours say, its not. Want a sports bike? try a Ninja 250 and don't listen to the schmucks who say you'll get bored with it and hey, if you do you can sell it for little to no loss in a year. Try looking at the Ninja 500 as well or the suzuki GS500. If you HAVE to have a 600+ bike then look at the Ninja 650r/Er-6n or the SV650(s) and v-strom again they're both twins and down 15-20 horsepower from the FZ6r. 15 or 20 doesn't sound like much when you look at cars but its HUGE when your vehicle weights 400lbs.

At your height sport bikes may not be the thing you really want. Something like the KLR 650 maybe something to look at being a dual sport it will have lots of leg room.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newagetwotone View Post
NO! see you're right in your last paragraph there, it is NOT a beginners bike. It wouldn't be a bad sports bike for someone who's ridden dirt or been on the road on a stardard or cruiser but its NOT a first bike.

2009 Yamaha FZ6R - Top Speed
I would tend to agree. 78hp and 44.2 lb-ft of torque seems a lot for a first bike. I'll wait for the MO dyno run (as Danger promised) for the real numbers. However, he is a big dude.

KodiakRS, I had the same problem looking for my first bike. All the ones everyone recommended were way too cramped for me (36" inseam). Then along came my Nighthawk (approx. 64hp and 40lb-ft of torque). Great bike for me to learn on and super cheap, too! BTW, did you read the New Rider thread?
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:53 AM   #14
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My gs500 has about 40% less power than this bike, and it will EASILY do 80mph. The FZ6R is a second bike not a first bike.

You should buy a Kawasaki KLR650. They are ugly and carburated but they have many advantages:

huge aftermarket support
huge rider base- there are several of KLR communities online
enough power for highway travel
much cheaper than an FZ6R
plenty of legroom
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:55 AM   #15
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I have two specific questions.

Does the FZ6R require premium fuel? I have heard conflicting reports on that. The Ninja 650R and its relatives take 87 octane fuel.

What about the brakes on this bike? Yamaha's own website describes the FZ6R front brake as "Hydraulic disc, 298mm". They describe the FZ6 brake as "Dual 298mm floating disc; 4-piston calipers". After reading this article and studying the pictures, I think that they screw themselves in their description. It ought to read "Dual Hydraulic Disc, 298mm". Meaning, the FZ6R lacks two calipers compared to the FZ6, but both bikes have dual discs up front. Is that correct?

Last edited by OhioSteve : 02-14-2009 at 11:52 AM. Reason: added brake question
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioSteve View Post
I have two specific questions.

Does the FZ6R require premium fuel? I have heard conflicting reports on that. The Ninja 650R and its relatives take 87 octane fuel.

What about the brakes on this bike? Yamaha's own website describes the FZ6R front brake as "Hydraulic disc, 298mm". They describe the FZ6 brake as "Dual 298mm floating disc; 4-piston calipers". After reading this article and studying the pictures, I think that they screw themselves in their description. It ought to read "Dual Hydraulic Disc, 298mm". Meaning, the FZ6R lacks two calipers compared to the FZ6, but both bikes have dual discs up front. Is that correct?
Hello again, Steve. The FZ6R has dual discs, each with a caliper. But they are not 4-piston calipers like the old FZ6; they are older-tech twin-piston calipers.

I'm 99% sure the FZ6R doesn't require premium fuel.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KodiakRS View Post
As someone looking for their first bike I am seriously interested in the FZ6R. I'm still in the 'doing your homework' phase of learning but was in town today and decided to go into the dealership's and sit on a few bikes to just see what was what.

The FZ6R was BY FAR the most comfortable bike I sat on today. This included a few 600cc+ inline 4 bikes I have no intention of buying, a 650R, a sv650, and a V-strom 650. The catch is that I am 6'4 and weigh in at about 280 LBS.

My only concern is that this is an inline 4 600CC bike, something I have been told to avoid. I really don't want to buy a bike that is beyond my capabilities as a newbie so have been staying away from bikes like this. For some reason Yamaha has touted the FZ6R as a beginner bike, and this review sort of confirmed that. What gives? Is this bike going to get me into trouble? If not, what is it about this bike that makes it OK that's different from other 600CC inline 4's that I have been warned about?
Inline-Fours in high-performance sportbikes are designed to make power at the high end of the rpm range, and this isn't ideal for a newbie because it's not often (or advised) to be spinning the motor so high for a newb. And when not revving them high, the engine feels lethargic and unresponsive.

That said, this FZ6R is tuned to deliver power much lower in the rev range, making it much friendlier for a beginner. As such, I see this new Yammie as a viable first bike for a rider of your size. Its 78-hp claim will work out to a rear-wheel number right around 70 hp, which is close to the SV650 and Ninja 650. But whatever you do, take an MSF rider course before you buy anything - they provide bikes at the course.

Other bikes to consider: The KLR650 others have mentioned; the Kawi Versys and ER-6n; Suzuki DL650 V-Strom and GS500. There are tests of most of these bikes on Motorcycle.com.

However, for a first bike I always recommend something pre-owned and small. It's best to learn on smaller bikes because they are easier to manage while your moto skills are still budding. Buying a used bike means you won't be so distraught if it gets scratched or dropped, and newbie-oriented bikes always have strong resale value, meaning you could probably sell it for what you bought it for when you are ready to move up to another bike. Hope that helps!
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:47 PM   #18
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It should be small in terms of price tag, certainly. You can buy an brand-new KLR-650 for $5000. KLRs manufactured before 2008 had weaker brakes so you may want to avoid them.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioSteve View Post
My gs500 has about 40% less power than this bike, and it will EASILY do 80mph.
Got one myself. It'll easily (maybe not EASILY in all caps) do a lot more than that.

I'm about 6'2" and no lightweight, and it doesn't have any trouble carrying me around.

Quote:
You should buy a Kawasaki KLR650. They are ugly and carburated but they have many advantages:

huge aftermarket support
huge rider base- there are several of KLR communities online
enough power for highway travel
much cheaper than an FZ6R
plenty of legroom
Been thinking of getting one of them myself for the legroom.

I haven't ridden the FZ6R to really be able to judge this for myself, but it doesn't sound like an ideal first bike to me. I wonder how easy it is to accidentally power wheelie one? That's one popular criterion for "not a good first bike," if you can accidentally get it up on one wheel without dumping the clutch. (I say "without dumping the clutch" because I've seen some bikes you'd never think could wheelie pull the front wheel a couple feet off the ground when a newbie rider tried to get it moving too hard...)
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:11 AM   #20
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I've read every review now. This is what I see. OEMs now feel that anything sub-80hp can qualify as a beginner bike. This is the new standard in newbie/re-entry marketing. I wish the hp were a little lower. However, when your markets average age range is 21yo you have to understand that they will automatically gravitate toward the sportbike range of rides. And so, with design you must attract two audiences- the newbie and the re-entry/commuter. Yamaha gave it easy to live with compentents that both types of riders wanted. Most of the stuff on the bike seems to be of quality order, right? The brakes aren't top-self but the bikes prime directive isn't sport riding. The suspension isn't fully adjustable- but newbies and re-entry/commuter riders aren't looking for those features, yet. Seems to me that when you think of the 696 this bike might hold it's own. Same with the Ninja 650. So, some think the price is high. Really. Compared to what now? Think XB9, SV/DL, Ninja/Versys, GSX650F, M696, maybe the Shiver or Mana in a comparo. Bet the Yamaha would do great in "real world" riding. It would do exactly what it was intended to do.
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