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Old 01-13-2011, 08:17 PM   #11
Jeff Cobb
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Originally Posted by Dr_Sprocket View Post
Could this bike be the absolutely best "do-it-all" bike there is? Quite possibly.
Motorcycles have come a long way. For some odd reason, I kept thinking of my '83 Suzuki GS1100ED (which I bought left-over new in '85). Remember the Cycle Magazine cover that described the almost identical '82 version as "the King?" Here was a spindly framed, 550+ lb bike putting out a very similar 108 hp/ 68 ft-lbs (or so), and it was the ultimate, a basis for pro-stock drag bikes.

Now we have this almost budget bike doing it with 779cc, liquid cooled, weighing 82+ lbs less – while running a heavy exhaust with cat and EPA-legal – rolling on chassis, wheels, tires and brakes that are 4X better at least.

What I would have given for something like this 25 years ago!

If I could have a blast and some of the best memories of my life on that old beast, today's riders ought to count themselves fortunate indeed.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jmdonald View Post
This is one great bike and I'm no Yamaha fan.A job well done by the Yamaha team.You are right however when compared to its sibling what bike would you pick?
I like the elemental looks of the FZ8, and that it's 9 lbs lighter. The Fazer 8 would be more practical with the extra wind protection. In (inflated) Canadian dollars, it'll set you back an extra $500 for the Fazer. I don't know. I might be okay with the FZ8 unless I knew I was heading into lots of weather.

FZ8 Canada

Fazer 8 Canada
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:56 AM   #13
Morbo the Destroyer
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Very interesting indeed...something new on the market. I have a few questions though:

Photos by Riles and Nelson? Is that a company name or 2 guys? Where's Fonzie these days?

Those intake runners look rather odd, sort of like a 4-barrel bong. The varied lengths...is that typical or something new?

What's up with the "bike-specific" tires manufacturers are so fond of? Why? Nobody is going to go and order tires at the local dealership, unless they're stupid and rich. What does Yamaha gain by putting them on to begin with? Good demo rides?

Where do all those "fleet bikes" wind up? As low-mileage creampuffs at the dealerships? I have to think you motojournos beat them pretty hard. Would YOU buy a used motorcycle from Mr. Duke? Not me...

That's a nice list of accessories. For $10k you could trick the bike up nicely. I'd like to see it with the flyscreen and lower fairing.

Lastly: $8,490. Is that price good enough, low enough, to move people up from a FZ 600 or down from an FZ 1000. Because I once sold motorcycles, I think of bike prices in terms of payments, because that's how 85% of the buyers think of them. So I'm looking at $200/month for the Ninja 1000 (sat on one at Riva yesterday...meh...) or $165/month for this bike. Maybe getting the bike in at a sub-$200 payment will attract buyers.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:32 AM   #14
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More thoughts after looking at the photos.

The headers are a lot longer than the ones on the FZ1. The short headers on the FZ1 are good for top end, but they are terrible for midrange power. This is why owners of the FZ1 do best to go straight to the full exhaust system as shown by my dyno graphs littering up the BMW 800 thread recounted below:

2011 BMW F800R Review

It appears Yamaha added the longer headers on the FZ8 to boost the mid power. Reading Duke's post after he saw the above charts expressing surprise that an FZ1 could run with a Z1000 through the midrange was priceless. These Yamaha mills really are great engines but the "support systems" (airbox, exhaust) are second rate on the FZ1 and probably on this bike too. We can fix that

Unequal length velocity stacks are not new. They are another trick used to spread power. Longer tends to build mid power, short for top end. Of course we have the ones that adjust their length too, but that tech is too expensive for this bike's price target.

The 11,500 rpm redline is low for this engine. My FZ1 redlines at 12,000 and feels unstrained and smooth up there. The cams in the FZ8 no doubt peter out at that level, but with it's lower redline and smaller pistons, the FZ8 engine is utterly unstressed and will likely last forever.

I bet a properly set up FZ8 makes around 118 to 120 hp at the wheel and picks up at least 10-13 hp through the middle. Given the longer stock headers, I am wondering if a slip on might suffice though. Remove the cat from the headers and the other one goes away when a slip on is added. open up the likely tiny intake snorkle in the airbox (the stock FZ1 airbox opening would barely swallow a ping pong ball).

Give it a few months and us mavens on the FZ1 board will find out as Ivan is our man. A 120ish hp free revving crisp responding FZ8 could be a lotta fun! I will report back when I know more

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Old 01-14-2011, 08:45 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Morbo the Destroyer View Post
Very interesting indeed...something new on the market. I have a few questions though:

Photos by Riles and Nelson? Is that a company name or 2 guys? Where's Fonzie these days?

Those intake runners look rather odd, sort of like a 4-barrel bong. The varied lengths...is that typical or something new?

What's up with the "bike-specific" tires manufacturers are so fond of? Why? Nobody is going to go and order tires at the local dealership, unless they're stupid and rich. What does Yamaha gain by putting them on to begin with? Good demo rides?

Where do all those "fleet bikes" wind up? As low-mileage creampuffs at the dealerships? I have to think you motojournos beat them pretty hard. Would YOU buy a used motorcycle from Mr. Duke? Not me...

That's a nice list of accessories. For $10k you could trick the bike up nicely. I'd like to see it with the flyscreen and lower fairing.

Lastly: $8,490. Is that price good enough, low enough, to move people up from a FZ 600 or down from an FZ 1000. Because I once sold motorcycles, I think of bike prices in terms of payments, because that's how 85% of the buyers think of them. So I'm looking at $200/month for the Ninja 1000 (sat on one at Riva yesterday...meh...) or $165/month for this bike. Maybe getting the bike in at a sub-$200 payment will attract buyers.
Riles & Nelson are Tom Riles and Brian J. Nelson, two of the best roadracing shooters out there who also do work on press launches and brochures. Fonzie is still around, but he's no longer on salary and works for us and others as a freelancer.

As Duken notes, differential-length intake trumpets are nothing new, meant to offer a broad spread of power.

At $8500, the FZ8's MSRP is $2K less than the FZ1, which puts it in a fairly exclusive price range for all that it offers.

I was surprised, tho, to find that they brought the naked FZ8 to America instead of the partially faired Fazer, especially since sales of Japanese naked bike sales have always disappointed. But perhaps we're seeing a maturing of the market, as BMW recently brought in the naked F800R to sell over here. Sales numbers of both should be interesting to watch.

Bike-specific tires are a weird thing because, as you note, they're horribly overpriced compared to generic aftermarket rubber. I guess they just want to have the bike nicely tuned to make a positive first impression.

Fleet bikes are frequently sold or auctioned to OEM employees. I might consider a fleet bike used for testing at somewhere like Rider magazine. MO bikes, probably not.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Morbo the Destroyer View Post

That's a nice list of accessories. For $10k you could trick the bike up nicely. I'd like to see it with the flyscreen and lower fairing.

Lastly: $8,490. Is that price good enough, low enough, to move people up from a FZ 600 or down from an FZ 1000. Because I once sold motorcycles, I think of bike prices in terms of payments, because that's how 85% of the buyers think of them. So I'm looking at $200/month for the Ninja 1000 (sat on one at Riva yesterday...meh...) or $165/month for this bike. Maybe getting the bike in at a sub-$200 payment will attract buyers.
Agreed on the cowl and screen. An aftermarket under tail kit would look good too.

I once sold cars (nearly sold motorcycles, and a dealer was trying to recruit me, but I stuck with more profitable cars). Some of my associates would poke fun at buyers who thought in terms of payments – especially if they did not even know the math to what they were paying in negotiated deals.

Word to the wise (buyer): Know the selling price, and think in terms of selling price and interest. Paying ahead will typically knock that total interest down.

(This has been free consumer counseling to the citizens of a country with a national debt that exceeds its GDP).

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Old 01-14-2011, 11:19 AM   #17
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(This has been free consumer counseling to the citizens of a country with a national debt that exceeds its GDP).

Good advice, but telling it to Joe Citizen directs said-same advice in the wrong direction.......

But I digress.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:33 AM   #18
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Good advice, but telling it to Joe Citizen directs said-same advice in the wrong direction.......

But I digress.
Thanks, I realize that. I initially did not want to sound alarmist, but the national debt is not our citizens' only national economic concern. Do we want to talk about credit problems, problems with the Federal Reserve, housing bubble, economic conditions resulting from a general habit of too many people in all sectors spending beyond their means ... ?

Initially, I just wanted to focus some light in a general direction, Hawk. I see the national debt as systemic and problematic, a cultural issue that's part of related causes manifesting several economic effects that reach right down to the individual level.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:39 PM   #19
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. Do we want to talk about credit problems, problems with the Federal Reserve, housing bubble, economic conditions resulting from a general habit of too many people in all sectors spending beyond their means ... ?
No. HELL NO.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:47 PM   #20
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Ah, money management. My bailiwick. Jeff, I have a story for you.

You see, Mastercard had their IPO a few years ago. I bought 200 shares at $46 a share right after it hit the open market. My pre purchase due diligence was in depth. It consisted of "it's Mastercard. Buy it early, buy lots of it!" I had similarly "strenuous" thought process when Visa had it's IPO

Back to Mastercard. In fairly short order, it doubled and then some, to $100. I sold it, transferred the profit money to my checking account, walked into Vickery Cycle Sports and walked out with a new 2006 FZ1 for $8,400 out the door with taxes and all (selling price $7,900). Put it on my Mastercard. The Mastercard bill came with the bike purchase on it, paid it off in full (plus the Akra full system and PCIII) using the stock sale profit proceeds. Ah the financial bubble years. So much fun - sigh... Hell of it is, Mastercard continued going up of course, peaking at around $300. That FZ1 actually cost me about 30 grand I suppose. Oh well. Traded in and out of it a bit after that, probably pulled 15K out of MA over the years.

Post meltdown, precious metals and Netflix have been good to me and after taking it in the shorts, I am doing well these days. Anyway, my FZ1 is the bike that Mastercard bought. I will always love it for that

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