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SkH

Demo'd a 2017 R6 and FZ09 today at Noble Rush (WA).

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SkH
Yamaha Demo Day at King County WA today (also tomorrow if anyone lives in WA- Auburn, Nobles-Rush 10am-4pm)
 
My very first demo day, it was actually not crowded at all.  And there were time slots to sign up for, I came at 2pm with only 2 hours left and I slotted 3:15 for the R6 and 3:50 for the FZ09.  So I signed up, then left to get coffee and came back at 3:05 for my first run.  Guessing it may be bad tomorrow.
 
For reference, I own 3 bikes.  R3, FZ07, and 2015 Z1000.
 
I always wanted to ride a 600cc supersport.  I don't want to own one, just wanted to experience it. 
 
So the R6... seat is way too high for my 29" inseam.  That was the most hairy situation for me for the entire thing- the seat height.  Looking past that, I kept it in A mode, the strongest mode (I think?).  I've read many things on the internet, how the R6 or 600cc supersport doesn't have too much power down low, and needs to be revved.  I am here to say all these things I've read are greatly exaggerated.  The R6 has great power, so much so that I was confused.  At why people would say there isn't much low end torque.  I was expecting something like the R3 (the R3 for sure has no power down low) but no.  The power is great down low, and I revved it high and I just love.  I'll be honest.  High revving engines- high end torque is my cup of tea.  I now prefer it over naked bikes.  But I am cursed.  I cannot ride a supersport.  The ergos are just way too bad and aggressive for me- my lower back was hurting.  Too much weight on the hands.  And low speed maneuvering/turning was pure shet.  I would never, ever imagine riding this as a daily rider.  But aside that, it felt so great taking the corners.  I took a right hand turn aggressively and it was the best feeling corner I ever did compared to all my 3 bikes. 
 
Suspension-wise, this is the best OEM suspension I have felt in my limited experience.  We all know how the FZ07 is, well the rear isn't too bad personally for me, but I hate the front suspension.  The R3 is about slightly better and the front is definitely better, but this is at my weight (120lbs).  The Z1000 has good front, but the rear is way too stiff.  It is designed as a "street slayer" type bike so it makes no sense that the rear is so stiff.  Jarring.  But the R6 felt perfect for the rough streets and cornering.  It felt great for stock.
 
The brakes were good, I had no complaints with it when I had to brake hard (we went through a single lane 45 mph road where cars frequently stopped to take a left- so there were many sudden stops).
 
Oh yes and the throttle- I finally experience the R6's short throw throttle.  So many of you FZ07 and R3 owners switch the tube to the R6 throttle and now I can see why.  I am definitely thinking about doing that now.  It was insanely easy to get the revs high on the R6, such as from downshift blipping, the first time I inadvertantly over revved.
 
I love everything about this bike except the seat posture.  If I was younger, I would've definitely owned an R6.
 
The FZ09.
 
So, I was under the impression that my z1000 is more comparable to the FZ10 based on what people have written (on various forums and such).  And now I can see why.  I cannot compare my z1000 to the FZ09.  They are not in the same category.
 
Seat height-wise... it was fine.  I find that funny because that was one of the reasons I passed on getting the FZ09 over a year ago.  Maybe riding the R6 beforehand made me realize what my seat height limit really is.
 
The FZ09 is a pure representation of the hooligan bike.  Yes, I figured once again I will be fine in A mode.  There are certain things that work in concert to make this bike dangerous.  First of all- it is way too light for the power it has.  Second, despite the suspension upgrade (correct me if I'm wrong- they only upgraded the front, right?  Wasn't it the rear that was bad though?), I can feel how the suspension is bad- or just not created to handle the power properly.  I didn't feel stable.  I didn't feel confident.  Keep in mind I only weigh 120lbs- and I can tell the suspension is seriously not capable for its power.  The FZ09 produces more torque at the low end than my Z1000.  The Z1000 requires more twisting of the throttle, then it kind of jerks on, so it is MUCH MORE jerky than the (new) FZ09 but there is just small band with less power at the low end on the Z1000.  The FZ09 just easily propels you up dangerously fast with no jerk- it is a smoother, linear torque delivery.  Also the Z1000 is heavy- it feels heavy, and it feels grounded.  The power feels very grounded due to the weight of the bike.  The FZ09 feels way too light and way too powerful- you can get yourself into trouble.  The Z1000's weight sort of makes you feel planted from getting you into trouble.  In that respect the FZ09 is a much more agile, hooligan machine.  But that suspension.... ugh.  I understand now.  About that suspension.
 
The brakes... sadly didn't feel too good.  I don't know- sort of spongy-ish (especially the rear).   I did some hard braking and of all the bikes I have ridden, I did not like these brakes.
 
And then the ergos... the seat posture is MORE UPRIGHT than the FZ07!  This is alarming.  It makes the FZ09 feel like an extremely powerful dirt bike.   Thinking about it, I think this is the worst thing about the FZ09 for me, suspension aside.  I cannot hang with the super upright posture.  The Z1000 has more aggressive posture-without going into supersport aggressiveness but also it feels like you are seated inside the bike, while the FZ09 feels like you are on top.  I don't understand why it is so upright.  I would've liked just a little more slight lean.
 
In the end, I am glad I did not buy the FZ09 (the bike I wanted before choosing the more expensive Z1000).  And I can feel all the things that make the bike so cheap/affordable for the powerful engine it has.  It wasn't made for me.  At least I know how the FZ09 feels now and I can say I've ridden one.  I can understand its torque.  It doesn't really mesh with my personality. 
 
I will try to go for the FZ10 tomorrow to see once and for all if that is more similar to the Z1000.
 
Here are some blurry pics my wife took.
 
 
crop.png
 
Oh wait, found this pic... this is what I look like on the R6 with both feet down. Comedy.
 
 
comedy.png
 
 
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norcal616
I have the FJ-09 which is the FZ-09 in a gentleman's blazer... the FJ-09 fixed(to an extent) the FZ-09 little nuances such as suspension and fueling... the little CP3 motor is a bruiser punching well above its displacement into 1000cc territory which I love...
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Beemer
Nice write up!
 
 
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faffi
Only modern 600 I have ridden was a 1998 (is that modern?) Ninja 6. Like you, I found the engine powerful and eager at all rpm, and at 6000 it was as eager as the FZ-07 ever is. Very impressed by the engine of the little Kawasaki, utterly smooth, very strong, flexible and fast. I could not own one, because it would have waken my old speed demon and then I'd go out and hurt myself again.
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yamahaha
Great post OP. Saw my first new R6 recently. It is beautiful.
 
I agree with you on sportbike ergos. I gladly trade some discomfort for the superb handling and amazing power these machines have.
 
I still think the FZs are great machines but nothing beats a supersport. I chased a Fz10 last weekend. Couldn't stay with him on the straights but pushed him on twisties. He finally had enough and let a few of us by. I suspect he was struggling to hang on on the high speed runs although he said not. Amazing power in that beast though. I was on my 750 gsxr.
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faffi
On public roads, stupidity is more important than power and handling when it comes to overall speed. I am not going to wave a finger because I've ridden like a moron more often than I care to admit, but if you are using the full power of a Gixxer 750 on the streets you are an accident waiting to happen. You see all these videos on youtube with people riding stupid fast on roads. And I mean really stupid fast. Some are almost doing racing speeds in traffic. But a 150 mph motorcycle is a deadly weapon. Even at just 60 mph, a 600 lb bike/rider combo represent a force of 80,000 lb. At 120 mph, that has gone up to 320,000 lb. That can make a lot of damage. Not to mention that you will, in a perfect world, need 600 ft to stop from 120 mph. But the world is rarely perfect; grip is less than that of a track, you panic and brake too hard to too lightly, the road may be bumpy or you may be in a corner, all adding to your braking distance.
 
Not that I want to portrait a moralist or anything :D

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YZEtc
I took part in a Yamaha Demo Days test ride, too, back in August of 2014.
That's when I rode both the FZ-09 and FZ-07, ready to buy which ever one I liked most.
 
I came away with the feeling that the FZ-07 was more fun to ride than the FZ-09 because while the FZ-09 was more powerful than the FZ-07, I much more preferred the FZ-07 engine characteristics, and the smaller and lighter size and weight of the FZ-07 were also better to me.
Also, the amount of power and torque the FZ-07 made while in use was certainly enough for me.
It felt very well-suited to what I liked.
 
By comparison, the FZ-09 felt too similar to any of the other 4-cylindered Yamaha street bikes I've owned over the years as far as engine characteristics went and really nothing outstanding to me, where the FZ-07 did feel special and more appealing.
 
I owned only one YZF-R6, the 2001 YZF-R6N, and I can see how a bike like that has the reputation of having no low-end torque.
While saying it has zero low-end torque is an exaggeration (sure, the bike can be ridden below the powerband), just don't expect to get your $12,199-plus worth out of it while doing that.
That's exactly why, today, I don't want a YZF-R6 as my street bike as the engine characteristics are the opposite of the FZ-07.
 
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pattonme
The fueling/throttle on the '14 FZ09 was just complete shite. The suspension was worse. I'm not surprised the '17 suspension is still sucky. At least I'll have a steady stream of customers coming my way... Low-rise handlebars are a dime a dozen so posture can be adjusted easily. Yamaha's really prefer to have weight over the front,
 

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5ohray
That's so funny,I was on the FZ09 during the 3:15 ride Friday and you said something to me at a stop light. I think it was about the bike's torque?
 
I loved the FZ09. I currently have an FZ07 and my son has the 2015 FZ09 and I could tell a big difference even on the short demo ride between them. His bike feels like it wants to kill you every time you get close to the throttle. The 2017 was so much smoother - it reminded me more of my FZ07 with more power. Of course I'm probably 100+ pounds heavier at 220 so that probably makes a huge difference in acceleration.
 
I'm definitely thinking about trading up to the new FZ09.
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SkH
That's so funny,I was on the FZ09 during the 3:15 ride Friday and you said something to me at a stop light. I think it was about the bike's torque? 
I loved the FZ09. I currently have an FZ07 and my son has the 2015 FZ09 and I could tell a big difference even on the short demo ride between them. His bike feels like it wants to kill you every time you get close to the throttle. The 2017 was so much smoother - it reminded me more of my FZ07 with more power. Of course I'm probably 100+ pounds heavier at 220 so that probably makes a huge difference in acceleration.
 
I'm definitely thinking about trading up to the new FZ09.
Did you ride anything at 3:50? 
I think the guy who you spoke to was the other guy with the same jacket.  Yeah, there were two us wearing that Astar air jacket.  You both were behind me quite a ways because the guy on the xsr900 right behind me was taking it real easy.
 

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5ohray
I only did the 3:15 ride. Yeah I was stuck behind the xsr900 didn't want to break ranks and go around but I did get a nice gap getting onto 167 for a power wheelie. ?

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myrcode
I just did the Yamaha demo day two weeks ago in Vancouver, WA.
 
I ended up riding the R6, FZ-10, and the XSR-900.
 
The R6 was definitely a fun bike, but I don't think it's worth the lower back pain. It sounded great and was fun to rev up high. I tried to find some comfortable, upright position, but I just don't think it's possible for my height (5'5").
 
I hated the twitchiness of the throttle on the FZ-10. I had a hard time keeping it from jerking in anything except the lowest throttle mode.
 
The XSR-900 was great! Lots of power and comfy to ride. If I already didn't have an FZ07, that might be a bike I'd pick up.
 
After the demo day, I'd have to say I'm quite happy with my FZ-07 and don't see it going away any time in the future...I am interested in picking up a bike for the track though at some point.
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dmoney
I test rode the xsr900 and an r1 last year. The xsr is amazing. Probably the only bike I'd swap mine for
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SkH
I figured something out in my head that was bugging me about both bikes. The feather light response from the throttle. Both bikes were the first time I felt ride by wire throttle. Huge difference compared to cable throttle. It takes effort to pull and hold the cable throttle, but those 2 ride by wire throttles were light as crap!
 
Oh and wasn't able to go back the next day to try out the FZ10.
 

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e30kawi
I finally saw a new r6 the other day. Beautiful bike!!
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