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benechaotica

Hello! New member with plenty of questions!

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benechaotica
Hello everyone!  Ya'all can call me Bene.  I've very recently (Yesterday, or 8/19 for those viewing on a different day,) become the owner of a 2017 Yamaha FZ-07.  I don't have a picture at the moment to show you my bike.  I meant to take one, but I kinda spaced it because I was so excited to try it out.  And I can't just go take one because I currently don't have access to the bike.  Sounds slightly odd, but it'll make sense once I explain it.
 
Bought the bike yesterday after roughly two years of on-again off-again research into street motorcycles.  My riding history is with dirt bikes, but I've wanted a street bike for a long time, almost ten years now.  I went to a few dealers and tried out a bunch of different bikes, mostly for fit and weight.  I'm a smaller guy, so a bike that I don't feel like I have to struggle to stand up is important to me.  Out of all the bikes I tried, the 07 caught me.  While there were a lot of bikes that I liked, the light weight of the 07 was the breaking point for me;  It was so easy to just stand up, it felt like a feather.
 
I spent a good hour turning it over in my head after that, while buying new gloves.  This is my first street bike, it's kind of a big deal for me, so I didn't just leap, even though I've been looking at 07's for the entire two years I've been looking at getting a bike.  I came to the conclusion that I might find other bikes I like as much, or almost as much, but none I'll like better.  So, I bought it, then and there.  I had my Dad with me, who's been riding his whole life, and earlier he'd let me ride his FJR around his church's parking lot.  (1289cc displacement iirc)  I enjoyed it, but it was rough.  The bike was so heavy.  Anyway....
 
I took about a 70-yard test drive of my new bike after they brought it out for me;  That's all I was willing to risk on an uninsured vehicle and without having the endorsement on my license.  Hence why I don't have access to the bike.  The dealer is garaging it for me until I finish the MSF Basic Riding Course next weekend and get the endorsement on my license....  Not to say I'm not tempted to go pick it up and bring it home.  But then I'd be tempted to ride it even more, and, well...  Safety first.
 
The first thing I noticed is how comfortable it was to corner compared to my dads FJR.  It felt like I could take the slow turn of the round-about at the end of the street harder while still going slowly, compared to the FJR where it felt like I had to really widen the turn at slow speeds.  It was really responsive, and aside from accidentally putting it down into neutral instead of first when I was waiting to pull it back into the parking lot, it gave me no trouble.  I'm -REALLY- excited to finish the course, get my endorsement, and start riding the bike while the weather still holds up.  I've already planned my first long-range ride with my Dad, who's moving to Oregon soon, so that's going to be something we do together if the weather holds up.  He was actually so jealous of the bike (That I wouldn't let him ride after I bought it, because I didn't want him to get more time on it than me,) that he's put his FJR up, which he loves, in our local classifieds, and is looking at getting a 07 himself.
 
I've barely touched her yet, but I already love this bike, and I'll be sure to get a picture of it next time I'm at the dealer or when I pick it up to take home.
 
That all said and done, my Dad's been a big help with everything, but despite his years of experience, there are things even he doesn't know, particularly about this bike.  One thing I'm looking at in particular, because I'm not much of a gear-head/mechanic type, is a Chain Tensioner.  So if anyone can tell me if this is worth the investment, particularly for a first-time rider like me, that'd be great.  Also, any other general tips about the bike specifically would be great, I'll take all the help I can get, particularly about best enjoying the bike and making sure it gets proper maintenance and care.
 
Anyway, thanks to everyone here, and good riding!

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mossrider
Welcome.
 
You just purchased the world. You'll have so much fun.
 
Just ride and enjoy it, there is little that 'needs done' on these bikes. You certainly don't need a chain tensioner, I have over half a million miles on bikes without one. At some point you will almost assuredly want to make some changes or improvements and by all means do so when the time comes. But for now learn, experience and enjoy!
 
Cheers.

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benechaotica
Thanks! I'm really looking forward to it! I'm a little bummed because I found out the dealer isn't open on Monday, so unless I can make some special arrangements, that means I can't pick up my bike until Tuesday. Ugh, one whole extra day! But I'm so excited! Haven't felt this enthusiastic about something since I was a teenager. I just ask about the chain tensioner because I don't know anything about adjusting it and making sure it's holding proper tension. But that's part of the experience too, is learning to do that kind of stuff. Like I said, I'm not the mechanic type, but the bike has me excited to learn some of the basics beyond replacing tires for myself.

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r4gnar
I wouldn't bother with chain tensioner. New chain needs to be adjusted relatively early but after you've done that once or twice it will stop streching that much. After the initial adjustmets you are pretty much set. I have 3000 miles on the clock and have't touched the chain for the last 2000 miles, it's still in spec. Experience may vary of course :)
 
As for the other 'improvements' I recommend waiting a bit. Get familiar with the 'raw' feeling first. Things that annoy other people may not apply to you so there is no point in changing parts right of the bat. Also, some say the break-in period should be done on stock parts.

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vroomvroom
What color did you get?
 
There is a big help section of this forum with writeups and videos on how tos.
 
There is also a lot of info here on after market upgrades with lots of rider experience behind it.
 
Welcone to the forums.
 
Pics when you can.

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Beemer
Welcome and congrats on your new bike and pics when you can. It sounds like you're really going to love that bike! Be safe, stay frosty!

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benechaotica
I wouldn't bother with chain tensioner. New chain needs to be adjusted relatively early but after you've done that once or twice it will stop streching that much. After the initial adjustmets you are pretty much set. I have 3000 miles on the clock and have't touched the chain for the last 2000 miles, it's still in spec. Experience may vary of course :) 
As for the other 'improvements' I recommend waiting a bit. Get familiar with the 'raw' feeling first. Things that annoy other people may not apply to you so there is no point in changing parts right of the bat. Also, some say the break-in period should be done on stock parts.
Thanks for the feedback!  Yeah, sounds like the Tensioner's not worth the investment then.  And in the vein of 'improvements,' the only things I'm looking at right now are saddle bag mounts for some of the long-range riding I've got planned, and for the as-yet unplanned, but those I've already got sorted out.  Like I said, not much of a mechanic type, so I won't go crazy on any kind of modifications until I've got a strong handle on the bike and what I might wanna change.  I'm figuring the earliest I'd even think about that kind of thing is end of next summer or fall, after I've got some miles on the bike. 
Actually, there is one other thing I'm looking at, not exactly a modification, but in my eyes, definitely an improvement.  Some convex mirrors to put on it.  I'm sure there's a proper name for what I'm thinking of, just the little convex mirrors you put in the corners of the standard side mirrors.  I've had those convex's on every car I've ever driven, and they've saved me some trouble on the road from time-to-time, figure they'll be just as useful on a bike.  But like the saddle bag mounts, that's something that's super easy to sort out, and I already have a good idea of what I'm getting for those.
 

What color did you get?
Grabbed the silver and black.  Would've liked just black if it were an option, just so it can go longer between cleanings, but I definitely like the color choice.  Might be pretty standard, but it's a nice looking bike, and I honestly like this color better than just plain black for looks.  I've already got some ideas for what I'd do if I did it up in a different color, but that's something for much further down the road.
Pics when you can.
Of course!  It's looking like it might have to wait until next Tuesday, (8/29,) but if I can set up some of the logistics, I could have it home as soon as Sunday, and I'll be sure to throw up some pictures no matter the day.  If I can, I might have pictures as soon as Friday.  All I'm waiting on is to call and make sure they can put the bike out for me to pick up over the weekend, and I'll get the key on Friday if that's doable for the dealer.  It's bought and paid for, so I imagine even if they don't like it, they'll probably be willing to leave it out for me so I can pick it up on Sunday.  I won't lie though....  The wait is painful!  It's tempting to just go out this afternoon and pick it up.   :P 

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r4gnar
Actually, there is one other thing I'm looking at, not exactly a modification, but in my eyes, definitely an improvement.  Some convex mirrors to put on it.  I'm sure there's a proper name for what I'm thinking of, just the little convex mirrors you put in the corners of the standard side mirrors.  I've had those convex's on every car I've ever driven, and they've saved me some trouble on the road from time-to-time, figure they'll be just as useful on a bike.  But like the saddle bag mounts, that's something that's super easy to sort out, a[span]    [/span]nd I already have a good idea of what I'm getting for those. 

While I know what you're talking about I don't think that's a good idea. Motorcycle mirrors tend to be pretty small and for that to work the blind spot stick-on (I'm not sure if that's how you call them) has to either be really small (because you would still want to use the normal part of the mirror), in which case it's usefulness is questionable at best, or the mirrors have to be bigger and that will limit your ability to lane split. Not to mention it would probably look awful too :) There are many mirror options for our bikes, you will finde something that works for sure. My philosophy in this regard is that you want to have a part that does one job really good instead of a part that does two jobs with mixed results and I'm afraid that could be the case with blind spot mirrors. On top of that you should be shoulder checking a lot more than in a car for obvious reasons. Remember that it's allways the biker who will suffer more severe consequences regardles of who made a mistake on the road. 
Then again I might be wrong, I've never seen them on a bike so I go with my gut feeling about this rather than actual experience.

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benechaotica
Actually, there is one other thing I'm looking at, not exactly a modification, but in my eyes, definitely an improvement.  Some convex mirrors to put on it.  I'm sure there's a proper name for what I'm thinking of, just the little convex mirrors you put in the corners of the standard side mirrors.  I've had those convex's on every car I've ever driven, and they've saved me some trouble on the road from time-to-time, figure they'll be just as useful on a bike.  But like the saddle bag mounts, that's something that's super easy to sort out, a[span]    [/span]nd I already have a good idea of what I'm getting for those. 

While I know what you're talking about I don't think that's a good idea. Motorcycle mirrors tend to be pretty small and for that to work the blind spot stick-on (I'm not sure if that's how you call them) has to either be really small (because you would still want to use the normal part of the mirror), in which case it's usefulness is questionable at best, or the mirrors have to be bigger and that will limit your ability to lane split. Not to mention it would probably look awful too :) There are many mirror options for our bikes, you will finde something that works for sure. My philosophy in this regard is that you want to have a part that does one job really good instead of a part that does two jobs with mixed results and I'm afraid that could be the case with blind spot mirrors. On top of that you should be shoulder checking a lot more than in a car for obvious reasons. Remember that it's allways the biker who will suffer more severe consequences regardles of who made a mistake on the road. 
Then again I might be wrong, I've never seen them on a bike so I go with my gut feeling about this rather than actual experience.
I've seen the blind-spot mirrors on my dad's FJR.  He has the stock mirrors on, and they're actually a decent size without eating up much of the mirror real-estate.  For me, I'm already compulsive about shoulder-checking when I drive a car, so I'm not worried about that on the bike.  But blind-spot mirrors are something I tend to swear by.  If there is a good option for those on the 07 mirrors, I'll be picking them up for sure, but like I said, I've had them on every vehicle I've driven, and they've never stopped me from doing a shoulder check.  That said, they have saved me a couple times when a shoulder check didn't catch another vehicle deep in my blind spot, or I just missed it somehow, but the mirror did when I checked it again as I went to change lanes.  While I imagine I'll be more comfortable on the bike, I know I'm not going to be any less vigilant than I am in a car.  (When I say more comfortable, I get anxious driving most cars.  If I don't have a manual transmission with a fairly tight suspension, something where I can get tactile feedback from the road constantly, I get pretty nervous.  There's so much more feedback from your surroundings on a bike if you know what to look for though, makes me feel much more confident in my ability to handle any problems that might arise, strange as that may sound.)

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benechaotica
Just lettin' ya'all know, bringing the bike home tomorrow, so I'll have pictures for everyone!
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Beemer
You may actually be happier with silver. Next time you see a person with a black shirt on take a look at how everything stands out against it. Silver will show less dirt film.

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benechaotica
 
20170826_122115.jpg
 
 
 
20170826_121853.jpg
 
 
Two pictures for you guys of the new bike that came home today!  First is me on the bike while it's parked, after just having grabbed some lunch during the MSF Safety Course break.  (If you live in a place that has Warren's, try their Shroom 'n Swiss burger, delicious.)  Second picture is actually one of my "Insurance" photos, a reference photo in case anything should happen to the bike and I need to show it off.  (Don't mind the car behind it, I have permission to post it, it's my Dad's.)
 
 
On that note...  So, today was the first day of two of the MSF Course.  I tooled around on a Yamaha 250 V Star all day for the course, didn't even -think- about asking to ride my 07.  Not that I don't want to, but my plan is to test on one of their 650's if they'll let me tomorrow, -after- I pass on the 250, and if I'm feeling pretty confident.  That said though, I did ride my bike from the dealer to the range during the lunch break, had to get it home somehow.  And while I was riding to the range, I was pretty nervous.  I had a pretty solid idea of how to not die, but I was still very nervous, especially since the dealer is in a pretty populated part of town, known for its bad traffic, and bad accidents, particularly on weekends.  However, I was safe and sane, and I made it without incident.
 
Then, the course.  I gotta admit, while I love the 07, it was a -ton- of fun toolin' around on the little 250.  I don't regret not getting a smaller bike, but I won't deny it's super fun doing the technical exercises in the course on a nippy little bike like the V Star.
 
We had a -really- small class.  Only four of us there, and thanks to the small class size, we all got -tons- of one-on-one attention with the instructors.  Our class has myself and a slightly younger gentleman who rides a Ninja 250, and we were the two who had real riding experience in any form.  Our other two, a young lady and an older gentleman, were both brand new to riding, with zero, or so close to zero it doesn't make a difference, riding experience between the two of them.  And everyone killed it.  We all had some adjustment to make, for riding style, the new bikes, and just general learning, but we all caught on super quick and had a ton of fun.  Also because the class was so small, we actually went through -most- of the exercises for the course in the first day.  Enough that we actually started range-riding about thirty minutes early, and left thirty minutes early as well, and we'll likely only need two or three of the five hours tomorrow to finish up and do our tests.
 
In general, I learned a -TON-.  The philosophy of good lane positioning was invaluable to me, and by the time we finished the exercises for the day, I had no trouble at all hopping on the 07 and driving it home, absolutely -ZERO- nerves like when I had driven down to the range.  What the course did for my confidence was astounding, and beyond that, it was crazy fun.  And even though we dipped out half an hour early, I don't think anyone minded.  I know I didn't, not in the 95 degree sun with exactly zero cloud cover and five or ten minutes of breeze total throughout the day.  (Hydration is important people!  Drink plenty of water for long rides!)
 
I think I was probably the best rider out there today.  Not bragging or boasting.  In fact, if not for the class and the wonderful instruction, and our instructor imparting the confidence and pushing me to try some different things, I would've been right in the middle of the pack.  But our instructors could see my strengths and weaknesses, and did a wonderful job of getting me to build on my strength while working on my weaknesses.  An good example of this was the fast-braking exercise.  While I was easily able to stop inside the designated space, once I had all the motions down, (Downshifting, not accidentally hitting neutral, smoothly getting on both brakes,) the instructor had me get down even harder and faster on those brakes, knowing that I was a little skittish about the front brake after being thrown over the front end of my dirt bike quite a few times when I was younger.  After really getting on those brakes and using only a quarter of the space they give you to stop, instead of the full area, and feeling that front end compress without feeling my feet lift off the pegs or feel like I was gonna go over, that realization was like night and day for me.
 
Speaking of night and day, after the day had ended and we all went home, I got to ride my 07 home.  Where I had been very nervous about being in traffic on the way to the range, I was totally calm and composed driving home, even taking the main thoroughfare which gets up to 50MPH for a good stretch.  Just in case, I still had my Dad follow me home, but the confidence in my ability to ride, safely and skillfully, on the road was so vast.  The only thing I'm even worried about with road-riding on the 07 now?  Remembering to cancel my turn signal.  (Seriously, it's so easy to forget when you don't have that incessant clicking noise like you do in a car.)
 
I knew the course was good.  My Dad's been trying to get me to take it since I was 17, a whole decade now.  He took it back then, and he was already an accomplished rider when he took it, but he really undersold the value of this course for anyone new to street riding like myself.  The difference in confidence, in skill, in awareness, everything, is absolutely staggering for a beginner like myself.  I don't know if any of you guys have taken the course, what is was like for you, and if you had experience before you took it, but for any new rider, I will absolutely swear by this course.
 
I'm really looking forward to finishing up tomorrow and taking my test.  I have no doubt in my mind that I'll pass on the 250, and if they let me test on the 650, I'm about 92% confident I'd pass on that, too.  I did pay for the 650 test, but even if I don't test on it tomorrow, I still have 30 days after the course completes to go re-test and get my M1 Endorsement.  I'm really looking forward to getting out there and riding some of the fun and beautiful roads we have out in my area, and now I feel like I have the skills and knowledge to do so safely.  And I'm sure I'll feel even better about it by the end of tomorrow.
 
TL;DR - The MSF Course today was super fun, super enlightening, and I'm really looking forward to getting out there and riding with the skills I've learned from it.
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jetgirl
Glad you're enjoying yourself and thanks for the long posts. I'm in the mood to do some reading and I can practically feel your excitement.

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gregjet
Nervous riding is not good. Makes you tense and you take longer to react. Stay loose and relaxed.
Attentive and careful is the key to staying alive ( that and staying off the road, but that sort defeats the purpose). NOTE I didn't say slow, just be intouch with where you are and what you are doing. A motorcycle is no place for being distracted.
Once you are moving take a big breath into your abdomen and relax your shoulders. Do it periodically to stay relaxed. If you get a fright , do it immediately and do not hold your breath. Common beginner mistake. You will be surprised how much difference it makes to your control.
Good bike choice.

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