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VertigoTX

Howdy from Arkansas

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VertigoTX

Howdy all!

 

I've been lurking here for a bit lately while I research bikes.  I'm a previous rider who has been caged for a while.  At least I'm fortunate to love my Jeep and the places it takes me.  This past weekend I put down a deposit on a 2017 FZ07 with ABS.  I'm having heated grips installed before I pick it up, which will hopefully be on Saturday.

 

A bit about me...

 

I'm a single dad, age 44.  My son is 20 and thinking about military service.  I work in the IT field.  I've spent a lot of time riding dirt bikes as a kid/teen, and had a few street bikes in my 30's.  My last set of bikes had to go when life threw some significant financial problems at us.  Now that my son is about to move forward with his life, it's time for me to get back to living my own.  I decided it was time to get back up in the wind.

 

I had a test ride on a used 2016 FZ07 this weekend.  Wow!  That thing is a torque monster!  I had an absolute blast on it.  I liked how the throttle delivered the power very smooth and consistently.  It was easy to ride in a relaxed manner, and has the power to get up and move when you want it too.  Not that I need to tell any of you about this bike, as you already know for yourself.

 

Bikes I've owned:

 

Honda XR80 - rode daily from age 10 to 15

Honda CR125 - rode daily from age 15 to 16

KTM MXC200 - rode part time from age 30 - 33

Suzuki Savage 650 - got this one at 30, kept about 6 months

Kawasaki Ninja 500 - rode from ~30 - 33

 

Looking forward to picking up the FZ07 and adding it to the list.  Hopefully, this week goes by quickly!

 

Thanks for stopping in to read my post,

 

Vert

 

Edited by VertigoTX
typos
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DewMan

Welcome back to the Biking family. :) You're gonna have a blast!

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stevebtx12

Welcome Vert, enjoy the FZ and this forum.

 

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Beemer

Welcome and congrats! You must miss that 500 Kawi. Those are nice bikes, I was looking at one just before I bought my FZ. Put some pics up if you can. Dive in!

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VertigoTX

Thanks guys!  I've got a few pics on a drive at home.  I'll toss some up tonight if I get some time at the PC

Edited by VertigoTX
typo

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r1limited

Welcome, happy Halloween

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VertigoTX

Found some pics...   my first street bike...  I don't remember what year it was.  I just know that I got a good deal on it used.  Bought it for a grand and rode for about 6 months or so.  I commuted to work on it on the Dallas North Tollway, which was a bit nerve wracking.  It topped out at about 85 mph, and that's the speed people drive on the Tollway.  As a big single, it was a bit buzzy, which I didn't mind.  Well, until I started riding it at it's top speed every day to get to work.  That's what lead me to looking for a new ride.

 

I also didn't like that every bump went into my tailbone and back.  Nor did I like the forward pegs.  It was uncomfortable to use my legs to help the suspension when I knew the bike was going to have a problem with a bump.

 

 

me-savage.jpg

Edited by VertigoTX
added comment

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VertigoTX

Not too long after that, I upgraded to the Ninja 500.  I got a great deal on the trade in (profited) and what felt like a fair deal on the Ninja.  This was my bike for the next ~2 years.  Unfortunately, between the recent divorce, lay off at work, and cancer....   it wasn't long before we were broke.  As a single parent with full custody of my boy, I had to sell some things.  Primarily, bikes and guns.  This beauty was the hardest one to let go of, but brought the most funding back to my bank accounts.

DSCN0349.JPG

Edited by VertigoTX
typos

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VertigoTX

At the time, I also had the KTM.  It was a blast to ride, but I hated having to get up early to load it in the truck, then drive it out to some place to ride.  Then after riding, you are worn out and have to load it up, drive it home, and unload again.  

 

This time, I'm getting a dual sport to go with my street bike.  That comes next, hopefully within a year or so.

 

The seat says EXC, but it was an MXC.  The guy I got it from didn't like the seat and changed it.

 

 

 

 

xptest 001.jpg

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i28

I'm not usually crazy about old bikes but that Ninja 500 sure is a beauty!

Welcome and best of luck with this bike :)

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Eastern Kayaker

Welcome!

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Beemer

Sounds like you've paid your dues, you deserve a nice, new bike like the FZ-07. Nice looking Ninja, my fav. of all the ninjas. You're probably already aware of the bike but Yamaha's WR250R is probably the best dual purpose bike you can get and they will do highway speeds. They are pricey for a 250 but they aren't your average dual purpose 250 either, they have some premium components so they aren't sluggish in the dirt. You may find a good used one for sale. GL!

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VertigoTX

Thanks Beemer, I appreciate it.  The EX500 was a great bike.  I really enjoyed it.  Though I sometimes wished for "just a little more power", I suspect there may always be an element of that under certain circumstances with any bike.  I liked it so much, I gave a lot of thought towards getting a CB500F since the engine specs are very similiar, but ultimately decided to go with the FZ07.  The test ride made me feel I was making the right choice.  I believe it's going to serve my needs well.  Time will tell for sure, and I decide I was wrong, I know it won't be my last bike.  

 

As for dual sports, the WR is on the mental list for a potential dual sport for when the time comes.  I probably won't worry about it too much for a while.  I know there are lots of great options, and they tend to be very durable so they make great used purchases.

 

 

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kbob2000

Great riding in Arkansas.  I am from there originally but I didn't start riding until I moved away, unfortunately.  What area do you live in?

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VertigoTX
14 minutes ago, kbob2000 said:

Great riding in Arkansas.  I am from there originally but I didn't start riding until I moved away, unfortunately.  What area do you live in?

I've been reading that online.  Seems we have some spots people come to from out of state.  I'm in Little Rock.  I'm not from here, so I've still got lots to learn.  The bike is going to help me get out and explore.  What part were you from and where did you go?

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kbob2000

I'm from Perry County (poorest in all of Arkansas, I'm told, and that's something).  If you can get to a visitor's center, they have motorcycling guides for free.  I believe Hwy 7 above Hot Springs has some nice roads as well as around Petit Jean State Park.  I lived in the Fayetteville region the last few years of my time in the state and the Pig Trail is definitely worth the distance.  Lots of good riding in the Ozarks around Eureka Springs so that's a pretty good destination. Closer to Little Rock, there are some pretty twisty roads around Lake Maumelle going towards Bigelow (hwy 300, I think).  I moved to Florida after joining the Air Force, not a great place for motorcycles in my opinion.  I'm in Germany now with a lot of great roads all around.

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VertigoTX

I can attest to Hwy 7 being a good route.  I've used it a few time while offroading the Jeep in the Ouchita's.  First time I drove 7, that was the first thing I thought...  "This would be a great road for a bike!"   I'll be visiting it soon on the FZ.  I've heard great things about the Pig Trail, and been told it's a mandatory ride for a resident.  I've also seen some beautiful places in the Ozarks thanks to the Jeep again.  There are so many places I plan to get out to soon.  Got a call from the dealer that we should be ready for pickup Saturday morning.  Getting very excited!

 

 

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VertigoTX

Picked up the bike today.  It was foggy and nasty out, but I took it easy on city streets while I worked on varying my RPM and alternating roll on and off of throttle.  Sometimes it was not easy to do because people camp out behind you as they follow.  I put on ~60 miles this afternoon when the sun came out, so I plan to change the oil tomorrow.

 

Picked up a Yamaha filter at the dealer and a FRAM at WalMart.  To my uneducated eye, the both look like quality products with the Yamaha being a bit better looking.  Aside from personal preferences, any reason not to use the FRAM from time to time?  

 

*side note*  I've recently lost ~40 pounds.  Looking at this pic, I'd say I really need to go buy some new clothes!  The shirt is huge on me lol

 

2017-11-04.jpg

Edited by VertigoTX
fixed typo, added comment about my shirt
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DewMan

Congrats on the new bike and the weight loss.  I just finished the break in mile on my ABS model this week.  Any mod changes scheduled yet?

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VertigoTX

Dewman, congrats to you too on the new ride.  I still have heated grips on backorder with the dealer. 

 

As for mods, there are tons of things I'm interested in.  To slow the rate of bank account depletion, I'm going to try and focus on safety/comfort needs first, one item at a time.  First item was a center stand.  I ordered one last week because I think the convenience for maintenance will be more important than the extra weight on the bike.  So I ordered the SW-Motech, which should be here ~Tuesday.  Next up is the mirrors.  I like the style of them just fine, but I see too much elbow.  So I ordered some extenders last night.  http://a.co/5FKWari

 

On today's ride, I got a late start and stayed out after dark, which gave me some concerns about the headlight.  It feels both weak and misaligned.  I'm thinking an LED bulb upgrade may be in order.  I'll have to do some research on that.  I'm also considering getting some sliders. 

 

I like the clean and even wind on this bike in comparison to the old Ninja which tended to buffet the helmet a bit.  I'm considering getting one of the little cowl "windscreens" to cover the key, but don't really want it to change the airflow much.  Yamaha has one that looks great, and there is an inexpensive metal one on ebay/amazon.  Might pick one of them up soon.

 

Long term, I can just about guarantee an ECU flash and exhaust, but I'm not in a rush on that.  I think I'd get the flash after break-in is done, and just do their stock exhaust image.  As much as I love engine braking, I wouldn't mind toning it down just a bit with the flash.  As for exhaust, I actually like the sound of the stock setup for now, but of course the aftermarket will just be better.  I'm partial to the Akropovic sound (hope I spelled that right).

 

What are you planning on yours?

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DewMan

Thanks @VertigoTX I've had my FZ for longer than my mileage suggests. I got  it back in April.  But I live in a metro area  where traffic congestion sucks so I limit riding to times & places I don't need to spend 90% of my attention trying to not get run over.  Since if it's not fun to ride why bother ,right?

 

I've done numerous changes to mine already mostly for comfort and safety since my FZ is primarily used for commuting occasionally and fun rides in my free time.

 

1 ) I 've upgraded the stock brake pads, before the factory pads have a chance to groove the rotors, to some EBC HH sintered pads.

2 ) Replaced the stock levers for some generic adjustable shorty levers & cushier  grips.

3 ) Installed a Vista-Cruise throttle lock using a "custom bracket" which is nothing but a bent piece of metal with a couple holes drilled in it since they don't offer one for the FZ. But for $30 it was worth doing some easy fabricating to make it fit.

4 ) Vagabond frame sliders. I like them over other brands primarily for lack of branding on them.

5 ) I've also installed the SW-Motech centerstand. Even though it's the only choice, it's an excellent choice.

6 ) I've installed the Cyclops 7000 Lumen H4 LED. You'll find many of use have gone the route of the Cyclops replacement of the factory dim candle bulb.

7 ) I've upgrade the chain adjusters to aftermarket strictly for convenience.

8 ) I've upgrade the less than confidence inspiring stock front & rear suspension with Bitubo cartridges & rear shock upgrades which have made the bike feel much more settled in all riding conditions.

9 ) I've done the Yoshi tail tidy but kept the stock signals and replaced the incandescent bulbs with much brighter LED options front & rear.

10 ) GPS Mount and USB power ports. I use  my car GPS since I can buy 4-5 of them for the cost of one motorcycle specific model.

11 ) Cheap tailbag to use until I choose a topcase solution I like. (see below)

 

Still on the list to be added soon:

1) Generic GoPro & mount to be used as dash cam.

2) A better seat. I would have a Corbin two piece if they would ever offer one. Not a fan of the one piece gunfighter for the FZ-07. Until then I'm considering several other aftermarket options.

3) Looking for a pillion mounted solution for a topcase, that I can lock up my helmet in when I don't want to drag it around at my destination, along with optional easy on/off side luggage for longer trips.

 

Maybe one of these days:

1) I'm not a fan of the sewing machine sound of the stock exhaust but I'm having issues spending $1,000+ for an aftermarket  exhaust and needed ECU tune just to give the exhaust some needed rumble.

 

Search the forum for any of the changes listed above and  you'll find lots of resources to research different options. All of the forum supporting venders that I've dealt with are top notch. Check them out when you're ready to buy your next upgrade.  Best of luck to you in your quest to personalize the FZ-07 to your needs.👍

Edited by DewMan
grammar & layout.

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VertigoTX

@DewMan, what metro area do you live in?  Sorry to hear you don't get to get out as much as you would like.  I can certainly understand how the environment would turn you off from riding at certain times. 

 

Thank you for your list!  You've given me a few ideas for research, and reminded me of some things I'd been thinking about before the purchase.  Some comments based on your numbering...

 

1.  I've not read about problems with the brake pads, is that common or just a concern you had?  

4.  I like those, for the same reason.  I understand they don't require removing the engine mount bolt as well?

6.  I was just looking at that in the vendor section.  Looks like a great solution!

7.  Got a link for this?  Easier maintenance is a great thing!

9.  Was thinking of doing the same thing.  I like the large OEM blinkers, but would like a brighter LED bulb.  What bulb did you use, and did they require any additional relay?

10.  Totally forgot about this.  I'm not from Arkansas, so I'm going to need a phone mount soon.  Will probably wire both a 12v and USB connection before I'm done.

11.  I think I need either a backpack or tank bag that can hold a hydration bladder.  I want to carry easy to access water with me.  The pillion isn't going to be available long term.  I'm considering how to take my dog with me on weekend trips in the future.  He's a ~20 pound mix breed that looks like a "Puggle".  

 

2.1 Ordered a Gitup Git2 from Amazon the other day.  I caught it on Lightning deal, but it's still a easier price to manage than a GoPro.  It's one of the few clones that support external microphone.  Here's a link:  http://a.co/dOvYaIn.    

2.2  I wasn't going to say it yet, because I was thinking I'm just not used to it.  But....  my bum isn't too happy with the seat so far.  I'm really hoping it's just an issue of my getting used to it, but I suspect that's not the case since this is a VERY common complaint.  As comfy as it looks, I don't care for the look of the Corbin either.  The Yamaha Comfort seat can be found at reasonable prices on Ebay.  I may look there eventually.

2.3  Eventually, I'll need some bags and topcase as well.  I'm hoping to get to a point I can start taking weekend camping trips by bike.  

 

Thanks again for the warm welcome and sharing your thoughts

 

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DewMan

@VertigoTX to answer your questions:

 

I'm in the Tampa Bay Area. Home to millions of cagers and not enough 🏍️.

 

I went with aftermarket brake pads because I want the best stopping power I can get and the EBCs are better in all conditions than stock pads.

 

You are correct, the Vagabond case sliders only take a bolt into the side to hold them in place.

 

Links to equipment you requested that I'm using and would recommend:

LED bulb for stock turn signals (Ignore Amazon's warning that they won't fit the FZ. The warning is only due to the lack of factory LED blinker relay. I've got a thread with pictures somewhere.

LED replacements for the amber headlight accents (no relay needed. direct replacement)

Generic LED blinker relay

GILLES tooling AXB Chain adjusters (Contact @bellissimoto here in the forum for best pricing. He was also my hookup for the suspension upgrades I've done.)

 

If you plan on doing your own maintenance I highly recommend paddock stands if only for the additional insurance against tip overs, ease of access and for winter storage to keep tires from developing flat spots. I use and recommend these well priced Venom stands . I've since gotten a Venom head lift attachment for them for use when doing front suspension work.

 

Another eventual purchase I'm considering is a lithium iron battery for the longer storage times and weight reduction. But I'm waiting for them to come down in price to something a little more reasonable.

 

I figure if you own a bike long enough you'll end up putting more money into it than it initially cost, so I don't bother adding up the receipts... it would only make me sad. 😱

 

P.S. Cute Pupper.

 

 

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