I guess Speed Racer was the closest with his guess of the FZ-09.
Here it is, my 2015 Yamaha FJ
It's got 23 miles on it so far (all put on by me!
), so here are some very quick impressions:
The electronics package on this bike is great. Coming from something that just gives you a basic speedo, tach, and a handful of other warning lights and functions (one of them not being a gas gauge unfortunately), the menus and functions on this bike are mindblowing. It has a REAL gas gauge along with a dummy warning light, ambient air temp sensor, total and instantaneous MPG readouts, etc. The only thing it's lacking is ABS and TC modes. I would have liked to have different modes for traction control at least, but it's not a huge deal, especially at this price point.
One of my favorite features is the gear counter. I love being able to look down and see exactly what gear I'm in. The tach is also cool because it's a funky digital tach, though I'm not sure I like it more than a simple analog tach. Best of all, the menus and functions are extremely easy to navigate. I haven't read the manual yet but I was able to instantly scroll through menus and set the time and do other things. On the F4i it took me a couple minutes to figure out how to even adjust the clock since you have to use a combination of button presses to get to what you want, since it only has two buttons. Oh, one of the best parts about the electronics HAS to be the power mode, but more on that later.
Climbing on this thing, it can seem a little intimidating. The tank is GIANT, the bars are wide and the hand guards add on even more width. The CBR is definitely smaller and I'm glad I started riding (again) on that. Swapping to the LSL handlebars was also helpful because it helped me get used to the wide bars, so the wider bars weren't a huge issue for me. I was still able to lane split on the way home. Other than that, ergonomics are fantastic. You sit far more upright, without your nuts being squished into the tank, and the pegs are far lower, even lower than my lowered Buell pegs on the F4i. My knees definitely weren't as scrunched up and my feet were far more comfortable. I could tell this was a much better fit for me just because my knee armor doesn't bunch up and poke into my knees due to the less extreme riding position on the bike. I can't believe I rode to Nevada on the F4i with clipons and stock pegs.
So how does it ride? In a word, awesome (so far). Ok, so I guess that was 3 words.
All the feeling of being too big when I first got on completely vanished as I started moving. The bike is a bit heavier than the F4i, but not as much as I initially thought. Wet weight for the FJ is ~462 lb, compared to ~438 for the F4i. The more relaxed, upright seating position and the wide bars make the bike feel very nimble and flickable, and not ponderous at all as I was first worried about. I didn't lean it over very much at all, because 0 mile tires are slippery and unpredictable, but just from playing around on the ride home it felt very controllable and manageable.
But then there's the power. Oh my god. On paper it doesn't seem that much faster than the F4i, as it's got about 20 more hp but is also carrying around 25 more lb. The big difference comes from the torque. Not only does it have close to 50% more torque than the Honda, but it's far more evenly spread out. Since I'm still breaking the engine in, I didn't go over 7000 rpm, but even from 3000 rpm the bike just pulls hard and revs fast. That 3 cylinder engine does work. On the CBR, anything under 6000 rpm and it'll fall on its face. Even whacking the throttle wide open from a stand still, the bike will bog down easily before waking up and moving. On the FJ, it doesn't matter where you are in the rev range (at least up till 7000 rpm...
), it just gets up and goes. The B-mode is decently quick. It's not as fast as the CBR but really tames the throttle response and is nice for putting around town. Standard mode is already punchier than the F4i, and just for shits and giggles I put the bike into A-mode and got on it, and holy shit. It pulls so hard that by the time I knew it I was bumping up to 7k rpm and had to grab the next gear, and that was at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle. I'm pretty sure that full throttle in the lower gears in A-mode would leave me on my ass with a wrecked bike. I know I've said that I prefer peaky inline 4's where you have to work to get your power up top, but 22 miles later on a motor that still isn't broken in and I'm a changed man. I was laughing and giggling uncontrollably all the way home. I absolutely can't wait to pass the 600 mile mark to open it up to redline and see what it'll do.
As for downsides? The only downsides I can think of right now is that the throttle is weird and the windshield deflects the air off my chest but into my helmet, making it extremely noisy. The throttle not only too loose (bike dealership's fault, and I'll have to adjust it anyways when I install the OEM heated grips, which, BTW, also are plug and play into the bike's harness and are controlled through the menu system and screen), but it's not linear like the Honda's throttle. In B and Standard modes it's fine, but in A-mode it's pretty choppy, like an on-off switch. I kind of expected that, what with all the complaints about the FZ-09's throttle mapping, and from experience with Yamaha's in the past. I've heard that an ECU remap/reflash will take care of that so that's on my to-do list.
Other mods I'm going to do include swingarm spools, axle sliders and an engine cage, and of course a new windshield. Other than that the bike is just amazing.
The CBR didn't last very long as my only bike. Hopefully this will last longer!
Sorry for all the spam.