Whenever the question arises about the best beginner bike on the market, there’s a sense of déjà vu. This query is frequently posed on the bustling streets or the adrenaline-pumping race tracks. The curiosity is palpable, and the desire to find the perfect ride is evident.
The considerations are numerous and varied. Concerns range from the size and power of the bike to the type and comfort it offers. There’s a constant debate between choosing a cruiser or a sportbike and whether sportbikes might be too uncomfortable for prolonged rides. The myriad of questions reflects the unique preferences and requirements of each individual.
In a quest to provide a comprehensive answer, an experiment was undertaken. The 2009 Yamaha FZ6R was chosen, and the challenge was to ride it as a complete novice would. The initial approach was casual, almost reckless: minimal gear, a hasty start, and a daring attitude on the road. However, the unpredictability of traffic and the potential hazards quickly became evident.
A realization dawned that this cavalier approach wasn’t the wisest. Safety and proper riding etiquette are paramount, regardless of the bike or the rider’s experience. The Yamaha FZ6R, while an excellent choice for beginners, deserves the same respect and care as any other motorcycle on the road.
⚡️Another article: Yamaha YZ250 Top Speed, Specs, Review
Features of the 2009 Yamaha FZ6R at a Glance
|2009 Yamaha FZ6R Specifications|
|Type||600cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, DOHC 16 valves|
|BorexStroke||65.5mm x 44.5mm|
|Fuel Delivery||Fuel injection|
|Transmission||6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch|
|Chassis, Suspension and Brakes|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic fork, 5.1-in.travel|
|Rear Suspension||Single shock, 5.1-in travel|
|Front Brake||Hydraulic disc, 298mm|
|Rear Brake||Hydraulic disc, 245mm|
|Wheels and Tires|
|Front Tire||120/70 ZR17M/C 58W|
|Rear Tire||160/60 ZR17M/C 69W|
|Dimensions, Weights and Capacities|
|Colors and Prices|
|Team Yamaha Blue/White, Cadmium Yellow, Pearl White||$7,090|
Our First Impressions of the Yamaha FZ6R
Aesthetics and Initial Impressions
When one chooses a motorcycle from Yamaha Motor Corp., there’s an implicit trust in the brand’s commitment to aesthetics. Riding around town, there’s no fear of being saddled with a design that might be considered an eyesore. For instance, the Team Yamaha Blue/White FZ6R boasts sharp lines and aggressive curves that complement its racy paintwork. This combination of design elements makes it an attractive package, especially considering its price point. However, the question arises: does the FZ6R’s performance match its striking appearance?
Performance and Handling
Delving into the technicalities, the FZ6R’s motor traces its lineage back to an earlier generation R6. While it shares certain specifications with the standard FZ6, numerous components, including the cylinder head, crankcase, and exhaust system, have undergone significant redesigns. Using lightweight forged aluminum pistons ensures a smooth motor operation, and a 32-bit ECU meticulously controls the fuel injectors. Despite these features, the 600cc engine’s tune feels mild. While its fuel injection system is responsive, there’s a discernible absence of the punch one might expect from a Yamaha engine. This makes it ideal for city commutes but might leave some wanting in terms of raw power.
However, it’s essential to contextualize this perspective. After spending two weeks on a nearly 200HP V-Max, expectations might be skewed. The FZ6R’s motor, while not the most exhilarating in its class, shines in other areas, particularly handling.
The motorcycle’s frame, constructed from a high-tensile steel tube, employs the engine as a stressed member, enhancing rigidity. While seemingly basic, it’s forks and rear mono-shock unit come together to offer a surprisingly agile ride. The FZ6R’s design ensures it remains nimble, especially in urban settings with tight corners. Additionally, its prowess extends to maintaining and adjusting its trajectory during high-speed maneuvers. Though a tad springy at lower speeds, the suspension proves its mettle as velocity picks up, instilling confidence in the rider.
Yamaha FZ6R Specs
Riding Experience and Ergonomics
The FZ6R boasts 120/70R 17-inch front and 160/16R 17-inch rear tires, ensuring consistent traction throughout the ride. The slimmer rear tire profile likely contributes to the motorcycle’s sharp and responsive steering. As for the seating, it offers a comfortable and spacious position, allowing ample room for movement. This flexibility is especially beneficial when the journey demands a more aggressive riding stance. The seat design is segmented into front and rear sections, with the rider’s area featuring a height adjustment mechanism. This adjustability is a boon for taller individuals, allowing an elevation of up to 3/4 of an inch. However, given the somewhat soft padding, a firmer seat might be preferable for those on the heavier side.
For those envisioning long hours on the open road, the FZ6R promises a comfortable experience. The design of the handlebars and footpegs ensures riders are stretched out sufficiently, preventing any stiffness or discomfort. While the footpegs might produce a slight buzz, the handlebars offer a smooth experience, a feature particularly appreciated by those with sensitivity in their hands.
However, the 6-speed transmission on the FZ6R leaves room for improvement. Though not inherently problematic, the gear shifts must have the definitive engagement feel riders often seek. Unlike some motorcycles where gear engagement is palpably distinct, the FZ6R’s transmission feels somewhat floaty, almost as if it hovers between gears. An occasional grind during gear engagement further accentuates this sensation. While this never resulted in the bike disengaging from its gear, it did instill a sense of caution during shifts.
Brakes, Clutch, and Instruments
The FZ6R has twin-piston Akebono brake calipers, complemented by dual 298 mm front rotors and a 245 mm disc at the rear. The tactile feedback at the lever is commendable, though the stopping power aligns with industry averages. While these brakes might not be mistaken for race-tier components, their performance is reliable, ensuring timely deceleration when required. The clutch on the FZ6R stands out for its impeccable feel and engagement, boasting an exceptionally light lever pull—a feature that proves invaluable during peak traffic hours.
The Yamaha’s gauge cluster is aesthetically pleasing and functional, offering a balanced mix of digital and analog displays. With a range of indicators, from speedometer to fuel gauge, one might feel poised for a cinematic high-speed chase.
Final Thoughts on Yamaha FZ6R
Addressing the question that often surfaces regarding the FZ6R’s suitability for novices: it’s an unequivocal yes. The Yamaha FZ6R is an ideal choice for beginners, thanks to its superior urban handling and motor that strikes a balance between being tame and lively. However, its appeal is wider than just newcomers. For those riders who value a machine that seamlessly combines style, performance, and practicality without demanding a premium price, the FZ6R stands out as a versatile and attractive option, catering to both the novice and the seasoned rider alike.