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2009 Yamaha FZ6R First Ride

Friday, February 13, 2009
It’s hard not to get discouraged these days. Times are tough – turn on any news channel and it’s all we hear. The credit bubble has completely burst and we are paying the price with an economy that hasn’t looked this bad since knickers and wingtips were in style. Credit-dependent industries, like the motorcycle market, have taken a big hit (unless it’s scooters and dual-purpose bikes, that is). Now more than ever consumers are putting their pocketbook over outright performance when it comes to buying a new machine.
On one wheel with ease
'09 Yamaha FZ6R: Sporting performance from an economical package?

But why can’t we have both? This is exactly what Yamaha aims to achieve with their new FZ6R. Let’s call it PPP (Penny Pinching Performance). Thus, we thoroughly hammered on the new machine to bring you the real scoop.

Do you actually get more bang from the buck, or does the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ hold true here? Let's find out...

Internals Exposed

In an effort to over-achieve and prove one can in fact get more than they pay for, Yamaha started at the heart of the FZ looking for improved real-world rideability. Engine lineage trickles down from the R6 of yesteryear, but aimed at improved low-end and mid-range to “meet the demands of today’s sport riders.”

A larger volume airbox feeds clean air into fuel from four 32mm Mikuni throttle bodies. An improved intake tract has been designed to optimize flow and improve air/fuel mixture, while a 32-bit ECU controls the four-hole, two-direction, high-dynamic-range type fuel injectors. Revised cam timing reduces lift and duration, which causes a loss of top-end power but thickens up the mid-range.
2009 Yamaha FZ6R
2009 Yamaha FZ6R.

Ceramic composite liners sit in each cylinder for improved wear resistance and reduced friction, while new forged aluminum lightweight pistons reduce weight and add strength, allowing the engine to rev to a screaming 10,000 rpm. Bore and stroke resides at 65.5 x 44.5mm, while the transmission is a six-speed close-ratio unit with a new clutch pull system similar to that of the R6, using a pushrod as opposed to the old ball-joint.

Spent gasses are exited via a new 4-2-1 exhaust system which features a 3-way catalytic converter to meet the ever-inflating government emissions standards (thank you Uncle Sam). The new system exits under the rider’s right foot, MotoGP-style, via a large square housing. This is designed to keep mass as close to the CG (Center of Gravity) as possible, and also fits the “aimed to improve low- to mid-range power” theme Yamaha has emphasized with this new bike.
2009 Yamaha FZ6R front end
2009 Yamaha FZ6R rear end
All-new styling features angular lines, with the rear end matching the sharp lines of the front.

Chassis-wise the 6R sees a redesigned steel tubular frame which uses the engine as a stressed member, as well as a simple, square steel swingarm. Rake now sits at 26 degrees with a trail of 103.5mm. Suspension is handled via a SOQI 41mm fork up front and SOQI shock out back. No surprise there, as SOQI is Yamaha’s in-house suspension company. The fork is not adjustable, while the shock has a seven-step ramp-style preload adjuster.

On the other hand, far more adjustable are the handlebar and seat height. Up front the bar can be set in two positions 20mm apart from each other, while the seat is also a two-position system with options 20mm higher and lower. Wheels are 17-inch by 3.5 inches wide in the front and 4.5 inches wide out back, coming shod with either Bridgestone or Dunlop rubber.

Standard Brembo master cylinders grace both ends of the machine, the front feeding two 298mm disks that are pinched by dual-piston Akebono calipers with a single-piston Nissin grabbing a 245mm disk in the rear. Rounding out the changes is an FZ1-inspired gauge cluster with a digital speedo and analog tach, as well as all the other essential info needed to keep any level rider informed.

The best part? All this comes in at a starting price under 7K ($6,990 for the Raven Black; the Yellow, White and Racing Blue options are $7,090). That’s a lot of bang for not a lot of buck and bikes are currently being shipped to dealers as you read this.

So what is it like to ride?

The Goods

Throw a leg over the low 30.9-inch seat height, twist the key, thumb the starter and the little guy comes to life with a docile and subdued whine. Government regulations haven’t done anything to help motorcycle sound, thus it isn’t until it’s dropped in gear and rolling away that the soundtrack livens up.
NorCal played host to the intro and provided an amazing backdrop
Beautiful Northern California played host for the first ride and provided amazing roads.

For our first taste of the new econo-friendly ride, Yamaha invited us up to utterly beautiful Santa Rosa, California, in the heart of wine country, to drink in some of the finest roads North America has to offer. Sunny skies graced us for the day of testing, though temperatures in the low 50s and high 40s made for some frozen extremities

Despite the chilled internals, the new machined proved a formidable opponent for any twisty road one could put in its path, quickly taking our mind off the weather as the speed increased. A lack of suspension adjustment and low footpegs limited the pace some, but for those new to the sport finding those relatively high limits will take time. On the other hand, Yamaha hit the nail on the head with the adjustability of the seat and handlebars, something that will benefit beginners far more than adjustable suspension.

Even at a short 5'6", I found the low seat position to be cramped, with the 20mm higher option feeling far better. This low height will bode well for new and shorter riders, as getting both feet on the ground will aid confidence substantially. Adding a few steps of preload out back helped reduced pumping on corner exit and stabilized the machine. We ended two off from full-hard and could have even gone one step stiffer to help further. All of the above mentioned adjustments (seat, suspension, bars) can be done quite easily with tools provided in the under-seat tool kit.
2009 Yamaha FZ6R First Ride
You can't tell, but it was about 30 degrees when this photo was taken. Good thing performance from the little Yamaha helped heat things up.

Feeling slightly slower than the standard FZ6, the tweaked older generation R6 powerplant left something to be desired. While the added mid-range will help newer riders and the impeccable fuel injection makes for worry-free application of the throttle at any rpm, the feel is very electric and lacks character. Not much goes on sub-5,000 rpm, at which time it climes smooth and seamlessly to the 10,000 rpm redline; the problem being it’s a bit too smooth.

On the plus side, it does have enough mid-range snap to keep those wheeliers happy, as a quick twist of the right wrist in first gear lofts the front end to the sky without problem. The high bars and ample feel of the rear brake allow for easy continuation of said wheelies (though, um, we only recommend these actions on a closed course, of course…).

Clutch action is improved. Pull is effortless and feel from the lever is up to par with its more expensive siblings. Reminding me much of the ’01 R6 I raced a few times ‘back in the day’, the transmission has that same smooth and buttery feel when shifting. Tossing the foot lever from gear to gear is nearly effortless, making for extremely easy and pain-free shifts in both directions. A trade off of this silky action is a bit of feel, as the machine never makes a solid clunk or notch to let you know you are fully into the next gear, though 99% of the time you are without problem. I did hit a couple false neutrals during the day possibly due to this, both times between fourth and fifth gear.

Brakes are more than up to snuff for the lightweight machine and one of its shining points, as are the ergonomics. A rated 43mpg will also no doubt be a solid selling point in these tough economical times. 

But the key selling point – the one which Yamaha's extensive research says young American consumers put above all the rest – an aesthetically pleasing, racing-inspired full fairing. Generation ‘Y’ has spoken and Yamaha have once again answered the call with the 09 FZ6R, providing a formidable option at a very reasonable price.
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Dealer Locator
2009 Yamaha FZ6R Spec Chart
2009 Yamaha FZ6R First Ride
Engine: 600cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, DOHC
Bore x Stroke: 65.5 x 44.5mm
Compression Ratio: 12.2:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-Injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate, cable actuation
Transmission: 6-speed
Front Suspension: SOQI 41mm non-adjustable fork; 5.1-in. travel
Rear Suspension: SOQI single shock, seven-step adjustable spring preload; 5.1-in. travel
Front Brakes: 298mm discs with twin-piston calipers
Rear Brake: 245mm disc, single-piston caliper
Tires: Dunlop or Bridgestone 120/70-17; 160/60-17 Wet Weight: 467 lbs.
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Length: 83.5 in.
Width: 30.3 in.
Rake / Trail: 26.0 deg. / 4.1 in.
Seat Height: 30.9 in. (low)/31.7 in. (high)
Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gal.
MSRP: $6,990 (Black); $7,090 (Yellow/Blue/White)

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arless   November 2, 2011 01:32 PM
She is what she is, you cannot compare it to a race bike but for the money and performance it's hard to beat. High 40's gas mileage, runs 12.5 second quarter mile times. It will out run a Corvette to a 100 mph, and then the car will over take the bike. But the all new FZ8 with aluminum frame and 105 horsepower and 11.23 second quarter mile times is even more impressive. And only a grand more than the FZ6R. Go figure??
arless   October 15, 2011 09:43 PM
I like wise was looking at this bike for around town and short hops on the freeways, And also looking at the new FZ8 standard that came out the first of 2011. There's only three pounds difference in weight because the FZ8 has a aluminum frame and rear set. Your looking in at 78 HP for the 600 and 104 HP for the FZ8 + it's a naked version of FZ1, but with a much better up right handle bar and cushy seat. If 91 hp to the back tire does not get you going nothing will.And 65 hp for the 600 to the back wheel. Both have a lot of power for bikes that only weigh 467 pounds.And quarter mile times in the 12.5 and 11.25 ARL
JosephBReed   October 10, 2011 01:00 PM
2009 FZ6R: Two years, 26500 miles. Dealer maintained; Motorcycle Mall, Belleville,NJ.
I will get around to getting the handlebar raised. 'been riding awile, 49 years, and this bike fits the need; commuting. I spent less than seven thousand total, and it fits the need; price. Insurance, one hundred eithteen a year; damn right that fits the need. 44mpg commuting, 48 on the road, another need. Corners? Oh Yes! Dunlop Road-Smart dual compound tires...no chicken stripe, although, I have worn the round balls under the footpegs flat. Dry, wet or snow, this bike has no bad habits.
Add hooks for a cargo net and this bike is perfect. Yamaha hit their target with this one.
D -lams  June 27, 2010 11:58 PM
great lams bike great first bike just got the 2010 so fun its my first eva bike nd i love it
Laurence -FZ6R  June 1, 2010 04:38 AM
I am 53 years old and purchased a left over FZ6R last week. I have had a fair number of Sport Bikes in my day, RD350 LC(82),RZ350 (83),Ninja 600R (85),GSXR 750 (86) and last one was GSXR 750 (91). I am very happy with this bike. Just about every new sport bike I tried to sit on was to high for my 5FT 6in height. I wanted the smoothness of a in-line-four and something that I would be comphy riding. For me this bike is perfect.Nice linear power curve,smooth and with a top speed of anound 130 MPH how much power does one really need? It makes a great all round bike that can be used for spirited riding,commuting,and touring.For me it does it all,no regrets.
Kevin -FZ6R  May 3, 2010 08:28 AM
I just bought this bike in black(Raven) and it is a blast to ride. I also have a Harley Sportster and there is no comparison. The Yamaha is plenty fast and I'm still in the break in period, not going over 5800 RPM. The riding postion is very comfortable, not leaned over very far. I was out on it for a couple of hours the other night and my back is fine. I have a history of back problems so that is part of the reason I picked this bike. The only problem I have found is that there are not alot of accessories for this bike yet, hopfully that will change this year. Does anyone know where I could get some items for this bike? I learned alot from reading these comments so thanks to all. I was able to get a great deal on this bike due to the fact that it is an 09 model, list is $6990.00($7090.00 for other colors) and I got it for $5600.00. I searched around for a few weeks and found one on EBAY but a local dealer matched the price!
Yellow and Balck 09 R1 -FZ6R  April 6, 2010 06:34 AM
It seems like a great buy for the money but I just can't see myslef on anything less then a liter bike.
Snedz -Engine Sound  December 27, 2009 06:15 PM
What engine sounds better the Kawasaki Ninja 650R of the Yamaha FZ6R? im getting one of theme in 2 weeks
Kalend -FZ6R 09 Yamaha  December 22, 2009 08:19 PM
I love my fz6r she gits the job done I ride her Avery dag even in the winter like now will I toped my bike out at 137 mph the thing I hate about it is you have to shift to all 6 gires befor 60 mph but o wale o and it is all stocked for now but when you rid you are not all bent over like outher street bikes but y'all have fun ride safe
wr -fz6/fz6r  October 30, 2009 12:10 PM
the fz6 is the best bike to own because it's dead below 5000 rpms and that's great for newbies and veterans alike especially in the rain and it is a doctor jeckel and Mr. hide.save my down paymet for the FZ6 thank you very much wr
Wayne Rhodes -fz6r/fz6  October 17, 2009 10:52 PM
I'm going to buy the FZ6 for my personal pleasure and will keep the bike for the rest of my life more than likely.I've owned several motorcycle's in my life cb360 Honda-450 Honda/650 Yamaha and now a FZ6 2007-2009 in 2010 they no longer sell the FZ6 in America the canadians and UK still get the FZ6.new bikes are dirt cheap and used bikes are really cheap and most have been well maintained hea! the thing doe's 90 mph in second gear 0-60 in just over 3 seconds and mid 11's at 117 + mph in the quarter mile can't wait to get mine WR
MJ...11B -From Sadr City to Central Florida  October 16, 2009 08:56 AM
So this is a a little story about an impulse buy that turned out right! (for once)
A machine gunner in the Spring/Summer '08 Battle for Sadr City finds himself bumming around his pokey ol' Central FL hometown...what to do? Ah-HAH! An impulse buy! A motorcycle...WHAT ELSE? Looked around, sat on a few bikes, noticed some prices...WOW! 'Maybe I better buy used'. But wait...what's this? My girl points out a Yamaha FZ6R and says, 'that one'. Sorry to break it to the fellas...that's the one we took home.
I LOVE THIS BIKE. 2nd Bike. Had one in NC as a younger, less-civilized citizen. Commuting 10 minutes through 'traffic' to work, or taking both of my 'girls' to the beach for the weekend, THIS BIKE IS WORTH EVERY HARD-EARNED DOLLAR I SPENT. No complaints! Plenty of everything important to ME. Snappy acceleration. Flickable as they get. And here it is...MY GIRL LOVES TO RIDE ON IT WITH ME! Talk about a relationship builder! Barring one of our notorious 2pm rainstorms, she's begging me to take her everywhere. 6 weeks, 1,400 miles later, not a negative thing to say. People compliment the bike (and the girl) all of the time. Do I wish I could afford a Huyabusa? Who doesn't? But this pony will do 126 with both of us riding with room to spare! How much room? Not an expert, but I'm guessing 135. The ride is comfortable, the turns come easy. How much more could you ask from a bike INTENDED for people like me? If you want a supersport, buy one. If you want a motorcycle that lives up to it's billing and more, buy a Yamaha FZ6R. Pray for the men and women in Afghanistan and enjoy riding the paved, IED-free roads of the greatest country on Earth.
Toby -FZ6R  September 29, 2009 11:31 AM
Speaking of Top Speed. After the break in period I took my bike down to the drag strip at the Bristol Motor Speedway. I got the bike up to 143 MPH. I still had stock parts on the bike. No performace upgrades yet!;)
Garrett -top speed  September 28, 2009 11:34 AM
what's the fastest anyone's gone on the fz6r? I can't find a reliable top speed anywhere cuz the one forum will say 120 another like 140 and some have said 164 m.p.h.
George -FZ6R  August 30, 2009 09:24 PM
If I want to carve canyons I would be riding a Ducati...why is it that every time a bike that is made for street riding comes out, I hear all this nonsense... is not fast enough... or it does not have this or does not have that! Some of us enjoy riding without having to pay the chiropractor a visit.
Toby -My New FZ6R  August 11, 2009 01:33 PM
I am new to the sport and I have riden dirt bikes in the past. I purchased a new FZ6R a couple weeks ago The more I ride it, the more I love it! Its a very stylish bike (as everyone has agreed to that point) It has plenty of power for the public roads. Slip on a Twin-Brothers exhaust system and the bike screams as loud as an R6. The only thing i dont like is the factory stock made this bike a bit quiet. I beleive it is important to have a loud bike for safety reasons on public roads. A lot of your auto drivers dont see a motorcycle on the road and the sound would some what make up for some of that. I love how this bike handles the curves and the up right seating position makes this bike perfect for long cruises. With this bike you have plenty of tourqe, speed, comfort, and style with plenty of smiles from others who see you ride by on this bike:)
Paul - -FZ1 rider looking to downgrade  July 6, 2009 06:08 AM
I'm considering a FZ6R or R6S. There are many different segments for motorcycle riders and I'm in the everyday, comfortable, fun segment....too old for sportsters but too young for crusiers :-) I've read articles and heard many opinions on both bikes.... many are slightly biased but I don't think I can go far wrong with either. The FZ6R is slightly tamer, easier to live with while the R6S is slightly more sporty with a lower riding position. What it will come down to is availability of the bike I want, condition and price.
KP -Experienced riders looking for a thrill...Stay Away.  June 25, 2009 06:39 PM
To JB....If your Ninja 500 left you wanting more, so will the FZ6r. It is to me the Honda Civic of sport bikes, does everything it is supposed to very smoothly...and very slowly. Can't really say from a perspective of a beginner, as I can not remember that far back, but if you are like me at all, you probably should pass on this. Save up the extra cash and get the R. Or be like me and get the Kawi ZX1(seems like the fastest bike in the world I swear!!!) And yes, I have rode one, my friend just got a "raven" one...tried to tell him not to....tried to tell him he would grow out of it very quickly even though he IS a beginner.......now he's already talking about his next bike(just got it a week ago!)...but what do I know?
Maryland OutLaw -FZ6R  June 17, 2009 12:39 PM
I bought this bike one week ago and have been ridden for almost 198 miles.This bike is awesome and worth for it's price. I would definitely suggest Yamaha FZ6R for those who have a quite riding experience but not for the begginers. When you are riding a motorcycle always apply SEE (Search, Evaluate and Execute)stay on your limitation and always drive safely.
Biker -FZ6R  June 14, 2009 03:29 PM
Wondering if this would be a decent bike for 2 up riding ?
Michael -My choice  June 12, 2009 02:00 PM
I bought the new FZ6R and am happy with my purchase. I've nearly always had bikes, motocross and street. The deciding factor for me was $2000 (min.) less for plate and insurance each year. Not to mention a first offense for excessive speed is very expensive here and you lose your license for 7 days. It only takes seconds to get to excessive speed on this bike, so not completely sure why they call it a beginners bike. I can only guess they are comparing it to a 130hp bike? Wasn't crazy about all the graphics, so I removed some. I do think that many have made great points, but it comes down to the individual... you buy what appeals to you and what suits you... I like comfort, looks, a little fun and some power.
J -It works  June 10, 2009 10:49 PM
I bought one. Very comfortable ride; fast enough; and Ive had Gixxer riders on it and they loved it. Friend of mine rides a HD 1200; he got on and went nuts with it. Fun bike; not really supersport; more of a traditional sportster that is fully-faired. TopSpeed.com says +/- 120mph; it can go faster than that; strap a power commander on it and you'll keep up with any 1000cc street riding. Not a track bike, definately street bike, worth the money if you are not ready to sit on an r6 or equivalent. I just wanted a commuter bike; but it can get up and go if you know what youre doing
Ian -2009 Yamaha FZ6R - Excellent Bike  June 5, 2009 12:46 PM
This is my first bike and I purchased it about a week ago. Had my first real "ride" last night, mixture of heavy traffic freeways to no traffic country roads. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so now's the time to ride and well.. the next 7 months it'll be sitting in the garage (jk). I found this bike very easy to ride with all the get up and go of the Suzuki GSX-F and similiar bikes. I wanted a sport bike with the more upright sitting position to take on moderately longer trips. My father has a "wing" and I've always wanted to go riding with him... I just didn't want a cruiser or "wing" being that I'm a youngin. I highly recommend this bike from a intro rider's perspective. Again easy to learn on, plenty of get up and go, comfortable and the girls love it! Comes in Blue/White, Yellow and Black. I believe there's also "White" aimed for the women riders. Way to go Yamaha! Another well made bike. *****/***** Ian
PG -Who wants the FZ6R?  May 31, 2009 08:24 PM
Me, that's who. I'll tell you why. I am a beginner, sort of. I never owned a bike. Though, I rode a Ninja 250 for a season. I had fun. I was using a friend's bike, and I never tired of riding it. That year I also got to ride another buddy's 01 CBR 600 F4i a couple times. I almost threw my girlfriend of the time off the back by accidently doing a wheelie (I guess the weight on the back cause sort of a lever because the bike never would lift the wheel when I was by my self). Anyway, A few years later I got lucky enough to have a 95 CBR F3 to ride around for a few months. I didn't put a lot of miles on, but took it out when I could. I found that my arm hurt after riding, from leaning over. I've been on a Star Custom and a Harley sportster too. I enjoy riding those a lot. I like the sporty look though. I don't care for naked bikes. I think I am experienced enough to stay away from the 250. So I sat on the Ninja 650, the R6 (gas tank too big), the GS500f (too cheap feeling) Sat on the R6s (not comfortable). And finally the FZ6R, comfortable, nice looking priced right (compared to the CBR600 or the Ninja 600) and though some may disagree, 1700 is still a lot of money for some. So I think they did a great job on the styling and performance. I'm in it for the ride, and the looks. This has the performance just to have fun too. I wouldn't mind having a CBR600, but $10,000? Come on. That bike better serve me coffee in the morning.
Ron -Good Learner Bike  May 7, 2009 03:49 PM
Got my bike almost two months ago(Early March) and I must say its a great bike for me. Before buying this bike I didn't even know how to ride. Trailered it home and 5 minutes later I was riding it around town. Its got plenty of power for new riders, personally I haven't got the front tire up but I believe it could do it.I'm more into speed. At this point Ive had it up to 130MPH, and guessing it would top out in the next 10-15MPH. The bike is fairly comfortable considering it its a 'sport bike' Recently took a trip to Thunder Beach and only stopped once on the way there.
rotaxian -US vs Euro look  March 26, 2009 06:18 AM
For those who haven't seen the Euro versions - take a look - http://www.yamaha-motor.co.uk/products/motorcycles/xj_series/xj6-diversion-abs.jsp?view=explorer&subview=colours. They offer three color choices and I would take ANY of them before the black version offered here. I wouldn't even consider the yellow, blue or white. I guess they think the American market calls for loud obnoxious graphics - such a shame.
Brett -Addition to comments below about 'supersport R' type bikes  March 24, 2009 09:45 PM
I've looked at www.helibars.com to see quality bar risers made for most sport bikes and supersport bikes. Most risers bring the grips up about 1 1/2". Still, supersport bikes are pricey to get their trick frames and all. I'll be interested to see a comparison of this FZ6R vs. a Suzuki SV650SF.
Brett -A few comments about bikes and the FZ6R  March 23, 2009 10:53 PM
The old saying again 'it's the rider, not the bike'. We have a long time club road racer that comes out to play in the hills just about every weekend here in the SF Bay Area. He rides an old Ninja 250 and he is seriously quick on that bike ... a Ninja 250 folks. Sure, the suspension and swingarm are kinda budget on this new FZ6R, but if well set-up, a rider could learn a lot on it. I believe that some people can handle learning on a 600cc inline 4. Some others are not fit to learn on a Ninja 250 and are better off not riding at all. Depends on the individual. I have owned a ZX-7R, YZF600R, R1, CBR600RR GSXR600 and now an 03 FZ1. I will never buy another supersport 'R' bike (08 R6) to ride on the street. I cannot stand going out for a 5 hour day, then not be able to sit up somewhat straight. If a bike doesn't have handlebars, just has low clip-ons, I will not buy it for street, commuting, backroads riding. Those bikes look cool and they handle rock solid, but are punishing to go far on. They seem best for a 40 minute race, then get the heck off. I think it best for a brand new rider to start out on a cheap used bike for a year or so. This FZ6R would make a great second bike. I could probably have a lot of fun on it. I don't recommend a FZ1 for novice riders - too heavy, power delivery can get a novice in trouble much quicker. Great bike for experienced though. I like mine.
JB -My .02!  March 19, 2009 03:37 PM
Okay I am speaking from the perspective of a person that is actively looking for my next sport bike. So I have had many discussions with friends as well as forum junkies and I keep coming up with two sides of the pie. On one side I hear you should not waist your time with anything other than the lastest and greatest of 600-1000 sportbikes because with my riding experience that is the only thing that is going to satisfy me after a couple of months of riding. Which I agree with as I bought a 2005 Ninja 500R (which at the time I had over ten years riding under my belt) and have really grown tired of the lack of power! Please do not confuse that with the lack of fun that I have on it. Then there is the other side of the pie which prompts that you do not need all of that power as I primarily ride on the street commuting to and from work. (with a good amount of twisty action on the weekends) This will change as I plan on converting my 500R to a track bike. So when I see a review like this for a bike with moderate power it tweeks my interest as this is the middle ground for the type of riding that I enjoy; which in turn conflicts with the other side of the pie being that the middle ground is either a GSXR750 or Duc 848! What this bike offers is more than a bike for beginners, but a bike that anyone can ride for any amount of time and look cool doing it. The reason that I feel that majority of the people that have to have the latest and greatest uber sportbike is due to being in America do not have to go through the painstaking journey of earning your riding credentials before you make a purchase. I mean all you have to do is be liscenced and have the money and you can buy whatever bike you want when you want and ride it off in the sunset, if you make it that far. I plan on riding for the rest of my life and I plan on making that journey as fun and worry free as possible, so I have offically made up my mind. I will either be buying a Ninja ER-6n/650R, Yamaha FZR6R, or a Triumph Street Triple! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and no matter what you ride or plan on riding please be safe and keep the shiny side up!
John -FZ6R  March 12, 2009 06:24 PM
The fz6r is a great looking bike to say the least. The only problem with the bike, is the people nocking it. The fact is the bike is very nice. It looks good handles well and has plenty of pep.I hate to tell all you guys out there that think the yzf6 or the cbr6 and the ninja 6 are the only bikes in the 600 class woth having.Your wrong! riding and raising hell tell your final screw up are two different things Not everyone wants to ride cramped up balls to the wall all the time.Most of you guys sharing your Ideas of a great bike have only been riding less than 5 to 10 yrs and do not even understand how well all of today's bikes really handle compared to just 25 yrs ago and beyond. I have owened a great many motorcycles over the years from honda suzuki yamaha bmw harley and kawaski none of them blew up! or caused me any problems worth speaking of.and do not think I havent been fast on a few of them, the old kaw 750 tripple would scream in its day. My point is the Fz6r is like any other bike out there if you like the way it looks the way it sounds the ride it delievers and the price you gave for it then it is as good as any bike on the market they are all built to attract different consumers Its not a mans bike a girls bike or a beginners bike its a motorcycle that will allow a person a Trouble free great day on the road and thats what riding is all about
-todd -beginner?  March 8, 2009 03:52 PM
Consider that this bike is about three times as powerful as what beginner bikes used to be. Wheelies a flick of the wrist away? Is this what we want beginners doing on their way out of the powersports dealership parking lot? $7000 is still a ton of money. Most people will have to finance that for around 5 to 10 years. I would not comfortably send any new rider off on this bike, maybe a GS500 if I thought they were fairly competent, Ninja 250 otherwise. This has about as much power as a Z1, more so than an R90S, bikes that were for experts only when new. Now what, are they beginner bikes too? I don't think I've ever read a beginner bike review written by a beginner. They get some ex racer who is used to at least 150hp and knows what all those adjustments are for - plop him down on the bike and say, "what do you think about this bike? How does it compare?" That's just idiotical to me. How does Yamaha market this bike? They advertise in motorcycle magazines (or not at all) to people who expect more. Chances are, any "newbie" that would be interested in the sport will never hear about it. He'll/she'll walk into a dealership and out the door with an R1 that the salesperson thinks is the type of bike he likes. A smarter marketing strategy for Yamaha would be to actually target their intended market audience. -todd
jr -fz6r  March 7, 2009 10:56 AM
the fz6r is the bike that if you want to lean into the corners you can but you can also ride two people on it very nice.its a great sport bike and long road bike.my friend has a 08 r6 and we have to stop alot on a 400 mile ride cuz the r6 is not that comfterable.f all you critics that dont like the bike!!
Ron -Sportbike arent for everyone  February 27, 2009 03:31 PM
I have an 05-ZX10R which I will either convert into a track bike or sell and buy a track bike and pick up something more suitable for the street. Why, because the riding that I like do on that bike is better suited for the track where there is no gaurdrail, gravel or autos and I would like to outlive my parents. Most of the sportbikes out there are better suited for the track because they produce there power above 6K and they meet speeds well in excess of 100mph. That is why most of the manufacturers build naked bikes which is a new word for a standard, just sounds sexier (FZ1, FZ6, Z1000, Monster, Lightning, HD XR1200). This bike is a standard with some extra plastic to make it more appealing. Standards are typically more comfortable and more streetable because they develop there power in the low to midrange where most of the street riding engine speed is accomplished. For those of you on a 600 sportbike; pick a race with a guy on a 1200 sportster; you may be a little surprised what happens in the first couple of hundred feet. Anyways, sportbikes arent for everyone but that doesnt mean that you have to get a cruiser. There are lots of options out there and you may just be surprised at the usable level of performance the options provide. Good job Yamaha.
Cap'n -Chin up, mike  February 23, 2009 01:43 PM
Online articles that allow comments like this always, ALWAYS bring out the worst in people. Nobody bothers to compliment the journalists for the free pictures and reviews, people only post comments to nitpick the data or the review itself. Try the actual MCUSA forums, if you haven't, and find some people you like. Plenty of good folks out there willing to hear you out and help with good advice. Meanwhile, remember that most of the reason to buy a bike is because it speaks to you. If this one grabs you, go for it. Mine did.
Mike -?  February 21, 2009 10:56 AM
I'm not bitter but frustrated, yes. I got into rollerblading as a sport years ago. I read reviews, got on forums. Advice is excellent from beginner to professional. I started with a cheap pair of boots from Dicks Sporting Goods and I'm now on pro skates. But through it all there is no putting things down. There is no constant bitching. Advice is sensible and informing. Same thing with hang-gliding. All products are good for what they are intended to be for the experience level, but noone puts stuff down like I've seen in the world of motorcycles. It's like riff waring. Reviews are bascailly limited to track-day riding. Comments are geared toward ripping speed. Everyone is SO negative about products they arent even familiar with. It's the most unfun thing I've ever researched. - Oh no, riding is definately for me and I intend to fit into the more positive side of it. It's just too hard to find it on the net. It's sad. Frustrated? You bet.
Brendo -Mike is off his rocker  February 21, 2009 02:48 AM
I don't know what this Mike guy is talking about... It's the same as telling someone that they have a bad taste in music. No one has a bad taste in music... as long as they groove to whatever they are listening too. Same applies to bikes. Stop being bitter and focus on what motorcycles make you happy, and stop worrying about everyone else. Some people enjoy superbikes and happily pay the insurance. It's their prerogative.
Gershwin -Mike  February 20, 2009 03:29 PM
Mike you seem like an easily frustrated individual. Maybe you should by a boat instead of a bike. Incase you forgot, we are ALL entitled to our opinions. So settle down, get a grip, and understand that there are many different tastes out there in the motorcycling world. And please listen to your own self!
Mike -And again  February 19, 2009 11:53 PM
What do you expect a motorcycle to do - wake you up in the morning and serve you coffee? I see the super-sports time and again. Most riders are trying to cruise one-handed wishing they could sit up for just a moment. The highway is not a racetrack. Sometimes you see someone take off at high speed but it doesnt last long due to lack of balls - not from the speed but from the resulting ticket. Most supersports I see are riders just aching to push the bike to the limit they know it has and just wish they could get there, but their own sense of responsibilty denies them that because they are on public roads so all the extra goodies they paid for are for naught. - Someone commented on wishing to have more top end. More of what? More and more speed? Yeah if youre racing, but let's face it - I doubt hardly anyone races (very very few). So let's be real. Reviews and especially forums and input from so called "experienced" riders have all but turned me off from even listening to any advice anyone has to offer. And I'm sure this goes from many many new riders to motorcycles. - And one more thing - not only do the higher priced bikes have a higher tag, but also are double in insurance. It's like having to pay for something after you've paid for it.
Mike -Old Timers  February 19, 2009 11:39 PM
My God I'm SO glad I'm a noob at this because if I ever become as picky and bitchy as you folks I would hope to let my brakes fail at the top of a canyon at high speed. I love the bike. I'm buying it and I think it's a great deal. Again, MY GOD, listen to yourselves!
Dan- new OK vs old BEST -FZ6R  February 19, 2009 09:33 PM
Save yourself thousands and buy a pre 06 fZ6 or even FZ1 when they were the best they have ever been. Very wide power band, fully adjustable suspension front and rear, and great ergos to boot. They had way more grunt in the lower and mid rev range is why the pre 06's are best all around street bikes. Check out the old and new reviews and specs and then decide for yourselves. The new one sure is purty, think I'll buy one for my daughter, NOT.
Cap'n -Settle down people  February 19, 2009 07:15 AM
It's a nice bike for beginners or re-entry riders. I don't know if it'll sell big numbers or not, but I see what they were aiming at. It looks the part (probably the biggest concern for newbies), it behaves itself, it doesn't cost toooo much (though my 07 FZ6 was $6,600 out the door new, and it's got more of everything except plastic)... I hope a lot of new riders fall in love with it, frankly, and pass up something with a lot more hp and cramped ergos. Newbies need time to learn. Oh and the FI on the '07- FZ6's is very, very good. Please don't parrot internet articles from 2004 on bikes you don't own.
Alan -Missing the point  February 19, 2009 07:02 AM
Never fails to amaze me how everyone thinks every bike released is targeted towrds them.. duh. Newer riders, female, smaller stature... there's precious little out there for them
Marvin -No problems here!  February 19, 2009 05:52 AM
I have an 06 FZ6 and love it,I ride about 6000 miles a year.(due to work,weather,etc.)I hardly think this is a beginner bike,either some of you have never rode one or you don't know what you are talking about.The 06 shows 98HP stock at a little over 400lbs,enough said.If you want more,a set of pipes,efi tuner,high flow filter and watch out!!!I gave $5500.00 out the door at Abernathy's of Tennennesse,now thats value in my opinion!
Pat -If you want value!  February 18, 2009 08:56 PM
For about $4000 you can get a low miles first Gen FZ1 and have all the bottom end and top end most people can handle. You can ride 2up all day and not be fatigued by the ergo's and as long as you don't have a twitchy right hand it's a very docile machine. You also get fully adjustable suspension on both ends.
ED -FZ6R Customer  February 17, 2009 10:29 AM
So who might the customer be for this new model and why did Yamaha make it anyway? How about the female customer, new to riding, who wants a sporty standard for commuting or weekend rides with a sport oriented group? She wants sharp ,sportbike type styling, an engine that builds power gradually in a linear manner, ergos that fit a smaller person, easy handling , smooth operation of all controls, and a price below seven grand. Could this be a growing segment of an otherwise shrinking market?
jeff in ohio -serious FI problems/  February 16, 2009 07:08 PM
JImbolaya - FI has serious problems? HUH? Says who? I have an '07 FZ6 and the FI on it is flawless - as was the FI on my brothers '05. Better than anything out of Europe by a long shot (been there, done that). Doesn't surge like Kawasaki's do. Never heard of any complaints about the FZ6 FI other than a recall on the '04 and early '05 bikes for a bad TPS. Drop one tooth off the front sprocket on an FZ6 and the light low end performance disappears.....
JSH -FZ6R  February 16, 2009 08:05 AM
I know exactly why Yamaha sacrificed top-end for mid-range torque; it makes for a better street bike. I had the chance to ride a Honda CBF-1000 on a 10 day tour of the Balkans this past fall. The CBF is by far the best street bike I have ever ridden. It was perfect for two-up touring and had no problem at all passing 6 cars on narrow 2-lane roads (in 4th gear). Why was this bike so enjoyable to ride? Torque. The CBF takes the last generation CBR engine and knocks off 50 HP (152 -> 98). In exchange you get a wide, flat torque curve that hits 60 lb-ft at only 2500 RPM and stays above 60 lb-ft until 8000 RPM. In contrast the CBR1000 doesn't hit 60 lb-ft until 6000 RPM and has two giant holes in the powerband below 8000 RPM. I've ridden both and the CBF is a much better street bike. This reminds me of a BIKE article a couple years back. They took a R6 and detuned it will less aggressive cams and EFI tuning; knocking off HP and adding torque. They had a group of different skill level riders test the modified R6 back to back with a standard R6. Almost to a man, the riders preferred the detuned R6 and thought it was more powerful. Peak horsepower may be important on the race track but a nice wide powerband is what matters on the street.
Curt -FZ6R  February 16, 2009 05:37 AM
I have to give Yamaha credit for putting an inline 4 in the FZ6R. But I don't understand why they sacrificed the top end for a little extra torque. I have a 2004 FZ6 that I absolutely love (32,000+ miles). I especially LOVE the Dr. Jeckle (below 7000 RPM) and Mr. Hyde (above 7000 RPM) character of the bike, it’s like having two bikes for the price of one. It sure beats any V-twin or parallel twin on the market. If I had the ability to change one thing on the FZ6 it would be to add MORE top end, not reduce it.
Dan -FZ6R  February 15, 2009 09:48 PM
The problem is that new 600 sports bikes are so tiny and uncomfortable now, with such high pegs, even those of us who would make some compromises in exchange for the performance no longer have that choice. My last bike was a 94 ZX6R which I loved and it's a lounge chair by comparison with the newest models. At the recent Intl bike show I sat on every bike there, and the FZ6R felt great. The biggest decision is whether you want an inline 4 or a twin, such as a 650R or SV650. I think that the FZ6R felt like more substantial of a bike compared to the others in it's price/performance range and is prettier on the eyes - pride of ownership counts a little bit. I also disagree with the idea it's too powerful for a beginner bike. I quickly grew bored with my hawk, K75 and nighthawk, but never with my ZX6R, there's something to be said for a little bit more power, and 78hp isn't a huge amount. The real question is whether you want a brand new bike for your first bike vs a used $3K to drop and scratch up in your driveway.
Devin -FZ6R  February 15, 2009 08:49 PM
I don't get it. Since when is a 600cc engine made for beginners? I thought beginners bikes were 250's and 500's. I've never heard people talk crap about a 600 before. So there not as big as a 1000cc, do they threaten a mans masculinity to ride one of these?
deathby2 -Supposed motorcyclists  February 15, 2009 07:05 PM
You people think you are all that talking this bike down. Some people like my self love riding in many forms. I have two bikes now and plan on buying another. This bike might not be a true "sport" bike but I bet the bikes you buy are all compinsating for something. You all need to remember that riding is not all about just ponies and speed.
kirk -point proven  February 15, 2009 09:42 AM
JB- You just made the case as to why this bike is important. Think back 40yrs ago. What was your first bike? Wasn't a Supersport bike was it? This bike is the invitation to motorcycling to a broad spectrum of potential customers. You're not one.
Joe Blow -WHO exactly wants a bike like this?  February 15, 2009 07:07 AM
I'm 51 and have been riding for 40 years....and I still don't want a parts-bin special with the relaxed ergos. Bikes like this are useless. Give me an 848 and a twisty road. If you're too old or sedate for that, go get a Harley and fade away with a little grace.
Travis -Nice Bike  February 14, 2009 05:54 PM
Some of you say buy a full on Sportbike. Some of us are getting older and like sportbikes but can't take the low handlebars because of pain in shoulders, back, etc. This is an alternative like the Ninja 650R. Great bike, but I do wish it was a little less expensive, but then again I say that about everything.
Gershwin -Kirk & Bob  February 14, 2009 02:29 PM
Kirk & Bob, I am not knocking the bike for what it is or for what it is intended for. I even said I like the bike. I am simply making a point on the overall value the bike offers. It is okay with me that it does not have a ripping motor or upscale brakes and suspension. But, at its price and what it offers it is not (in my opinion) a lot a bang for a little buck. So maybe it is you two who "don't get the point". Whether you are a new rider or an experienced rider a little bit better suspension would only help you not hurt you regardless of experience. And that could be done at the FZ6R’s price point…Kawasaki’s Versys is a prime example.
Bob -Some Just Don't Get It  February 14, 2009 10:36 AM
Kirk got it right. This bike is intended for no one below. Even Steve atlas himself doesn't get it, reviewing the bike based on what he would prefer to be riding at the moment. It's purely an entry level bike for those who don't want to spend $10k and for those new to the sport. I think it hit it's mark. Anyone who wants more than what this bike has to offer, and for $3k more, has a couple dozen other choices. Yamaha definitely did their homework and filled in a gap in the markets most neglected segment.
kirk -the peanut gallery doesn't get it  February 14, 2009 08:24 AM
First let my state that I have 27yrs of on road experience and average 18k miles a year. I am also a motorcycle insurance specialist. This bike was intended FOR NONE OF YOU. It's intent and price point are exactly where they need to be. To encourage new or re-entry riders to pick something that's not a supersport bike. You get all the looks without any of the frenzied learning curve. You learn or commute on something fun and cheap to insure. Isn't that the point? We motorcyclist don't want people on sportbikes right away. It's, compared to it's competitors, a good value and competent daily learner. If you mock this bike for what you think it should be then you are certainly one of the squids that the rest of us would like to stay away from.
Matt- Monster1100 -FZ6R  February 14, 2009 02:51 AM
Looks ok apart from patio tube swing arm and old skool non usd non adjustable forks. That underslung muffler sucks big time too. Could have been so much better with just a bit more up market suspension and swinarm etc.
jasonl -nice option  February 13, 2009 08:40 PM
"EXCEPT as noted in my post not as comfortable." Comfort or the sport touring riding position is a must have for me. Would I pay $2,000 for a R6S version in a real world sport touring package? You bet. But as it stands I think this bike is a formidable sport tourer with full fairing. The EX 650 "ninja" is a decent little touring bike, but I wouldn't buy a 65hp bike that's called a ninja. It is just a marketing trick.
Gershwin -Jimbolaya  February 13, 2009 05:28 PM
"just a few more grand" for a full-on sport bike w/ fully adjustable suspension. Really”? Yes Jimbolaya, really. Step one: Go ahead and visit Yamaha.com and look at the price of a new 2009 R6S Step two; take said MSRP $8,690, and subtract said MSRP of FZ6R $6,990 and you get a $1,700 difference, so actually for less than a few grand more you can get a bike better in every way possible, EXCEPT as noted in my post not as comfortable. Jimbolaya, I like the FZ6R. I just don’t think it is a lot a bang for the buck, especially considering that for only $1,700 more you can get so much more. Looking at it from that angle it makes me wonder why the FZ6R costs as much as it does seeing as how it has so much less to offer for so few dollars saved. The 4 piston brake calipers on the FZ6 are not alleged nor are the additional horse power output, those are facts. Also Jimbolaya, a good rule of thumb for paying a fair price OTD would be purchasing it OTD for what it retails for. Anything lower than that is a great deal anything above that is a poorly negotiated deal by the buyer.
adam -r6s  February 13, 2009 05:16 PM
i dont get it why we cant get this bike here in australia ...... not everybody wants to have the new hardcore r6 and some of us would appreciate to have little bit less extreme r6
Loud Noises -FZ6R  February 13, 2009 04:56 PM
Who are these brain dead non motorcycle riding focus group members that wanted this bike? Just make the R6S cheaper, problem solved.
JImbolaya -Sorry for double-posting  February 13, 2009 04:43 PM
I haven't ridden the outgoing '08 FZ6; from all reports it is very light on low-end power & its FI has serious problems. Regardless of the FZ6's aluminum frame & other alleged upgrades it appears the '09 FZ6R is better throughout. I like the almost understated looks & the color/graphic selection is great.
Jimbolaya -FZ6R vs. full-on sport bike  February 13, 2009 04:34 PM
Closing costs (license, reg, tax, setup) will average about 10% over the base price or MSRP (dealers will generally either discount the bike & add for setup or free setup w/ no discount; either way is a wash). This makes the very nice new for '09 Yamaha FZ6R about $7700 OTD. Re. "just a few more grand" for a full-on sport bike w/ fully adjustable suspension. Really? The least expensive I can think of is the naked $9500 (estimate $10,450 OTD) Triumph Street Triple 675R w/ radial brakes (the non-R Street Triple has fixed suspension & standard brakes). 10,450 - 7700 = $2750 more (36%) for the 675R. Adding $2750 to a $7700 purchase is quite signifacant at this price point. From what I've read, especially w/ the fuel injection, the FZ6R may have crept up near first choice for a new street bike for me, supplanting the 675R. I'd consider a used '08 Street Triple but they seem about as common as the proverbial hens teeth.
Gershwin -Bang for the Buck???  February 13, 2009 03:54 PM
I certainly think after seeing this bike and sitting on it at the IMS show that this bike looks right and has the right ergos. But, “That’s a lot of bang for not a lot of buck…” I would have to disagree. For just a few grand more you can get a sport bike with fully adjustable suspension, 4 piston brakes, aluminum chassis, ram air, slipper clutch, and the list goes on and on. Though these bikes may not be as comfortable, they sure are a lot of bang for not a lot more buck. Heck, for about the same money you can buy a bike with more power, better brakes, better suspension, aluminum chassis, great styling, and all day riding comfort…the FZ6. From a marketing or business standpoint this bike does not make sense to me. If Yamaha’s gen Y wanted a fully faired comfy bike just put the fairing on the FZ6. This way everybody would be happy. What this bike is, is a lot more buck for Yamaha for a lot less bike.
Chris -Comparison Test  February 13, 2009 02:30 PM
Looks like a nice bike, glad to see more manufacturers are going with underengine exhausts. I'd like to see MotoUSA do a comparison test between this bike, the Kawasaki Ninja 650r & the Suzuki GSX 650F.
Ben -FZ6R  February 13, 2009 12:35 PM
I'm not a snob in any way, but the bargin bin suspension and swing arm kill this bike for me. Styling is spot on though. For me a used Ninja, YZF-6R, or CBR600RR would take my money any day before a brand new bargin bike.