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A recent thread about waving to other bikers (or motorcycle enthusiasts) got me wondering. I've noticed a few guys said they used to have a Harley. How many Harley guys bought an FZ? And what was the reason you bought the Yamaha?
 

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Harley owner with an FZ-09. I have a 2006 XL1200L. It's great as long as you are willing to go straight and not turn.

I wanted a better handling bike. I sat on every bike at the dealer, initially thinking about a Triumph Bonneville. I'm not a sport bike person at all, but I sat on the sport bikes. Not knowing anything about the FZ-09, I sat on it and it just felt right. I did a load of research after and checked out the Street Triple and Ducati Monster, but this was the one that kept on calling.

End result, I love the bike, I want nothing to do with cruisers, and the Harley sits in the garage.
 
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Wow Jen, just you and me here. Learned to ride street bikes on my brother's '85 1000 Sportster. Had an '88 883, then 25 years on a highly modified '89 Low Rider. Even wore a patch for a time. I needed a new bike but when I went to the Harley dealer, they had nothing I was remotely interested in. Would have bought a Buell but...........
Saw a write-up on the FZ-09 in Autoweek and was interested right away. Sat on one in the showroom and was sold. Naked bikes or nothing for me. 1700 miles so far and there is no turning back. Took the old Low Rider out for the first time in about a month last weekend. I can't even ride it any more. What a pig. Heavy, slow, no brakes. Anyone want a well used project bike to restore?
 

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Wow Jen, just you and me here. Learned to ride street bikes on my brother's '85 1000 Sportster. Had an '88 883, then 25 years on a highly modified '89 Low Rider. Even wore a patch for a time. I needed a new bike but when I went to the Harley dealer, they had nothing I was remotely interested in. Would have bought a Buell but...........
Saw a write-up on the FZ-09 in Autoweek and was interested right away. Sat on one in the showroom and was sold. Naked bikes or nothing for me. 1700 miles so far and there is no turning back. Took the old Low Rider out for the first time in about a month last weekend. I can't even ride it any more. What a pig. Heavy, slow, no brakes. Anyone want a well used project bike to restore?

Have you bought or are considering a fly screen/windscreen for your FZ...???

image.jpg
 

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Totally stock so far. Did a 500 mile road trip a few weeks ago. You get blown around a bit at 80 on the highway, but it's no worse or better than the HD.
 

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I've got a Puig 30mm fly screen on order. It's bigger than what Yamaha offers which is tiny, although size isn't everything...
 

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Still have one plus the 09.

Long story short. Grew up on dirt bikes, 20 years on crotchrockets, got the HD to slow it down some. Was looking to add a little light a manuverable bike into the mix but was not going back to the radical superbikes and was actually looking for a good dual sport when Yamaha came out with the Fz-09. It was a perfect fit.
 

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I've got a Puig 30mm fly screen on order. It's bigger than what Yamaha offers which is tiny, although size isn't everything...
Let us know how much you like it once you get it on. :)

I come from the Dirt to Sportbikes to the FZ. Never had a Harley. Some people i work with have spent their whole 401k on their Harleys only to drop them.
 
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sold my HARLY FOR MY FZ-09... my other bike is the yamaha R1 so going from that to the HOG sucked. now i go from the R1 to the Fz-09 and i don't have to worry about scraping the pipes.
 

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Got rid of my 2005 Harley 1200 Custom with 5800 miles on it to get the FZ 09. I ended up hating the Harley and never rode it. I had a 2009 DRZ400SM that I rode a lot and put a lot of money into to "personalize" it, but was never satisfied with it either. I rode it to a store about 3 miles away the same day I got the FZ and knew right then I wouldn't have it long. Sold it after having the FZ for 3 days.
 

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Harley owner with an FZ-09. I have a 2006 XL1200L. It's great as long as you are willing to go straight and not turn.

I wanted a better handling bike. I sat on every bike at the dealer, initially thinking about a Triumph Bonneville. I'm not a sport bike person at all, but I sat on the sport bikes. Not knowing anything about the FZ-09, I sat on it and it just felt right. I did a load of research after and checked out the Street Triple and Ducati Monster, but this was the one that kept on calling.

End result, I love the bike, I want nothing to do with cruisers, and the Harley sits in the garage.
I applaud you for being open to trying a different kind of bike. I have a feeling that many Harley/cruiser folks would also be converts if they just gave a sporty bike an open-minded chance like you have. So many Harley riders are all about image and just parrot the "rice burner/crotch rocket" comments when they have never even tried a sporty bike. I have not owned a Harley, but my bro-in-law has let me borrow his and I can say without a doubt that I have no interest in owning one after riding one. I prefer my bikes like my cars... sporty, lightweight and nimble.
 

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I built a Shovelhead bobber in the 80s because I was getting into a lot of trouble on high performance (for the time) bikes I had been riding. Thought the HD would calm things down a bit. It sure did. It was loud, slow and handled like a battleship. Chicks dug it though ;-) I built it on the cheap rode it for a few years and sold it for twice what I had in it. Been back on sport bikes for over 20 years now and would never consider another HD. Why pay twice as much or more for 100 year old design & technology? If Ford still made the Model A I wouldn't buy it either. Lots of first timers buy HD for image or because of peer pressure and don't know how bad they are compared to something like the FZ. You don't know what you don't know.
 

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I own a 2010 Sportster 1200 Turbo....its a fun bike, and it was fun to build, but I don't ride it much anymore, so if it ends up just sitting I'll sell it as it would be a waste to keep it....if I do sell it, Ill probably grab an FZ07 to take its place...

Harley owner with an FZ-09. I have a 2006 XL1200L. It's great as long as you are willing to go straight and not turn.
Jen, The Harley will never be a sport bike, but with the right tires and suspension, they can be made to handle pretty damn well..I think I spent just shy of $1200.00 on suspension and tires for mine...was a night and day difference.
 

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I applaud you for being open to trying a different kind of bike. I have a feeling that many Harley/cruiser folks would also be converts if they just gave a sporty bike an open-minded chance like you have. So many Harley riders are all about image and just parrot the "rice burner/crotch rocket" comments when they have never even tried a sporty bike. I have not owned a Harley, but my bro-in-law has let me borrow his and I can say without a doubt that I have no interest in owning one after riding one. I prefer my bikes like my cars... sporty, lightweight and nimble.
It wasn't image, it was just what I was around. I grew up with 80's metal and muscle cars and the people who had the cars and bikes all had Harleys. With the 80's metal, they had the Harleys. So, when it came time to get a bike, it had to be a Harley. Hmm...maybe it was an image thing. I don't know. A motorcycle meant a Harley, and any other cruiser was just a copy of a Harley, so get the real thing.

I used to have no issue riding the Shadow that I got my husband. Now, I just went into the garage, sat on it, was barely able to reach the clutch, the controls were all the way in the front, and I have no desire to ride it. I lifted it off of the kick stand and it felt heavy and I didn't want to touch it. My Harley actually felt more comfortable since it has mid controls. Go figure.

This bike has changed my mind about sport bikes. I do like how cruisers look, but I'm not as comfortable riding one and wouldn't want to give up the weight, maneuverability and size of the FZ.

In all fairness, there are a lot of guys who would look absolutely ridiculous on a sport bike. Today there have been bikes passing by my house all day. They are mostly Harleys, with big guys with beards on them. It's been pretty funny. I dug out my bicycle and wash washing it in front of the house and some guy on a white Harley circled my block like three times. Hah, like I wouldn't notice. Anyway, I could not imagine these guys on the bikes. Or, the couples where the women are kind of large. You need a bigger bike. They are just not going to fit on a sport bike, even a BMW. There is an audience and a profile that is involved with the sport bikes. There is a need for big cruisers.
 

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I own a 2010 Sportster 1200 Turbo....its a fun bike, and it was fun to build, but I don't ride it much anymore, so if it ends up just sitting I'll sell it as it would be a waste to keep it....if I do sell it, Ill probably grab an FZ07 to take its place...



Jen, The Harley will never be a sport bike, but with the right tires and suspension, they can be made to handle pretty damn well..I think I spent just shy of $1200.00 on suspension and tires for mine...was a night and day difference.
The local Harley Indy guy keeps on telling me to lower the bike, that it will solve all my problems. I'm 5'5' but my inseam is 31 1/2. The Harley I have is a low. It has a seat height of like 27 inches at most. I don't need the bike to be lower, especially with boots on that add another inch. I would have to try a Harley that has been altered in all fairness. I'm also curious to try a newer Sportster to see if they have fixed the vibration or other issues. My engine is rubber mounted, so that was supposed to alleviate some of the vibration problems.

The answer from the Harley people is to get a bigger bike, that a Sportster is hard to ride. My bike is already 575 lbs. I don't need a heavier bike, but once again, I have not been on a Softail or a Dyna, so you never know, but I think I've been turned on to the dark side.
 

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Try the Sportster right "after" riding the FZ-09. I'd bet you last three min and say it's not for you -- totally different ride and from where I sit No redeeming qualities vs the FZ-09. Once you own an FZ I think you/we become spoiled as to what a bike should be & what it's supposed to feel like.
 

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It wasn't image, it was just what I was around. I grew up with 80's metal and muscle cars and the people who had the cars and bikes all had Harleys. With the 80's metal, they had the Harleys. So, when it came time to get a bike, it had to be a Harley. Hmm...maybe it was an image thing. I don't know. A motorcycle meant a Harley, and any other cruiser was just a copy of a Harley, so get the real thing.

I used to have no issue riding the Shadow that I got my husband. Now, I just went into the garage, sat on it, was barely able to reach the clutch, the controls were all the way in the front, and I have no desire to ride it. I lifted it off of the kick stand and it felt heavy and I didn't want to touch it. My Harley actually felt more comfortable since it has mid controls. Go figure.

This bike has changed my mind about sport bikes. I do like how cruisers look, but I'm not as comfortable riding one and wouldn't want to give up the weight, maneuverability and size of the FZ.

In all fairness, there are a lot of guys who would look absolutely ridiculous on a sport bike. Today there have been bikes passing by my house all day. They are mostly Harleys, with big guys with beards on them. It's been pretty funny. I dug out my bicycle and wash washing it in front of the house and some guy on a white Harley circled my block like three times. Hah, like I wouldn't notice. Anyway, I could not imagine these guys on the bikes. Or, the couples where the women are kind of large. You need a bigger bike. They are just not going to fit on a sport bike, even a BMW. There is an audience and a profile that is involved with the sport bikes. There is a need for big cruisers.
I agree that cruisers have their place and they work better for some individuals either due to their riding style or their size. There all also many cruiser (particularly HD) riders that are completely ignorant about sporty bikes and are missing out on a great riding experience because of their ignorance. As an example of said ignorance, my sister rides a ZX-6R and her boyfriend rides a Harley... he was mocking her bike for its measly 600cc engine, thinking surely his huge v-twin Harley had better performance. Well... she let him take a ride on her ZX-6R and he shut up really fast, he couldn't believe how fast it was and how much better it handled than his overweight HD. Everybody is free to ride what makes them happy, I just hate to hear people make judgements based off of ignorance. If I ever do decide to get a bike for long distance touring, I would still get an FJR over something like a Harley... but that is just my personal choice based on an informed decision.
 

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My riding experience goes like this. Purchased an 01 R6 in 2000 as my first street bike. Later upgraded to an 05 R1 after regrettingly selling my R6 a year prior. In 2007, my R1 was stolen. A lot of guys at my work ride Harleys so in 2008 I bought an 08 Dyna Fat Bob. Thought I wanted a radio and all the fairings, so in 2010 I purchased a Street Glide. Although I liked my Fat Bob. I hated the Street Glide. Wasnt me. Didnt care for the weight, the fairings, or the radio. I felt like I was driving a car instead of riding a motorcycle. The Fat Bob was more stripped down and I actually like it, but I still yearned for riding the twistys the way I did in my early days, but I wanted to be more upright than a sportbike. So in 2012, I purchased a 2010 Triumph Street Triple R. Loved the bike. Was fun to ride, plenty of usable power for any amount of street riding, and looked badass. Had to sell recently due to a divorce and I needed the money. Started looking at motorcycles again and was looking at the Triumphs, but was attracted to the FZ for the bigger motor and cheaper intro price which would leave me with cash to upgrade and customize to my liking. Harleys have their place, and I still like them, but would never own another unless I had a bike such as the FZ09 for more sprited rides and keep the Harley for cruising with the guys.
 

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The local Harley Indy guy keeps on telling me to lower the bike, that it will solve all my problems. I'm 5'5' but my inseam is 31 1/2. The Harley I have is a low. It has a seat height of like 27 inches at most. I don't need the bike to be lower, especially with boots on that add another inch. I would have to try a Harley that has been altered in all fairness. I'm also curious to try a newer Sportster to see if they have fixed the vibration or other issues. My engine is rubber mounted, so that was supposed to alleviate some of the vibration problems.

The answer from the Harley people is to get a bigger bike, that a Sportster is hard to ride. My bike is already 575 lbs. I don't need a heavier bike, but once again, I have not been on a Softail or a Dyna, so you never know, but I think I've been turned on to the dark side.
That's absurd and don't spend a dime lowering your bike Jen. I have no idea why he is saying that, as it actually alters the geometry of the bike and is a detriment to handling in most cases. I own a Harley 48 1200 that handles like a total pig so I bought a Ducati. Once I got on that thing my eyes were PRYED open.....I was astonished at what I was experiencing in terms of....well everything (handling, acceleration, lightness, etc....). It was then I realized the benefits to PERFORMANCE. There is a lot of stereotypes and categorizing people by the bike they ride and I simply don't understand it, but to your point of the Harley guys telling you to get a bigger bike, I'm not surprised. The worst stereotyping seems to be the Harley guys poking fun of their OWN brand, the Sportster. They will tell you a Dyna is the way to go because of the weight distribution....yada yada.....don't buy into it.

The funny thing is, I can't let go of the Harley and I will sell the Monster to get an FZ-09 and drop 2k into it and have a machine that like nothing I've ever had.
 

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Harley did do a few things right IMO.

The XR-750 flat tracker is an excellent example.

They have not been in production for some time but there are many that are still being raced every weekend and are winning races.
 
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