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Hey everyone. I'm looking for some reviews/input etc on a FZ-09. I've been riding for a few years. started on a CB350 then to a XS650 (kinda bobbed/bratted out) and a sportster. I bounce back and forth between my xs650 and sportster. I commute in Los Angeles daily and most of my work commute is lane splitting (from the east side to the west side if you're familiar). My sportster is not ideal for this for a variety of reasons. The xs does a decent job but again its not the best. I met someone last weekend with a FZ-09, I think its decent looking, and after reading some reviews seems to give you a decent amount of bang for the buck. I think this would also help me grow as a rider. Im not exactly able to take my sportster up into the mountains and push it to hard. she likes the open desert roads but is a little like a turd when Im up in the mountains. Another option I'm considering is a supermoto. Looking for some input / advice etc...

My paint points.
-How easy is it to work on these? coming from mostly vintage bikes I like being able to work on my own bikes.
-Price
-Mods
-I've never paid more than 3,400 for a bike and considering they get knocked over by people I'm definitely concerned about this. Add that to the fact that I want to start getting into a different more aggressive type of riding dropping this or laying it down is also a concern.

Thanks
Luke~
 

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The FZ09 is a great bike and will likely do well for you.

However, I strongly suggest that instead of investing in a new bike, you invest in yourself. Go get some more rider training. I am not a fan of HDs but I know that a properly sorted Sportster with a properly skilled rider can haul ass in the twisties just fine. Back in the 80s I used to ride with a guy that rode a well set up XS650 and he could kick anyone's butt on the road up to about 110 or so. He routinely made the 600 sportbike riders of the day think twice about their bikes.

It isn't the bike anywhere near as much as it is the rider.

Additional training:
Basic track days offer lots of growth possibilities that are NOT about speed.
Total Control curriculum and similar training organizations
Track oriented schools like Pridmore schools, Yamaha Champions riding school, Rich Oliver's mystery school, California Superbike School and many many more are out there.

There are trackdays at the Fontana track and all sorts of trackday schools at Willow Springs in Rosamond.

As for maintenance on the FZ09, or any Japanese bike made in the last decade or so, all that is needed is cleaning, lubrication (chain, cables, etc.), minor adjustments to fit the bike to you, and oil changes. An oil change is very easy and simple with spin off oil filters just like cars.

Very little major maintenance (internal engine adjustments and maintenance) is needed, ever, as long as you don't run it without oil or coolant or without an air filter.
 

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1. How easy it is to work on them depends on your experience. Modern bikes with fuel injected motors and electronically controlled systems do tend to be more complex so to be honest it's all relative.

2. Price is great but to be honest you will end up spending more in the long run. If you like hustling the bike through corners and you weigh in excessof 175 lbs you will need to invest in suspension upgrades. I bought my 2014 for 8500 OTD brand new and have invested roughly another 1500 or so into upgrades with most of that going towards a Penske rear shock that set me back about a grand.

3. "Necessary" mods consist of suspension upgrades, an ECU flash, and eventually replacing (or rigging) the problematic cam Chan tensioner. Common "fluff" mods consist of exhaust systems (for slip ons the most common are M4 and Ixil and for full systems it's Akropovic, Graves, and Yoshimura), tank grip pads, fender eliminators, lighting upgrades, seat replacements, frame sliders (though many consider them a necessity), and bar end mirrors.

4. Coming from bikes that are relatively "ratty" (no offense) and buying something relatively new and nice for the first time changes your perspective. Your best bet is to carry full coverage insurance, be cautious, always trust in your ability as a rider but never in anything else on the road, do track days, and use frame sliders.
 

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KTM Duke 390 would be a good commuter.
 

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KTM Duke 390 would be a good commuter.
It might be but I would prefer the 690 duke for urban battle. Lots more mid-range and top end to get away from crazed cagers.
 

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Speaking as a Westside L.A. commuter, the FZ-09 has been a great lane splitting machine. The seating position is upright when you need to scan the road but easy enough to lean into it when you want to open it up. I put lower bars on mine because I'm 6'1" and I find it more comfortable for me. As far as mods go, I'm still running stock suspension and stock ecu on my 2015. I love the different ride modes. Standard and "B" mode are great perfect for around town and commuting. "A" mode demands your full attention. I consider myself a new rider but I feel the FZ09 is a bike you can grow into. That's what I tell myself anyway. I feel this is a bike you could have for many years and mod it out to suit your personal style and riding style. Just my two cents as a new owner myself.
 

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As far as working on it, fortunately, there isn't a lot to do with a modern, fuel injected engine. You don't have to routinely sync the carbs, shim the valves, check/set the float levels, or clean the jets. This is my second FI bike, and I do all my own work, too. It's fairly rare that I have to go to a shop.

Routine maintenance I these will be oil and air filter. Oil change is extremely easy with a spin-on filter. Air filter won't be bad as the tank comes off easily.
 
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