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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I've been checking out threads on this site for a bit now; so I finally decided to join. Do I own an FZ-09? Nope I sure do not. Am I considering a new FZ-09? You bet.

Now for the fun part. As I have said I have read through some threads on this site and have seen some very nice opinions, some not so great opinions, and some contradicting opinions about this bike and it being a "beginner" bike. I say that as a prelude to my next statements and questions.

I will start this with "what do I want". I want a do it all bike; I do not plan on track days, I'm not a stunter; but I do want to commute, I wouldn't mind taking a road trip here and there. Yes I know the FZ-09 holds a low amount of gas and its range isn't the greatest. With that being said I will now give some details about myself.

I am nearly 40 years old. I have never owned nor ridden a street bike before. I have, however, ridden some off road machines in two, three, and four wheel variations. I am 6 feet tall and weigh around the 220 mark. I have read many comments about this bike being intended for riders around 160 lbs. I can obtain that by cutting off a leg. I have read through Stoltec's build thread so far and looks like he has come up with some really nice results with the suspension etc.

I would like some good feedback before I make a purchase. Also I may not even like the bike. Haven't found one to sit on yet lol. I liked the way the FZ-8 felt and have heard this one is better. I do not want to hear I will kill myself on this bike but not a Honda 500. I do not mind other suggestions, but one thing to keep in mind is price. 8 grand plus some potential Stoltec upgrades does not mean I want to purchase a fifteen thousand dollar bike.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome to the forum CJ07Ram.....

I will not lecture you and if you have been reading through the forum, you will see many, many places/threads that simply advise against the FZ09 as a beginner bike. You can take that advice or you can choose to ignore it.....it's totally up to you, but I will be the first to say, you are asking for trouble buying this bike as a first bike. I've got lots of years of experience on motorcycles (over 42 to be exact) and I've had small dirt bikes all the way up to very, very high HP liter bikes and pretty much everything inbetween, and I will say this about the FZ09........

"It's NOT a beginner bike".
 
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Have you taken the MSF class? I highly recommend it, just to make sure you actually want a motorcycle before you jump in.

That said... I really liked the FZ8 when I sat on it, but it felt closer to an R1 than the FZ-09. The FZ-09 is just much narrower and more upright, and of course lighter.

If you're smart and careful, I think B mode is perfectly manageable for a beginner, the stock suspension will work fine if you're not pushing it hard. But it's all up to you... If you twist the throttle, it's very very fast.

Now my opinion... Personally, I'd almost always recommend a used bike for your first one. That way it won't hurt nearly as bad if you drop it, and you can sell it for nearly what you paid if you don't like riding, or feel ready to upgrade to the bike you really want. It'll also give you some insight into what kind of motorcycle you really want, everyone's different. Just my two cents of course :)
 

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I agree with triplethreat.

I have numerous years of riding experience.... on dirt bikes, track bikes, cruisers, etc... and I would not recommend the FZ-09 to a beginner.

I also wouldn't recommend a brand new bike to a beginner.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Welcome I have never rode off road but I here all the time how that helps you be a better on road ride and I can see how it would.
I am 5'6" and weight 225 inseam 29-30" and I have gone backwards and by that I mean I have always ridden cruisers and now I switch to sport standard it usually goes the other way. I did take the MSF coarse to get my license and went directly to a kz1000.
Now with my history out of the way the only thing I have done was send the seat out to get redone because it was not comfortable to me I think for lighter people it's fine at least that seems to be the trend. I have not done anything with the suspension but I will have to stiffen the front for sure the back seems to be ok but I will need more time I have about 180 miles on mine i got it in October just bad weather and timing prevented me from more miles. If you feel confident being on road then your off road will only help you. The bike is so light a 500 might be heavier. Just get use to it first then go have fun Oh! FYI I AM 50 so go for it kid.

One more thing you should take an MSF coarse , As a matter of fact I think it should be mandatory!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Triplethreat. I definitely understand where you are coming from. Stellmon, I have not yet taken the course but that is something I absolutely will do before purchasing a bike new or used. I guess my thing is this. I have never been the start low and work up type. I do not like the idea of investing money in something I do not want. My dad tried pounding economical puddly car into my head when I was sixteen; I ended up with a turboed car. Yes I know cars and bikes are much different just pointing out my long term stubbornness. Anyway back to you triplethreat; any bikes you would recommend for a rider of my size that I will not hate in a relatively short amount of time. I also don't want to have to upgrade suspension on a bike I don't want to make it rideable for a short period of time.

In order to possibly help create suggestions I will say the cruiser style is out. Two wheels with my legs out in front of me does not feel comfortable, no I have not ridden any but have sat on many and it doesn't feel natural. Probably more a mind thing. I do not want Super sport, crotch rocket, or whatever else they call them. I prefer a more upright position. Many of my friends purchased GSXR 600s, R6s, etc and even sitting on them I could tell I wouldn't want to ride them for long. Most of my friends that got them are smaller in stature though too.
 

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CJ.....I don't have a lot of experience on naked upright bikes. The only other one that I have had in the last 35 years or so is the Aprilia 750 DorsoDuro, and I sold that bike to get the FZ09. They are bringing it back to the U.S.A. this model year, after a 2 year absence. They also will be selling the Aprilia 750 Shiver. The Dorso has a lot of low end grunt (v-twin), but isn't as powerful as the FZ and weighs in around 45 to 50 lbs more than the FZ, so it's a bit more manageable power-wise. I understand that a guy of your height and weight doesn't want a Ninja 300 or even a 500cc Yamahondazukikaw, but maybe someone on here will tell you their experiences with the Suzuki SV650. I have no experience with them as far as fit for a guy your size and for power.
 

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Triplethreat. I definitely understand where you are coming from. Stellmon, I have not yet taken the course but that is something I absolutely will do before purchasing a bike new or used. I guess my thing is this. I have never been the start low and work up type. I do not like the idea of investing money in something I do not want. My dad tried pounding economical puddly car into my head when I was sixteen; I ended up with a turboed car. Yes I know cars and bikes are much different just pointing out my long term stubbornness. Anyway back to you triplethreat; any bikes you would recommend for a rider of my size that I will not hate in a relatively short amount of time. I also don't want to have to upgrade suspension on a bike I don't want to make it rideable for a short period of time.

In order to possibly help create suggestions I will say the cruiser style is out. Two wheels with my legs out in front of me does not feel comfortable, no I have not ridden any but have sat on many and it doesn't feel natural. Probably more a mind thing. I do not want Super sport, crotch rocket, or whatever else they call them. I prefer a more upright position. Many of my friends purchased GSXR 600s, R6s, etc and even sitting on them I could tell I wouldn't want to ride them for long. Most of my friends that got them are smaller in stature though too.
I understand where you're coming from, in terms of not wanting to "invest" in something you don't plan to keep. That's how I did it... My first bike was a brand new Yamaha Warrior, a 650 pound 1700 cc power cruiser (Which I still own & love). I don't regret it, but I would do it differently if I were to do it again... I would have started on a used bike. Then there would have been no paranoia about dropping it as a new rider, lol. Which everyone does at least once... I was just fortunate it was in my driveway at 0 mph, no damage.

That said, IMO you're really not investing money into something you don't want. Used bikes are at their cheapest in winter, you can pick one up for a great deal. Ride it for a year, and it's not unheard of to sell it for a profit after a year of riding, you'll lose out a couple hundred at the most, which is great for a years worth of learning. I would agree on a Suzuki SV650 being a good starter bike... They have around 70 HP, 450 pounds. They go 0-60 in about four seconds... So again, hardly slow. Just my opinion of course :)
 

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There are 650 twin bikes like the Suzuki SV650 and one or Kawasaki parallel twins that make around 70hp and will be plenty exciting for a rider your size. Get one used, put 5 to 10 thousand miles on it with plenty of education etc and then move up to something a FZ 09.

Whether your first bike is a 09 or something else it'd probably be worth putting in stiffer fork springs and changing the for oil, as a beginner you don't need the full Stoltec suspension.

My first street bike (after a lot of dirt riding) was 38hp and the same weight as the 09, I was only 140 pounds but my gf was often a passenger so our weight was well over yours, the bike had plenty of power for it.



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CJ, you are a grown up and can obv do whatever the heck you like. If looking for advice, here's mine:

Get some saddle time on some other bike for a little bit...you def. should do a MSF course...but you need to get a feel for how different 2 wheels on the street is. The FZ09 isn't going anywhere...ideally you would pick up a smaller used bike to ride for just one season or even a few months to get your major noob mistakes over with. Most noobs drop their 1st bike...some don't but most do. It's way better to drop a beater than a new FZ, and it seems like our bike doesn't crash too well.

Check out the suzuki DRZ400...it's a street legal dual sport. My buddy has one and commutes with it, and he loves it. You can ride the piss out of a bike like that with out getting too far over your head.

The problem with the fz as a 1st bike, is that us old farts (what does that make the 50-60 yr olds??) claim and believe to have self control...certainly more than when we were in our 20's...but the power of this bike is like a drug. The FZ looks at your self control and laughs its head off...it's very hard for even the most modest of us to behave on this bike. So in the likely event that you start to misbehave, with the quickness and power of this bike gives little room for error....it's not unstable or anything...it's just that you can get to a high velocity before you have time to think 'woah'. And new riders make lots of errors, that's a fact. You will make LOTS of errors when starting out. When there is little margin for error, the opportunity for crashing is high. You get what I'm saying.

It's not like instant death getting this bike. Life is about playing the odds. If you're lucky, you'll get this bike as a 1st bike and be fine. If you're wise, you'll get some saddle time on something a little less quick (but still hella fun) and make a lot of your dumb mistakes...and then get the FZ.....and make a lot of less dumb mistakes. ;)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I appreciate the feedback. I have looked at the Suzuki SFV 650 but they are hard to find used around here. When considering the price of a new one, well its the same price as the FZ. I have been told by others, this includes acquaintances, dealers and the like, that for someone my size including gear I will need a larger bike. Many have tried to persuade me to the cruiser bikes also but they just aren't my thing.
 

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Hello CJ,
I am 5'7" and 230 Lb. I've been riding for 3 years and started on a SFV650 (Suzuki Gladius), which I bought NEW. Big mistake.
Don't get me wrong, the Gladius was a good, versatile bike and very forgiving for a beginner, but as a noob, I dropped mine a couple times.
My ego was as hurt as my wallet. I'd rather have a bruised ego than a bruised wallet.
After some riding I decided it was time to "evolve" and the FZ showed up. The transition from the Gladius to the FZ 09 was transparent. First time was in Mode B, from then on, Std.
Consider the fact that as a beginner there is a higher chance of dropping your bike (experienced riders will tell you that it will happen), and how much those repairs are going to cost/affect your bike.
 

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I appreciate the feedback. I have looked at the Suzuki SFV 650 but they are hard to find used around here. When considering the price of a new one, well its the same price as the FZ. I have been told by others, this includes acquaintances, dealers and the like, that for someone my size including gear I will need a larger bike. Many have tried to persuade me to the cruiser bikes also but they just aren't my thing.
Try looking for an '03+ SV650, or SV650S. That's the previous generation, '03 is when they became fuel injected. They were very popular and common. Or try a 650 Ninja, or ER6N from Kawasaki
 
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