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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted an initial introductory thread back in October/November sometime when I was debating between the Triumph Street Triple R, KTM Duke 690, and Yamaha FZ-09. Now that I've actually went and bought my new Blazing Orange FZ-09, I figured I'd make a new thread rather than update the old one.

Hi! My name is Sean, I'm 33, and I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I started riding a motorcycle back in 2008, shortly before my 28th birthday. My first bike was a 2000 Suzuki SV650. At the time, I was obese at 335-340 lbs. I struggled with many of the basic drills as a result of a combination of my weight and the fact that I have a neurological dysfunction which impedes basic motor control, to a degree (it is a component of autism spectrum disorders found in people with hypersensitivity/hyperactive senses). After putting the bike away for winter at the end of 2008, I made a decision that if I wanted to do this, I had to lose weight. This picture was taken of me and my first bike on the 4th of July in 2009. At the time it was taken, I had already lost about 15-20 lbs.



I loved a lot of things about the bike, but even after my weight loss (a total of 135 lbs down, getting down to an even 200), I found the suspension to be woefully inadequate for anything other than commuting to and from work on it, and even that was iffy. I sold it in May of 2013 because I just wasn't willing to invest in the mods needed to bring the suspension up to spec. What I got to replace it was this thing:



A 2006 ZX-6R Special Edition. I eventually redid the plastics in all black because those decals looked cheap and the bike had scratches after a low speed drop. Buying this bike, to be honest, was a mistake. The powerband was anything but confidence inspiring (the way it had absolutely NO torque off the line and didn't start to make usable power until about 6k RPM scared the hell out of me) and the way my motor control issues required special care in my approach to riding was further complicated by the increased emphasis on "body english" required by supersport bikes in cornering. Despite this, I learned a lot about riding thanks to it, and I did my first track day aboard it, which was awesome. However, I don't think I could ever use a bike like that as anything but a dedicated track bike, so off it went.

I knew I needed to replace it with something that allowed me to ride in the way that, after spending 5 years aboard an SV650, had become second nature to me, but the motor head in me wanted MOAR POWER, and I didn't want to worry so much about having to inevitably upgrade suspension. I debated between the FZ-09, the Triumph Street Triple R, and the KTM Duke 690. What ended up winning me over to the FZ wasn't anything about the bike itself, but rather the excellent customer service of my local Yamaha dealership (Bohn Cycle Center in Pittsburgh, PA, a small family-owned dealership that's been in business since the 70s). Compared to the KTM and Triumph dealerships, they treated me like royalty, they took me at my word for everything, they sweetened the deal by throwing in a free premium helmet AFTER offering me a sweet OTD price, and they respected the fact that I had already done my research and was very knowledgeable about the bikes I was looking at. I put a deposit down on the FZ back in late November, and I picked it up from the dealer on Monday, Jan 13, 2014 on a day where the winter weather had subsided enough to actually ride the thing.



I only had the opportunity to log 18 miles before I had to garage it, but that 18 miles gave me enough input about the bike to let me know it was what I was looking for.

-It promotes bad behavior. I stopped at a Pizza Hut on the way home from the dealer to grab a bite to eat, and curb hopped my way out of the parking lot for no reason other than "just because."

-The jerky throttle IS as bad (to me, anyway) as some people say, but it is nothing I can't adapt to in the long run. I'd rather just send the ECU off to Stoltec though and be done with it.

-The motor is AWESOME and ridiculously powerful, but despite that, the bike is very forgiving. I had two near-crashes at low speed on the way home from the dealer (due to the new tires & brakes) which I was able to easily correct for and keep the bike from going down. On my Ninja I would have eaten pavement.

-The bike is EXTREMELY nimble and easy to maneuver through urban traffic.

-The suspension will require upgrades eventually, but unlike the SV650 I wouldn't quite say they're "mandatory" but rather "strongly recommended" and even then only for people who are intent on pushing the bike in corners. In city riding, the stock suspension, when adjusted, is adequate for my 200 lbs.

-Unlike on the Ninja, controlling it in cornering (even fairly spirited) doesn't require me to position my body in ways that are difficult due to my motor control problems.

Overall I am glad I bought the bike. It is my first NEW vehicle and I am confident that after a few light upgrades (suspension, ECU flash, windscreen, frame sliders) it will be everything I am looking for in a motorcycle. I am already more confident on it than I ever was on the Ninja, and I can confidently ride a good while on it before I reach a level of comfort where I feel suspension upgrades will become a necessity (although I'm gonna do them ASAP just to because).
 

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Well first of all glad you got the FZ09 and I want to congratulate you on your weight lost and getting back in shape program. That's pretty amazing! Look around here and you will find everything you need to improve your bike. I think Nick at Stoltec is right in your hood, or close by. Good flash tune will make things perfect and he is great help too for your suspension tuning.
 

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Congratulations! The orange is a very nice looking bike. I'm glad that you found a dealer providing excellent service. That's rare in my experience.

Have fun with the mods. I always recommend suspension first, because it improves rider control, which means more safe and fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Well first of all glad you got the FZ09 and I want to congratulate you on your weight lost and getting back in shape program. That's pretty amazing! Look around here and you will find everything you need to improve your bike. I think Nick at Stoltec is right in your hood, or close by. Good flash tune will make things perfect and he is great help too for your suspension tuning.
Thanks! Nick is actually located clear across the state. The trip is about the same time-wise as going from where you live to the Gainesville area (I grew up in Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and Ft Lauderdale areas so I know the area).

EDIT: Also, I will keep the mods light. I'm not a big fan of complete customization & overhaul. I believe a bike should be already 95% of exactly what I want and the only mods I do should be to squeeze that last 5% out of it =)
 

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Nice choice on bikes and good work getting in shape! You hear and read so much about how dangerous and bad for you motorcycles can be. But on the flip side think of how many people like yourself find the motivation because of motorcycles to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice choice on bikes and good work getting in shape! You hear and read so much about how dangerous and bad for you motorcycles can be. But on the flip side think of how many people like yourself find the motivation because of motorcycles to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
It's true. I had been obese since I was a teenager and never cared enough to do anything about it, because unlike with many people I wasn't really afflicted with low self esteem as a result of it. It didn't really hurt my self image. Riding presented an area where it needed to be rectified for practical purposes, and that gave me the push I needed to turn my life around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Probably the greatest thing about this bike to me, is the minimal amount of mods required to squeeze the maximum potential out of it for my skill level, and the fact that it allows me to completely fall back on riding style/technique/habits that developed from years of riding a Suzuki SV650. There's no real additional "thought" or "effort" required for this bike, like there was on the supersport, which (for me, anyway) required a totally alien riding style, a lot more effort, a lot more focus, and a lot more concentration. I had to pay so much attention to every little thing I was doing in terms of body movements and such, and it made riding downright scary (except, oddly enough, when I took it to the track, where everything just came naturally lol). Nothing ever really came naturally when riding it on the street, and even after nearly a year of ownership and logging a few thousand miles, I always found myself reverting to habits that you can only get away with on a bike like the old SV or the FZ with their broad powerbands and ergonomics that made them so much easier to control.
 

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Congrats!

-It promotes bad behavior. I stopped at a Pizza Hut on the way home from the dealer to grab a bite to eat, and curb hopped my way out of the parking lot for no reason other than "just because."
I can TOTALLY see myself doing this ;)
 

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WeaponZ,
did your bike come with the tank pads/grip?? I have the same orange bike, and I'm in the market for some tank grip!
 

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Welcome... Not only do we have similar taste in bikes.. but I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
WeaponZ,
did your bike come with the tank pads/grip?? I have the same orange bike, and I'm in the market for some tank grip!
No, I bought them via the Stoltec Moto group buy that happened back around October/November on this site. Stoltec seems to be quickly establishing themselves as the place to go for anything FZ-09 related, it seems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Welcome... Not only do we have similar taste in bikes.. but I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan!!!!
Haha, I'm actually not a football fan at all. I was born and raised in South Florida, and people down there (the natives, anyway) tend to not be as gung-ho about professional sports than in other US cities. Most of the people I knew growing up only knew who the big names in sports were because they were also pop culture figures.
 

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Haha, I'm actually not a football fan at all. I was born and raised in South Florida, and people down there (the natives, anyway) tend to not be as gung-ho about professional sports than in other US cities. Most of the people I knew growing up only knew who the big names in sports were because they were also pop culture figures.
Oh well... I won't hold that against you.. nobody's perfect.
 

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Congrats on the weight loss, that is quite an accomplishment for sure. Welcome back to the forum and congrats on the bike also. Nick @ Stoltec is a very valuable member here as well as a great vendor for FZ related things.
 

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Congratulations! Love your motivation, and agree with your thoughts. You deserve to enjoy many happy seasons adding to what you know.

The way you have started will have a positive impact on your experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Congratulations! Love your motivation, and agree with your thoughts. You deserve to enjoy many happy seasons adding to what you know.

The way you have started will have a positive impact on your experiences.
Thanks. I actually heard from a lot of people over on the ZX6R owners forum that I should completely give up riding because of how my "issues" complicated riding. However I knew I couldn't really pay attention to them because of the fact that these issues weren't really a factor on a sporty naked standard such as the SV. I can do just fine, just not on something so hard-edged and unforgiving as a supersport. And they couldn't wrap their brains around that it seemed =P
 

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Still keep your concertration level as high as possible, keep aware to maximum levels. It's dangerous out there and every single SUV and Minivan wants to kill us all. Or at least, I have convinced myself of that while riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Still keep your concertration level as high as possible, keep aware to maximum levels. It's dangerous out there and every single SUV and Minivan wants to kill us all. Or at least, I have convinced myself of that while riding.
Haha, of that I am aware =) I actually had a close call once with a Mercedes that was driving the wrong way down a one way street.
 

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WeaponZ,
did your bike come with the tank pads/grip?? I have the same orange bike, and I'm in the market for some tank grip!
Those pads can be purchased on 14+ FZ-09 Tech Specs Gripster Tank Pads | StoltecMoto just select snake skin and snake skin. I have them on my bike and they are amazing...they really add to the controllability of the bike

Welcome weapon zero! Congrats on all your hard work to loose weight and overcoming your neurological dysfunction. It seems like nothing can slow you down. Congratulations on finding your perfect bike! I feel that i have done the same...its exactly the bike i always wished i could ride.

This forum is also a great perk of owning a FZ09.
 
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Thanks for sharing your story. I find the thought process interesting that led to your selecting the FZ. I find the ergonomics of this bike work very well for me as well. I'm on the other end of the continuum as far as mods go. I can't leave anything alone. I try to resist this urge, but it's quite consuming. I too had an SV, I kept mine though. As time goes by, I may sell it. I still love that bike too. I did quite a bit of mods to get it right for me. Thanks again, and welcome.
 
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