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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone.
I'm a veteran cruiser rider looking for a fun alternative to my cruiser style and have found the FZ09 both fun and different.

Currently looking to possibly purchase soon.

Upon purchase immediate upgrades will include:
Rear seat cowl for some rider support
Small windscreen for esthetics
Fender eliminator to cleanup the rather ugly rear
Front signal replacement
LED headlight kit
Looking at a stunt cage for the looks and protection
M4 slip on or other based in what I can find but M4 sounds best
At a later date suspension work as I get more involved with cornering
At a later date controls upgrade for clutch and front brake.

Came to the mother load of information to ask for direct input from you all here about said items and to what seems to be reliable.

My first impressions of the bike when I test rode. Very nimble. Was able to start figure 8's in the parking lot. Quick snappy throttle. Solid feeling and strong engine. Soft suspension and a rather flat slippy seat. Snacthy brakes and solid feeling starting tires. Enough to please me to want to put money down to own in near future. Having rode it I find I want the indicated parts to cosmetics and ease of operation.

Thanks folks
 

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Every mod isn't suitable or necessary for every rider. Put some miles on the bike to get an idea which mods should take priority or be done at all. Coming from a cruiser background it may take awhile before you feel performance upgrades are necessary.
 

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If you weigh more than 150 lbs., suspension is the first thing that I would recommend. Suspension upgrades on this bike aren't just for hardcore riders, the first time I took a corner with a slight dip in the road it felt like the bike was trying to throw me off (some refer to it as the pogo-stick effect). An Ohlins shock cured that issue, I might upgrade the forks one day... but for now I am quite happy with just the shock upgrade. If you want long distance comfort (you mentioned being a veteran cruiser rider) a more comfortable seat would be next on the list. Frame and case sliders (or one of those ugly cages) are a good idea to protect the bike in case you do wreck. Most of the other things that you mentioned are cosmetic and would be of lower priority to me.
 

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My recommendation is to check out the used FZs in our classified section. Maybe you can have everything right away while saving a good chunk of change. Some really good setups have been posted there. Good luck.
 

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^^^ All good advice. Trust that these FZ owners know better through their experiences and of learning of others experiences here over the past year. Listen, listen, listen....You'll be grateful you did:cool:
 
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Rear seat cowl for some rider support -- Everyone loves the Ermax one, available in all colors except Rapid Red (Ermax Seat Cover for Yamaha FZ-09)

Small windscreen for aesthetics -- I like the Yamaha OEM one (Yamaha OEM parts page)

Fender eliminator to cleanup the rather ugly rear -- Graves makes a super slick one for just under $100 (Graves page)

Front signal replacement - Watsen has the brightest I've seen in person, they're on my list too!(Watsen Designs)

LED headlight kit -- AHR does a killer job! Customizable to your liking too (AHR's website / gallery)
 
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My recommendation is to check out the used FZs in our classified section. Maybe you can have everything right away while saving a good chunk of change. Some really good setups have been posted there. Good luck.
+1 a good place to start, unless you have your heart set on a new machine.

FZ-09 For Sale / Wanted

If you do go new, I'd recommend breaking it in first, do your research and find the mods you like. Once you have in some ride time you will get a better feel for what has to change. If you are going to be riding a lot of 2-up right away, you might want to consider upgrading the suspension first to handle two riders first. You might want to consider some other protection for the bike as well, axle sliders, handlebar sliders. How aggressive a stunt cage do you want and how much weight do you want to add to the bike? All things that you want to take into consideration. As there are quite a few options out there and new stuff popping up every day.

Like I said, put some miles under your belt, break it it, do some digging and see what you like and go from there.

new or used, you made a good choice.
 
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some others have hinted at this but i'll directly say - ride the bike first - after a few 100 miles you'll start to understand its quirks in how they relate to you body composition and overall riding style.

From there - you start the sickness of mods. Aesthetic mods are always the easiest - but you may change your mind on what you want after riding the bike for a bit (i.e. you may want that rear seat cowl, but you may find after riding that the seat sucks and want to replace it with something beefier rendering your rear seat cowl purchase useless).
 

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Every mod isn't suitable or necessary for every rider. Put some miles on the bike to get an idea which mods should take priority or be done at all. Coming from a cruiser background it may take awhile before you feel performance upgrades are necessary.
I was thinking the exact same thing. Kinda like firearms, get it, use it and then decide what to modify (other than purely cosmetic desires). I'm not suggesting that you won't want to or need to make any mods, but get some miles under you on the bike, especially given that its much different than what you're used to riding. You may find different priorities than you originally expected after several hundred miles and a dozen or so hours in the saddle/riding position.

Enjoy the bike, I love mine. Its a perfect compliment to my Triumph Speedmaster. I bought in the opposite order though, had the FZ-09 first, then the Speedy.

JW
 

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I found the stock bike to be a treat!
Your going from "feet first" (cruiser) to this bike will be fun in itself, probably.
A mod'd FZ09...just more treats making it very sweet.
Well worth your further consideration!

(ps: mods bring out rider's personality)
:violent5:
 

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Hello everyone.
I'm a veteran cruiser rider looking for a fun alternative to my cruiser style and have found the FZ09 both fun and different.

Currently looking to possibly purchase soon.

Upon purchase immediate upgrades will include:
Rear seat cowl for some rider support
Small windscreen for esthetics
Fender eliminator to cleanup the rather ugly rear
Front signal replacement
LED headlight kit
Looking at a stunt cage for the looks and protection
M4 slip on or other based in what I can find but M4 sounds best
At a later date suspension work as I get more involved with cornering
At a later date controls upgrade for clutch and front brake.

Came to the mother load of information to ask for direct input from you all here about said items and to what seems to be reliable.

My first impressions of the bike when I test rode. Very nimble. Was able to start figure 8's in the parking lot. Quick snappy throttle. Solid feeling and strong engine. Soft suspension and a rather flat slippy seat. Snacthy brakes and solid feeling starting tires. Enough to please me to want to put money down to own in near future. Having rode it I find I want the indicated parts to cosmetics and ease of operation.

Thanks folks
First off, what the riders who suggested suspension first may have overlooked is that you are a CRUISER rider just transitioning into sportbikes. You won't be leaning hard and scraping your knee on the concrete right off the bat. I've put thousands of miles on the stock suspension and upgrading it is next on my list, but I suggest you get to know the other idiosyncrasies of the bike before you tackle such a specific science. You may add or remove weight from the bike causing you to have to re-tune or even re-spring the suspension if you set it up right away. Eventually you will find the bike lacking in the turns, but not right off the bat. You're used to having tubes of vanilla pudding for a suspension and you manage to keep the rubber side down...

Although many would tell you to just search and read, I'll try and be helpful here for your first post on our forum. Here's my recommendations as specifically as I can muster for your questions:

Rear seat cowl, hold off. You'll hate the seat itself much like the rest of us. Most cowls that fit the stock seat wouldn't fit the aftermarket seats. Corbin makes the best seat for riding with a passenger (gunfighter + lady), Sargent makes a seat that a lot of people like which includes some minimal stowage, and there is a company called Seat Concepts that re-covers your seat that is designated as a vendor here.

I chose the Fabbri windscreen for my bike. It's just for show and really doesn't aerodynamically contribute in any worthwhile way, but it makes a great place to tuck a sandwich! Hah!

Fender eliminator you're best off just picking what you like the looks and legality of. Some totally remove anything that isn't the license plate, I kept one that looks good with lights on it because California laws.

I went with Graves front signals because it was months ago, but if I had it all to do again I would probably get the LED headlight and turn signals from TripageLED (another vendor here) along with the crap-ton of other LED things I'm planning to buy from him. Look at their stuff. If you add ANY LED's, you need a flasher module. I got one from customLED.com that works great, but I think Tripage has one that's plug-and-play as well now.

There is a super sexy engine cage built in Vegas by a guy named Kris Hidgon. PM me if you want his email address, I don't just want to post it up here. The last quote I saw was $400 for the cage, $50 for powder coat. Here's a picture of one of our forum members here with the prototype fit up and painted red:


Skip the M4, get the Akropovic carbon and steel race exhaust. Then get your ECU reprogrammed by whoever runs Stoltec's flash now. That's pretty much next on my list.

Levers are a personal thing, I won't even go near that one.

Get Spiegler steel front brake lines. It gets a bunch of spongy numbness out of firm braking. Well worth the money, and probably more bang for the buck than anything else I've done to my bike so far.

Lastly, GET NEW TIRES! At least a new rear. Mine left me on the side of the road at about 4200 miles, and it sucked for every single one of those. I have the Road 4 on the rear now and took it out in the rain yesterday. Night and day difference.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for you inputs so far.
This is the kind of feedback I was looking to hear from real riders and a primarily unbiased opinion.

I know coming from a cruiser background will be a different ride and I learned that up front from my initial test ride. However I have already learned the lack of suspension and some key elements I am looking to go after first thing.
I know the suspension is below par by every review and forum general discussion but most importantly from the ride I took, it dips both hard on decal with some grabbing of the brakes and throws you back with any blip or strong pull to the throttle.
I did look at the Corbin gunfighter single seat Corbin Motorcycle Seats & Accessories | Yamaha FZ-09 | 800-538-7035
Haven’t seen much about the Sargent seat.
The seat upgrade is a must because or cowling to start because I felt as if I was going to fly off the back as my current riding position gives me back side support under torque pull.
I don’t plan to ride two up any time soon and I ride daily with my cruiser so I have gotten used to riding single and this bike will be for me to ride in all conditions from street traffic to distance highway to canyons in CA where I live and have the ability and comfort.
Primarily my focus is rider comfort up front and ease of use. I like to have things streamlined so the signal upgrade and LED headlight are an absolute must in my eyes based on what I have been using on my cruiser. Plus the weight saving from the LED swap is worth every penny with ease of install for me.
Controls for me are highly sought after from a user friendly type of configuration using a two finger method on the grips versus all four will give me more reaction time in high traffic and since this will be new to me my level of error needs to be decreased and my area of time and space should be increased until I find a full comfort zone as I learn to be more stable and able.
The cage would be for esthetics and prevention. I like the look of the cage particularly because I was looking at some Ducati which utilize a similar type of frame system.

Thanks again so far
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rear seat cowl for some rider support -- Everyone loves the Ermax one, available in all colors except Rapid Red (Ermax Seat Cover for Yamaha FZ-09)

Small windscreen for aesthetics -- I like the Yamaha OEM one (Yamaha OEM parts page)

Fender eliminator to cleanup the rather ugly rear -- Graves makes a super slick one for just under $100 (Graves page)

Front signal replacement - Watsen has the brightest I've seen in person, they're on my list too!(Watsen Designs)

LED headlight kit -- AHR does a killer job! Customizable to your liking too (AHR's website / gallery)
Thanks for all the links to check out
 

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Welcome to the forum! I think you'll be happy with the bike regardless. A few things to note:

1. A stunt cage is not really appropriate for a street bike. Frame sliders are generally a better choice. Stunt cages may, in states that require an annual inspection, render your bike illegal for street use. In any case, for the street, a set of sliders like an OES kit or some Woodcrafts will generally do you a lot better.

2. The general consensus by FZ-09 owners is that, if you weigh more than a certain amount (in the neighborhood of 175 lbs or more), suspension upgrades are of high importance regardless of your experience level or how hard you plan on pushing the bike. I don't agree with that statement 100%, but I would definitely say it's a must if you ride at a pace that a cruiser can't match. If you're willing to spend about $1000 or so, you can get an Ohlins shock AND have the fork springs redone, which will essentially fix the bike's suspension woes. If you're not looking to spend that much, your only real option is to shoehorn a shock from a ZX10R or older model ZX6RR onto there, which, while not ideal, will work okay.

3. Coming from a cruiser, you're going to want to upgrade the seat ASAP. It should probably be your first mod along with frame sliders. You're used to a level of comfort that this bike, with its stock seat, can't even come close to matching and this bike is going to feel like a HUGE downgrade in that regard.

4. Tank pads by Stomp Grip or Tech Spec should be an early mod as well. Proper cornering on a motorcycle such as this requires gripping the tank with your thighs. Grip pads will help a LOT.

The rear seat cowls available for this bike offer no support and are an aesthetic mod only. Be aware of that before you consider getting one if that's your reason why.

For exhausts, the M4 is really the only mass-produced slip-on available for the bike. The bike's stock exhaust is one piece so you have to cut the thing in half to mount a slip-on. Because of this, many companies didn't bother with slip-ons and only produced full systems. I think Ixil makes one though too.

For the windscreen, if aesthetics are your only goal, the Rizoma and Yamaha ones are probably the way to go. Most everyone agrees that they're the best looking but least functional out there. They do literally nothing for wind protection but sure do look good!

Your bike is going to come with one of two brands of tires on it: Either Dunlops or Bridgestones. The Bridgestones are fine tires (albeit with VERY short tread life), but the Dunlops are horrible. If you are unfortunate enough to buy a bike with the Dunlops, don't wait until they're worn to replace them. That should be a high priority replacement. For replacement tires, I recommend sport touring tires rather than hardcore sport tires. The Dunlop Roadsmart II, Pirelli Angel GT, and Michelin Pilot Road 4 are generally regarded as the best. If you're looking to save some cash, the Bridgestone BT-023 is a good choice. It costs a little more than half the cost of the others without sacrificing too much for quality.
 

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Welcome to the forum! I think you'll be happy with the bike regardless. A few things to note:

1. A stunt cage is not really appropriate for a street bike. Frame sliders are generally a better choice. Stunt cages may, in states that require an annual inspection, render your bike illegal for street use. In any case, for the street, a set of sliders like an OES kit or some Woodcrafts will generally do you a lot better.

2. The general consensus by FZ-09 owners is that, if you weigh more than a certain amount (in the neighborhood of 175 lbs or more), suspension upgrades are of high importance regardless of your experience level or how hard you plan on pushing the bike. I don't agree with that statement 100%, but I would definitely say it's a must if you ride at a pace that a cruiser can't match. If you're willing to spend about $1000 or so, you can get an Ohlins shock AND have the fork springs redone, which will essentially fix the bike's suspension woes. If you're not looking to spend that much, your only real option is to shoehorn a shock from a ZX10R or older model ZX6RR onto there, which, while not ideal, will work okay.

3. Coming from a cruiser, you're going to want to upgrade the seat ASAP. It should probably be your first mod along with frame sliders. You're used to a level of comfort that this bike, with its stock seat, can't even come close to matching and this bike is going to feel like a HUGE downgrade in that regard.

4. Tank pads by Stomp Grip or Tech Spec should be an early mod as well. Proper cornering on a motorcycle such as this requires gripping the tank with your thighs. Grip pads will help a LOT.

The rear seat cowls available for this bike offer no support and are an aesthetic mod only. Be aware of that before you consider getting one if that's your reason why.

For exhausts, the M4 is really the only mass-produced slip-on available for the bike. The bike's stock exhaust is one piece so you have to cut the thing in half to mount a slip-on. Because of this, many companies didn't bother with slip-ons and only produced full systems. I think Ixil makes one though too.

For the windscreen, if aesthetics are your only goal, the Rizoma and Yamaha ones are probably the way to go. Most everyone agrees that they're the best looking but least functional out there. They do literally nothing for wind protection but sure do look good!

Your bike is going to come with one of two brands of tires on it: Either Dunlops or Bridgestones. The Bridgestones are fine tires (albeit with VERY short tread life), but the Dunlops are horrible. If you are unfortunate enough to buy a bike with the Dunlops, don't wait until they're worn to replace them. That should be a high priority replacement. For replacement tires, I recommend sport touring tires rather than hardcore sport tires. The Dunlop Roadsmart II, Pirelli Angel GT, and Michelin Pilot Road 4 are generally regarded as the best. If you're looking to save some cash, the Bridgestone BT-023 is a good choice. It costs a little more than half the cost of the others without sacrificing too much for quality.
Great post in so many ways....Except, when it comes to screens made specifically for the FZ09, I think Puig is The S**t -- the sport screen was my choice and I found it "completed" the '09's look, and was also plenty functional.:)
 

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Welcome to the Best dang'ed Forum on the whole internet. I hope you buy and enjoy your FZ-09. I question the idea of a rear seat cowl for some rider support. Maybe the other members could help me, and you, but I have not seen a rear seat cowl for some rider support for this bike. What would it look like? A bar stool at Shoney's? You lean forward on the bike, a little bit, I could use a tummy platform somtines, after I hit the two day old chicken bits buffet at the Pick-n-Pay. Are you planning to put some Highway pegs on your bike, so you can channel your inner woman on the GYN/OBG table? I've read you post again and a windscreen of esthetics is and oxymoron, a windscreen is for... wind. And if you think the rear end is ugly, buy a different bike, I wouldn't date a lady if I thought her rear end was ugly. If you think a stunt cage looks good, I can make you a deal on a shark cage that I bought on close out, and welded up to the FZ-09 will make it look like one of those gay BMW scooters. Your other ideas are great, change out the turn signals that you just bought so you can chop up the wires, and then try to figure out what is the proper load for the LED's, you do have a multi-meter, and know how to use it, right? Also believe it or not the motor sounds , just fine. if you want it louder, just put your IPhone in your back pocket and Bluetooth it to the headset in you helmet, Awesome Dude! You have saved hundreds! And don't worry about when you get involved with cornering , they are at every corner, so they will help you. Your Pal Al
 

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As far as used vs. new, 2015's will have smoother throttle action in standard mode, but a reflash by either vcyclenut or whoever is doing Stoltec's now is better yet.
For tires hope for one with Bridgestones.
For a windscreen I went with a Puig touring screen (not much bigger than a small sport screen). See Thread: Aerodynamics of Puig Touring Screen

http://www.fz09.org/forum/13-fz-09-gear-accessories/5060-aerodynamics-puig-touring-screen.html

I used the ability of the FZ09 to display fuel mileage as a poor man's wind tunnel in order to document a slight improvement in aerodynamics.

I feel the step in my Sargent seat holding me from sliding farther back and it's way more comfortable than stock. They are supposedly developing a seat cowl to go with it, but apparently still not yet available.
 

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If you weigh more than 150 lbs., suspension is the first thing that I would recommend. Suspension upgrades on this bike aren't just for hardcore riders, the first time I took a corner with a slight dip in the road it felt like the bike was trying to throw me off (some refer to it as the pogo-stick effect). An Ohlins shock cured that issue, I might upgrade the forks one day... but for now I am quite happy with just the shock upgrade. If you want long distance comfort (you mentioned being a veteran cruiser rider) a more comfortable seat would be next on the list. Frame and case sliders (or one of those ugly cages) are a good idea to protect the bike in case you do wreck. Most of the other things that you mentioned are cosmetic and would be of lower priority to me.

This is definitely my opinion as well. suspension first. everything else later.
 

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I went with the Puig Touring Screen versus the Puig Sport Screen for its slightly taller profile. The top edge of the Sport model is an inch or so below the top of the instrument cluster and the Touring model is a bit above the cluster. The increase in height should also block a bit more wind shear from your upper torso. I haven't tested mine yet because of our winter weather. When I do, I will know where that wind shear ends up and if it buffets my helmet, I'll start reducing the height by trimming off the top edge and testing it. I've included three shots of the Puig Touring screen.
 

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