When a new bike comes out and the motoring journalists get their hands on it, they give you the story in the midst of the hype of the excitement. You get to hear about all of the things that the new bike does and how you are able to torque the front wheel off of the road with just a vigorous twist of the throttle. The mere hours that they got to spend on the bike testing all of the high points of the bike that have been touted by the manufacturer are not enough to tell the real story. The thrill of the acceleration, and the editorial flourishes that come with a short-lived summer romance with a motorcycle that sell magazines, get clicks, and entices readers into this endorphine rich love affair.
Fast forward 4 months, 6 months, 8 months. The romance is over. Sure you still grin when you really give her the beans when there is a gap in traffic. When she is all done up after a thorough wash and shine and sits in the driveway giving you that "come hither" look. Most often she has a decent coat of dust on her, and for the most part, she has been relegated to a good MPG-ing, always set to B mode, commuter. Why did the jouros all tell me that my hair would be on fire the whole time I was in the saddle?
Let me tell you. First, they want to be invited back to the next year's product release. Second, it is fun to ride a new bike, no matter what it is, especially if it is someone else's bike and you are riding it for FREE! Third, they want you to read their review, so they spice it up and tell you that you must have the bike and it is the best thing since sliced bread. That is not the exhaustive list, but that is a few reasons.
Enter the "Living with it" review. Undoubtedly, one of the testers will be smitten enough to actually purchase the bike and ride it. Day in. Day out. Really get to know the machine. This is one of the most honest and yet still favorable reviews that I have read about the FZ09. It was performed by TeamZilla's Lead Editor (I know! I thought that they just sold helmets and gear too! I guess they are spreading their wings.), Sean MacDonald.
Here is why you should read it really... It may or may not reference a guy that many of you might be familiar with. I know that I have talked to this guy on several occasions, and he is a great dude! This could be really cool for him as well!
A snippet follows:
TeamZilla said:The Yamaha FZ-09 is one of the most exciting bikes released in the past year. It may not have the insane numbers of something like the KTM Super Duke 1290 or the sex appeal of the BMW R nineT, but at $8,000, the bang-for-your-buck value is at the top of the charts. I’ve been living with one for about six months now, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
Saying this bike has incredible bang-for-your-buck value in no way means that the FZ-09 is either a budget motorcycle or boring in any way. We’re not talking about a sport-styled motorcycle with a watered-down, standard-styled engine. We’re talking about a legitimate urban sportbike.
The FZ-09 was designed basically from scratch, from the ground up, save for a few things like the blinkers and grips. The 847cc triple features tons of ingenuity, like uneven-length intake funnels to help broaden the torque curve and injectors bolted directly to the cylinder head to fire exactly where needed to improve throttle feel and keep the engine more compact.
If you want to read more about all the various specs, Yamaha’s product page has all the numbers you’ll ever need, plus a nice page discussing all of the various features. They were covered ad nauseum at the bike’s release and in all of the first-ride reports, so I’m not going to make you read them again. Here’s what you need to know: 414 pounds full of fuel, 115 horsepower, 65 foot-pounds of torque, 45 mpg.
As I sat in the airport waiting for my flight home from the launch, a colleague called and asked me how the ride went. This bike had created a ton of buzz when it was announced, and everyone was curious to see how it stacked up.
"It’s the best thing ever!" I responded. "It’s absolutely incredible and blows everything else like it out of the water, and that’s before you factor in price. It’s also basically un-rideable and feels like it could be trying to kill me. This thing is so close. Someone just has to get it sorted."
After the initial launch, all of us journo-types had the same response. The fueling is extremely hard to modulate, especially in the transition from closed to open throttle, but also just in general. The suspension is way too soft and gets unsorted incredibly easy, and the front end dives to almost comical lengths under any sort of braking. The front brake has decent strength, but feels really squishy. Other than that, it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever ridden. The torque is downright addicting and a handful of throttle always results in the biggest, stupidest grin you’ve ever seen. It’s a gorgeous bike aesthetically, the price is unbeatable, and there’s nothing else with that kind of power in that size.
I was in Philly this last week for a bunch of meetings with Anthony and the rest of the gang at the mothership. I walked in the door Monday morning and Eric, our resident track guru, grabbed me first thing and said he’d finally gotten a ride on the FZ. His response?
"Dude, I read your first-ride review when the bike launched and just thought you guys we’re trying to nitpick because, you know, you’re journalists. You were spot on. It both makes me want to sell my Street Triple and also makes me kind of terrified for my life. It could be so good though."
Read More: 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 long-term test - RevZilla