Seven 1,000cc streetbikes with no fairings, low top speeds and stacks of attitude. With your head stuck out in the breeze 100mph really feels like 100mph - welcome back to proper biking
Everyone deserves a second chance. Well, possibly not everyone. Hitler probably got what was coming to him but on the whole I'm all for forgive and forget. Which is why I wanted to give Yamaha's FZ-1 another shot.
I was there in late 2005 when Yamaha first unveiled their new streetbike with the R1 motor. Hell yes! Then I rode it. Hell no! What a shonker, horrible fuel injection and a rock-solid rear shock that tried to compact any poo in your lower intestine into diamonds every time you hit a bump. What a let down, what a waste.
But for 2007 Yamaha has subtly tweaked and it's better, much better. The FZ-1 is now a bike that can be ridden without its faults driving you to distraction. This year the fuel injection is now about as good as the other bikes. It's not perfect and the KTM, Ducati and Triumph lead the way when it comes to smooth throttle response, but the engine still annoys me. I guess it depends on where you are coming from. If you're buying a streetbike because a sports 1,000 scares you then the lack of umph low down with the FZ-1 isn't going to be an issue. But if, like me, you want a naked bike to pull like a beast low down then it will piss you off. On the motorway at 90mph in top the Yamaha is just reaching it's 7,000rpm sweet spot. Why on earth do you want that in a 1,000cc streetbike?
No, give me the Z1000 with its gigantic thrust of low down grunt anytime. I'll happily sacrifice top end for bottom end power. The only bike that was worse than the FZ-1 low end was the MV, it had the feeling that something had been wedged into its intakes to restrict bottom end. A piece of expensive parmesan cheese, perhaps?
But at least the chassis worked on the Yamaha, unlike the rock solid MV. The rear shock feels better (I'd put money on a softer spring) and it's a good handling bike. It's not as sharp as the KTM or Tuono but it feels good in corners.
I want a streetbike that has instant punch, great styling, doesn't need to be revved and is fun because of it, which is why I'd have the Speed Triple or Super Duke. The Triumph's triple engine gives me exactly what I want while the chassis, soft seat and excellent suspension give me the ride quality my delicate bum deserves. The KTM just makes me smile, a lot. Last year I wrote exactly the same thing about the Z1000, it needed more bottom end. The 2007 Zed model has it, and hopefully Yamaha will do the same to the FZ-1 next year or even sooner. Until then, thanks, but I'll pass.
Continue for the Ducati Monster S4R Review - 7/9
TYPE - STREETBIKEPRODUCTION DATE - 2007PRICE NEW - £7199ENGINE CAPACITY - 988ccPOWER - 137.7bhp @ 11,900rpmTORQUE - 67.2lb.ft @ 9600rpm WEIGHT - 216kg (WET)TOP SPEED - 153.6mph
Posted: 02/06/2008 at 20:40
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 07:01
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 12:15
I had a CB1000.
It was nice but no Tuono or even GSX14 beater I'm afraid mate.
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 12:55
Isn't a test of new naked 1 liter bikes a bit pointless without the new Honda cbr1000r ?
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 18:06
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote (see)
I´ve never seen an article where the Z wonac omparision against those great bikes - you can ´t be serious. The Z will never win against bikes like Tuono, Speedy or Superduke. Those 3 are the best naked-bikes in the world - no di scussion about that.
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 18:09
T509Speedy wrote (see)
Dunno the Z1000 can hold its own, its a lot of bike for the money, my mates was making 127BHP at the back wheel after he modded the air box.
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 18:17
The new Z1000's are only 5 years old and you cant compare them to the old Z's.
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 18:42
...still old compared with the modern kit. What I was trying to say was that Kawasaki tried to recreate the popularity of the old z1000 with the new one ...and failed.
If they vamped it up a bit and put a detuned zx10 motor in it, decent brakes and suspension and re-styled it might sell a bit better, as it is currently it has no chance of selling against the more modern 1 liter nakeds like the Tuono or new Honda (blade engine, blade brakes, blade suspension).
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 18:54
I thought it was a tuned up ZX9R Engine, brakes on my mates one worked well, the engine went like a loony and the suspension and handling was pretty damn good.
Lets be honest put it up against a Hornet 900 or a bandit 1200 and it blows them both away.
If I were to pick a big naked Jap bike the Z1000 would be the one I would look at first.
I rarely take reviews with slightly more credit than a pinch of salt, in reality theirs probably very little difference between the top three, its more of a case of what suites you sir rather than any of them being vastly different.
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 21:07
Are we talking about the NEW Z1000? The one with radial brakes and, according to my mate who has just bought an 08 R1, all the faults from the one before fixed and if he had ridden it when he traded his last (06) Z1000 in for the R1, he wouldnt have bought the R1. We have just come back from France on a bike holiday with both the R1 and a new (see 2 days before we left) Z1000, he reckons the brakes on his R1 are good, the ones on the Zed are just rediculously powerful. The handling is awesome, smooth power delivery, good turn in, stable on the edges of the tyres, etc, etc.
Posted: 03/06/2008 at 22:26
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd. 2014 This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk