Niall's Spin: Yamaha FZ1 Fazer

The FZ1 Fazer may look striking but lacks some certain detail...

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TUESDAY EVENING IS bike meet night at Bassetts Pole in Staffordshire. On my last visit it was a new Fazer with a US-market black and yellow paint job that got my vote for the best looking bike in the car park.

Even in standard colours I believe this bike has some of the best styling to grace our roads this year. The front view, dash and exhaust are particularly pleasing. Apart from limited ground clearance it's satisfying to ride too, with great poise whether you're pushing hard on A or B roads, or cruising down the M5. We had a great trip earlier this year around Somerset and the North Devon coast where I desperately wanted to fall in love with our long-term FZ1 Fazer, but it was never going to happen.

While overall engine power is just right the much written about snatchy throttle response constantly spoils the riding experience. It infiltrates your brain too - the more you try to ignore it the more you focus on it. Tim makes me smile because he's trying to love his Fazer and with the help of NASA has embarked on a mission to eliminate the problem.

Yamaha could have had one of their best bikes ever if only they had slotted in an untampered-with R1 motor at the outset.