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  • March 18, 2014
  • Dirck Edge
  • Chris Rubino, Willy Ivins and Dirck Edge
  • 218 Comments

2014 Yamaha FZ-09: MD Ride Review

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The 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 promises a lot when you look at the specification sheet. 414 pounds wet, an in-line triple displacing 847 cc, and crank horsepower and torque that easily trumps Triumph’s universally praised Street Triple. At the press launch (look back at our press launch report for all of the technical details of the machine), we were very impressed with the FZ-09, particularly the engine power, both peak power and the power spread. Our only real concerns were with throttle response and the stock suspension settings. After a fairly lengthy street test, these remain our two primary concerns with this remarkably affordable new motorcycle from Yamaha (U.S. MSRP $7,990).

The FZ-09 is a small motorcycle. It is not only light, it is narrow and with a relatively low seat height by today’s standards. The rider’s triangle is also quite tight, with the bars, seat and pegs adding to the sense of a small machine. Taller riders might find the ergos too tight, but our test riders (5′ 11” being the tallest) found the FZ fairly comfortable.

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The instrumentation, although quite thorough (it even includes a gear position indicator), can be faulted where it requires the rider to scroll through options to get to an engine temperature display. We would prefer motorcycles to display engine temperature at all times, for obvious reasons. We found the built-in trip computer to be optimistic to the tune of about 4 miles per gallon, but the speedometer is very accurate.

The new triple created by Yamaha makes great sounds and, even more important, great power from idle through to redline. It is hard to overstate how impressed we are with the power Yamaha has squeezed out of this 847 cc motor. Coupled with the light weight of the bike as a whole, the FZ-09 is extremely quick, particularly around town where its acceleration, at first, can even be quite startling. This is why the FZ-09 can be such a blast to ride for a skilled pilot that can use what it has to offer.

Living with the fuel injection issues we pointed out in our initial riding impression was annoying, to say the least. With three engine maps available, including Standard, A and B, we frequently chose the softer power output of B, robbing the bike of much of its grin inducing acceleration, simply because the Standard and A positions were far too sensitive, and abrupt, in response to throttle position changes. Indeed, both Standard and A are so sensitive that bumps transferred through the suspension to the handlebars can lead to very slight throttle position changes (the ride-by-wire throttle has a very light return spring), and an unintended lurch forward or appearance of engine braking, depending on which direction your wrist moved.

When you are in the mood to ride aggressively and you are “in the zone”, Map A is a blast, so long as you open the throttle “sweetly” (to borrow a phrase from Valentino). If you are just cruising around, however, Map B might be your best choice.

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Running several tanks of gasoline through the bike, our mileage varied from 38 to 47 mpg, with an average in the low 40′s.

We found ourselves essentially maxing out the suspension settings, dialing in as much preload and rebound damping as the FZ-09 permitted (rebound was not quite maxed on the shock) just as Yamaha did with all of the press bikes on Day 2 of the press introduction. This was an effort to get the soft stock suspension firm enough for fast, aggressive riding, and to work appropriately with all that engine power and quick throttle response.

The stock suspension is simply too soft, particularly the fork. The fork springs are much too light, and even with spring preload cranked all the way down, aggressive riding could be too much for the front end to handle. Rebound damping becomes an issue as the spring preload is maxed out, as well. With the spring squished by the preload caps, the fork wanted to rebound too quickly, but we had run out of rebound damping adjustment to deal with it.

The shock is not so bad, but aggressive riding, once again, probably calls for max spring preload in the back, and close to the maximum rebound damping.

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A fast, experienced rider is simply going to want stiffer suspension settings than are available stock on the FZ-09. The chassis balance feels like it is good, but the suspension really limits how hard the bike can be pushed.

Yamaha got other details right, including a slick-shifting six-speed transmission, a positive, easily modulated clutch, and good brakes. Despite this, we think the front brake would benefit greatly from a more aggressive pad compound.

Weight balance appears about right, although the relatively short wheelbase and powerful engine will lift the front wheel from time-to-time if the rider is accelerating aggressively. We would really like to try the bike with dialed-in suspension to fully assess the chassis performance, however.

In the end, we found the Yamaha FZ-09 a somewhat frustrating riding experience. The engine is brilliant, except for the fueling issues, and the chassis appears to have great potential, but it couldn’t be pushed as hard as we would like during our testing due to the overly soft suspension. A “Diamond in the Rough”, perhaps, presenting a few issues to be sorted with the money you saved as a result of the low MSRP.

For additional details and specifications, visit Yamaha’s web site.

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218 Comments

  1. PN says:

    I don’t understand the negative comments. Maybe if Yamaha built the bikes for free some readers would be happy. The suspension may not be track ready but so what? Yamaha knows how crappy the roads are in America and that most any stock bike is way beyond the riding ability of anyone but a pro. I would enjoy the new FZ09 for what it is: a fun, affordable bike you could ride fast anywhere.

  2. mickey says:

    Well the new Motorcyclist hit the mailbox today so I flipped to the back to see how Henning is making out with his FZ09. He took it to a shop that specializes in reflashing FZs. Spent $200. Says it worked above 4500 rpms ” though response below 4500 is as it was, which is to say abrupt”. He also spent $350 making the front brakes better, has some new springs for the front end he hasn’t installed yet, and is looking for a reasonably priced shock for the rear end. Have to wait another month to find out more.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “He took it to a shop that specializes in reflashing FZs. Spent $200.”

      or did he get beat for $200…? can he get a refund…?

      re: “Says it worked above 4500 rpms” though response below 4500 is as it was, which is to say abrupt”.

      right then, jury’s still out on those ECU reflashes. what I find most interesting is that people seem to be under the notion that there’s some kind of “hidden magic” in these boxes and it’s just sitting there waiting to be unlocked…? disturbing (even without the warranty implications). smacks of “jailbreaking” smart phones, except these aren’t smartphones.

      • mickey says:

        Fact of the matter is it can’t, even by a shop that specializes in it, be fixed with a simple $100 reflash. Or a $200 reflash for that matter.

        Some of the guys that have those cheap easy miracle cures should write Ari Henning at Motorcyclist magazine or the guys at Cycle World and let them know how they can fix theirs cheaply and easily.

        Btw no one has figured out how to get around the Speed Limiter on the CB 1100 yet since 2010, and nobody is even TALKING about the speed limiter on the FZ-09.

        • Norm G. says:

          that pretty much sums up my feelings. not saying they’re definitive anything, i’m sure there are certain things it’d be nice for a user to disable like flapper valves (ZX14) and FI lights (CBR600) and such, but there seems to be a whole “snake oil” vibe when you start talking about touching a manu’s 3D map…? yeah, only if I were were Stanboli or Burgess.

        • Yoyodyne says:

          There are numerous people on the fz09.org forum who have gotten the Stoltec reflash for $100.00 and have reported excellent results. Are you calling them liars?

          They own the bike, they have ridden the bike. Somehow I find their opinions a little more convincing than those of Internet wags who have no direct experience with the bike.

          • mickey says:

            Not at all, just reported what was written in motorcyclist magazine. Are you calling them liars?

          • mickey says:

            May 2014 issue page 98 if you care to read it yourself

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Are you calling them liars?”

            yes, yes I am actually.

            some are liars, the others are simply individuals who really don’t know if it’s improved one way or the other…?

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Somehow I find their opinions a little more convincing than those of Internet wags who have no direct experience with the bike.”

            http://s62.photobucket.com/user/shamarone/media/IMG_1926_zpsde9143ba.jpg.html

            http://s62.photobucket.com/user/shamarone/media/6e5cdc51-6633-43c9-9861-c93f0644ed39_zpsd8e33361.jpg.html

            for the record, not everyone who owns an FZ9 engages in the monkey see/monkey do “group think” so rife on brand/model specific forums.

          • VLJ says:

            Yoyodyne, those same internet people you’re referencing are also internet wags. The difference is, unlike motojournos who are paid to be at least a skosh more objective and accountable, your internet types have a vested interest in justifying their investment. People don’t like to admit that they may have spent their money unwisely, so they claim easy fixes.

            It’s human nature.

          • Yoyodyne says:

            Ari Henning did not review the Stoltec mod; his experience with whatever flash mod he tried is not directly relevant to discussions of the Stoltec mod. Mickey makes a blanket condemnation of ALL flash mods without knowledge or experience of the specific parameters addressed in the Stoltec mod of the FZ-09, thus rendering his comments irrelevant.

            If anything, the owners of FZ-09s would have a vested interest in denying the existence of any throttle problems with their $8000 motorcycles, yet many owners have voiced clear dissatisfaction with the bike’s throttle response. Yet we are to believe that these same owners suddenly become liars and deniers of reality in order to justify their $100 investment in the Stoltec mod?

          • mickey says:

            Yoyodyne, it doesn’t matter if you think what i say is invalid, because the point remains, IF it could be fixed with a simple reflash why wouldn’t Yamaha have put out a product which makes it unnecessary for buyers to take their bikes to a specialist to make run right? It is a flawed product and one which never should not have made it to the market as is. every single report I’ve read about this machine complains about it. Not just one, every one. There is a problem… And yamaha should be on the hook to fix it.

            If this bike comes out in an ADV or ST version, who will want to ride it when the throttle is jerky and only runs smoothly in B mode or above 4500 rpms?

            Another fact is that Yamaha did the same thing with the Gen 2 2006 FZ-1, a bike with terrible fueling and Yamaha again refused to make it right but by 2009 produced the same bike with good fueling. If riders let manufacturers off the hook they will continue to give us mediocre equipment and expect the consumer to fix it on his own.

            More examples the absolute ton of thermostat failures and secondary master cylinder failures on ST 1300 Hondas. The final drive failures on BMWs who refused to acknowledge there was a problem but eventually started making bikes with final drives that didn’t fall apart.

          • Yoyodyne says:

            If a manufacturer could fix a problem, but doesn’t, does that prove (sic) that it is impossible for anyone to fix it?

            Good thing Dynojet and Factory didn’t accept that POV years ago, otherwise loads of bikes with over-lean carburetion would not be running fine now. Good thing Progressive and Racetech didn’t buy into that either, otherwise the endless numbers of bikes with too-soft forks wouldn’t be handling fine now.

            And good thing many KTM owners disagreed with that “logic” too; they bought throttle tubes with tapered pulleys to tame the overly-aggressive throttle response of bikes like the Super Duke 990, and ended up with exceptionally fun bikes to ride.

            The FZ-09 is a first-year bike with some teething problems, imagine that! Yamaha is certainly not being let off the hook for these problems, reviewers and owners alike have called out Yamaha for just these issues. But people can either forgo a bike that offers incredible value because of these issues, or fix the issues and enjoy their new motorcycles.

            There’s a wealth of information about the Stoltec mod on the fz09.org, if you are truly interested you could go there and learn for yourself what the mod does. On that site you’ll also learn that taking up excessive slack in the throttle cable (yes, even though it’s ride-by-wire it still has a physical cable) significantly ameliorates the throttle snatchiness.

            My guess (and it is only a guess, as I don’t present speculation as “fact”), is that Yamaha gave the FZ-09 an aggressive throttle response in keeping with the bike’s character, and they simply overdid it. They may fix it soon, they may not. It took years for Triumph to tame the abrupt throttle response of the Street Triple. In the meantime, people who are actually interested in riding the 09 (rather than constantly denigrating it) look for a fix and then go about enjoying their bike.

    • mickey says:

      no one is saying it CAN’T be fixed…what people are saying is it shouldn’t be on the owner to find some way to fix it.

      • Yoyodyne says:

        Your previous statement:

        “Fact of the matter is it can’t, even by a shop that specializes in it, be fixed with a simple $100 reflash. Or a $200 reflash for that matter.”

        • mickey says:

          I didn’t say it couldn’t be fixed..I said it couldn’t be fixed with a simple reflash. I visited 3 different MT 09/FZ09 forums today. From what I read a reflash and something else “helped”. It appears there are bigger problems than just abrupt running. Seems like half the threads involved ticking and rattling from faulty cam chains/tensioners, quite a few were having starting problems,some thought they had clogged injectors. It may be a perfectly fine motorcycle for some people. I am glad I don’t own one though. I dont care how cheap it is, if it doesn’t run right when I ride it off the showroom floor, it’s no bargain to me.

    • Blackcayman says:

      this thread is headed for the same fame as the suspension thread

  3. Agent55 says:

    Definitely planning to pick one of these up used at some point. I understand the article’s criticism, but I think the author is forgetting the exceptionally low MSRP of this bike along with it’s intended mission; 100% street bike.

    I remember my SV650 being all mushy and so-so on the brakes. But for street use, even really hard street riding, I loved it! Forced me to ride smoother and was a worthy compromise for how comfy the suspension was for normal commuting.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I understand the article’s criticism, but I think the author is forgetting the exceptionally low MSRP of this bike”

      the author’s last words…

      “A Diamond in the Rough, perhaps, presenting a few issues to be sorted with the money you saved as a result of the low MSRP.”

  4. mickey says:

    So of all the posters, are George and OhNiner the only two who have actually bought one?

    • RichBinAZ says:

      Hi Mickey, I have one – great bike that does need a few things sorted. But it is a great – game changing bike.

      Yamaha is trying to go with a world standard suspension oil (0W) and it is wrong for this bike. Put 10W in and the front works nicely and I bet the rear shock would also. Problem with the rear shock is I don’t know how to recharge it after dismantling it. No spring changes required, but you do need a spring compressor to change the fork oil.

      The fuelling is a bit sensitive, but I expect that with FI, so no problem really.

      I’m waiting for the replacement camchain tensioner to cure the rattle it has, apparently they are on back order.

      The horn button is in the wrong place, but as the stock horn is useless…

      Not mentioned here (I didn’t read all the posts) is the hard seat, once I have recovered from the shock of buying the new rear shock, I will get the seat refoam kit. I hear it levels it out and softens it up.
      47mpg commuting, could be higher with different sprockets.

      • xlayn says:

        “I’m waiting for the replacement camchain tensioner to cure the rattle it has”
        This is really bad :(, I know suspension and brakes and FI is ok, 100 percenters here will comply anyway but the camchain tensioner that’s really bad and expensive to change, we should not open the engine on a what’s a brand new machine, hopefully your motorcycle a lemon.

        • Yoyodyne says:

          It’s not really bad, more an annoying noise than anything that harms the bike.

          It’s a free repair under warranty.

          The CCT is accessible from the outside of the engine, takes only minutes to replace.

  5. Chris says:

    Hi all. I Agree about the High Revving engines of today. The Engine in my 2010 Yamaha Majesty (YP400) runs 5-6k RPM at Highway Speed. It will Rev up to about 9K RPM. With about 7,000 Highway Miles it runs fine. The Majesty uses a 400cc, Single Cylinder.

    Haven’t checked my Valve Clearances yet. Its one of those Shim under Bucket setups. I may check it when I reach 10k Miles later this year.

  6. JR says:

    Regarding the FZ-09 design. Have fun spending hours or lots of your cash attempting to re-shim valve adjustments, let alone how many parts you need to be remove just to get to the valve cover. Then every 250 miles you can fool around maintaining the antiquated rear chain drive. Also keep telling yourself that any engine that can spin over 10,000 RPM will last a long time and won’t sound like junk before it’s even paid off. Do some research on the subject as I have.

    • Dave says:

      How does that differ from any of the dozens of other chain drive, shim under bucket valved high performance bikes out there?

      Yamaha’s valve adj. intervals are some of the longest in the business. O-ring chains are simple, light efficient, reliable and cheap. Nobody rides around at 10k all the time and there’s no reason to think this engine would deal with that any differently than any other high performance multi.

      You don’t like it. We get it. Why post?

      • GearDrivenCam says:

        I agree with Dave. JR – your post is an enigma wrapped within an enigma. What is it about the FZ-09′s design that’s really different than virtually any other bike? Screw type adjusters might be easier to work on – but you typically have to do it much more frequently. O-ring chains wear really slowly – just clean and lube them regularly and they’ll last a long time. And 10,000 rpm in this day isn’t an outrageous RPM for a motorcycle.

        Unless you were just attempting to be incredibly sarcastic. If that’s the case – I get your humour. That’s pretty funny.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      You’re the same guy that feels this should be an air-cooled, pushrod motor to be worth anything, right? Clearly you haven’t done much research on the subject, yourself.

      Valve adjustments – that is 26K miles on this bike. You’ll spend more time changing rockerbox gaskets and spark plugs on a Buell XB engine during that mileage.

      A chain is a very reliable drive system that easily allows gearing changes. Chains also don’t have the tendency to snap randomly or burst into flames. I’ve had them all, and a chain drive is my favorite despite needing to lube it every now and then. I like belts, too, but chains better.

      I know plenty of people with high revving, performance-oriented motorcycles with 100K+ miles on them. How many 100K-mile air-cooled Buells do you know of? Probably not many.

    • George says:

      I guess you speak from experience? I’ve had many motorcycles that rev to 10k and beyond and they last many years. It is all about keeping them maintained.

      Properly cared for o-ring chain should last 40k miles and does not require adjustment every 250 miles.

      I’ve ridden several bikes that rev past 10k rpm or more and have well past 60k miles on them and were still smooth and ran fine.

      I have owned several that fit that description over the last 30 years.

      Most bikes don’t last because they are not cared for and maintained. Same is true for any bike, car or machine. They all need maintenance or they will not last.

    • DaveA says:

      This post has very little relationship to reality. The valve adjustment interval is 26,000 miles, which is an idustry-leading number. Also, history has shown that Yamaha sporting motors rarely need any adjustment at those intervals…you might need to buy 5 or 6 shims in 100,000+ miles.

      The access to the head is easier than pretty much any sport bike.

      Anyone who spends time maintaining a chain every 250 miles is mentally ill.

      A buddy of mine raced a CBR600F3. This bike was never ridden on the street…spent it’s whole life over 9,000 RPM. The bike redlines (I had to look this stuff up) at 13,300 RPM, with a rev limiter set at the factory at 16,000 RPM. This bike was raced and used at track days for 14 years before the motor was refreshed, and it still ran fine when he finally decided to rebuild it. We did some rough math one night hanging around the pits one night and figured out that it had roughly 70,000 track miles on it (the odo was off due to gearing, so we compensated for that)…and _every_ mile was above 9,000 RPM or so.

      Another friend of mine rode a GSXR750 as a motorcycle messenger bike in San Fran for many years. He also raced it, but not all that often. When he did, he’d ride it to the track (Sears Point), take the lights off and attach plates, race, then ride it home, only to go back to messenger on it the next morning. I don’t know how many miles that bike had on it when it was retired, but when I moved away from CA many years ago it had around 140,000 miles on it.

      In 1996, Sport Rider reported on a CBR900RR that had 100,000 miles on it, some of which included track and racing duty. It was always run on conventional Castrol car oil, and never needed another valve adjustment after the initial one at 16,000 miles. They ran it on a dyno, and it spec’d out exactly as it did in the magazine test on a new example of the same bike. They checked in on the guy a couple years later, and he was still riding it on the same motor, and it had over 200,000 miles on it.

      I personally have put over 70,000 miles on multiple high-revving bikes, and have never once had any motor issues. Maybe the dude who bought my CBR1100XX last summer w. about 70,000 miles on it could chime in regarding its condition…he’s on here frequently and knows DaveA is me.

      I could go on, but you get the idea.

      cliffs: JR could stand to actually do some of the research he claims to have done.

  7. dave says:

    should be a two stroke
    ding! ding!

  8. Kevin White says:

    Will pass. Fuel injection smoothness is of high importance to me. I have yet to read a single ride report or review on this bike that doesn’t mention the really poor and unsmooth fuel injection.

    • KenHoward says:

      ‘Should be relatively easy to fix, with a number of people zeroing-in on an ECU re-flash (see “StoltecMoto”). Also interesting: I just re-read a thorough first-ride of the new Yamaha MT-07 at Motorcyclist online, and saw this: “…blending sweet throttle response (none of the MT-09′s abrupt ride-by-wire delivery here)…” = a different engineering team at Yamaha?

    • GuyLR says:

      Or the difference between tuning for 107hp per liter to 134hp per liter.

      • KenHoward says:

        Yep, possibly, while still meeting exhaust emission regulations. Personally, I’d be plenty happy with a bit less power combined with smooth throttle transitions, so the FZ-09′s power map “B” would probably be perfectly acceptable for me. The Yamaha demo truck comes to my town this Saturday — I’ll be there.

        • GuyLR says:

          “B” worked fine for me on my test ride and the power was still more than enough to have way too much fun on the street.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Will pass. Fuel injection smoothness is of high importance to me.”

      in other forums relating to this FZ9 and the FZ7, people are saying the same, but their dealbreaker is ABS.

      see if Yamaha were to include it…? they wouldn’t be able to make a splash and command your attention with a low price…

      which they’ve done.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Yes they have…and mostly what they get is criticized by punks and crybabies who want more, more, more.

        Well “more” engineering, equipment, tuning etc costs “MORE” $$$

        The goal was obviously as Norm states… “to make a splash and command attention”. Now that they have your attention, watch what else they do with the motor.

        • Hot Dog says:

          Both of you lads are correct.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “watch what else they do with the motor.”

          word is there’s an FJ9 planned right…?

          for sure that’ll give us all the bells and whistles. that, and a price tag to go along with ‘em. as the wise men say, they have no place to go but UP.

  9. Pop Pop says:

    Great looking bike @ a good price.

  10. Gutterslob says:

    The look’s growing on me day by day, espeically the black. Needs gold wheels to match the forks, though. Shame about the fueling and suspension. I know Euro/International models have the same issues with the throttle, but am not sure if they use have the same suspension components. An acquaintance of mine just bought one of these (MT-09 over here) and promised me a test ride. Sadly, he lives about 300km away. Maybe some time next month.

  11. azi says:

    Looking forward to version 1.5 with good fuel delivery and suspension.

    • relic says:

      Don’t get your hopes up. The engineers who design the bike are not the same engineers at the factory where the bike is actually built. And they are not the same engineers at the subcontractors who supply the parts.
      The sv650 went on for over 10 years with too soft fork spings. The ‘solution’ was to add a preload adjuster.
      BTW I will add my 2c to the preload war. Increasing the preload on the rear shock reduces sag and as a result the anti-squat effect is increased.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Looking forward to version 1.5 with good fuel delivery and suspension.”

      are you looking forward to the price increase…?

      • azi says:

        Stiffer springs don’t cost any more to make

        • relic says:

          Stiffer springs require better quality steel. Also the winding/coiling process is likely more difficult with more resilient steel. This is probably why some motox bikes have gone to one side spring/other side damper forks, or replaced steel springs altogether with air pressure.

          However, I doubt it costs more to drill smaller holes in the damper piston.

          • Bud says:

            Stiffer springs do not require a different quality of steel, they require different dimensions.

          • relic says:

            For two springs of the same material and length but greater wire diameter, stress at the top and bottom surface will be higher. A steel measuring tape flexes easily, but a coat hanger stays bent.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Stiffer springs don’t cost any more to make”

          yeah, but he said “good fuel deliver AND suspension” so that means you’ve allowed your desire for free lunch to override your good judgement.

  12. el jefe says:

    nice bike

  13. James says:

    That brake light-turnsignal God knows what else mess at the tail has got to be the ugliest thing I have ever seen stuck on a motorcycle.

    • Daytona James says:

      Where ya’ been James? It came out on the 06′ R6. No like? Hack and replace. Something with Watsen Design signals is nice.

  14. Daytona James says:

    120 posts so far… Dirck, you got em’ buzzin’. Yamaha will have to cut you a commission check. Oh… and the wheelie… can you get it a bit closer to 12:00 for us next time? ;-)

  15. kjazz says:

    Ok, so this is what I learned today……

    1) preload on a spring DOES NOT change its rate of compression (strength or whatever); the next inch of compression on a preloaded spring requires the same amount of weight as the first inch of compression on an “un” preloaded spring……right?
    2) preload therefore is useful only to make small adjustments in sag and or ride height.
    3) so preloading a spring…….effectively just makes it a longer correct…?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Haha. I’ll bite… ’cause I can’t help it! :-)

      1) Preload changes the weight point required to make a spring compress further. Compress a 100 lb LR spring 1/2 inch, and you will have to apply >50 lbs to it before it compresses further.

      2) Its primary purpose is to fine tune for sag. Get that right, and the geometry and weight distribution of the bike are in the range intended by the engineers.

      3) Preloading a spring makes the spring shorter.

    • YellowDuck says:

      a)totally correct

      b)yes. The purpose of preload is to adjust the position in the stroke of the suspension where the bike is normally riding. For a heavier rider the suspension is too compressed with not enough compression travel available and the ride height is too low, so you add preload to raise the bike by extending the suspension. The compression in the spring remains the same (except in the case where the suspension is topped out; in that case and only that case, the spring is more compressed).

      c) no, preloading the spring makes the spring *shorter* when the suspension is topped out, and has no effect on the length of the spring when the suspension is not topped out. The suspension is “longer” (more extended) but the spring inside is the same length.

      Congratulations on keeping an open mind and being willing to learn. Too bad so many others are so resistant! This is one of the most pervasive myths in motorcycling. Actually, car guys get into exactly the same argument sometimes… It’s very counter-intuitive, but there are lots of good sources out there that explain it properly.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        If you add 10mm of compression to the spring when the shock is “topped out”, then it has 10mm of compression when it is loaded, more if the further weight applied is greater than the weight required to compress it that initial 10mm. It really is that simple. The maximum distance that spring has to extend is fixed by the stop and the pre-load spacer/adjuster. Once you reduce that length by 10mm, it will stay reduced by 10mm.

        • YellowDuck says:

          Yes, if you add 10 mm preload the suspension will have to compress 10 mm less from its topped out position to support your weight when you get on the bike. Which means the *total* spring compression with you on board (the amount the suspension compressed, plus the preload that was in the spring when the suspension was topped out) is *exactly the same* as it was before you added the preload. That’s what I have been trying to explain to you. With the rider on board (i.e., suspension not topped out), the compression in the spring (and therefore the force the spring exerts) is the same regardless of the preload. It is whatever spring compression is needed to support the weight. That exact amount of spring compression occurs with less *suspension movement* from the topped out position if you add a bunch of preload spring compression. In no way does that make the suspension stiffer, it just leaves more travel left over once the spring has compressed enough additional distance to support the weight.

          I can’t explain it any more clearly, so if you don’t get it now, I give up!

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I’m not arguing for the sake of arguing, just trying to get this straight. I think we have been in agreement and just failed to communicate.

            Total compression of the spring = pre-load + compression added by weight of rider and bike. The length of the spring when this weight is applied would be the same with or without pre-load. I’m in total agreement as we have apparently both been trying to explain this to each other all along. But I don’t see where the author disagreed with this to trigger your “pet peeve”. Nor did Dirck disagree when he “embarrassed” himself.

            “In no way does it make the spring stiffer”. Again, total agreement, but again I don’t see where the author or Dirck said that to warrant the assault.

            I think you just lost everyone when you said that adding preload does not compress the spring. It certainly does of course, but I think now that what you were saying is that it doesn’t compress the suspension. And by “extending”, you just mean going higher in the suspension’s range of travel.

      • kjazz says:

        Hey Duck and Jeremy, thanks for the feedback. But to clarify to Jeremy….. compressing a spring does not change its rate of resistance to compression….period. Unless of course it physically is compressed fully, then it becomes a static/solid bar of material.

        BUT…..on my point (3) above where you both thought I had it wrong. I get to school both of you!! Pre-loading a spring DOES make it “effectively” longer. You both said it makes it shorter….well duh!!! pressing it down makes it physically shorter. But….if you had a 2 springs on the table standing up. Both are 24 inches tall. And then you put a 2 inch long piece of 1 inch PVC pipe on top of one of them (as in a spacer in a fork)… then press on both of the springs….one is 24 inches tall and has a rate of whatever. The other has the same rate and the 2 inch piece of PVC. It also has the same rate of resistance as the other.BUT, it is longer. Putting a spacer in a fork is a “pre-loading” adjustment (NO?) just as moving the adjustment ring on a shock body will “pre-load” the spring on a rear shock. Both of these (fork or rear shock) changes “effectively” make the spring longer.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I think we have been in agreement all along that compressing a spring does not change its stiffness. A 100lb/inch spring is always a 100lb/inch until it runs out of compression.

          You lost me on your next point though. If you have two 24-inch springs on a table and put a 2-inch spacer on top of one, you still have two 24-inch springs, no? Put 100lbs on spring one and say it compresses 2-inches. Put 100 lbs on top of the spacer on spring No. 2 and it compresses 2-inches. Now both springs are 22″ long – the same, right?. What am I missing from your explanation? How is one spring longer?

          • kjazz says:

            Try it a different way, if for some reason you felt the 24 inch spring in your fork was too short…..would you pull it out and go spend money on a 26 inch spring…..? No, you wouldn’t. You would put a 2 inch spacer on top then replace the fork cap. the effect is the same. Therefore, a spacer extends (“effectively lengthens”) the spring.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I see what you are saying now… because a 24″ spring compressed two inches by a spacer is at the same weight point as a 26″ spring compressed into a 24″ space. Can’t disagree with that! :-)

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I get what you are saying now, I think, kjazz. In your example, the spacer is just a spacer. It is not pre-loading the spring. Take your 24-inch springs and put them into two 24-inch tubes and say that we have a piston inside the tube with a connecting rod sticking out of the top of the tubes to push on the tops of the springs. Let’s assume the piston and rod assembly are 6 inches long and that the piston serves at the top on the 24 inch tube so that the spring is not compressed at all. Put 100 lb weights on top of each connecting rod, and both springs compress two inches. The weights are now 28″ off the ground (24″ spring + 6″ piston assembly -2″ sag).

          Now let’s preload one of the springs with a 2″ spacer between the piston and spacer. This will compress the spring 2″ inside of our 24″ housing. Unloaded, the top of the connecting rod is 30″ for both tubes. Tube No. 1 has 24″ of spring + 6″ piston assembly. Tube No. 2 has 22″ of compressed spring + 2″ of spacer + 6″ of piston assembly.

          Place 100 lbs on Tube No. 1, and it will sag 2″ just as before. Now, place 100 lbs on Tube No. 2 (the preloaded one), and you will find that it doesn’t sag at all. It’s ride height is now 2″ higher than Tube No. 1 because the spring was already compressed by the spacer. Not that the spring height after adding weight inside the tubes is the same. For the weights to have the same ride height, you would have to add an additional 100 lbs to the pre-loaded tube for a total of 200 lbs. Now the base of both weights will be at the same height (28″) but the spring in Tube No. 2 will be 2″ shorter (more compressed) than the spring that wasn’t pre-loaded.

          That is how pre-load works to raise and lower ride height / sag.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Edit: Should be “NOTE that the spring height after adding weight inside the tubes is the same.” in the third paragraph.

  16. Gham says:

    Maybe I’m nuts but the FZ kinda looks like something Eric Buell could have designed.I think it has a bright future.

  17. roadrash1 says:

    I think Yamaha will improve the fueling of the bike. It was built to a price point, but seems to offer a lot for the money.
    I sold my 2010 Street Triple R, which was a very smooth, fun bike. I knew I wanted to replace it, and while shopping last Spring, test rode a 2013 FZ8. I was impressed with many things about the FZ8. The smoothness and ride quality being near the top of my list.
    Before I pulled the trigger on a mid-Summer deal (good savings) on a new FZ8, I read a bit about the FZ9. I decided to go with the 8, because I liked the larger fuel tank, as well as looks of the bike, compared to the 9. I also shy away from 1st year releases of anything.
    I’m happy with my FZ8, and happy that Yamaha is continuing to invest in naked sports bikes!

  18. JR says:

    PS.. have you priced insurance to cover the FZ-09 yet?
    Regarding improvements:
    Make it air/oil cooled.
    Get the RPM back down to develop torque and HP.
    Install push rods with hydraulic valve adjusters.
    Install a rear belt drive with fixed axle and pulley tensioner.
    Install a center stand.
    Maintain wet weight around 400 lbs.
    The above will make it cost less to own, maintain and insure.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t even know what to say to that. I hope that was a joke.

    • Provologna says:

      Do you mean that other than these minor details the bike is OK as is? (/sarc off)

      Are you a fan of starting cars with a crank on the front of the motor? The difference between liquid vs. air/oil cooling is about 20 hp on a bike like this.

    • Lupo says:

      Don’t forget to add a “Mr. Fusion” so when it hits 88mph….. Oh wait, he wants a Buell (except the 400lb wet weight). ;)

  19. Michael H says:

    Yamaha left off the beak and the tank seams. And the 300 page manual on spring compressing.

  20. Lupo says:

    I would suggest all you “negative Nancy’s” that are writing this bike off without having so much as sat on one to go find a Yamaha demo truck and take one for a spin. I have ridden this bike on several occassions and cannot say enough good things about it. Yes, if you were to take this bike to the track as an A level rider you will find the suspension soft and not R6 precise. It very much reminds me of SV’s I have ridden (but not as vague. But it is an absolute hoot to ride and worth way more than the asking price.

  21. Dave says:

    Re: ” It is hard to overstate how impressed we are with the power Yamaha has squeezed out of this 847 cc motor. Coupled with the light weight of the bike as a whole, the FZ-09 is extremely quick, particularly around town where its acceleration, at first, can even be quite startling.”

    It’s hard to believe that after a paragraph like that everyone is so concerned by a little bit of throttle sensitivity.

    As for the suspension, proper spring/damping rates would be nice and I don’t think they’d cost any more to provide. Those who want to ride in a sporting manner would appreciate it, those who don’t probably wouldn’t notice the difference.

    • lynchenstein says:

      Especially around town, with cars, pedestrians and lap posts, “startling” acceleration can be a problem.

      Just saying.

      • lynchenstein says:

        edit: LAMP posts.

      • Dave says:

        Re: “Especially around town, with cars, pedestrians and lap posts, “startling” acceleration can be a problem.”

        It’s the core competency of every drive to not hit things in their path. A slightly abrupt throttle response should not be the difference between safety and running someone over for an acceptably skilled driver.

        Besides, I believe the quoted statement to be complimentary of the bike’s power, not a negative of the throttle glitch. We should remember, this is a ride-by-wire throttle. It’s very possible that this issues is a translation of grip throw to throttle body and not the actual fueling.

  22. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    Why does Yamaha consistently under-suspend its bikes? I recall the original FJR1300 had a rear spring so soft that max preload was necessary for brisk riding with just a rider and maybe some luggage. Adding a passenger overwhelmed it. Seems like this FZ-09 is suspended for a 90 lb beginner rider. I just don’t know how they keep getting something as relatively simple as appropriate suspension wrong out of the gate.

    OTOH, it’s pretty difficult to spring a bike suitably for everyone – if the spring rate is OK for a 140 lb rider, it will doubtless be too soft for a 200 lb rider. Adding preload does nothing to stiffen the suspenion – it just raises the ride height.

    Having ridden an ’02 DL1000 V-Strom these past 10 years without retuning the FI, I’d probably not find this one all that bad.

  23. George says:

    The FZ09 was built to a price point. The suspension components were selected because they were inexpensive and fit what 90+ % of the riders that buy this bike will use.

    For those hard core enthusiasts (like me), that have not owned a streetbike with totally stock suspension since 1982, I have no problem with a cheap suspension.

    In fact, I think it is GREAT!

    Yamaha cannot make the stock suspension that will fit what I want and what 90+% of riders want for many reasons, not the least of which is that I am a lot bigger rider (230 lbs) than any manufacturer sets up their suspension for. So I will always be upgrading the suspension on every bike.

    I would rather the FZ09 price be $500-1000 less than if Yamaha installed R6 spec suspension on it, because even with an R6 spec suspension I would still be upgrading/modifying the suspension to fit me and how I like to ride.

    Why pay for the so-so suspension stock that I would not use and then upgrade the suspension to fit me? I would be paying for the suspension twice!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’m with you. They could put an Öhlins fork and shock on the thing, and I’d still have to re-spring it at the very least, and probably dink with the shim stacks and oil viscosity. I’d much rather pay less up front for the bike and use the savings to dial it in to perfection. No factory options can match the bliss of a bespoke suspension and bike-specific fueling.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: ” hey could put an Öhlins fork and shock on the thing, and I’d still have to re-spring it at the very least, and probably dink with the shim stacks and oil viscosity. I’d much rather pay less up front for the bike and use the savings to dial it in to perfection.”

        and there it is… again.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Why pay for the so-so suspension stock that I would not use and then upgrade the suspension to fit me? I would be paying for the suspension twice!”

      and there it is.

      • Provologna says:

        I’m 6-3 235. Other riders might weigh as little as 140#. The bike is only 414# soaking wet.

        Do the math. Compare rider weights above as a ratio of bike/rider weight together. The difference in ratios is huge.

        Any high performance motorcycle needs radically different suspension tuning for maximum performance with the two rider weights. Expecting any such vehicle to come with suspension providing the same peak performance for both riders is naive or worse.

        An analogy that comes to mind is expecting the same handling and comfort in a truck with a light weight driver only vs. loaded to its maximum gross vehicle weight rating.

  24. Jeremy in TX says:

    Many point to the Street Triple as an example of why the FZ should have better fueling, but people tend to forget how long that engine has been in production and thus how long Triumph has had to perfect it. For those that remember, the Street Triple had a bad “hiccup” during on-off throttle transitions when it was introduced. It wasn’t that big of a deal then because so many bikes, new models in particular suffered from poor fueling.

    Yamaha will almost certainly continuously improve the fueling over time, and any current owner will be able to ride up to their Yamaha dealership and get a fresh flash should they feel so inclined.

    • VLJ says:

      Considering how stick-a-fork-in-your-forehead hot some of the girls are who work at my local Yamaha dealership, getting a “fresh flash” just for riding in sounds kinda cool. Just don’t let mickey or Norm G do the flashing, and we’re good.

  25. Auphliam says:

    Is it just me or was this write up kind of depressing?

    By the way, I think YellowDuck has been eating paint chips or something…Preload makes my forks/shocks longer!

    LOL

    • YellowDuck says:

      ? That’s what I said – adding preload extends the fork. But yes, I do enjoy paint chips….

      • Auphliam says:

        In some theoretical lab environment, that may very well be true…but bolted to a motorcycle, sorry but I’m afraid I just cannot agree.

        For example, take 13.5 inch rear shock with 3 preload settings. Lay it on a bench/table/whatever. Now no matter which preload adjustment you choose of the 3, that shock is still 13.5 inches long.

        Same with a fork. You take a set of forks that are 24 inches from bottom tree to axle…it doesn’t matter how much preload you dial in it, that fork tube/slider component is nover going to be longer than 24 inches from tree to axel.

        Unless you dial in so much preload as to break to contraints of the mechanical device itself…its not getting any longer.

  26. Norm G. says:

    here’s another title suggestion in BOLD…

    “2014 Yamaha FZ-09: SV-650 For The Modern Day”

    any of you whiners remember this popular and highly anticipated MD series…?

    http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/06/md-project-building-a-better-sv650-part-i/

    http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/08/md-project-building-a-better-sv650-part-ii-braking-good/

    http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/12/md-project-building-a-better-sv-650-part-iii-suspension/

    your name better not be in here.

  27. Schmutz says:

    I’ve owned over 40 motorcycles (dirt and street) and I don’t recall a single one I didn’t change something in an effort to make it better for me (many times a fail). My buddy owns one of these and he let me take it for a spin; brilliant machine. Would I make the changes discussed in the article? Maybe, but then maybe not; I was grinning too much during the ride to contemplate the necessity. Bikes are built for an intended use for everyone, not for you or me individually. With regards to the EFI, I didn’t notice anything abrupt but then again I’ve owned a V-Max.

  28. billy says:

    Is this Yamaha a start-up Korean or Chinese company? I swear I’ve heard of them before. Oh well, hope they can get their act together, maybe they’ll stick around. Good first effort, possibly they’ll be a little closer to the target on their next shot.

  29. Vrooom says:

    I have to wonder whether you couldn’t end up with a sweet bike by spending $8K for the Yamaha, putting $2K into suspension and fueling improvements, and have an incredible bike for less than the majority of the competition, set up for you.

    • Blackcayman says:

      don’t wonder

    • YellowDuck says:

      Suspension shortcomings don’t bother me much, so long as good aftermarket is available. I would likely be changing it all out anyway, so why pay upfront for better stuff it will all end up in the bin? I’d rather have the lower price of entry. For the typical customer, it sounds like stiffer springs and heavier oil would be all that was required, so we are only talking $200 or so in that scenario, and it is easy to figure out and to do.

      Fueling issues are more more serious. If throttle response sucks you can spend mucho bucks getting it sorted. $300-ish for the PC-usb or whatever, plus the tuning costs (another $250 at least), and no guarantee that it will actually be acceptable when you are done. I am assuming that having multiple maps makes this even more complicated (no direct experience with that personally).

      • bmidd says:

        My point exactly. I weigh 260# in full track gear and ANYTHING I ride has to be worked on. Period. Whether it would be an FZ09 or a new Fireblade SP or the Superchicken i actually ride.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      For $2K, that is exactly what you would have. A suspension tuned for your weight and riding mission – better than any one-size fits all factory component, despite how good a quality it is. And a perfectly fueled bike, better than you could get from an EPA OEM map regardless of how god they tried to make it.

    • George says:

      Did exactly that with my FZ09 and about 3k miles in, it is one of the funest bikes I’ve ever owned and that is saying a lot as I’ve owned more than 60 bikes over the last 40+ years.

  30. Blackcayman says:

    “I Think”….what we have here are the perfect bones for a great SPORT-touring bike. Light weight, nimble handling, upright ergos etc etc.

    Bring on the spy photos of the next FJ-09. I’m sure they will ask Norm and I to help sort out the proper equipment and tuning for it.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      Needs a half-fairing. I’m anticipating the Fazer-9 to come, displaying the exisiting Fazer-8.

      One thing that worries me, at 6’3″, is that i may just not fit this bike comfortably. Which is one of the reasons that I currently ride a V-Strom – small bikes just aren’t comfortable for long rides for me. Would love to see Yami make an ADV bike out of this with better ergos for the tall folks (the real reason a lot of us are riding them, and why I’m sick of hearing about how they’re too tall – if your under 6′ there is a whole world of bikes you can fit comfortably, and a few that are too tall. These tall bikes were made for people like me, an taller.)

      • Blackcayman says:

        PLEASE NO, on the half fairing – for me at least

        I’m looking for a an ST with excellent air management to reduce the
        fatigue of all day riding. I’m hopeful it will have an adjustable/ replaceable wind screen so I can tune it for clean air to my helmet.

        I would think they will also build you an ADV Bike, which would give you your half fairing. It seems only logical if they are going to use the engine for multiple bikes that they would build the ADV Bike.

        In fact, I’m surprised that the FJ is coming out first… or is it???

        They could be working on both the ST and the ADV Bike simultaneously

  31. Blackcayman says:

    “I Think” ….they could simply bring out an “R” model next year, like Triuph did with the Daytona & Street Triple 675 & 675R. For $1200 – $1500 – $2000 they could offer a Big Piston Fork and upgraded shock and brakes or go all the way to an Ohlins suspension & premium brake package.

    This way they can offer the inexpensive bike to bulk of the market who thinks the soft suspension feels great around town and while commuting (ask people that own them that love them). They would also have an upgraded bike for the rest of us who simply want more and realize more equipment costs more money.

    For the cryers who want the perfectly sorted bike while still getting the $7990 price… Well you know; want in one hand, piss in the other and see which one fills up faster

    • Ziggy says:

      “I Think” they attempted to make both a “rider’s bike” and an “entry-level” bike in one package and failed miserably. What a waste. This think came so close to the mark. This beta version needs a big re-do. It won’t sell worth a damn.

      • Scotty says:

        Already selling well here in the UK.

      • Blackcayman says:

        “failed miserably” & “so close to the mark”

        You seem to me like a bipolar manic crybaby – you are dismissed

      • Neil says:

        Aprilia RSV4 Naked. BMW naked. Ducati Monster 1200. Have a left anything out? CB1000R. I mean, hey, this is what they intended. Showa and Ohlins will be happy to take our money for something more. But, Yamaha is trying to make a profit, AND give riders a simple bike that will not break the bank. They have done that. As a world market, we the consumer do not buy bling off the showroom floor. We want affordable and THEN if we have more to spend, we spend, and we have fun upgrading.

        • bikerrandy says:

          Have any of the talkers here ever had Ohlins suspension? Yeah, it’s the cat’s meow, but it comes as a price, like a Ducati. When I buy suspension I expect it to be trouble free for a LONG time. Ohlins aren’t made that way. They need to be rebuilt regularly far sooner than I’m comfortable with. To each their own happiness.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            It is not uncommon for high performance anything to require more frequent maintenance. To answer your question though, yes, I had the golden suspenders on one bike. I had them serviced twice (not rebuilt) in 45K miles (regular road riding) which was more or less just an oil change (the recommended interval from Ohlins was 15-18K miles IIRC). Whether or not the shocks are more prone to problems without the service than an OEM item, I can’t say. But I do know that all suspension components OEM or not would benefit from similar service intervals.

  32. david says:

    This review simply affirms what every other review I’ve read says ( at least 5 others). Me myself, I’m not interested in re engineering a brand new bike, that’s what I expect a multi million dollar factory to do. Call me when they introduce the “B” model with fuel injection that works (properly) and decent suspension.

    • Neil says:

      Honda NT700V. Glides when the throttle is chopped and gets back on nice and smooth. But, keep in mind it is low power. More power equals more expensive fueling maps by virtue of being more adaptable to various levels of power (rain, sport, track and so on).

    • Dave says:

      Re: ” I’m not interested in re engineering a brand new bike, that’s what I expect a multi million dollar factory to do. ”

      Tuning the suspension and a fuel map flash hardly constitutes re-engineering.

  33. kjazz says:

    The look of this Yamaha reminds me of the MVA Brutale 800 recently shown here on MCD. The stance, the muscular, sculpted look of the bike etc. etc. I like it a lot. I dont even really notice gold forks any longer, but those wheels are stepping it out there a bit. They will eventually (sooner rather than later) mark it as a cheap looking machine, and will date the bike (in a bad way). At least it is not fugly like that Hero thing…..or whatever it was called.

  34. Neil says:

    Ohlins, of course, but then the price would be too high. I have ridden too many bikes with hard, harsh suspension that was horrid for commuting. I also weigh 160 pounds with gear, so my experience is different there as well. I think they are great bikes. My 919 has an 08 CBR 600RR front end. That’s an extra $1000 bucks at least. I’ve also ridden the wheels off my SUZ TU250 and an Ninja 250 with the chassis wallowing but I grew up on dirt bikes so I just adjust my body position and ride off into the sunset. There is a great Youtube review of this bike by a guy in Cali who goes over the whole bike point by point. For the money, I think it’s a great bike. If I want to pay extra, I get the new BWW naked and call it a day! Look at that wheelie Dirck pulls. Looks like fun to me!

  35. YellowDuck says:

    “With the spring squished by the preload caps, the fork wanted to rebound too quickly, but we had run out of rebound damping adjustment to deal with it.”

    Oh for Pete’s sake….will this myth never die? Guys, adding preload does *not* compress the springs (unless the suspension is completely topped out), it merely extends the fork, giving you more compression travel before you bottom out.

    Surprised to see this nonsense on what is otherwise such an excellent site. Could I recommend a read of Andrew Trevitt’s excellent (and accessible) book on sportbike suspension tuning so that future comments on suspension adjustment can be better informed?

    Sorry, pet peeve of mine…

    • Dirck Edge says:

      If you think adding preload doesn’t compress the spring, find a motorcycle shock and try it. This is exactly what it does. Each turn or click of the preload ramp adds compression (or relieves compression).The same thing happens in the fork. You can see the shock spring physically compress, and the fork springs are doing the same thing inside the fork legs. Trevitt does not say anything different. You would never completely compress the spring (this would lock your suspension).

      • YellowDuck says:

        Yes he does! And so does Kevin Cameron!

        Seriously, stop. You are embarrassing yourself. The spring only compresses if the fork (or shock) is topped out. Once there is enough weight on the bike to move the suspension from the topped out position (practically always) the spring compresses whatever additional amount it needs to support the weight. That additional amount will be less if you add a bunch of preload, but that is because it was already compressed a bunch when the suspension was topped out. However, the total spring compression (and therefore stiffness) once the suspension is not topped out will be exactly the same as before you added preload. That is, the total spring compression is whatever is needed to support the weight, and the weight hasn’t changed.

        Please please please don’t argue this point again until you actually check Trevitt or Cameron or one of the excellent online resources.

        • Dirck Edge says:

          Can you say “pretty please”. Ride height increases by “adding spring”, but it is not typically a 1 to 1 relationship. Maybe we are both saying the same thing in this regard. Spring rate is important, even though you could achieve the same ride height with different rate springs by changing preload. The heavier spring will react differently, compress and rebound at different rates.

        • Hair says:

          Hook’s law states that it takes force to change the length of a spring. F=kX where K is the spring constant (Stiffness) Look at Wiki.

          Eaton has a good site on Spring Rate. The spring rate is the amount of weight (pressure) (preload) required to compress a spring. Change the preload and you will have changed the spring rate.

          Spring rate is also considered the internal force on a spring, We would love to use the work “work” But if nothing is moving then there is no work in the system only force.

          So by preloading the spring we change the rate of the spring, which is the same as changing the internal force of the spring. We have change the amount of work the spring can do.

          That force can extend the ride height if there is room for parts to move. Or hold heaver load. Which ever the system allows.

          but since the spring is shorter after the preload has been applied. The spring rate has changed.

          Sometimes in the heat of a argument we tend to get tunnel vision. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and go read about up on this topic.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Actually, preload does not affect the spring rate. A preloaded spring is merely in compression. That compression is the deflection represented by “X” in your equation. If you had 10mm of preload and wanted to know how much force it would take to compress the spring another 20mm, it would be F=k(10mm+20mm). Hook’s law for linear rate springs wouldn’t work if the spring grew stiffer with compression as you suggest.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Edit: that would give you total force, but you get the picture.

      • YellowDuck says:

        For clarity, yes, if you have the shock off the bike and add preload, the spring visibly compresses. that is because the shock is topped out and *can’t* extend. On the bike it is different. Does adding preload increase sag or reduce sag? You know the answer – it reduces sag, because it extends the suspension!

        • Neil says:

          On my 919, increasing preload shortens the suspension when I am off the bike, and essentially, yes, lengthens it when I sit on the bike because it does not compress it as much. You compress it one notch on the collar, but then have more usable shock length when sitting on the bike. The shock does not physically get “longer” but “relatively”, it’s compression distance, does.

        • ed says:

          Duck is right. Point made. Time to move on.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          The only reason the suspension “extends” is because the weight of the bike is no longer sufficient to compress the spring to the initial level – because you have pre-compressed the spring! You either need to re-read that book you suggested, or throw it away if it confirms what you are saying.

    • Mark says:

      Yellow, I think your pet peeve is misdirected. When “preload” is added, it simply compresses the spring: IE it “preloads” it. yes, the effect can be that it extends the fork, or the shock, but it also compresses the spring.

      • YellowDuck says:

        Nope, not true (unless the fork is extended to the point that you are into the topout springs – then it gets a bit more complicated). “Preload” refers to the preloaded compression in the spring when the suspension is fully extended (topped out).

      • YellowDuck says:

        Draw it out for your self and you will see. There is no physical way for additional preload to compress the spring if the suspension is free to extend. What is it pushing against? Fork cap, wheich moves upwards as the fork extends. Unless you add weight to prevent the fork from extending, the spring compression is not affected.

        • Hair says:

          For a system with static sage
          Adding preload puts more pressure or force into the system. That force can either increase the spring rate or extend the rebound of the suspension.
          Once the rider has sat on the bike sage is called dynamic sage.
          And again adding preload will reduce the dynamic sage or add spring pressure on the spring which increases the spring rate.
          In each case I think that a little of both is going on.
          The real magic comes when the rider is on the bike and had has engaged the system. Now for each and every point on the fork the spring will carry a heaver load. Which will increase firmness and decrees dive in braking and corners. It also might help balance the bike front to rear so the steering is affected too.
          I think that everyone is splitting hairs here. We all know that adding preload has an effect on the bike how it sits and how it handles. I think that was the message that the author had intended.

          This is a really cool bike. I like what you get for the money. It makes sense to me. I see this bike as a great second bike, maybe even a great play bike. Something to go out and have a great ride on. I don’t see it as my two wheeled SUV or a bike that I would travel the world with. I am more than a little bothered when a specialty motorcycle consumes my entire motorcycle budget to buy it. If that is the case I’ll buy the SUV every time. But by keeping the costs down Yamaha has invited me to come out to play. And what a great bike to play with.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      You are wrong on this one, or perhaps I am missing what you are trying to say. The whole concept of preload deals with compression of the spring, and that is exactly what the preload adjusters do – compress of relieve compression on the spring. Ever adjusted preload on an unadjustable shock? You replace the internal spacer with one of a different size or increase or decrease compression on the spring.

      • YellowDuck says:

        And what happens to the sag when you add the spacer? It decreases, because the shock extends.

        • kjazz says:

          Sag decreases, because you (the susp) is now initially dealing with a stiffer range of the spring. Adding preload sort of subtracts the “soft” tension (power) of a spring in its most “relaxed” state (i.e. just sitting there within a shock body on your shop table). Adding preload, just raises the tension on the spring and makes it increasingly more resistant to compression.

          • kjazz says:

            Interesting!! Well, that just goes to show you (me), I haven’t given this much real thought, but rather relied upon a intuitive understanding. I found several other articles that approach the subject slightly differently. I think somewhere I may have confused this issue with double spring rates (like the old shocks that featured a short spring of a different rate).

        • wb says:

          I agree with YellowDuck, to compress a certain weight spring more
          you would have to add more weight. If a spring compresses 2 inches
          with the bike’s weight and your weight, the only thing that will
          compress it more is more weight, preload adjusts ride height to allow for more or less weight

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I think we must be arguing about semantics. Sag decreases because you have increased the load required to compress the spring further – by pre-compressing the spring. That is the whole point of pre-loading a spring for any application, not just motorcycle suspension. We have two guys back in the shop where I work right now whose entire day is spent determining and setting spring pre-load for a specific application (not motorcycle suspension, but the laws of physics hold true.)

          • wb says:

            if it more or less compressed the spring, why does the
            ride height change

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Pre-loading (compressing) a spring changes the weight point at which the spring starts to move. Say a motorcycle sags two inches on the fork due to its own weight. If you add preload (compress the spring), the ride height will raise because the weight of the motorcycle is constant and no longer sufficient to cause the spring to sag the same amount. The same reason the ride height of your motorcycle raises when you get off of it. You are reducing compression on the spring when you remove your weight.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I just read it. And your explanation is completely wrong according to this article. You clearly equate spring stiffness to spring compression, which is an incorrect. Now you are embarrassing yourself.

          • Ziggy says:

            It strikes me that all of this intellectual one-upmanship and techno-wanking would be irrelevant if Yamaha had just built this half-assed bike with quality suspension that worked for the majority of sporting riders. Really, I never pay attention to this stuff if the bike “just works” – I’ll be out there flogging it.

            Sad the only chatter this model is getting is what enthusiasts will have to do to fix it, right off the showroom floor.

          • YellowDuck says:

            ? I objected to Dirk suggesting that adding preload stiffens the suspension, and stated that it doesn’t, it just extends the suspension so you use have more travel to use before it bottoms out. Then I gave you a link that explains exactly the same thing in the same way. Are you just trying to be argumentative or did you not understand the article?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I understand the article just fine. FWIW, Dirck never suggested that spring stiffness is affected. He said that by using the preload adjusters you apply or release compression on the spring, which is correct. Compress the spring more, and you effectively increase the ride height for a given weight. Regardless whether you want to think about spring compression or suspension “extension”, the pre-load adjusters accomplish this by working directly on the spring. The “extension” would not be achievable unless you compress the spring or reduce the weight on the bike.

          • mickey says:

            See for the non suspension gurus out there ( and for the gurus that can’t seem to agree) this is exactly why one should be able to walk into a shop, plunk his money down, and trust that the factory engineers and test riders did their job. I and I assume by what i am reading, that many others as well, don’t have the knowledge, skill or expertise to sort this suspension stuff out.

  36. allworld says:

    It would be worth buying and paying a bit more, if the fueling was set up properly and had adjustable suspension.
    These are similar complaints, with for first 3′s coming from MV. Yamaha has the money and know how to get it all sorted and I’m sure they will. I hope they build other bikes using this chassis and power-plant, like rumored FJ-09.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      At least you’re not paying MV-Augusta prices to get messed-up FI with this bike. I really wonder if it can possibly be any worse that my ’02 DL1000 V-Strom. If it’s not, I think I could live with it.

  37. mickey says:

    I dont think it’s asking too much from a motorcycle manufacturer to have a properly sorted fueling system on a showroom new motorcycle. We are all used to mediocre suspension units from the Japanese, and some people ride them as is and some people upgrade them quickly. Same goes with exhaust systems. But you can generally ride with sub par suspension and exhaust. When just riding the bike is annoying because the manufacturer didn’t fix the ” easily fixed” fuel mapping, there is a problem. Would this be any less motorcycle if it were $8499 with good fueling bs 7995 with bad fueling? NO, it would be a better motorcycle.

    You can get a Grom for $3500 that has perfect fueling. I don’t think price point has any bearing on fueling. Suspension yes, fueling no.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I dont think it’s asking too much from a motorcycle manufacturer to have a properly sorted fueling system on a showroom new motorcycle.”

      the EPA says different.

      • VLJ says:

        And yet most manufacturers accomplish it anyway, regardless of the price of the bike. Your low-price argument is a nonstarter. If cost was the reason (and it’s not), fine, ditch the three modes and just give the bike one simple mode that works correctly.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “You can get a Grom for $3500 that has perfect fueling.”

      but then you own a Grom.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Developing fuel injection programming is extraordinarily expensive. Engineers hypothesize, simulate and test over a long period of time.

  38. Sweeper says:

    Superb bike. But what I just don’t get on this and many other newer bikes, is these golden plated front forks. I do get the reference to Ohlins, but an all black bike with these glaring golden forks just looks weird. Same goes for Ducati’s new Monster, all red body work with yellow forks, this just clashes in color.

  39. Navek says:

    Unlike most of the above commentators I actually own an FZ-09. If you are into track days and trying to perform back wheel slides the FI hiccup will annoy you. If you ride around on everyday roads with your sane helmet on, it won’t even be noticed.You just compensate for it within a few miles.
    The “soft” suspension is perfect for the cut up and bumpy back roads where I live. My 2013 KTM 690 Duke with “non Zumo” suspension, rattles my teeth out even set at the softest settings. Again, if you are looking at track days you will want to stiffen the springs etc but if you ride the streets in a way that will keep your license intact then it is fine. I can ride the FZ-09 faster than the KTM because it soaks up the bumps and ripples better than the stiffer KTM suspension (The KTM would be better on a smooth road or racetrack but that is not the reality of where I ride).

    • GuyLR says:

      Thanks for your voice of reason. I’ve test ridden the FZ-09 and to tell you the truth the fueling and suspension felt fine. Now maybe that was because I was riding the bike like you should on public roads and not like a hooligan moto journalist on the rear wheel at double legal speeds. As sold, the FZ-09 seems to me to be a versatile, fast and agile street bike not a track day bike. It would be a great deal even at $8990. So, put it in B mode if you can’t throttle it smoothly. If the front end feels squishy then invest in a bottle of the next heavier weight fork oil and firm it up. If you can’t have fun on this bike as it comes then I suggest that you’re doing it wrong.

    • VLJ says:

      Not one motojourno yet has complained that the FZ-09′s suspension isn’t merely track-ready. That’s a given. No, to a man they’re all complaining that it’s not street-worthy; as in, it can’t be fully enjoyed in its intended environment, which includes more than just freeways and city commuting. Obviously no one needs a 105rwhp bike that weighs about 415 lbs wet if all the bike is intended to do is putz around like a 750 Shadow. Moreover, Yamaha specifically trumped the FZ-09′s R6-equaling available lean angle. Then there is every promotional video Yamaha has produced for the bike, all of which feature it performing in a hooligan-slobbery manner.

      Make no mistake, Yamaha marketed this little monster as a naked sportbike. As such, yes, it needs suspension that’s up to the requirements placed on it by the motor. Does it need to be fully adjustable? No. For eight hundred years VFRs have come with mostly nonadjustable suspension, but at least those simple suspenders are capable of handling the bike’s intended mission.

      Yamaha will soon sort out these fueling and suspension issues in an updated model, and the fixes won’t come with any enormous price hike. At the factory level, they’re cheap, easy fixes.

  40. todd says:

    You mean heavy people will have to change the fork oil to something thicker? I’ve ridden plenty of modern bikes that have less than stellar fueling. The way you go on about the poor throttle action reminds me of my thoughts on most of Ducati’s recent offerings – Yamaha is in good company. There are also quite a few bikes with suspension that hammers your kidneys to death, especially on 580 through Oakland. I can’t really imagine this Yamaha to be as bad as it is being portrayed considering how wonderful their product have been for the last 40+ years. Unfortunately it’s articles like these that will keep the sales down of what for all intensive purposes is probably a very fine machine!

    • VLJ says:

      Needing to change the fork oil to suit fat guys isn’t the issue here. Riding 580 through Oakland is not what these testers are talking about, either. They’re talking about sport riding, which, presumably, is very much a part of the FZ-09′s design brief. Just about any bike can handle straightline droning on a freeway, or putzing in the city. For decent riding in the twisties, however, effectively harnessing the type of power produced by the FZ-09 requires a higher degree of chassis control/throttle predictability; a degree that necessarily should be commensurate with the power of the motor and the bike’s intended purpose.

      • todd says:

        The only bikes I have ever owned with buttery smooth throttle and clean fueling had carburetors. I just think there’s a tendency for journalists to amplify faults because the last guy did in the previous report and you don’t want to look like you weren’t capable enough to expose those faults. I bet this thing rides just like a Monster with sane, street oriented suspension and would spank an MV but come up short of a super motard in the local back roads. Since dealers don’t offer test rides (even around the block) how will we ever get to determine this ourselves?

    • bmidd says:

      Sales aren’t down, they sold out of their 2013′s. They will do the same for 2014 too.

      • mickey says:

        My local dealer isn’t sold out. He still has 4 of his original 5 units still on the floor.

        • John says:

          Just curious – is your local dealer one of those guys with new 3 year old bikes on the floor whose OTD price is always MSRP + $1500 in dealer fees?

          Everyone else is selling them as fast as Groms.

        • George says:

          Where is your dealer located? Lots of people are looking for the FZ09 and the dealers are out of them.

        • bmidd says:

          Now you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing. Post the dealers name and number then.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Yamaha is sold out to the dealers, but the dealers still have to sell what they bought. That said, they sell like hotcakes around here.

    • MGNorge says:

      Would you rather that journalists gloss over these issues and leave it to unsuspecting buyers? It’s not just this article, this is being reported elsewhere around the world too. So while other bikes exhibit these traits also to some degree for this to be high on the list of complaints in most all reviews says something. I’d rather understand the complaints up front and if interested in the bike go ride one myself. But it sounds like Yamaha may have been a little hasty at getting this one tto market and at the price it come in at.

  41. Norm G. says:

    re: “a few issues to be sorted with the money you saved as a result of the low MSRP.”

    Dirk, I’m going have to ask you make THIS the new article title in BOLD. there’s evidence of brains not processing at optimum levels.

    “2014 Yamaha FZ-09: A Few Issues To Be Sorted With The Money You Saved As A Result Of The Low MSRP.”

    thank you.

    • billy says:

      That’s just crazy talk. No excuse for this crap from Yamaha at any price.

      Maybe we could get it for $5990? Would it come with bias ply tires, non o-ring chain, no tachometer? Maybe for $4990 the timing could be off, or one of the connecting rods could be much heavier than the others? Could the sprockets be made of cheese to save a few bucks? That would be an easy fix, right Norm?

    • Blackcayman says:

      Norm, you post your thesis, and within minutes you have proof you are right

  42. Tom R says:

    Some bargain, this bike. Lots of power that you can’t always effectively get to the ground because of bargain fuel mapping and bargain suspension.

    You can fool some of the people some of the time…

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “You can fool some of the people some of the time…”

      …and unfortunately the people who try to pass for “motorcyclists” here in modern day are mostly just fools.

  43. Silver says:

    Lol they should have just charged $500 more and not sources the suspension from their Zuma’s.

  44. cthuskie says:

    in this day in age , how does a new model present itself for it’s launch .
    with such glaring problems with throttle & fuel mapping ?

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: in this day in age, how does a new model present itself for it’s launch with such glaring problems with throttle & fuel mapping?

      A: by only charging you $7990.

      see fellas, the concept of “no free lunch” shows itself yet again. granted, some examples are easier to see than others, but it’s always there, you just have to look for it.

      • VLJ says:

        Tell that to all those inexpensive Hondas, Suzukis and Kawis that somehow manage to have non-glitchy fueling. Ever hear about crappy, on-off throttle-response issues with any of the new $5-7K Hondas, or the Ninja 650, or any iteration of the fuel-injected SV650? Nope. How about the Bonnevilles, or the Guzzi V7, or the standard Street Triple? What about the basic CBR600F4i, back when it was still around? Of course not. People are commenting so frequently about the lightswitch throttle response of the FZ-09 and MV Agusta triples precisely because glitchy fueling is now quite uncommon, at any price point.

        • Blackcayman says:

          “I think”…. they wanted to set a new High Water mark with a powerful triple motor’ed bike that was uncharacteristically lower priced than most would expect. It would have broad appeal, to experienced riders wanting a powerful, yet light naked standard for upright blasting & to those newer riders graduating from their first bikes – be those 250s to 650 twins etc – and city riders or commuters.

          The newer riders & commuters will buy them and be happy with the additional power and it may take months or years before they ever move to uprade the bike. The experienced riders will enter in knowing the bike needs suspension and fueling fixes and be able to decide exactly what / how much they want to spend to get the bike where they want.

          Building the bike to meet the expectations of the smaller demo of experienced riders wouldn’t have set the High Water Mark of a very low priced yet powerful and zippy triple standard.

          I’m just saying its a possible explanation of why its got issues right out of the gate and yet is priced so low.

          • VLJ says:

            A low price-point is not the reason for the FZ-09′s abrupt fueling. If it were, cheaper bikes with EFI would suffer the same issue, and they don’t. Besides, it doesn’t cost extra to have the system dialed in correctly. It’s not as if the parts are pricier. Besides, Yamaha already went to the trouble of needlessly offering three fueling maps in an attempt to answer a question no one was ever going to ask. If money was an issue, Yamaha wouldn’t have provided three fueling maps.

            And, again, who wouldn’t have been happier had Yamaha simply given the bike one simple map that works correctly, as it does on the even more highly-tuned Street Triple motor.

            Where Yamaha clearly cut costs was not with the fueling but with the suspension. Even there, stiffer springs and more fork oil wouldn’t have cost Yamaha any extra.

      • Tim says:

        Norm, cost a poor excuse. We’re likely talking about a little software manipulation here, not a lot of hardware expense. The cheap suspension / price point argument I could buy.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          You’d be surprised how much money goes into programming a fuel injection module. There is an enormous amount of time spent by very smart (expensive) people to consider a staggering number of variables and then program, simulate and physically test the outcome in the quest to make the bike run well, not produce dangerously lean spots in the map and still meat emissions.

          • Jon B says:

            And yet stoltec moto can apparently fix it for you for a hundred bucks. I think it’s emissions requirements that have caused this problem (nothing to do with stoltec, just waiting for delivery of my fz09 and doing lots of reading around).

  45. Erik says:

    Don’t let everyone fool you-The suspension and fuel injection are totally fine around town. Remember, the journos get paid to find things wrong with these bikes. I put thousands of miles on Street Triple / Rs and the FZ09 is like one of those on steroids. Besides, how much does it cost to sort out the suspension? Less than $1000 bucks if you went crazy. A Power commander would certainly fix the fuel injection. If it can fix my VFR VTEC it can fix anything with the right tuner/ dyno…and time. Every Triumph I ever rode and owned had a twitchy throttle / FI response, and thats even without fly by wire. So why does everyone complain about the FZ09? Because no bike can be said to be perfect haha. This should not be that hard to fix. Your going to want to put on an exhaust anyways. Stock the Yamaha sounds good, with an aftermarket exhaust this bike is going to sound GLORIOUS. Personally the only issues that I have with the FZ09 that I am not sure how to fix yet are the headlights. Not digging them. Not as bad as the new Street Triple/ Speed Triple Japanese wanabee headlights, but I don’t like these much better.

    • VLJ says:

      The new Street Triple R has dead nuts perfect fueling. No twitchy throttle at all. Also, it wouldn’t even be difficult, much less “crazy,” to blow through $1000 to sort out the FZ-09′s suspension. A good shock can easily cost that much right off the bat, never mind the forks. And a Power Commander on its own has not proven to be the necessary fix for the FZ-09′s fueling issues.

      Yamaha simply missed the boat when it came to sweating the details on this bike. Stiffer springs don’t cost the factory any extra, either, and who among us wouldn’t have rather seen Yamaha ditch the three fueling modes in favor of a single one that works correctly, like most every other bike on the market. Having to spend an additional 20% of the bike’s msrp just to get a new motorcycle to work the way it should straight from the factory is inexcusable. This bike is a great concept, with a great motor. Similar to the engine heat issues that plagued the original FJR1300, hopefully in a year or so Yamaha will introduce an updated version of the FZ-09 that addresses these first-year glitches.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The new Street Triple R has dead nuts perfect fueling.”

        and there it is. you want fine fueling…? right then, come off the dime.

        re: “Having to spend an additional 20% of the bike’s msrp just to get a new motorcycle to work the way it should straight from the factory is inexcusable.”

        not true. when you’re only spending $7990, it’s ABSOLUTELY excusable.

        • VLJ says:

          Nonsense. There are plenty of sub-$8K EFI bikes with perfectly smooth fueling.

          Oh, and I did come off the dime. :-)

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Yes, but there is only one 105 hp, 415 lb motorcycle under $8K. So you have a choice: a perfectly fueled sub-$8K bike that you can throw many thousands of dollars at in a completely futile attempt to match the performance envelope of the FZ, or spend $1K to $2K on your FZ to approach the performance envelope of a Speed Triple. Or those who don’t care about that can just enjoy the FZ as it is and snicker every time they twist the throttle and leave a Ninja 650 in the dust.

          • Blackcayman says:

            Again, I agree with Norm…

            @ $7990 the bike is cheap and may staisfy the broad market demand for commuting and running around – also newer riders graduating from 1st bikes. The fewer of us that will focus more on canyons and sweepers at speed will have to pony up for the suspension bits and fueling fixes

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Oh, and I did come off the dime.”

            not for the racy staccato of a triple you didn’t.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “The fewer of us that will focus more on canyons and sweepers at speed will have to pony up for the suspension bits and fueling fixes”

            which we all were GOING to do anyway even if the bike were 100% perfect.

            there’s a reason there’s a whole customizing scene (no, not because of those wacky OCC guys). there’s a reason the aftermarket is a BILLION dollar industry in of itself.

          • VLJ says:

            Norm, yes, I did exactly that. I own a 2014 Triumph Street Triple R. I bought it new a few months ago (traded in my R1200R) and it now has 6,000 miles.

      • MGNorge says:

        It’s uncharacteristically Yamaha to put a bike in the showroom with these issues. Was it rushed to market? Was this how it comes in at a bargain? Maybe both?

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “It’s uncharacteristically Yamaha to put a bike in the showroom with these issues.”

          it’s also uncharacteristically Yamaha to put a bike in the showroom for $7990.

          see, the answers we’re looking for were right there in front of us the whole time. it’s crazy how that works out.

  46. RRocket says:

    How hard are you pushing it on the street for the suspension to be an issue? How far above sane speeds?

    I can’t imagine any suspension being over-taxed at sane street speeds…

    • MGNorge says:

      I’ve read European reviews stating essentially what Dirck says here. Just putzing around town may not show these limitations fully but any spirited riding brings it out quickly.

      • mickey says:

        Cycle World and Motorcyclist magazines both have long term FZ09s in their fleet. They loved the motors and are attempting to fix the fueling and suspension. So far to no avail. One of them called riding the FZ09 on curvy roads like driving a 1968 Pontiac with bad tie rods ends or something like that lol.

        • John says:

          I can’t imagine the “problem” wouldn’t be solvable with stiffer springs and heavier weight fork oil.

          My personal theory is that the suspension is tuned for normal street riding and commuting which is what 99% of people will be doing with this bike. Moto-jourmalists have to find something negative to say about the bike because if they were honest and told you how head and shoulders above everything else in its pricepoint no one would ever buy anything else = a lot of angry manufacturers.

        • OhNiner says:

          I had to laugh…..because those of us who actually ride 09′s have been enjoying our bikes with fixed fueling and suspension for months now.

          An ECU reflash takes care of the throttle. Fixes for the suspension range from cheap (springs and oil for the front, shocks from other bikes for the back) to pricey (replacement fork cartridges, aftermarket shocks).

          Cycle World and Motorcyclist must be oblivious to the existence of online communities, because that is where most of the solutions came from.

  47. billy says:

    Nice starting platform!