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Old 02-12-2006, 10:34 PM   #1
renegade13 OP
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Yamaha FZ6 - Offroad??

Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone has used an FZ6 offroad. Not serious offroad, but gravel and fire road type stuff. The reason I'm asking is that I was looking for a small (weight and displacement) bike to do 90% pavement and 10% gravel/fire roads. This led me to a Multistrada 620, which is basically a standard UJM type bike with fancy components. It has been used with decent success on fire roads so that got me thinking whether other standards, specifically the FZ6, could be used for my purposes. They both have just over 5" of suspension travel front and rear but with totally different engines. Any thoughts??

Thanks.
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:57 PM   #2
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You're right, it wouldn't be that much worse than a Multistrada, but the MS isn't a very good 90/10 bike to begin with and the FZ6, with the high-revving four, water-cooling, strictly street suspension, etc. would be a notch below this in the rough stuff. IOW, you could do it, but it wouldn't be pretty.

These questions are always loaded, because as soon as you say a GoldWing isn't an adventure bike, you'll get someone who pipes up that they took their Wing to Prudhoe and had a blast. So, yes, you could probably take your FZ6 on some fireroads and the like, but it just isn't the right tool for the job. You'd have to REALLY want an FZ6 to choose it over something like a Strom if you had any significant non-paved riding in your future.

- Mark
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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I agree with most of MarkJenn's response. The FZ6 could do the job, it's just beyond its design capabilities. The biggest problem would be stock gearing and engine power band which would require a whole lot of excessive clutch work on even the slightest uphill or loose terrain.

You don't mention which MS you were looking at, the 1000DS is certainly the poorest choice as a trail runner based on mass alone. It would still be a better bike for such duty than the FZ6 due to its superior low end power band, but definitely not the most optimum tool of choice. The MS620 Dark however is an excellent choice as a 90/10 bike, imo, far more desirable than the little WeeStrom. First and foremost the MS620D is very light weight. The torque curve is strong, flat and smooth from as low as 3k revs. Best of all, the single front rotor makes for a light and very responsive front end in rougher terrain, much moreso than a twin rotor setup found on the standard MS620 and all MS1000's. Then consider that it is a Ducati afterall and the bike is so light, responsive and flickable on the street that it makes up for its off-road limitations. As we see more SM tires become available, the 17" front tire becomes less of a liability...although it will never be as smooth off-road as a larger diameter front wheeled bike. I've personally spent enough saddle time on a friends' MS620D to really appreciate its great capabilities. If you're looking for a fun road bike with intention of an occasional fire road, the MS620D really deserves a long hard look, much moreso than an FZ6. Take care.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac
You don't mention which MS you were looking at, the 1000DS is certainly the poorest choice as a trail runner based on mass alone. It would still be a better bike for such duty than the FZ6 due to its superior low end power band, but definitely not the most optimum tool of choice. The MS620 Dark however is an excellent choice as a 90/10 bike, imo, far more desirable than the little WeeStrom. First and foremost the MS620D is very light weight. The torque curve is strong, flat and smooth from as low as 3k revs. Best of all, the single front rotor makes for a light and very responsive front end in rougher terrain, much moreso than a twin rotor setup found on the standard MS620 and all MS1000's. Then consider that it is a Ducati afterall and the bike is so light, responsive and flickable on the street that it makes up for its off-road limitations. As we see more SM tires become available, the 17" front tire becomes less of a liability...although it will never be as smooth off-road as a larger diameter front wheeled bike. I've personally spent enough saddle time on a friends' MS620D to really appreciate its great capabilities. If you're looking for a fun road bike with intention of an occasional fire road, the MS620D really deserves a long hard look, much moreso than an FZ6. Take care.
I like the MS620D too, but am really bugged by 3.9 gallon fuel tank which is patently ridiculous on a supposed adventure bike and is annoying on any bike. And off-hand it looks like a pure take-away to push buyers to spend the money for the 1000.

- Mark
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #5
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My Fizzer (FZ6) sees a good bit rough gravel. It handles it fine, even with the PRII's. A small dual sport is a lot better on rough terain of course, but there's just something special about using the wrong tool for the job at times.

I have been daydreaming lately about doing the Trans Labrador on mine. A few mods and couple weeks off... ahhh.

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Old 09-28-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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holy 3.5 year old thread brought back to life!!

I'm there with you. I'm taking a machining class this quarter, going to make a set of spacers needed to do the R6 fork swap, but i'm also contemplating making a skidplate and am trying to get a hold of a FZ6-R rear wheel. The FZ6-Rs run a 160 rear tire, meaning a 150 series will fit just fine (see where i am going here?), leaving the door open for a few different tire choices, instead of just syncs or Distanza SM (160 series rear, soft tread) that people put on the 5.5" wheels. Another set of spacers will probably be needed for that, too, i'd imagine. I'm also trying to figure out how to get some barkbusters to fit with my throttlemeister. And i agree, wrong tool for the wrong job just feels so right some times. For as much as the 020s suck in the mud, the light weight and decent ground clearance make it not too bad of a bike.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
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I've thought a lot about this stuff as well.

My FZ6 sees some local gravel roads and it works fine. I also took it up to James Bay, which is mostly paved except for the last 10 miles or so, which was hell on the day we hit it.

On loose stuff it can be a handful if loaded down. The KLR and GS with me had a lot less trouble (as you'd expect). I'm pretty inexperienced on gravel though.

I don't see a huge difference between the FZ6 and a V-Strom on gravel roads (I've tried both). You can protect the underside of a V-strom a LOT better, but we're talking about ROADS here, not trails (in this respect, the FZ6 is more like riding a Versys, since the headers are more vulnerable). All of the 90%+ street bikes are a bit top-heavy on dirt. The FZ6 requires does require more clutch work, but it's very predictable down low. I had mine rigged for less pull at low rpms (17t front versus 16t stock) and it still worked fine.

One issue with the FZ6 is the small distance between the rad and the cooling fan. It's just the right size for gravel to get in there and jam up, burning out the fan motor. This is a common problem and on two ocassions I noticed my fan was stuck by a pebble after riding on dirt roads (luckily the fan did not try to come on). Some spacers on the fan or a fender extender would probably fix this.

If I was doing more than 10% dirt roads or sticking to back roads, I'd probably get a KLR. If it's 10% and a mix of other roads, I'd lean toward a V-Strom 650. If I was planning <5% dirt roads and a mix of longer trips at interstate speeds I'd give the edge to the FZ6 or the V-Strom 1000.

Lots of bikes can handle dirt roads. Any half-faired bike is pretty much the same (read 'less expensive to repair if dropped' here). Hell, a Street Triple would work just as good.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:28 AM   #8
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this guy motards a SV650!














if he can do it...
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:20 AM   #9
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I don't even hesitate to take my FZ1 on dirt roads...




Piece of cake for the FZ6, too. There really aren't many bikes that can't be ridden on dirt roads...





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Old 09-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRZ400SK4
Piece of cake for the FZ6, too. There really aren't many bikes that can't be ridden on dirt roads...
Yep. What are you afraid is going to happen?

The group I typically go on long trips with consists of a VTX1800, a Triumph Trident, an old Seca, and a completely beat 500 Ninja; all loaded down on street tires with no skid plates or similar equipment.

We have gone through many offroad excursions, including the sorts of terrain that you typically associate with guys on KLR's and DRs and whatnot. Water crossings, big rocks, horrible mud, etc.

Nobody ever hurt their bike, and nobody ever failed to make it to the destination. I will admit that it wasn't as comfortable or as quick as a dedicated offroad machine would have been; the VTX especially did have an unfortunate tendancy to spin the rear wheel in deep mud, and would readily ground out on any slight bit of terrain, but it still made it through.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:52 AM   #11
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And just in case there's any doubt...



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Old 09-30-2009, 07:09 AM   #12
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Of all the sport-bike like roadbikes available today its probably the one with the most offroad potential with few in front of it. Limited plastics, chain drive to regear for torque, appropriate tires available, etc.

The mods required of it I would limit to the above, fitting fork gaiters, a radiator screen and maybe revalving and changing the springs on the shocks and forks. Thats about it.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:18 AM   #13
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Bumpedy.... I had to sell my V-Strom 1000 last year after many years of riding it everywhere and places it shouldn't go and now I am thinking about buying a 650 V- strom. I have a feeling I could accomplish the same thing on a FZ6 (2005ish model) and craigslist seems to have many of them and cheap.

My biggest concern is riding position, I am not sure if it will be as comfortable as a V-Strom. I am ok with a smaller front wheel, and a little less suspension travel and the vulnerable headers.

I am a little over 6'3", so I am curious if any tall guys have had any luck getting comfortable on the FZ6 and if you can stand up and get it over obstacles.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:00 AM   #14
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My roommate is 6'4" and rides a FZ6, we have done plenty of gravel/dirt roads. Standing isn't so much of an option for him, but when a largish bump is coming up, he will get his butt off the saddle. But, the bike does look very small under him. He has certainly covered the miles, not in the comfort of my Strom, but once the nice twisties hit, he is gone, so its picking that trade off.



It goes along really well, right up to the point the street tires let him down.

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Old 02-13-2014, 09:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey316 View Post
My roommate is 6'4" and rides a FZ6, we have done plenty of gravel/dirt roads. Standing isn't so much of an option for him, but when a largish bump is coming up, he will get his butt off the saddle. But, the bike does look very small under him. He has certainly covered the miles, not in the comfort of my Strom, but once the nice twisties hit, he is gone, so its picking that trade off.



It goes along really well, right up to the point the street tires let him down.
Thanks for the reply. Looks like I am going back to a V-Strom unless a 80% price drop happens on used GS's or Adventures occurs.
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