1st Gen. FZ1 On Crappy Road

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by brucifer, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Went for a little ride yesterday afternoon with a couple friends -both named Don- me on my '02 FZ1 the other guys on Kawasakis, an '88 ZX600 Ninja and an '05 ZRX1200.
    The route we decided to go is best suited to dual-sports or sumos but we took the big bikes anyhow.
    The road itself is narrow mostly paved but not well kept up. Several miles of 20-40 mph with lots of switchbacks, frost heaves, pot holes, bumps, washboard with short spans of gravel and dirt thrown in. And being this time of year, wet.
    Regarding the bike, I was very impressed how it handled this road. The suspension blew me away as it soaked up everything extremely well without transmitting anything to my back, which is not in good shape. It handled very well too-as well as a semi-sporting postured 500lb. bike could I suppose.:D
    All in all, a very impressive bike.
    For anything but true off-roading, I'd say this bike would make a great adventure-sport-tourer.
    Just my opinion. And, as always, YMMV.

    Anyone else take their 1st gens on similar crap infested roads? Lets hear about it! :ear
    #1
  2. Thumpermeister

    Thumpermeister roost maker

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    The bike will do it fine.
    Plush suspension, smooth power and lighter then some full on adventure twins!
    #2
  3. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    FZ1s are noted for being softly sprung and so thats probably why you got such a cushy ride. Get its suspension set up for trackdays and it probably would have beaten the crap out of you.
    #3
  4. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Any street bike can handle crappy roads if ridden at a reasonable pace.
    #4
  5. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    I guess I'm not getting my point across.
    I have ridden this particular road and others like it (there's plenty like it around here) on other street only bikes and this particular bike took it way better than the other ones I've owned (and ridden.)

    It's almost got me thinking about some dirty style tires, a mondo skid plate and maybe some taller and wider bars...:D
    #5
  6. clapped_r6

    clapped_r6 The Spoad Warrior

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    did 60+ miles of deep gravel on a cbr900 way back when, and it was completely miserable at anything over 25mph
    hit some similar roads later on an r1100r and it was a completely different story, it actually handled pretty good.

    i think it's all about the steering geometry, i've read the old fz1 was "lazy" so that makes sense.
    #6
  7. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    I don't know how you somehow connected a big ol' liter streetbike to dual-sports or motards, but what ever floats yer boat.
    #7
  8. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta?

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    I agree...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34068258@N02/4243224638/" title="FZ1 by ag_streak, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4015/4243224638_4a0f5e8278_o.jpg" width="799" height="491" alt="FZ1" /></a>
    #8
  9. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    LOL That's what I'm talkin' about!
    #9
  10. Fitty

    Fitty Shopping cart rider

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    I did a little dual sporting on my first gen FZ1.

    Wheeler Pass outside Las Vegas.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sorry, I got a little carried away.
    #10
  11. Bocephous

    Bocephous Bitter Clinger

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    I've owned two first gen FZ1's now and live in NE PA where the roads are total crap, and live on a dirt road. When I had my Speed Triple I was always feeling like I was taking a beating. Granted, on smoother roads the handling was fantastic, but those roads are few and far between around here. I bought FZ1 #2 back in May of '09 and that was the first thing that registered in my mind: the FZ1 was so freaking smooth. I owned my first FZ1 in Florida and the roads there are so smooth that anything feels like you're riding on a barcalounger. The Yammy is softly sprung, especially in the rear, and seriously undersprung for 2-up riding so my shock will soon be taking a trip to Traxxion; I hope I don't lose too much of the comfy ride quality.
    #11
  12. ramon

    ramon weezin' the juice!

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    That's pretty serious, I like it!
    #12
  13. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Fitty-Excellent! Could you tell me all the mods you did, either here or in a pm? Thanks!

    Of the three bikes pictured and where you were at, I think I would have preferred the Uly. Wish I hadn't sold mine.
    You da man takin' dat FZ dare fer sher!
    #13
  14. ramon

    ramon weezin' the juice!

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    Post it up here, I want to hear about it too!
    #14
  15. Fitty

    Fitty Shopping cart rider

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    Well I had upgraded my suspension for my 215 lb weight. Traxxion AK20 cartridges and 1.0 kg springs in the forks and a Penske Sport shock. But due to a lack of ground clearance and an exposed crankcase, I felt I had to keep things pretty stiff to keep from bottoming out. Because of that I bounced my way through some of the rockier sections. My 35" inseam was probably my best asset though. I also went 1 down on the front sprocket and 2 up on the back for that trip. The tire choices are the same as the Uly. We both had Dunlop 616's. The only other viable choice for that type of riding is Scorpion Syncs.

    The guy on the Uly did great. One of his fork seals was blown, but he did fine. The guy on the GS Adventure was the most skilled rider of the three.

    All in all it was some of the most fun I ever had on that bike. We got some funny looks at the top of Wheeler Pass.

    The next day we did a couple of hundred miles of gravel in the desert, until some, uh, incidents cut that part of the trip short.

    That bike is now retired and living in Key West. If you're ever down that way say hello to the new owner. He has the same personalized plate I did.

    I now have a Wee Strom which I love, but I think the FZ1 was better on gravel roads.

    I took some rocks to the crankcase and exhaust, but fortunately no damage.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the Uly and GS coming up a hill.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. hoax

    hoax Been here awhile

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    I took my FZ1 off road once. I ended up high centered in the mud and my bike was stuck upright. Rear tire would just spin and I couldn't push it off because my feet would just slide in the mud.

    Thankfully some dudes in a truck stopped and helped me out. Haven't been off road since.
    #16
  17. AllBlackPearl

    AllBlackPearl Alpoholic

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    Fitter, that's amazing! :eek1
    never seen a kilo-fazer doing stuff like that, just great! i surely do love my 1st gen a lot - don't know if i was able to "do" that to her, though.. :huh:D
    however, great stuff!
    tell us more and let the pics come! :freaky
    #17
  18. Fitty

    Fitty Shopping cart rider

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    Like Grainbelt said, most any bike can be ridden on crappy roads if the pace is reasonable. One exception is mud. I never rode in much mud, and that was on purpose. And my size and long legs did a lot to make this possible. The biggest issue in the rocks was lack of ground clearance. This was the only trip that was that extreme. I mostly limited myself to gravel roads. I did ride some pretty good dirt, rocky trails in the North Carolina mountains, along with some other 1st and 2nd gen FZ1s. Again, just went slow.

    Here's two more pics from Nevada.

    [​IMG]

    When the road quality reached this level the riding got a lot more fun.

    [​IMG]

    Proper jetting and a 3 degree timing advancer gave that bike more low end torque than you would expect from an I4. I could lug down to 2500 rpm when I had to and still pull out of it.

    AllBlackPearl, have you checked out the FZ1 Owner's Association at www.yamahafz1oa.com/forum? It's a great group of people and FZ1 resource.
    #18
  19. Fitty

    Fitty Shopping cart rider

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    Here's a small (very small) video taken on Tusquittee Rd. in North Carolina. I had gotten behind the dual sports because I had to go slow, so they waited for me past this small water hole in order to video it, and hoping something would happen. As you can see it was obviously no big deal, but it's all I've got for water crossings. :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_SP2muGy7o
    #19
  20. Duelsporter

    Duelsporter Been here awhile

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    I've said this before, Bill. You're just a crazy old man. :D
    Vern
    #20