Destination State Route 763: Twisty Roads in Southwest Ohio

DCIM113GOPRO

At this point of the year I’m gearing up for my big trip to Deal’s Gap for the annual Triumph Rally, but there are a few decent roads to be found here at home. Once you’ve spent time riding in places like West Virginia, Tennessee, and virtually everywhere in Appalachia, it’s tough to find roads that compare in terms of technical riding conditions and view considering all the flat farmland. Last year I had big plans to get down OH-763 on my way to see my Grandma in Kentucky. As usual, “Road Closed” signs be damned, I went on by, only to find a local bridge to be out completely. Bike pointed (excessively) downhill, my dad and I turned back. Fortunately, despite some technical difficulties this summer, I did finally make it down to the river to check out this local riding destination. Last weekend I put together a full day’s ride from Waynesville (Ohio) to Augusta (Kentucky), but the highlight was definitely 763.

 

 

Ohio Route 763 runs through Brown County between OH-41 in Aberdeen to OH-125 near Decatur. Across the roughly 13 mile stretch you’ll find series of tight, unmarked, curves in rapid succession, including several elevation changes. Throughout the string, you’ll find good open sweepers along farms through the valleys, often followed by another uphill technical section under the tree canopy. First timers should definitely be on the lookout for gravel “washout” from rural driveways and embankments, along with the constant threat of unmarked, low speed curves. There is not a great deal of traffic along the roadway (at least for the 3 visits I’ve made this July and August), but riders should be cognizant of the threat of slow moving vehicles arriving on several of the secondary road intersections.

 

There are undoubtedly better roads in Ohio, but in the last 4 years, I’ve yet to find a more technical section of roadway south of I-70 and west of Chillicothe.

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Breaking in the Scrambler… or maybe it’s breaking me in?

Three weeks and now there’s 2,000 new miles on the Scrambler’s odometer. I’m still impressed by how the Speedmaster and the Scram share the same engine but behave completely different. I imagine after a year or so I’ll start putting some thoughts to “paper” about the long-term performance and character of the new machine.

MotoADVR_ScramblerTrainTrestke

 

At any rate, dirt and all-weather was a new goal of mine with the “new ride”, so I’ve been taking advantage of dirt and gravel roads wherever I can find them. I’m still pretty timid about high speed turns on gravel , but I’m getting more comfortable riding while standing (on dirt; I love riding while standing up on pavement!), and leaning the bike around the dusty turns. Still a lot of learning to do, but it’s addicting, that’s for certain.

 

 

As I’ve mentioned before, the local Triumph RATs play a bit of “moto tag” locally, a game I enjoy thoroughly because it always offers you and excuse to put miles on the bike. I put in about a hundred miles today, chasing bridges and whatnot across at least two counties. Figured I’d drop a few photos on this, now, rainy afternoon.

 

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Singing in the Rain…

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m terrified of riding in the rain… but close. One of my goals with “the new bike” is to ride, rain or shine, whenever possible. The “rubber met the road”, as they say, yesterday on my way home.

 

I stand firm, if you want to conquer your fear of riding in the rain… you must ride in the rain.

 

 

With the right gear, mid-controls, good rubber, and a positive attitude, things are going well so far!

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Triumph Scrambler Project: Planning

MotoADVR_ScramblerHempleBridgeRight up until the last minute, I actually thought I was going to lean toward the tiger, but as I mentioned, in the end it just wasn’t meant to be. That’s not to say I’m disappointed, I knew going in that the Scrambler would do the job, and do it with “soul”, it just meant putting in a little extra work and throwing a little more money at it over time… enter the Scrambler Project.

 

Short-term Goals

There’s no denying that a stock Triumph Scrambler is a street bike. Not unlike the other Triumph modern classics and cruisers, it also comes shod with some pretty “budget” suspension. If I plan on turning this street bike into an adventure machine… a suspension upgrade is certainly high on the “to-do” list. For folks that haven’t heard me talk about it before, the folks at Canyon Motorcycles in California have a setup with Works Suspension to give the Scrambler (exclusively) a full 6” travel, front and rear, suspension upgrade. That’s going to be on the order of about $1,250 plus installation, but that’ll make for a good project in January.

 

MotoADVR_ScramblerEngineBarsAside from the “big ticket” suspension upgrade, engine protection is an absolute must. Triumph does fortunately make a (relatively) sturdy set of engine guards for the Scram, but based on what I’ve read (there’s a cult following on ADVrider.com), a minor modification may be in order to make them truly hardy enough to stand up to dirt riding. I’ve debated working on my fabrication skills with the help of a knowledgeable friend, but I may leave that for later down the road once I’ve got a few more dirt road miles under my belt (which is about 2 miles as of today…).

 

MotoADVR_DualScramblersHaving ridden the Speedmaster for such a long time, let me tell you, the stock headlight sucks… and the Scrambler’s isn’t impressing me thus far. With the goal of “rain or shine” in mind, visibility is also near the top of the list. From what I’ve seen thus far, I have healthy list of Denali products in mind to bolt onto the new Scram. If all goes well, I hope to have a two-wheeled zombie apocalypse assault vehicle; mounted with Denali D4 auxiliary lights and possibly the Dual DR1 headlight replacement kit.

 

MotoADVR_ScramblerTrailerThe old-school Triumph Bonneville summer screen was included with the bike when I bought it. That was a nice freebie, but frankly it looked horrid on the Scrambler, and I felt like I was riding behind a barn door! As of now I’m going to hold on to it for a few and decide if I prefer a new flyscreen (buy or build, that is the question…) and sell the summer screen, or keep it for a really, really, long haul. I expect this year’s Dragon Raid will probably help me figure that out.

 

MotoADVR_ScramblerSpitfireLuggage is a whole new conversation now; considering my Mad Maxian goals, aesthetics be damned at this point. That high pipe on the right side does add unique challenges, fortunately there are a few, relatively affordable, aftermarket racks available. Per my comments about ADVrider, there are some very impressive luggage solutions that folks have come up with, so it’s really a matter of build, buy, or both at this point. In the long run I think I want to have the option of hard cases (maybe some sweet ammo cans!?!?) and soft luggage. Thus far I’ve seen that the Kreiga Overlander 60 setup is ideal as it lets you mix and match 15 Liter dry bags with RotopaX fuel cans to extend the range (I found out about them in a good adventure story). I have big dreams of taking this bike to Alaska at some point; fuel and storage will be a “must”.

 

Heated grips are pretty much a given. I had Bike Master heated grips on the Speedmaster which were great until about freezing, at which point they couldn’t quite keep up. I’m hoping what I’ve read about Oxford Heaterz rings true and I can get a wee bit deeper in the cold range. At any rate, installing aftermarket heated grips is pretty easy, so it’s just a matter of putting them in the budget and spending an hour installing them.

 

MotoADVR_1050guardsOnScramblerAlong with heated grips, I also want to address the hand guards issue. A buddy actually lent me his hand guards off his Tiger 1050 for a few; I may draw them up and take a stab at having a custom set 3D printed, but we’ll see how that shakes out. There are actually a lot of affordable retail options out there, including turn signals, so I could potentially see myself getting lazy and going that route, but I expect I won’t get to hungry for that project until after it snows a few times.

 

I was actually impressed with the reach to the handle bars from day one, mostly that I can comfortably ride standing up (mandatory requirement for the “new” bike). That said, on the freeway the riding position does get a bit tiring, thus I’m going to hunt down a set of 1” bar risers. There are many solutions available commercially, including ROX risers that would permit pivoting the bars back a bit as well. This is a pretty small change, but a necessary part of the project.

 

Long-term vision

My end goal is obviously to build a low budget “Adventure” bike. The Scrambler is also a “classy” platform to build my Mad Max war machine… so there are some small aesthetic and some otherwise pricey items I would also want to bolt on long-term. MotoADVR_MadMaxBikeAt some point the rear fender needs to go; props to Rosie’s previous owner, the Lucas tail light replacement with solid indicators was a nice upgrade, but I’m looking to shed weight in the long run. I may also decide replace the stock mirrors with some lower profile bar end mirrors, at least for the summer; however I admit the longer I ride the Scrambler, the more that the taller mirrors are growing on me. Despite putting nearly 50k on the Speedmaster mill, I never fussed with new pipes or other engine upgrades; the Scrambler did fortunately came with Triumph Off-road Pipes (which sound fantastic), and long-term I can definitely see myself removing the air injection, and possibly upgrading to an Arrow exhaust. At minimum, the exhaust needs to find itself “de-chromed”; that’s happening one way or another. In line with making this Scram a dirt worthy steed, the rear brake caliper needs to find its way up on top of the swing arm, instead of hanging down in harm’s way as it is now. On the same note I also want to get some serrated pegs mounted; the rubber clad pegs are comfortable on the freeway, but I’ve already slipped off of them once in the rain. Really long term I’d like to fit some lighter weight allow rims. Spoked wheels are a plus for the dirt, but having replaced a tube already, I’ve discovered these rims are bloody heavy. A tubeless spoked rim would really be choice!MotoADVR_TwistedThrottleCustomT100

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Putting more “Adventure” into Moto Adventurer

MotoADVR_ScramblerTrailerThe day finally arrived. I asked for a few favors, stopped by the bank, and I bought a new motorcycle. I was on the fence for quite a while, but when the chips were down, I knew I wanted a multipurpose machine, and I needed a long term view on what would be the best tool for the job considering I have a one-horse stable. The Tiger 800 XCx (or XRx) would have done the job marvelously but that meant a commitment on my part that I was simply not okay with. Moreover, I have an unrelenting rebellious streak that answers “you can’t do that on a Scrambler…” with “watch me!”; so on Friday, Rosie followed me home.

 

MotoADVR_ScramblerGrass15,000 annual miles means changing the oil at least twice and a valve clearance check. Obviously with a little practice, that task can be accomplished on the Tiger 800, but I already know the maintenance requirements, have all the tools, and trust the 865 mill. I’ve heard horror stories about the time needed to complete simple maintenance tasks on the Tiger (i.e. air filter change), which may just be hearsay, but I frankly don’t want to fart around with wrenching when I know I can be riding. In the end, the sheer stature of the challenge at hand (make a Scrambler dirt worthy), my concerns about reliability, and flat-out passion for the 865 twin carried the day, and 3 days in, I regret nothing.

 

MotoADVR_ScramblerRosieIf I hadn’t mentioned already, my cousin bought a Scrambler (not all that different from mine) this spring so I had a chance to ride it. My initial impression was that it was similar to my Speedmaster, but rode like a Bonneville, which is exactly  what I was looking for. First day on the road (Saturday), the Scrambler brought torque in spades. Not all that different from the FZ-07 (obviously heavier…), the Scrambler does NOT have the top end power of a triple (or a four for that matter), but it packs a hearty kick in the ass through the twisties; so much so my face still hurts from grinning ear to ear all weekend.

 

MotoADVR_RosieFtAncientAgain, the Scrambler is by no means a sport bike, but the ground clearance is by far superior to the Speedmaster, so it’ll jump the curb and it leans over just the same. I can’t hang with supersports or enduros by and means, but I have a thing for underdogs, so the challenge of “keeping up” suits me just fine. One of my favorite movie lines is “I don’t care what anything was designed to do, I care about what it can do!” (Apollo 13). I assume it’s two years in the “sandbox” but I get guilty pleasure out of doing more with less; glutton for punishment I suppose.

How does that saying go; “Adventure is taking inappropriate equipment to out-of-the-way places”?

It may be all wander lust… be here goes!

DCIM112GOPRO

 

 

 

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Treading water…

MotoADVR_Lola_LowAt some point I’ve heard most of my fellow bloggers talk about it; you’re absolutely drowning at your day job and in the struggle to tread water, the blog takes a backseat to life. A year and a half later… that moment has arrived. As of late I’m still slammed at the office, meanwhile I’m putting in a lot of overtime toward my charity of choice, along with trying to sell my bike. Considering the bike is for sale, I’m obviously not putting a lot of miles on it, and therefore not keeping up with my random roadside “foodie” responsibilities, but I think there’s hope on the horizon, for at least one of these commitments.

 

In the meantime, I figured I’d at least offer some candids from some recent stuff. A little moto-porn never hurt anyone…

 

 

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2016 Yamaha FZ-07: First Ride Impression

MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 in lineA couple weeks back I stumbled across a random ad on social media about a Yamaha demo event in south Cincinnati. Considering my wife has also been putting in the overtime as of late, I decided to get up early and get down to the Queen City to test out some of Yamaha’s wares (6/25/16). More than anything I was stoked about finally getting the opportunity to ride the new XSR900, but after getting “signed-in” the Yamaha rep informed me that I was going to need to wait for a couple hours before a time slot was open for the XSR900. I wasn’t about to pass up a chance to ride Yamaha’s new modern throwback, but asked the gentleman if I could ride something else in the interim. As luck would have it, I was able nab a ride on the FZ-07, a bike that surpassed expectations.

 

MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 back roadsI’ve covered a few bike reviews up to this point; as awesome as life must be as a professional moto-journalist, I’m beginning to understand how difficult it is to review a given bike, and not overuse words like “fast!”, “tractable”, and “Torquey”. I also think it’s very important to understand where the writer’s views are coming from. Obviously, my riding experience is more limited than most of the mainstream moto-media, so I tend to compare a given bike to my current ride, and to similar bikes I’ve ridden. I wish that concept was apparent with more of the media outlets, it’s a lot easier to tell you’re reading a puff piece when a given writer’s daily rider is a sister bike from the same stable (1200 GS…), or that a score of writers spend more time at track days than I do commuting to work (I mean, why else is the Panigale the greatest thing since sliced bread?). That said, this is coming from an entrenched Triumph guy on a parallel twin cruiser writing about a Yamaha sport bike; so… on with the review.

First Impressions

I’ve actually been eyeing the new FZ-07 for a while now, but until that Saturday, I had only appreciated the bike as another extension in the Yamaha range.MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Left At first glance, the FZ-07 seems a bit futuristic, with “stealthy” hard lines and modern styling. I assume all the aesthetics are run-of-the-mill with regard to naked bikes, so I take that in stride, especially since I’m a sucker for throwback, but my opinion, overall performance and function is what rules the day among modern naked bikes. I actually like the bright colors; while I normally prefer black and anything matte, the flagrant paint suits the FZ-07. Looking the bike over further, the dash display looks, like the rest of the bike, modern, and impressively large from what I could tell. The bike in general appears a bit tall, especially considering its 689 cc stature (more on that in a minute); when I think 700 I think 650 (ish) sport bikes and the Savage 650 (which is anything but tall). The seat at first glance was certainly on the “thin side”, with the pillion pad even more so; while I imagined ripping around corners on this lightweight machine, I did have some concerns about comfort on long days in the saddle. Throwing a leg over the bike as we readied for departure, I honestly didn’t know entirely what to expect in the coming moments. I knew the FZ-07 was a parallel twin, just like my current ride, but I had no expectations for road manners, electronics, or general “character” of the bike. At a minimum I had no doubt that the FZ-07 would feel lighter and stop faster considering its smaller displacement, naked bike status, and twin binders up front; all of which I was looking forward to.

 

The Ride

Leaving from the lot it was I rapidly discovered that the FZ-07 was significantly lighter than I expected; along with the upright riding position, it felt far more nimble than my current steed.MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Ignition I was immediately impressed with the clutch friction zone and overall balance of the bike; it was also impressively easy to drag the rear brake to pause at a stop without putting a foot down and not waver from the “heft” that you experience on heavy cruisers. In general, it was clear from the onset that the FZ-07 is just an easy bike to ride. What seemed like an enormous display proved to be quite agreeable once underway; the screen was very easy to read at speed, and included a large amount of information; speed, tachometer, MPG, gear indicator (nice touch as it’s cheaper than my current ride that lacks this feature), among others. MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 DisplayConsidering I was riding a twin with less displacement than I’m accustomed to, I was impressed by the mill’s rev happy nature, with a redline beyond my Triumph twin. As the ride progressed, I began to notice the distinct similarity in character between the Yamaha twin and that of my Speedmaster; albeit with better power to weight ratio. Acclimating to the cockpit, it became obvious that I’ve been accustomed to clunky cruiser controls for a years now. It was a somewhat difficult to adjust to what felt like microscopic controls on the FZ-07;MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Left Controls I found myself honking the horn at least twice in attempt to cancel the turn signal. I assume that goes away with time, but this is also a preference thing; I’ve read other reviews complain about “clunky” controls. It’s a fine line I’d say; I prefer controls that I can actuate without taking my eyes of the road while not overly cumbersome.

 

As I mentioned, the FZ-07 “CP2” mill has more horsepower and revs higher than my 865 Triumph Twin (67 vs. 60 HP & 10k vs. 8k RPM). I consider my Triumph quite rev happy, and without fail the Yamaha mill delivers more of the same.MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Right Front The 07’s power plant also delivers a reasonable amount of torque considering its displacement; it also arrives early and in linear fashion as us road faring riders prefer. As the ride progressed I felt myself more and more impressed with the power delivery that you can really “feel” as bike surged out of the corners. I never felt like I was on the verge of a power wheelie, but I was quite subdued considering I was on a demo ride (where wheelies were strictly verboten). Just like the engine, the transmission was also on par with my Triumph. While I did miss an up-shift from 2nd to 3rd gear when we first set off, after that the transmission was very agreeable; I never found myself searching for a gear, including neutral. If I’ve not mentioned before, MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 hard rightI tend to engine brake given the opportunity; again the CP2 mill obliged without protest and delivered predictable slowing power that I would expect. The FZ-07 is not sold with throttle by wire “ride modes” or a slipper clutch that are more available on some of its stable mates. This is non-issue in my eyes (again, considering price point), but as I attempted to “blip” the throttle to rev match when engine braking, I found it to be somewhat of a tough task to master in 20 minutes; I assume because of the overly lean throttle map, but I’m sure that skill would eventually be mastered with time. I imagine it would get even easier with an aftermarket exhaust and revised throttle map (sorry EPA…).

 

MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Front WheelConsidering I prefer engine braking, I wouldn’t be fair to say, in the interest of an honest review, that I truly tested the brakes . I can say that the overall stopping ability of the bike is better than my current ride, and undoubtedly takes less effort. I would need another look to feel comfortable saying that the sport bike, “two finger” braking method is possible, but it was definitely a lighter touch than I’m accustomed to.

 

The seat proved to be a bit more comfortable than I expected, however it was only a twenty minute ride. MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 SeatHaving a ridiculous amount of space on my stock Speedmaster seat, I didn’t quite know what to expect when riding the FZ-07. The seat is quite narrow on the front end and broadens significantly toward the back. On the road that translated to comfortably flat-footing the bike at stops, but I can see concern about getting uncomfortable in long stretches of hugging the tank when things gets sporty. I pushed back in the seat on the downhill sections of the ride; with the balls of my feet on the pegs, the riding position was comfortable, especially with the wider, more spacious section of the seat. The pillion seat didn’t seem to “arrive” too seen when scooting back, while it also served as a good support as I rolled on the throttle at the apex. At the same time, if my wife thinks she’s got a Spartan seat now, I can only imagine her response to the FZ-07 pillion pad.MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Peg Beyond just the seat, I really liked how narrow the chassis felt overall; great  for street riding and carving canyons, and probably even lane splitting in California, but I’m still curious how the narrow, lightweight frame handles the freeway on a windy day. In general I was really happy with all the ergos, especially considering I’m looking for more upright seating on my next bike, the FZ-07 has the leg room I prefer with the neutral mid-controls I’m looking for. Unlike the Roadster I rode a few weeks back,MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 cockpit the Yamaha’s mid controls aren’t positioned exactly where you want to plant your feet at a stop, but a bit forward so it’s not awkward pulling up to a light. The bar height also felt ideal, but as the ride went on I did start to think like they were a bit narrow for city riding. I can see the narrow bars advantageous in the twisties, but long-term I would imagine I’d prefer slightly wider hand placement if I intended to use this bike as a daily rider.

 

MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 downhillThere’s one serious advantage to test riding bikes in Cincinnati versus Dayton; in Cincinnati there’s actually some topography. After we escaped the straight stop and go city roads I began to notice that the FZ-07 suspension is far superior to my current ride. The 5 inch suspension travel could easily soak up the urban bumps but also felt very stable in the curves.MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Tires I could potentially see the suspension feeling a bit plush for more aggressive riders or on track days, but it’s spot on for the average street rider, especially for the price point. The demo model was also fitted with Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires. Admittedly, I can’t currently mount sport rubber, but I have some friends that do, thus far I’ve heard positive things about the PR3s. Considering the limited riding we did, I certainly had no complaints about the tires, including how they handled some tiny spots of gravel in the road.

 

MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 mirror adjustOn the flipside, the mirrors were simply terrible; before we made the first turn I was trying to adjust the mirrors so I could actually see the riders behind me (it was a demo event after all…), to no avail. After twisting the mirror in every direction, I still had to lean over to see past my shoulder; No Bueno. I’ve seen countless comments about stock mirrors being crap on all kinds of new motorcycles, the FZ-07 is more of the same it seems.

 

MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 PipesIt also wasn’t long into the ride before I noticed my ankles were getting a generous waft of engine heat (I also had armored, mesh, pants on). The more demo rides and whatnot I do, the more I realize I’m completely spoiled on my Triumph Twin; where I experience virtually no engine heat except on the hottest days. The FZ-07 is at least the second, liquid cooled, bike I’ve ridden that felt significantly “warmer” than my air cooled twin, but still nothing like a Victory. I realize this is all a fact of ergonomics and aerodynamics; it wasn’t especially bad, I just noticed it… and it’s really tough to fault this bike.

 

Gripes

MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 ControlsBack at the dealer I stepped off the bike, snapped a few more photos, and started taking some notes. While not really a gripe, I do have concern about the 3.7 gallon gas tank I see on the stat sheet. Mind you, Yamaha claims this bike gets 58 MPG, which doesn’t seem too bad, but obviously I have no idea if that’s legit. I do however know that the heads up display tells you when you’re in “ECO” mode, hopefully sipping the petrol as advertised. Without question, the mirrors desperately need attention. I also have no doubt I’m not the first person to notice the dragline the FZ-07 is pulling behind it; I can’t tell if that tail-light-indicator-license-plate-bracket “thing” was designed that way on purpose or some sort of engineering afterthought. I suppose if it didn’t overtly draw attention to itself it wouldn’t be all that bad, however the indicators bounce all over the place once underway, and it just looks awful (I was also following an FZ-07 on the ride).  The  Headlight also appears a bit anemic… to say the least.MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 Tail Obviously it was daylight during the ride, so I have no idea what kind of light it throws down the road, but it’s a concern I have. I realize this is not Yamaha’s fault, but there’s a massive catalytic converter hiding under the frame; I imagine that would be quick weight savings when you switch to an aftermarket exhaust. I also find the lack of ABS to be somewhat a disappointment; I have a suspicion it’s standard on the bikes in Europe, but a cost savings here in the U.S. It’s not a deal breaker, but for any every day, rain or shine, commuter, it would be a nice addition. Lastly I have some concern about adjusting the chain. Obviously, I haven’t owned a fleet of motorcycles, but I’m no stranger to adjusting chains and belts; something about this adjuster set up seems “new” or cheap… I’m not sure which. Why would it be any different than the FZ-09 setup?

 

 

The Competition

MotoADVR_KawasakiVulcanSI’m not going to claim to be some expert in the mid-range naked bike field. That said, I suspect that the FZ-07 is probably in direct competition with every mid-range naked bike, and pretty much every mid-range bike a prospective “new rider” is looking at in order to avoid purchasing a Rebel 250 that they’re just going to sell next year. As a guy currently riding a 900 cc cruiser, the FZ-07 brings enough grunt to the table I could foresee it making a direct replacement for my current ride. MotoADVR_TriumphStreetTwinHighPipeI would probably need to figure out some gear for a touring setup, but with bags, fly screen, and comfy seat, I think it’s up to the task for anyone looking at middle weight bikes. I’ll even go out on a limb and suggest the FZ-07 is indirectly competing against the new Street Twin, Ducati Scrambler, and their ilk; assuming that “retro styling” is not a box on the buyers checklist. I’m also sure I’m not the first to say, for guys like me, the FZ-07 is competing against its sister the FZ-09; bang for buck matters.

 

Closing thoughts

Pulling back into the lot I was disappointed the ride was over. For an “entry level” bike… I hate that expression… Considering it’s displacement, MotoADVR Yamaha FZ-07 RightI was really impressed. I initially suspected that I might find the bike a bit boring and under powered, especially after I rode the XSR900; far from it. In general, the FZ-07 was pleasantly light weight, nimble, surprisingly torquey (yes I said that, but it’s true), and had very manageable throttle response. It also had “character” that grabbed me, something I can’t say about at least one of the other bikes I rode that day. Undoubtedly the bike lacks considerable creature comforts available on its larger stable mates (ride modes, ABS, etc.), but again, considering the price (under $7k), there’s plenty of room for customization and superior aftermarket parts, like new front fork springs and emulators if that’s your thing.

 

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