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2009 Yamaha FZ6R First Impressions


by Marc Cantin ,

The FZ6R is defined by simplicity, meaning that engineers successfully kept costs at a minimum without altering the bike's personality. Overall, the new multi-tube steel frame, dual-piston front/single-piston rear calipers, non-adjustable front fork and "link-less" rear suspension with 4-way spring preload adjustability totally fill the needs of the target customers. Yamaha's approach reminds me of Triumph with the Street Triple, which is also derived from a sport bike (Daytona 675) and uses lower-grade, less expensive components, making it the brand's best-selling model.

Breaking the law in a pedestrian-only park near the Eiffel Tower, to get "the right shot."

Despite such basic yet effective components, the chassis as a whole delivers a competent, civilized ride while keeping the price as low as possible. What's more, the available ABS brakes (european version only) significantly add to the rider's safety.

The riding position accommodates bulkier folks, while my passenger (6'3'') said he had never felt that comfortable on a mid-size bike.

The instrument panel is easy to read and provides all the vital data needed to ride with peace of mind. The configuration of the handlebars and levers promises hours of fun with no excessive fatigue, and the small wind screen and smartly-designed fairing further reduce strain.

God bless the adjustable seat, handlebars and brake levers that allow riders of all body sizes to feel at ease on this Yamaha. Speaking of the seat, the lower height (along with the footrests directly underneath) improves comfort levels for all.

Time to roll!

The dynamics of the engine and its ability to sustain accelerations and top speeds almost effortlessly reminded me a lot of the 675-cc three-cylinder of the Triumph Street Triple R I rode on the very same roads just a week earlier. I'm obviously referring to the generous amount of low-end torque as well as the bike's amazing rider-friendliness -- just twist the throttle a bit, and the machine just surges forward without having to kick down a gear or two.

Lightweight and nimble, the FZ6R loves to hit city streets and go on light touring adventures. On the other hand, more aggressive riding shows the limitations of some components, which are not as advanced as those of the R6 or FZ6 (both priced higher than the R).

Check out the neat and tidy low exhaust, and the clean look of the rear of the bike. Keeps legs and seat nice and cool!
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