The bike I've never wanted

Gary in NJ

Junior Member
Site Supporter
About two years ago my son's best friend asked if I would help him find a first bike. I pointed him in the direction of the usual suspects (FZ6, SV650, EX650R) and he settled on an FZ6 not to far away. I went with him for the pre-purchase inspection, gave him my approval and rode the bike home for him. In the weeks following I taught him to ride and got him through the state road test.

A year ago my son's friend went into the Navy and he asked if I would like to buy his FZ6. I had exactly zero interest in the bike - it's a low budget starter bike after all - but I wanted to help him out so I gave him what he paid for it. Six months later I went to his house to collect the bike. I took the long way home, riding the bike on my favorite back roads for about an hour. I got off the bike and declared it to be the spookiest, most vague bike I'd had ridden in a long time. I put it in the garage and there it sat for the entire summer.

Over the course of the last few months I've been contemplating what to do with this lump. I was up for a small project so I ordered some Race Tech Emulators, 0.85kg fork springs, a Two Bros exhaust and some other odds and ends. I spent the last few weeks installing parts. Looking at the weather for the next few weeks I figured that I better get this bike out and determine whether I will keep it or sell it. So today was the day.

Well, today I had one of the most enjoyable rides I can remember in a long time. The front end of the bike was completely transformed. I've used RT Emulators 3 other times in the past, but I never remember getting this much compliance from the conversion. I set the valves at 3 turns, used 15w oil and set the level high at 130mm. The forks gave a nice ride and more importantly, great feed back. All of the dive is gone too.

The Two Bros exhaust has a nice tone. I put the baffles in to keep the noise in check and I think it all strikes the right balance for me.

This bike is a keeper. I'll try to get a few more rides in before the winter. When the snow comes I'll pull the wheels and spoon on some new rubber. I'll probably tear it down for complete maintenance too since I have no idea where it stands on anything.

I'm so glad I gave this bike a second chance and didn't write it off after my initial ride back in May. The bike has a nice comfortable riding position (I'd like the pegs a little lower) and decent wind protection from the factory windscreen. I think this will be my "go to" bike for a while.
 
Last edited:

TownsendsFJR1300

2007 FZ6
Site Supporter
I bought mine wrecked, as a beater, to replace my KLR 250 "beater". I already had an FJR, a Goldwing(1800) and the 250 in the garage.

After some mod's, (all the wreck repairs), exhaust, etc, its become my favorite bike of all the past bikes (40+ years of riding) I've owned. Sold ALL the others, and kept ONLY this one...

I like the lightish weight, semi naked, low maintainance, easy on tires (vs the large cc bikes), the sound, handling and the high rev limit when you want to play..

I looked real hard at new FJR's and decided this bike fits me to a tee. I don't want 2 or more bikes, so short of me wrecking this one, it'll be in the stable for quite awhile!! :Sport:
 
Last edited:

ChanceCoats123

Junior Member
I'm glad you gave it a second chance. It really is a starter bike in every sense, but it has a load of potential to become more than just a "first bike." I bought mine this past summer and did an R6 fork/caliper swap. The dive disappeared once I dialed them in (like you mentioned), and I also went with a TwoBro's kit. The bike it completely different and is incredibly fun to ride. I've already bought more parts to put on during the winter because I can tell this bike is one I want to keep for a while. :thup:
 

Dry Martini

Junior Member
My bike is completely stock, save for the seat. While it is not as much fun as my monster, it is still competent on twisty mountain roads.

I also consider it more than a starter bike. I see it as a UJM with a small fairing. I also ride it two up with wife.



This space intentionally left blank.
 
Last edited:

FinalImpact

2 Da Street, Knobs R Gone
Site Supporter
All I can say is I've ridden more powerful bikes and ones that handled better; what I found is this bike is more fun as you can flick it about and play with nearly any crowd and have lots of fun while doing it.

I do wish it had more torque but its spooled up for season five after a few more tweaks this winter!

So - do the rear shock and then go after the cosmetic stuff as making it stick keeps us alive! Oh and Welcome!
 
It's my second bike and my primary motor for commute,,,can't complain much as standard as I spend mostly 2hr/a week day on the bike...saving me $$$ for my other needs :)
 

Carlos840

Junior Member
If you really want to have some fun, add a good rear shock and change the gearing to 15/48, it becomes a real beast!
 

Dry Martini

Junior Member
If you really want to have some fun, add a good rear shock and change the gearing to 15/48, it becomes a real beast!

I went +2 on the rear sprocket. It does make it a bit more lively. I have not changed the rear shock, but I have dropped my weight to 174lbs. :D


This space intentionally left blank.
 

major tom

Junior Member
Hello Gary in NJ This is interesting as I'm going to do the same mod, I'm curious to know how much you weigh? I chose .90 springs, what do you think. I'm 178lbs, before riding gear.I love my yammy too
 

Gary in NJ

Junior Member
Site Supporter
Hello Gary in NJ This is interesting as I'm going to do the same mod, I'm curious to know how much you weigh? I chose .90 springs, what do you think. I'm 178lbs, before riding gear.I love my yammy too
I'm only 165-170 pounds, so the 0.85's were the way to go for me. I did install Slingshot Racing adjustable fork caps, which made setting static and race sag incredibly easy.
 

ELIZABETH

Goofball Extraordinaire
I did a swap with Racetech springs and gold valve emulators and was amazed at the difference. Having never ridden any other motorcycle, I had no clue that the fork dive wasn't "normal." LOL I love the improvement it made.
 

Dry Martini

Junior Member
I did a swap with Racetech springs and gold valve emulators and was amazed at the difference. Having never ridden any other motorcycle, I had no clue that the fork dive wasn't "normal." LOL I love the improvement it made.

At what point in your riding were you noticing the brake dive? I notice it when coming to stop, but playing on twisty roads I just engine brake to scrub off speed. So the less than stellar forks are not a problem.


This space intentionally left blank.
 

Gary in NJ

Junior Member
Site Supporter
At what point in your riding were you noticing the brake dive? I notice it when coming to stop, but playing on twisty roads I just engine brake to scrub off speed. So the less than stellar forks are not a problem.
On the stock progressive wound springs I felt the front end dive every time I rolled off the throttle. Just setting up for a corner had the front end diving. As I mentioned, there was little feedback from the tires and forks, so slowing for a turn was a spooky experience. Now that the forks are properly sprung (with single rate springs) and dampened, I have a good connection with the tires and have great confidence counter steering through turns. Just as importantly, the ride quality is significantly improved.
 

ELIZABETH

Goofball Extraordinaire
At what point in your riding were you noticing the brake dive? I notice it when coming to stop, but playing on twisty roads I just engine brake to scrub off speed. So the less than stellar forks are not a problem.


This space intentionally left blank.
On the stock progressive wound springs I felt the front end dive every time I rolled off the throttle. Just setting up for a corner had the front end diving. As I mentioned, there was little feedback from the tires and forks, so slowing for a turn was a spooky experience. Now that the forks are properly sprung (with single rate springs) and dampened, I have a good connection with the tires and have great confidence counter steering through turns. Just as importantly, the ride quality is significantly improved.
Totally agree with this. DryM, You are used to the stock response. I also engine brake the majority of the time. If you get your forks redone (or replaced) you will be amazed at the difference. :D
 

FinalImpact

2 Da Street, Knobs R Gone
Site Supporter
Totally agree with this. DryM, You are used to the stock response. I also engine brake the majority of the time. If you get your forks redone (or replaced) you will be amazed at the difference. :D
I can relate... Digging up the past and a couple of my first posts...
2011-04-01, First Ride:
I can't say I'm green to suspension setup so I will say this; while cornering through uneven ground it seems the bike does some kind of for/aft rocking motion upsetting the trajectory established. Its like the front is too soft or doesn't have the same damping rate as the back. Like it dips more and the back might have a buck to it (not enough rebound dampening for the spring pressure)???

2011-04-09 Second Ride:
This is just my opinion, but I hate the front forks on this thing! Its a bike and it rides, but I know its just way to soft in the nose. All corners, any bumps and the nose is down and seems to have 1/2 the spring rate as the rear consuming most of the suspension travel over very small surface changes. .. .. .. I'll be doing the spring and oil change sooner than later. . .​
At the end of 2011 my Christmas present to me was R6 Forks! Best Money EVER spent on the bike!
 

Dry Martini

Junior Member
Totally agree with this. DryM, You are used to the stock response. I also engine brake the majority of the time. If you get your forks redone (or replaced) you will be amazed at the difference. :D

Oh I know the difference. I have a Ducati Monster with much better forks. However, I don't have a problem with the FZ6 in its stock form.


This space intentionally left blank.
 

Andz

Phantom Rider
Elite Member
Sorry I was scrolling on my phone with a cat on my lap who was insisting on attention, ignore the above LOL


Sent from my iPhone 5S using Tapatalk
 
Top