I Wanna Go Fast(er)

Posted: May 16, 2012 in little Honda, things I want
Tags: , ,

As I previously posted, I’m starting to look outside the realm of cruisers and see if there’s another bike out there that might suit me better. My biggest complaint about my bike, and most small cruisers, is a total lack of roll-on power. I don’t want to race or do anything stupid. I do, however, want to pass cars as quickly as possible. And that requires power–something my 44hp Honda lacks.

I also don’t want a crotch rocket. I had one for a couple of months when I was in high school. I took my lunch money and bought a 1986 Fz600R with about 35,000 miles on it, and it was UGLY. But it was fast. Mind-bendingly, frighteningly fast. My mom made me sell it, and a friend of mine wrecked it on his test-ride, making it only a couple hundred feet before the high revving 4 cylinder engine shot him into a tree. He was fine and paid for the bike. I didn’t ride again until the fall of 2011.

But there is a third way. Suzuki very stupidly killed its fantastic SV650 and SV1000, but you can occasionally find one used under $4000 in good condition. The motors from both bikes have gone on to the V-strom, so you can still get them serviced. Just don’t drop the bike because body parts are in short supply. I actually VERY nearly bought an SV650 before I found my Honda. The SV has a riding position between the full lay-down style of the crotch rocket and the upright cruiser. It was pretty comfortable, but I imagine your wrists would hurt after a couple of hours.  That said, the SV’s v-twin motor produced enough low-end grunt to never feel doggy, and could run fast enough to get your blood pumping. I really like this bike and kind of wish I had just gone for it instead of obsessively seeking out online reviews.

Next, there’s the Yamaha FZ6. It has a fully upright ride position while retaining the racing looks of the R6, and in fact having a re-tuned motor from the R6. The FZ’s mill is tuned to give more power in the middle of the rev range, and by most accounts, it hasn’t worked, leaving the bike feeling lost from 5k-7k, then it turns into Mr Hyde. I really want to ride one and see how distracting this power delivery is. My old Yamaha FZ60oR felt very doggy in town, but when the revs built up, it was scary-fast. The FZ6 looks awesome, and seems to have potential. As a bonus, you can find them used for around $4000, sometimes less.

I really just want a solution to the roll-on power problem, and it’s hard to solve in the cruiser class. The only option is really to go bigger, and eventually you end up with a bike that is excellent on the highway and kind of a pig in town. I would like to preserve the in-town ability of my bike and just give it some more power to make passing quicker. I guess the lesson to be learned here is to think about what your bike will be used for before you buy. And don’t get hung up on a single class of bike just because all of your friends have one.


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