Yamaha’s FZ-09: the universal bike?

Since having the dream of a stable of bikes mangled thanks to the cruel calculus of insurance companies, I’ve been thinking about putting my eggs all in one basket.  In looking over this year’s offerings one really stands out for me as a bike I could develop a long term relationship with.

What I’m looking for is a bike that offers a standard riding position so it’ll take to a variety of riding tasks.  I like the look of a naked bike and I’m a fan of efficiency, so light weight is a must.  So, an all-round naked bike that’s light on the scales, fits a big guy well and is dependable so I can make some miles on it.

Fortunately Yamaha has come out with the FZ-09, and it checks a lot of boxes.  At a light-weight 414lbs and with a strong three cylinder engine, it’s a step up in power from the Ninja without heading into litre-bike territory.  It’s standard riding position offers much less lean and deeper pegs for my too-long legs.

While the 650R is a sport-tourer, it sill puts me into
much more of a crouched riding position.  I enjoy
the bike, but creak when I get off after a long ride. If

I’m carving up corners, it’s a beast.  If I’m trying to
make some miles?  Not so much.

An almost 1 inch taller seat, barely any forward lean
(11° less than the Ninja), 4% less bent knees, and
14% less crouch.  An all purpose bike that

fits nicely?  I hope the FZ feels as good as it should.

That 414 lbs means the FZ-09 comes in 26lbs lighter than the Ninja, and it manages to do it while carrying one more cylinder and an additional 200ccs.  The FZ is even 16 lbs lighter than a KLR, which makes me wonder what a scrambler FZ might look like.  With some knobbly tires, wire wheels, longer suspension and guard, there aren’t too many places it couldn’t go.  RTW on an FZ?  Perhaps!

Is there such a thing as a universal bike, maybe the FZ is it…

And it even comes in orange!

There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for an athletic red-head…