Sunday, May 31, 2015

Test Ride: Yamaha FJ-09

I honestly wasn't expecting much from this bike. I had read some reviews that said the FJ-09 was fun and torquey, but I didn't expect that to be so true. Hopping onboard, the bike felt a little small, especially after riding the KTM. But, when I put my feet up on the pegs, the bike just fit.

The salesman at YCH encouraged me to ride around the building a time or two, just to get a feel for the bike under me. After the first lap I was ready to ride; the FJ just felt so good under me.

I accelerated out of the parking lot, and immediately started grinning. The get-up-and-go of the bike reminded me of my SV1000, instantly powering up and with great power through the entire rev range. Steering, the bike glides effortlessly, going exactly where you want it. The brakes slow the bike down, stopping it quickly and without fussiness.

The instrument cluster is easy to read. I am not a fan of the windscreen, as the air hit me in the throat or the top of my helmet, depending on the adjustment. Still, that would be an easy fix, I am sure. Another neat little design item is the exhaust, whick is just a little port off the starboard side (watch out for x-wing fighters!).
All in all, this was a FUN bike to ride. I am not sure how it would perform on longer, multi-day rides, because of its size, but for a daily commuter or canyon carver, the FJ-09 would be tough to beat for all around performance and torquey fun. Throw in traction control at this price point and you have a real winner.

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