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Hyosung GT650R vs Yamaha FZ1N, a useless comparison

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by franzferdipants, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Today I had a test ride on a Yamaha FZ1N. Seeing as I am terrible at backing up my computer I thought I would just post it here instead :)

    First, a little bit of background. I've been riding motorbikes for the past two and a half years. I've only owned the one bike, my lovely yellow Hyosung GT650R. Though I love my bike to bits my life is moving on and it is time to upgrade. The first year I was giggling like a schoolboy riding around Canberra. But now I'm in Melbourne and the missus likes two-up touring. I need something with a bit more comfort and a bit more grunt, without sacrificing my ability to get around in the city. The FZ1S is near the top of my list. It's relatively comfortable and cheap. Yamaha have good dealers, it's well stocked and the FZ1 has a more than adequate accessories list.

    So, off to Yamaha City in the Melbourne CBD for a test ride. They had an FZ1N model available, which I reckon is close enough.

    Sitting on it, the first thing I notice is that it is tiny! With the Hyo I'm tucked into the bike. The Hyo fuel tank is huge and sort of becomes a security blanket. When riding I can squeeze the bike with my legs and feel firmly planted. With the FZ1 I'm on top of the bike. I'm worried that a quick tug of the brakes will send me scuttling off the bars arse over elbow :eek:. Looking down just makes it worse. I can see handlebars and the dash (which looks very nice btw) but nothing else. No comfy double-bubble windscreen or front fairing. It's just me and the road.

    I push it to the street, deciding not to scare pedestrians with 140hp of newbie on a sidewalk. I need about as much effort as with the Hyo, but in this bike the centre of gravity is much lower down and feels more centralised. So it is actually pretty easy to pull it around.

    Flipping on the turn signal I wait for Elizabeth Street to clear of traffic. If you've ever been to Elizabeth Street you would know that it never clears of traffic. After stalling once, then twice, I pull out and keep it low and slow before stalling it again. I've never ridden such a powerful bike before. I usually hang out around the 70-80hp range on twin cylinders, so I was expecting it to be the other way around and have it wanting to pull wheelies at the slightest hint of a throttle. Actually, it was as harmless as a puppy.

    The interplay between clutch, throttle and brake is much subtler that with the Hyo. The clutch is heavier, and the friction point seemed harder to find. The throttle makes it go vroom, as I suspected all along, but compared to the v-twin the engine winds up like a vacuum cleaner. If I gave it a whirl I would either stall it, flip it, or watch the bike sail off into the distance without me. The brakes were very nice. A real step up from the Hyo, which have served me well and kept me safe a few times but lack feedback and thus confidence. For riding around town, the tractable power delivery of the Hyo and the light clutch is a winner for me. But I'll give the FZ1 the benefit of the doubt and chalk this up to my inexperience with inline fours.

    Now I have to have a Shannons moment talk about the passion. I love the Hyo 650 sound. You sit at the lights and it goes *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump*. Pull on the throttle and you get a nice meaty roar that doesn't rattle windows and scare the neighbours. The bike shakes and shudders getting toward redline. It puts on a real good show without getting to Ludicrous Speed. The FZ1 is a whiner. When it idles at 1k it seems to say to me "Can we go now? I'm bored." Well you are in the Melbourne CBD and there are roadworks everywhere. So no, you cant. Though the Hyo vibes and sound are fun for quick squirts, they let it down in the touring stakes. With the FZ1 on the open road I feel like I could spend all day on it. But still, I appreciate a bike that can make a show. With the right pipe and a bit of throttle control I think the FZ1 will satisfy me as a "swiss watch with a turbo" power trip rather than the muscle bike grunt you can get out of the v-twin.

    I end up at the Docklands, sitting at an intersection waiting for a green light when I notice this thing is *hot*. I notice my feet are really sweaty. The dash reads 103 degrees centigrade. Is that good? No idea. To be fair, it was about 30 degrees today and I had been stuck at roadworks and lights for 15 minutes. The Hyo also gets hot under those conditions, but I guess having four unfaired exhaust pipes gives you a bit more thermal radiation.

    At speed it all becomes clear. The FZ1 suspension is much more pliable. It absorbs bumps very nicely and the whole bike remains very solid. With the Hyo I can "drop" it into the corner, meaning that I have to do very little to turn it in, but it will turn in at its own pace. It's fairly top-heavy so you don't want to rush it. The FZ1 flicks in as quickly or as slowly as you like, and the handlebars make picking it up a breeze. I have a little test corner near the Docklands. A left hander (advised 35kph) with shifting camber. At the legal limit of 70kph it felt solid and dependable with plenty of ability left to spare. Quite a step up from the Hyo which at the same speed on the same corner does not feel quite so sure-footed at the camber change. On the one hand the FZ1 handles the corner better, but on the other hand it also makes one of my favourite corners quite boring.

    While I'm minding my own business, putting along slowly past a line of cars, some asswipe pulls out in front of me without looking or signalling. Instinctively I grab a handful of brake and the bike handles the whole situation without a fuss. The suspension loaded beautifully. When the bike stopped the front didn't bounce back and force me to do a little man-handling, which is what I would expect in a slow-speed emergency brake on the Hyo. Whoever designed this suspension did an excellent job. Thanks!

    To give the bike a real road test I take it through a terrible part of the CBD. Little Lonsdale Street has a section of road with a dozen hacked-up and re-tarred sections. It was still uncomfortable on the FZ1, but the suspension smoothed out the quick sudden jabs and I felt like I wouldn't have any trouble at all doing an emergency brake on this surface. Overall the bike felt very solid and composed.

    I made it back to the shop in one piece. Getting off the bike I decided the seat and riding position of the FZ1 is a clear winner. My back appreciated the upright style, the wide bars made turns a breeze. It took me a while to learn that without the big chunky fuel tank to grip onto a lot of braking force goes through my wrists. For a while there was a bit of weaving at the front. I think I can probably learn to grip the tank a bit more and get some of the feeling of security back.

    On the whole I'm in two minds about it. I've read lots of trash talk about the Hyos over the past few years. If you believe what some people say you'd think a postie bike would be an improvement. So I was expecting the FZ1 to be superior in every way to the GT650R. Around town I think I would actually prefer the Hyo. It has nice tractable power and can give you a thrill in areas where the FZ1 would have you yawning. But for the open road and rides longer than a few hours the FZ1 is clearly superior.

    I may have to settle for both :grin:
  2. Fantastic review. Good work mate :)

    I'm riding my "little" GT650R at the moment and commute to the Docklands 5 days a week so i know exactly what you mean about the excellent clutch feel with them. I swear, if you stall a Hyosung you should just quit riding bikes and drive.

    To be honest, while i think it's a great bike for the money and it serves me well, i'm a little bored of the power. First and second gear upto 7k are alright, but after that - boring. Although you have to love the sound of a twin with a good pipe :D

    I'm looking at stepping up to a GSXR1000, CBR1000RR or 1098 next year. Leaning towards the CBR as i'v heard its the most stable and user friendly.
  3. very good review and comparison between both bikes.
  4. Mate I know exactly what you mean. I prefer my SV around town as it has what you describe as 'tractible power'. The SV needs a bit of throttle to get moving, but its not scary at all so you can have a big of a laugh with the throttle, its not a serious experience, whereas riding the blade around town you feel like you're riding at 1/10000000ths of the bike's capability. Not to mention it costs more to maintain, is harder to maintain, chews tyres, is less comfortable, uses more fuel and tires me out more around the city. So as a practicle bike it fails (except for the massive boot which I could probably live in). Which is why its kept for 'rides', where practicality and sensibility is not relevant.
  5. These things are geared so that 1st is good for up to 160km/hr... I can't imagine how anybody ever gets them going without stalling so I have no doubt Hyosung or any other modest commuter bike would be much easier to ride in low speed, stop-start city conditions.
  6. First of all; GREAT username :rofl: {Those ignorant of World War One history may continue scratching their heads.}

    Secondly, great review. It's a big step from a 650 twin to a 1000 four, and you touched on all vital differences and how they work out on the road.

    Given one of your main needs is pillion capacity, the Yamaha is going to be a clear winner, but it you have the means to keep both, then do so!
  7. Actually most will probably think it's just a play on words referring to the band that usurped that name, rather than a tip of the hat to the good old archduke (I'm sure the OP is aware though :wink: )

    Great review, very interesting to hear a comparo between two bikes that wouldn't normally be compared!! :)
  8. :oops: I'm not up on bands, I'll go sit in the corner now......
  9. Yes...shame on you and your knowledge of history :LOL:
  10. From the way you've written your review (quite good btw) it sounds like you haven't ridden a 4 before. You can't ride it the same way that you ride your twin and expect it to perform the same way in the same conditions (ie around town). If you keep your revs higher than you are used to you'll find it just as easy, if not easier to commute on than the Hyodung is.

    Also, it'll last longer :wink: :p
  11. Yeah I agree that I had no idea how to ride it. The only four I've ridden before is a GSXF750 (the air-cooled grandpa bike) and it was much closer to the Hyo. I imagine that once I get used to the clutch and throttle it'll be much easier.
  12. It is mate :) I also came from a Flungdung v-twin

    My first few days on the 600rr I found myself not carrying enough revs through corners and caused myself no end of dramas. Once I worked out how to ride an inline 4 properly, I'd take one anyday.
  13. Nice review mate, good old lazy Vtwin for good old lazy riding.
  14. :applause:
    Great review!
    Yeh my next ride will be a FZ6n
    my Hyo will be hand-balled to the wifey :)
  15. Why do you hate your wife so much?
  16. No Dougz l don't!
    What are you trying to say! It's a fine line to bag ones wife. . . :)

    Just kidding m8t. . I understand the 'love' and issues you've had with your hyo. I think I've read most of your posts on this site, and i back your views all the way. I'd feel the same if it was my case too.

    So far so good, i'm very happy with my bike, only problem is there's never enough time to ride. .
    (and i waited way too long to get a bike). . . .