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My review: FZ1S, FZ1N, BMW K1200R, Hornet900, 990 Superduke

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by fred_kroft, May 11, 2006.

  1. Today I had the day off to go bike shopping. Only bikes I could test ride
    got selected, and the best I could do was these--

    Yamaha Pitmans Yamaha FZ1S
    Adelaide Motors BMW K1200R
    Yahama World Yamaha FZ1N
    Honda World Honda Hornet 900
    GP Motorcycles KTM 990 Superduke

    Yamaha FZ1S
    Yamaha FZ1N

    The bike felt great. Perfectly suitable for an old codger like me (34 yo).
    Admitely, I took it easy on all bikes tested (accept the KTM.. see

    This bike has no bottom end .. at all. .... it feels like the FI system is
    faulty or something ?. You nail it in the bottom end... nothing.... you
    back off the power slightly and the motor dies, . you are slightly back on
    the power, and it's back on the power hard. The poor chain is
    snapping/slapping away as you are doing this. So.. the motor seemed very

    BMW K1200R

    This bike is great. it's got wicked acceleration. The suspension seems
    great, but is too gadgety for my liking (stuff like, electronic suspension
    system, handle bar warmers), and the wheel base is too big (like my

    I've come to the conclusion in my life that I small bloke like me
    shouldn't ride something that has a long wheel base (as I seem to have
    to fight a long wheel base bike in corners).... but that's just my

    As an engineer, I look at how many things are going to break later on.
    When I look at a machine, I like simplicity. The K1200R is not simple. If
    you like Windows XP, you'll probably like this bike.

    Also, the indicator system is bloody stupid. I wonder what twat thought
    of that idea ? (probably one of the directors wife(soccer-mum)/son/nephew
    etc). I was not able to reach the cancel button without looking down...
    I resorted to hand signaling.

    Honda Hornet 900

    This is a bloody excellent bike. It's simple, it's as retro as a goldern
    ear ring. It accelerates like the Gixxer. It feels similar to the FZ1N and
    S in handling, and they sell for something like 11 grand (which is a bit
    strange considering Hondas have always been very pricey). If it wasn't for
    the KTM, I would be getting this.

    My only compliant was that the handle bars are a bit too high for my

    KTM 990 Superduke

    I went to GP motorcycles (Morphett-vale) and they basically handed me the
    keys and said head for the hills..

    It's the only bike I did take to the hills. I don't remember the names of
    the roads.. it's apart of the hills I'm not very familar with.

    I took it fairly easy though. It was very strange riding a GSX-R1000 for
    4.5 years and then going to an up right bike. It will take me a good week
    to get used to the new position.

    "IK" (from a previous thread about Superdukes) has some fine words to say
    about this bike. See as follows--

    I'm bike-sitting a mate's Superduke atm; the brief blat from his place to
    mine, and another quick spin to have a twiddle with the suspension, sold

    I've pretty much found my next bike; sometime relatively soon, I'm
    chopping in the ZX6 and the ZX9, getting into a whole heap of debt and
    getting a Superduke and an '06 ZX-10R.

    I must say I don't follow your objections about the Superduke switchgear;
    it's generic stuf, virtually the same as you find on both my Kawasakis.
    Hooray for being able to switch off the headlight, too.

    Moving on from that mundane note, the Supeduke's pretty much the most
    insane thing I've ever ridden. I've been jibbering about it on the phone,
    online and in person to anyone who'll listen. Some of the recurring
    expressions I've used have been "the most headbanging piece of lunatic
    two-wheel anarchy ever", "this bike should come with an accessory
    straitjacket and an accessory explosives belt" and "it's like my YZ426,
    except with another cylinder grafted on".

    The brakes on it (monoblock Brembos with a radial master cylinder) are
    mega, the suspension (WP all round, with dual compression adjustment out
    the back) is mega, the controls (all top-shelf Domino stuff) are lush, but
    the engine takes some getting used to. Because it's built like a dirtbike
    engine, with a very light crank, it's not a fan of steady revs. It likes
    to be ridden exactly like a dirtbike, either on the gas or on the brakes,
    stomping through the gears in the applicable direction. Depending on your
    disposition, this makes it either too much hard work or what you've been
    looking for all your riding life.

    I'm in the second category. Cane it off the lights, double-tap into third
    and you're already barging, elbows-out, through whatever's ahead at twice
    its speed. Roundabout exits are full-throttle-in-second propositions,
    skimming the front tyre and steering with bodyweight over the rear contact
    patch. There's just no other way to ride it. Try, and it'll hate you for
    it as bad as any RGV.

    KTM made a promo film for the bike which features a Superduke terrorising
    winter traffic in a European city centre, overlaid on a pair of
    shaven-headed kickboxers thumping the shit out of each other in an empty
    warehouse. That pretty much encapsulates what the Superduke is about. With
    legislators and bureaucrats preoccupied with curtailing the untappable
    potential of 180hp/200mph sportsbikes, the guerillas at KTM spraypaint the
    security camera blind and slip this 110hp urban-warfare nailbomb in
    through the unguarded side entrance. This is a bike for people who count
    Fight Club in their top five favourite movies of all time and who know the
    words to Rage Against the Machine's "Sleep Now in the Fire", Public
    Enemy's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" and whose to-do list includes
    learning enough German to understand Rammstein lyrics.

    It's a bike which tells you a lot about your character. Ride one, and
    you'll find if you're the sort of person who'll pen a letter to cops
    warning them about this new orange menace, or the sort who'll wheelie off
    in the direction of your state parliament to inscribe a feet-up doughnut
    around the fountain in the forecourt and escape just as the security gets

    Questions I asked the dealers were--

    - Can bike take unleaded (as all of these were speced to take premium) ?

    All dealers said yes to this, providing you were picky with your product.
    Honda seemed to be the most leniant towards unleaded).. but it came across
    to me as an educated guess by the salesman.

    - Can you interchange FI mapping (power/economy) mode ?

    nil. Nobody had an answer for this. "Go easy" was one answer.

    I see this as a software problem. It would be very easy for the
    manufacturers to recode the fireware to accommodate an ECON/PWR
    button (just like a car).

    - Where can I put my alarm ?

    All was good. The boot's might get a bit hot though (due to the exhaust
    style of 2006 bikes), but I can fix that problem with insultation ;)

    - I asked if manufacturer had planned/considered conversion options to
    alcohol or LPG (ie Basically I asked "what bits of the bike do I have to
    replace inorder to convert it to LPG, alcohol etc...")--

    Nil. Therefore the manufacturers haven't thought about this.

    Anyway, I decided on the Superduke ;). It's 6 grand more than what I would
    pay for a Japenese bike... but I don't care. Regarding conversion... I'll
    guess I'd deal with that when the time comes. So, yeah, ph___ Peak Oil,
    I guess I can push it.
  2. Thanks for the report Fred. There is a few bikes there that I have an interest in so I must get out and try a few.
    By the way have you ridden the V Strom? And how does it compare to the orange beast?

    And thanks again for the read.
  3. Thanks over here also!
    Interesting (ofcourse!) for the FZ1N/S rides. Are you saying they both were basically identical in terms of this lashing and FI bugs? I've heard reports from others saying it was non-existant for them, and mostly journalists complaining on the press release bikes. It's disappointing to hear though (for me). I'm also left wondering what you'd think of the 1st gen FZ1 then compared to your GSXR.
    I'm also a fan of the K1200R, I just wish it was a tad cheaper.
  4. I gotta say I've been drooling over SuperDukes for a while now. It's not because of the ones I've seen hurtling around Broadford and Winton, not because of the brutish, evil looks or anything else...

    It's because of IK's review.

    Congrats! I hope you enjoy the bike mate, they sound like a dream ride to me.

    /Note to self: Somehow, somewhere, I MUST cadge a ride on one of these!
  5. Re: My review: FZ1S, FZ1N, BMW K1200R, Hornet900, 990 Superd

    I would have though insulation might make it worse if it disrupts airflow and my cbr1000RR didn't have any heat problems with the alarm (had a thermomtering in there for a couple of weeks and saw bugger all raise but it was during pretty cool weather but the alarm worked fine in hot weather in any case), only space problems when I wanted to carry other stuff in the tiny boot even before the alarm was installed.
  6. I think I'll add it to my list after all...so you MIGHT get a ride since I MIGHT get it.
  7. Re: My review: FZ1S, FZ1N, BMW K1200R, Hornet900, 990 Superd

    God I talk crap when I am tired..

    BTW-- BMW service there bikes every 10k, instead of the usual 6k.
  8. Hi farawayman

    No unfortunately. The two dealers here in Adelaide will not demo them anytime

    cheers ;)
  9. Hi Bray,

    My opinion here is that you'd be doing yourself a favour if you get the Honda Hornet.
    It's basically the same style bike, but with more berries. They are also cheaper (which
    I am a bit suspicous about ???? - where is the quality if they are dropping their
    price by half ? (compared to 2001) ?).

    In Jan 2001 when I was test riding in Darwin, I test rode a FZ1, R1, my bike and a
    CBR 900.

    I was a different man then. In my mid-and late 20's, I was the type of guy
    who would go out on his CBR600 pissed, with bald tyres in the rain and
    hang it out sideways at every intersection.

    In Jan 2001, when I was bike hunting, my criterion was power to weight ratio
    and how many gears could I wheelie it from the lights (the coppers up there were
    very leniant towards speeding and drink driving.. at long at you were below 1.5).
    I got pulled over 3 times in the first 6 months.. and that was nothing compared to
    some people. I owned the gixxer (4 pulled overs in total). The first time I got done for
    100km in a 60 zone while failing to turn right on a turn-right-only intersection
    (and got let go). The 2nd time was doing 240km/h in a 110 zone (let go - the copper
    said that he cooked his motor catching up to me, and was surprised that I had
    pulled over), the third time was 101km in a 70km/h (after skulling 3 bottles of
    Cascase heavy.. I was going to get some takeaway... The copper apologized for
    pulling me over).

    It was a different time and a different attiitude.. .. My opinion back then of the FZ1
    was that it couldn't pull the skin off custard and I looked like a sissy on it. Now days,
    this style of bike is nice and comfortable, and sensible for the Adelaide Hills roads.
  10. Hi Loz ;)

    IK was right. You open her up in 2 and 3, and you charge.. ("elbows out") in the
    direction of (and at twice the speed) as everybody else ;) .. that's because you are
    hangin the ___ on ;)

    GSX-R1000's motto is "own the race track".

    Well, the Superdukes motto should be "Own the apex". This thing is so easy to corner...
    and I had only spent 20 minutes on it, affter riding nothing but my gixxer for 4.5 years
    and I was going through corners almost as easy as my gixxer.

    Imagine what I'll be like after getting used to it ?

  11. Re: My review: FZ1S, FZ1N, BMW K1200R, Hornet900, 990 Superd

    Hi Matt ;)

  12. Fred's right on the money.
    I've been testing a few nekkids to see if there's anything out there that I want bad enough to chop in the 'Triple. Haven't tried everything yet (waiting on a demo on the new Triple), but I couldn't find anything that didn't feel a bit flat in comparison to mine - not even the Tuono.
    Until the Superduke.
    It's just mental! But not in an intimidating way, you just feel totally in control right from the start.
    I'm just now waiting for something else that's due to be released very soon, but if I wanted to buy right now (and I had the readies), it'd be the Katoom for sure.
  13. Re: My review: FZ1S, FZ1N, BMW K1200R, Hornet900, 990 Superd

    Which cars alter the fuel/air mix or timing with their ECON/PWR button? All it does in the Falcons & Commodores I've driven is change how the auto transmission changes gears. I didn't realise some cars actually used it to change fueling.
  14. Ummm, no thanks, that would be a considerable step down :p But seriously I like my nakeds to have a hint of a fairing.
    Ok thanks, I think that tells me what I wanted to know. Ie. I believe my FZ1 has just a touch more power than what you're making out, so maybe there's hope for the new FZ1, for me, yet.
  15. Re: My review: FZ1S, FZ1N, BMW K1200R, Hornet900, 990 Superd

    Hi Tenoq

    Tenoq, I know SFA in this area. All I know is that cars have a fuel economy

    I know that I can buy a drop-in electronic management system for my
    Gixxer that alters my FI mapping to make it use up more fuel or use less fuel.

    I think it would be nice if manufacturers extended this idea, and have a button
    that selects between mappings (on the fly).

  16. The Benelli TNT has exactly such a switch. It re-maps the fuelling through the ECU on the fly.

    Flick it down for the friendly TNT, and up for the tear your balls off version.
  17. Don't get me wrong though. I think they are fanastic bikes (today). I would have
    no regrets about owning an 2001 FZ1 or a new FZ1[NS]. The FZ1[NS] would only
    require one of get used to the response to ride it smoothly.

    What I did on Thursday was not a fair test at all. I wasn't going hard. Half my
    concentration was spent avoiding the cagers on two of Adelaides most busiest
    roads (South Rd is muurder).

    The superduke was the only one I took on the back roads (no traffic) and
    opened it up.