Just bought my new bike and am in love, so I thought I'd post up my review Here's the specs: http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/yamaha/yamaha_szr660 95.htm My history: I've only been riding for for 12 months and have owned the following: Bug 90cc scooter (shite) Honda CB250 (slow) Honda XBR500 (shouldn't have sold it) After going through so many bikes I knew I needed something I was going to keep for a decent amount of time- it would have to be a bigger bike. The Honda XBR500 had turned me onto singles and after a bit of a look around the Yamaha SZR stood out as the finest example of the breed. Buying Advice: I had been looking for an SZR for weeks. I kept seeing them advertised at dealerships and privately, only to call up and be told "sorry I sold that this morning", so they're obviously in demand relative to supply. I paid a bit over $5000, for mine, which I thought was fantastic. I've seen 4 or 5 97' models with around 50k's go for over $5000. Still, If you're looking for one, don't baulk at paying $5+, considering late model 250's are going for that much :roll: freaking ripoff's. An SZR is better in every way as I will eloborate. First Impressions: The bike was in faultless condition, very few scratches, chain and tyres serviceable, aftermarket Staintune (you'll rarely see one without an aftermarket exhaust- pay less for one without, it's really mandatory). The sound is the best I've heard on any bike, it really turns heads. The quality of finish is dodgy in parts- for example in the underseat vent the sprypainting and sanding was not done properly. The electrics also appear (though function fine) to be getting fragile with age. But I am extremely impressed with the paint quality, welding, and the general equipment- there is absolutely no rust- Suzuki owners eat your heart out All the reviews on the net I'd read criticised its looks, many calling especially the rear end ugly. I thought the same when I was looking at pictures on the net. However, when you see the bike in life, everyone who's seen it agree's it is really neat looking. The reason for this I think, is scale. If the bike was a foot longer and a few inches wider/taller it would just look goofy. But it's absolutely tiny, which means that somehow the styling actually really works- it looks hot :grin: One thing to consider when shopping for an SZR is colour. Normally I'm not shallow enough to care about this and just go for the best deal. However the SZR is a strange example of a bike where there were two fantastic colour schemes and one godawfull tacky one that clashes badly with its red seat. I own a black one and I love it. Theres also a red and a blue. I think you'll be able to figure out which colour scheme I'm talking about. So what's it like to ride?: Performance- Only being on my P's I haven't got a huge deal of bikes to compare this to. I have ridden the following learner legal sports bikes: Honda CBR250, Kawasaki GPX250, Kawasaki GPZ250, Honda XBR500. Of course compared to the twins- GPX250 and GPZ there is no comparison, the SZR 660 is dynamically and indisputedly faster. It's a fair bit up on the XBR500 too. As for the comparison with a 4 cylinder 250, the CBR, well It's a mates bike and when I've rode it I'm not out to thrash someone else's machine. I've only ever taken it up to about 12'000rpm which I know is a fair way off peak power. None the less the difference is easily obvious. While they're both about the same in peak power (both doing pathetic 13 sec 1/4miles), if you want the CBR to go fast you have to launch at high RPM's and keep em up there for any acceleration. In my riding, mostly in the 8-11'000 rpm range I thought it felt pretty flat and uninteresting. Sure power was OK, but it wasn't engaging at all. On the SZR by contrast you can roll on from any rpm in any gear and you will quickly be exceeding the speed limit. The difference is in the torque, which is always instantly available on the SZR and provides no need to keep high revs on the dial to keep moving. In all It's by far the best power I've ridden, and if your going to dislike this bike for any reason it won't be for lack of performance The gear box is a bit naff. False nuetral between 1st and 2nd has come up a little, though new oil might improve it. The small rev range of a big single also means that it is very unforgiving of getting in the wrond gear, with the rev's either spiralling towards 7000rpm or a stuttering idle. I'll get used to it. Handling- This is the best handling bike in the world! I say so, and so does my mate, the CBR rider. If It can run rings around a CBR in the bends, it must be damn good :grin: Suspension is firm and responsive at all times. The best thing is the strong Chassis allows you to apply full throttle out of any corner, the impressive torque driving you upright. An unforgettable feeling. Practicality Okay, admittedly it's not all roses and I'll address here the practicalities of the bike Ergonomics: First of all, as mentioned is the size. I'm 6'1", so I'm pretty average for guy's. I'm 57kg's though, so I'm damn small in a way. The riding position isn't too bad- pegs and bars seem exactly right for sports riding style, not cramped as you might expect. However the Knee cutouts on the side of the tank are really extreme and there's no comfortable way to place your legs against the side of the tank. Also the seat slopes forward, and I always seem to have sore nuts within minutes of riding (too big I suppose ). Instruments: Work well and are clear and attractive, look nice at night especially, with a nice red glow. Screen: The screen is definetly designed for someone much closer to 5 foot than me. I had the chance to ride the bike on the Highway for an hour- in the poring rain no less :? . The screen kept wind and rain completely off my chest, but there was a lot more noise around my helmet than I've ever experienced on my naked bikes. I could feel the pressure on my arms too, and it contributed heavily to fatigue. Friendliness to Learners This is my first real bigger bike, as it will be for a lot of owners, and theres a couple of things that have intimidated me so far that I thought I'd share, that a 250 would not do. I pulled up at a mates place the other day, and was trying to do a U-turn up a slight slope in his yard. His yard is entirely made up of loose topsoil and gravel, the least traction surface I've ever seen. Anyway trying to do this U-turn I gave it some revs and let the clutch out slowly. The bike didn't move at all, so I gave it a little more clutch. All of a sudden the back wheel was sliding to the left and stones were flying behind me- I was doing my first ever burnout! Never happened on a 250, a combination of the higher weight and power obviously. Unerving if your not trying to do it. During my first day on the bike, I was speeding towards a T-intersection at 100km'h+ and left the braking to the minimum distance. To my grief, the rear brake locked up and the bike fishtailed- scary. Easy to lock up. I wouldn't use it at all, but unfortunately my front brake lever doesn't activate the light, which shits me. Doing U-turns on this bike is a mixed bag. It has good stability so that's not a problem. However its impossible to keep your hands on the bars at full lock as they press hard against the tank. Vibration: The vibration on this bike is something else! It's a big single, and although its supposed to be more advanced, it feels much worse than my aircooled 87' XBR500. When I started the bike up this morning, disturbingly a bearing flew off and hit me in the leg- vibration related? My left mirror is okay, but my right one just won't stay in a usefull position and vibrates all over the place. Vibration does intrude on ride comfort. For short distances, who cares eh? But on the highway... On my one trip on the highway, I was legally limited to 90 (3500rpm) and as this is the sweetest spot in the range the vibration was not good, but tolerable for 1000km a day I would think, the windblast likely to be more of a problem. The problem is that 110km/h comes up at exactly the worst spot in the rev range, 4500rpm. I tried this for a short time- ouch! It's slightly better just above this, although you will be greatly speeding at 5000rpm+- best to keep it to 90km/h then. Overall: Overall I rate it greatly :grin: It's not the most comfortable. But its a real sports bike. And it's unique. It's got character. "You'd have to be heartless not to grow to love the vibration" to quote IK. You don't buy a sports bike because you want it to be comfortable. And when your learning you don't want the most powerfull bike. But you can take pride in owning the best handling bike short of a 125cc 2-stroke.