What is a "Casual" Motorcycle?
Unlike the Yamaha R6, which is a super-sport motorcycle, the Yamaha FZ6R has certain conveniences that make it appealing for new and experienced riders alike. It has a more upright riding position, with less lean to the handle bars. This makes it more comfortable to sit on and ride, and after nearly half a day of abuse and hard riding my back still wasn't sore. On the R6 my back would have been killing me within an hour.
Not only that, but it doesn't pack a 160 horsepower engine. In fact, though Yamaha has been very hush-hush about just how much power it does make, you will find that the FZ6R is rather slow in comparison to any 600cc+ super-sport. Then again, that's like saying that the Chevrolet Corvette is slower than the Ferrari F430. At no point should you think that the Yamaha FZ6R is a slow machine, as it will still complete a quarter mile in around 12 seconds, and it will still outrun just about everything else on the street.
One look at the Yamaha FZ6R is enough to make someone fall in love. Distinct styling, combined with aggressive fairing and wide tires (for the size of motorcycle) give the FZ6R a unique look. Without a doubt, the FZ6R is not lacking curb appeal. Of course, all the aggressive fairing in the world won't mean a thing if the motorcycle handles like a Vespa.
Starting up the motorcycle reveals the silky-smooth idle of the fuel injected four cylinder former R6 engine, and once you rev it (and you will want to) you will be rewarded with an angelic exhaust tone. True, this is not a pocket rocket. Also true is the fact that the FZ6R isn't really any faster than any of its primary competition (Kawasaki Ninja 650R, Suzuki SV650S). However, the amount of personal satisfaction that owners of this motorcycle are sure to enjoy will easily outweigh any of those minor shortcomings.
And believe me when I say that they are indeed minor. Once you have this bike moving you will be experiencing a riding situation that is far and beyond what most "entry level" motorcycles offer. There is no clunky carbureted engine, no lacklustre acceleration, and no disapproving looks from other motorcycle riders. There is speed when you need it, there is the ride that you want (stiff, but not too stiff), and the aesthetics that cause other people to constantly ask you what you're riding.
Ride this bike hard and it will reward you with sub-12 second acceleration times (your $8,000 motorcycle will keep up with $180,000 Ferrari's), enthusiastic turn-in, and the ability to stop your newfound lover on a dime.
So How Good Is It?
This may very well be one of the best entry level middleweight sport bikes ever conceived, and in my humble opinion this motorcycle is worthy of respect from any rider, regardless of their experience level. Get on one, ride it, and see for yourself- you'll be glad you did.