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I wanted this bike before I even started the engine. I'd done my research trawling through various internet sites, but the Fazer stood out: a liquid-cool liquid-cooled naked beast. I'd always loved bikes that had a rawness to them: the styling of plastic fairings looked cool without a doubt, but I really wanted to see the Emperor without clothes. Or Empress, let's say Empress! Seeing the engine, naked frame and red hot pipes made me feel like I was going to know the bike intimately. Fortunately I didn't speak quite as lustfully and longingly as this on my test drive!
Despite the desperate want to give the FZ a hurl around in those first few minutes, I eased her around the block in what was a very short ride on another blissfully hot day in Queensland. I always take care of bikes I don't own, but I knew this bike had my respect immediately. I wanted a commuter that was fun, that wasn’t going to break my back like the racers I'd had before. Something, dare I say it, practical, but that had some guts and punch to it.
To ride, the gear changes are nice and slick, the 220kg is easy to chuck into turns, and the engine of course is impeccable - you get the 998cc R1 engine in this wonderful steed! It's exhilarating that that you get the feel of a race bike without actually being a pure racer, with an upright riding position and just lovely purring at low speeds when manoeuvring through the traffic or around pedestrian Sunday drivers. And of course if you need to move like you've stolen something got somewhere urgent to be, the power is always there!
I revel in customising my bikes, especially paint jobs, but tweaking them to make them my own means they are completely individual - I take real pleasure in that no one in the world has the same bike as me, with the modifications I've made, with the handle-bars dropped ridiculously low (what was I saying about upright riding position?!) and a custom paint-job that matches my own personality...and no it doesn't just have a 'nut' on the side of tank! The extras that are available on the Yamaha are terrific too, so it's far easier to personalise and make it that bit extra special.
In the Media
The FZ1 is obviously too fast to be caught on camera