So I was able to ride an FZ1 yesterday for about 20 miles and thought I would post up my thoughts, musings, and impressions. My ride consisted of 4 miles of super slab then 16 miles of twisties. The bike had some work done to it consisting of K&N air filter, cat removed, power commander, and the exhaust butterfly valve removed.
The sound of the intake is awesome! It is intoxicating to listen to the intake once you hammer it around 6k rpm! Of course, that is the only sound you hear with the stock exhaust. Without the intake noise, you feel as if you are riding the world's most powerful sewing machine. The bike is clearly more powerful than my Speed Triple. In a stoplight to stoplight run, the fz1 was able to leave the triple once past 70. The bottom end feels incredibly anemic and not much of anything happens until 6,000 rpm but the bike is very stable at high speeds.
Once in the corners, I had great difficulty throwing the bike into tight twisties. The steering felt heavy and not responsive unless I gave it a good pull. Once down, the bike stayed on the line well but didn't have the flick-able nature I have grown accustom to on the S3.
Ergos were a bit bizarre. The stock seat is very uncomfortable the a bulge right in your crack and a plastic but separating the rider and passenger seat poked into my tail bone. The pegs are more cramped than my S3 but the bar was slightly further away and higher. The position made me feel as if I was on top of the bike rather than part of the bike if that makes sense...
Over all I would give this bike a 2 star rating out of 5. The power is good but feels so blah that it isn't exciting to twist the wrist. The all important character of the bike is lacking in every way making the FZ1 a tragically boring ride. The engine is so isolated that (in stock form) you cannot feel any vibes or hear the scream of an engine at high revs.
In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "