white_averson
white_averson New Reader
7/18/22 1:41 p.m.

My first motorized bike anyway.

I've been wanting a bike for a few years now. Specifically, a small displacement, inline four, dual round headlight sport bike. Very specific, hey?

Why? No good reason, other than that the older I get, the more the way bikes (and cars) sound and look matters to me than the actual practicality and performance. I know, dumb. Anyway.

I've wanted an MC22 Honda CBR250RR since I learned about them. 19,000rpm redline sounds awesome. Unfortunately they aren't just readily available in the states and the ones that are far exceed my meager budget for silly toys. So I've kept my eye out for 250 and 400cc sport bikes for a while and continued to strike out. That's when I came across this fairly clean FZR600. A little more bike than I was looking for but it met the looks and sounds requirement. It had a decent amount of maintenance done recently and the price was in my budget. So I brought it home.

I love it. It sounds great. It looks great. Its plenty manageable with some throttle discipline. Its a blast to ride in the corners. I haven't ridden far. Mostly just commuting but I'm very happy with it so far. Its got me tempted to add more bikes to the stable. They are cheaper and take up less space than cars. For now, other than keeping an eye out for a 250 or 400, I'm happy to just ride this one for the summer.

Somewhat comically, my youngest brother bought a '96 a week later.

Which is a bit scary and also makes me the bad influence but they look cool side-by-side.

All I've done with mine so far is remove all the random stickers and clean it up.

Unfortunately, being a noob, I let it fall off its kickstand so it may get a "restoration" this winter.

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 Dork
7/18/22 2:36 p.m.

Love it. Had a 1989 FZR600 that I bought new as my first street bike at age 17, and then I got a 1990 FZR600 (also new). My first race bike was a 1988 FZR400 that I raced in WERA D Superbike. Love the Yamahas from that time period. So much better looking to my old eyes than all the new bikes that you cant tell apart from more than 10 feet.

 

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
7/18/22 3:01 p.m.

In reply to Rusnak_322 :

That's awesome. I'm with you on the looks. I walk through the shop just to look at it on the days I don't ride.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) PowerDork
7/18/22 3:01 p.m.

Yep, that's a beaut. 

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/21/22 5:40 p.m.

I had one.  It was much rougher than yours.  It was fun to ride on the street.  You can whack the throttle without worrying about your personal safety or the law.  Kind of like a Miata vs Z06.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/21/22 11:13 p.m.

Love it; looks like a great bike! I'm right there with you regarding the particular aesthetic and the sound. I used to own a Suzuki GSF400 Bandit, and my upcoming winter project will be refurbishing and doing a minor restoration on my '88 JDM GSXR250.

I'll be interested to follow along with your FZR adventures.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
7/22/22 9:05 a.m.

In reply to ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) :

Man, that GSXR250 is awesome. Definitely would like to hear about your refurbishment. Those little inline fours are the dream for me.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UberDork
7/22/22 9:11 a.m.

That is an AWESOME looking bike!

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 Dork
7/22/22 2:35 p.m.
maj75 (Forum Supporter) said:

I had one.  It was much rougher than yours.  It was fun to ride on the street.  You can whack the throttle without worrying about your personal safety or the law.  Kind of like a Miata vs Z06.

when I got mine as a 17 year old, first ever street bike (had been riding dirt bikes since I was 10) the guys at the dealership were basically acting like I was going to die right away. Few years later when I was buying a CBR900RR they were treating the FZR600 as a beginner friendly bike.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
7/22/22 2:36 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

It really is the proper sport bike look in my opinion. Hopefully with a little work this winter I can clean up the rough edges too.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
7/22/22 2:40 p.m.

In reply to Rusnak_322 :

It is really interesting. I was looking for smaller displacement bikes because I didn't want something ridiculously fast, at least for my first bike. I ended up with this based more on availability and price. The previous owner acted like it was very fast but I've found that with some discipline its pretty tame. I'm sure I could get into trouble but I haven't felt the need. It does seem like the 600's get treated like beginner bikes at least here in the USA.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
7/25/22 10:41 a.m.

In reply to white_averson :

It's definitely an American thing. The only "good" thing about 600s as starter bikes, is that they usually don't really make torque down low, which I think is what actually makes bikes get away from people. In my casual observation, new riders are hesistant to rev bikes way out, as they're accustomed to cars. Shifting a 600 at 8-9000 RPM makes for a relatively docile ride.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
7/25/22 11:18 a.m.

I love those small displacement bikes. I rememeber being hot for a Bandit 400 when I first started riding in the early 2000s. The frame differences were subtle, but the trellis-esque design with the stressed engine member just looked so much more svelte than the cradle of the 600.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
7/25/22 11:55 a.m.

In reply to fatallightning :

That's a cool bike, too. There is something about the trellis frame look that really does something for it. I wasn't really aware of the Bandit. Apparently they made a 250 for those, too. Not for the states, of course. Last thing I needed was to know about another small displacement four cylinder.

Admittedly, I don't really rev the bike out. I am a new rider so that is part of it. I brought it to redline for the first time this weekend. It pulls hard past 7,000 RPM but for commuting its comfortable staying under 8,000 for the most part.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
10/20/22 3:53 p.m.

These round eye'd '90s and early '00s bikes are the best looking 2 wheeled machines ever made in my opinion.  Only problem is - they're starting to get a bit spendy.  

For so long these were all ridden hard and put away wet as we say in the Southern US.  Dime a dozen.  Heck, you could even get somebody to give you one from time to time if they were moving or unexpectedly lost their storage space.  No more.  All those years of being kicked around, broken up, wheelied and burned out mercilessly have left very very few still intact.  An example is the price of just a stock exhaust system for a CBR900RR (aka Fireblade).  Many a very nice motorcycle has been purchased and served its owner for countless miles for less money than just a stock can for an early 'blade.  And the price for a pristine 'blade?  Just wow.  

Of course I'm old enough to remember when this happened to muscle cars.  Especially Mopars.  They were all driven into the ground and then one day in about 1983 or 4, somebody realized that there just weren't too many still around.  And then everybody wanted them.  These days even a 383 powered E-body is nearly house money.  

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
10/20/22 3:58 p.m.
fatallightning said:

I love those small displacement bikes. I rememeber being hot for a Bandit 400 when I first started riding in the early 2000s. The frame differences were subtle, but the trellis-esque design with the stressed engine member just looked so much more svelte than the cradle of the 600.

The round eye Bandit is indeed a very attractive bike.  Just try to find a 1200 naked here in the States though.  They are unicorns.  All are semi-naked with that small, and in my opinion ugly, half fairing.  I've read that it isn't that simple to convert one as you'd think either.  I read too that once upon a time there was a kit available to convert it but I'm unsure of the veracity of that.  

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