Having not ridden a motorbike for some 7 years I sat astride the Yamaha
Fazer 600 with some trepidation. I had chosen the bike as it looked like
it would have a reasonable amount of power to ‘break me in’ to the world
of bigger bikes, but with a less racey style than the CBR’s or an R6.
After the owner of the hire shop telling me that ‘this is a fast bike’ I
was already worried.
In terms of speed, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I took it fairly
easy on the throttle to start with but after half hour or so of riding I
felt like the full range of power was easily controllable.
Out on the open road the Fazer does have pretty good acceleration. I
know it’s not up there with a CBR 600 or an R6 but compared to most
other traffic on the road it’s more than lively enough. The power band
is not as even as I would have liked, though, with a big kick at higher
revs. Perhaps if I gave it another go it wouldn’t seem so bad but it was
something I had to watch out for for a while.
The riding position is reasonably upright. Although this makes it fairly
comfortable as a sitting position, the faring is quite minimal and the
amount of wind certainly gives you some neck strain after an hour or
two. I’d say the almost complete lack of protection the faring gives is
the lowest point of this bike overall.
The pillion passenger was pretty comfortable, though: enough so to fall
asleep going along the motorway! The other great thing about this bike
is it’s fuel range: I got more than 175 miles out with two people and
luggage, and the fuel tank tells you exactly where you are. This is
certainly worth considering with a bike: a CBR 600 needs a fill up about
every 120 miles in the same conditions.
All in all, it was a pretty good bike but perhaps a bit too much between
stools for me. The riding position wasn’t racey and neither is the
throttle, but the narrower power bands and lack of faring also don’t
push it anywhere near the touring bracket. Where this bike would be
ideal is as a commuter, with it’s good tank range, comfortable riding
position and some good bursts of power for overtaking.
I did like the Fazer, and I think one day I’ll have another go (the R6
just looks a bit too raw) but I think the real crux is that it’s a class
of bike that isn’t quite for me.