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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 8 Jan 2009
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FZ6 Fazer

Im just gonna throw this idea "out there" to see what peoples suggestions are.

I bought myself a new FZ6 Yamaha fazer 600 in april last year and i love it. Goes well, reliable and comfy. What do you lot rekon it will be like as a RTW bike 2up?

Ive been looking for some time now at what bike i want for the task but cant really make my mind up. The big BMW's seem monster heavy (and expensive) and the smaller 600's and 650's might be abit slow for my type of riding. The fazer is good in that has the power of the bigger bikes (although less torque) with lightness and cheap

Ive used it two up alot and it goes well, can sit at 80, 90mph no problem. Comfort is also pretty good, would be better with a taller screen and new seat tho.

How difficult would it be to make it a proper RTW tourer? Ground clearance isnt great and suspension etc would obviously need uprating. Do 4 cylinders not really lend themselves to touring?

We have a summer trip planned round europe for 2 weeks on the fazer so that will give me a good idea of its abilities on roads.

Cheers for the help folks, Dave
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  #2  
Old 8 Jan 2009
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Oh btw first post, love the forum been snooping about for ages lots of great info around
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  #3  
Old 8 Jan 2009
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Fazer?

DaveK,

I can't offer a comparison, but I ride a V-Strom 1000 and some buddies of mine ride the Wee-Strom 650. Either of these make a great overland bike, and they're not too costly. I think a new 2009 V-Strom 650 runs around $6K? Used ones are around. I love mine. It's my upgrade from a KLR 650 thumper.

Just put another 1000 miles on the Strom last week (about 200 on dirt roads) out in Texas' Big Bend area. I commute to work on it the rest of the time (45 miles one way).

There are some discussions on advrider.com too if you want to read what others have to say. There are also some pics of the FZ6 rigged for long-distance overland travel.
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Old 8 Jan 2009
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Stick a bash plate on it , and some longer travel forks as well as crash bars and it will do as long as you don't stray too far from the road I reckon (contrary to what I said in the Africa twin thread is because I want to go off the road and thus the Africa isn't suitable)....

I think the biggest issue is maintenance, in that the FZ6 is based on the R6 engine , Yamaha engines for a long time have been based around the 5 valves per cylinder arrangement and thus every 15000 miles you will need to adjust 20 valves , which it being a shim under bucket engine is fiddly and you either carry shims around you in your pocket (expensive as they are £4 each)....or you are stuck until somebody can ship some out to you..


Ontop of this its a sports bike engine and thus will need an octane booster probably , due to the high compression to generate the high amounts of power it produces else it'll run like a dog. KTM640s have a switch to run on low octane petrol , a guy I know who came back from Mongolia stated petrol there can get as low as 70 octane.
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Old 8 Jan 2009
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Good point on the fuel grade, forgot about that. I wouldnt be deliberately aiming for severe off-roading so i guess it may fair ok. Just checked my manual and the valve clearances dont need to be checked for 24000miles so i could get those done before leaving and it would be alright.

Tis a tricky decision. I think afew test rides on beemers, vstrom etc may be on the cards
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Old 10 Jan 2009
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with the valves ask around on fazer forums (must be one or two) see if they normally need doing. ive got a gsx1400, the valves get done every 15k BUT very few people ever need to change the shims until over 60k.

or for about £100-120 you can get a box of shims from motorsport type suppliers, get someone to post it to you when you get to that mileage. then you've got the shims if you need them, with dealer prices its probably a good idea anyway.

EDIT: oh fuel, isnt the fazer lower compression than the R6? which should make it less picky for fuel quality.
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Old 10 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooli View Post
EDIT: oh fuel, isnt the fazer lower compression than the R6? which should make it less picky for fuel quality.
Yeah I'm pretty sure the even the newer fazers are de-tuned versions of thier sports bike brothers. Lower compression, valve spring rates, exhaust.etc.

I think engine temperature would be your major concern in an off road situ.

Just a thought, what did the guy that took the R1 round the world do to his bike ? I haven't read the book or seen the DVDs.
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Old 10 Jan 2009
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Fazer

The Fazer is powerful, offers good speed and light off-road ability. It is much lighter than the big beemers and way more fuel efficient, when it falls over you need to be able to pick it up again.
You already own the bike and are comfortable riding it two-up, this is most important on a long trip. 4 cylinders makes for less vibration, therefore a more comfortable long ride. Enjoy the trip.
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Old 13 Jan 2009
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cheers for the votes of confidence chaps!

has anyone any experience with the new tenere 2up? it has the same torque as my fazer so might be reasonably strong enough to pull us along upto 70mph?
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Old 14 Jan 2009
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The carrying capacity of the FZ6 would be your biggest problem.

The computer system almost never causes problems but it has been known to have other niggles.

You need to get out together for 2 or 3 weeks with all your gear and then make the call for yourselves.

I sent you a PM but got no reply.

Steve
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  #11  
Old 21 Feb 2009
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Hi all,

My 1st post....

The FZ6 is a great bike, but the compression ratio (although lower than the R6 at >13:1) is still 12.2:1. Would re-mapping it help?

There are lots of luggage options available, so I don't see that as a problem. The issue I see with 2-up is the fact that the passenger would get pretty toasty (the muffler is right under the rear seat). My personal peeve is with the lack of electrical output for gadgets. If you run both headlights on low-beam and a pair grip heaters, you're almost out of juice.

It is a very low maintanence bike - valves are good for well over 24000 miles without a check and everything is easy to get to because there is little plastic in the way.

With some crash bars and something to protect the headers/rad (easy to do) I think it would be a good ride.
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Old 31 May 2015
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Recovering an old thread, hope its better than starting a new one? Maybe there will be more opinions...

I'm facing the same dilemma as the OP. I own and ride Fazer 600 2006, took her for a bit of touring around Europe (but paved road, like Pyrenees and Norway). However, next year I'm planning to set off on the solo RTW adventure for a year or so. I do not intend to do any serious off-road and the vast majority of the roads will probably be paved. So my options are:

1) Keep the Fazer.
Pros:
- I already own this bike. I love it and I know it.
- I owned it for a couple of years and didn't have any significant issues. I've put some extras that I need already.
- I've researched a bit about equipping it for RTW and looks like I can get most of the items for it, e.g. handguards, hard cases, suspension, e.t.c. Bashplate seems to be an issue but if worst comes to worst I'll build a custom one.
- Its fairly low value which is good for Carnet purpose (and its not super-shiny-new so hopefully less chance of having it nicked).

Cons:
- Limited off-road ability (pretty much next to none, apart from basic gravel and firetracks)
- Limited range of accessories (e.g. when comes to panniers, the only rack for hard panniers I've found was from HB),
- Sensitivity to crap fuel as mentioned by some.

2) Sell Fazer and buy something more suitable e.g. VStrom.
Pros:
- Wider range of touring accessories available,
- More off-road ability.
Cons:
- Its a new bike that I don't really know,
- Its likely to be more expensive for Carnet.

I'm thinking about it for good few weeks now (well, not constantly ), so wanted to grasp some more opinions if possible.

Thanks so much in advance!
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  #13  
Old 31 May 2015
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You can do pretty much anything on an FZ6, except play in the mud or sand. As illustrated by my gf here:








The bike had close to 100k km on it and was still going strong when she sold it. Very reliable bike with a very reasonable fuel consumption for the power it provides. A perfectly acceptable bike for rtw travel imho.

IF you are traveling alone on the bike. But, for riding 2-up I'd look at something else. The room for the pillion is pretty cramped and passenger foot pegs offer very little leg room.

I had a 660 Tenere and while it is a lot more comfortable for a passenger, it will lack a bit of oumpf at highway speeds 2-up and loaded with luggage. It will do 70Mph and can do it all day long, bit you'll have virtually no acceleration at highway speeds.
If that doesn't bother you it would be a great choice.
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  #14  
Old 31 May 2015
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duibhceK, thanks for your reply - I'm going solo so cramped space for pillion is no issue at all!
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  #15  
Old 31 May 2015
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I'm the gf in the pictures above and indeed, you can do pretty much anything with it. The only times that the bike was struggling more than me was with severely potholed roads. Otherwise, the restrictions lay more in my head than with the bike.

I had mounted handguards but no bashplate, and a simple luggage rack to mount the soft luggage bags. I did replace the rear shock and the oil in the front forks but not the springs. For the rest the bike was pretty standard.

This is what she (Josephine by the way) looked like fully loaded up:


I did about 80.000km on it and never had any issues. Maintenance is also straightforward except for the sparkplugs. They are a real pain in the ass to replace.
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