Over the years I have owned and enjoyed loads of different bikes and I am lucky enough to own five currently. Why five bikes I hear you say? Well for several reasons but I guess mainly because I am lucky enough to be able to, most of my riding life I had just one bike which had to do everything, having said that as soon as I got to know Martin at Alf England I started to run a Honda 50 or 90 for winter work as in the winter the UK uses salt to melt the snow and ice so I did not want to get my Honda 750 covered in that stuff!!
I have enjoyed mainly Hondas and Yamahas and my current fleet is 4 Yams and 1 Honda, in my experience these two Japanese manfacturers make the best bikes in the world. I can honestly say that over 40 ish years and 40 ish bikes I have never been let down by any Jap bike. I have ridden many times from the UK to Italy and also twice from Italy down to the south of Spain, such fun.
Recently I decided that it was time to run some older bikes so that I can get my hands dirty a little bit. So I sold two almost new bikes (2020 Yamaha MT10SP plus a 2020 Yamaha FJR1300 Ultimate) and purchased a 2009 Yamaha FZ1 and a 2013 Honda VFR1200F and I have now had some experience with both.
The FZ1 is a true revelation and will be a keeper! Yamaha launched the FZ1 in 2001 and then revamped it several times until it went out of production in 2015, she was basically a detuned R1 engine in a sports/touring bike frame. Initially carbs and then fuel injected, the bike I have is a 2009 version with about 30k kms on the clock and in great original condition. I have just replaced the front screen which was cracked and fitted an end pipe from SC Project which must save at least 8kgs and this bike is SUCH fun to ride!
My 2009 bike has no electronic rider aids not even ABS so you must remember the selected gear and apply the brakes with feeling and to be honest it’s a great lesson in how to ride a bike. The R1 engine is fantastic and good for about 150 horses with a great spread of torque so pulls like a train in every gear, she brings a smile to my face every time I ride her. A recent pic follows, amazing to think that this is a 13 year old bike!!.