It’s about time that I introduce you to my little friend. I had absolutely zero intention of buying another motorcycle, but kismet happens. Am I right?
Anyway, this is my new to me wee one:
A 2016 Yamaha FZ-07.
During group rides, I definitely felt the limitations of the Bonneville as the taillights in front of me would dance away. And dragging its pegs would freak me out every. single. time. While I love the bike, there are just some jobs that aren’t in its wheelhouse. Hooning is one of them.
My motorcycle background started with sportbikes. Acting like an asshole speeding around and being a general menace was fun for me. But, I was in my young 20’s and didn’t have a lick o’ sense. It is but for the grace of whoever’s at the controls up there that I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else.
Over time as my priorities shifted I found pleasure in different aspects of the motorcycle life. Turning towards travel and exploring enriched me in ways I never could have imagined at 22. But even so, the desire for a deep lean and feeling the heat of the asphalt coming close would call to me. I missed that feeling of being able to run and let slip the dogs of war.
But as quickly as they’d come, those 20-something driveby fancies would shimmer away like an oasis on a hot road. That wasn’t me anymore. I’m something different now. Aren’t I? Now, I am the sum of more experience, more life, more understanding of… I don’t know. Things, I guess.
At the tail end of a group ride this spring, my friend Brian and I swapped bikes. He took my Bonnie and I took his FZ. A mere 15 minutes in the saddle had awoken the sleeping giant.
Everything about Brian’s FZ spoke to me – it’s petite size, the great sound thumping out of that peppy parallel twin, responsive and light handling, predictable power – it was like a toy. We swapped back to our respective bikes and a fire was lit inside of me. There I was! It was me! The me that had been buckled down and smothered to sleep.
When we rolled back into Port Jefferson at the end of our ride, someone just happened to mention that a mutual friend of ours had a FZ-07 sitting in his garage. And without hesitation, I shot off a text inquiring about it. Two days later, I was riding my FZ home.
With only 2000 miles on the clock, the bike looked brand new. It came set up with Ohlins all around, an Akrapovic exhaust, sliders, fender eliminator, R6 throttle tube, rear seat cowl and the heartfelt well-wishes of a friend. It’s like the bike was just set up and waiting for me.
At first, I wasn’t so sure about the grey palette of the bike, that it wasn’t “me.” But I think those snappy yellow rims do a good job of offsetting the darkness. I’ve grown to love it.
I’ve had the bike for about two months now and every time I ride it, it makes me feel like a kid. That’s priceless.