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FZ-10 on the dyno

Somehow, some way, I managed to put around 800 miles on the bike during the first week of ownership. A few good rides, some commuting, and some dyno time. The honeymoon doesn’t appear to be waning. Rather, it’s intensifying. I’d like to scrounge up another $13k so I can buy a second bike – this would give continuous ride time while the first bike is disassembled for R&D, maintenance, etc. Joking aside, I love the bike. As I mentioned earlier, it’s they combined the best features of a Speed Triple, an FZ-09, and a VFR and then improved on it a bit more. The more I ride it, the more in love I become. Nice job Yamaha!

The objective for the dyno was pretty straight-forward: determine what differences (if any) exist between the various ride modes and traction control settings. The three modes felt identical in power output, but clearly the throttle maps vary. The FZ-09, by contrast, reduces power by approximately 10% in B mode (the softest map on that bike).

93 degrees F air temperature
50% relative humidity
93 octane fuel
All runs done between 205-220 degrees F
Bike is completely stock
665 miles on the clock at start of test
10w40 Yamalube non-synthetic oil (used for break-in). Oil/filter changed at 100 miles and then again at 618 miles. Chain adjusted and lubed at the 618 mile service.

As (unfortunately) expected, the stationary front wheel disabled the TC system and tripped a CEL. So, no way to quantify the effects of TC on power output. Until we figure something out…

Otherwise, we did about 5 runs per mode. What you see here is the best of each mode.

Unfortunately, time was limited and we didn’t have enough left to access an ignition lead to pull RPM (and torque). However, I was able to back-calculate the RPM based on wheel speed and obtain torque readings as shown here. Please be aware that the RPM and torque trace are calculated!! There is some inherent error in the dyno, with the actual circumference of the rear tire, etc. This is only shown to give a feel for the actual torque curve. So reader beware!

The curves passes the sniff test based on my seat of the pants. Torque picks up pretty strong at ~4,000 RPM which matches the feel from the saddle. From there, the bike makes about 75% or more of its peak torque to redline. There are a couple bumps along the way, but the ~8,000 RPM peak matches up with the reality-distorting rush from the saddle. But again, reader beware – this data was calculated!

For those who don’t like to read:

For reference, a stock FZ-09 puts out 104 whp on the same dyno. This number is well within the expected range. As such, it’s a little confusing that the FZ-10 is putting down the power that it is. Euro MT-10’s have pulled numbers in the 138-140 whp range, but I’ll withhold judgment until we get more data (both MT and FZ). One data point it hardly a trend, but a 160 hp (crank) bike typically puts out more power at the wheel. A stock 150 hp Ducati MTS 1200 makes about 130 hp at the wheel.

Before the topic gets sidetracked, let’s avoid discussions of dyno error, operator error, etc. until we have more data from other bikes on both sides of the pond. Hopefully, this power rating doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the 2006 R6 redline debacle. Perhaps the output is a function of some TC/CEL do-loop trickery…

Either way – the bike rips. Numbers be damned.

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2017 FZ-10 – Stoltec’s Thoughts | Stoltec Moto

Oh, that sound! How else can you make your driveway sound like Moto GP’s pit lane? You could buy an R1, but then you’d have to figure out how to ride it for more than 20 minutes at a time. The FZ-10’s battle cry is fierce, even if subdued. If a V4 played a musical instrument, it’d be the djideriedoo and it’d sound like the crossplane crank CP4. What a treat!

It’s been a few days since I picked up the bike and I’ve gotten a lot of questions on what I thought. Not necessarily being lazy about it, but I wanted to hold my tongue until I’ve had enough time to write fitting review. Often times, riders get a little euphoric with that new bike smell. I’m no different. At the same time, I’ve been blessed with owning, riding, and working on some really neat bikes over the years. Some have been better than others, but in general, they’ve all gotten better over time. Progress is good – usually.

As it stands, I’ve put about 300 miles on the machine since Sunday morning. I’ll cut right to the chase: I wasn’t blown away at first. Before you label me jaded, spoiled, or disillusioned, allow me: I am jaded, spoiled, and disillusioned. This may not surprise many of you reading this, but I share the same affliction as you. I cannot leave anything alone. I’ve been in a fortunate position that the business allows me access to some really knowledgeable industry-insiders. Experience has also guided my interests, personal taste, and mechanical aptitude. Learning new stuff every day, but I’m at a point where I can generally spot what will work for me and what won’t. I’ve spent a lot of time and money obtaining this experience.

All this is to say that the FZ-10 is a very natural progression from the last FZ project bike: the 2014 FZ-09. Within ‘reason’, no expense was spared on that project – both in time and money. Simply put, it was awesome in nearly every way. Although it was a little buzzy and lacked wind protection, the suspension and chassis were dialed in for my riding needs. The brakes were track-capable with excellent feel. The slipper clutch transformed the bike. I can go on, but I won’t. This is about the FZ-10.

It’s taken me three days to figure out why I wasn’t enamored during the first ride. As it turns out, it’s because it feels so much like a very well prepped bike that it was a seamless transition. Yes, there are wrinkles that can be ironed out and personalized, but in general, Yamaha nailed it. While the FZ-09 always went rowdy, eager to lift a wheel, and generally, act a fool, the FZ-10 is different. Somehow, a 160 hp super naked doesn’t feel excessive. In fact, it feels [i]just right [\i]. Listen, we all know designing motorcycles isn’t easy business. The sheer number of bikes on the market and iterations within each model is testament that we’re always in search of something better. Performance, comfort, balance, fun, or some combination thereof.

I can’t help but imagine that the FZ-09 was designed by a younger group of engineers and test riders on a more limited budget. These folks wanted something brash, and damnit, they got it. In spades. The FZ-09 punches far above its weight, and its runaway sales success further solidify that claim. The FZ-10 by comparison seems to have been designed by a more <ahem> mature group of engineers. I’m not talking about Goldwingers and FJR-lovers. No, I’m talking about people who value things other than an ability to wheelie for an entire tank of gas. The best analogy I can use is that the FZ-09 makes power like a two-stroke dirt bike: immediate with near instant throttle response. The FZ-10 feels like a four stroke. Though undoubtedly faster, it is easier to ride and lets you focus on things other than keeping the front wheel on the ground and in line with the rear.


What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It. Just. Plain. Works. But more importantly, the rest of the bike agrees with the engine’s intents. The result is a powerplant that works well from 2000 RPM to redline. Like other crossplane engines before it, there is a gentle thrum to remind you that you’re not on some run of the mill inline four. It’s different than a V4, but the effect is similar. Smooth torque delivery, great traction, and minimal vibration. I’m at a loss for new words, so I’ll fall back on the ubiquitous ‘Freight Train’. As the miles are adding up and the engine is breaking in, the performance is surely improving. Acceleration in the first four gears is breathtaking.


Gearing, and spacing within, is well suited for the street. Great tractability in town or on the backroads. Relaxation at highway speeds. Lever feel is light and direct, but I’ll admit that there is a hint of notchiness that I hope disappears with age. It’s not crunchy per se, but it isn’t Honda-smooth. It’ll be nice if the Yamaha quickshifter from Europe is plug n’ play. We’ll see.

The slipper assist clutch takes a light pull. Less than the FZ-09 and more in line with the XSR900. If I’m picking nits, I’d say the back torque tuning could be a bit less for my personal taste. It’s not as seamless as the $1,000 Suter I had on the FZ-09, and it feels a bit behind the XSR900 in terms of engagement smoothness. Of course, the bike is new. We’ll see how things loosen up.


Now that they’re bedded in, I can confirm that these need help. The R1 gets a radial master cylinder, stainless steel brake lines, and different calipers. Although the brakes are effective, initial bite is soft and the lever isn’t as firm as a proper sportbike. Needless to say, this will be one of the first areas we address.

Haven’t had to test the ABS, yet. Hopefully never.


Without question, the chassis geometry and design is the best in the FZ lineup. If that surprises you, you’re probably in over your head. It provides good feedback while cranked over without getting upset with mid-corner surface imperfections. Steering is light at low speeds, and stable at high speeds (in fairness, that is partially due to the electronic steering stabilizer). The whole package works so well that it doesn’t take long to forget about the bike. Or, I should clarify: it doesn’t take long to forget what the bike is doing underneath you. We’ll play around with some things on the chassis, but it’ll be more out of curiosity than necessity.


Seat height feels ‘right’ for me and my 31” inseam. Not quite flat footed, but not on my tippy toes, either. Right, wrong, or indifferent it feels like how I like my bikes to feel. Or, how I’ve been programmed to feel. Either way, this is a welcome improvement over the low seat height on the FZ-09.

Leg room is ample – no cramps during the first 100 mile break-in ride. It’s too soon to say if the pegs are too low for track usage, but time will tell. Reach to the bars is a touch on the long side for me if my butt is pushed back onto the flattest part of the seat (right up against the odd little bump). Scooching forward eliminates the stretch for me. Bars are a great bend at what feels to be a great width and pullback. I suppose we’ll work with Woodcraft to make another set of the clip-on adapters, but I’m not sure it’s out of necessity. The FZ-09 left me feeling like a parachute on the highway, but not on the FZ-10. Well, I suppose that’s only partially true: speeds over 90 mph exert a bit of pressure of my chest. But, it’s never too much to handle since that curious looking windscreen actually does a great job of deflecting a clean blast of air away from the torso.

The mirrors work well, but still show more of my elbows that I’d like, even when adjusted all the way out. An easy fix. My only ergonomic complaint so far is with the clutch lever. A $13,000 bike should have two adjustable levers. The reach is just far away enough for my size 8-8.5 fingers that it takes some effort to smoothly downshift. Getting back to the clutch and slipper, I expect a proper lever will alleviate some of the initial concerns. I’m just programmed for a closer clutch lever. The brake lever isn’t bad, but comfort puts me in between two settings. Such is life, but it’s easily rectified.

The seat doesn’t offend me – yet.


Traction control works, and from what I can tell so far, pretty smoothly. Cycling from off to level 3 (most intrusive), you can feel the electric nannies intervene. However, the effect isn’t intrusive. Pretty pleased.
The D-modes are different than what Yamaha did on the FZ-09. Here, the softest is STD, followed by A, and then B. Naming convention aside, I find the throttle control best in STD. It’s a bit soft off the bottom if I’m being honest, but it works well after that. Engine braking feels pretty good all around. A and B get more aggressive, which is OK in the ‘up’ rev. Down, however is very abrupt. Without seeing the maps, it’s hard to say if the engine braking is too abrupt, the throttle maps are too aggressive, or if the decel fuel cut is the culprit. I’m picking nits here, though. Because really, I could ride all day in STD and never complain. Again, it just works. And it works well.

Cruise control. Get some! Love it. Nothing else needs to be said.


I appreciate the standard power port behind the headlight. In today’s smartphone world, this should be standard on all bikes.
Haven’t had a chance to use the headlights at night, but the days are getting shorter and this will happen sooner rather than later. To my eyes, it looks like the FZ-10 lifted the headlights from the R1 and lumped them closer together. The taillight is the same as the FZ-09, which I always liked. And the turn signals – good Lord! It’s about time they ditched those ancient pumpkins and moved to LED…
Strictly subjectively speaking, I think the bike looks better (and smaller) in person than it does in the photos we’ve all seen on line. That goes for the black, too. I was set on the Armor Gray until I saw this in person. It really looks very good – excellent fit and finish. Even if you don’t care for the styling, you have to give Yamaha credit – it’s a different approach.


You didn’t think I’d forget about the suspension, did you? Fully adjustable at both ends (with high speed compression on the shock). Thankfully, Yamaha didn’t stray too far from the R1 here. I’ll be honest though: the first ~100 miles were embarrassingly unproductive from a suspension standpoint. The ride was overly harsh, traction was limited, and steering effort was sub-par. One gravel road was so harsh and chattery, I had to turn around. Turns out, in all my excitement, I forgot to check the dealer’s work. The result? How about 67 psi in the front tire and something so high that none of my tire pressure gauges would register on the rear? Trust but verify. Lesson learned, thankfully not the hard way.

With that behind us, tire pressure was corrected to something more streetable: 33 psi front and 36 psi rear (cold). Not looking to hit the track, so this was an attempt for a good street starting point. As expected, it took the chatter out and made things a lot better. Grip, feel, ride quality. Good.

Happy to report that the FZ-10 shares none of the FZ-09’s woes. We actually have damping (of both varieties), and the spring rates are reasonable for a general all-purpose machine. If you have any issues, it’s probably your fault – not the bike’s. However, all is not perfect. Much like the XSR900, Yamaha took the FZ-09’s inadequacies and took the solution a bit too far. For my 190 lb self (in gear), the suspension defaults to harsh, even with the damping optimized. If you only ride on the track or smooth roads, you’ll probably be ok with the damping (assuming the spring rates work for you). Fortunately, I know someone who can help…stay tuned!

All in all, what an amazing machine. It reminds me an awful lot of the Speed Triple, which is a good thing. This shouldn’t be terribly surprising given the similarities in wet weight, dimensions, torque, and ergonomics. Now that I’ve gotten through most of the ‘critical thinking’, I can set about enjoying the bike and fixing some of the small concerns. But rest assured, those concerns are relatively minor and easily fixable. Yamaha really hit this one out of the park. Like the old FZ1, but better.

Rather than take a bunch of photos, I figured it’d be best to use a video. Hope this helps paint a better picture of the bike.

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FZ-10 is here!

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! Not exactly per the original plan, but heck, what goes as planned?

This bike has been highly anticipated for years – certainly before the official US announcement earlier this year. Hot off the FZ-09, this will be our next chapter. Hopefully it’s a good one.

My son and I went to pick it up this AM. Beautiful day, but it was in the mid-90’s and high humidity. Honestly, it was nice riding back in an air conditioned truck. My oh my, I’ve gotten soft…

Short of a 10 mph ride around the parking lot to quickly verify operation (of first gear), haven’t had time to get it on the road yet. It’s been a long day of anticipation, but all was not lost. First order of business was giving the bike a once over. While I was at it, I topped off the fuel – and weighed the bike.

Sometimes manufacturers are honest when it comes to wet weights, but more often than not, they are ‘optimistic’. Case in point, the 414 lb FZ-09 was actually 420 lbs on our scale. So, it was with trepidation that we fact checked Yamaha’s weight on this ‘big boned’ sibling.

Drum roll please…

Front: 239.5 lbs
Rear: 223.5 lbs
Total: 463 lbs.

Right on the money!

I have to admit, the styling is growing on me. I still recall my initial thoughts when I saw photos on the internet last year after the release. I shouldn’t repeat the words I used, but it wasn’t kind. First thought was that the designers were playing a joke on us and actually unveiled the mule. You know, the one camouflaged up that you see in the motorcycle magazines. So yeah, I wasn’t a fan.

Over the course of the past 8 months, it’s fair to say I’ve warmed up to it. No, it’ll never be mistaken as anything coming out of Italy. Or the UK for that matter. But, in a world that often criticizes the Japanese for being too conservative, this is unique from every angle. While the transformer styling won’t do it for everyone, I think it pulls it off well in-person. The level of fit and finish is pretty good in every area that matters. There are still typical Yamaha cost cutting measures – like the cheap silver levers (clutch is non-adjustable as always), the cable actuated clutch, and the crude exhaust. But the rest of the bike – the parts that were actually styled and not originally meant to be hidden behind the plastic fairings on a race bike – looks pretty good. Aesthetics aside, the attention to detail is refreshingly good. I’d say it’s on par with the Kawi Z1000.

More updates to come as the project progresses. First order of business, though…ride the damn thing! It’s dark here in deer country, so we’ll wait to scrub in the new tires, bed the pads, and seat the rings until we have day light.

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Staged upgrade packaged now available for the FZ-09!`

Stoltec Moto is proud to announce our staged upgrade packages for the Yamaha FZ-09.  We’ve created three packages that address various levels of capability at different price points.  But most importantly, we lumped components together that work well as a system for those price points.  Regardless of which package you choose, you’ll end up with a well-engineered solution.

Penske 8900E
Fork Springs w/ Oil
Foot Peg Pivot Pins
Front Brake Lines (silver lines w/ silver fittings)
1 bottle RBF600
Woodcraft Frame Sliders
Penske 8983
GP Suspension Fork Piston Kit (pre-built cartridge option will add $100)
Foot Peg Pivot Pins
Front and Rear Brake lines (silver lines w/ silver fittings)
1 Bottle RBF600
Woodcraft Frame Sliders
Woodcraft Clipon Adapter w/ 10 mm offset Spacers
GPR Steering Stabilizer
Penske 8987
GP Suspension 25 mm cartridge kit
Foot Peg Pivot Pins
Radial master cylinder retro fit kit (front lines, reservoir mount, LSL reservoir, RBF600)
Woodcraft Frame Sliders
Woodcraft Clipon Adapter w/ 10 mm offset Spacers
GPR Steering Stabilizer
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End of Year Special!

On behalf of our tuning partner, 2 Wheel Dyno Works:
With such great success of the Black Friday Weekend and Cyber Monday sale we have another great ECU flashing BUNDLE Sale to say Thank You!
2WDW Holiday Sale December 21- end of New Years day!

Attention riders! To show how thankful we are for our supporters and fan base, 2 Wheel DynoWorks is having a End of Year Special!! Specific ECU flashes, listed below, are on special for $299.95, including 2-day return shipping to the continental US and a FREE TShirt. That’s right! Just $299.95 on all available flashes, return shipped with a TShirt!! This includes your full custom built fuel maps, custom ignition maps, full custom throttle maps, full custom secondary throttle maps, removed restrictions, removal of speed limiter(where applicable), lower fan temperatures(when available), fuel cut removal, quickshifter activation (when available), and more! Treat yourself this holiday season, and make your bike ride the way YOU want it to! Eliminate the need for a Power Commander or other piggyback! FREE UPDATES APPLY!

The ECU receiving date will be extended until March 1st 2016. Our biggest concern is Holiday shipping and a potential lost ECU. We figure the “NO SHIP DATE” to be from 12/21/15 – 01/03/16. It is OK to ship when you are ready. Payment will still need to be made by Friday 01/01/16 at Midnight to lock in the tune license discount.

ECU flash must be paid for by Midnight on Friday 01/01/16. Payment can be made with credit card over the phone, or through PayPal to All orders must include contact information, return shipping address, year, make, & model of your bike, as well as a complete list of modifications, if you want the bike to start in A mode or STD mode. If you have any specific questions, please email us before shipping your ECU to make sure they are all answered properly. If you are local, FREE removal and installation of ECUs for flashing!

List of Applicable Flashes:
-FJ09- to current
-FZ09- to current
-FZ07- to current
-R1 07- to current
-R6 06- to current
-XT1200 Super Tenere all
-FZ1 2006 to current
-FZ8 All

-ZX6r 05- to current
-ZX10R 04- to current
-ZX14R 06- to current

-GSXR600 06- to current
-GSXR750 06- to current
-GSXR1000 05- to current
-Hayabusa 02- to current

All ECU flashes are specific to your modifications and can be adjusted to customer request. Please feel free to call or email with any questions. We have hundreds of dyno, track and street proven tune files for nearly all modification! Turn around time is same day with free 2 day return shipping. Out of country ECUs apply to this offer but shipping charges apply.

We have $550 insurance available for an additional $9.50.
We have Nine 2WDW Jackets left and can include one with this bundle for $29.95 extra.

From 2WDW,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

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Pocono Inside Track – ‘testing’

What a wild ride the past few days.

Kind of a sidebar, but I recently picked up a WR250R to romp around the trails with. The Electric Kitten (Tiger 1050) is a fine bike, but it doesn’t handle off-pavement exploring very well. It usually ends with session of ‘rub my belly whilst I lay on my side, you silly bloke’. I don’t recommend this game – it’s little more than a trap. In the least, the WR will be easier to hoist back onto it’s rubbery paws.

I had delusions of grandeur about taking this thing to the track for a couple sessions. She came with SM wheels, so it seemed like a logical thing to do before re-clawing it. Spent about four hours getting the bike track-ready and took it out for a rip. After stopping for a bite to eat, I returned to a dead fuel pump. Yay! I didn’t know Yamaha’s played this game. Maybe the fuel pump is British. Of course, adding the retrieval and cursing process to the day transformed afternoon into evening, and eventually, complete and utter darkness. Just in time to ready the FZ. It never fails. A Stoltec track day isn’t legit unless it’s preceeded by preparations long after midnight. It’s nothing if not consistent.

If you don’t count the forgotten SD card, the gas jug that blew off the trailer when a strap failed, and a leaky brake fitting, the day went pretty well. Wait, a leaky brake fitting? Yes, you read that right. The 100 mile test ride wasn’t enough to test the bleeder’s seal on the R6 master cylinder, but the 35 mile trailer ride to the track was. Don’t ask, because I’m not sure. Long story short, I should have known better. I had a GSXR master cylinder cry me a river a few years back who’s only remedy was teflon tape. Thankfully, my pit neighbor had bit left in his toolbox. Apparently, his was a pisser too (the week before). And to think the seat is supposed to do the sealing…thanks Brembo!

All in, the track weekend was amazing. If you’re in the NE, I highly recommend coming out to Pocono S/E and giving it a whirl. I’m begging.

The best part of the weekend was the lack of tinkering on my behalf. The chassis geometry was set, along with the suspension and tire pressures. Without the ‘need’ to tweak the setup, I was free to enjoy the bike in it’s purest form: at redline from corner to corner. Despite the (still) low pegs and the wide clubmans, I finally ditched the stock peg feelers. Incidentally, the stock feelers touched down before the rear tire reached the edge (about 1-2 mm left). Before you try this at home, keep in mind that I’m running Dunlop Q3’s and non-stock chassis geometry. Be that as it may, I was able to comfortably figure out the knee-down body positioning. My short legs make me work for it, but at least I’m able to gauge lean angle now. It’s been a lot of work to get the setup right for my riding style, but it’s finally in the ballpark. More like the infield. Very pleased.

Oh, and the brakes? This was the missing piece during the past few track days. Although the stock master cylinder was more than capable, the feel from the R6 m/c continues to impress me. For the money, it’s really a no-brainer. By comparison, I did a session on a brand new 636 on Sunday. While very good, it’s brakes lacked the feel of the modded-FZ. The FZ gives excellent feedback, trail braking right to the apex. Yes, the tires and suspension also play a huge role here…but the point is the bike WORKS. I was hitting low 120’s down the back straight and brakes never failed to impress. I’m eager to try out the Pocono FUSA course with its high speed straights and banking. Although we’re still sitting at 132 mph, it will be a good test. Who knows…maybe R6 rotors will round out the front brake conversion.

In all of the Go Pro woes, the useful footage was limited. We’re left with only a short piece of the Sunday’s final session. Sorry – I’ll do better next time.

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Rear turn signals: who needs them? Well…

Had some free time today so I decided to tackle another aesthetic project: Lupus integrated tail light. I’m not typically a fan of integrated tail lights from a safety perspective; I find most place the signals too close to the tail/brake light and they can be hard to make out. Also, most aftermarket boards and LEDs just don’t have the ‘oomph’ that I’d like my lights to have. After all, that is one of the few ways to communicate to drivers behind you. You know, the ones who can easily run you over and turn you into another greasy stain on the highway. But I digress. The Lupus light looked pretty good and I like supporting the forum. So…

I’m going to preface all of this by saying I’m nit-picky and anal. Don’t read anything more into this than that. The new board has four fewer LEDs than the stocker. As you can see in the photo, there is enough room for another turn signal on each side and one more tail/brake light. Lupus told me they were hoping to maintain good separation/distinction between the red and amber. A valid concern, but I’m not sure it’d be an issue here. I’d really enjoy more lights. Also, the new board has white lettering on the front of the board, whereas the stock board is only marked on the backside. Small point of contention, but you [I]can[/I] see the markings once installed. Again, nit-picky…

As you can see, I opted for the board so I can have the enjoyment of dismantling my own tail light assembly. Unless I’m mistaken, they offer the tail light pre-assembled, so if you’re looking to cut some time off the install, check their services out. Now that said, splitting the tail light is easy. If you’ve every cracked a headlight open, this is a cake walk; the light is smaller and the adhesive is nice and gooey. A ~220 degree oven does the trick. The old light comes out easily and is pretty self explanatory. No pictures here because I know it’s been documented elsewhere.

Reassembly is pretty straight-forward, but if you opt to reuse the factory grommet, you’ll need to turn those three wire pass-thrus into one large hole. A razor blade and a drill press made short order of this. However, you’ll need to de-pin the tail/brake connector (3 pin) before passing the wires through. Fortunately, this is an easy connector to de-pin. The turn signals, however, are another matter. Possible, but not easy. I was able to squeeze the turn signal connectors thru the grommet, but it took the aid of some P80 emulsifier. One tidbit of advice, though. Pass the wires through the back of the housing BEFORE the grommet. There is no good way to seat the grommet from the inside. DAMHIK. Also, cut those zip ties off the leads so you can slide the wires through the grommet.

As pleased as I am that the tail light included factory connectors for a clean installation, I’d prefer if the connectors came uninstalled. This would make the wires MUCH easier to slide through the grommet and adding the connectors only take a minute or two. Also, I would have liked the tail/brake connector to be in the same location as the factory light. As you can see from the picture, the new board puts the connector on the opposite side (left versus right) which abandons the nice little connector cavity in the housing.

The board mounted easily, albeit slightly crooked.

It turns out that the mounting holes were slightly askew, lending to an interference between an LED and mounting screw.

Of course, you can’t tell it’s crooked once buttoned up. Back in the oven for a few minutes, and all is well.

Now is a good time to finish with saying that the light output is AMAZING. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t expecting OEM-like light output, but this delivers! As much as I’ll miss the dual running lights, the new tail is bright and highly visible, even in direct sunlight. Same with turn signals; bright, distinct amber that stands out. I personally have no concerns about rearward visibility (well, more than usual). So, aside from a few installation hiccups, the light is good. Very happy with this and happy to support some other forum members. Nice job, guys.

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FZ-09 Braking and Control Updates | Stoltec Moto

Prior to our last track outing in May, I swapped out the stock GG front pads for the EBC HH. Bedded them in on the track and was quite pleased once they were broken in. Definitely more aggressive initial bite, but stopping power is nicely progressive. Braking deeper into corners was much easier and trail braking was more controllable. But, as good as the brakes were, there was still a bit of ‘faith’ left in the sequence of events. I don’t want to misrepresent this as poor performance; it was quite good, actually. Rather, there just wasn’t enough feel in the lever to really know what was going on at the contact patch. Having done a good day on the new pads, it was time to upgrade the master cylinder.

There are a lot of options out there to choose from. Retrofitting a stock radial master cylinder from an existing bike, or full-on aftermarket. While I would have loved to use a top of the line Magura or Brembo with additional adjustment, I decided to do the retrofit route for a few reasons: a cost-conscious upgrade that customers might benefit from, availability of aftermarket levers, and general parts supply. The R1/R6 master cylinder won out, primarily due to the bore size. The 16 mm R6 piston is 1 mm larger than the stock FZ-09 master cylinder. This jump alone yields 6-7% less hydraulic leverage (with a corresponding 6-7% less travel). Mechanical leverage (distance between pivot and plunger) is equal. Jumping to something like a GSXR Nissin (19 mm piston) would provide an astounding 27% hydraulic leverage decrease. That’s a pretty big jump!

R6 master cylinders fetch top dollar on eBay. You might get lucky and find a deal, but most are priced more than what you can buy new from one of the online parts resellers…and you’re stuck with the possibility of crash damage or unknown seal condition. Adding it all up, and buying new makes the most sense.

The new master cylinder was matched up with some new ASV ‘unbreakable’ levers: shorty on the brake, long on the clutch. Made in USA and the levers pivot away from the bar an amazing amount to minimize the risk of damage during a drop or crash.

You’re going to need a new brake line for the radial master cylinder, regardless of which handlebars you’re using. Radial master cylinders discharge from the bottom whereas cross pumps discharge from the front. The line that arrived yesterday from Spiegler fit perfectly (first attempt!), so we’ll have a kit offering for the clubmans w/ radial by next week. You’ll also have to figure out the mount for the reservoir. I’ve made plenty of brackets for these swaps in the past, but stumbled upon a better solution. Woodcraft makes an economically priced clamp that slides over the handlebar. All you need to do is slide it on and cut your hose.

These will be added to site, as well. Wish I found this years ago!

Aesthetically speaking, the slim reservoir, master cylinder, and levers really clean up the look:

But most importantly, the increased stopping power and feel is just what the doctor ordered! Confident single finger braking, with enough feel to understand what’s really going on under that tire. The FZ-09 now stops like a proper sportbike. I’ll be at Pocono next weekend for a couple days, so more feedback will be coming soon. I still have a set of CL pads I’d like to test out, so I’ll likely get those bedded in this week before heading to the track. Very pleased with this brake setup.

Some of the more observant readers might notice the new grips. Put a set of Progrip 699BK on in an attempt to kill some vibes. Despite the bar end mirrors and weights, I get a really nasty buzz in the bar during sustained cruising in the ~5k RPM region. So many things have changed on this bike that I honestly can’t pinpoint what did it (or how much each of the changes contributed to the net effect). But, it is bad enough that my right hand goes numb after about an hour, especially in cooler temps. The left hand gets a good buzz, but it doesn’t have the amplitude of the right to numb the hand. Shifting gears relocates the resonance from one point to another; on the track, I’ve finished every session with numb toes. Today’s ride was short, so it’s too soon to say if the grips worked. But, about 30 minutes of flogging ended with no numbness. Fingers crossed (I think…).

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Ditching the Pumpkins

You guys probably thought I forgot about some of these projects…but such is not the case! Been busy with other work, but the FZ has not been led out to pasture.

Finally got around to swapping out the front turn signals a few weeks ago. The motivation was two fold: get rid of the ugly pumpkins, and free up a few watts by eliminating the running lights. The heated pants, jacket, and gloves need all the help they can get…

The signals are CNC Racing “Bombs”. E stamped, but no DOT. They are decently bright, even in daylight. Not quite as noticeable as the stockers, but they are better than any flushmount I’ve seen. I have a couple ideas floating around to increase front signal visibility further, but that is low on the priority list at the moment.

Side by side:

Both installed:

Now that the front is cleaned up, I’ll move onto the rear. Easy does it with these mods. We might have the tail cleaned up by spring 2015..