Date: 20-05-19  Time: 03:45 AM

Author Topic: My little FZ8 review  (Read 993 times)

celticbiker

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My little FZ8 review
« on: 18 January 2018, 07:13:37 PM »

Well it's a year since I got the Fazer and I've covered 22000 miles so thought I'd give it a little review.
Given my usage of this or any other bike then consumables are quite high on the priority list of cost.
Tyres being the biggest cost in terms of outlay are always a concern, I once had a bike with such a bad balance and damping setup that it would use a rear tyre in 3500 miles. Fortunatly the Fazer is a bit better than that, I've used 1 full set of PR4's a set of PP3's and half a set of PR3's. The reason for the longevity though (I think) is partly down to the basic modern chassis design and technology and partly due to the suspension upgrades (more about that later) allowing more of the tyre to be used without excessive squaring off. You see, I have this theory that tyre design and bike design go hand in hand. While modern tyres are stickier and give a better ride, older bikes tend to tear up the centre regardless of how you ride but stick an Avon roadrunner (remember those?) on and you'll get 10000 miles out of it, not because it was hard but because they were designed to work with the bikes of the time.
Next up is brakes. Most reiews will tell you how good the brakes are and how you can stand it on the front wheel with 2 fingers but how often do you find the need to do that? For me brakes aren’t about stopping power, that is taken as read, it’s what they are designed to do and within reason there’s not a huge difference between manufacturers standard setups. You can however change the way the brakes behave by choosing the correct pads to suit your requirements and riding style.
When I got the bike the brakes were useless but it turned out that the pistons were sticky, and as it happened I had a half used set of Goldfren pads (same ones as the tdm) lying around so I put those in. To save a lot of writing I’ve done a little chart of on a scale from 1 to 10.




                           Bite   Braking efficiency    Fade    Longevity    Price
Goldren                  5                7                   3            6           £23
Carbon Lorraine    7                 8                   2            5           £61
EBC                       8                 7                   5            5           £40




If you plan ahead or ride in the rain then you don’t need or want that snappy bite, in heavy rain it could see you locking the front in an emergency, for that reason I choose to use the the Goldfren. They’ve got a bit less initial bite but in the wet that allows a bit more time to get that weight transferred to the front before you start the slowing process. Without doubt the others will stop you quicker in the wet and the dry but in the real world given the price difference it’s not worth worrying about.
You can’t talk about consumables without mentioning the dreaded chain and sprockets. Most people I know have owned bikes their entire adult lives and never replaced either because they sell or trade their bikes with 10000 or less miles on them. If you own a bike for long enough though you will end up doing this job and cost aside, the actual job itself needs to be considered.
Believe it or not it is something that I look at and research before buying a bike. Mostly the principal is the same but there are some model specific peculiarities out there. For example the Triumph Daytona (iirc) has to have the oil drained because you have to remove a crankcase cover to get at the front sprocket.
The Fazer is actually quite easy and with the front sprocket nut being staked on it saves the hassle of a tab washer although the front sprocket and output shaft splines are the same as the tdm 900 so you could add one if you wanted to.
As a preference I use DID gold and black XVM and renthal sprockets they can be had for £118ish and easily las me 12 months, I only change them then because I want to, I’ve seen 35000 miles from this set up before so 25000 is well within limits of wear.
Now back to tyre wear via the suspension upgrades. It’s no secret that the suspension on the Fazer 8 was God awful, it’s well documented on the web and elsewhere so the first job was to replace the rear shock then find a reasonable solution for the front.
The rear shock was a no brainer, having used Nitron before they were always going to be used again, without writing a full review here suffice it to say that they are a superb unit at a reasonable price with good adjustability.
The front was another matter though. Having used Race tech gold valves in a previous bike I was going to use them in this on as they do a good job but they do have their limitations.
The problem is that you have to dismantle the forks and remove them to make any changes. While it’s doable it’s still a pain in the ar5e [filtered], especially if like me you ride in the rain or the cold and want to make adjustments on the fly as it were.
As standard the FZ8 and Fazer 8 originally came with no adjustments up front so rather than just replace the springs I thought I’d look for a complete upgrade option.
First place I looked was Nitron to see if they had anything to match the rear and they did but at the best part of £800 even I had to wonder whether it was worth it but with a little research I found a company called Omnia racing and they were selling a full cartridge and spring kit with compression rebound and preload adjustment for £450 so in they went. I'll write a suspension review and link it here later.
Now back to the tyres. Having put decent suspension on the bike it meant the tyres actually stayed on the road most of the time which brings other benefits apart from better handling. One thing that most people don’t consider is prolonged chain and sprocket life. Because the tyre tracks the road over bumps you don't get the shock loading to the drive train thus mostly eliminating sprocket hooking and uneven chain wear. The main benefit though is tyre life. In a large part it’s for the same reasons as the reduced chain wear but there is something else too. You can make adjustments to the damping and effect tyre wear in a very short time frame. If the rear is squaring off then back off the compression a bit ride a few twisty roads (100 ish miles) and bring it back to profile, same up front, if it’s getting a little peaky add a bit of compression and within 100 ish miles it’ll come back to profile. In this way you can use the tyre for much longer than you normally would be able to even though there is lots of tread left on it..
Reliability wise I’ve had a starter relay wear out (£6) and a wheel sensor break which is being replaced under the lifetime warranty.
Another consumable I forgot to mention is oil. The change intervals are the normal 6000 miles but it only takes 2.9L and 3.1 with a filter so keeping costs down there too.
That’s about it for now but any questions or comments feel free to ask.
« Last Edit: 21 January 2018, 08:50:33 PM by celticbiker »
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slappy

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Re: My little FZ8 review
« Reply #1 on: 18 January 2018, 09:20:19 PM »
So little I can't even read it.

agricola

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Re: My little FZ8 review
« Reply #2 on: 18 January 2018, 09:22:16 PM »
He said it was little :)

tommyardin

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Re: My little FZ8 review
« Reply #3 on: 18 January 2018, 11:56:29 PM »

Well it's a year since I got the Fazer and I've covered 22000 miles so thought I'd give it a little review.
Given my usage of this or any other bike then consumables are quite high on the priority list of cost.Tyres being the biggest cost in terms of outlay are always a concern, I once had a bike with such a bad balance and damping setup that it would use a rear tyre in 3500 miles. Fortunatly the Fazer is a bit better than that, I've used 1 full set of PR4's a set of PP3's and half a set of PR3's. The reason for the longevity though (I think) is partly down to the basic modern chassis design and technology and partly due to the suspension upgrades (more about that later) allowing more of the tyre to be used without excessive squaring off. You see, I have this theory that tyre design and bike design go hand in hand. While modern tyres are stickier and give a better ride, older bikes tend to tear up the centre regardless of how you ride but stick an Avon roadrunner (remember those?) on and you'll get 10000 miles out of it, not because it was hard but because they were designed to work with the bikes of the time.Next up is brakes. Most reiews will tell you how good the brakes are and how you can stand it on the front wheel with 2 fingers but how often do you find the need to do that? For me brakes aren’t about stopping power, that is taken as read, it’s what they are designed to do and within reason there’s not a huge difference between manufacturers standard setups. You can however change the way the brakes behave by choosing the correct pads to suit your requirements and riding style.When I got the bike the brakes were useless but it turned out that the pistons were sticky, and as it happened I had a half used set of Goldfren pads (same ones as the tdm) lying around so I put those in. To save a lot of writing I’ve done a little chart of on a scale from 1 to 10.                           Bite   Braking efficiency    Fade    Longevity    PriceGoldren                  5                7                   3            6           £23Carbon Lorraine      7                 8                   2            5           £61EBC                       8                 7                   5            5           £40If you plan ahead or ride in the rain then you don’t need or want that snappy bite, in heavy rain it could see you locking the front in an emergency, for that reason I choose to use the the Goldfren. They’ve got a bit less initial bite but in the wet that allows a bit more time to get that weight transferred to the front before you start the slowing process. Without doubt the others will stop you quicker in the wet and the dry but in the real world given the price difference it’s not worth worrying about.You can’t talk about consumables without mentioning the dreaded chain and sprockets. Most people I know have owned bikes their entire adult lives and never replaced either because they sell or trade their bikes with 10000 or less miles on them. If you own a bike for long enough though you will end up doing this job and cost aside, the actual job itself needs to be considered.Believe it or not it is something that I look at and research before buying a bike. Mostly the principal is the same but there are some model specific peculiarities out there. For example the Triumph Daytona (iirc) has to have the oil drained because you have to remove a crankcase cover to get at the front sprocket.The Fazer is actually quite easy and with the front sprocket nut being staked on it saves the hassle of a tab washer although the front sprocket and output shaft splines are the same as the tdm 900 so you could add one if you wanted to.As a preference I use DID gold and black XVM and renthal sprockets they can be had for £118ish and easily last me 12 months, I only change them then because I want to, I’ve seen 35000 miles from this set up before so 25000 is well within limits of wear.Now back to tyre wear via the suspension upgrades. It’s no secret that the suspension on the Fazer 8 was God awful, it’s well documented on the web and elsewhere so the first job was to replace the rear shock then find a reasonable solution for the front.The rear shock was a no brainer, having used Nitron before they were always going to be used again, without writing a full review here suffice it to say that they are a superb unit at a reasonable price with good adjustability.The front was another matter though. Having used Race tech gold valves in a previous bike I was going to use them in this one as they do a good job but they do have their limitations.The problem is that you have to dismantle the forks and remove them to make any changes. While it’s doable it’s still a pain in the ar5e [filtered], especially if like me you ride in the rain or the cold and want to make adjustments on the fly as it were.As standard the FZ8 and Fazer 8 originally came with no adjustments up front so rather than just replace the springs I thought I’d look for a complete upgrade option.First place I looked was Nitron to see if they had anything to match the rear and they did but at the best part of £800 even I had to wonder whether it was worth it but with a little research I found a company called Omnia racing and they were selling a full Andriani cartridge and spring kit with compression rebound and preload adjustment for £450 so in they went. I'll write a suspension review and link it here later.Now back to the tyres. Having put decent suspension on the bike it meant the tyres actually stayed on the road most of the time which brings other benefits apart from better handling. One thing that most people don’t consider is prolonged chain and sprocket life. Because the tyre tracks the road over bumps you don't get the shock loading to the drive train thus mostly eliminating sprocket hooking and uneven chain wear. The main benefit though is tyre life. In a large part it’s for the same reasons as the reduced chain wear but there is something else too. You can make adjustments to the damping and effect tyre wear in a very short time frame. If the rear is squaring off then back off the compression a bit ride a few twisty roads (100 ish miles) and bring it back to profile, same up front, if it’s getting a little peaky add a bit of compression and within 100 ish miles it’ll come back to profile. In this way you can use the tyre for much longer than you normally would be able to even though there is lots of tread left on it..Reliability wise I’ve had a starter relay wear out (£6) and a wheel sensor break which is being replaced under the lifetime warranty.Another consumable I forgot to mention is oil. The change intervals are the normal 6000 miles but it only takes 2.9L and 3.1 with a filter so keeping costs down there too.That’s about it for now but any questions or comments feel free to ask.

celticbiker

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Re: My little FZ8 review
« Reply #4 on: 19 January 2018, 03:39:01 AM »
Dunno what happened there, I'll sort it when I get home, looked ok on the lappy last night.
« Last Edit: 21 January 2018, 08:51:11 PM by celticbiker »
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Mustang

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Re: My little FZ8 review
« Reply #5 on: 04 February 2018, 09:23:08 PM »
Wow 22000 miles a year is a lot on a bike, thanks for sharing, it's interesting, I have an FZ1 so it's a similar bike