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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yamaha FZ6 Modifications to Consider - Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my series about the different modifications that are available for the Yamaha FZ6 motorcycle. It seems like every time I turn around I find something new that can be done to my FZ6. In Part 1 of this series I discussed the aftermarket possibilities of upgraded exhaust, windscreens, and seats. In Part 2 I will give an overview of the options available for new grips, levers, and rear sets. In contrast to a powertrain modification, these are mostly aesthetic and comfort rather than performance enhancements. Let's get to it.

* Grips - There are a couple of reasons to consider getting new grips for the Yamaha FZ6. One reason is comfort. Some find that the grips on the FZ6 are too small and not comfortable enough for long rides. Increasing the size of the grips, for some, increases their comfort and puts less strain on the hands and wrist. In addition, there are grips that contain gel which will, for obvious reasons, increase grip comfort. Another reason to consider new grips is for their aesthetic value. The grips that come stock with the FZ6 are black and very nondescript. Many grips are available that have bright colors and logos that display brand loyalty among other things. Being one of the least expensive modifications, this would be a good one to consider if it is of any interest to you at all.

* Levers - The levers that come on the Yamaha FZ6 are pretty standard and similar to what you'd see on any other stock motorcycle. They are long, silver, and have a larger ball-looking end on them. They are fine for what they were designed for, but there is something to be gained by switching to after-market levers.. The same two reasons for replacing grips applies to levers. Changing grips can provide a comfort enhancement as well as an aesthetic enhancement. Additionally, though, some levers provide some added convenience features that make them easier to adjust than stock. Many after-market levers are a bit shorter than the stock versions and allow the use of two or three fingers for shifting and braking without the extra length of the lever pinching the remaining fingers. As riders get more advanced and confident with shifting and braking, shorter levers can be much more comfortable and easy to use. Aesthetically speaking, after-market levers are available in a variety of colors and styles that can be used to highlight or contrast the bike's color and design. Lastly, many levers come now with the ability to adjust lever position on-the-fly to account for brake fade and clutch adjustments. This can be a great help as compared with the stock levers that require more work to make the same adjustments. Some levers also include the ability to "fold" the levers near their pivot points. This can certainly come in handy if excessive pressure is applied to the ends of the levers. Rather than breaking something more critical, the lever simply "folds" up.

* Rearsets - Rearsets make up the rider's footpegs, shifting lever, and rear brake lever. I haven't seen as much about rearsets for the Yamaha FZ6 as I have other modifications, but they are out there and worth mentioning. Some of the reasons for replacing the rearsets are similar to the other modifications I've mentioned. There is comfort/usability and aesthetics. After-market rearsets typically have the ability to be adjusted forward, backward, up, and down. This is a definite advantage when seeking additional comfort and improved riding position. In addition to adjustability, after-market rearsets are typically of higher quality than original equipment. Many note that the shifting is much crisper and cleaner feeling, and braking is also more positive. Some drawbacks are that many rearset pegs are fixed, and therefore will not fold up in case of a crash, or anything catching on it. This could be detrimental to the mechanisms attached to the pegs if the force on them is great enough. Some rearsets that I really like the looks of are the Rizoma rearsets (pictured). One thing to note, though, is that they're built for the European FZ6 which doesn't have a built-in center stand like the U.S. version, and they interfere with each other. Slight modification is necessary to get them to fit properly.

Stay tuned to my Yamaha FZ6 Modifications to Consider series. We still have a number of items to cover:

* FE kit
* Mirrors
* Turn signals
* Brake lines
* Brake pads
* Frame Sliders
* Air Filter

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