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Welcome to official blog of the Florida West Coast Motorcycle Club. An American Motorcycle Association Historic Club (No. 165), we are a family oriented riding and social club with a history back to 1936. Our motto is "Ride and Have Fun". Learn more about us or how to join our club.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yamaha Demo Days at Cycle Springs

Cycle Springs Powersports
Saturday, after our monthly club breakfast, I took a ride to Cycle Springs to check out the Star Demo Days. Yamaha had the entire line up of motorcycles available for test riding. I hadn't ridden a Yamaha since owning an 800cc Yamaha cruiser back in high school in the late eighties. The ominous clouds kept a crowd away, and I took my chances with the rain getting my newly cleaned Road King all wet.

The demo rides were being conducted in groups every thirty minutes. I had a chance to talk with the representatives from Yamaha on their line up.

Yamaha Bolt
An addition for 2014 is the Bolt. Other than a small Yamaha sticker on the fender, you could easily mistake this bike for a H-D Sportster. It brought me back to my 2001 1200 Custom. Priced at under $8,000, this is an entry level cruiser targeting sport bike riders looking to get into the cruiser market.

Owning a 2009 Road King Classic, I am not in the market for a new cruiser. I thought to myself, if I was going to add another bike to the garage what would I want? A garage accustomed to multiple brands, already housing a Harley, a Honda and Vespa. Maybe it was the impending rain and the thought of having to polish chrome, which made my eye drawn to the FZ8. However, it was more likely my inner child wanting a toy more than the rationalization that it would be an easy bike to clean after riding on rainy days.

Test Riding the FZ8
Not being in my twenties anymore, I wasn't interested in something which would tear up the track. I wanted to try something which would be fun to ride around town, but still let me sit in a more vertical position. So wearing my leather vest and "Captain America" helmet, I headed off on the FZ8 for a twenty minute guided test ride with one other customer. Other than the Vespa, I've only ridden Harleys for the past thirteen years. The first thing I noticed was how quiet the bike was. At an idle, I could hardly tell it was on. My second surprise was a red line around 10,000 RPM. I am use to keeping the tachometer under 3,000 RPM. This bike didn't even wake up until it hit 3k. I was impressed with the handling of the FZ8. Even for my large frame, I didn't feel the bike was too small. It braked well and had plenty of power on take off. Overall, this would be a great second (or even third) bike for use around town or commuting to work.

Overall, it was a fun time. I got to meet some new people, try out a new ride, and it never did rain. I would like to thank Jimmy Wallace and the group from Star Motorcycles for hosting the event. Now, I just need to think of a way to squeeze another bike into my garage.
The Star Motorcycles Demo Truck

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