2003 Yamaha FZ1 – My New Bike


2003 Yamaha FZ1 Right

After getting my motorcycle license on Monday I started browsing eBay, Cragislist, and the internet in general looking for a motorcycle. As can be evidenced on this blog, my automotive interests usually gravitate towards racing with a focus on speed and handling. Thus I am attracted to sport bikes and that is where I focused my search. As with any search for a vehicle to buy there are many ups and downs. Craigslist is full of scams and I came across at least one very blatant scam (if it is too good to be true, it probably is). A few bikes I found sold before I even had a chance to contact the seller. However, one bike popped up in my search and everything started to line up for me. That bike was a 2003 Yamaha FZ1.

Having done a lot of research on buying used bikes I formulated a long list of questions and gave the seller a call. The guy was nice and took the time to answer all of my questions. Feeling good about the condition of the bike I rented a bike trailer from U-Haul (the current owner wanted to keep the license plate, requiring me to trailer it if I bought it) for a surprisingly small sum of money and a rather large amount of hassle.

I had originally reserved the trailer online and had selected the location very near my house. The next day I get an email from U-Haul confirming my trailer but listing a location over a half hour from my house. Not being very pleased with the bait and switch I called up the location listed in the email and asked why I had to travel so far to pick up the trailer. I was told there were no other trailers available and, if I wanted to rent it, would have to drive over an hour round trip out of my way, twice, to get it. What was a $25 rental just doubled in price but I had no other choice. The fun continued when I arrived at the U-Haul location and the lights on the trailer would not work properly. After crawling around under my truck I determined there must be something wrong with the wiring in my truck since the U-Haul employee swore the trailer was just used without an issue.

Finally on the road I drove the now hour and a half trip to look at the motorcycle. When I arrived the bike was as described and I went over the checklist of the important things to look at while I asked the owner some additional questions. Everything seemed satisfactory so I asked if I could take it for a quick ride. He agreed since I had cash in hand, but let me pause to mention two details. The first is that, unlike when purchasing a car, a motorcycle owner will often not let you ride the bike even if you have cash in hand. Something is much more likely to happen to a motorcycle than a car due to the nature of the machine and the various riding styles and experience of the rider. Second, this FZ1 is a liter bike with over 140hp, not exactly the recommended amount of power for a brand new rider. Thus on a powerful bike with no real experience I pulled out of the driveway for a loop around the block.

The test ride went well and I felt I could handle the power of the bike. I exchanged my cash for the title, loaded the bike on the trailer and was on my way back home with my new wheels. The rest of the trip progressed with no real issues and I brought my new-to-me FZ1 to it’s new home, mine.