I have definitely ridden the FZ09, it's a pretty impressive bike for the price IMO.Have you ridden the FZ09? I have and was not impressed. If these two bikes are indeed direct competitors, one has to weigh all the components before determining value for the price. The FZ09 has budget suspension, poor fueling, and passes a lot of vibes on to the rider. I am not familiar with the Z800, but if it has better fueling, better suspension, less vibes, then it may be a better all around package. Or it may just be that Kawasaki is bringing it here because it is so popular in Europe and they want to see if can sell. Might end up being a one or two year bike which is why they are not bothering to put out a California model.
We, in the US get quite a few one or two year bikes because it is hard for the manufacturers to figure out what we will buy besides cruisers. The Europeans do more commuting on bikes than the Americans.
You're implying that the FZ09 is indeed put together with "budget" parts, but the Z800 isn't?
It's not a supersport, it's not $15-20k, it's not a new engine and it's power output is almost identical with the FZ, yet the FZ weighs a significant amount less and is actually a tad cheaper.
You can't sit there and tell me the Z800 is a better complete package when all Kawi did was slap a US sticker on it. Nothing new, nothing original for 2016. They painted it and stuck it in the US market.
My biggest thing here is that Kawi is constantly bleeding out it's old ideas of what did work and forget about the rest of the competition world. Atleast in the mid tier market. Ninja 650? Literally unchanged in several years, except minor adjustments here and there. Nothing too exciting to keep drawing that new demographic of customers is.
The FZ-09 was awarded bike of the year by many critics and review sites. Not just for it's value, but also for it's originality.
I'm not fully in love with the FZ, I just don't see Kawi matching Yamahas originality and eye grabbing attention here, that the FZ had.
Kawi definitely needed an 800cc standard bike in their US lineup, and for that I'm plenty happy to see.
But if this is the best they can really come up with, then I'm rather dissapointed.
Again, parts for parts and build for build, don't expect the $200 msrp difference(FZ09 to Z800)have a dramatic change in quality difference.
And don't even get me started on the FJ 09, a tweaked(for the most part, better)/faired version of the FZ.
Is reusing an older model really the best method to gain a new audience? I don't think so. Nothing new, nothing really stands out with this Z800.
Oh, and those vibrations are more than tolerable on the FZ.