By August 20, 2009

End of an era: I sold Cylon, my Yamaha FZ6

I purchased my first motorcycle, a 2005 Yamaha FZ6, four years ago this October. Aside from a motorcycle safety course and a not-so-much-fun experience as a passenger, I’d never ridden on a motorcycle before. I had researched the FZ6 meticulously and purchased it due to its price-to-performance ratio, dealer support, seating position / ergonomics, and its reputation as a jack of all trades machine. I’m kind of a jack of all trades machine myself at work, so I thought the 600cc sport standard from Yamaha would be a great fit. 22,000 miles later, I was totally right, and “Cylon” led me on many adventures and a love for motorcycling I could have never anticipated.

My friend Bond told me one thing as he was about to escort me home from the dealership (Jarman’s in Charlottesville, VA — they are EXCELLENT): “This bike is way better than you.” What he meant was that I had a lot to learn before surpassing the abilities of the motorcycle. I heard his voice, like a motorcycling Obi Wan Kenobi, if I felt like I was leaning the bike too far over, or wondered if I couldn’t stop in time, or was nervous in any way about the bike “making it.” I just leaned more, put more pressure on the brakes, or flipped a mad wheelie (not really). The bike did everything I ever asked of it.

True to its reputation as a “do it all” bike, I put heated grips and a luggage rack on the bike and set off for trips that would make most sport bikers shake their wrists in pain. I added a taller aftermarket wind screen and eventually added crash bars, highway pegs, and an upgraded seat. Thanks to the great FZ6 community on I learned how to change the oil on the bike, do routine maintenance, and wire up the second headlight on the bike.

I never dropped the bike, wrecked it, had an incident, or got a speeding ticket. The bike has been absolutely wonderful, and my experience was a major factor in looking at Yamaha’s flagship sport-touring bike, the FJR1300A. Which, if you’re a regular reader, is where Cylon’s story started to close. I bought Apollo just over two months ago and have already logged about 4000 miles on him. Apollo is the next evolutionary step in my motorcycling. It’s what I loved Cylon for, times two. Apollo is faster, more stable, and is more comfortable on longer distances. It is great with a passenger, and due to its faring and windscreen will allow me to ride deeper into the winter than ever before. The FJR1300A has been my only bike that kept me from wanting to ride Cylon again, something a BMW K1200LTE, BMW R1150R, and Honda CB400T failed to do. Cylon sat under his motorcycle cover for two months without earning a single mile.

I sold Cylon last Thursday to a friend of mine from work. It was a really tough decision, but I would rather him go to someone who would ride him than to sit in my driveway. When my co-worker came over to check the bike out, Cylon was covered with spider webs, leaves, and other junk. It made me ashamed that I had let the bike sit ignored for so long. For the first time in nearly four years, Cylon didn’t start on the first time. I had to push the started switch and rev the throttle, something else I’d never done.

I had the next two days off, but on Tuesday I was walking out of work with my friends for lunch. I saw a Givi E360 side case sticking out of a parking space and thought, “wow, how odd that someone else has E360s on their bike.” And then I noticed it was my bike. At least, it used to be my bike. My co-worker has been taking it out for errands and riding it to work. He was unsure about buying the side cases but after owning the bike for a week he’s glad he has them. I knew then that I made the right decision. The jack-of-all-trades Cylon was still going on multiple types of missions, except this time with a new master.

Shiny side up, Rocky. Take care of my baby for me.

Posted in: motorcycling

2 Comments on "End of an era: I sold Cylon, my Yamaha FZ6"

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  1. Gremlin says:

    I’ve never been able to sell one of my vehicles. I’ve still got my first truck that I’ve owned for twenty plus years now. My first motorcycle is still in the garage. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to give to give to my son, what I’ve never been able to sell.

  2. Cap'n says:

    I dread the day I have to part with my ’07 fz6. Ideally I will keep it when I inevitably buy something else, and continue to get use out of it. But somehow, someday, we’ll part. Lots of luck to the new owner.