Yamaha’s FZ1 lives in the shadow of the thoroughbred YZF-R1, earning little respect from hard-core sportbike types. The bike shows a lot of promise on paper, but never quite lives up to its potential on the pavement. Suspension is adequate, but just. Based on the retired 20-valve R1 mill and retuned for broad-spectrum street riding, most of the 998cc inline-four’s 126 horsepower live between 8000 and 11,000 rpm. That shortage of bottom and midrange power, along with chronically abrupt throttle response that persists despite the factory’s attempts to fix it, left most of us uninspired about the idea of an FZ1 project.