Yamaha’s sporting line of motorcycles grows with the introduction of the new 2011 Yamaha FZ8 street bike; a streetfighter-style machine that offers European styling and a conventional riding position with a sporting engine and chassis character. At an MSRP of $8490, it slots in directly between the FZ1 and FZ6R, Yamaha’s two current streetfighters.
Beneath the 4.5-gallon fuel tank lies a liquid-cooled and fuel-injected 779cc Inline-Four. The engine uses the same cases as the pre-crossplane crankshaft-equipped Yamaha YZF-R1, but gets an entirely new crankshaft and top end. The engine operates with a conventional engine firing order, unlike the current R1, while the powerband has been specifically tuned for the rigors of urban riding with more low-to-mid rpm torque output.
Each piston slides within a cylinder that features a 68.0 x 53.6mm bore and stroke. Fuel is squeezed at a 12.0:1 ratio and the bike uses a 16-valve cylinder head, actuated by dual overhead camshafts. Power is transferred back to the rear tire through a manual cable-actuated clutch, 6-speed transmission and chain final drive.
The engine is suspended within a black cast aluminum frame mated to a swingarm of the same composition, with its handling emphasis put on moderate-speed agility. Front-to-rear weight bias is claimed to be 51/49; suspension includes a 43mm inverted fork and a spring preload-adjustable shock absorber.
The FZ8 rolls on 17-inch cast aluminum wheels that feature a 5-spoke design. The wheels are paired to Bridgestone Battlax BT-021 sport touring tire in sizes 120/70 front and 180/55 rear. Braking components consist of a pair of 310mm discs clamped by 4-piston calipers up front and 267mm rear disc with a double-piston caliper out back.
The cockpit of the FZ8 is similar to the FZ1 and is designed to be a balance between sport and comfort. It makes use of a standard, upright aluminum handlebar that is said to be positioned 4mm forward as compared to its elder sibling. The footpegs have also been positioned down 10mm and back 15mm. Seat height is measured at 32.1 inches off the ground and with a full load of fuel the bike is claimed to weigh 480 pounds.
Visually all of the bikes major components are painted black and the engine is hung out in the open without any fairings or plastic body panels covering it. The FZ8 is available in one color, Raven, and will be available in dealers December of this year.