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2007 Yamaha FZ1 Comparison

Monday, October 15, 2007
The 2007 Yamaha FZ1 has been Yamaha s big bore streetfighter  ever since the Tuning Fork brand crammed its R1 motor into the stripped FZ1 frame back in 2002.
The 2007 Yamaha FZ1 has been Yamaha's big bore streetfighter, ever since the Tuning Fork brand crammed its R1 motor into the stripped FZ1 frame back in 2002.
Yamaha FZ1

Yamaha decided to stuff the venerable R1 mill into a mostly naked, rider-friendly streetbike called the FZ1 back in 2001 and it has been an overdressed staple of the streetfighter scene ever since. Although we came away impressed after sampling the revamped 2006 model, we were unable to procure a test unit and left it out of our inaugural comparo. As you might imagine, the public was outraged and our embarrassment for omitting it knows no bounds. So, when it came time to put together Streetfighter Comparo II, we couldn't wait to stick the '07 Fazer into the mix and find out how the R1's alter-ego fares against the rest of the hooligans.

In describing the Yamaha FZ1, it would be inconceivable to start anywhere other than the motor, which in case you haven't had it pounded into your head yet, is based on the R1 powerplant. The 998cc Inline-Four motor achieves its displacement courtesy of a 77mm bore, 53.6mm stroke and utilizes the pre-2007 R1's 20-valve (five-valve-per-cylinder) configuration. On the dyno the FZ1 flexed its juice-free four-cylinder muscle by taking top honors in peak horsepower with an impressive 129.3 at 11,500 rpm and second-place in the torque courtesy of a bulging 66.2 lb-ft at 9,500 rpm. The FZ1 means serious business in a Clark Kent sort of way.

The real world application on the pavement is a broad, linear powerband which climbs steady all the way up to its peak - a full thousand rpm further than any of its rivals. In spite of the mammoth horsepower on tap, the delivery of that power, while not anemic, is not as brutish or lively as the other four in this class. One test rider went so far as describing the obedient power delivery as electric. The ultra-refined, polished feel is somewhat misleading because the further that needle climbs up the tach, the more and more the Yamaha resembles a rocket ship. At the strip the FZ1 might not be super hero-esque but a 10.6 at 130 mph is nothing to be ashamed of. That is a wee-bit quicker than the S4R and considerably faster than the defending class champion Tuono as well.
The Yamaha FZ1 was the least naked of our streefighter testing crop  with the most modest of entries betting on its beefy Inline-Four to make up for its looks.
The Yamaha FZ1 was the least naked of our streefighter testing crop, with the most modest of entries betting on its beefy Inline-Four to make up for its looks.

"The Yamaha's power delivery is extremely smooth and docile and the exhaust note is deceptively quiet," explained graphics guru Chamberlain, "but it will get you to the end of the next straight pretty damn quick!"

The fuel-injected motor runs so smooth from top to bottom that it was almost possible to stick the Fazer in second and ride it like a high-speed scooter on the track. Chugging smoothly thru low-speed corners then twisting the throttle and calling in some of those 130 ponies for a jaunt on the straights will keep a kid grinning big time. Throttle response is as seamless as the power delivery. Of course, we didn't ride the FZ1 around in second the entire time and when you do need to shuffle gears, the Yamaha's six-speed transmission is, surprise, ultra smooth. It rated well with out testers, trailing only the Kawasaki on the score sheet. You'd have to be a first-degree ignoramus to get lost in the precise, forgiving gearbox.

With the Yamaha serving up seemingly endless acceleration it's a good thing the brakes are up to task. Bringing the Yamaha to a safe halt is a pair of 320mm rotors with four-piston calipers up front and a 245mm rear disc with single-piston caliper out back. The monoblock front binders deliver powerful stopping power, although they lack the initial bite or feel of the comparo-leading Tuono. Together the braking combo on the Yamaha is beyond adequate, even if its 7.7 rating in our evaluation put it middle of the pack.
Serving up smooth linear power  the Yamaha s Inline-Four delivers plenty of punch from the bottom to top of the rev range.
Serving up smooth linear power, the Yamaha's Inline-Four delivers plenty of punch from the bottom to top of the rev range.

"The brakes of the Yamaha are pretty damn good," said Hutch, whose succinct evaluation sums up the braking pretty damn well.

When the roads get tight and curvy the plush Yamaha comes up a smidge short in the scything department, feeling more akin to a sleek sport-tourer than a quick-turning streetfighter. After our street ride, test riders had plenty of good things to say about the FZ1 in terms of outright comfort and being stable in the fast sweepers, but it was anointed as the least nimble of the bunch. At the track the Yamaha's handling score plummeted even further. We chose Horsethief Mile because it features a bunch of corners we feel represent some typical canyon roads with elevation changes, tight decreasing radius, esses and a very fast bend before the uphill. In most cases the FZ1 felt softly sprung and never really inspired a lot of confidence when it came time to push hard.

The FZ1's 25-degree rake and 4.3 inches of trail are almost identical to the Aprilia Tuono (trail 0.2-inch shorter), but in the handling portion of our scoresheet the bikes were on the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Where the intuitive Tuono changes direction without effort, the Yamaha lumbers through transitions, a fact we'll give partial blame to the 57.5-inch wheelbase, the most lengthy of the group. Although the Kawasaki was heavier, the Yamaha felt like the biggest bike in our comparo and while the FZ1 hides that bulk well at low speeds, once the pace picks up a rider starts to feel all of its tank-empty 467 lbs. The Yamaha tended to drag metal in the turns too, with the low rubber-mounted pegs scraping in aggressive leans. The FZ1 is also the only bike in our group with a center stand, a component whose convenience far outweighs some scraping at the track and honestly, it never touched down on the street.
Yamaha s 998cc literbike engine is utilized by the FZ1  with the powerplant claiming top honors in the horsepower battle  cranking out just shy of 130 ponies at the rear wheel.
Yamaha's 998cc literbike engine is utilized by the FZ1, with the powerplant claiming top honors in the horsepower battle, cranking out just shy of 130 ponies at the rear wheel.

On the plus side, once it is turned and pointed in the right direction, the FZ1 is a stable, comfortable platform to put miles on. The fully-adjustable inverted 43mm Kayaba fork and rear shock provide a plush ride, sucking up all but the worst bumps in the road. None of our testers leveled any gripes at the Yamaha suspension, although we'd like to have tinkered with the boingers, stiffened things up a bit more and seen what it was capable of with a little more TLC.

Some people will still argue the point that on the sliding standard/streetfighter scale, the FZ1 is without question the most standard of the group, which begs the question: Does it even belong in this test? According to the inundated inboxes of hate e-mail we received in 2006, the answer is yes. The less-aggressive and quite upright riding position is a highlight for some riders and a deal breaker for others. It certainly pegged it as the odd duck in a more antagonistic streetfighter flock.

"The FZ1 is a great bike, but doesn't quite fit the mold of the streetfighter," is the opinion of our discerning streetfighter veteran Brian Chamberlain. "To me it leans more on the side of a sport-touring bike without any luggage, with the ergos a little too comfy for my tastes when it comes to aggressive riding."

With a wheelbase of 57.5 inches  the Yamaha FZ1 was the lengthiest bike in our comparo. While it took a little extra to tip over in a turn  once it did it was very stable.
With a wheelbase of 57.5 inches, the Yamaha FZ1 was the lengthiest bike in our comparo. While it took a little extra to tip over in a turn, once it did it was very stable.
On the bright side, the Yamaha's wind protection is the best of our nekkid group. It also is the most comfortable for long hauls, with rubber mounted pegs and a comfortable seat making freeway/commuter miles enjoyable, though the movement afforded by those same pegs was a bit disconcerting to some riders and takes a bit of time to get used to - especially when hopping off one bike and onto the Yamaha. In fit and finish the FZ1 pulled last on our scorecard, but it was a miniscule 0.1 behind the Ducati and Triumph, close to the competition but just not striking our fancy like the others. The instrumentation and cockpit display are clean and informative, with the digital fuel gauge a nice feature that takes all the anxiety out of wondering whether you've got enough gas to make it back when you're following Hutch on a street ride out in the sticks.

Along with the handling, the other section on our scorecard where the Yamaha took a brutal hit is in Appearance. Most of the complaints from our testers centered around the front half-fairing or the boxy right-side exhaust. Opinions on style are always a matter of personal taste, but most of our testers agreed the Yamaha had the plainest looks out of the five.

"There was a concern going into this test that the Yamaha was not really a Streetfighter, although last year everyone blasted us for leaving it out," said boss man Hutchy. "The FZ1 has the motor to hang with this group, but the pundits were right about the styling - it just seems a bit too civilized compared to the likes of the radical Z1000 and Speed Triple, but not everyone wants to be considered a hooligan. That's were the FZ1 comes in - it is a hooligan hand with a velvet glove."
The information console on the FZ1 includes an analog tach and digital speedo  with the Yamaha also including an electronic fuel gauge.
The information console on the FZ1 includes an analog tach and digital speedo, with the Yamaha also including an electronic fuel gauge.

Sporting a budget-friendly $9199 MSRP, the Yamaha FZ1 delivers a lot of bike for the money. However, our critical testers feel it's right in the middle and the third-best "Value" on the final score sheet. In real-world application, the FZ1 adds appeal because of its versatility. While it didn't light our Streetfighter Comparo on fire, it's a great machine that can do a lot of things well. If we had lined up the five comparo entries and told our testers - okay, we're riding up to Portland on the I-5 and we're not switching bikes until we get there - a mini riot of drunken-soccer-goon intensity to claim the Yamaha would have ensued. For a commuter bike that can double as a weekend playbike/tourer, the FZ1 is your machine. The relatively low MSRP also had our street hooligan, Steeves, listing off all the immediate changes he'd make to a potential project FZ1 with the thousands of dollars he'd save compared to the Italian bikes and he has a point.

As our resident master of mayhem, Steeves, a former bike salesman himself, summed up the Yamaha sales pitch and its place in our Streetfighter Comparo when he said:

"If two or more of the following four comments apply to you then the FZ1 is your best bet:
1. You use a motorcycle to commute to/from work.
2. You spend more time with a helmet on than a seat belt.
3. You are taller than 6'.
4. You like the feeling of acceleration but aren't looking to prove anything to the kid on the R6 who just eye-balled you on the freeway."
It may not have been the winner  but before you think the Yamaha doesn t have the oomph to hang with nimbler rivals  Mr. Filice displays its one-wheeled potential.
It may not have been the winner, but before you think the Yamaha doesn't have the oomph to hang with nimbler rivals, Mr. Filice displays its one-wheeled potential.

So, while it came in tied for third, the FZ1 is by no means a big loser. There are a lot of things to love about this machine, and we already understand why we'll be getting a few nasty emails from FZ1 owners who think we're morons for picking on their bike. If it makes you feel any better, the Yamaha did get chosen by one of our test riders in the For My Money section. For the right rider who piles on the miles, is working on a budget and doesn't want to look like a thug, the 2007 Yamaha FZ1 is a perfect match.

Yamaha Scorecard:
Engine: User Friendliness 7.5
Engine: Open-Road Performance 7.5
Transmission/Clutch 7.5
Handling/Chassis/Suspension 5.7
Brakes 7.7
Ergonomics/Riding Position 7.5
Fit & Finish/ Instruments/Cockpit 6.7
Appearance 5.7
Grin Factor 6.2
Value 6.5

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The fuel-injected motor runs so smooth from top to bottom that it was almost possible to stick the Fazer in second and ride it like a high-speed scooter on the track.

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arless   December 7, 2011 04:34 PM
Steve I have never heard of anyone with trouble shifting the smooth buttery transmission on the FZ1 Yamaha? Your the first, could be you are using the wrong oil? not intended for bikes? your clutch is grabbing a little when pulled in. The Yamaha I had, never had any trouble at all shifting.All post Laud how well the transmission shifts, and a seamless clutch. If none of what was mentioned works take you bike to a pro and let him l@@k it over Arless
Steve -2009 FZ1 Shifting  June 20, 2010 10:15 AM
I just bought a new 2009 FZ1 and love the bike except for very harsh shifting. I have Hd's, a Ducati, Triumph, and Honda. This is by far the worst shifting bike I own. Have about 880 miles now, oil has been changed to Amsoil Syn, and clutch is perfectly adjusted. No improvement. Any Thoughts?
Pat Thomas -Old Yeller my 2003 FZ1  March 30, 2010 06:27 PM
I am 76 ( soon to be 77) I have a 2003 FZ1 and I really like to ride "the Machine". I had a 2002 FZ1 that I traded for a Suzuki C90 and it is a really good road machine ( the C90). I rode the 2002 FZ1 from Bay St.Louis, Ms. to Laplata,Mo. about 900 miles with bagage, no problem.
After getting the C90 I found a good deal on the 2003 FZ1 and intend to keep it and the C90 till I "fade away" And I will keep riding from Ms. to Mo.
Jeff Lattimer -07 FZ1-s  December 28, 2009 04:28 PM
Just picked up 07 FZ1-s with 5000kms on the clock. Not bad power up top, very soft down low, has GTY-R slip-on but no other mods. Suspension very basic (can R-1 stuff be fitted?) and not well suited to spirted running on anything but smooth flowing roads. I think the rear profile or width of the stock tyre is the main problem. I am going to change to a 180 to see how it performs as turn-in is very laboured. Other than that it is a comfortable long distance burner.
anonymous writer -FZ1/FZ6  November 2, 2009 06:19 PM
Raced my 07 fz6 that's been modded with air box and full header and open muffler and a gear reduction.Against my 2008 FZ1 pure stock bike and the 6 out ran my 1 up to 100 mph.went back and changed the front small sprocket one tooth smaller and then we went back and raced them again each time the FZ6 would keep up in the first three gears and as soon as you shifted to 4th the FZ1 would fly by my fz6.No matter which bike I road the FZ1 was the king.IN town from red light to red light if you get caught a sleep at the helm the FZ6 will kick your ass AW
an note -2007 fz1  October 4, 2009 11:13 PM
your article was really good until you droped the FZ1 to third.You people rate the street bikes like you would a race bike not fair to the people that read your article.the bike had the most praise for smooth power and nice seat and foot pegs and you rate it last
Wayne R. -2007 Fz1  September 21, 2009 03:19 PM
That's your opinions on the Fz1.I happen to like the way it looks and it will roast all those test bikes in this battle.Sure it's soft down below 5000 rpm but a blessing when you get hit with rain. from 8000 rpm to 12000 rpms the motor is a monster and will keep up with any super sport out there.Open up the exhaust and ram air the inlet box on the intake Re-flash the timing and caution after you boost the timing up you must burn super unleaded or better gas in the motor.the timing is set up for regular gas which is a lazy spark advance.so no matter what grade of fuel you burn it will not detonate the pistons(spark Knock)Pull the packing out of the exhaust leave the exhaust valve in tack and cut the catalytic converter out of the header and replace with a straight piece of stainless steel pipe (welded) now when you flip open the throttle the front end will come up with out any tug on the bars.and if you wont to get stupid fast reduce the front small sprocket size one tooth and run almost the same numbers as the old R1 2006 runs in the 1/4Th mile good day a good 175 hp at the crankshaft 80+ ft lbs torque @ 9000+ rpms
dargo -1250 bandit v fz1  September 18, 2009 07:55 AM
the bandit i had was fantastic the motor was brill but i do feel the fz1(08) i now have pips it to the post so to speak as i am a sportier rider. wish i could have fz1 and the bandit but i cant so fz1 it is.
anonymous reader/writer -fz1 Yamaha  September 11, 2009 10:21 PM
10.60 at 130.71 mph in the quarter mile at sea level track.sit up and ride all day and watch the young kid riders pulled over with there back and neck stretches and etc.on there super-sport 600's.And the fz1 will toast all of the 600's out there that are stock especially the 2009 models that close the exhaust valve at high rpm.All we did was change the front sprocket to a 17 tooth and pulled the packing out of the muffler and left the exhaust valve intact low rpms just as quite as the stock-er.you will also need to re flash the computer for the fuel map and advance of the electronic spark box. "Caution"super unleaded only after the timing up grade.
friendly reader -fz1 exhaust  September 4, 2009 08:36 AM
The new sound is how Quite you can make your bike without hurting the power.I've ran loud pipes before and you could hear me about two miles away at full throttle. parked it knowing the noise it had just made. Here comes the police blowing by looking for me.everybody has a cell phone and little old ladies call 911 (terrified) OK hears the deal put a opened up pipe on your fz1 and there's that dead spot the old r1 had. because there is no valve to hold the back pressure in at lower rpms so you have a dead spot in the engine. loosing power down low only for that little extra peak hp on top. You cannot compete with factory exhaust system for the street.cut the converter out and weld in the same amount of pipe you took out pull the packing out of the stock muffler and leave the valve in check. now you have the best of both worlds see a cop that might have just heard you so short shift and the exhaust valve stays closed.almost factory quite good day an.
You need to ride 07-09 FZ1 -FZ1 Yamaha  September 3, 2009 12:19 AM
You need to ride the 2007-2009 FZ1's then you will get rid of that old wobbly 03 that starts to get nervous at speed.Small 37mm carbs verses 45mm fuel injectors lighter weight and faster
An. -Yamaha FZ1  August 24, 2009 11:08 PM
mild mannered street motor if short shifted below 5500 rpm.But don't let that fool you, crack the throttle and it will jump out from under you and be at the rev limiter before you know what happened.Mine is an 09 model with a 16 tooth primary sprocket.and also a 45 tooth secondary sprocket now it wont run 170 anymore but it will get to 130 in nothing flat. took it to little river drag race track and changed the brake lines to steel braided lines. (required) and stock header and no exhaust open header and a flash to reprogram the fuel which leaned out to 14 and got it back down to 12.8 air fuel ratio which is slightly lean but best power. first run out with no bog netted 9.59.3 @ 139.99 mph not to shabby for a near stock FZ1.
anonymous writer -FZ1 Yamaha  August 24, 2009 10:36 PM
Best bike for the street if you like a sporty bike of sorts.I tried on all the sport bikes and the bars are way to low and foot pegs are way to high for my likings.I'm not out to prove anything to the kid on his R6 or cbr600rr and ect.I go to the back roads where no one is at and I can comment felonies of speed with only 1st and 2nd gears.I'm afraid to get caught running any faster- not be able to slow down in time if you know what I mean.It's way more bike than I can use on the street. I have to restrain myself and take it easy or get killed on the street.I'm not out to race no one,Just makes an old man feel young again. how old you ask,well thought you would never ask 55 and some change and love going all out not even letting off the gas to shift. But supper alert to traction problems.any bump above 9,500 rpm will smoke the back tire in second gear and rev out to the rev limiter at the drop of a hat.Be save and good riding good day AN
Wayne rhodes -FZ1  August 10, 2009 05:55 PM
I'm 55 years old and I look at the FZ1 as a bike that is super fast but has a dated look/via the bandit 1250 also a 70's out dated look. Now that I'm retired and will not be ridding a lot except short hopes around town and down on the freeway to see my parents on occasions.my wife will never get on a bike so I can buy the cbr1000rr for the same price as the FZ1 so I'm torn between the FZ and the cbr1000rr?? I have yet to sit on the Honda or the Yamaha. at my age comfort plays the number one roll in what I buy and it's looking like the dated Yamaha is going to be high on my list of street sport bike WR
KEVGREEK -?  May 30, 2009 03:32 PM
All I can say is a thumbs up My 2007 FZ1 Rocks, try using it to its full potential.
KEVGREEK -?  May 30, 2009 03:31 PM
All I can say is a thumbs up My 2007 FZ1 Rocks, try using it to its full potential.
Mark Vroon -The Beast  May 19, 2009 02:46 AM
I ride my 2008 FZ1 Fazer in Bali, where the 'law' allows us to fully mod the bike, so I did it. The beast is awakened and I think the fully modded FZ1 completely deserves a test/review as the bike responds utterly well and some of the best mods are completely for free! I estimate I have between 140 - 145 HP on the rear wheel, which makes it definitely 'the best of the pack" hands down.
Glen -One more thing  April 21, 2009 07:31 PM
Make sure you swap out the tires from stock to whatever (may other riders) are currently running. The stock FZ1 tires are hard as a rock and have a flatter profile that many prefer. Different tires transform this bike. I got 8,000 miles out of my stock front and rear tires.
Glen -Mix it up  April 21, 2009 07:22 PM
I think you guys should go on the hunt to see if you can find some guys who have all the "Normal Mods" for each of these bikes and do another test on them. Ensure you list a tally of what the mods cost. The FZ1 is a BEAST once you unleash the rest of that R-1 inspired bloodline!!! The bandit is a beast on the low end but looks like a baby CBX from the late 70's. I am sure many (if not all) your readers would love to see that comparo. I'd be willing to surrender my bike for the test if your willing to pick it up from El Paso.
Fazer 1000 -FZ1  March 29, 2009 02:11 PM
Can the exhaust be replaced with a slip on? Only down fall is that it's way to quiet!
Dan Washburn -A Better FZ 1  February 6, 2009 11:05 AM
I'll tell you I've ridden both, and I would take my 03 FZ1 over the 06 and newer ones any day of the week. Read some reviews of each of these 2 styles, read the specs, and see if you can't get a chance to ride each before you buy. You can save thousands by buying an 05 or older FZ1 and you just might find yourself way happier (and richer) as you ride around town in normal traffic. If it's just not good enough throw some of that saved cash at it for some bas ass parts, you'll still be happier and you will still have money left over! FZ1's kick ass baby, no matter how you throw the dice!!!
Old Fat Cajun (Henry) -My F1  January 18, 2009 06:39 PM
I stopped riding motorcycles about 20 years ago,and last year started back.bought a yamaha warrior 1700cc thought that's what I wanted to cruise,and it is a hoss,and nice to ride,but wasnt what i remembered riding to be.Heard about suzuki B-king sports bike feal,upright riding position, as im 48 years old with back aches so sounded good till saw price about $11,500.Could get Busa for that.So I saw FZ-1000 had a non current new 2007 good deal for $8000,$4500 cheaper figured lets try this bike just to see if this is what I really want. Well it might be the fastest,or the niceiest,or the meaniest,But it,s what I was lokking for. As the test rider said if you need to feal your cheek bone hit your ear but don,t need to be the fastest,and if you want comfort to just cruise,and to just feel young again this is the bike for you.Thanks to Yamaha This Bike was Built for me. Fun Bike!!!!
Christopher Schaffer -what about the BANDIT?!?!?!  January 9, 2009 02:39 AM
Tiered of reading reviews without even a mention of Suszuki's bike that practically STRATED the thing. Come on guys, WHAT IS HE DEAL??