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2014 Yamaha FZ-09 First Look

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
When Yamaha revealed its Inline Triple Crossplane Concept engine at Intermot in October of 2012 many wondered and speculated when, and in what, the Inline 3-cyclinder would show up in first. The Tuning Fork company just answered that question at its annual dealer meeting with the announcement of the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09.

Replacing the FZ8, the FZ-09 is a naked sportbike that Yamaha describes as having “an emotional performance character and fundamental value.” More simply put the engine and power output will be exciting and handling will be lively while not costing an arm and a leg. That’s a tall order for an all-new motorcycle with a powerplant that is all-new as well. At $7,990, the FZ-09 rings in $900 less than the bike it replaces. The MSRP also makes it the lowest priced in its class, costing $1400 less than the next closest triple, the Triumph Street Triple 675.

The FZ-09’s Inline Triple crossplane engine has a displacement of 847cc’s with a 78mm bore and 59.1mm stroke. Dual overhead cams actuate four valves per cylinder. The 120-degree crankshaft’s even firing order is claimed to allow for quick revving yet torquey character. A compact balancing shaft rotates opposite to the crankshaft direction to quell vibes.

Air is delivered to the ride-by-wire YCC-T Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle bodies via unequal length intake runners. Yamaha calls these stacks “variable length,” but they do not change or move so “varied length” would be a better description. Along with the YCC-T system comes Yamaha’s D-Mode variable throttle control system that allows the rider to choose from three different riding modes or maps. These maps are optimized for different conditions on the road, but are not traction control. Another prevalent electronic nanny, ABS, is also absent. With an MRSP so low some tech must be excluded, apparently.

A stainless steel 3-into-1 exhaust system expends spent gases and is mass centralized to keep the center of gravity as low as possible for agile handling.

To utilize the torque character of the three-cylinder engine, Yamaha optimized the gear ratios of the 6-speed transmission to highlight the low- to mid-speed grunt. The transmission’s size has been compacted to keep the cases as narrow as the cylinder block and head.

A new aluminum frame wraps around the compact crossplane mill, and utilizes an externally mounted swingarm. This means the suspension pivot is on the outside of the main frame unit, allowing for a narrow midsection at the footrest area. Up front a 41mm upside-down fork strokes through 5.4 inches of travel. At the rear a horizontal rear shock and linkage give 5.1 inches of travel. Adjustments are preload and rebound at both ends.

Compared to the FZ8, the FZ-09 has a shorter wheelbase and less trail. The new 10-spoke aluminum wheels are lighter by 8.5 pounds, and the bike as a whole weighs 53 pounds less, tipping the scales full of fluids at 414 pounds. All this combines for what Yamaha describes as a light and neutral feel while still being sporty. Ergos on the FZ-09 are more upright and it has a roomy layout with the bars being 53mm taller and 40mm further back. Legroom has increased as well finding the pegs 26mm lower and 2mm back. The 32.1-inch seat height is identical to the outgoing model. With just a moment to sit on the FZ-09 it was immediately clear the seat-to-tank area is remarkably narrow and should take some strain off the hips on long rides.

At a glance there is no mistaking the FZ-09 as a Yamaha and that it’s in the FZ family; it’s updated but doesn’t make a huge departure in styling. New switchgear, LED taillights and a new LCD meter are modern, sporty and high quality.

Units should be hitting dealer floors in October. Will the crossplane concept make it into more Yamahas in the future? In this day and age it does not make financial sense to create an engine design for a singular model. When the Yamaha reps were quizzed on this fact they just shrugged and smiled. 
2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Photo Gallery
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2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Specs
The 2014 FZ-09 replaces the FZ8.
Engine: 847cc liquid-cooled Inline Triple, 12-valve
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 59.1mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate, cable actuation
Transmission: 6-Speed
Front Suspension: 41 mm Telescopic fork; adjustable preload and rebound, 5.4-in travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock; adjustable preload and rebound damping, 5.1-in travel
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Front Brake: Dual hydraulic disc, 298mm 
Rear Brake: Hydraulic disc, 245mm 
Front Tire: 120/70-17
Rear Tire: 180/55-17
Curb Weight: 414 lbs.
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Length: 81.7 in.
Width: 32.1  in.
Rake / Trail: 25 deg. / 4.1 in.
Seat Height: 32.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal.
MSRP: $7,990
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rjfinva   August 15, 2013 07:39 PM
Stunning in every way. Being "older" now (56) I'm not as inclined to a sports oriented frame design. Would prefer regular footpegs and a little less agressiveness overall in a sister model. I absolutely love the engine and design behind it. But 3.7 gallons of fuel is a little stingy, 4.2 is about as small as an engine this size should have. Also be nice if they have accesories to put this baby on the highway...but it looks like the design is for horsing around town only. This engine has huge potential, as well as the big twin Tenere. I hope they build a stable of bikes around both these engines. Low/mid torgue and grunt are what I love, and what many other mid size bikes lack. Keep it up Yamaha!
Treachery   July 15, 2013 09:54 AM
This bike design is close to perfect for me because of what it is not: It is not heavy, not fat, not covered with body panels, not another 600 cc racer boy junior, doggy-style wrist-breaker; and not expensive. It is never carting around 5 sloshing gallons of fuel over its center of mass, but has a fuel gauge so you know when its time to refill. I don't want ABS, traction control, or linked braking. It has only what I want and nothing I don't want. It is an exceptionally light (414 lbs), compact, naked 850 with very good to excellent components, an engine with an interesting power curve, 113 hp, and a relaxed riding position; but the pegs are high enough to slide both tires in the curves at 53 degrees of lean angle, and there is no center stand, exhaust can or engine case cover hanging out to drag. I take mine in liquid graphite grey please.
Racer1   July 7, 2013 07:58 PM
Blue wheels, not a fan. Tank could have been a gallon bigger. ABS would have been a nice option. Apart from those quibbles though this is an astonishing deal! Yamaha have blown open the middleweight naked sector with this bike at a price point that will terrify a lot of the opposition. This is a UJM with attitude and with minor tweaks will be able to cover almost any task leaving cash available to actually go places. A serious smile per dollar ratio.
Strat   June 25, 2013 08:34 PM
If you think it looks ugly, you're probably just catching your reflection in the tank.
jet057   June 25, 2013 12:21 PM
I like it.Perfect for ride to the coast or to the hills.Simple and clean lines.Motor just right.Some think power is not enough but its always going to be brought up,they seem to know more that the pro.engineers.Suspension and feel on this bike is spot on.Which it had ABS though.Fantastic bike,i like it....Fresno County Rider
ABN2nds   June 25, 2013 12:09 PM
Great engine...............well at least there's something! Hopefully they will figure out a better and more stylish design before the second year of it before it goes by the wayside. I've always wanted a triple too!
nathan   June 15, 2013 09:18 AM
Waste of a potentially awesome engine. This could and should have been so much more. Who the hell would want to spend hard earned money on the fugly POS. Fire the designer and the managers that gave it the OK!.
sloppy   June 15, 2013 08:37 AM
Sentinel, I think you may want to take a step back and look at what Yamaha is doing or will do. The price point makes this bike remarkable. It essentially makes the FZ06 irrelevant. The price is $100-$200 more than a 13 FZ06 and much much less than an FZ08. Where you get all the "goodies" such as an ABS option, centerstand and more will be with what will replace the current FZ1. Read the last paragraph of this article to read between the lines. I agree with the blue wheels comment though but then again I am 45 and they are targeting this bike to a much younger crowd.
Sentinel   June 14, 2013 10:46 PM
Yamaha really blew this one! And they were so close to something really great! The red version looks a bit better for the US, but the grey/graphite version is far far better for Europe! How can anyone in their right mind think that mixing a grey colored body with gold colored fork stanchions, and then for some ungodly reason slapping on a pair of freaking "blue" colored rims is a good idea? It looks absolutely horrendous! Gold forks on a bike not otherwise color matched is as ugly as sin to begin with, but mixing that up with grey and blue is beyond all sense of visual appeal, quite the contrary, it's plain revolting! Beyond that the "micro" gas tank is a huge mistake, no center-stand, and not even offering the "option" of ABS in the states is unforgivable.
b718   June 14, 2013 02:58 PM
$8000? suzuki's sfv650 (gladius) is the same price and it's heavier and less powerful. unless yamaha have seriously cocked up the 9's handling/suspension/brakes, this could turn out to be a brilliant bang-for-the-buck smiles-for-miles bike. but they really need to get off their 'crossplane concept' high horse though. inline triples have been 120-degree even firing for years. it's about as revolutionary as a flat-plane inline four.
AM   June 13, 2013 04:50 PM
+ Yoshi full system = -10 pounds + Ohlins suspension = bike will be 100% better. And there will be no bike better at $10,000.00 to play.
MCUSA Bart   June 13, 2013 09:05 AM
Haha, yeah, wheels are 8.5 pounds lighter. Readers edit +1. Thanks.
fmaxwell   June 13, 2013 08:20 AM
mi2tom wrote: "I agree, it looks like shit." And you are wrong, too. FFS, are you in the market for a motorcycle or for something that will go well with your purse? You can't see how it looks when you're riding it. So stop worrying about whether your friends will say you look "fierce" on it and pay attention to things that matter like the engine, brakes, suspension, ergonomics, weight, handling, and build quality.
neo1piv014   June 13, 2013 06:19 AM
@Bob59601: definitely didn't mean to say Triumph invented it, but it's definitely been their trademark for the past several years.
Drunkula   June 13, 2013 05:25 AM
Of course the first thing to go would be that huge dorky looking rear fender. Otherwise I like it!
Piglet2010   June 12, 2013 10:15 PM
"The new 10-spoke aluminum wheels are lighter by 85 pounds" - 8.5 pounds?
sloppy   June 12, 2013 04:16 PM
Maxx it is in category called "standard" "street fighter" or "upright sport". This bike is positioned more to sell in Europe since Americans like R-1s, Gixxers and such more. I really like this bike. To me it is very good looking, has great specs and it priced well. Currently I ride a 2007 FZ-1 that I put about 10k on a year and absolutely love. I like the direction Yamaha has gone with this FZ-09, the low price, more low end torque and a huge weight reduction.
Maxx   June 12, 2013 01:11 PM
What is it? I like the concept but I think I am missing something in the styling.
Bob59601   June 12, 2013 12:41 PM
oops sorry for the repost...
Bob59601   June 12, 2013 12:40 PM
Yamaha had a production triple motorcycle engine from 1976 - 1981.
KenC   June 12, 2013 12:17 PM
Correction: That's 115 hp (I'd read 85kW, not hp, in the specs elsewhere).
cmmpr1   June 12, 2013 11:19 AM
for this price, it is better deal than the FZ6R.
Drunkula   June 12, 2013 10:09 AM
Heck. I'd be interested in this model...
KenC   June 12, 2013 09:51 AM
This is cool. The FZ-09 is the same size as the old SV650 (about 15 pounds lighter, wet), with about 85 horsepower and 65 lb-ft. of torque. And, from a top-quality manufacturer with a huge dealer network. For $7990? 'Seems like a real bargain (and an ABS option would be worth the additional cost to me).
Bob59601   June 12, 2013 08:09 AM
Yaamaha had a production triple from '76 through '81. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_XS750
neo1piv014   June 12, 2013 06:40 AM
I'm not really sold on the front end of that bike, but I didn't think the FZ8 looked good until I saw it in person either. The weird slope coming off the top of the headlight would probably look fine with something as simple as an accessory windscreen. I feel kind of bad for Triumph since their popular triple platform is getting bogarted all over the place, but that's what happens with most good tech.
SteveM   June 12, 2013 05:57 AM
Looks like the UJM is making a comeback.
mi2tom   June 12, 2013 04:03 AM
I agree, it looks like shit.
fmaxwell   June 12, 2013 03:35 AM
Don't listen to Motdog, Yamaha, or to any of the other mediocre street riders who make disparaging remarks about ABS in order to pump up their own egos. Sport Rider magazine did tests with professional racers on a wet track and found that riders with ABS went a second faster. And streets, unlike race tracks, often have sand, oil, leaves, anti-freeze, and other foreign materials that compromise the surface unexpectedly. Don't believe anyone, including Motdog, who implies that they have reaction times measured in the milliseconds that let them perform better than ABS. The biggest "crutch" for most mediocre street riders is horsepower. They lack the skill to push a bike to its limits on the brakes or in the turns, so they rely on massive amounts of horsepower to keep up with better riders on less powerful machines.
Motdog   June 11, 2013 09:24 PM
Don't listen to wobbly head Yamaha. I can't stand ABS and if somebody wants that crutch on their bike, they can have the one on mine. The bike looks great and I can't wait to throw a leg over it.
wobblyhead   June 11, 2013 06:30 PM
i think it's a great idea, but they may have fell a bit short in styling. would I trade my street triple for this bike? hell no. but if I was looking for something different and was on a strict budget, it would be pretty tempting. shame about no abs though, it should at least be an option, especially since european bikes will have it standard.