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2011 Yamaha FZ8 First Look

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The 2011 Yamaha FZ8 slots in between the existing FZ6R and FZ1 motorcycles.
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.

2011 Yamaha FZ8 Specs
Engine: 779cc liquid-cooled Inline-Four, 16-valve
Bore x Stroke: 68.0 x 53.6mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate, cable actuation
Transmission: 6-Speed
Front Suspension: Soqi 43mm inverted fork, 5.1 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Soqi shock absorber with adjustable spring preload; 5.1 in. travel
Front Brake: 310mm disc, 4-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 267mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front Tire: Bridgestone 120/70-17
Rear Tire: Bridgestone 180/55-17
Curb Weight: 470 lbs.
Wheelbase: 57.5 in. Length: 84.3 in. Width: 30.3 in.
Rake / Trail: 25 deg. / 4.5 in.
Seat Height: 32.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal.
MSRP: $8490, Raven

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.
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arless   October 20, 2011 11:10 PM
The FZ8 Yamaha is the perfect bike for the wife and I to go out cruising around town, and down to the lake. All with my Harley friends + Honda Suzuki, Kawasaki riders also. We all ride together and trade bikes around and see how our riding friends bikes ride and run, handle. Each time a rider gets a new bike all of us want to ride it, so I did let everyone ride my new Yamaha FZ8. Only 23 miles on the clock. And no one has cracked the throttle hardly any till I get some miles on it. We all have respect for each others ride. Anyway after we all swapped bikes back to our own. And stopped in for a cup of coffee warm up a little it was 42 degrees this morning so we all had on our leather chaps and jackets gloves. Everyone commented on the FZ8 and liked it a lot. The power and ergos and smooth motor. Made me feel like I made a worthy purchase. I am however well pleased to own such a wonderful ride. After all I'm 57 years old so my super sport days have long passed. Happy motoring. Arless
sloppy -Super Genius  December 12, 2010 11:20 AM
This pretty much speaks volumes on where the market is going. I have an FZ1 and I bought it used. I would have strongly considered an FZ8 if there was a good used one. I do think Yamaha wanted this bike to look a lot different to compete more as a true street fighter. It certainly is a tough looking machine. The arguments for a FZ8 as compared to an FZ1 on this site validate Yamaha's position to offer three standard bikes instead of two.
sampah ... -when this bike come to malaysia...  November 21, 2010 02:17 AM
i hope this bike will come to malaysia very soon ..
LA rider -Colors  October 11, 2010 11:42 AM
OK Yamaha - what gives? This new bike is gorgeous in European spec white with gold wheels. We get black on black and whowantsblue!?! Give us better colors and you will sell more bikes!!!
FRE -N/A  October 5, 2010 01:15 PM
It appears that the U.S. version does not have ABS available, although other versions do. I will not buy a bike without ABS. It's shocking that Yamaha obviously thinks that European lives are more valuable than American lives.
Scott -Buellboy.  September 3, 2010 04:11 PM
I have owned a FZR400 and 600. I have owned a TDM850 and FZ1. I do not ride bikes for what other people think (obvious after owning the TDM, right?) My 145HP 375lb 1125CR is a great hit on the street but useless unless on the track. My air cooled Harley-dog XB12X is awesome on the street but useless on the track. The FZ8 should be a good compromise and insurance cost should be a bonus!
McFrak -huh  September 3, 2010 06:30 AM
If people want max horsepower, maybe they should just pony up & buy a VMax or an R1... This bike isnt that bike, but still has a place in Yamaha's line-up. Frankly, I'll take a look next year when I'm looking!
Shaitan -Good feedback, different views  September 3, 2010 12:47 AM
Good feedback y'all. Basically it just comes down to styling and preference of performance. I like the naked styling of the FZ1, but the FZ8 looks even slicker, so now we'll just have to wait for reviews to see if a tight package. No centerstand is a bummer, but not a deal killer, since most bikes don't have 'em these days -- especially nice for sport-touring though, while on the road, but the weight savings of not having one day-to-day are worthwhile. Ground clearance is needed, as the FZ1 touches down quite often when I'm riding hard on the corners. Of course a modern 800cc is hardly lacking in punch, but like most Yamaha inline 4 streetbikes, it'll be a little weak on low-end torque, but rip nice mid- to top-end. I love the FZ1, so all I'm really saying is it's good to see the 750-800cc class getting more bikes again.
2stepsahead -oh my!  September 2, 2010 03:37 PM
use mericans are a simple bunch! Well up here in the great white (that would be north for 99.9 percent of use mericans that dont know where that is) We alreadys got dat bike ya all! use guys are often behind! sucks to be u
Morvegil -Smart Move  September 2, 2010 02:16 PM
This fills in the gap. Besides, it looks SWEET...the Fz1 is like a RS version of some beemers. Some people want that Streetfighter look, this is it.
PM -AM  September 2, 2010 11:51 AM
When I started riding nothing made 130 RWHP. Now detuned old generation engines in standards make 130 hp. For some 130 hp may not be enough, for some. For most I believe 130 hp may be excess, especially for a street biased standard. Some riders will never think they have enough power this is why there is an after- market willing to satisfy the need for speed. Don’t get me wrong I love power too; I used to own a first generation R1 (1998) and thought then what I think now, who and why would you need more power than this for street use. The performance gap between a FZ6R and even the FZ6 and the FZ1 is huge so having a bike like the FZ8 fills the gap and brings in otherwise lost customers to Yamaha. There is nothing wrong with wanting huge hp there also isn’t anything wrong with wanting your hp in moderation.
AM -TO PM  September 1, 2010 09:10 PM
FYI: 0.2 inches = 5.08 mm. The pegs will still be 5mm lower.
I have to agree with you that the FZ8 is definitely the bike to buy instead of the FZ1 if you consider overall cost. You do not give up on the street too much and save money along the run. But please do not tell me that the FZ1 is too much. Not every one needs 130 + HP. Sure. But trust me, for some 130 + HP is not enough. I just can't wait for Yamaha to put the R1 crossplane engine on the FZ1.
PM -AM  September 1, 2010 06:23 PM
The FZ8 has 5.5 in. of ground clearance and thee FZ1 has 5.3 in. so that will take care of the lower pegs issue. True 5 mpg will only save you 20 miles per tank but unless you plan on only using the bike for one tank of gas and then selling it, the fuel savings is significant it’s about 14%. If you plan on owning the bike for a while and actually riding it more than a few tanks a season the savings will add up especially when the price of gas goes up. Smaller rotors will have a minimum effect on actual 60-0 distances but will have a large effect on handling and turn-in (less gyroscopic effect).

Not everyone needs 130+ hp if we did only liter bikes would be for sale. Not everyone wants to spend north of $10K for a bike either. Will the FZ1 offer better performance; sure, will it cost more in fuel, insurance, tires, and the price of the bike itself, sure.
Dough -One thing, Two things  September 1, 2010 06:00 PM
“First off. To the center stand guy. buy a rear adjustable race stand and every bike you own can have a centerstand. Done.”

Really “Two things”, just buy a race stand, and how do I transport this race stand when I go out of town on the bike? Obviously you don’t ride much, very far or go many places on your bike because if you did you would understand my whole point…done.
AM -to Shaitan  September 1, 2010 05:24 PM
Well, according to the Yamaha site the weight is the same: 487 lbs.
The 675 is 416 wet. The mileage is only 4 miles per gallon better - so you're looking at maybe another 20 miles, which is nothing. Pegs are 10 mm lower. As the owner of a FZ1 I can tell you, as you probably know it, that the pegs on the FZ1 are already very low, because they touch the ground without even trying. To make that bike turn you have to grind the pegs a lot, and then the side stand and center stand drag. To the right is the brake pedal. On the 800 with 10mm lower pegs, you're probably not going to be able to turn at all. So you're not going to go any faster on the turns because the weight is the same and you have 10 mm less clearance. In the end, you are going to have a bike with the same weight, less performance, less braking power because the rotors are smaller, no front suspension adjustment, 5" less height for $2,000 less. It's not going to be what you think it is.
Different specs, for the better and 40 lbs less I would not say anything.
Keep your FZ1.
Two -Things  September 1, 2010 04:45 PM
First off. To the center stand guy. buy a rear adjustable race stand and every bike you own can have a centerstand. Done.
Second off. To "why would you buy it over the fz1?" guy. Because i bught an 09 r1 instead. And possibly an fz8 for the streets. cause its that sick looking, running, mf.
Dough -Duhh  September 1, 2010 04:15 PM
Why would the brain dead F-tads at Yamaha not put a center stand on the FZ8? The FZ1 has a center stand. Don’t get me started on the FZ6R’s lack of a center stand either. Note to motorcycle OEMs, put center stands on bikes with chain drive built for primary street use! It is a huge selling point.
fazer6 -@ Tim  September 1, 2010 04:02 PM
Cheaper Insurance.
Gus -Tim  September 1, 2010 03:30 PM
It answers the simple question, why do we mostly have a choice between a bottomless 600cc or an insane 1000cc. The top end of any 600 is plenty for the street and track for most riders but everything below is just noise and spinning mass. A 1000cc has the bottom end you want but too much unusable top end (for the street) for most riders. The 800cc has the best of both worlds. It may not be impressive on a spec sheet but that’s okay you can ride your spec sheet and I’ll ride the 800cc because I don’t care who you are even if you are Ben Spies you’re not using 100% of your liter bikes potential on the street. The limits of a modern 1000cc are too high to be taped on public roads and on many smaller race tracks. Simply put the FZ800 is for riders who aren’t fooling themselves.
MotoFreak -FZ8  September 1, 2010 02:01 PM
Because it looks way better than the FZ1. I love the true naked styling.
Joe -Response to Tim - Answers the question I asked!  September 1, 2010 12:56 PM
All of the handling prowess and braking prowess of the FZ1, but costs $2000 less. And there's not enough of a power deficit to matter on the street (buy your FZ1, and I'll prove it to you on my FZ8 come December). Other more minor considerations include, probably better fuel economy, certainly cheaper insurance, and likely better long-term durability, since the engine is essentially a smaller bore (read "sleeved") version of the FZ1 mill, built to withstand the FZ1's greater power output.
Shaitan -FZ8 is a good thing  September 1, 2010 12:40 PM
As a rider of pretty much everything from 500cc twins to 1500cc fours, and a current owner of an FZ1, I can honestly say the FZ8 (if it's actually good a good bike) is a excellent thing for the U.S. I really can't use my 140+ hp on the street, save for small bursts. If I was a track rider I'd have a superbike or supersport, but for street, the uber power stuff is fun occasionally -- though more often than not will just get you tickets or in trouble -- but I prefer better mileage, better weight, better handling of middleweights. Plus 100 ponies is plenty for hooligan fun. I rode a Triumph 675 triple and that was quite the motor -- you'd have though it was an 800. Having ridden my buddies ZX-14 I can honestly say I really think 750-800cc bikes are the best of all worlds, so I'm glad to see them making a resurgence.
Morvegil -So  September 1, 2010 11:51 AM
Cheaper, different styling, rides different...
Tim -Seasoned Rider  September 1, 2010 11:32 AM
Can someone explain to me why this bike matters? Why would you buy it over the FZ1? To me, it seems to be the answer to the question no one asked.