This is the motorcycle that created the heritage for the next generations of Yamaha super sport bikes, YZF 1000 Thunderace and YZF R1. The bike developed into a legend in the early 90’s and it is still loved and ridden today.
The bike that brought Yamaha to the forefront of super bike design was launched in 1987 and it was called FZR1000. The 1987 version of the Yamaha FZR1000 had a top speed of over 250km/h and the 1989 version, crowned “The bike of the Decade”, could accelerate from 0-60 in less than 3 seconds and it also had a top speed of over 270km/h. With these features any bike would be very appreciated, so production continued.
Yamaha improved the performance of the bike, notably in 1989 when the engine was enlarged to 1002cc and added an electronically operated exhaust valve whose acronym led to the bike being universally known as the EXUP.
In spite of higher displacement its size was 8mm shorter and more compact, due to a revised inclination angle of the cylinders to 35 degrees. Valve angles and sizes had been changed, as well as the camshaft timing. Bigger carburetors helped boost performance and the crankshaft has been strengthened, alog with countless other modifications.
The system added useful mid range performance and the engine’s power was also increased to 145bhp.
The unique feature which gave the 1989 onward models their “EXUP” name was a servo motor driven exhaust valve. This allowed large bore exhaust reader pipes (for excellent gas flow at high engine speeds) coupled with the valve restricting flow at lower revs, to speed the gas through.
The chassis was also improved and the bike handled better, making the EXUP the pick of the Japanese Super bikes.
The 1989 frame (now called Delta box 2) used the engine as a stressed member. Gone were the down tubes, replaced by a sturdy fixation of the cylinder head with the frames upper box section. This layout was the foundation for the radical YZF-R1 chassis layout almost 10 years later.
But improving didn’t stop there. In 1991 the package was further improved with the FZR1000RU, featuring sharper and upside-down forks.
The last model improvements were in 1991 and 1994, until the FZR1000 was replaced by the YZF 1000 Thunder Ace in 1996.
When it was introduced in 1987, the FZR1000 was the sport bike. It was a class leader in handling, performance, Delta Box frame technology and 5 valves per cylinder Genesis engine design. The GSXR 1100 was cheaper but not such a good performer and later, in the 90’s, the CBR900 Fire blade was created and started to compete with the FZR1000. The competition between these bikes continued with the evaluated models, Yamaha YZF R1 and Honda CBR1000RR.
The FZR1000 Genesis is a milestone model as it marked the transition from 2 strokes to 4 stroke super sport motorcycles. This shift represented a new generation of high performance big bikes, which employed Yamaha racing technology from the track.
The first FZR1000 Genesis, presented to the public at the Cologne IFMA motorcycle show in Germany on September 18, 1986 continued the success of it’s supersport predecessors, the RD 350 and RD 500.
For 1989, Yamaha redesigned their biggest sport bike from the tires up, and it felt different. The new bike felt smaller, lighter and lower, though radical improvements became apparent out on the road. The bike got it seat redesigned becoming wider and the ergonomics were repositioned, making it more comfortable.
The FZR1000 was considered by many to be the best 1000 available when it was introduced in 1987. There have been no major revisions to the FZR’s design with the exception of substituting a single headlight in 91 and 92 years and adding four-pot brake calipers after 89. The ram-air was modified in 91 and 92 models. In its last years of production, the FZR was redesigned to its initial 2 headlights design and it stood like that until it exited production, in 1996.
The bike’s power plant was a water-cooled, 989cc engine whose angled-forward cylinder layout and DOHC, 20-valve cylinder format that had been introduced on the FZ750 two years earlier. This engine developed 130 bhp at 10000 RPM but Yamaha increased the engine’s displacement in 1989 to a 1002cc, developing a 145 bhp at10000 RPM and it was named Yamaha FZR1000 EXUP. The EXUP system boosted performance and torque and it was first to be used on a 4 stroke engine. The Exhaust Ultimate Power valve is an exhaust control system still used on the YZF R1 in a refined form, which controls the exhaust gas flow depending on the engine’s revolutions.
Engine and Transmission
Displacement: 1002.00 ccm (61.20 cubic inches)
Engine type: in-line four
Power: 145.00 HP (105.8 KW) @ 10000 RPM
Valves per cylinder: 5
Dry weight: 214.0 kg (471.8 pounds)
Seat height: 775mm (30.5 inches)
Chassis and dimensions
Front brakes: Dual disc
Rear brakes: Single disc
Speed and acceleration
Power/weight ratio: 0.6776 HP/kg
Acceleration (0-60): 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 172 mph (275 kph)
The FZR1000 is a very well-balanced bike with massive amounts of power. The chassis is perfectly capable of maintaining its composure under the stress of a motor at full throttle, and this makes the ride and the feel of the bike more enjoyable.
One of my favorite things about this machine is its extreme light weight and maneuverability. Due to its layout with 45 degree angled cylinders and relatively low seat height it feels lighter than a brand new R1, although it’s about 50 pounds heavier. The bike is very easy to handle around town and it has a very satisfying acceleration.
When you ride the FZR1000 you feel like you are a part of the machine and the ride is more enjoyable. On the modern sport bikes you are perched on top of the bike and the ride is not so comfortable.
But what goes fast, needs to stop fast and the FZR1000 has no problem with powerful braking. The bike’s solid and reliable breaking system will do the job for you every single time.
The bike’s powerful engine really starts to scream when you hit 7000 RPM and no moving object on the road will leave you behind at full throttle.
The 20-valve inline four built by Yamaha is one of the most reliable power plants ever constructed so you will ride the bike with no worry.
The people that own these motorcycles take very good care of them so it wouldn’t be hard for you to find a bike that looks great and rides smoothly. If the owner has the full service history of the bike and you are satisfied with the miles, than you should really consider buying it. Also make sure that the tires are in good shape because they aren’t so durable on sport bikes and they don’t come cheep.
A 1987-1988 FZR1000 would cost around $2500 and a 1995-1996 somewhere between $4000-$4300 but you should only buy the bike if you are satisfied with its maintenance and the way it runs.
Yamaha’s FZR1000 was considered the Best Street bike in the 90’s. It was the bike to own in those days: very fast, beautiful and handled like no other.