Earlier this year we announced the unveiling of an all-new motorcycle joining Yamaha’s supersport family, the Fazer8 as it will be called in Europe, its targeted continent. A middleweight model powered by a 799cc inline-four engine, the 2010 Yamaha Fazer8 has come to replace the FZ6 model and it does it in the characteristic style of the series, meaning you get a half fairing and the bike finds itself positioned on the thin line between track-gained performance and a comfortable riding position.
We feel sorry for the discontinued FZ6 – which we happen to like a lot – but can’t wait to take the FZ8 for a spin. Meanwhile, let’s see what this new bike is all about.
The 2010 Fazer8’s main goal is to position Yamaha as leader of the middleweight sport-touring category by raising the stakes using the good old “bigger is better” recipe and it does it by creating some sort of combination between the FZ6 and FZ1 models also available in the US. So while the machine’s 799cc, liquid-cooled inline-four with DOHC inherits FZ1’s stroke length (53.6mm), it decreases bore to 68.0mm and the torque figure (62lbs•ft) is with 50% bigger than that of the FZ6 (46lbs•ft), all while the bike weighs in as much as the FZ1 with its 485lbs wet weight.
2010 Yamaha Fazer8 / ABS
So while these features only make it clear to us that the Fazer8 will offer a whole new kind of riding experience, both at long and short trips, there’s plenty more to say about the motor powering it. For instance, the electronically fuel injected mill produces exactly 106.2 hp at just 10.000 rpm, meaning Yamaha really concentrated on the touring side of the bike.
From the ergonomic point of view, you get a rather sporty riding position with the seat being mounted at 32 inches from the ground and the handlebars raised for quick reach. The Fazer8 offers a half-fairing and an optional high screen, so wind protection is also taken into consideration.
Yamaha has a long tradition of building and successfully selling their FZ sport-touring bikes, so there’s little you can reproach to the Fazer8 by simply going through the specs, and the fact that the thing is built around the traditional Deltabox frame and features 43mm forks doesn’t help either. Also, the latest Fazer model brings in 310mm front disc brakes and optional ABS, so we’ll have to see what the competition prepares for it.
While the 2010 Yamaha Fazer8 addresses to the type of European rider that would have normally opted for the Fazer6, it competes with different models now. Leaving the Suzuki SV series long behind, the Fazer8 makes the Aprilia Mana 850 GT ABS look dated and looks up to the Triumph Tiger.
But this is really a whole new kind of middleweight sport-touring motorcycle and we wouldn’t be wrong in saying it is found in a class of its own.
2010 Yamaha Fazer8 / ABS
The latest Fazer may be powered by a whole new engine and compete with totally new and different bikes, but when it comes to the way it looks, there aren’t many new features to refer to as, visually, the bike remains faithful to the original Fazer look, which at its time, was derived from the YZF-R1, respectively YZF-R6 models.
The bike is characterized by a sharp nose and big headlamps, has a mid-sized screen for good wind protection and two mirrors that look like snail eyes for rearwards visibility. There’s a nicely contoured 4.5 gallons tank and although the seats look more sport than touring, they really make the rear end look sharper.
Regardless of color – which can be Blue, White or Black, the new Fazer8’s mechanical parts are all matt black painted. So are the rims on the Blue/Black colors, while White goes best with a pair of gold rims and fork arms.
Overall, the bike looks like built for speed and comfort, meaning Yamaha thought at it as to a long haul companion, which is mainly what Fazer buyers search for.
"There’s engineering rationalisation in the Fazer8’s design. Effectively it is a Fazer 1000 with the engine reduced in capacity to 779cc through a 9mm bore reduction to 68mm. The stroke is the same but the crankshaft is lighter, but the nature of the engine has been changed too, from the performance focussed peakiness of the 1000cc version to a softer, torquier nature for the Fazer8." – ashonbikes
"...the broader pitch 800 will be just as quick and more relaxed on twisty roads. For squirting in and out of fluid traffic gaps the motor’s immediate drive is ideal, and, as Yamaha intended, it’s enough for a fast pace without threatening to spit you off if you don’t show the twistgrip sufficient respect." – telegraph
"Should you feel the urge to up the momentum you just need to get the FZ8’s rev counter above the midway mark and the engine develops a genuinely fast and revy nature that has a surprising turn of pace. And it’s all harnessed in a chassis that can happily keep it in check." – visordown
The sad part about the 2010 Yamaha Fazer8 is that it doesn’t come to the United States, at least not for now, but Yamaha Europe lists an MSRP of $11,938 (€8,690), which could be acceptable if the bike turns out to be a blast.
Although the FZ6 wasn’t falling behind the competition, we like the fact that Yamaha takes a new approach towards the middleweight sport-touring class with the Fazer8. This model should manage to stay closer to its bigger sibling, the FZ1 both in matters of performance and appearance, so I guess we should have expected Yamaha to make this move.
An understated front end and civilized lines conceal an important fact – that beneath the Fazer8’s classy exterior beats the heart of a true performance sports machine.
New 779cc engine
An all-new engine combines new cylinder bodies, crankshaft, top end and forged pistons with a new displacement of 779cc – to craft the perfect power curve and character for this new category.
Instant torque meets slingshot horsepower
The new FZ8 engine is designed for instant drive down low with a thick torque band – making it a lively machine even on shorter trips. But rev it towards the red line, and you’ll discover that trademark Yamaha rush of top-end power when it’s time to unleash serious sports performance.
The black, powder-coated Deltabox frame at the structural centre of the Fazer8 uses a low weight, high rigidity design – giving you outstanding high-speed stability and cornering confidence.
Semi-faired for comfort and sleek aerodynamics
The weather protection and sleek aerodynamics of a half cowl and screen make the Fazer8 even more comfortable and composed at high speeds and in changing weather conditions.
Slim fuel tank and compact, roomy ergonomics
The Fazer8 has a slim tank and specially-positioned footrests and handlebars – for a riding position that feels light, compact and gives you the space to move.