We just reviewed the all-new Yamaha Fazer8 and got jealous that those lucky Europeans are getting it. Now it’s time for the 2010 Yamaha FZ8 to enter the scene and we’re starting to get angry about this entire situation. Why should only riders from the old continent enjoy the aggressive, naked looks and 800cc middleweight performance in a package claimed adequate for various riding necessities from city commuting and weekend journeys to burning rubber in an old and abandoned factory?
Life just isn’t fair.
We’re starting to get ahead of ourselves here, so let’s better resume to what makes the entirely new Yamaha FZ8 naked street bike a machine that US riders would want. To begin with, it is a whole new approach towards the naked middleweight class with its sexy Japanese lines and big (for the class) inline-four engine.
This model comes to replace the FZ6n on the European market and it truly manages to raise the stakes in its category with the 779cc liquid cooled 4-stroke, DOHC forward-inclined parallel 4-cylinder mill. With a bore and stroke of 68.0 and 53.6mm translating into a 12.0: 1 compression ratio, this motor produces 106.2 hp at 10,000 rpm and no less than 78lbs•ft of torque at 8000 rpm.
As you may have noticed, the engine isn’t as high-revving as Yamaha got us used to, but they claim the 50% torque increase over the FZ6n’s motor was worth the horsepower sacrifice. Also, torque deals much better with the 465 lbs wet weight, helping at turning the FZ8 into the all-around street bike that Yamaha had in mind.
As long as you look at it as to a project of its own, not just a FZ1 with a smaller engine in it, the bike ca turn out being the appropriate one for you. In fact, it looks bigger that it actually is and much more expensive. It is reliable, but not user-friendly, not to mention there isn’t much wind protection involved, case in which you could easily go for the half-faired Fazer8.
The new Yamaha bike is built around a Deltabox frame and features 130mm of wheel travel both front and rear, it gets the larger 310mm discs up front (267mm at the rear) and optional ABS, so it’s as modern and updated as they get.
Other details riders would have to consider spin around the 32 inches high seat, accessories list and, of course, the other options out there.
The fact that Yamaha’s new FZ8 resembles its bigger naked sibling, the FZ1n doesn’t do the bike a favor when it comes to placing itself as a unique product on the highly competitive market, but does it a big favor when it comes to the models it would have normally competed against. Take the Kawasaki Z1000 for instance. This model should sort out its problems with the FZ1n, leaving the less powerful, but still heavy FZ8 to compete with the Kawasaki Z750, which was discontinued. Hmm, shouldn’t this make Yamaha think at their odds to turn the FZ8 into a success?
Still, the Aprilia Mana 850 ABS is an anemic competitor as it only benefits of 76.1 hp at 8000 rpm, but does address to the same category of European riders, so it should be considered too.
Also, the 2010 Yamaha FZ8 is the kind of bike going in between Triumph’s Street Triple and Speed Triple models although these last two shouldn’t worry much as the British styling and finesse as well as inline-triple power should maintain their current position on the market.
Speaking of styling, we can’t understand why Yamaha teased the motorcycling public that much about their FZ8 as the bike looks pretty much like the FZ1n. Now don’t get us wrong; we like the angular headlight as well as the discrete cowl and instruments panel, but was it worth the while? Like on all FZ8 models, the inline-four engine is inclined forward and that also gives the unique shape of the gas tank, all making the bike look like its moving even when it’s not. Now that’s an achievement, but it isn’t new.
We like the thick fork arms and gold rims, but also the fact that the engine, tranny and exhaust as well as the frame and swingarm are all blacked-out, enhancing the mysterious look of the FZ8.
Yamaha quality build and attention to detail are everywhere and in the end we have to admit the bike does look slightly different, but it will need some time to mark its spot on the market. Colors available for the 2010 model year are White, Blue and Black, while various items from Yamaha’s accessories list (such as the seat cover, and sub cowling) should enhance the sporty look.
"Yamaha has concentrated on giving the FZ8 a strong bottom end to make it user-friendly and it shows as the bike is more than happy to be kept below 6,000rpm and responds to this use with a smooth and fluid delivery of power that makes relaxed riding a joy, but it doesn’t end there." – visordown
"You can get onto the edge of this at high motorway speeds, but generally the vibes then are noticed rather than outright annoying, and the rest of the time the engine is reasonably smooth. It’s also plenty quick enough for most riders on most roads, and for those who take a passenger regularly the engine is far more capable than a 600’s." – ashonbikes
"The suspension provides a plush, high-quality ride, though the rear shock feels overly soft when you push the handling hard, and two-up, the rear of the bike drops excessively. You can adjust the rear spring preload, but it’s rather fiddly. Otherwise the handling is a delight, combining eager agility with perfectly neutral steering." – telegraph
With an MSRP starting at $11,200 (€8,190), this isn’t your ordinary entry-level naked motorcycle, but one addressing to experienced rider who are willing to pay the buck for what they consider being a rewarding machine.
All in all, Yamaha’s all-new 2010 FZ8 / ABS couldn’t have better credentials in a class mainly defined either by 600cc inline-fours or 800cc V-twins. This one has the best from both, so there’s much to expect from it. Only time and a test ride will tell more.
Engine and Transmission
- Engine type: Liquid cooled 4-stroke, DOHC Forward-inclined parallel 4-cylinder
- Displacement: 779 cc
- Bore x stroke: 68.0 × 53.6mm
- Compression ratio: 12.0: 1
- Maximum power: 78.1KW (106.2PS) / 10000 rpm
- Maximum torque: 82.0Nm (8.4kgf･m) / 8000 rpm
- Lubrication system: Wet sump
- Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection
- Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
- Ignition system: Transistorized coil ignition
- Starter system: Electric
- Transmission system: Constant mesh, 6-speed
- Final transmission: Chain
- Fuel tank capacity: 17 L
- Oil tank capacity: 3.8 L
Chassis and Dimensions
- Chassis: Diamond
- Front suspension system: Telescopic fork, 43mm inner tube
- Front travel: 130 mm
- Rear suspension system: Swingarm, linked monoshock with spring preload adjustment
- Rear travel: 130 mm
- Caster angle: 25º
- Trail: 109 mm
- Front brake: Hydraulic dual disc brake, Ø 310 mm ABS brake system optional
- Rear brake: Hydraulic single disc brake, Ø 267 mm
- Front tyre: 120/70 ZR17 M/C(58W)
- Rear tyre: 180/55 ZR17 M/C(73W)
- Length: 2,140 mm
- Width: 770 mm
- Height: 1,065 mm
- Seat height: 815 mm
- Wheel base: 1,460 mm
- Minimum ground clearance: 140 mm
- Wet weight: 211 kg / ABS:216 kg
- FZ8, naked, sports, all-rounder
- Aggressive, mass-forward design
- 779cc engine
- Instant torque meets slingshot horsepower
- Aluminium frame
- Slim fuel tank and compact, roomy ergonomics
- Optional ABS