Yamaha FZ8 (2010-current): Vivid, everyday ridingBecause of wet weather especially during the period of the test, the pictures of the scooter might not be of the highest quality.
Engine: The four cylinder, 779 c.c. engine, delivers 106 bhp/10000 rpm and 8.4 Kgm/8000 rpm torque, claimed figures.
Actually 1500 only rpm will be required to get surge-free acceleration. Engine response is linear, a small power increment may be observed at 7000 rpm. Power output is linear from that figure upwards, the rev limiter intervenes at 11800 rpm.
At the lowest part of the power band, thrust provided is better than that of the 1000 c.c. big brother. The operation of the fuel injection is really good. Up to 5000 rpm the power provided is adequate for normal urban commuting.
Generally speaking thrust produced feels greater than that of the 600 c.c. FZ S2, torque is obviously greater though. The top power will fulfill the expectations of experienced riders also, although it cannot be compared with that of the FZ1 which boasts a street fighter character.
The under-sized engine of the FZ8 derives from that of the FZ1, which in turn was originally a tweaked R1 motor.
Riding position: The seat height is a touch to the increased side at 815mm, it will be adequate for average height riders or higher. The width of the bike is average, only the top of the fuel tank seems wide. The length of the bike feels relatively small.
The weight of the FZ8 feels considerable for this engine capacity, 211 nominal Kgs, curb. The reason is that most of the parts are common with the bigger brother FZ1. The weight for the Fazer 8 version featuring a half fairing is 4 Kg more than the naked FZ8 version.
Riding position is neutral, riderĘs arms are stretched wide on the handlebar. Rider is placed mainly over the bike, less in it.
On the road: Suspension is rather soft, front and rear. An inverted 43 mm fork is equipped at the front, a linkage at the shock. The only possible adjustment is the spring preload at the rear.
The factory fitted tyres are Bridgestone BT-21 with dimensions 120/70-17 at the front and 180/55-17 at the rear. This compound is not suitable for the character of the bike, under grading handling. On the contrary they are consistent with the character of the Fazer 8. Therefore they are OK in case of touring use, they should be replaced in case of nimble riding, especially on low friction factor roads, where they tend to slide early.
On town rides the FZ8 exhibits a user friendly, joyful and discreet yet vivid character. Its very agile, rider will take advantage of traffic gaps, turning radius will be very helpful. Due to the torque provided rider will not need to change gears frequently.
At the process of filtering the height of the handlebar is the same with car mirrors, although this will not result to a problem due to the average handlebar width.
Comfort provided over street imperfections is good from the fork, relatively good from the shock. Actually even street imperfections which are not absorbed from the front should be perceived as an indication of right front suspension feedback and settings. A marginally improved shock damping over imperfections would be welcomed.
On B-roads the FZ is still very user friendly and agile. Cornering is confident and neutral, providing good feedback to the rider. The robustness felt by the rider derives from the frame and swing arm which are the same with those of the FZ1, of course they have less power to tame now.
A high friction factor road is necessary to explore cornering potential, due to the specific tyres used, otherwise confidence and feedback to the rider are moderate. Given itĘs a 800 c.c. bike, riding pace will be really fast, because of the sporty integration that rider will feel.
At a pace close to that of a track day, the tyres initially and the shock afterwards, will set the limits. Feedback from the shock will be moderate. Stability is great, suspension feels soft at such a pace.
On the highway the FZ will impose a travelling speed up to 150 Km/h. Air resistance is awful beyond that figure, which is something to be expected from a naked bike. Stability is very good at this speed.
The FZ will reach the speed of 200 Km/h very easily, top speed is much greater than that although its meaningless due to the zero air protection.
The Fazer 8 version will be the only proposal to riders dreaming about journeys.
Two 310 mm disc brakes and four piston calipers are equipped at the front, a 267 mm and single piston caliper at the rear. Braking is very good, since slightly larger rotors were once equipped to brake the R1, the calipers are the same. They provide great power and feedback, the front brake is quite linear.
Model history/reliability/quality build: It was introduced in 2010. Since the majority of the parts are derived from the FZ1 and other models of the line-up, which have been proved to be very reliable over the years, the FZ8 is also considered to be quite reliable. Quality build is good.
Comments: The change of the silencer is necessary, just for design matters. Maybe itĘs the ugliest silencer ever fitted to a bike. There are no external pillion handgrips at FZ8, only at the Fazer 8 model.
The character of the FZ8 is that of an integrated, user friendly and vivid motorbike. In terms of design its very similar to the FZ1 big brother, besides the majority of the parts are common.
The design differences are focused at the headlamp, the silencer and the sticker on the fuel tank which is the only place where the model name is written. Thus, there are no street fighter genes unlike the FZ1, however itĘs a pleasant and trouble-free bike which promises vivid, everyday riding.
The advantage over the Japanese competition is road handling which is close to that of a 1000 c.c. bike. The 800 c.c. mentioned competition is closer to the handling of an average 600 c.c. naked, the FZ8 is much better.
As a matter of fact the naked-street line-up of the manufacturer is started with the XJ series at 600 c.c., its continued with the FZ8 at 800 c.c., and the FZ1 at 1000 c.c. after that. The production of the FZ6 is stopped since 2011.
Price: 9080 §
Price ABS: 9970 §
+ Joyful caracter - Handling
+ Everyday use
- SilencerĘs design
A collectorĘs Yamaha R1 2011 signed by Jorge Lorenzo & Ben Spies was exhibited at the bike shop.
More, specifications (U.K.)
Thanks to the motorcycle shop Pierrakos, L. Kalamakiou 104, tel. +302109930612, Athens, Greece, for the bike test.