First Glance: Yamaha FZ-09 (with video)

Nov 14, 2013 View Comments by

First Glance: Yamaha FZ-09When it was announced earlier this year the Yamaha FZ-09 promised high performance at an extremely reasonable price. We were finally able to get a closer look at this stunning new naked bike a few weeks ago at the AIMExpo in Orlando. Yamaha’s GM of Communications, Bob Starr, gave us a rundown of the FZ’s specs and features in the video below, and I got to take the little Yammer for a quick test ride. Though the ride was brief, I came away truly impressed with the bike’s 847cc inline triple. This is truly a gem of a motor, the torque curve is wide and the bike isn’t the least bit picky about which gear you choose. Acceleration is just as potent as the 113 horsepower and 414 pound wet weight listed on the spec sheet would suggest. The throttle response is quick, and the fueling, at least at low RPMs, is just a tad rough so you have to be measured with your throttle inputs in the lower gears to keep the front wheel on the ground.

The handling is fantastic. The wide handlebar gives you plenty of leverage and the FZ eagerly changes direction. The overall impression is that the FZ handles like a bike that’s even smaller than it actually is. The ergonomics, though hard to test on such a short ride, seem pleasant enough and my five-foot-eleven-inch frame had plenty of room. There’s no wind protection, of course, and over my brief time with the bike I didn’t get much of a feel for its different riding modes. The engine did seem to be throwing off a lot of heat, though this was probably an abnormality caused by the multitude of short and intense rides suffered by the demo bike coupled with the disgustingly hot (for October) Florida weather.

My all too short encounter with the FZ-09 left me extremely impressed with its performance, fit and finish, and execution, especially considering its MSRP of $7,990.

 

 

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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.