Both the half faired FZ8S and the naked FZ8N are now equipped with adjustable front and rear suspension systems that allow the rider to fine tune the chassis to suit a range of road surface and load carrying conditions.
Also new for 2013 are clear turn signal lenses, and an all-new muffler design gives a quality sound and accentuates the bikes aggressive good looks.
These dynamic sports machines are built on a 779cc engine and allaluminium frame. The engine offers a balance of middleweight accessibility with big-bore power and instant grunt throughout the rev range. FZ8 steers fast and effortlessly, and handles with surefooted confidence – whether it’s cranked right over on a tight, smooth corner or slicing its way through traffic on a congested commute.
The naked FZ8 is a machine with attitude. Muscular, aggressive design gives onlookers a hint of this bike’s serious intentions. Sitting between the entry level XJ6 series and big bore FZ1s, the FZ8 is a pure expression of performance and quality craftsmanship desinged for riders who appreciate an optimum blend of power, weight and size.
With the semi-faired FZ8S, the emphasis is placed firmly on getting out there and enjoying the roads, whatever the weather. Discover sportsbike performance and handling, with the aerodynamics, wind and weather protection of a front cowl and screen.
779cc, liquid cooled, inline 4-cylinder engine
In order to arrive at the perfect power and torque spread for a mix of high performance and all-round usability, Yamaha threw out all preconceptions about engine size. The 1000cc and 600cc categories that largely divide the market are imposed by racing regulations, not road riding considerations.
Many riders find 600cc supersport engines to be hard work on the open road – and 1000cc superbike engines to be overkill. Yamaha’s engineers selected a 779cc engine displacement to provide the perfect balance between the accessible performance of a 600 and the broad, instant torque and power of a litrebike.
The FZ8-series engine is fuel injected, and uses both a throttle valve and an electronically controlled subthrottle valve to provide additional control over intake airflow volume. The cylinder bodies have a bore and stroke from 68.0×53.6mm. Readings on engine rpm and throttle opening are processed in real time by the ECU, which operates a new stepping motor to control the sub-throttle valves and optimise volumetric efficiency in each part of the rev range. This is one of the many design considerations aimed at boosting low-middle drive.
Another key to the FZ8-series motor’s flexibility is found in the largecapacity 7.8 litre airbox, where the air funnels are two different lengths – cylinders 1 and 4 have 125mm intake funnels, where 2 and 3 are 150mm in length, producing an excellent spread of torque throughout the rev range.
The four-valve cylinder head configuration helps the FZ8-series engine produce in excess of 100bhp at 10,000rpm, and a generous 82.0Nm of torque at 8000rpm – with a character that feels light, torquey and responsive down low but builds to a signature Yamaha top-end power rush.
Use of an open deck cylinder, forged pistons and fracture split con rods are all tried and trusted features of Yamaha sports and supersports models designed to offer a smooth running and reliable engine.
It easily clears EU3 exhaust emission standards, using a short, side mounted muffler and a 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system with a honeycomb type catalytic converter fitted at the point where the header pipes meet. An oxygen sensor feeds real-time exhaust information back to the ECU, allowing the bike to constantly adjust its air/fuel mixture for optimum efficiency and clean emissions.
Muscular, mass-forward design
The FZ8-series features an engine that is a stressed member in an all aluminium frame. The design’s high rigidity and low weight minimises frame torsion while providing outstanding high-speed stability and cornering confidence. The FZ8-series also uses a CF aluminium die-cast swingarm, enhancing the effectiveness of the rear suspension.
Front-end suspension is a pair of upside-down forks, running 43mm inner tubes. Rear suspension is handled by a linked Monocross unit – the link being designed to provide soft, light suspension near the top of the stroke to deal with bumpy surfaces in comfort, but then to provide firmer cushioning as the shock is further compressed, for sharper handling during hard cornering.
Front brakes are twin four-piston monobloc calipers, gripping 310mm floating front discs. Being monobloc designs, the calipers suffer minimal distortion under hard braking, so the stopping force is linear, stable and controllable when the chips are down.
The wheels are five-spoke cast aluminium rims – the front tyre is a 120/70 ZR17, and the rear is a 180/55 ZR17. This gives both bikes outstanding ride feeling, grip and cornering performance, with access to the full range of sports rubber.
The riding position is sporty but comfortable, with a seat height of 815mm and a narrow tank which gives the rider easy ground access. Overall ride experience is compact and light, with generous room for manoeuvring.
Steering is quick and responsive a 25 degree caster angle and 109mm of trail and an extended 33-degree left-to-right steering angle – making tight U-turns and peak-hour traffic busting much easier. The FZ8 series evokes a pure release of energy in forward motion. The black side parts on the tank provide comfortable knee grip, and give the subtle impression that the coloured tank is breaking away and accelerating forward. The headlight unit on the naked FZ8 adds an aggressive-looking detail. In all, the visual impression is of a bike that looks fast even when it’s standing still – and that sensually curved diamond frame and muscular 4-cylinder engine are the stars of the show.
The 2013 FZ8s are available now in two colour schemes per model, reasonably priced at $12,990 for the naked ‘N’ model and $13,990 for rthe ‘S’ model.