How The Yamaha FZ-09 Compares to the FZ8

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You already know the Yamaha FZ-09 weighs a lot less, costs a lot less and makes a little more power than the FZ8 it replaces. Here’s some of the other big advances.

The FZ-09′s new 847cc, three-cylinder motor makes 113bhp at 10,000rpm and 63lb-ft of torque at 8,500rpm. That compares favorably to the old FZ8, which made 105bhp at 10,000rpm and just 60lb-ft at 8,000rpm. Especially when you consider that, at just 414lbs (wet), the FZ-09 weighs 53lbs less.

As you can see, while the two bikes share much of their chassis measurements (remember, the FZ-09 uses an all-new frame and suspension components), the FZ-09 has less trail, shortening the wheelbase. The should lead to faster, more responsive steering. Lighter wheels also reduce unsprung weight, improving everything from acceleration and braking to ride and handling.

But what about comfort? Not only is the FZ-09 considerably slimmer between the legs, but it has a more spacious, more upright riding position. Even though its pegs are lower, the three-cylinder motor makes it narrow enough to achieve 51-degrees of lean angle.

The best part though? Where the FZ8 retailed for $8,890, the FZ-09 will cost just $7,990 when it goes on-sale in the US this fall.

Oh, and it sounds like this:

  • JP

    I posed the question, “What is the SV650 of 2013″ to a moto forum I belong to a few months ago. It generated a lot of good discussion, but there is no SV650 of 2013.

    This bike could be the SV650 of 2013.

    • TestSalad

      Nah, costs too much and has too much power.

      • JP

        2013 FZ-09:$7,990

        2008 SV650:$5,999

        • TestSalad

          That’s 20% more than a sv650.

          • Clint Keener


            • Thomas Høj Jørgensen

              20%? Guess I need to brush up on my math? surely you meant 1/3 more?

            • karlInSanDiego

              All Japanese bikes cost more in US dollars. Our currencies responded differently during the giant sucking sound heard on Wall Street

          • Thomas Høj Jørgensen

            20%? Guess I need to brush up on my math? surely you meant 1/3 more?

        • protomech

          2013 SFV650: $7,999

        • Chris Davis

          FZ09: 113 hp vs. SV650: 73 hp – a 53% improvement.
          FZ09: 63 lb/ft vs. SV650 47 lb/ft – a 34% improvement.
          FZ09: 414 lb vs. SV650 436 lb. – a 5% improvement.

          Not exactly an SV replacement, but you’re not exactly getting cheated on price either. The FZ09 is a great addition to our market.

          It was designed to be what it is, unlike the FZ8.

      • Davidabl2

        Now you’re going and being being all reasonable, and rational even.

        See my “supersize this” comment :-)

    • juliansr

      it it not the Gladius? I would say a new honda CB500 will be fairly close.

  • craigsheppard

    This bike looks like an awesome hooligan/urban bike… but will work for anything else? i.e. wiIll it be accessorized? Windscreen options? The rear quarters are almost non-existent, which makes me wonder about throwing some bags over there or getting an type of mount. Also, will the engine be frenetic or relaxed, lending itself to longer rides? One of the things I like about the nakeds OTHER than the Street Triple (SV650, R1200R, Bandit N, etc), is that they can work reasonably well at a lot of different things. Not trying to be a downer at all, just posing the questions–this bike looks fantastic.

    • the antagonist

      There have been plenty of reasonable, do it all, nakeds and none of them have sold very well over here. (With the exception of the SV650, but that is heavily thanks to it’s value price.) I think Yamaha is going the right direction, for sales anyway, by sexing it up a bit, even if it hamper functionality.

  • Davidabl2

    Gentlemen, In the “supersize this” nation this thing more-than-likely IS the SV650 of 2013..
    Remember that while the SVwas budget-priced when it was introduced, the entry level Suzuki at the time was the GS500. Now the entry level bikes are 600–650 twins.. unless you’re looking at a Honda or a single cylinder Motard/dual sport. Ninjettes and the 250 street Hondas are in world of their own, not “mainstream” at all..

    • Honda

      I thought the new entry level bikes are 300 and 500 twins. Why exclude Honda and Kawasaki?

      • Davidabl2

        Sure some manufacturers (with Honda in the lead) seem of late to be trying to revive the small and very small bike segment. Maybe they’ll succeed but it bucks the general trend of the last few years.. which would be making Versys and SV’s now “entry bikes”

        • toumanbeg

          The manufacturers have figured out that selling some newbe a superbike is killing off their young, so to speak. No future in selling motorcycles if you kill off the young ones. Where is the next generation of buyers going to come from? Plus US sales drove the motorcycle business during the ‘golden era’ of motorcycling (70′s and 80′s.)

          As someone who rode through that era, passing on the inside, I think we are entering a new golden era. The previous golden era was based on demand for motorcycles.

          The new golden era is based on the excellence of the motorcycles.

          Manufacturers, the big 4 especially, spend a LOT of money on market research. Then there is the fact that the European market has surpassed the American market in sales potential. The Asian market threatens to be even bigger, with South America and the Africans charging hard.

          What is needed are good, sound(reliable) entry bikes. Something so sexy that it makes walking uncomfortable. Something With enough power to scare a newbe the first time they twist the wick. But not the insane power shock of 150 Hp hitting the asphalt, causing the brain to lock up in ‘Oh my God, I’m about to die’ mode.

          Something that handles like a hungry Weasel in a coop full of plump hens.

          Good brakes too. 50+ Mpg minimum and room for Miss Thunder Thighs ’08 on the pillon.

          The Eruo bike builders don’t have the bucks to design and build such a machine. They will jump in the market once established.

          I’m working the problem from the other flank. I think motorcycle riders should be trained the same way helicopter pilots are. On simulators. I’m trying to convince the Simulator people that the market is huge. That a mass produced motorcycle simulator could have sales in the many thousands. Right now helicopter simulators are mostly hand built a few at a time and sold for megamillions of dollars.

          Getting the people involved in thinking mass market, profit through volume is much harder then I thought it would be. AFAIK, none of them have heard of Henry Ford, who once had a similar wacky idea.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I’m actually surprised Yamaha made this motorcycle. The past few years they’ve been really stale and just re-hasing old products with ‘bold new colors and graphics.’ This bike has all sorts of top spec components, good looks, and performance potential. I’d swear that it came out of a factory in Europe, not Japan. Hopefully this is the start of Yamaha getting back on the gas and creating innovative motorcycles again. Hopefully we’ll get a new triple supersport and superbike soon.

  • jwinford

    Full exhaust and PC needed…bad!

  • Ryan Bray

    FWIW, I test road a 2013 FZ8 a few months back. I’m 6’1″ 215 pds. I also tried it with my girlfriend on the back.

    We both strongly disliked (hate is such a strong word…) it. My legs started to cramp up almost as soon as I got on the bike. It’s engine was buzzy, didn’t seem to have any power until it was over 6,000 RPM, and then you were hitting the redline before you knew it. Build quality was poor. IMO, it was the worst bike I have ever ridden. I was bummed too cause I really liked the look and was seriously thinking about buying one (vs an FZ1).

    This bike (FZ09) looks better in many areas and probably addresses some what were glaring problems to me with the FZ8. I really couldn’t figure out who would want that bike other than a small statured rider that never rides long distances, is on a budget, and has a penchant for naked bikes.

    Long story short, I would test ride a FZ09 but would be pessimistic going in.

    For reference: I currently own a Suzuki GSX750F (Katana) and a Honda CB750 (Nighthawk). I have ridden about a dozen different bikes in my life. My top 2 favorites would be the 2013 FJR1300, and my Katana (which has some nice upgrades).

    • Kenneth

      It seems obvious to me that you want a physically-larger bike, considering your size, the current bikes you ride, and wanting to ride 2-up. I’d certainly like to know why you think the FZ-8 was “the worst bike I’ve ever ridden.” And, “poor build quality.”? I haven’t seen any Yamaha with poor build quality.

      • Ryan Bray

        I think the FZ8 felt cheap to me because it IS cheap. $8k is not a lot of $ for a brand new performance motorcycle. In order to get power out of it I had to rev it up over 8,000 RPM and by that time it was vibrating enough to numb my hands/feet/ass. The seat was hard and uncomfortable, and yes I’m bigger so it was cramped for me.

        Probably the number one thing that annoyed me was that it felt like it had a smaller engine than it does. There was very little power until it got up into stratospheric RPMs, even compared to my katana. I dunno why it felt that way but it did. Specs show it has more torque than my kat but it just felt completely gutless down low (my kat has bigger jets and an exhaust which makes a big difference). I’m sure the factory pipe contributed to this as well but still… weak.

        When I compare it to other naked sporty bikes I’ve been on (Bandit 1200, FZ1, Tuono, and even my CB750), it handled well but it just wasn’t as fun, or comfortable as any of the others.

        • toumanbeg

          Don’t fear the rev’s. I like peaky engines. On a lazy day, I ride around at 4 to 5 K and things are grand. Then when my babe wants to tango, I twist the wrist and run between 12 and 16 K. That is why the gear box has gears. That FZ-8 will run your can-o-tuns right into the ground. I have owned 3 of them. A 600 and 2 750′s. I really liked the 750′s for short slab (interstate ) runs. A 2000 and a 2002( I think, it was the year after they dropped the 6 piston brakes). Strong running bikes but they handled like a pig that had been into the church wine. Terrible transition. A good enough lean angle but you better get it right the first time ’cause you can forget about mid corner adjustments. Wrecked both the 750′s. Gave the 600 away. Felt like I cheated the guy. At least I didn’t kill him. He rides a GSXr600 today and sometimes we will laugh about that POS I gave him.

  • orthorim

    Only concern is the fuel tank size; way to reduce wet weight but 3.7 gal / 14l is too small for an 800cc engine.

    • orthorim

      Agreed – way too small. If you don’t ride like your grandmother you won’t get anywhere near the official MPG values. I have a 650cc engine and 19l is just about fine. 14l on 800cc – no.

  • grb

    I think this bike is awesome, and I really like the styling. Im just worried they are going to try and convert the R6 to a triple also, japanese bikes are characterized by their 4 cylinder screamer engines, and I love them for what they are, specially for how they sound, nothing sound like them (except F1 cars). We already have 3 cylinder options, and they have their own character, their own place and exoticness, we dont need Yamaha to offer another one. I wish they would keep improving on the 4l engines that made me fall in love with sportbikes as a kid, even till this day every single time I hear one pass by I love it. Its just special for me, I wish it didn’t go away (good thing we still have Honda, Suzuki, Kawa and the F4)

    • Zach

      I think the crossplane engine they’ve used the last few years does away with the 4 cylinder screamer sound in a big way. They really sound nothing like a 4 cylinder.

      • grb

        I know, agree, I personaly didnt really like were they took the R1 with this last model, i think the idea of the “moto gp like” engine sound cool and exotic, but i prefer the screamer, yet the cossplane engine is something new and new means more options so its ok, but we already have good options for a 3l bikes. Japanese bikes are unique and under rated, we dont need to loose that

  • VagrantCoyote

    I think it’s kind of ugly, but I’d still be interested for the price and the engine. Probably the sort of ugly that would be endearing after a while…

    • Robotribe

      Agreed, but it is better in red as opposed to the matte-plastic black we were first shown. I do think, however, the numbers, both bike-wise and price-wise, sound pretty awesome on paper. I hope it delivers everything it promises; it’s the bike I was looking for in 2004 but only had a used Monster, SV650 or Honda 599 as available choices for me in this category. I went with a barely-used 599 in the end.

      If I were someone looking for non-liter naked and has heard good things about the Street Triple, I’d really be interested in this bike and could overlook the not-so-visually-attractive parts just for the price alone.

      • toumanbeg

        I almost bought one Sat. Or went down and got on a list. I got rational at the last second. I looked out the front window at my babe’ and there were 3 young men drooling on her. Those FZ6′s clean up nice. I have the faster blue with my hugger painted to match. I replaced the side panels and painted the new ones to match the frame. I keep her clean and got the little things done. A 520 conversion kit from Supersproc, M4′s, M20 stones. Piug smoked windshield. Right now I’m going through a decal phase. I put rotation decals on the wheels to help the kid down at cycle gear when he changes my tires and I’m looking for a tramp stamp to put above the exhaust tips. Adele (I named my bike after the singer because how she sounds at 12,500 RPM) can be a little trashy at times. So I need to find her a good home before I take run off with another motorcycle.

        The salesman ( You know they NEVER lie, right) said the gas tank is small because early testing showed on the ‘B’ map, the 09 was getting close to 70mpg on a closed course. Your milage may vary, of course. Adele gets just under 62 when she isn’t beating up on faster motorcycles. High 40′s when in ‘Cheetah on Cocaine’ mode and cruising for Posers.
        Although now that I have a gold colored chain, I figure I can get Gold colored rear sets and go for MY “P” endorsement ( Poser endorsement).

  • Motorcycle Extremist

    The red version looks a bit better for the US, but the
    grey/graphite version is far far better for Europe! How can anyone in their
    right mind think that mixing a grey colored body with gold colored fork
    stanchions, and then for some ungodly reason slapping on a pair of freaking
    “blue” colored rims is a good idea? It looks absolutely horrendous!
    Gold forks on a bike not otherwise color matched is as ugly as sin to begin
    with, but mixing that up with grey and blue is beyond all sense of visual
    appeal, quite the contrary, it’s plain revolting! Beyond that the
    “micro” gas tank is a huge mistake, and not even offering the
    “option” of ABS in the states is unforgivable.

    • toumanbeg

      ABS sucks. I dread the day the bureaucrats make it mandatory. Oh well, I can always find a good used bike that doesn’t have it.

      • Motorcycle Extremist

        Current tech ABS on bikes most definitely does not “suck” at all. The latest statistical data proves that it is a huge lifesaver on he street, and the new systems are very unobtrusive.

        • toumanbeg

          Not the place for that OT debate but it does suck. Loud, running down the chin sloppy and in pyblic. How many factory superbike riders use ABS?
          While figures NEVER lie, liars do figure.

          • Zach

            How many factory superbike racers have old ladies pulling out in front of them?

  • yyzmxs

    SV650 mentioned in the same post???? Has the consumers gone completely nuts??? I guess so…. Sometimes I don’t really envy the manufacturers.

  • juliansr

    hahaha, i’ve done 1000miles this MONTH on my 07 VFR.
    I do pose next to a gas pump from time to time.

    But yeah, this will be the Triumph STRiple craze all over again. tons of low mile ones for sale now that the next big thing is moving on.

  • Michael

    can we get the one with the non-anodized fork legs please? I hate the gold tubes

  • kp

    “malt shop”? Is that where I should be going? I knew I was doing something wrong, wasting all my time at the bar without an en”ta-ta”d blonde in sight. Or, pardon me: the pub. And lucky me, my local malt shop is only around the corner, I won’t even have to start the engine! I’ll just wheel my R6 down the sidewalk!

    • toumanbeg

      Ah! Two great nations divided by a common language. Malt as in ‘single malt’ or what they call ‘scotch’ on this side of the pond. Wheeling should do wonders for your gas milege, although you will need to wiggle it from side to side to avoid ‘chicken strips’.

  • Cale Gilley

    I try to ride 2-4 times per week each ride amounting to 80+ miles. If the posers would quit buying all these dressed up bikes with all the fairings, and start buying naked bikes that make demand for bikes like this FZ-09 more relevant.

    Wish this bike had a bigger tank 3.7gal that’s small for 847cc bike.

  • Austin Sorenson

    This maybe the next bike for me as I have an 06 FZ6. Though maybe I should ride her until she dies right now I have 40K on her. Got to love having good gas mileage, and enough fun when you want.

  • Sean Wallace

    The engineers design any tank that fits the dimensions regardless of capacity. My old Vmax ranged 80 miles on a tank of fuel driven easy. The FZ-09 will be a welcome addition in my garage after the first run year.

  • Johnny Nightrider

    A dealer not 2 far from where I live is selling the 2013 FZ8 for $6890 which is $1900 off of $8790 MSRP.The 2014 FZ09 is $7990 and yes its 414 pounds wet as compared to 467 pounds wet for the FZ8.Though the suspension on the FZ8 has a stiffer stock shock and damping and preload on the front forks and rear shock so the suspension is more sorted out.The FZ09 has a better motor,transmission,narrower and more nimble.Looks good and has 3 colors to choose from as opposed to the FZ8 in California that has just the dull grey with a sticker blue pin stripe.If you have the money go for the 2014 FZ09.If not try and make a great deal on a 2013 FZ8 I bet there not going to be able to sell whats left without some $$$$$ reductions.And even than they might have to keep em around on the lot and sell em dirt cheap.Would you want a dull grey blue sticker pin striped 2013 53 pound heavier FZ8 for $8790 when you could get a fresh looking awesome new 2014 FZ09 that has 3 modes of power delivery for $7990.If anyone now pays sticker for a 2013 FZ8 now that the 2014 FZ09 has been out and sells for less they really messed up or they are very rich and don’t care.