News 2011 Yamaha FZ8 | Preview

2011 Yamaha FZ8 | Preview

Motorcycle Preview

Fresh from Europe, the 2011 Yamaha FZ8 joins the American FZ motorcycle model line-up. Placed squarely between the 1000cc FZ1 and 600cc FZ6R, the FZ8 is also a pure naked bike, while the other FZs sport small fairings.

The upright riding position has been compacted to make the bike even sportier, with the rider aggressive positioned forward.

The Yamaha-dubbed “mass-forward” naked bike styling is accentuated by the headlight design and FZ1-style instrument cluster that features a tachometer with a white face.

Powered by a 779cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, inline 4-cylinder, and 4-valve engine, Yamaha tells us the motor “delivers smooth power delivery and gobs of torque in the low to mid rpm range, but this engine also lets loose with eye-opening horsepower when the revs climb toward redline.”

The FZ8 inherits proven Yamaha R1 and FZ1 technologies, including forged aluminum pistons, fracture-split carburized connecting rods, and ceramic-composite-plated cylinders. Clearly oversquare, the FZ8 has a wide-ratio 6-speed transmission to match engine’s performance character.

A 35mm diameter throttle body is designed for optimum intake efficiency and smooth throttle response strong power across the rpm range.

The FZ8 motor’s compact, pent-roof combustion chamber has a 12:1 compression ratio with 26mm intake valves and 22mm exhaust valves, aids the production of both low-end torque and high-rpm power of this engine.

The intake funnels for cylinders 2 and 3 are 25mm longer than the two outside cylinders to maximize the engine’s punchy torque delivery.

The chassis geometry on the FZ8 is claimed to be “aggressive” by Yamaha, with supersport-inspired 51% front wheel weight bias. A controlled-fill aluminum frame uses the engine as a stressed member for optimal rigidity balance, light weight, and superb handling.

The six engine-mounting points help provide superb longitudinal rigidity, according to Yamaha, and a controlled-fill aluminum die-cast swing arm saves weight and is tuned for excellent handling. The 43mm inverted fork and a link-type single rear shock with adjustable preload and rebound damping provides the suspension.

Braking power is accomplished via 310mm front discs and monoblock four-piston calipers, plus a single 267mm rear disc, attached to five-spoke cast aluminum wheels.

The 4.5-gallon fuel tank, is short front to back, and slender where it meets the rider. The footpegs and handlebars are also placed for a compact, rider-forward riding position. The FZ8 gets a 120/70 ZR17 radial tire up front, and a 180/55-ZR17 rear radial.

According to Yamaha, “This bike simply excels both in the morning commute and on that spirited weekend ride on a twisty back country road.”

The 2011 FZ8 will be available in dealerships nationwide beginning in December with a MSRP of $8490. It comes in any color you like, as long as it’s Raven.

Motorcycle Specs | 2011 Yamaha FZ8 (FZ8NAB)

Engine type…779cc liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder; DOHC, 16 valves

Bore x stroke…68.0 x 53.6mm

Compression ratio…12.0:1

Fuel delivery…Fuel injection

Ignition…Digital TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition with 32-bit ECU

Transmission… 6-speed; multiplate wet clutch

Final Drive…O-ring chain

Suspension travel front/rear…5.1″/5.1″

Front brakes …Dual 310mm disc

Rear brake…267mm disc

Front tire…120/70-ZR17

Rear tire…180/55-ZR17

L x W x H…84.3″ x 30.3″ x 41.9″

Seat height…32.1″

Ground clearance…5.5″


Rake…25 degrees


Fuel capacity…4.5 gallongs

Estimated fuel cconomy…39.8 mpg

Wet weight…470 pounds


Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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