2012 Yamaha FZ8 | Preview

2012 Yamaha Motorcycle

Introduced to the American motorcycle market in 2011, the FZ8 bridged the gap between its older and younger naked-bike siblings, the FZ1 and FZ6R.

But unlike its 1000cc and 600cc siblings, the FZ8 had that "true" naked sportbike look, considering it didn’t have any fairings. This muscular styling, combined with the equally muscular 779cc engine, provided the market with something new, and the FZ8 stuck.

And when the reviews were completed across the motorcycle industry, this middleweight naked sportbike received much praise.

Due to the success of this do-it-all sportbike after its debut year, Yamaha decided to offer the 2012 model without changes, well except for color; instead of the only-offered Raven black for 2011, the 2012 Yamaha FZ8 is offered in the only-offered Matte Black / Matte Black.

But unlike lack of paint options, this single-colored naked won’t deliver lack of performance. The FZ8’s engine features components directly from the R1 and R6 sportbikes, including ceramic-composite-coated cylinders and forged aluminum pistons, with a "carefully optimized crankshaft to deliver the perfect power curve and torquey performance character for this category."

The FZ8 rider is able to comfortably transmit this power to the ground due to the balance and cornering performance provided through the cast-aluminum frame and controlled-full aluminum swingarm. Comfort is further supplied through upright ergonomics, creating an urban warrior that’s equally happy touring as it is carving canyons.

Yamaha says: "This bike simply excels, both in the morning commute and on that spirited weekend ride on a twisty back country road."

The middleweight FZ8 is Yamaha’s answer to the do-it-all motorcycle, providing sportbike fun in it’s purest form, but also a daily commuter with comfortable ergos. But the best part of this stripped-down FZ8? The naked package is offered for under the $8700 mark.

Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP of the 2012 Yamaha FZ8.

2012 Yamaha FZ8 Highlights:

Engine:

  • New 779cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, inline 4-cylinder, 4-valve engine 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.
  • Fuel-injection with 35mm diameter throttle bodies has optimum intake efficiency and smooth throttle response. Provides precise fuel/air mixtures for awesome power delivery across the rpm range.
  • Compact, pent-roof combustion chamber with a high 12.0:1 compression ratio with 26mm intake valves and 22mm exhaust valves contributes both to the superb torque and high-rpm power of this engine.
  • Intake funnels for cylinders 2 and 3 are 25mm longer than the two outside cylinders. This tuning trick helps maximize the engine’s punchy torque delivery.
  • The FZ8 inherits proven R1/FZ1 technologies, including forged aluminum pistons, fracture split carburized connecting rods, and ceramic-composite-plated cylinders.
  • The 68.0mm bore and 53.6mm stroke specifications were carefully chosen to maximize the strong torque characteristics, as was the new crankshaft with optimized inertial mass.
  • Wide-ratio 6-speed transmission has ideal ratios for the engine’s performance character.
  • 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system looks great and includes a catalytic converter and O2 sensor. Short muffler is mounted low for great looks and excellent mass centralization.

Chassis/Suspension:

  • Cast aluminum frame uses the engine as a stressed member and allows for optimal rigidity balance, light weight, and superb handling. Six engine-mounting points help provide superb longitudinal rigidity.
  • Controlled-Fill die-cast aluminum swing arm saves weight and is tuned for excellent handling.
  • 43mm inverted fork and a link-type Monocross shock with adjustable preload for light and neutral handling characteristics.
  • 310mm front discs, squeezed by monoblock four-piston calipers, and a single 267mm rear disc offer strong stopping power.
  • Aggressive chassis geometry with supersport-inspired 51 percent front wheel weight bias. Provides light, nimble handling.
  • The generous 4.5 gallon fuel tank, is short front to back, and slender where it meets the rider. The foot pegs and handlebars are also placed for a compact, rider-forward riding position that contributes to the bike’s excellent handling.
  • 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels contribute to the light and neutral handling character. This bike sports a 120/70 ZR17 radial tire up front, and a 180/55-ZR17 rear radial to complete the look and serve up the traction.

Additional Features:

  • "Mass-forward" naked bike styling is accentuated by the headlight design.
  • FZ1-style instrument cluster features a great looking tachometer with a white face.

2012 Yamaha FZ8 Specs:

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 w/multiplate clutch
  • Final Drive: O-ring chain

CHASSIS

  • Suspension / Front: 5.1-in travel
  • Suspension / Rear: 5.1-in travel
  • Brakes / Front: Dual 310mm hydraulic discs
  • Brakes / Rear: 267mm disc
  • Tires / Front: 120/70-ZR17
  • Tires / Rear: 180/55-ZR17

DIMENSIONS

  • Length: 84.3 in
  • Width: 30.3 in
  • Height: 41.9 in
  • Seat Height: 32.1 in
  • Wheelbase: 57.5 in
  • Ground Clearance: 5.5 in
  • Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0°
  • Trail: 4.3 in
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal
  • Fuel Economy: 39.8 mpg
  • Wet Weight: 467 lb

OTHER

  • Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)

2012 Yamaha FZ8 Color Option/MSRP:

  • Matte Gray/Matte Black / $8690

Available from October 2011