Given that the FZ8 has a ‘race’ inspired chassis of ally frame and swingarm for sporty riding, it’s a puzzle why Yamaha saw fit to prop the FZ8 with non-adjustable front suspension and preload-only at the rear. Yamaha’s answer is the greater majority of its extensive customers do not adjust suspension – this is no defence in our book. As it is the front is compliant bordering on soft, which is really noticeable on the brakes. And there’s not a lot of feedback from the front Bridgestone BT021. The rear isn’t so bad.
Suspension aside, the FZ8 is endowed with an easy to ride nature that belies the FZ1-based chassis. It’s a happy rider who cuts through town traffic like a needle through tissue and the FZ8 is a god tool for such use. It’s forte is fast flowing roads. The same can be applied to the FZ8 Fazer.
The FZ8 shares crankcases with the 1000cc FZ1 but features a lightened crankshaft for quicker engine response, and the cylinder bores are reduced in size for the capacity decrease. However, the same stroke length leaves the FZ8 with a wide band of easily accessible drive, underlined by faultless fuelling. A claimed 106bhp and 60ftlb of torque doesn’t sound much by today’s standards, but if you want more power then walk towards the 150bhp FZ1. On the other hand if you want a continuous smile and to keep your licence fairly healthy, walk back towards the FZ8.
Compact, tidy assembly and the FZ series comes with a reliability record only surpassed by the arrival of spring. Saying that, it is a new bike (despite the parts bin assembly) and there is always the chance of something not lasting. It’ll be a slim chance, but it’s the sort of chance you accept with any new bike, car, computer, dishwasher etc…
Hmmm. Ok, cutting to the chase here. At £7920 the FZ8 is overpriced. The evidence is the vast array of bikes that will match and exceed what the FZ8 delivers and all for less money – Suzuki Bandit 1250 at £6099, Aprilia Shiver £6150, to name but a few. Find a Yamaha FZ8 for sale.
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The aluminium frame and swingarm are good to shout about down the pub – most of its competitors run with steel tube frames and box-section swingarms. The rest of the bike is fairly standard stuff, literally. It’s easy to say the FZ8 is a ‘parts bin’ special because… erm, it is: FZ1 engine cases, FZ1 rear light, XJ front wheel, XJ6 headlight, FZ clocks (new background display though), ye olde R1 front brakes and so on. New technology comes with the length of the of inlet stacks 2 and 3 cylinders are long, 1 and 4 are shorter, again for improved midrange drive. Shock, horror, but the in-line four FZ8 doesn’t even have an Exup exhaust valve. Instead the downpipes are thin and the longest on any Yamaha to date.
The FZ8 Fazer gets the obligatory half-fairing that does a damn fine job of prolonged high speed riding light work, which is particularly useful for commuting. The UK Fazer will be the only model that comes with ABS as standard. Compare and buy parts for the FZ8 in the MCN Shop.