YAMAHA FZ8 (2010-on) Review

Published: 06 May 2010

"A good machine in its own right. It isn't as intimidating to ride as the monstrous FZ1 1000cc"

Yamaha FZ8

"A good machine in its own right. It isn't as intimidating to ride as the monstrous FZ1 1000cc"

  • At a glance
  • 779cc  -  106 bhp
  • 39 mpg  -  147 miles range
  • Insurance group: 16 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (815mm)
  • £6,999

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Yamaha’s original FZS600 Fazer and later models always represented value for money workhorses – the sort of bike you could commute and have fun on anytime, anywhere. But now the XJ6 and Diversion fills the cheap and cheerful slot left by the death of the FZ6 S2 and FZ6 Fazer. The replacement machine is the new FZ8 (and half-faired FZ8 Fazer). Along with its capacity increase (now 779cc), the FZ8 has gone up market – more performance biased – through the use of a cast ally frame and swingarm and a not so cheap price tag.
Although aimed squarely at mainland European motorcyclists, where the Kawasaki’s Z750 rules the naked bike sales table, it is a good machine in its own right. It isn’t as intimidating to ride as the monstrous FZ1 1000cc, which means anybody can jump straight on to ride away and have a good time. It deserves an overall rating of 4, but priced at £7920 leaves a big opening for cheaper competitors including Kawasaki’s Z750, Triumph Street Triple etc.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

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. 

Engine 4 out of 5

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. 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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…

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

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.

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA FZ8 (2010-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 3.7 out of 5
5 out of 5

Superb Naked

22 April 2012 by darron66

I've just purchased a new 12 plate FZ8 from Arnold's Motorcycles in Leicester and at £6799 with 0% finance I am a very happy camper (ok, biker hehe) and the service from Arnold's was second to none. I got a very good trade-in price for my 1999... Read more Triumph Daytona 955i against the new FZ8. I test rode the XJ6 Diversion and wasn't overly impressed although the bike did handle very well and once on the dual carriageway was a swift mover indeed if a little high revving, but that's 600's for you. Anyway, I picked up the XJ from Arnold's in Leicester and rode up to their head office branch in Loughborough to pick up the demo FZ8 taking in the A6 for most of the 10 or so miles to get there, once there , quick loo break and the guys had the demo bike out the back ready for me to ride. As I walked out of the back door of the showroom I was greeted by the black curves of the 12 plate demo FZ8 and instantly a huge grin was upon my chops, even better the sun was shining and I was in just the right mood for riding back to my house near Oadby and then finally back the 3 or 4 miles into Leicester to return the bike to Arnold's. The entire ride was a joy, nothing aching, nothing hurting like it did on the Daytona and after an hour I arrived back at Arnold's with a smile that said just start the finance application I want one !! Reluctantly handing over the keys to Ian the sales guy and before I knew it my finance application had been accepted, a great p/x on my 13 yr old Triumph had been offered and I was asked when did I want to collect my new bike, how about the following day I replied.......the bike is awesome, so easy to ride, still running the engine in so cannot comment on top speed but I just love riding it, did 400 miles this weekend and got off it as refreshed as when I got on , seems pretty good on fuel too with it's 17 litre tank, 3 of which is reserve, I clocked nearly 170 miles on a full tank costing around £18 quid or just over, not bad for a naked and the fact it has to carry a lump of a bloke, my old Daytona used to give me around 150 miles to it's 18 litre tank which considering it's a 150cc bigger than the FZ is pretty good going. Anyway, to summarise, a great bike, easy to ride, fantastic styling and comfort and at present Yamaha have a 0% finance deal on the FZ8 plus a selected few others in the Yam range. My only slight negative is when pulling away, the bike is probably a little too light in weight and you tend to sway from side to side as you get going, other than that, perfectamundo ! Buy one you won't regret it !

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

VERY impressed

01 February 2012 by tamlin23

This is my new favourite bike - bar none! And that is a bold statement, as I trade bikes. This bike is very confidence inspiring and very easy and fun to ride. Everything does what it should, just like the XJ6, only with the FZ8, you get... Read more considerably more power. The way that power is delivered is smooth and predictable, building from low down, pulling strongly. The torque vs bhp is bang on for the road. This bike is without doubt the one I would pick for any road ride! There are comments re the price, but you must remember that Yamaha have superb engineering and build quality, I rate it over the coveted Honda quality, as every Yamaha model I have had has never failed to impress me, with attention to detail, fit and finish. Buy one of these and keep it for ever, you won't need or want for anything else...

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fazer 800

17 October 2010 by philthewindsurfer

I used to have an XJR1300 and Street Triple. I part ex'd both for the Fazer 800 as I wanted a comfy sports tourer with some wind protection. I've had it 3 months and have done 4000 miles now. I'm very pleased with it. It might not have the same... Read more grunt as the XJR as you would expect, but there is plenty. Acceleration is good enough for what I want. I thought about getting the Fazer1000 but the 800 has a bigger fairing, and everyone I spoke to who had the 1000 said fuel consumption wasn't that good, a maximum of 130 miles till the light comes on. I get 45-55 mpg on mine. MCN dont mention the dip in torque at 5,000 rpm. Its quite noticable, and if you want to overtake quickly at lower speeds you need it at 6000. 5000 in 4th and it takes a while to pull through to 6000. I guess its all down to reducing emissions to pass the tests. The can seems to get a lot of stick in reviews, but its not huge and doesn't look as bad as other cans you see these days. The Street Triple has 2 great lumps of metal next to the pillion seat. There are some bungy points to tie luggage to. I wish the pillion grab handles were 2 inches longer at the back to tie straps to though. The suspension is great on bumpy roads, I prefer to go the scenic routes so often the road surface is often less than perfect. Whacking the rear pre-load up helps to stop some of the initial soggyness. It would be nice to have fully adjustable suspension, but I probably wouldn't adjust it that far from what it is now for my riding. I dont do track days anymore. The other bikes I considered were a Tiger or new CBF1000. I didn't like the service costs of the Triumph, valve checks every 12000 miles. Long term the Yamaha will work out cheaper, my local dealer 1.5 miles away are very reasonable, hence the higher value mark than you might think. Also the extras I got were well under RRP which helped. The new CBF looks a lot better than the older one, but still doesn't have the looks, and after talking to a friend it didn't sound sporty enough.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2010
Year discontinued -
New price £6,999
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Max power 106 bhp
Max torque 60 ft-lb
Top speed 146 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 147 miles
Engine size 779cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16v four-stroke in-line four. Six gears
Frame type Cast ally beam frame and swingarm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 211kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Adjustable for preload only
Front brake 310mm discs with 4-piston caliper
Rear brake 267mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1998-2004: FZS600 Fazer
2000-2001: FZS600-S Fazer (special edition paintwork)
2003-2007: FZ6 Fazer
2004-2007: FZ6
2007-2010: FZ6 S2
2007-2010: FZ6 Fazer S2

Other versions

FZ8 Fazer: half faired, ABS version version of FZ8 (£8999)

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