YAMAHA FZR400 (1988-1994) Review

Published: 09 February 2010

"Always over-shadowed by the class-leading Hondas, but attracted hooligans with its high revving engine, sharp handling and corner speed"

Yamaha FZR400

"Always over-shadowed by the class-leading Hondas, but attracted hooligans with its high revving engine, sharp handling and corner speed"

  • At a glance
  • 399cc  -  64 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Medium seat height (785mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Yamaha FZR400 was always over-shadowed by the class-leading Hondas, both the CBR and V4 NC30 and NC35s, and, on track, was a little behind Kawasaki’s ZXR400 for sheer speed. However, the rev-happy Yamaha FZR400RR attracted the hooligans by the bucket load, drawn to the high-revving engine, sharp handling and high corner speed. And, as it was also always considerably cheaper than the competition, it meant that many ended up on track as race bikes or fun track day machines.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The reason why so many Yamaha FZR400’s ended up on track was due to the excellent handling and ease of use. There’s no ‘getting-to-know-you’ period, you can just jump on and attack any section of road. It’s lightweight, flickable, will carry huge lean angles and you don’t need to be an expert to have fun – the FZR400 really flatters its rider.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Yamaha FZR400’s liquid-cooled, four-cylinder, 16v DOHC engine revs to an impressive 14,000rpm, but like most other four cylinder 400s nothing really happens below 5000rpm. In terms of outright performance, the Yamaha’s back wheel 64bhp was slightly down compared to the competition, but on a positive note it did make the FZR usable. 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

This is where the Yamaha FZR400 lacks slightly. Early examples soon aged after a few British winters with some winter salt thrown in for good measure. While clutches didn’t like the huge amount of abuse they received. Tuned engines were fragile if not done by experts and serviced regularly. On early models brakes needed servicing as often as possible.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The Yamaha FZR400 is not as mouth-watering as Honda’s RVF400 nor or as quick as Kawasaki’s ZXR, and there are a few quality and reliability issues. However, this tends to keep prices lower than the competition which means if you shop wisely and find a minter you’ll get yourself a top-handling bargain. Find a Yamaha FZR400 for sale.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Yamaha FZR400’s huge and distinctive aluminium Deltabox frame was considered advanced at the time, and its motor is impressive. if relatively basic. If you want a higher spec FZR400 opt for the limited edition, RR-SP, which is mouth-watering and very trick like all the Yamaha SP range. Compare and buy parts for the Yamaha FZR400 in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA FZR400 (1988-1994) 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 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Awesome

30 July 2012 by joshcherry93

Owned the bike for a little over a year now (been holding out before i posted on this). Handling obviously is amazing, runs rings around the big boys and the engine is enough to keep you entertained (though admittedly a 600 block would be nicer).... Read more Quality isnt bad, hard to trace parts though. All repairs on my bike have been inflicted by its owners so it cant be that bad... Value is the strongest point, picked mine up for less than a grand and its a hell of a lot of bike for this, just be prepared to pay a little for the odd spare part here and there.. especially if it hasnt had a 520 chain conversion !!

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

fzr400rr exup 1989

18 May 2010 by grahamfzr

This bike among all the 400 sports bike range has got to be one of the best. dispite its old looks and square back end it goes and handles like a demon! the engine is very reliable exept some of them have weak gear boxes and also MOST of them have... Read more rattly EXUP valves... they are a bugger to start when you leave them standing.

Overall Rating 4 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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1988
Year discontinued 1994
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) One year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £38
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 64 bhp
Max torque 31 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 399cc
Engine type Liquid cooled transverse four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium Deltabox
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 160kg
Front suspension 43mm telescopic forks, preload only adjust
Rear suspension Monoshock rear, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 298mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear brake 210mm disc, twin piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/60 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1988: Yamaha FZR400 EXUP launched
1989: Yamaha FZR400RR EXUP launched
1990: Yamaha FZR400RR-SP EXUP launched
1994: models deleted.

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

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