YAMAHA FZR400 (1988 - 1994) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£380|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||Liquid cooled transverse four, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium Deltabox|
|Fuel capacity||15 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||45 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£47|
|Annual service cost||£380|
11 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||One year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||64 bhp|
|Max torque||31 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
1988: Yamaha FZR400 EXUP launched
1989: Yamaha FZR400RR EXUP launched
1990: Yamaha FZR400RR-SP EXUP launched
1994: models deleted.
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA FZR400 (1988 - 1994)
5 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£380|
Annual servicing cost: £500
Handling by far, especially in the wet, you can get a bit loose and was forgivable. Cheap bike to run and maintain. Seating position a sacrifice for the handling and Exup valve over time corrodes and becomes loose therefore exhaust looses its crispness.
Poor brakes but awesome handling
Had to ride it like a two stroke, gearbox a little clunky, The size of the bike would have suited a 750cc and made better use of its handling. The 400 was like a bombed 250
All okay but constantly adjusting and servicing the brakes
Three services a year
The complete package. Could have used a more superior chain tension method, no matter how tight you get the back wheel, would loose tension quite often.
Buying experience: Fun, cheap reliable bike, many happy memories
Version: 1WG Genesis
Annual servicing cost: £250
this may be due to age but the bike though lovely to ride and very very fast is not the most reliable of things. it does go wrong and can be very costly and almost definitely time consuming when the inevitable happens and something goes wrong.
Very smooth when riding and sound beautiful with those carbs opening up right underneath that thin plastic cover. The bike stops exactly where you want it too, I was pleasantly surprised by their performance even in the rain.
Not the most reliable as I keep coming back too. Have gone through many for different reasons, these engines are very quick, can always put a smile on your face- when it works.
Value for money for this little gem is amazing. I would definitely recommend to anyone at all. Day to day running costs are very minimal but like I mentioned not the most reliable and costly when they do go wrong.
Not much that comes with this bike- just the basics.
Buying experience: I would buy another and do not plan on getting rid of my little baby- Ever. however I would probably spend a little more money and time getting the right one next time. and never buy someone else's hard done project unless you have the money to back it up.
Handling is superb. almost telepathic. Love the high revs. Sounds like an F-1 car pulling onto the highway.. Only had it for a short period. Pulled it completely apart and had a full race engine built. Not racing anymore, but still love to freak out the kids on their new rides.
Excellent feel and ease. no endos on accident. never a fade.
Pulled it apart for the race parts. Valves were already showing wear @ 3K miles.
Was solid for as long as it was in 1 piece. Pulled it apart for a race build.
rear tire are becoming hard to find, but I do not wish to go with the "standard" of todays bikes. The extra large wheel let's me lean a bit more.
Race track refugee. If it doesn't make it go faster, it's not there.
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). 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 !!
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 rattly EXUP valves... they are a bugger to start when you leave them standing.