“This summer I plan to spend more time behind bars.” That was the slogan on the back of a rider’s t-shirt and it couldn’t be more fitting from behind the bars of the new 2011 Yamaha FZ8.
Confidence, youthfulness, excitement and sex appeal are exuded while riding this easy to maneuver sport bike.
The FZ8 is a practical, every day use motorcycle for your around town errands yet has enough get up and go for a weekend in the country.
Prior to 2011, if you wanted to upgrade from the Yamaha 600cc series of sport bikes your next step would be a jump to over a 1000 CC. With the introduction of the FZ8 and its cousin, the Fazer 8, riders have a stepping stone to a more powerful bike without getting in over their head.
“If you wanted to move up from an FZ6,” says Terry Poirier, owner of Kelowna Yamaha, “the FZ8 fills the need. It fills the gap in the middle of line-up.”
The first feature that stands out when you look at the FZ8 is its industrial, aggressive styling. It is considered a naked sport bike due to the absence of fairings other than the bikini fairing windshield. It’s cousin, the Fazer 8 offers a quarter fairing with windshield. The bike is stealth black in colour, with raw exhaust pipes along the bottom and flat black muffler. Gold inverted front forks (Galz love gold) accent the one lamp headlight with the diamond cut metallic shell.
The dual-level passenger seat delivers plenty of room for the driver to adjust positioning during long rides and with a seat height of 32”, this bike is suitable for a multitude of riders no matter what your height.
“This bike has lots of room. You can move around on the seat,” continued Poirier. “This bike would suit someone who is 5’6” up to someone who is 6’2”. It is a very standard motorcycle.”
I quite like the positioning on this bike, as your feet are below you and there is a bit of a reach to the handlebars but not a stretch.
The FZ8 boasts a 779cc, liquid cooled, in line, canted forward, four cylinder engine with plenty of pep and power to get your adrenaline going. Six speed transmission operated with a cable clutch providing minimal effort on the clutch lever making it ideal for the rider with smaller hands. 8.4 kg-m of torque makes acceleration smooth as you streamline your way through the gears.
Digital handlebar display offers km/h, fuel level, outdoor temperature, odometer and the time while the analog RPM dial provides led warning lights.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $10,499 for the FZ8 and $10,999 for the Fazer 8 before freight and PDI.