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2014 Yamaha FZ-09 – First Look

Yamaha FZ-09

2014 Yamaha FZ-09

Photo Credit: Kevin Wing

Greg Drevenstedt
June 12, 2013
Filed under Road Tests, Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycle Reviews, Top Stories, Yamaha Motorcycle Reviews

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Last fall, at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, Yamaha unveiled the Crossplane Concept in-line triple, promising that, “with its clean torque output, this advanced new, light, slim and compact 3-cylinder engine will shape Yamaha’s future motorcycle lineup.” The engine was displayed on a platform with a spider web of wires connecting it to an existing YZF-R1 crossplane in-line four, a male-slider fork topped with an upright handlebar and a pair of wheels shod with sporty tires, but no frame, bodywork or other telltale features.

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 in Liquid Graphite

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 in Liquid Graphite

Yamaha filled in the blanks this week at its dealer meeting, unveiling the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09, a naked sportbike powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 847cc in-line triple. The all-new engine has a bore/stroke of 78mm x 59.1mm, an 11.5:1 compression ratio, DOHC and four valves per cylinder. Whereas the R1 has a 90-degree crossplane crankshaft with an uneven firing interval, the FZ-09 uses a 120-degree crossplane crank with an even firing interval, and the intake funnels are of three different lengths. To reduce vibration, a primary coupled-force balancer rotates in the opposite direction as the crankshaft. Yamaha says the engine has a quick-revving character and makes a claimed 65 lb-ft of torque. Yamaha’s YCC-T throttle-by-wire enables Drive Mode throttle maps (Standard, A and B) like those on the R1. Power is sent through a 6-speed transmission and spins the rear wheel via O-ring chain.

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 in Rapid Red

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 in Rapid Red

An all-new aluminum frame is connected to an externally mounted aluminum swingarm, which helps keep the frame narrow at the footrests. With a short wheelbase (56.7 inches), sporty steering geometry and a claimed wet weight of just 414 pounds, the FZ-09 is said to have light, intuitive handling. The 41mm male-slider fork and rear shock are adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping, with 5.4 and 5.1 inches of travel, respectively. Up front, dual discs are squeezed by radially mounted 4-piston calipers, and there is a single disc brake out back. Cast aluminum 10-spoke wheels are shod with 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 sportbike tires. Other features include a tapered aluminum handlebar, forged aluminum brake pedal, shift lever and footpegs, fully digital instrumentation and an LED taillight. The fuel tank, with deeply recessed knee cut-outs, holds 3.7 gallons, and seat height is 32.1 inches.

Adding to the FZ-09′s appeal is its MSRP of just $7,990. That’s $900 less than the FZ8 that it replaces, and $1,400-$2,600 less than bikes it will compete against, such as the Triumph Street Triple, BMW F 800 R and Ducati Monster 796. The 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 will be in dealer showrooms in October, in two colors: Rapid Red or Liquid Graphite.

Exposed in-line triple with low-slung exhaust gives the FZ-09 a raw, mechanical look.

Exposed in-line triple with low-slung exhaust gives the FZ-09 a raw, mechanical look.

The naked FZ-09 lacks wind protection and its fuel tank holds just 3.7 gallons.

The naked FZ-09 lacks wind protection and its fuel tank holds just 3.7 gallons.

Liquid Graphite bike comes with distinctive blue wheels. Dual radial-mount front calipers should provide good stopping power.

Liquid Graphite bike comes with distinctive blue wheels. Dual radial-mount front calipers should provide good stopping power.

All-new LCD instrument panel is in an offset position. Tapered aluminum handlebar is strong, lightweight and looks cool.

All-new LCD instrument panel is in an offset position. Tapered aluminum handlebar is strong, lightweight and looks cool.

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