The Yamaha Fazer is a dual-purpose bike. Coming out in 1998, it has come a long way to be what it is today. Additionally, it has gone through many changes of all kinds to adapt to present times. We will review the entire line starting with the Fazer models and then going for the FZR ones. Finally, we will see its legacy on other models.
Besides telling you which are my impressions on each bike, I will tell you about some accessories worth checking out. The Yamaha Fazer is a fun, reliable bike that has all it takes to serve multiple purposes. Read on and find out why it was once at the very centre of Yamaha´s attention.
It is the first incarnation of the Yamaha Fazer line, and the company introduced it at the Paris Auto Show of 1997. Although it drew some parts and design from previous Yamaha models, the concept of the bike was very revolutionary at the time.
The engine employed came from the YZF600R Thundercat, which was a full-on sports bike. It was a four in line 599cc, liquid-cooled DOHC with 16 valves. The modification done by Yamaha to that engine was to give more power to the mid-range. They detuned the engine and made the motorcycle more city-friendly.
The critics liked the motorcycle, and, besides a huge sprocket nut controversy, it was a flawless victory. The headlight was also a weak point, but Yamaha took good care of it.
The reign of the Yamaha Fazer 600 ended by 2004, and the reason was mostly the emissions that did not meet European regulations any more. During those six years of blossoming, the Yamaha Fazer 600 went through five makeovers. Furthermore, it settled the bases for a series of street-ready naked motorcycles to come years after they discontinued it.
The 2002 Yamaha Fazer especially was a model that featured an improved headlight under the name of “fox eye”. It was an improvement to respond to public opinion that would outlive the Yamaha Fazer 600 and can be found in the newer models.
The Yamaha FZ6 took matters right where the Yamaha Fazer 600 had left them. It again drew inspiration from the 2003 version of the YZF-R6 engine from a sports bike. As the saying goes: if it’s not broken, why to fix it, right? Well, the same four cylinders in line 600cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, with 16 valves. Again, Yamaha´s move was to detune it to reinforce the middle range and transform a sports-bike engine into a city-friendly one.
The Yamaha FZ6 quickly became a favourite for street riding and also for commuting short and long distances. Some riders even started using it for touring because of the bike´s response and durability.
The seating position is half-fairing, which is very comfortable as well as the under-seat exhaust. We are talking about 2004, a moment in motorcycle history that happened 15 years ago. Supernaked motorbikes as we know them now (like the MT-07 and MT-09) were not the most popular. You can think of it as the immediate inspiration for that to happen. In fact, Europe and Australia have their own FZ6N, which is a naked version of the bike.
The Yamaha FZ6 took time from 2004 to 2010. It went through five models before they decided to discontinue. The 2006 and 2007 ones went through major makeovers each year including fuel injection and the engine itself. After those, the bike maintained the same design with minor esthetic changes until 2010.
After it was discontinued, Yamaha took two different incarnations as successors, the XJ6 and the FZ6R. Until it left the market in 2010, this version of the Yamaha Fazer, the FZ6 was very well received and sold worldwide.
You can trace this version of the Yamaha Fazer all the way to, at least 2017. I was lucky enough to be able to test one of this Yamaha FZ6R and can share that test with you. It is important to say, though, that I have immense experience in riding and have tried most bikes you know. That being said, let´s get right into it.
Furthermore, when you are walking towards the Yamaha FZ6R, the first thing you notice is that it does look like a supersport. It is, by no means, a naked bike. It does have an engine that you can see on the side, but it also has vents to reintegrate air into the engine. This, however, drastically reduces turbulence and drag, but we´ll talk about that later on. The colours available were black and red and a beautiful matte grey with blue rims. That was my choice.
I put my leg over the seat and took the riding position. The Yamaha Fazer FZ6R is a very comfortable bike. The TCI (transistor controlled ignition) was flawless, and I was rolling the bike to the asphalt in seconds. At 470lb of wet weight, it is not the lightest bike in the world, but it isn´t the heaviest either.
As I rolled down to a busy avenue, I opened the throttle a little, and the bike responded well. This is the first thing to point out: the Yamaha FZ6R is not an overpowered beast. We all know that riding an overpowered bike is a lot of fun, but maybe not on a daily basis. Having a bike that has controlled-power makes the rides more relaxing and enjoyable in the long run. Such is the case of the Yamaha FZ6R, which you can think of as the ultimate commuter bike.
This incarnation of the classic Yamaha Fazer also employs a four in line 600cc, liquid-cooled 4-stroke, DOHC with 16 valves. It does an excellent job at low, middle and high output. The fuel injection has ECU-control, and it helps to save some money on gas. Efficiency for a street and commuter bike is something we all want and need.
No slipper clutch, but the gearbox is splendid. An experienced rider can make a lot of the potential of the short first gear. A novice rider can avoid any stalling with it too.
Horsepower at 9,800 rpm is of 65 and is plenty for city driving. I got a lovely feeling cruising the city and avoiding cars and traffic lights. Once I got out of that and into the highway, the bike felt awesome. It was as if the motorcycle was finally set free. Balance, brakes and throttle were just impeccable. Not a real beast of the asphalt, but a cool mid-to-long-distance bike to ride comfortably.
To my surprise, my testing Yamaha Fazer came with two revolutionary accessories: the SBM and the STS. What they do is very simple and yet impressive. The SBM (Smart Brake Module) engages your brake light whenever it senses you are decreasing speed. I love to make smooth transitions by loosening the throttle and not touching the brakes. This little device engages the brake light as I do just that, letting other vehicles know what I am doing. It is not only an excellent safety addition, but it looks good too.
The STS (Smart Turn System) disengages turning lights when it senses you have completed your turn. It is, by no means, a minor thing. I am a rider, but also a driver and my car do that on its own. Hence, I always end up leaving my bikes’ turning lights on and giving false info to other vehicles.
You should check it the STS fits your motorcycle and the STS team will send you an amazing special offer for your bike. It’s a few clicks away, just submit your motorcycle details in the form below and check your email 😉
By the time I returned the Yamaha FZ6R, my impression was that I sat on a bike I could use daily and enjoy it.
The Yamaha Fazer 800 came in two versions, and they started selling in 2010. The Yamaha FZ8 is a naked bike, and the Fazer8 has half fairing and also ABS braking system. They were a replacement for the Yamaha Fazer 600. Also, for most of the specialised media, they were a new addition to the Yamaha Fazer family.
Both bikes shared the engine, derived from the FZ1. It was a four in line 779cc (less than the 998cc FZ1). It was a little more powerful bike than the Yamaha Fazer 600 as it was able to reach 211km/h with high torque and middle-section power.
Also a commuter bike, fuel economy was significant at only 5.33mpg at 100km/h. Although it had positive reviews across the board, they discontinued Yamaha Fazer 800 in 2013.
After 2013, the Yamaha Corporation introduced the Yamaha FZ8 to the world as the successor of the Fazer 800. Furthermore, the FZ8 is a naked bike, and it does feel tiny. The riding position is among the most comfortable ones in the market. It makes you lean forward a little, and you feel sporty and also relaxed.
The one thing about the FZ8 and all naked highway bikes is the air flow. You can feel it hitting on your chest, neck and arms when you ride past the 100km/h mark. You can always get an after-market windscreen, but it doesn´t come with the bike. On the one hand, it makes sense, though, because it is a naked street bike. On the other hand, it still has a 779cc engine, and it should be ready for the highway.
Also known as the FZ1, the Yamaha Fazer 1000 was, at the time, Yamaha´s largest naked bike. Its first incarnation, introduced to the world in 2001, had a four in line, 998 ccs, liquid-cooled 4-stroke, 20 valve DOHC engine. The bike maintained unmodified from 2001 to 2005 and was a big seller for Yamaha worldwide.
By late 2005 it went through a significant makeover, such a major one that Yamaha even changed the engine. It went up to 150 horsepower and improved the mid-range as well as the torque. These modifications had two versions, a mid-flared and a naked one.
800 in 2013.
By the year 2015, the Yamaha Fazer was not in the market. The motorcycle had gone through several ECU revisions to maximise fuel-consumption efficiency. They replaced it by the newest incarnation of hyper-naked bikes by Yamaha, the MT-10. The mid-flared version became the FZ-10.
It is hard to determine the price tag for motorbikes that they no longer manufacture. On the one hand, you can trace the newest incarnations to the latest models like the MT line. Prices for those bikes go from $7,599 to $12,999 and from 700cc to 1000cc respectively. The FZ6R started at $7,799, being the mid-flare version of the MT-07 with a price that is very close too.
These mid-priced bikes have gained their spot as great all-in-one city and commuting bikes for everyday use.
The number of accessories that Yamaha offers for its motorbike lines is impressive. It might just be the most complete list in the market. Let´s review some of them.
Universal Grip Heaters – Especially for those after the bigger bikes trying to go for some touring in mid-to-long trips. This accessory is a life-changer in that regard. I have it installed in all my larger bikes.
Top Case – Ranging from the smallest capacity available at 29 litres and going up to 50 litres, this is a lockable, removable case. The design is by SHAD and has some reflective panels to increase safety at night time.
Soft Saddle Bags – The design of these saddlebags is impeccable. They feature the technology of ballistic nylon that they treat for UV. They will also maintain its shape even when you are riding with them being empty. Waterproof, and with wide Velcro, you can install them without scratching the bike.
The Yamaha Fazer line was a great innovation by Yamaha at the end of the nineties. The legacy of the bikes has maintained through time and can be traced to this day. For example, they could not sell the MT line today if it wasn´t for the Yamaha Fazer setting the basis. Fortunately, they continued the sports side of the Fazer along with the YZF line. The legacy of the Fazer line is undeniable, and well-deserve the reputation.
What do you think about the Yamaha Fazer family? Have you ever ridden one? Feel free to share this post in any riders´ forum and leave us your comments; we would love to hear from you.