Yamaha’s FZ-09 motorcycle has a powerful engine, receptive chassis, and bold design. As one of the widely acclaimed models under the Yamaha FZ series, the FZ-09 has left a lasting impact on the sportbike industry. But is it all just hype, or does this naked beast actually deserve the credit?
The Yamaha FZ-09 is a highly-rated sportbike best known for its engine, chassis, and overall performance. Initially released in 2014 as a premiere model, the revamped 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 boasts improved specs and features. Its safe yet aggressive riding makes Yamaha FZ-09 stand out among contemporary bikes.
Read more to learn about the Yamaha FZ-09, as well as its key features and specs.
What Is the Yamaha FZ-09?
The Yamaha FZ-09, released in 2014, is a highly-rated sportbike best known for its engine, chassis, and overall performance.
The revamped 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 boasts improved specs and features, and safe and aggressive riding, making it stand out among contemporary bikes.
The Yamaha FZ-09 was first released in 2014 as part of the commercially successful Yamaha FZ generation line. The 2014 FZ-09 boasted the 3-cylinder engine and the Crossplane Crankshaft for better linear torque deployment.
It was predicted to be a game-changer in the sportbike market and motorcycle industry.
So what went wrong?
2014 Yamaha FZ-09 vs 2017 Yamaha FZ-09
Upon its release, the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 quickly rose to popularity. Critics praised the FZ-09 for its powerful engine and chassis. However, the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 model suffered from abrupt throttle response and suspension issues.
Some bikers thought the 2014 FZ-09 design was clunky and uninspired. Yamaha enthusiasts argued those issues were holding the FZ-09 back from being the quintessential affordable and all-around sportbike.
This is where the Yamaha FZ-09 story gets interesting. Three years later since its original release, Yamaha unveiled a redesigned and upgraded FZ-09 to the public. Yamaha described the 2017 FZ-09 as “a naked sportbike that combines emotional performance character and fundamental value.”
How Is the 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 Better Than Its Original Reiteration?
First, electronic upgrades such as riding modes encouraged safer and more personalized driving. And friction is significantly reduced thanks to a cylinder-to-block offset. The fracture-split big ends on the connecting rods certainly helped.
Yamaha also seems to have listened to the criticisms of the 2014 FZ-09. The traction control and suspension have definitely improved. The 2017 FZ-09 ride-by-wire throttle control is less abrupt. Meanwhile, power consumption is further broadened. This is due to staggered intake-funnel lengths.
The redesign gives the 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 a fresh, bold look. It boasts an attractive dual headlight naked design. The rear shock’s discrete position allows the 2017 FZ-09 to have a narrower frame.
Meanwhile, the 2017 FZ-09 model is more comfortable to ride. It has a much flatter seat. Plus, it is 5mm higher at the front than the 2014 model.
So when it comes to the Yamaha FZ-09, the 2017 model is your best bet.
Yamaha FZ-09 Specs and Features
The Yamaha FZ-09 is powered by a 120-degree liquid-cooled DOHC, Crossplane Crankshaft Concept three-cylinder engine with a bore of 78.00mm and a stroke of 59.1mm. The engine displacement is 847 cubic centimeters (cc).
The compressed ratio is 11:5:1. Fuel tank capacity is 3.7 gallons/14.01 liters with a 44mrpg fuel economy. The measured torque is 60lb-ft at 8500 RPM and 105.0hp at 10,000 RPM. A slip-and-assist clutch adds overall contact-patch integrity.
Power travels via a six-speed multi-plate assist and slipper wet clutch transmission. It is made of Dunlop Sportmax radial tires and a durable O-ring-sealed drive chain.
It uses a maintenance-free transistor-controlled digital ignition with a 32-bit compact electronic control unit (ECU).
It uses Dunlop Sportmax radial tires, with 120/70ZR17 on the front and 180/55ZR17 at the rear.
The 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 is equipped with a 298mm dual hydraulic front disc and a 245mm hydraulic system at the rear.
The breaks also feature traction control (TC) and a preset Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that monitors the wheel’s speed. The TC has three positions (1,2 and Off) and three Ride Modes (A, B, and Standard).
This resolves the bottoming-under-braking issue and allows the bike to run smoothly in sharp curves and stormy weather conditions.
The front suspension is 5.4-in travel and fully adjustable 41mm USD front forks that offer 137mm (5.4”) of wheel travel. On the other hand, the motocross-style mono-shock rear suspension is 5.1-in travel and has 130mm or 5.1” rear-wheel travel.
It also features an adjustable preload and rebound damping. You can customize suspension settings for riding style, righter weight, and road conditions.
The quad’s overall length is 81.7 inches, and the width is 32.1 inches. Its height is 42.7 inches, and the maximum ground clearance is 5.3 inches. The seat height is 32.3, while the vehicle wheelbase is 56.7 inches. Its tank-full measured weight is 425 lbs./197.31 kg.
It features a 25-degree rake and a 26-degree steering head with a 4.1-inch trail that ensures stable reverses and balanced handling.
The 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 model boasts a controlled fill-cast aluminum chassis and an FZ-10 inspired restyled steel frame and plastic front. It is equipped with a new muffler cover, an LED taillight, and a dual headlight with quad LED lamps.
The model comes in three colors: Intensity White, Candy Red, and Matte Silver or Neon Yellow.
The Drawbacks: Yamaha FZ-09’s Throttle and Suspension
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Yamaha FZ-09’s throttle and suspension.
While the 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 is a better model than its 2014 predecessor, it still shares some of its original issues. Some drivers of the 2017 FZ-09 model experience “jumpy throttle response.” Others reported the 2017 FZ-09 to be delivered with an excessive cable slack.
A quick DIY fix is to place your palm firmly around the grip and move it from side to side. Another alternative way to fix a slack throttle tube is buying a Teflon foil set to quiet the rattle. The 2014 FZ-09 Service Manual suggests a lithium-soap-based grease to be used on throttle tube assembly.
Meanwhile, the revised suspension in the 2017 FZ-09 operates well until the driver accelerates. Some drivers observed the rear end slightly move around, creating a “hobby-horse effect.” This effect is more prominent for heavier drivers, especially those who weigh above 200 pounds (90.71 kg).
To fix this, ramp up the shock spring preload. Dial-in a little more rebound damping afterward. This should help address FZ-09’s suspension issues.
The Improved 2017 Yamaha FZ-09
1. Upgraded Standard Safety Measures
The Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and the Traction Control System (TCS) are included in the 2017 FZ-09’s safety standard measures. While the ABS is already pre-set, the 2017 FZ-09’s TCS has three settings: Level 1, Level 2, and off.
Level 1 is for aggressive riding and low intervention from TCS. On the other hand, Level 2 is for regular street riding and high intervention. Now, you can ride the FZ-09 any way you want while being safe.
2. Better Ride Modes for Every Condition
The Yamaha Chip Controlled-Throttle (YCC-T) ride-by-wire system offers three drive modes (D-mode): A, standard, and B.
A mode is considered the most direct with increased throttle aggression. This mode is a perfect fit for motorcycle enthusiasts who crave an exhilarating ride. Standard, the default setting, provides a crisp off-to-on throttle response.
This is great for sports riding. Meanwhile, the B mode has reduced power and aggression. This mode comes in handy in urban settings and low-traction conditions like wet weather.
All three D-modes operate under an acceptable safety margin. All modes receive the same amount of power. The key difference is how power is delivered. A mode receives a sharper response from low to mid. B mode naturally has a slower response from low to high.
Standard mode has equal sharpness from low to high. Should you push the bike all the way, either mode can reach the same top speed.
What’s more exciting is what drivers can do with those modes. Adrenaline junkies will rejoice to know that the 2017 FZ-09 is still capable of performing wheelies, stoppies, and other bike tricks. This is especially true for both A and Standard power modes in the first two gears.
3. Improved Throttle Response
While three D-modes were already available back in 2014, the 2017 FZ-09 has a new Engine Control Unit (ECU). The new ECU drastically reduces the abrupt throttle response affecting the 2014 model.
4. Adjustable Compression Damping
Another great news for the 2017 FZ-09 model is its fully adjustable 41mm Kayaba fork for compression damping. This is one of the notable features added to the recent model. The fork is firm and sporting.
The fork compliments Yamaha FZ-09’s already top-notch engine and chassis capabilities.
According to Yamaha, the new valving has increased overall compression damping by 83%. The rear suspension remained unchanged. Still, adjustments have been made for rebound damping and preload in the 2017 FZ-09 model.
5. Killer Design
What better way to boost FZ-09’s enhanced performance than unveiling a new and hipper style?
This was what Yamaha did when they released the 2017 FZ-09. It now sports a shorter subframe but an extended passenger seat. Yamaha also cleaned up the tail cowl and relocated the license plate bracket to a single-sided holder behind the rear.
The rider’s seat in the 2017 FZ-09 is flatter. Yamaha raised the front to 5mm or about 0.2 inches. The switches and controls are compact and efficient too. All riders, especially the tall ones, can now sit comfortably and sigh in relief.
The 2017 FZ-09 also shines differently. Yamaha replaced the 2014 FZ-09 plain single headlight with a Twin Eye LED assembly. Four bright white LEDs comprise the headlight. In a low beam setting, the inner two are used. The high beam setting features all four LEDs being lit.
Motorcyclist Magazine highlights the perks and limitations of the 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 model. Called “Rambunctious and aggressive,” Yamaha FZ-09 is guaranteed to be a fun and memorable ride.
The below video is one of the best Yamaha FZ-09 reviews to learn about its specs and features:
Again, the Yamaha FZ-09, which was released in 2014, is famous for the following:
- Overall performance
On the other hand, the 2017 Yamaha FZ-09 boasts improved specs and features than the former. It also boasts of the safe and aggressive riding that it can offer.
Yamaha FZ-09 Smokes the Competition
Yamaha FZ-09 is considered to be a topline sportbike by critics and bike enthusiasts. But how does it measure up against other contemporary bike models in the market?
1. Yamaha FZ-09 VS Kawasaki Z800
The Kawasaki Z800 is a four-cylinder standard motorcycle with a naked steel tubular backbone. Powered by an 806 cc (49.2 cu in) liquid-cooled engine, the bike was manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries from 2013 to 2016.
Now a discontinued model, the Kawasaki Z800 was later replaced by the Z900 in 2017.
In Terms of Design
How does it stack up against the 2017 FZ-09? In terms of design, Yamaha FZ-09 is a definite standout. Yamaha has a better rear-end with a neat and sleek arrangement that does not sacrifice the driver’s comfort.
The FZ-09’s fly line has sharp angles but enough curves along its frame to give it a clean, distinct feel.
On the other hand, the Z800 retains the subframe-mount mudguard that gives it a bulky look. Kawasaki Z800’s turn signals are mounted on the headlight housing. The Kawasaki’s fairings don’t fully cover the edges of the radiator. This gives the Z800 a cluttered, bulky look.
Both bikes have similar suspension components. Both also contain the Anti-lock Brakes System as a standard safety measure. The Kawasaki Z800 has a telescopic fork. Without a compression adjustment, FZ-09’s trifecta of front-fork flexibility suits the road better.
The Kawasaki Z800’s dual 277mm are smaller than the FZ-09’s discs, but the difference is minor.
The Z800 may be more agile than the FZ-09 with its 3.9-inch trail and 24-degree rake. However, the FZ-09 has better straight-line stability. Most drivers use their bikes for personal and recreational purposes.
Unless your bike is driven inside of a racetrack, Yamaha’s slightly slower steering may provide you better comfort over longer periods of travel.
The engine has always been one of Yamaha FZ-09’s best and most well-known perks. The FZ-09’s 847 cc triple certainly rides better against Z800’s 806cc four-banger.
The FZ-09 has heavier torque with 64.5 pounds (25.26kg) of grunt. The FZ-09 also has additional driving features the Z800 sorely lacks.
All in all, Yamaha’s FZ-09 makes for a thrilling and better ride.
2. Yamaha FZ-09 vs FZ-08
Yamaha FZ-09 not only fairs better than competing vehicles; it beats previous models from the same series. Though extremely similar, the differences between Yamaha FZ-08 and FZ-09 are worth taking notice of.
Comfort When Driving
First, the FZ-09 is much more comfortable to drive. While the wheelbase and overall dimensions are smaller, the FZ-09 encourages an upright sitting position. The narrower space and higher seat height give the FZ-09 a slimmer riding stance.
The FZ-09 is also much friendlier for taller bikers. FZ-08’s footbags are slightly higher. However, it is possible to lean up 51 degrees on the FZ-09.
The weight difference between the two models affects acceleration and speed. The FZ-09 is 54 pounds (2.49kg). Yamaha FZ-09 delivers dynamic performance with great maximum torque value and power.
The FZ-08 produces 8 more horsepower at 10,000 RPMs. But the FZ-09 kills it by 3lb-ft at 6,500 RPM.
The FZ-08 is a bigger bike. Meanwhile, the FZ-09 is better with ride quality and overall performance. Coupled with an engine with aggressive power output and torque, the FZ-09 is definitely here to stay.
Yamaha FZ-09 Cost
Perhaps the most underrated feature of the Yamaha FZ-09, especially for the 2017 model, is how much cash you need to burn.
Short answer: not much. While the 2014 FZ-09 was considered overpriced, the slightly more expensive $8999 2017 FZ-09 is considered a better bargain. The additional features certainly make up for the additional $800.
Conclusion – Yamaha FZ09 / FZ-09
The Yamaha FZ09 or FZ-09 is an engine-and-performance-beast at the forefront of the sportbike industry. It is best known for its engine and chassis prowess, sleek design, and exhilarating performance.
FZ-09 2014 and 2017 models’ existence proves that drivers are at the heart of every auto industry.
So yes, the Yamaha FZ-09 is certainly worth the hype. Above all, FZ-09’s affordable price and attention to safety definitely make it worth the ride.
Again, here are the improved features of the 2017 Yamaha FZ-09:
- Upgraded Standard Safety Measures
- Better Ride Modes for Every Condition
- Improved Throttle Response
- Adjustable Compression Damping
- Killer Design