Dear Yamaha, Can we Have a New FZ1?

Yamaha has been one of the strongest companies in the motorcycle scene over the past few years, the resurgence beginning with the release of the wonderfully fun MT-09. That was followed by the MT-07 and then the all new R1 which has certainly raised the bar for other brands. There’s just one thing missing that we’d really, really like – a new super naked.

There’s no doubt the Yamaha R1 is a killer machine but it’s sole flaw in many people’s eyes is that it’s a superbike. It’s designed for the track which means it isn’t the most comfortable machine around, especially for those taller in stature. Such an issue is easily rectified with a more casually arranged naked motorcycle.

Some might argue that the MT-09 fits that bill and while it’s a great bike, it is made to a price whereas a headlining super naked would come with all the best components the R1 offers, just in a more upright riding position. The MT-09’s engine is great, but there’s no disputing that the R1’s engine with its cross plane crankshaft has a special place in the motorcycle world..

The current FZ1 model was launched back in 2006 and has had only very minor modifications since then. Its biggest failing is that it still uses the pre-big-bang engine that makes the current generation R1’s so unique among current literbikes. No doubt Yamaha has saved big amounts of money in not updating the bike, but that goes hand in hand with mediocre sales, too. Given the upcoming Euro IV emissions, Yamaha’s hand will likely be forced regardless – either by discontinuing the model or giving it the upgrade it deserves.

Given how popular and hard fought the super naked category has become, it’s highly likely that Yamaha will give the FZ1 some love in the near future. The foundations are there in the new R1 – all that’s needed is some tweaks to the geometry, a retune of the engine to be more focused for street riding and some minimal fairing design and no doubt Yamaha would have a hit on their hands.

Pretty please, Yamaha?

The current FZ1 hasn't had a major update since 2006 and is looking very dated.

The current FZ1 hasn’t had a major update since 2006 and is looking very dated.

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  • dinoSnake

    “[I]t isn’t the most comfortable machine around, especially for those taller in stature.”

    Aren’t there ENOUGH bikes out there for those “taller in stature”? Does every bike have to have an over 33-inch seat to make moto scribes happy??

    • john mature puss

      it is not simply about seat heights but how it relates to torso geometry. Unfortunate that a low seat goes hand in hand with high pegs for cornering clearance – hard one to solve

      • dinoSnake

        The manufacturers seem to do just fine in the past, especially the ’80’s, and nobody ever said that they were uncomfortable.

        They are bikes out there with sub-32 inch seats and are comfy, just not enough of them. You don’t need 6 inches of ground clearance for a street bike.

      • dinoSnake

        Not really. The high seat heights of ADV’s is due exclusively to their over-extended suspension heights, heights completely unneeded for street riding There are hundreds of motorcycle models, current and discontinued, which prove that a reasonable seat height can go hand in hand with a comfortable riding position and excellent ground clearance. You’re gotten yourself brainwashed into thinking only one solution can be true.

  • Mister Eftup

    Dated Schmated, I bought one for $7000 and I love it every day. The engine still screams over 5000rpm up to 13,000 rpm. If you gear it down to 14-48 gearing, it pulls wheelies at very low rpm, and is really fun to ride, and it still goes about 135 while redlining in 6th gear. I got the lowering link from China which lowered the bike about 4 inches, and then I lowered the front about 3/4 of an inch. I think it is the best bike you can buy for real-life riding. If you could put a normal triple clamp and bars on an R1, it would be about the same, so there is no need for both bikes. 2015 is the last year for FZ-1 and the MT-10 will not sell in the U.S. for the near-same price as an R1. For just a bit more than an R1 you can get a V-MAX, which I would have gotten if it was not over twice as much as the discounted FZ-1. Taller means in height, there is no other meaning, if you are too tall for most motorcycles, you are a seriously dorky lurch-wanna-be