Driving report: Yamaha FZ8 – Fazer 8

Driving report: Yamaha FZ8 - Fazer 8

Driving report middle class: Yamaha

Yamaha FZ8 / Fazer 8

It’s not long before it hits eight in the Yamaha mid-range range. The FZ8 and Fazer8 are due to come to Germany in June to replace the FZ6. MOTORRAD made an extensive test drive in advance.

Provence, a classic winter test area for MOTORRAD, is growing lushly these days.

Occasional rain showers, lots of sun and warmth let the trees sprout and lure soft green carpets of plants from the stony ground. The two eighth models from Yamaha, the undisguised FZ8 and the Fazer8 with half-shell, which were presented in this area, seem like promises of pleasant days.

In keeping with this, the new Yamahas show pleasing manners. The motors start at the push of a button and immediately fall into a steady, slightly increased idle. The only bad habit all eighth let out a gritty crack every time the first gear is engaged – it was not taken over by the FZ1 gearbox, but has a shorter translation. That is why the mechanics have consistently adjusted the clutch cable play a little tight. They wanted to make sure that the coupling separates cleanly and that the effect is not intensified by sticky washers.

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Driving report: Yamaha FZ8 - Fazer 8

Driving report middle class: Yamaha
Yamaha FZ8 / Fazer 8


The half-shell fairing of the Fazer8 looks sleek and offers good wind protection. Lateral wings guide the air currents.

At the lower end of the rev range, what had been suggested in the city is confirmed: Even on hairpin bends uphill, it is seldom necessary to use first gear; the second gear is usually enough in combination with a hearty use of gas. This game doesn’t stay slow for long; a good 300 kilograms of motorcycle with rider are dragged out of the corners with vehemence. A new four-valve head as well as carefully coordinated intake and exhaust paths ensure good draft, while the crank drive, which is two and a half kilograms lighter than the FZ1, ensures spirited revving. No matter how ungrateful it sounds: Hardly anyone will miss the 44 hp more power of the FZ1, from which most parts of the FZ8 come.

More like their more tightly tuned shock absorber. The one of the 8 series is not only reminiscent of the XJ6 shock absorber in terms of its simple design, but also in terms of coordination. Quite softly sprung, invariably gently dampened in the compression and rebound movement, it was already pretensioned on the penultimate level and nevertheless reached the limit of its possibilities even in solo operation. Both eights are still manageable and precise, no question about it. Slight pumping of the hindquarters when accelerating quickly or too fast deflection in bends with bumps, where the footrests then usually touch down, are clear indications of the onset of excessive demands. In pillion mode at the latest, the gain in comfort that the soft set-up brings is reversed – experience shows that after soft comes very hard. And the handling is no longer tingling with too much weight on a deeply sprung rear end.

The upside-down fork does its job significantly better. She smoothly ironed bumps in curve entrances, and on a rapid detour to the MOTORRAD kickback track in the south of France, an asphalt field of the worst bumpiness, she kept the front wheel on the ground and the steering steady for a remarkably long time. Only when the powerful brakes are used vigorously – the one-piece four-piston calipers of the FZ1 bite into 310 discs – does it spring through a little too quickly. Speaking of brakes: The FZ8 and Fazer8 come to Germany exclusively with ABS and are fitted with two sleek spoiler wings from the range of accessories that are mounted on the side under the engine. However, the presentation bikes did not have ABS.


The FZ8 already looks more compact and sporty than the Fazer because the handlebars are turned a little further forward. The chassis are completely identical.

More than 250 kilometers, most of them on country roads, allow quite reliable statements about the ride comfort on a motorcycle, and in this discipline the new Yamaha models leave a very good first impression. In the narrow waist area, it sits neither too high nor too low, the rather wide tubular handlebars are comfortably at hand. The knee angle turned out to be moderately athletic; only those who have ridden long-legged enduros for many years or are used to stretching their legs forward on cruisers could find it too tight.

The mechanics have turned the handlebars of all FZ8s further forward in the clamp than on the Fazer8. This makes a noticeable difference; On the undisguised version, the driver finds himself more crouched, active, front-wheel-oriented and on the other, more casually and proud like the Marquis de Sowieso from the Château next door on horseback. Both have their charm, variations depending on personal taste are possible.

As the close relationship to the FZ1 has promised and despite some savings, both 8-series models are carefully crafted with high-quality parts and are quite inexpensive at 8495 and 8795 euros respectively plus ancillary costs. The cardinal difference between the two models is the half-shell cladding of the Fazer8, which offers very good wind protection for the additional price of 300 euros. A test has to clarify to what extent your double headlight has advantages over the single lamp of the FZ8 in the dark. But it couldn’t start until after eight.

Technical specifications


The engine of the Yamaha FZ8 and the Fazer8 is quiet and powerful.

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, ø 35 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 560 W alternator, 12 V battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring Chain, secondary ratio 46:16.
Bore x stroke 68.0 x 53.6 mm
Displacement 779 cc
Compression ratio 12: 1
rated capacity 78.1 kW (106 hp) at 10,000 rpm
Max. Torque 82 Nm at 8000 rpm

Landing gear:
Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, ø 43 mm, two-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, ø 267 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17

Mass and weight:

Wheelbase 1460 mm, steering head angle 65.0 degrees, caster 109 mm, suspension travel f / h 130/130 mm, seat height 815 mm, weight with a full tank of 216 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17.0 / 3.8 liters.
guarantee two years
Colours Black, white, blue
price FZ8 8495 euros
price Fazer8 8795 euros
Additional costs around 170 euros

Short judgment


  • Engine: smooth-running, powerful, easy to turn
  • Braking: powerful, easy to dose
  • Chassis: handy, well balanced
  • Processing: solid


  • Shock absorber: sprung too softly, dampened too gently
  • Lean angle: a bit tight

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