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Cult bike Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup

The blast of 1989

Seldom has a motorcycle been improved so dramatically as the already great Yamaha FZR 1000: With an exclusive Deltabox frame and the Exup exhaust control, it matured into an absolute classic in 1989.

Nothing comes out of nowhere, and even Yamaha’s epoch-making big bike has ancestors. First, the FZ 750 with a four-cylinder five-valve valve tilted forward by 45 degrees. Second, the in-house GP grenades with their engine-encompassing frame made of fat light metal profiles, introduced in 1983, called the Deltabox in allusion to its shape. The FZ had to do without something so fancy in 1985, but a class higher – according to the Yamaha calculation – the considerable material and production costs of such an aluminum construction, which has never been used in series production, could be recovered. 135 hp pushed the one introduced in 1987 Yamaha FZR 1000 in the open version, its downdraft ventilator motor was conceptually based on the 750. She immediately took the lead in the new high-performance class and was only displeasing with a few pendulums. Overly appealing spring elements, manufacturing tolerances and Pirelli series tires were quickly identified as the cause. Perfection doesn’t just fall from the sky.

Cult bike Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup

The blast of 1989

Yamaha played this trump card too.

Exup stands for Exhaust Ultimate Powervalve

The clever system is called Exup, which stands for Exhaust Ultimate Powervalve, and uses a small microprocessor that controls a servomotor, which in turn rotates said roller at the beginning of the collector of the four-in-one exhaust system. Up to medium engine speeds, the thing is at most half-open in order to maintain the inflowing mixture in the cylinder with considerable back pressure despite performance-optimized control times. From 7000 rpm, it opens up quickly so that a solid 145 hp can start up at 10,000 turns. Great right?

The best part: it works! In a thorough MOTORRAD investigation, the Exup engine had up to ten hp more power between 4000 and 6500 rpm than its predecessor, and that in the somewhat unfortunate German 100 hp version. Only in this country did less modern big bikes even have a chance, elsewhere the heavy lead Honda CBR 1000 and Kawasaki ZX-10 followed, the GSX-R 1100 from Suzuki only kept up thanks to its capacity advantage.

But back then it was not about driving performance, but about the technological leadership claim and therefore the summary: Even if Honda pepped up the four-cylinder V-engine with the RC 30, the cheese was eaten. The future tended to belong to compact inline fours like those from Yamaha. These were to be equipped with straight intake ducts. Downdraft. For many years there was also no avoiding exhaust control, Yamaha even up to the first R1. In addition to the frame bridge made of light metal, which was introduced in large-scale production in 1987, only a few lattice tube plants have been able to establish themselves to this day. So if you want to know what was ahead of the sport in the 80s, you have to visit the Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup. Not more.

Second hand advice Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup

Smear theater

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Used Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup on

Technical specifications

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke dohc in-line engine, five valves per cylinder, 1002 cm³, 106 kW (145 PS) at 10,000 / min, 107 Nm at 8500 / min, five-speed gearbox, bridge frame made of aluminum profiles with screwed-on rear section made of steel tubes, weight when fully fueled 236 kg, Tires front 120/60 VR 17, rear 170/60 VR 17, tank capacity 19 liters, top speed lying down 260 km / h, 0 -100 km / h in 3.3 seconds.


In addition to a repair manual from Bucheli Verlag, which is specifically dedicated to the Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup (price: 39.90 euros), there is an English-language collection of test reports: Road Test Portfolio Yamaha FZR 1000, Brooklands Books, ISBN 978 1855 2091 38, £ 17.95. The texts make it clear how unreservedly euphoric the Yamaha FZR 1000 was received and assessed all over the world.


Just like the somewhat rougher Suzuki GSX-R 1100, the Yamaha FZR 1000 embodies a rather archaic idea of ​​the sports motorcycle. Something like that gains in attraction again, and it is just as delightful to move a motorcycle with the Yamaha FZR 1000 Exup that bundles the technical standards of its time so precisely. At the same time, the very durable Yamaha still proves its suitability for everyday use and can be repaired at any dealer. Fine. Although a number of FZRs have been converted into fighters, the range is still good, beautiful specimens cost from 1500 euros.

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