Zonko’s attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test


Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

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Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

The Fazer can be moved between 4000 and 7000 rpm in a contemplative, relaxed and socially friendly manner. Zonko’s thoughts on the FZ1? He’s looking forward to the new one.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

Above this mark, however, is the place where not only fun, but even madness occurs.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

The moderate power below 7000 rpm is hardly noticeable in the diagram, but is noticeably reinforced by the long gear ratio.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

The engine from the R1 era before the crossplane technology was a real poison dwarf in the upper speed range, and unfortunately this has also remained in the country road FZ1.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

With the Akrapovič silencer, the well-cared for Fazer is a feast for the eyes.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

With 11,000 kilometers just retracted, the FZ1 is not spared that day. Zonko doesn’t think so much of it "ailing creeping Winnetou mode". The analog tachometer can show over 7000 rpm.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

If you really want to, you can add the case at the rear of the FZ1. Zonko advises against it, however, because he doesn’t exactly flatter the sporty line.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

And after all the fun he had, in the end he is looking forward to the next generation.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

The Fazer originally came on the market as a small Vmax. Now the second thousand with the old R1 engine is getting on in years. Zonko borrows one anyway.

Zonko's attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer in the test

He has no idea when it will really come, but after Yamaha has so furiously returned to the supersport Olympus this year with the Y YZF-R1, the probability is that the three crossed tuning forks will sharpen the market for the naked and half-naked again attack with a four in a row, very high in his eyes. The crossplane block would be ideal for this.

Zonko’s attack on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer

The flying suitcase

Content of

The Yamaha Fazer originally came on the market as a small Vmax. Now the second thousand with the old R1 engine is getting on in years. Willi vom Rainer lent me the launcher for his wife’s beauty case.

I was somewhat amazed. Graf Seitzmo had a new assignment for me: “Take a look at the FZ1, it’s popular, but hardly anyone talks about it.” The Yamaha FZ1 Fazer? The machine, which was originally stuck in my mind, of course, was no longer on my radar. I have to admit, I was surprised that Yamaha was still offering the naked or the half-faired one with the old R1 engine. The BMW S 1000 R, Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR, KTM 1290 Super Duke R, and the all-new Suzuki GSX-S 1000 draw attention to the nude, and when I think of the semi-disguised, I have the Kawasaki Z 1000 SX and the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 F in front of your eyes. FZ1 and F.Z1 Fazers are – at least in terms of attention-grabbing – clearly lagging behind. 

The question of whether they are still driving in a contemporary way or are more on the slump side was exciting, but the answer was not free from complications. There are very few brand new Yamaha FZ1 or FZ1 Fazers at dealerships. Discontinued models, as they say. Of course, this leads to the conclusion that Yamaha will soon bring a new naked or half-naked thousand, which – similar to the R1 this year – will set strong accents and drive furiously into the hearts of the fans with full technical state of the art, but the official one Page remains stubbornly silent. This aspect was probably Graf Seitzmo’s motivation for the FZ1 story. It has to be clear that a new bike that continues the long Fazer tradition will differ dramatically from the current model in one point: the electronics. Because the FZ1, which is now being sold, has no modes or assistance systems, requires a high degree of personal responsibility from the rider, apart from the ABS. 

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer with top case?

In the search for a test machine, I saw relatively quickly that I had to remove make-up from an unused FZ1 (whether naked or with a bikini), but the Yamaha-Rainer mechanic Willi made his personal Yamaha FZ1 Fazer available to me. Including beauty case from his wife.

On the one hand I was really moved by this selfless feat, on the other hand I was really shocked. The 11,000 kilometer young, dark blue Yamaha FZ1 Fazer with the Akrapovic was in itself a feast for the eyes, but the huge make-up case behind the back seat was an unbelievable crime against the sporty line that the developers in Japan worked out in countless hours. Before I started the engine, I took off the top case. Willi raised his eyebrows: “Don’t you like it?” I nodded and limited myself to the essentials: “It is certainly practical, but we only want to assess the machine from a sporting point of view.” Of course I could have said that I don’t have such cases at all endure, because in my eyes they desecrate every machine, but on the one hand you should never take your own state of mind too seriously and on the other hand I am a staunch supporter of the philosophy of necessity: when dealing with people you have to consider what is necessarily expressed must and what not. Besides, I was really in a hurry.  

It smokes terribly upstairs!

I liked the deep blue, the golden fork, the beefy tank, the relatively straight handlebar on the risers, the slim, digital armature with the large analog tachometer and the seating position: upright but sporty. The knee angle was more engaged than on deck chair choppers or huge travel enduros, but much more comfortable than on super athletes. Perfect! Exactly my world. Superbike engine, but dresser stance. Then I started. The clutch was not super easy to use, but – and this is not insignificant on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer – it was extremely precise. Not insignificant because the old R1 four-cylinder (before the crossplane phase) weakens up to 4000 rpm and only distributes it really thrilling from 7000 rpm. In this respect, it is important that the clutch is properly dosed in the traffic light duel, and this also plays an important role when firing ambitiously from tight corners. Not only because of the already mentioned engine characteristics, but also because the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer has a relatively long gear ratio. According to the speedometer, she marches almost 170 in a pair of cars. Wonderful! That’s really impressive.

You sit completely relaxed on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer and experience how the 150 hp, extremely cultivated four-in-a-row car pulls incredibly boldly. After I was able to briefly read 238 in the fiver, I had a clear realization: This machine is the launch vehicle for the make-up case. I didn’t add the six that goes up to a real 260. The traffic was just too dense. Was the wind protection of the small shield on the bikini paneling inadequate in this speed range? No, it didn’t matter. Of course, the Fazer windshield did not offer me a perfectly shielded workplace, but it worked surprisingly well: no pressure on the upper body, hardly any turbulence on the shoulders or helmet. I didn’t have to crouch and fold, but could sit relaxed and race around.

Pretty close to super sports

130, 160, 180, 210, 240, 270 km / h. The long translation of the six-speed gearbox, which can be shifted cleanly, is remarkable. It’s pretty close to super sports. On the one hand, it is infinitely wonderful when the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer with the bare flair on top glides along and impressively executes, on the other hand, you already miss the power in the basement. Nothing is going on up to 4000 rpm, and even up to 7000 rpm, the Honda CB 1000 R’s much weaker engine, for example, is stronger. Both in terms of torque and power. The four-in-line of the Kawasaki Z 1000 SX, which dominates the Honda engine in all areas, is only overtaken by the FZ1 engine at 9300 rpm. From then on, the Yamaha fully plays its trump cards, but the penetration into five-digit speed ranges is just – apart from the racetrack and the motorway – rather rare. To make matters worse, the long gear ratio means that the objective pulling force of the FZ1 is significantly lower than that of the SX and CB. You can feel that too.

But there is no reason to despair. In practice, you will simply make use of the distinctive characteristics of the old R1 engine: 1.) If you want the madness, the thrill, the full dose of adrenaline or you are in a murderous hurry, you will not let the four-in-line drop below 7000 rpm. 2.) If you want it to be relaxed and socially friendly in a tour driver-like manner, you stay between 4000 and 7000 rpm. Then something goes on and you suspect that a hurricane is brewing. 3.) If you are abandoned by all good spirits, have a severe flu or an arm in a cast, you drive below 4000 rpm and enjoy the “ailing creeping Winnetou mode”. So, the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer has something for everyone. If the inclined reader has little to do with the “ailing, creeping Winnetou mode”, here is a brief explanation: Winnetou creeps listlessly and depressed through the prairie and answers the question “Why are you so sad?” Truthfully: “Because the common pale faces tickled my horse to death. “

It’s a shame that the throttle response is not perfect

The Yamaha FZ1 Fazer was really good for me. Also from the chassis. The fully adjustable dampers are inherently on the tight but not uncomfortable side, the handling is not super agile, but by no means stubborn, the weight is not super light, but not difficult. 229.5 kilos with a full tank of fuel with a wheelbase of 1460 millimeters and a steering head angle of 65 degrees give a clear idea on paper that the large Fazer can be moved very sportily without tipping over into extremes. Even at high speeds, waves are swallowed confidently, the fork easily withstands the sometimes harsh pressure when braking (the anchor works very well) and guides the front wheel perfectly. Drivers with very fine motor skills who do not want to take the bull by the horns may perceive a slight pitching moment when braking in an inclined position. Someone like me will notice it too, but he doesn’t care. It didn’t hinder me in any way. The only thing that really bothers me about the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer is the imperfect throttle response. The noticeable delay in the power output when you switch from long pushing to load operation makes it difficult to fire unleashed shortly after the vertex. You just have to make compromises. There is no question that the FZ1 rider who knows his machine inside out will have fewer problems with it than a test rider who constantly changes bikes, but objectively speaking, this peculiarity of the FZ1 is in need of improvement.

Should a successor model actually come, that will have been ironed out. Just as one can expect with a probability bordering on certainty that the new one will have a lot of electronics on board. Personally, I haven’t lost traction, wheelie, slide or launch control on the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer. In no single situation did I feel that I needed electronic assistance systems. On the contrary. The mechanical clarity and maturity of the launcher boosted my confidence and led to a wonderfully direct connection between man and machine. For me it’s just wonderful. I don’t want to be seen as a refusal to technology and actually admire the performance of electronics very much, but deep down I am just drawn to motorcycles without sensors and auxiliary packages.   

The Ur-Fazer was smart, but unsuccessful

Yamaha launched the first Fazer in the 80s. It was a 750 with a five-valve in-line quad that was traded as the “small Vmax”. I’ve always liked it very much, but it wasn’t a sales success. I also liked the following 600 series Fazer, which did better in the market, but ultimately took a bite out of buyers’ favor against the ingeniously designed Honda Hornet. 

The 600 Fazer with the half shell and the 160 rear tire drove very well, but visually the Hornet with the 180 was miles ahead. In 2001 I expected great things from the first 1000 cubic Fazer. Unfortunately, however, the Japanese put the divine R1 engine in a cheap chassis with a steel frame and box swing arm. It was desperate then. The fast enforcement guys wanted so badly a super athletic naked, but Japan just couldn’t get one out. While the super athletes were technically unbelievably good, the naked derivatives always turned out to be second-class machines. That was completely inexplicable to me. I knew a lot of people – myself included – who would have immediately invested in a naked super sports car, but kept their hands off a device with an inferior chassis. If you wanted high-tech, you had to stay in the group of the stooped. 

This spell, which seemed like an eternal curse to me, was then broken by triumph. The British brought the Speed ​​Four in 2002, which was nothing more than a TT 600 without fairing. Racing frame, racing dampers, racing brakes, racing engine. This was the first series-produced naked bike in the world that could keep up with the super athletes out of the box. Unfortunately, the Speed ​​Four was incredibly ugly and sold accordingly badly. But it ushered in a new trend: nakeds with worthy engineering. Yamaha acted somewhat cautiously and hesitantly with the FZ6, which appeared in 2004, but in 2006 the FZ1 was nailed to the ground, as the saying goes: superbike swingarm, race-oriented aluminum bridge frame, firm chassis and top brakes. And the 1000 Fazer still benefits from this today.

Willi’s colleague smiled: “Because of his wife”

When I returned the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer, which had given me a great day under the sign of the attack, Willi was not there, only his colleague. I thanked them warmly and then just had to ask one more question: “Willi‘s machine is in great shape and a mighty iron, but why the hell does he have such a huge suitcase that completely destroys the fast line on the back?” Colleague smiled mildly: “Because of his wife. She likes to lean against it. ”Then I was really relieved. 

Zonko’s conclusion


Zonko’s thoughts on these and future fazers.

When I think about the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer, I’m really looking forward to the new one. I have no idea when it will really come, but after Yamaha has so furiously returned to the supersport Olympus with the YZF-R1 this year, the likelihood is that the three crossed tuning forks will attack the market for the naked and half-naked again with a row of four , very high in my eyes. The crossplane block would be ideal for this. The Yamaha FZ1 Fazer, which is currently being phased out, is still an impressive and powerful machine that is probably one of the last of its kind to do without electronic assistance systems. But stronger and better is always good. 

Data and measured values


Power on the crankshaft, measurements on Dynojet roller dynamometer 250.

The moderate performance of the Yamaha FZ1 Fazer below 7000 rpm is hardly noticeable in the diagram, but is noticeably reinforced by the long gear ratio.

Technical specifications


Four-cylinder in-line engine, four valves / cylinder, 110 kW (150 hp) at 11,000 rpm *, 106 Nm at 8000 rpm *, 998 cm³, bore / stroke: 77.0 / 53.6 mm, compression ratio: 11.5 : 1, ignition / injection system, 42 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath anti-hopping clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain


Light metal bridge frame, steering head angle: 65.0 degrees, caster: 109 mm, wheelbase: 1460 mm, upside-down fork, Ø fork inner tube: 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression level. Central spring strut with deflection, adjustable in spring base, rebound and compression. Spring travel front / rear: 130/130 mm, cast light alloy wheels, 3.50 x 17 / 6.00 x 17, front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/50 ZR 17, first tires: Michelin Pilot Road, 320 mm double disc brakes with radially hinged four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 255 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear, ABS


97 kW (132 PS) at 267 km / h 


0-100 km / h: 3.5 s;
0-150 km / h: 5.7 s;
0-200 km / h: 9.8 s


50-100 km / h: 5.3 s; 100-150 km / h: 5.2 s


252 km / h


229.5 kg with a full tank, v./h .: 50.8 / 49.2%, 

Tank capacity: 18 liters

Setup fork
Compression stage: 4 K open, rebound stage: 16 K open, level: standard

Setup shock absorber
Compression stage: completely closed, rebound stage: 2 K open, level: standard


11,495 euros

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