New 2014 Yamaha FZ-09,

     New 2014 Yamaha FZ-09

On display at Intermot last October was a prototype 3-cylinder Yamaha engine. Today, a mere eight months later, we’re revealing the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 – an $8000 naked sporty bike with impressive specs and an alluring price. Also new from Yamaha is the 2014 YZ450F and YZ250F.
Joining the ranks of other Triple manufacturers, namely Triumph and MV Agusta, the FZ-09 looks to trump its competition by virtue of more displacement and a lower MSRP.

How the FZ-09 Stacks Up
Yamaha FZ-09847cc$7990
Triumph Street Triple675cc$9399
MV Agusta Brutale 800798cc$13,998
Yamaha refers to its new engine as a “crossplane crankshaft,” but in fact all three-cylinder motorcycle engines use the same 120-degree crankshaft spacings – the same as its British and Italian counterparts. Yamaha is borrowing the terminology from its R1 superbike – with a unique inline-Four crossplane crankshaft engine design – to imply that the new Triple delivers the same brand of linear torque output. Yamaha is claiming 65 ft-lb of torque, four more than its outgoing FZ8. And, like all Triples, Yamaha’s utilizes a balance shaft to offset the resulting vibration inherent in this design.

Unique to the new Yamaha Triple is the use of different-length intake funnels (122.8mm, 102.8mm, 82.8mm) that Yamaha says improves throttle response as well as low- and mid-range engine power. Crossover tubes between 1 & 2 and 2 & 3 header pipes also broaden its torque curve. A large exhaust collector under the engine enables a nicely stubby canister outlet. Yamaha reps claim the FZ-09 emits a pleasing sound when both inhaling and exhaling.
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In the electronics department the new FZ offers both Yamaha Chip Controlled (YCC-T) Ride-by-Wire throttle control and three rider modes (A, B and Standard). Standard mode is set to accommodate a wide range of riding conditions while A mode employs sharper throttle response in the low-to mid-rpm range, and B mode exhibits a milder throttle response.
The frame and swingarm are aluminum and boast a newfound narrowness by virtue of the swingarm being mounted outboard of its lower frame rails. New 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels are 0.85 pounds lighter than the FZ8’s wheels, while the distance between contact patches is 56.7 inches (0.8 inch less than the FZ8’s wheelbase).
The new FZ also features a more relaxed rider triangle compared to the FZ8’s by way of handlebars that are 53mm taller and 40mm further back. Footpegs an inch (26mm) lower supply added legroom. The inverted fork and non-linkage rear shock are adjustable for preload and rebound damping. Fuel capacity of 3.7 gallons is on the small side.
We’re chomping at the bit to take this new Triple for a spin, which should happen in about 90 days. We’re assuming this to be the first of more models from Yamaha utilizing the three-cylinder design.

Having previously produced three-cylinder models in the late ’70s in the form of the XS750 and XS850, this isn’t Yamaha’s first foray into the world of Triples. But, if successful this time around, how long until Honda, et. al. bring their own versions of the easy-to-package and relatively cheap-to-build Triples to market? Like the former under-seat exhaust trend, will Triples be the new Black?
Naked sporty bikes from Japan have consistently sold poorly in North America, but Yamaha is taking another swipe at it with the FZ-09. The company’s internal research shows that American riders are using their motorcycles for commuting purposes to a greater extent, and a comfortable riding position is now at the top of the list of purchase reasons for a bike in this class, which bodes well for a comfortable yet sporty machine like the FZ-09.

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Specs
Engine Capacity847cc
Engine TypeLiquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-stroke, 12 valves
Bore x Stroke78.0 x 59.1mm
Fuel SystemFuel injection
ClutchMultiplate wet clutch
Final DriveO-ring chain
FrameAluminum frame with externally mounted swingarm
Front Suspension41mm fork; adjustable preload and rebound damping, 5.4-in travel
Rear SuspensionSingle shock; adjustable preload and rebound damping; 5.1-in travel
Front BrakesDual hydraulic disc, 298mm
Rear BrakesSingle hydraulic disc, 245mm
Front Tire120/70-ZR17
Rear Tire18055-ZR17
Seat Height32.1 in
Wheelbase56.7 in
Curb Weight414 lb
Fuel Capacity3.7 gal
ElectronicsRide-by-Wire, Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle, D-Modes
ColorsRapid Red, Liquid Graphite

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 on-road action
After the Crossplane Crankshaft Concept 3 was shown at last fall’s Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne, Germany, rumors swirled about a new Yamaha inline-three-cylinder-powered sportbike. Turns out they were well-founded: Yamaha just announced the FZ-09, a brand-new naked sportbike powered by a Triple that’s a spitting image of the one displayed in the concept bike. Production of the FZ-09—the first of possibly many Triple-powered models based on the concept—has already begun, and the bike has a competitive suggested retail price of $7990.
The Triple is an all-new design, a liquid-cooled, dohc, four-valve-per-cylinder powerplant displacing 847cc. It’s counterbalanced and naturally “crossplane,” as Technical Editor Kevin Cameron reported in his web story on the concept. Like Triumph’s three-cylinder engines, the Yamaha’s three crankpins are spaced 120 degrees apart. “With this arrangement, there is zero shaking of the engine’s center of mass and zero crankshaft rpm flutter caused by piston inertia torque. But there is a side-to-side rocking. In modern engines, this ‘rocking couple’ is canceled by a crank-speed balance shaft,” wrote Cameron. The FZ-09 engine uses an even firing order.
Yamaha threw a lot of technology at this new engine, highlighted by features such as YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) and Yamaha Drive Mode (D-Mode), which offers three power-delivery maps. To ensure a wide spread of torque, three different-length intake funnels are used: 82.8mm, 102.8mm and 122.8mm. Tuned for strong low-end and midrange grunt, the new Yamaha Triple produces a claimed 65 foot-pounds of peak torque (measured at the crankshaft). The exhaust is a stainless-steel, three-into-one design with an undermount muffler/catalyst chamber (sans EXUP) and a MotoGP-inspired silencer.
2014 Yamaha FZ-09 exhaustStainless-steel, three-into-one designed exhaust
An all-new aluminum frame and swingarm form the foundation of a sporty chassis. The 41mm inverted fork and single shock have preload and rebound adjustments. Tires, 120/70-17 front and 180/55-17 rear, mount to lightweight 10-spoke, cast-aluminum wheels. The suspension has 5.4 inches of travel up front, 5.1 in. out back. Wheelbase is identical to Yamaha’s FZ6R’s (56.7 in.), which is also about 3/4 of an inch shorter than the FZ1’s or the outgoing FZ8’s.
A 25-degree rake and 4.1-inch trail implies agile handling. Another indication of the FZ-09’s sporting intent is the 414-lb. wet weight (full tank of fuel), which puts the FZ-09 in the ring with Triumph’s Street Triple R (395 lb. dry), while also being considerably lighter than the 487-lb. (wet) Yamaha FZ1 and 467-lb. (wet) FZ8.
Considering this new Yamaha’s price, the FZ-09 has an impressive list of high-quality components. In addition to the chassis details noted above, this Yamaha also has excellent brakes: a pair of 298mm discs pinched by radial-mount, four-piston calipers in front and a single-pot rear with a 245mm disc. Others features, such as a tapered aluminum handlebar and a brake pedal, shifter and footpegs made of forged aluminum, are rarely seen on bikes in this price range. The lightweight LCD instrument panel and new handlebar switch pods are a nice touch, giving the FZ-09’s cockpit a polished look and feel.
We won’t have the opportunity to ride a 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 for a few more months, but were able to throw a leg over the bike at a private unveiling. We were impressed. The FZ-09 feels very light and narrow. Its 32.1-in. seat height is reasonable, and the fit, finish and quality exceeded our expectations given the MSRP.
No word yet from Yamaha about on-sale date, but we do know the FZ-09 will be available in two colors, Liquid Graphite or Rapid Red. The bike appears to represent a significant value in an expanding “big” middleweight class.
Front 3/4 view of 2014 Yamaha FZ-09Static 3/4 front view
Yamaha FZ-09 instrument panelLightweight LCD instrument panel
View full-size images in photo gallery:

2014 YZ450F & YZ250F