To say we liked the Yamaha FZ-09 Triple is an understatement (despite some suspension and fueling issues – ed.). You just won’t find a better power-to-dollar value in any other motorcycle on the market. That’s not enough for some of our readers, who expect comfort, luggage capacity and wind protection for dollar-store pricing.
Well, here you go. Recent design filings in the European Union reveal this Yamaha motorcycle, which appears to be based on the frame, motor and swingarm of the FZ-09, known in Europe and other markets as the MT-09. Key differences are a larger tank, longer subframe with a larger saddle and a small fairing with a large (and adjustable?) windscreen.
The design filing offers no info other than the shape, but that gives us plenty of info. It looks like the frame, swingarm and exhaust are all the same, so you can expect this motorcycle to feature the neutral and responsive handling of the FZ-09. As far as performance, I’d expect the motor to be a bit neutered on top for more low and midrange torque, as well as have smoother fueling and maybe even better fuel economy. That combined with what should be at least a 4.5-gallon tank should yield impressive and practical range figures.
Expect the bike to have a full array of touring accessories and comfort/convenience features. I was impressed by the equipment of the revised Super Tenere I rode this year—durable hard luggage, cruise control, comprehensive and intuitive trip computer, all-day saddle—so I hope this Mini Tenere offers a similar array of touring-related features, except in a package that makes almost as much power, a lot less weight and a price tag under $10,000.
Almost sounds too good to come to the States, eh? Well, buck up: a California Air Resources Board filing has approved an 847cc on-road motorcycle named the FJ-09 for sale in the Golden State as a 2015 model. Yamaha has also trademarked the term ‘FJ-09’ with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The ‘FJ’ moniker is confusing, as that usually designates a Yamaha sport-tourer, not a quasi-adventure bike like the one in the renderings.
Expect things to be hot in the Yamaha booths at motorcycle shows this fall—we’ll get this FJ-09, as well as a 300cc R-3 sportbike and maybe even a new R-1. Stay tuned.