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2017 Yamaha FZ-10: MD First Ride

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The much-anticipated 2017 Yamaha FZ-10 has arrived on U.S. soil and Motorcycle Daily was among the first wave of journalists to swing a leg over this bad boy.

Yamaha chose to introduce its flagship model for the popular FZ line with a 170-mile ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, intending to showcase its handling prowess and comfortable ergonomics. With the 318-Turn, 11-mile long Tail of the Dragon included in that route, we were guaranteed the opportunity to put the FZ-10 through its paces, and get a real feel for what this bike is capable of.

Since we previously went through the 2017 FZ-10 technical details, you won’t be forced to sit through that entire play-by-play again. But we do need to give you the basic run down. Everyone is aware that the big FZ is based on the wildly popular YZF-R1 so here’s the list of notable shared components.

Starting with the chassis; the FZ is built around the same Deltabox Aluminum frame and swingarm with fully adjustable KYB suspension front and rear, rolling on 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels equipped with 320mm rotors slowed by 4-piston radial mount calipers. Two minor differences are the FZ runs a Brembo master cylinder, and has a steel sub-frame that holds the more comfortable, passenger-friendly seat.  Yamaha says it is strong enough to hold both a passenger and the optional OEM luggage if you see fit to do some touring somewhere down the line.

The Crossplane engine and 6-Speed transmission base configurations are identical to the R1. Everything from the 998cc displacement, firing order, bore (79.0mm), stroke (50.9mm), valve angle, exhaust valve size, YCCT-FI system, slipper clutch as well as the gears in the tranny are all the same. But the FZ engine has an assortment of changes intended to make it a better street bike.

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At the heart of the mods are a revised intake port, lower duration cams, forged aluminum pistons, 31mm steel intake valves (versus 33mm Ti on the R1), plus a heavier crank and new steel fracture split connecting rods. These changes result in a lower 12,200 rpm redline (The R1S by contrast redlines at 12,500 rpm, the R1 with its lighter internals spins to 14,500 rpm) and power that arrives much lower in the rev range, while retaining that unique R1 engine sound. The valve adjustment intervals change accordingly from 24k to 26.6k for those who like to eek out every mile between services.

The FI system on the FZ features large, single 12-hole injectors rather than paired smaller injectors, a larger 12 liter airbox (versus 10.5 liter on the R1) and of course, revised FI mapping to make it all work in harmony. The goal was to bring the usable power into the street-friendly 6000-9000 rpm range, which means power comes on roughly 2000-4000 rpm sooner than the racetrack oriented R1.

So, what does this all mean to the rider? The new FZ-10 has some serious, meaty mid-range for you to play with. We will have to wait to confirm the horsepower and torque numbers on a dyno, but Yamaha claims it will crank out a healthy 81.9 lb ft of torque and the Euro mags are reporting 160 horsepower. Regardless of what the numbers will be, this engine is tailored for low end, even featuring a shorter final drive of 43/16 versus the taller 41/16 on the R1. The result is a motorcycle that feels quick and eager whether you accelerate from a stop or crack open the throttle while rolling down the road.

On the Parkway that mid-range power was on full display. Unfortunately, with the low speed limit, and our group of journos being the law-abiding citizens our moms taught us to be, we never got out of first gear or went over 32mph all day, and certainly never tried to wheelie. We also got passed by a lot ultra-wide-dyna-glides and a few Vespas too! Just kidding … we hauled ass the entire time and loved every minute of it. I’m just happy to have made it home without any tickets, because this bike is so easy to ride fast.

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If we haven’t conveyed the message so far, here goes: The FZ-10 is a true hooligan bike. It wheelies on its own in the first three gears when the tach sweeps past 6000 rpm, so it was all smiles getting into, and out of, every turn. It reminds me of the big-horsepower, liter bikes from a decade ago thanks to its smooth, mid-range, punchy acceleration. And that was my feeling in Standard (STD) Ride Mode.

Now, it’s not every day that anything to do with the term “STD” makes you happy, but on the FZ it was the setting of choice. It’s funny because A-Mode is slightly more aggressive than STD, while B-Mode is even more-snappy off the throttle than A. You read that correct, B-Mode offers the most immediate power delivery, but the side effect is it feels a little abrupt — so I didn’t feel as smooth in my off-on throttle transitions.

Basically A&B increase the rate at which the throttle opens via the YCC-T so it doesn’t increase horsepower, it just opens the throttle quicker. The bike retains the setting you chose, even after you stop and restart it. If you take an FZ-10 to the track, I predict A-Mode battling B-Mode for superiority based on your throttle control skills and track conditions, but on the street the standard setting reigns.

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It shouldn’t be a surprise that the R1-derived brakes are very good, as well. Since the FZ-10 weighs in at a claimed 460 lbs. wet, compared to 448 lbs. for an R1S, you can expect similar braking performance. More than a few times, we found ourselves wide-eyed and on the brakes hard as we approached a corner a bit hot. Time and again the brakes and chassis were fully capable of trailing deep into the Dragon’s coils as we scrubbed off speed without issue.

This shouldn’t be a surprise since, as we mentioned earlier, the chassis, suspension and brakes are straight off the R1 … and don’t think for a minute that knowing there was a traction control system on-board wasn’t comforting. Pundits will be quick to point out that this is not the state-of-the-art, fully electronic version found on the R1 series, but honestly, is that a deal breaker? The FZ-10 uses the tried-and-true TC based on measuring crank and wheel speed to determine when to cut the engine, while the high-tech version (on the R1 models) cuts the throttle. Try as I might, we never felt the TC intervene, and that’s what I like in a TC-equipped bike.

Yamaha has engineered the FZ-10 to go fast while providing incredible feedback to the rider, which it does. Fortunately, the stock Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20 tires are up to the task, as well. The S20s provided great grip and feel all day, and even looked good (no tearing) when we got back to the hotel. Pretty impressive considering the amount of torque we repeatedly sent through the rear contact patch.

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There is no doubt the FZ-10 will make a lot of friends, not only because its fast, but because of its comfort. The suspension is plush as the settings are intended to soak up bumps on even the roughest highways.

For the most part, the routes we rode were well maintained, but the 11-mile Tail of the Dragon is abused in spots, scarred up and with plenty of sharp elevation changes. The KYBs were definitely getting a workout on that road, but kept things smooth and controlled.

Additionally, the riding position is designed to keep you upright and comfy. It shares a similar rider-friendly triangle as the smaller members of the FZ-series, so if you’ve ridden one of them the FZ-10 will feel like a familiar pair of boots. The bars are high enough to take weight off you wrists, but low enough to facilitate an aggressive stance when you feel the urge to let your knee pucks drag on the ground. The shape of the seat doesn’t push you into the tank, and the robo-faced front fairing and tiny windshield actually deflect a reasonable amount of wind.

Switchgear is laid out in a thoughtful manner with the Cruise Control, Traction Control and Drive Mode switches easy to manipulate on the fly. The LCD dash is full of information, including a Gear Position Indicator, fuel gauge, fuel economy, TC setting, Drive Mode setting, reserve trip meter, dual trip meters … and the list goes on. Yamaha spent a great deal of effort getting the cockpit of this bike to work well for the rider, and it shows.

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It has a big 4.5-gallon fuel tank, but, unfortunately, I didn’t do a good job of keeping track of the mpg on this ride, so we’ll have to wait to see what type of range to expect.

Finding fault with the FZ-10 wasn’t particularly easy without riding it back-to-back with the competition. Nevertheless, I do have some nits to pick.  The engine, while very smooth, does transmit some buzz when you’re droning at highway speeds (like virtually every other in-line four). Most riders won’t give a rip, and I know it was far from a deal breaker for me. The cruise control works in the top three gears only, at speeds over 30 mph. Other than that, its excellent in operation. The LED running lights look faint in the daylight, but the blinkers and brake lights are very bright.

Last, but not least, the mid-range power this bike makes is impressive, but it lacks a big top-end rush. I made it a point to run it high into the rev ceiling and it falls a bit short on top. Again, did I care while riding it? Not really. Will someone who is a power hungry, ham-fisted speed freak find fault in it? Maybe. I’d say short-shift the bike and you’ll be a happy camper. If you want lots of wailing top-end horsepower, then this isn’t your bike. If you like being comfortable, and ripping up roads with loads of power available at street-level revs, then do yourself a favor and swing a leg over the new FZ-10.

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After 250 miles of hard riding on the FZ-10, we are convinced that it is going to give the current open-class street fighters and naked bikes (or whatever they’re called these days) a run for their money. There are certainly bikes with more power, but, realistically, that isn’t an issue for most riders when it comes to open-class machinery these days. With an MSRP of $12,999 and similar performance numbers to the majority of the bikes in this segment, the big FZ should be able to lure buyers with its character rich engine (love the unique sound and feel from the Crossplane crank!), great chassis and adequate electronics package – plus it looks unique.

Those folks who are enamored with the lines of the naked Euro-bikes, might not dig the Transformer-esque styling of the FZ-10, and Yamaha is OK with that. As far as I am concerned, this motorcycle looks cool, handles even better and has an engine with both character and impressive performance.

The bottom line is that Yamaha has now joined the somewhat crazy category populated by huge-horsepower Nakeds here in the United States. If you are drawn by its admittedly polarizing styling, we are confident you will find a bike with all the chassis and engine performance any sane human can use on the street (although, we know some of you are insane). Surprisingly comfortable, the FZ-10 isn’t just a track-focused weapon. It’s a bike you could happily ride every day while commuting, doing light touring or shredding canyon roads.  Take a look at Yamaha’s web site for additional details and specifications.

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105 Comments

  1. Don says:

    There looks like room for two more fake air scoops further down on the sides of the bike.

  2. Turbot says:

    I’ve got about 2000 miles on my Armor Grey model, accumulated in about a week. It’s *fantastic*. With those wide bars, it corners in an almost telepathic manner. Unlike some, I love the style and the lines. Yes, it does look like a transformer – considering hiding a sticker somewhere. It’s not as hard to clean as one would think, except those high-viz wheels. Damn, they’re dust magnets.

    The TC system works well for getting acquainted with the big power of the CP4 mill by cutting in on wheelies in Mode 3, and it seems pretty unobtrusive in mode 2. I’ll stick with that for now.

    As noted, Standard mode is nice, A and B are a bit harsh in the on/off transitions on the road. Still plenty of urgency in power delivery in that mode.

    In second gear above 7k RPM, it’s difficult to keep the front down on acceleration. Pretty exhilarating, to say the least.

    The cruise control had my sport-touring buddies green with envy. Fantastic. Even better when I read the manual and found that I could cancel the set speed by rolling the throttle FORWARD past the resting position.

    Overall, it’s a fantastic package. Seat is firm and starts to feel a bit hard after 4 or 5 hours. Position is completely upright with zero weight on the hands. Legs are in a good compromise between race tuck and foot-dragging. The lack of wind protection is about the only saving grace for my license. I’m ok with that.

    10/10, would buy again in a second.

    Cheers.

  3. Jeremy in TX says:

    I saw two of these on the road this past weekend riding in Colorado.

  4. Jdilpkle says:

    Yamaha shoulda held off and introduced this one on October 31.

  5. Vega says:

    Funny that even MD’s FANTASTIC photography can’t hide it’s ugliness…
    It might be a good motorcycle, but I don’t care cause I don’t ride stuff which I hate to look at…
    An expensive toy ought to have THREE B’s:
    BLING.
    BARK
    BITE
    So… In short, I’d rather have a Ducati Monster 1200 or perhaps KTM Super Duke R…
    Big engine, lots of torque and a look to die for…

    • mickey says:

      Funny also that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even though I don’t like the headlight on the FZ I’d rather have it, than either of the two you mentioned judging by looks alone. I have never found KTMs attractive with their edgy pointy styling which reminds me of Spy vs Spy characters only dressed in orange and white, and although the FZ has a goofy headlight, I find the headlight equally goofy on the Monster 1200 (looks like a regular headlight that melted and drooped..actually it looks like the headlight on a Gladius), plus it has an ugly exhaust system and some weird ugly black thing (mud flap? Lic plate holder? behind the rear wheel that looks like an after thought, not that the lic plate holder on the FZ is a thing of beauty because it’s not.

      Still asked to choose between the three, judging by looks alone. I’d choose the Yamaha.I donm’t consider any of the 3 beautiful by any means.

    • Bob says:

      Motorcycles aren’t toys, at least, not to many of us. Who cares what it looks like from the saddle if it works?

      Of course, children play with toys, and are often concerned with the superficial…

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I don’t really understand perspectives like yours as if form carries no value at all. Often, I am mesmerized by the beauty of many things both natural and man-made. I superficially season my food despite the fact that it nourishes me just fine without any fancy herbs and minerals. I would choose for my home to face the oceans or mountains given the option even though it would shelter me just fine while facing a power plant. The work I present is adorned with many touches that while ultimately add nothing to the content of the primary message communicate to others that it was prepared by someone who cared about that message and the people who receive it. Form pleases and therefore has value, and each person can decide how much they value form when weighing it against all other attributes of a particular item.

        Lots of motorcycles “work.” Why when given the choice should one be considered a child for preferring a motorcycle that pleases the eyes as much as the 6th moto-sense?

        • xLaYN says:

          I would k1ll for your ability to organize ideas and writing skills.

          • mickey says:

            Thats why I nominated Jeremy for an editorship here on MCD. But he let things like not moving, and making a living influence his decision.. Shame on you Jeremy lol

          • xLaYN says:

            Jeremy should host a tv show….

            (read it with that expensive voice that present shows on america… (da heck where it’s NG?)) Late night with Jeremy… welllllcome to late night with Jeremy, the family show were the host can dissent with everyone while sounding perfectly polite, knowledgeable and wise…..

            Today topic, a perfectly presented, beautifully structured, amazingly articulated article against kittens and cats (people yells crazy in the background…. bras fly… number of viewers explodes)…..

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Lol. Thanks, gents.

            So Mickey, I got to (unexpectedly) spend my weekend riding around Colorado on – wait for it – a CB1100!

            I was there to buy a house (ironically, I decided that making a living wasn’t all that important and moving not a problem after all, lol) and then stayed for the weekend with a relative. Turns out his father and brother-in-law had been up there for the past week and had trailered their bikes up – a CB1100 and an NC700X. They wanted to rest up for the 20 hour drive home and lent us the bikes for Saturday and Sunday.

          • mickey says:

            and that’s how you are going to leave it?

            Not..it’s a perfectly “nice” motorcycle, might get one someday when you are old and no longer care about excitement? A wheel chair for senior citizen motorcyclists? It will actually rev above 4K and runs pretty good up there?

            I would love to ride my CB1100 around the mountain passes in Colorado. What a pleasure it would be on a torquey liter inline 4 with the flying wing badge on the tank!

          • mickey says:

            we have a forum member in Longmont. You moving close to there?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Monument, CO north of Colorado Springs. Longmont is further north past the Denver metro. Not that far.

            I enjoyed the CB1100 a lot, though I would definitely reduce the gear ratio were it mine to give it a little more eagerness. Brakes and chassis worked remarkably well up there, even when ridden aggressively. The bike never put a foot wrong and had a very natural feel to every input I gave it, a quality I find typical in most Hondas I’ve ridden. I definitely have more respect for the bike after spending some quality time with it. Still needs an extra 20hp and -50 lbs or so to be perfect though. 🙂

            The NC700X also behaved just as competently, but that engine… You have the throttle pinned all the time just waiting for the power to come online only to be rewarded with a fairly hard rev-limiter. I don’t think I ever left a stop at anything but full throttle or came off of full throttle below 4th gear. If anyone ever wanted to snick a small displacement cruiser engine into a real motorcycle chassis, the NC is the bike for them. I admit that the appeal of the machine is a little lost on me. At least four people asked my cousin – after he posted a pic on Facebook – what kind of scooter it was.

  6. tomB says:

    To my eye, there is strong similarity, in the shape of the tank and the area immediately to the front of the seat, to the 1980 Suzuki Katana 1100. That bike had a strong cult following, but I always thought it was hideous. I have the same reaction to this bike. I do not like it at all. There aren’t many bikes that I wouldn’t ever own owing to the ugliness, but this definitely one. I think it is an abomonation. And that’s unfortunate, because the sense I get is that from a functional perspective it is probably an excellent bike. I’m not surprised that the engine is buzzy. With the crossplane crankshaft, the four pistons are mutually offset in phase by 90 degrees. This eliminates rectilinear vibration, i.e., vibration associated with motion that is back-and-forth in a straight line, however the rectilinear motion is replaced by end-over-end rocking motion and the frequency makeup is not changed. The only highly effective way to eliminate the high-frequency buzz in an in-line four is with dual counter-rotating counterbalancers. Yamaha’s reason for using the crossplane crank is that it nearly eliminates the ongoing exchange of kinetic energy between the crankshaft and the four pistons, since the oscillation in total piston kinetic energy is relatively constant, whereas with a flat-plane crank, the four pistons accelerate and decelerate in unison. Since there is less exchange of kinetic energy between the pistons and the crank, there is less oscillation in the rotational speed of the crankshaft, and similarly less fluctuation in crankshaft angular momentum, which reduces the vibration that occurs in association with fluctuation in crankshaft angular momentum. This mode of vibration is rotational and occurs about axis parallel to the crankshaft. It is a significant source of vibration with the flat crank, but is nearly eliminated with the crossplane. But Yamaha’s marketing strategy emphasizes smoother torque delivery, i.e., less fluctuaction in torque, because, according to them, the torque perturbations that occur in association with the exchange of kinetic energy between the pistons and the crankshaft are stronger than the perturbations that occur in association with fluctuation in piston force, i.e., “combustion torque”. With the flat crank, there are strong positive torque peaks every 180 degrees occurring whenever one of the cylinders is about 1/3 of the way through the 180 degrees of the powere stroke, and negative torque peaks at the same interval, occuring whenever one of the cylinders nears the end of the compression stroke. According to Yamaha, the “combustion torque” perturbations are mild in comparison to the “inertial torque” perturbations. This is likely true when the throttle is wide open and engine rpm is near the torque peak, i.e., when piston force is exceptionally strong, but it seems unlikely to me that it would be true at the extremes of the rpm range and/or when the throttle is not wide open. It may be that the worst-case scenario in torque fluctuation is when inertial torque perturbations are at their strongest, with throttle wide open and the engine rpm anywhere near the middle of the range, and that their goal was to mitigate the worst-case scenario. This would presumably translate to some reduction in the strength and mass of the crank throws. And less need for those sturdy rubber dampers found inside the drive wheel, separating the inner part of the wheel that is joined to the sprocket, from the rim of the wheel. Notwithstanding Yamaha’s marketing approach, it may be that the most significant advantage of the crossplane crank is the near-elimination of the mode of vibration that occurs rotational about the axis of the crankshaft. Although, while this mode of vibraion should be noticeable, in theory, I never noticed it in the CBR1100XX, and if there is any engine where it would be discernible it would be with the CBR1100XX, since with that engine vibration that occurs as a result of the imperfect cancellation of piston momentum among the pistons is essentially eliminated by virtue of the dual counter-rotating counterbalancers. But I digress.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t have much skill employing brevity myself, but ee-gads man! Maybe some paragraphs at least? Interesting read, though.

    • waitman says:

      Uh tomB, you didn’t by chance stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night did you?

    • Fred Nerks says:

      tomB’s Good Post edited into readable paragraphs:

      “To my eye, there is strong similarity, in the shape of the tank and the area immediately to the front of the seat, to the 1980 Suzuki Katana 1100.
      That bike had a strong cult following, but I always thought it was hideous. I have the same reaction to this bike. I do not like it at all.

      There aren’t many bikes that I wouldn’t ever own owing to the ugliness, but this definitely one. I think it is an abomonation. And that’s unfortunate, because the sense I get is that from a functional perspective it is probably an excellent bike. I’m not surprised that the engine is buzzy. With the crossplane crankshaft, the four pistons are mutually offset in phase by 90 degrees.

      This eliminates rectilinear vibration, i.e., vibration associated with motion that is back-and-forth in a straight line, however the rectilinear motion is replaced by end-over-end rocking motion and the frequency makeup is not changed. The only highly effective way to eliminate the high-frequency buzz in an in-line four is with dual counter-rotating counter balancers.

      Yamaha’s reason for using the crossplane crank is that it nearly eliminates the ongoing exchange of kinetic energy between the crankshaft and the four pistons, since the oscillation in total piston kinetic energy is relatively constant, whereas with a flat-plane crank, the four pistons accelerate and decelerate in unison. Since there is less exchange of kinetic energy between the pistons and the crank, there is less oscillation in the rotational speed of the crankshaft, and similarly less fluctuation in crankshaft angular momentum, which reduces the vibration that occurs in association with fluctuation in crankshaft angular momentum.

      This mode of vibration is rotational and occurs about axis parallel to the crankshaft.
      It is a significant source of vibration with the flat crank, but is nearly eliminated with the crossplane. But Yamaha’s marketing strategy emphasizes smoother torque delivery, i.e., less fluctuaction in torque, because, according to them, the torque perturbations that occur in association with the exchange of kinetic energy between the pistons and the crankshaft are stronger than the perturbations that occur in association with fluctuation in piston force, i.e., “combustion torque”.

      With the flat crank, there are strong positive torque peaks every 180 degrees occurring whenever one of the cylinders is about 1/3 of the way through the 180 degrees of the powere stroke, and negative torque peaks at the same interval, occuring whenever one of the cylinders nears the end of the compression stroke. According to Yamaha, the “combustion torque” perturbations are mild in comparison to the “inertial torque” perturbations.

      This is likely true when the throttle is wide open and engine rpm is near the torque peak, i.e., when piston force is exceptionally strong, but it seems unlikely to me that it would be true at the extremes of the rpm range and/or when the throttle is not wide open. It may be that the worst-case scenario in torque fluctuation is when inertial torque perturbations are at their strongest, with throttle wide open and the engine rpm anywhere near the middle of the range, and that their goal was to mitigate the worst-case scenario. This would presumably translate to some reduction in the strength and mass of the crank throws.
      And less need for those sturdy rubber dampers found inside the drive wheel, separating the inner part of the wheel that is joined to the sprocket, from the rim of the wheel.

      Notwithstanding Yamaha’s marketing approach, it may be that the most significant advantage of the crossplane crank is the near-elimination of the mode of vibration that occurs rotational about the axis of the crankshaft.
      Although, while this mode of vibration should be noticeable, in theory, I never noticed it in the CBR1100XX, and if there is any engine where it would be discernible, it would be with the CBR1100XX, since with that engine vibration that occurs as a result of the imperfect cancellation of piston momentum among the pistons, is essentially eliminated by virtue of the dual counter-rotating counter balancers.
      But I digress.”

      How’s that for editing, J in TX!

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Lol! I might take it a step further…

        tomB’s fascinating post re-edited:

        “Damn, this bike is ugly. Too bad since it seems to be an otherwise excellent motorcycle.

        “I’m not surprised the engine is buzzy. Cross-plane cranks produce a different kind of vibration than their flat-plane counterparts, but it is still there and fundamentally unchanged frequency-wise. But is one form of vibration better or worse than another? Let’s investigate!

        “With a flat plane-crank, there is a moment occurring twice during every revolution where all fours pistons (two at BDC and two at TDC) must come to rest then reverse direction at the same time. The resulting see-saw motion is called rectilinear vibration. Rectilinear vibration sucks for a lot of reasons, the primary reason being that it delivers a jolt to the crankshaft and therefore the entire drivetrain down to the rear tire’s contact patch. With a cross-plane and its 90° phases, this energy is effectively traded between the pistons (since as one approaches rest, the other is approaching max velocity) rather than being delivered as a jolt to the crankshaft.

        “Yamaha’s marketing department claims that the torque jolts ultimately delivered to the rear wheel by a traditional flat-plane crank cause a loss of feel and drive and that the cross-plane engine smooths this out considerably. While there is probably some truth to that while running this bitch WFO around the torque peak, I suspect that this is mostly just brochure engineering, practically speaking anyway.

        “Regardless, there is certainly some benefit to eliminating rectilinear vibration and the inherent fluctuations to the crankshaft speed which probably even includes the ability to use lighter cranks, gears and cush drives since they would have to be as strong. Though in practice, while Jorge and Valentino can probably tell the difference, I doubt we laymen could really detect the benefits of the cross-plane crank other than that glorious Ferrari V8-like exhaust note as you wind this thing out.

        “Damn, this bike is ugly.”

  7. Tom says:

    Being a 57 year old punk, my priorities for a bike are still in this order: 1) Is it blast to ride? 2) How fast is it? 3) How comfortable is it? 4) Is it reliable? 5) Can I afford it? 6) What does it look like? Some day I’ll reverse that order, but until that sad day comes, this is my next bike.

  8. Swell-rider says:

    Nice bike, and the design, sorry old farts (of which I am one), is spot on for the chosen demographic. Transformers anyone?
    Would I trade in my 14′ Hypermotard SP for it? Nope, no real need for 160 hp.
    But… if the FZ-9 came as dialed-in as as you make this new model sound, with the smooth fueling, TC options, and high quality adj suspension, I’d think about it.
    Yamaha should really start offering upgraded models for all the bikes in the FZ line. Their “best performing budget-bike” marketing plan was/is a good one, but it’s high time for a premium option.

  9. Josh says:

    The only thing that looks like a motorcycle on this ‘bike’ are the round wheels.

    But what do I know? I ride a CB1100 and a ZRX1200.

  10. Allan says:

    I am a huge Yamaha fan but am disappointed with the styling of the 10. Beside my Yamahas, I have an Aprilia Tuono which has styling which will never get old. I rode the 10 and it has better ergos than my Tuono. What the 10 needs is a front-end which looks like the R1S.

  11. Steve says:

    Great article! Have to agree with most of the folks here. I think Yamaha missed a great opportunity in the looks department (a la’ Victory Octane). Everything new doesn’t have to look like it’s going to be in the next Transformers movie.

    I’d settle for an XSR-1000 with R1 Suspension and 60th Anniversary paint.

    • Auphliam says:

      Victory missed a great opportunity with the Octane because they built the wrong bike, not because it looked bad.

  12. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    I’ve now seen two in person at the dealer – a grey/yellow one, and an all-black one. No, its looks are not to my taste. And I owned an ’02 V-Strom for 11 years.

    • Now, THAT’s saying something. I had an early 650 V-Strom and that was, shall we say, better looking from the rider’s seat than from across the garage. I suspect this new Yammy is the same way, but worse. Ha ha.

  13. mechanicus says:

    Interesting license plate holder / turn signal mount / pod-stalk-thingy. I think the whole bike is a veiled practical joke: “Hey, we can design any outrageously bizarre thing we want to and some doofus amelican will go ‘cool… i like it’!”.

  14. Jason says:

    I hope the rider could see through the corner in the last pic. Meet an oncoming pickup on that line, and things get real pretty fast.

  15. Jeremy in TX says:

    There are lots of negative posts about the styling. I like the design personally and think it fits the nature of the bike quite well. Clearly I’m in the minority on this site at least. I wonder what the European market consensus is on the looks?

    • Hot Dog says:

      I think they’re way more open minded over there, although I’ll bet they’ve got their share whiners too. I like the bike and the “edge” it portrays.

  16. WSHart says:

    Bikes such as this are way beyond the riding level of pretty much everyone except amateur and professional racers, especially for the street.

    It’s not that the bike doesn’t belong on the street but rather those that ride like the street is a race track don’t belong on public roads. Their attitude is ridiculous and to be honest crosses all genres of motorcycles. The roads are public, not pubic. So quit riding like a dick.

    For the record, this bike is far too insectoid looking for my tastes and the term “naked” is more than retarded. Standard would better suit bikes like this but so many of today’s yoots think calling bikes like the FZ-10 “naked” makes them hip. The gas tank is barely adequate in size but at least they didn’t hamper it with a 2.2 gallon cell.

    And no, I’m not telling anyone to get off my lawn. I’d prefer they get off the public roads and on to a track.

  17. Tom S. says:

    I am officially an Old, and I love the styling.

    I’m not generally a fan of the angular transformer-ish styling on current Japanese bikes, but this one just looks right to me. Love the front end.

  18. Auphliam says:

    Love it. Great work, guys.

  19. VROD says:

    It looks exactly like it is: A bad ass naked bike. I sat on it yesterday. I felt like a warrior mounted on war machine. Pretty cool!

  20. JBFST says:

    The people that think it’s ugly , prob don’t have the money or the capability to ride it anyway , nice bike

    • waitman says:

      That’s kinda strong. I’m going to suggest (once again) that comments are much more helpful and productive when aimed at the subject of Dirck’s feature not the persons who comment. The counterpoint to your comment would be “if anyone likes the looks, style, etc. he must be a doofus”. C’mon JBFST. Nobody called you a doofus or insulted your earning capacity or riding skills. Why the anger? Wouldn’t it have been just as easy to say “I love it”? After you get the “f-yous” out of your system, please just give it some thought. Thanks.

      • redbirds says:

        Have to agree waitman. I’m nearly 70 and have been an active rider for over 50 years. I could easily afford this bike but it’s just not my type. This Yamaha is a fabulous example of modern engineering but, to me it is flat ugly and I’m too old to ride an ugly bike. For those who like it, good on you and show your enthusiasm by rushing to your Yamaha dealer to put your money down.

        • Jdilpkle says:

          “…to me it is flat ugly and I’m too old to ride an ugly bike.”
          Amen on that one.

    • WJF says:

      its ugly

    • Doc says:

      If someone wants to buy a bike with these looks fine by me. It looks as though the fairing was taken off and you are seeing whats underneath. Hooligan bikes back in the late ’90s, early 2000’s remind me of this. Crash your sport bike, can’t afford new plastic, so go with whatever is underneath it all. It is ugly and I know style with some thought behind it when I see it. As far as capabilities go, I don’t need an electronic babysitter to take care of me. I’m perfectly able to control the bike with my brain and right hand, without a bunch of electronic gizmos. If you need all these rider “aids”, maybe you’re the one whose capabilities are lacking.

  21. Doc says:

    Performance wise, what a naked bike should be. But style wise? C’mon people! Does it take any more effort to style a bike easy on the eyes compared to one that isn’t? I have to close my eyes to look at this. Not long ago, BMW had some of the ugliest bikes around. Not any more. They’ve been out uglied!

  22. GT says:

    Am I the only one that thinks this looks like Optimus Prime ? I keep waiting for it to transform into something else less Hot Wheels.

    • Starmag says:

      “There’s a thin line between being a hero and being a memory.”

    • TexinOhio says:

      Well There is one more Transformers movie so this could be in it. I really do like the look of the bike as I’ve never been a fan of the cookie cutter look of the sportbike, curiser, or standard bikes. This just like my Z1000 breaks ranks with the ho hum wash, rinse, repeat everything else out on the market seems to be.

      Can’t wait to get a demo on this.

  23. Frank says:

    Straight out of a Mad Max Sequel. Extreme, angry, industrial, techno…and with a few machine gun mounts up front, (hopefully something Yamaha will offer in their accessories catalogue), threatening. Look forward to seeing one in person.

  24. Tank says:

    It’s easier to sell a good looking bike with anemic performance (any Harley), than an ugly bike that kicks ass (B-King).

  25. Rocky V says:

    To me – the bike is great – the looks – not so much

    i’ve said it before – give me a Zrx 14

  26. Gary says:

    Great write up and nice pics. But my aging eyes are begging for a break from copy density. I suggest serif font and more leading, paragraph breaks and white space. Much more. Subhead would also be nice. And yes … I’m a veteran editor with tired eyes. I can’t help myself.

    • Tim C says:

      This blog is indeed nearly unreadable. Second!

      That said, leading – nice. “Dude – Can you even KERN?!”

    • Neal says:

      Cntrl + make the font as big as you’d like.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Thanks for the feedback. As editor, I should have broken up the long paragraphs on this article and added more photos – both now changed. We also decided to go ahead and debut a new, larger default font size and increased line spacing. What do you think?

      • Gary says:

        Better. Thanks, Dirck.

      • Tim C says:

        Honest feedback – Thanks for giving it a go, but the article font is really funky, too big at 100% and has a weird hard-to-see feel to it…

        I am on Windows, wonder if this looks way better on iSomething (or a phone for that matter)….

        • MGNorge says:

          Looks great on Win10. Never had too much trouble anyway. But it’s nice to mix it up some just cuz.

        • Gary says:

          I have always felt that serif font like Times Roman is superior for body copy. Save the sans serif for headlines. My two cents.

  27. Mark R says:

    Decepticons roll on out.

  28. Fabio says:

    After checking this bike out and doing a few comparisons the EBR 1190Sx is the bike!! Excuses and opinions will follow!!USA USA USA

  29. jdilpkle says:

    Dear Yamaha,
    ARE YOU OUT OF YOU MIND??? Did you design team take bets as to who could design the most absolute butt-uglest motorcycle on planet earth and spring it on the riding public? I’m serious. I’ve ridden for 40 years and have seen them all come and go, but MAN this one takes the cake for me. WOW. I wouldn’t care if it was the greatest handling bike in human history or had the perfect blend of top end hit and low end grunt, the only way I’d ride that mutated transformer is to ride it to a cliff (at night on a moonless night), shoot it (10 times), and then burn it (to the molecular level), and then grind up the remaining ashes and make the blind designers sprinkle them over their 8 day old sushi. On the other hand, maybe I’m overreacting after seeing a pristine CBX Honda six cylinder today at Newcombs Ranch.
    NOT.

  30. Provologna says:

    The only bike I rode making similar peak HP was a 1977 Suzuki GS1000 w/Mr. Turbo kit and water injection, tuned by the legendary Sandy Kosman and professionally built (gusseted chassis, huge 4-piston Lockheed race calipers, Godzilla stainless steel rotors, 4″ vertical seat cutout so you’d not be tossed off, turbo-specific cams (huge rise/no duration), 1100cc low-compression piston kit, rear race slick, laced alloy race rims, huge racing swing arm, etc, etc, etc.) Looked great: OEM deep metallic blue fuel tank w/horizontal stripe, gold anodized rims.

    That bike almost refused to idle, and acceleration below boost reminded me of my RD350’s low and mid range. But OMG, on boost, you’d swear you were hit by a train at speed. Four or five freeway lanes looked like my single track mountain bike trail. It wheelied at 70mph like a stocker in first gear.

    I’m sure this new Yamaha is at least 60-80 lbs lighter.

    All to say…..I have absolutely no idea on earth how could this Yamaha feel a little soft on the top end. Is another 30hp really that noticeable? How could anyone feel let down by 160hp?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I have yet to ride any of the latest and greatest sport bikes (and probably never will), but I thought they were awe-inspiring back when they were putting 150hp down at the rear wheel. “Tuned for Torque” used to be a synonym for disappointing – a process which usually took away a lot of power in exchange for only marginal gains in the midrange. Then suspensions and brakes were “tuned for cheap” to go along with it. But now that engines are making so much power, “tuned for torque” is a great thing. Have your cake and eat it too. Best of all, the bikes are getting great brakes and suspension pieces to go along with all of that power.

      I can’t wait to see what Honda is going to come out with 5 years from now to compete with today’s new standard elites.

      • Gham says:

        Quote”I can’t wait to see what Honda is going to come out with 5 years from now to compete with today’s new standard elites.”

        How (sadly) true

    • ben says:

      It could possibly be the electronics? I recently test rode a 2016 Speed Triple R and it also felt a tad bit soft up top, but I suspect that was the electronics keeping the front end in check. 😀

  31. jim says:

    What did this bike look like before the accident?

  32. stinkywheels says:

    It used to be, tuning a naked for midrange was a slap in the face. Now that these bikes have more than I can EVER use, it would be welcome. I was a big fan of the 919 in the day. I wish they had styled this more like it. I understand why they did it, but I can always hope for later versions to come my way.

  33. beasty says:

    The Johnny 5 styling is starting to grow on me, but I have toenail fungus, so what do I know. The buzzing at highway speeds would probably put me off as well as the feet under the ass riding position. Having calfs like Popeyes forearms makes that riding position very uncomfortable and I prefer the “old” style standard foot position. Seat height sucks also as I don’t see one 70 year old leg holding up 450 plus pounds. All that being said, I think Yamaha has a winner here. They’ll sell every one they make in short order for the first two production years distributed in the US. Seems like a very usable and fun bike.

  34. maynard says:

    Don’t worry guys, you know there is a retro/custom version in the works.

    • Scott says:

      Yep. Then everyone here can complain about how it doesn’t look EXACTLY like an XS1100…

  35. edpix says:

    Love the concept and most of the mechanical execution especially the crossplane I4, low weight and decent chassis but I HATE the styling and thats a deal breaker for me…

  36. BP in AZ says:

    Reminds me of my old K1200R…

  37. Josh says:

    “Being a federally mandated 45 mph the fines on it are hefty I hear.”

    Now you tell me. I’ve been over 100mph there in my VW Phaeton on a way to an airport runway event. Great road.

    • mickey says:

      google how much is a speeding ticket on the Blue Ridge Parkway and you will read things like this

      “Remember that speeding on the BRP is a federal offense, and tickets start somewhere on the other side of $1,000.00 and go up from there. A co-worker didn’t go to jail, but they relieved him of over $1,500.00 for driving 55.”

      • Tim C says:

        Speeding is already a victimless crime, and then on top of that because it’s a FEDERAL offense in this case they can jack the fine from “ok I’ll pay that I guess” to Ridiculous?

        Cute/ugh.

        Good to know this is a Thing though as I was thinking about riding thru RMNP soon, I bet the same applies to speeding there….

  38. Butch says:

    Begging for a single round headlight.
    Anyone who hasn’t witnessed the sound of this 4 cylinder Crossplane engine with an aftermarket can, needs to.
    Think Ferrari.
    My 2 cents.

  39. bmbktmracer says:

    Can you make 2 versions of this bike, please? One hideous origami version and one, sleek, sexy version. Let’s see which one sells better. The Yamahas of the 70s were really nice looking bikes. The RD400, XS750…all still look good to this day. I’m in the market for a new bike, and really like the engineering, but…my God man…the “styling”…

  40. Gene says:

    Too bad it didn’t have a better looking upper faring and more useful like the 1000 Ninja and GSX-S1000F. The original FZ1 fairing looked way better.

  41. Gutterslob says:

    Brakes seem to be a point of contention. Some complain about teh lack of feel and initial bite, while others sem to think they’re great. I wonder if it’s a matter of letting them bleed in a bit, or a manufacturing/calibration inconsistency of some sort, or perhaps some physical aspect like rider weight at play here.

  42. DucDynasty says:

    Great performance and very weird styling. Why oh why does it have to be this way?

  43. TF says:

    A suitable replacement for my 1100 Hypermotard? The 1098 Streetfighter, the Supeduke, and the Tuono have been calling to me like a trio of sirens……..

  44. mickey says:

    Sat on one the other day. Want to ride one badly. At my age I’m not a buyer anymore, but that wouldn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying a test ride. Loved my Gen 1 FZ-1..by the numbers this one sounds exactly 10 times better, and probably 2 or 3 times the bike I need. To quote Clint.. A man has to know his limitations.

    You are lucky you didn’t get nabbed on the BRP. Being a federally mandated 45 mph the fines on it are hefty I hear.

  45. xLaYN says:

    Dirck, Kent,
    You need to stop this nonsense of beautiful photos…. you make other websites and publications looks bad….
    Att.

    xLaYN