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MD 2015 Bike of the Year Awards: Honorable Mention to the Yamaha YZF-R1 and the Yamaha FZ-07


2015 Yamaha YZF-R1

A bit later today, we will be posting a story on MD’s 2015 Bike of the Year (stay tuned), but there are two very deserving machines that get honorable mention.  Two Yamahas, in fact, the YZF-R1 and the FZ-07.

The new R1 is, in a word, spectacular. In the superbike category, which many manufacturers had been ignoring in recent years, Yamaha pulled out all the stops to set a new standard. Handling, power delivery and enough electronic aides to make a rider feel comfortable racing at a high level, it is more than a “shot across the bow”. It is a direct hit. You can see our final installment from the R1 press launch here.

When Yamaha announced it was bringing the FZ-07 to the U.S. market for 2015, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a test unit. Lighter and more powerful than Suzuki’s venerable SV650, the FZ-07 did not disappoint. Stable, yet flickable. Bargain priced and frugal, yet offering plenty of performance for experienced riders. The FZ-07 proved to be the entertaining partner during our Tour of Norway. You can see our full review of the FZ-07 here.

Congratulations to Yamaha!


2015 Yamaha FZ-07

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  1. Axle says:

    I would think the R1 transmission recall is big enough industry news to warrant an article of its own?

  2. JT says:

    IMO, the R1 doesn’t deserve honorable mention. Two major safety recalls on the bike for the rear shock and second gear. Great job Yamaha.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I saw that. The transmission recall is going to be hugely expensive for them. Still, they are fixing the problem, and I don’t think that takes away from what they’ve accomplished with the R1.

      • Dave says:

        Let’s not forget, Suzuki recalled a couple hundred thousand GSXR’s for a *front brake failure* risk. Still, can’t argue with the success that bike has had.

        Riding bikes like this at their intended performance levels is a big risk in itself.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “Riding bikes like this at their intended performance levels is a big risk in itself.”

          No kidding. My chances of falling off during the general scope of use are much higher than a low-side from a transmission lock-up.

      • Don says:

        If you had a new R1 with a nice fat payment book, how would you feel about some unknown quantity at the dealership taking your bike apart to fix the tranny? Will it get re-assembled the same way it was built at the factory originally? I got rid of a brand new Yamaha VMax after receiving a recall from Yamaha for an oil pump problem. How many local mechanics have been that deep into the guts of a highly technical bike like a new R1? The guy/gal might be practicing on your bike – doing that job for the very first time.

        • Scott says:

          Depends on your dealer. I would have no problem letting my Yamaha dealer rebuild my engine, but YMMV. You could always ask them who’s going to be doing the work, and what their credentials are. Don’t assume that anyone wrenching at a dealership has to be a teenager fresh out of MMI…

          Besides, who built the faulty engine in the first place? A billion dollar corporation with some of the best technology available on the planet! Stuff happens…

  3. WJF says:

    I don’t get out of bed for anything less than continent crossing adventure, 200 bhp, with active suspension, all the electronic aids, 10 gallon tank, 60-degree lean angle capable, luggage capacity to carry a small family inside, it weighs less than 300 pounds, and gets 60 mph, cost is no object…..and bold new graphics.

    • Scott says:

      You lost me at “cost is no object”. I want all of the above for under $9K out the door!

      And don’t forget, it has to be beautiful beyond words, yet functional and practical…

  4. mickey says:


    the Hyosung will stomp the jap bikes in the 1/4 mile and costs much less. You can get parts cheaper and faster, it never needs warranty work and no recalls ever. How could it not be bike of the year?

    I’m actually a little surprised at the FZ07 getting mentioned. The one I test rode vibrated badly thru the footpegs, seat, tank bars. Throw in the weird mirrors, the swinging bar graph tach, the wonky switches. It’s redeeming virtue is it’s price I guess, but I found the Suzuki SV 650 much better and the Kaw 650 LT even better although limited in scope since it’s not a naked.

    • Kent says:

      Jap bikes?
      F### man, join the 20th century, mmmkay? Do you really say Jap?

      • mickey says:

        Sorry I was quoting (more or less verbatim as best my aging memory allows) a Hyosung fan who used to post here frequently and was actually meant to go with the posts of the bottom of the page below Scotts post. No intent to disparage or insult. I have 5 Hondas.

        Dang just reported myself again, trying to edit. Arrrgghh

      • KenHoward says:

        He’s being sarcastic, Kent (mimicking a well-known (and reviled) thankfully-former commenter).

  5. Dino says:

    no tank seams (visible) or beaks… Good choice!

  6. Cory says:

    What not the Grom? Lol.

  7. Mick says:

    They have cheap but effective, enough, suspension. The engine is a winner. No question. They are the next cult bike for sure. Fools will ignore them in droves thinking the 09 is a better bike and be wrong IMO.

    It’s a street bike gentleman. It doesn’t need a million horsepower.

  8. Brian jusczak says:

    It has to be the Ducati scrambler

  9. randy says:

    FZ-07 all the way.quality bike for little $$.Covers a broad range of riders.

  10. Jeremy in TX says:

    I’m betting Dirck goes with the Versys 1000 as MD’s 2015 Bike of the Year.

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