The suspension is noticeably softer than the R1, which will be good news for anyone who has ridden an R1 on the street. The FZ-10 didn’t give me the razor sharp feel of an R1, but it’s totally worth it for the comfort gained—and it still handles well enough to slay corners all day long and never get bored. Ergos are a big part of the comfort, too. I’ll have to wait for us to get actual measurements in our shop, but the riding position reminded me most of a KTM 1290 Super Duke R. Not as narrow in the middle as the Super Duke, but lots of legroom and a perfectly sporty reach to the handlebar.
The triple clamps hold perfectly positioned tapered handlebars that set your hands about shoulder-width apart. The footpegs are slightly forward and lower than the R1, but not by much, so the FZ-10 is still a hard-core sportbike. The seat is very comfortable and Yamaha made the effort to reduce the forward slope, which certainly helps.
The headlight and mini cowl (that reduces buffeting well) are frame-mounted to take weight off the front for lighter steering and improved front end feel according to Yamaha; I had absolute confidence in the front end, so I don’t doubt the claim. Overall, the riding position is very seated-in and the tank rises in front of you, so I felt nicely integrated with the bike. After a hard-riding day of 170 miles of super-twisties, I had very few aches and pains, and felt like I could do it all again.
When you consider how much of the remarkable Yamaha R1 superbike is included in the 2017 Yamaha FZ-10, how closely they are related, and that Cruise Control and a 12vDC outlet socket are included too, then the price ($12,999) is even more amazing. The FZ-10 comes in two colors—Armor Gray with neon wheels, and Matte Raven Black.
There’s been a dramatic shift in the way us riders spend our money over the past few years. We’re buying less superbikes and more nakedbikes, bikes that are a more jack-of-all-trades style compared to the narrow focus seen from behind an R1 screen. Nakedbikes fit this bill perfectly, a statement Yamaha knows the truth of only too well thanks to the rock-star popularity of the FZ-09 and FZ-07.
Superbikes now are so **** fast but for the most part stupidly uncomfortable, and I can’t for the life of me think why big-bore nakedbike sales are not higher in the U.S. than they currently are—have a ride on an Aprilia Tuono 1100 or a KTM 1290 Super Duke R and tell me they’re not utterly awesome.
But those are expensive Euro bikes and at $12,999, Yamaha’s FZ-10 gives you quite a big bang (sorry, couldn’t help myself) for your buck. The engine has been revised for the more low-down torque you need on the street, the fully-adjustable KYB suspension is softer and more compliant to deal with the kind of roads Yamaha hopes you’ll take the FZ-10 on, there’s traction control, ABS and cruise control, and the ergonomics are such you’ll be able to cover huge miles very quickly in divine comfort.
But what of that face? If you’re into Terminator, I’m sure you’ll find favor in the sharp accents and glaring, bug-eye headlights. But if you’re a retro guy, this thing will look appalling. Already the comments are flowing on Facebook, and it seems pretty split down the middle. One thing you can’t deny is the Yamaha FZ-10 is probably the most futuristic-looking bike on sale today, and even though I thought it horrendous when I saw the first pictures last year, I have to admit the look has started to grow on me. Even more so after I rode it. Oh, and I love the yellow wheels. Those things look bitchin.
While trying to get my brain warmed up, I fired up the bike to get that warmed up, too. I revved the engine a bit and thought: “Whoa! The FZ-10 sounds nice!”
Yamaha used the YZF-R1’s engine as the base for the FZ-10. It has same cross-plane crankshaft, 998cc inline four engine. This cross-plane design reduces engine inertia to provide a more direct connection between the throttle and rear wheel. This, in turn, affords great traction as well as a more linear torque feeling. It also comes fuel injection with YCC-T — Yamaha’s chip controlled throttle, which helps provide a smoother and more controlled power delivery — and a six-speed assist and slipper clutch.
Specifically new to the FZ-10 are the combustion chamber, intake ports and valves, forged aluminum pistons, camshafts, and compression ratio — 12:0:1 in contrast to the R1’s 13:0:1. It also has a larger 12-liter airbox and the shorter gearing than the R1. The result? A bike that produces low to mid-range torque and that’s fun to ride on the streets.
Yamaha used the YZF-R1’s engine as the base for the FZ-10. It has same cross-plane crankshaft, 998cc inline four engine. This cross-plane design reduces engine inertia to provide a more direct connection between the throttle and rear wheel. This, in turn, affords great traction as well as a more linear torque feeling. It also comes fuel injected with YCC-T — Yamaha’s chip controlled throttle, which helps provide a smoother and more controlled power delivery — and a six-speed assist and slipper clutch.
Specifically new to the FZ-10 are the combustion chamber, intake ports and valves, forged aluminum pistons, camshafts, and compression ratio — 12:0:1 in contrast to the R1’s 13:0:1. It also has a larger 12-liter airbox and the shorter gearing than the R1. The result? A bike that produces low to mid-range The FZ-10 produces 81.8 ft-lb torque with max power at 9,000 rpm and a redlines of 12,900 rpm. If you’ve never ridden a bike that makes power at the lower end of the power band, you really need to. This bike has pep to its step, which will easily make your morning commute not so dreadful.
Either way, Yamaha did a great job with this engine; it sounds nice and provides what I call giggle-in-your-helmet power. Despite zero hours of sleep, riding the FZ-10 made me feel like I got a full eight hours.orque and that’s fun to ride on the streets.
The FZ-10’s distinctive robotronic headlights with heavy brows are frame-mounted for improved high-speed handling, and feature a small wind cowl that provides real wind deflection. On the backside of the wind cowl is an outlet for powering heated riding gear, charging a smartphone, and such.
The FZ-10’s distinctive robotronic headlights with heavy brows are frame-mounted for improved high-speed handling, and feature a small wind cowl that provides real wind deflection. On the backside of the wind cowl is an outlet forThe nice, big LCD display screen shows everything, and is without an analogue sister tachometer. Displayed are: Speed, rpm, Shift Light, Gear Position Fuel Gauge, TCS, Drive Mode, Air Temp, Engine Coolant Temp, Odometer, Dual Tripmeters, Fuel Reserve Tripmeter, and Instantaneous and Average Fuel Consumption. It’s a magical display in that it shows nearly all of these things simultaneously, and they are all easy to find, difficult to confuse with each other, and big enough for the semi-blind to see.
Speaking about rider aids, the three Drive-Modes are STD, A, and B. Yes, that’s an odd choice of designations, but considering all the good things about this bike it’s a joy that Yamaha did one thing weird for us to needlessly harp on. Anyway, STD is the friendliest drive mode, B is the most aggressive, and A is in between.
Traction control has four settings to choose from, and they are named 1, 2, 3, 4. 1 is least intrusive, 3 is for wet roads, and 4 is off. Please remember that 4 is not 3, and that 4 is basically -6, so don’t confuse those two. I’ve not mentioned what 2 is for because it’s a concept that’s impossible to explain. Think of it as caramel swirl when what you might desire was maple walnut.
Buttons? Did someone say “Buttons”? Amazingly, Yamaha has now likely exceeded all other manufacturers’ button counts, yet manages to do it in a clear, easy-to-use design for humans with normal-sized digits. Since doing reviews requires us to ride many bikes with many electronic options and many modes we can get confused. The success of Yamaha’s design is that the rider is not required to first scroll through a menu list, select the function desired, and then make a change to that function. On the FZ-10 the D-Modes, TC, Cruise Control, Blinkers, Highbeams, Horn, and Four-Way Flashers, all have their own buttons, and they are all in reasonable reach of that super-digit we share exclusively with primates and raccoons. It’s only the starter and kill switch that combine functions, which happens to also be a sensible design.powering heated riding gear, charging a smartphone, and such.
Unlike most manufacturers, Yamaha develops and designs its own electronic systems, resulting in differences in function and feel. But with the Yamaha Chip-Controlled Throttle (YCCT), the TC is smooth by virtue of the system overriding the rider’s throttle position choices, and it using the EFI butterflies rather than the dated means of interrupting fuel or ignition. YCCT also manages the D-Modes, altering throttle response. In each of the three modes peak power is the same and the only noticeable difference to the rider is the power delivery during throttle changes at low rpm. TC and D-mode settings can be altered on the fly, with the throttle closed. More complicated settings require the bike to be stopped.
Cruise control, located on the left switch block, has a separate on/off button and a toggle for setting/resume. It ‘s a cinch to operate and it only functions in 4th through 6th gears, and can only be set at speeds between 31 and 112 mph, which is more than reasonable. Had I known that while riding I totally would have tried the upper setting. “Look ma, no…” Like other cruise-control systems, the smoothest release is by turning the throttle "more off," which is to say simply rolling the twistgrip forward while cruising.