Yamaha FZ-1 Sneaky Peaky

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
When we first showed you Yamaha's FZ-1 (it was still called the Fazer at that point as it will be when it is released in Europe) nobody from Yamaha would say if the bike would ever make it to our shores or not. But, the readers cried long and loud. Yamaha, cracking from the pressure, gave you what you wanted.

Well, MO just got back from Spain (Seville and Cadiz, near the GP track in Jerez), site of the world-wide press intro for the newest Yamaha. Read on for a sneaky peaky...

Not surprisingly, both the black and blue versions handle equally well.So, with Yamaha's billing the FZ-1 as an R1 for the real-world, the first question out of everybody's mouth is, "is it as fast as an R1?"

Sorry, ol' boy. Not gonna happen. But that does not, by any means, infer that the bike is slow. It's just that, with fewer horses prancing around in that "re-worked" motor that has to propel something that weighs more than the R1 by close to 50-pounds, you have to be realistic with both your expections and day-dreams.

In a nutshell, the bike is fast. It feels substantially lighter and "zippier" than Suzuki's Bandit 1200S. But it may lag behind El Bandito in a few areas we'll delve into in the test. The Styling is beautiful, really. Most people think it looks better in person than in photos. Both the blue and black got thumbs up, each offering up a seemingly different attitude. The ergos are nice (more later) and the bike seems well thought out.

Snap it up in first, or second, and ride it a while, looking around. It's all in a few day's work in Spain, really.The chassis is a nice piece, as well. It wasn't as sporty as we thought it might be, but it was good (more later here, too). Fully adjustable suspension and good brakes made bumpy Spanish roads less of a chore than they might have been otherwise.

Yamaha even gave us a preview of some accessories that they've already made and will be selling for the F-Zed when it becomes available. This bike looks like a good platform to start with, whether your final goal is sportier or more touring-oriented than what Yamaha rolled off the assembly line.

So, until Friday, take a look at the photos and enjoy the preview. You now know more than most people will about this bike for a long time. Buenos noches from Spain.

Note: Eagle-eyed readers will notice the blue bike in the two-bike photo sports the "Fazer" moniker in place of the "FZ-1" livery that will be standard in the U.S. The photo shoot got rather chaotic with some Euros, Canadians (yes, they're foreign to us, too) and Americans grabbing any bike they could when the scrable for available photographers was on.

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Brent Avis
Brent Avis

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