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Remembering The 2011 Yamaha FZ8

2011 Yamaha FZ8

The 2011 Yamaha FZ8 was built as the ideal size compromise between the small 600 cc motorcycle and the large 1000 cc for riders who wanted something somewhere in the middle. Yamaha manufacturers answer the consumers' call by bringing forth an aggressive design that is more powerful than their 600 cc series, but not sharing the behemoth characteristics of the 1200 cc series. At the timing of the 2011 Yamaha FZ8's release, the starting price tag was at $8,490 USD. What made this particular motorcycle line so special was the 779 cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-valve, and inline 4-cylinder engine design. This enabled a smooth, yet powerful delivery that enabled the rider to enjoy the torque's performance at a low to medium revs per minute (rpm) range. The bike's capability to produce 106 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 60 pounds per foot at 8,000 rpm with a close-ratio 6-speed transmission had ideal ratios for the overall performance of the engine's output.

Yamaha's Wisdom

In order to achieve the 2011 Yamaha FZ8 to become what is classified today as a legendary motorcycle, Yamaha ventured into the unconventional design of an engine that would serve as a solid bridge between their 600 cc models and the 1200 cc models. This new engine was fuel injected and used a throttle valve and a sub-throttle that was electronically controlled as a means to provide better control over the airflow volume. Its cylinder bodies featured a bore and stroke at 68.0 mm (2.68 inches) by 53.6 m (2.11 inches). The readings on the engine's rpm and throttle opening are processed in real-time by the ECU, which is operated by a then-new stepping motor to control sub-throttle valves and optimize efficiency during each part of the rev range. Yamaha's introductory Z28 also featured a 7.8-liter airbox, capable of producing a performant spread of torque throughout the rev range.

Sleek Muscle

The chassis design of the Yamaha 2011 FZ8 features a minimized aluminum torsion design that allows a high rigid, low weight performance. This enabled the bike to smoothly handle high speeds, allowing the rider to turn corners with confidence. Another feature is the CF aluminum die-cast swing arm, which helped enhance the rear suspension's effectiveness to maintain a smooth ride. The front end suspension features a pair of upside-down forks, running 43 mm (1.69 inches) inner tubes while the rear suspension uses a linked Monocross unit, providing a soft and light suspension near the top of the stroke in order to better deal with uneven ground surfaces. The improved cushioning optimally compressed the shock, allowing for cleaner handling whenever turning sharp corners. The Yamaha FZ8 also features 310 mm (12.2-inch) floating disc brakes with twin four-piston monoblock calipers and a single 267 mm (10.51-inch) rear disk, allowing more efficient stopping power. Both the naked 2011 Yamaha FZ8 and the semi-faired Fazer8 models both feature the automatic braking system (ABS). Characterized as an 800-class motorcycle, the Yamaha 2011 FZ8 adopted the characteristics of their Yamaha YZF-R1 series to bring forth the sporty technology of their well-respected sportbikes. By compacting, yet optimizing the engine specifics, the FZ8 succeeds in bringing their tamer 600 cc models to meet in the middle with the wilder 1200 cc giants.

Cool Customization

Upon the introduction of the 2011 Yamaha FZ8, there were several options made available to the rider to customize their motorcycle to best suit their personal preferences. They include;

  • Higher widescreen for the Fazer8 model
  • Stylish flyscreen for the FZ8
  • Seat Cover
  • Sub-cowling
  • Rear Carrier
  • 46-liter top case
  • Passenger backrest for 46-liter top case
  • Inner bag for 46-liter top case
  • Grip heaters MC 120
  • Passenger grab bars for the FZ8
  • Main Stand
  • Radiator Cover
  • Engine Guards
  • Roller Protectors
  • Stylish License Plate Holder
  • Tankpad
  • LED indicators in black, chrome, or simulated carbon
  • TF Touring Tank Bag for the Fazer8
  • TF City Tank for the FZ8
  • Further Breakdown
  • Model Number - FZ8NAB
  • Engine Type - 779 ccs liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16 valves
  • Bore x Stroke - 68x53.6 mm
  • Compression Ratio - 12.0:1
  • Fuel Delivery - Fuel Injection
  • Ignition - Digital TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition with 32-bit ECU
  • Transmission: 6-speed: multiple wet clutch
  • Final Drive - O-ring Chain
  • Front Suspension - 5.1-in travel
  • Rear Suspension - 5.1-in travel
  • Front Brakes - Dual 310 mm hydraulic discs
  • Rear Brakes - 267 mm disc
  • Front Tire - 120/70-ZR17
  • Rear Tire - 180/55-ZR17
  • Length by Width by Height (inches) - 84.3 x 30.3 x 41.9
  • Seat Height - 32.1 inches
  • Ground Clearance - 5.5 inches
  • Wheelbase - 57.5 inches
  • Caster Angle Rake - 25.0"
  • Trail - 109 mm
  • Fuel Capacity - 4.5 gallons
  • Estimated Fuel Economy - 39.8 miles per gallon
  • Wet Weight - 467 pounds
  • Color - Raven

Critical Reviews

According to Motorcycle's review, the 2011 Yamaha FZ8 was more potent than the BMW F800R that came out at the same time, which they consider are two motorbikes most closely matched to each other when it boils down to overall performance. After Ultimate Motorcycling first tested the Yamaha 2011 FZ8, points out how Yamaha looked to the Europeans to improve fuel economy performance during an era where financial issues were so unstable. It is also pointed out how the FZ8 models are considerably lighter than the previous FZ series, which also adds to the motorcycle's reputation for answering the call to become a more performant, yet more economical road-worthy sportbike. MotoUSA shares a quick YouTube review of Yamaha's 2011 FZ8, by briefly showing how it handles the road, as well as sharing color and pricing information. A more in-depth review of the Yamaha 2011 FZ8 by Srkcycles focuses on the differences between this particular model and Yamaha's FZ07 series. While there are many similarities between these two different motorcycle lines, there are also many notable differences. By the time the reviewer is finished with his analysis of the FZ8, it appears he now has a new favorite.

2011 Yamaha FZ8 Legacy

The 2011 Yamaha FZ8 motorcycles took the best of the 600 cc world and the 1200 cc world to carve out its own personality. A formula that has worked well, this approach not only appeased the consumers who wanted a sporty motorcycle that served as a bridge between the large and the small but laid out a whole new standard of "meet me in the middle" machines that catered to a much broader audience.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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