The latest evolution of the Yamaha FZ1, introduced back in 2006, builds on the features and dynamic qualities of the original while adding genuine excitement. It's a standard sport bike from the purest tradition, one that loves to hit twists and turns to showcase its superiority over less aggressive models.
|The FZ1 delivers the kind of performance that puts some radical, mostly track-oriented superbikes to shame. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Moto123.com)
In a lineup that also includes the small, rider-friendly FZ6R
and the versatile yet sporty Fazer 8, the bigger, more powerful FZ1 serves as a true sport bike designed for the road. With a stiffer suspension, better damping, and a frame-engine combo derived from the 2005 R1, it delivers the kind of performance that puts some radical, mostly track-oriented superbikes to shame.
The 2011 Yamaha FZ1
inspires confidence thanks to predictable handling in any situation. Whether simply riding from point A to point B, cruising down a nice country road or picking up speed to have a little fun, this machine admirably behaves and obeys your commands, even on rough pavement.
Is there anything new to write about the R1-derived engine? This four-cylinder has all the ingredients you want, including an electronic injection system, double overhead camshafts and five valves per cylinder. A few modifications have made it more versatile, such as a slightly-lower compression ratio, re-calibrated camshafts that improve torque, a heavier crankshaft and revised gear ratios that reduce engine speed on the highway and match the road-oriented powerband more closely.
Rigorous and engaging
The chassis is equally interesting, with a rigid, die-cast aluminum frame that puts the engine well in front to provide the necessary room for the extended, die-cast aluminum swingarm. A 43-millimetre inverted fork and dual 320-millimetre discs clamped by four-piston callipers complete the package. ABS brakes are strangely absent from the Canadian model, though.
The natural yet dynamic riding position perfectly meets the FZ1's philosophy. Comfortable by sport bike standards, it took me to the cottage for a four-hour ATV trip and all the way back home after a total of 800 kilometres without any excess fatigue.
|The natural yet dynamic riding position perfectly meets the FZ1's philosophy. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Moto123.com)