Feb 1 2010 Harriet Ridley
First shots of Yamaha FZ-8 and Fazer
AFTER teasing us for many months with snippets of information on its new FZ-8 and FZ-8 Fazer, Yamaha has finally treated us to more detail shots.
So far Yamaha's FZ series has comprised the 600cc FZ-6 and 1000cc FZ-1 naked machines, and FZ-6 Fazer and FZ-1 Fazer semi-faired versions.
These bikes are referred to as 'sports naked' because of their high specification and performance and general lack of fairing.
They're equipped with parts straight off Yamaha's flagship supersport and superbike machines. This means radial brakes and upside down forks, as well as the R6's engine in the FZ-6 and the R1's litre engine in the FZ-1, both detuned for improved midrange at the expense of top end to better suit the purpose of naked machines - i.e. road bikes with little or no fairings to protect from high-speed windblast.
Yamaha's consumer website www.yamaha-FZ8.com has been drip-feeding limited information on the FZ-8 ahead of the new model's release this spring.
The images confirm that the 600cc FZ-6 series models will be replaced by the larger capacity Yamaha - probably 800cc if the name's anything to go by.
But while the exact cylinder capacity is not yet confirmed, the engine will most certainly retain the four-cylinder layout of the current machine. Rather than being a new model from the ground up, the FZ-8 is more likely to be the FZ-6 with an updated chassis and the same engine made larger.
No doubt Yamaha is increasing the engine size of its smaller sports naked to stave off threats from Kawasaki's Z750, Aprilia's Shiver 750, the BMW F800R and even Triumph's 675cc Street Triple.
With the naked category now confirmed as the biggest-selling in the UK as well as many other countries, it's well worth the manufacturers' efforts to stay on top.