Yamaha FZ-09 - Long-Term Test Intro

Meet the new guy.

Yamaha FZ-09 Long-Term test bike in-action

Sometimes you just want to add a certain long-term bike to the fleet because it’s so damn fun and useful. Other times it’s because maybe the bike has a few flaws you’d like to see addressed.

We added the FZ-09 for both reasons.

First, it’s one of the most fun motor­cycles on the market. Killer engine per­formance comes with great sound, a comfortable riding position, and the bike is an excellent value. But we also think it could use a few refinements. Throttle response can be pretty abrupt in A or Standard mode, suspension damping and springing leave something to be desired, and we thought we’d work on some wind protection and utility mods.

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 on the CW Dynojet dyno:

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Dyno Chart

Turns out the bike is so new there isn’t much available. But we did get a Bazzaz Performance Z-Fi fuel-injection controller with traction control and quickshifter ($849.95). This widely adjustable unit is geared toward racing, with tunable-per-gear TC intervention and quickshifter kill-time settings, but why should racers have all the fun? The cost is nothing to sniff at, but there’s a lot of value here. The TC was great to have during a bout of rainy weather and the quickshifter makes for great blasts up through the gears with this great-sounding three-cylinder engine.

Our main goal—to improve and smooth throttle response—was achieved, and the tunability will be useful when we install an aftermarket exhaust system. As it was, both curves showed small increases across the whole rev range. Peak output went from 107.2 hp to 108.7, with torque improved from 61.5 pound-feet to 62.6.

One refinement down and a couple more to go on what is otherwise one of the most entertaining motorcycles we’ve ever tested.

PRICE AS TESTED (2014)|$7990

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