2014 Yamaha FZ-09

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2014 Yamaha FZ-09

"Naked" sportbike features a revolutionary 850 cc, triple cylinder engine with a cross-plane crank which provides awesome engine torque and feel along with a unique pulse and sound. Its slim design provides an overall light in weight and a nimble ride unlike any other.

The FZ-09’s crossplane triple has a different arrangement. Each crankpin is offset 120 degrees from the next, and the three cylinders fire sequentially (1-2-3) in even 240-degree intervals. The liquid-cooled, fuel-injected in-line triple displaces 847cc and has an 11.5:1 compression ratio, dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. To enhance sound and feel throughout the rev range, the airbox has a built-in resonator and staggered-length intake funnels. Plated cylinders, forged aluminum pistons and cylinders offset by 5mm reduce friction and boost torque, which is said to be 65 lb-ft at the crank. Similar to the R1, Yamaha’s YCC-T throttle-by-wire enables three Drive Mode throttle maps (Standard, A and B) and a stacked 6-speed transmission saves space.

The torquey triple is eager and willing, ready for jackrabbit starts and one-wheeled tomfoolery. Intake growls and exhaust snarls are addictive, encouraging hit after hit of throttle. The FZ-09 cruises smoothly at highway speeds, but some high-pitched buzz can be felt through the grips and pegs. Though not as troublesome when running the stop-n-go urban obstacle course, on the smoother, flowing canyon roads we rode on the second day, the FZ-09’s abrupt on/off throttle response became frustrating, an issue compounded by heavy engine braking in the lower gears. Of the three Drive Modes, “B” has the softest throttle response, “A” is the quickest and “Standard” is in the middle. “A” was downright unpleasant, “Standard” was slightly less so and “B” was better but still not as smooth and linear as the FZ8.

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