Used FZ1S go for just £3k
A near ‘miss’ back then, is the big Fazer a hit today?
What we said then
“Yamaha have two new Fazers for 2006 – the naked FZ1 and the faired FZ1 Fazer. They’re stylish, have a 150bhp R1 motor and are all new from the ground up – it’s just a shame that Yamaha messed up most of the things the Fazer became famous for in the first place. The new FZ1 Fazer isn’t a bad bike, it just isn’t a great one. You can tour, ride it fast or commute on it, exactly as Yamaha intended. It’s just that it falls short in some fundamental areas that a company as big and as great at building bikes as Yamaha should be ashamed of.” MCN launch report | February 1 2006
But what is it like now?
This model may be eight years old and super-nakeds may have since moved on, particularly with the advent of electronic rider aids, but in every other respect the Fazer is still a crisp, modern, purposeful roadster. I ran its naked sibling, the FZ1, for a year in 2010 and this dark blue 2008 Fazer with 16,000 miles on sale at Peterborough dealer Wheels (01733 358555) for £4495 reminds of that machine.
Slim, light and aggressive, the FZ duo were eagerly awaited successors to the FZS1000 and were true supernakeds based on the 2002 R1 engine and with a more sporty chassis. But they never lived up to that promise thanks to early bikes suffering from iffy fuelling and choppy suspension – even though both faults were soon rectified. And it was expensive.
Today, however, none of that matters. With the fuelling sorted and 150bhp it’s proper fast yet still tractable. The chassis is light and lithe, sharp steering and aggressive, the brakes are powerful and the ride sporty-firm but acceptable. And though the fairing and screen suggest it’s a practical all-rounder, in reality they’re so small as to barely make a difference. It’s a hooligan in sensible clothes.
Common faults explored
Being a 2008 model, the original fuelling problem will have been rectified via the ECU (there were a number of successive updates over the years) while 2007 models also got a lighter, softer rear spring to reduce the choppy ride and, on the evidence of my test ride, there were certainly no problems. Better still, despite a reputation for slightly iffy finish, with corrosion around the headers common, this example seems to have been meticulously maintained.
The Fazer (and FZ1) were always a little basic when new with many owners attempting to correct this with a variety of accessories. This one’s got more than most and, being quality, is all the better for it. So, not only is there Yamaha’s own bellypan, hugger and centrestand, this example also benefits from crash mushrooms, tail tidy, tank protector and even brand new tyres. Best of all, though, the whole bike belies its age and mileage by being in absolutely mint condition.
Back in 2007 the new FZS promised a lot and… didn’t quite deliver. That was partly due to the initial fuelling/ suspension issues and high price. But also partly to fairly basic spec and slightly oddball styling (I, for one, never did warm to those straight bars, for example). Time and familiarity have been kind, however. Fuelling and suspension have been sorted, the styling’s matured and as a used buy it can, like this example (and as long as it’s been looked after) be both well-specc’d and decent value. This dark blue bike may not be in the most exciting colour, but it’s a belting buy.
Clearly well looked after, this one’s a classy used buy
Exhaust Aftermarket silencers are common on Fazers but quality varies. Try to get the original thrown in
Accessories Mods on this bike include bellypan, hugger, tail tidy, mushrooms and more
Corrosion You need to check, especially round the front of the engine – this one’s better than many