Used FZ1S go for just £3k

A near ‘miss’ back then, is the big Fazer a hit to­day?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week in MCN - By Phil West MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

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.

Qual­ity extras

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.

Af­fec­tion rekin­dled

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

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