Practical Sportsbikes (UK)
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Dodgy tanks: Yamaha may has well have constructed the tank from tin foil or cheese – they’d certainly have been more robust. Rot is a real issue, especially along the lower seams (the left side being the worst, particularly if the bike is left on its side stand for long periods). If an FZ’S been kept in a damp shed or, worse, outside, expect tank rot to be an issue. Valve clearances: The FZ may have four more inlet valves than your average superbike, but they don’t need adjusting for the first 28,000 miles. After that it’s every 24K. Even then, it’s usually only the inlet valves that require attention.
High mileage: FZ motors are generally robust. Oil consumption is nothing to worry about as long it’s not excessive. North of 60K be mindful of the output shaft bearing – they can fail, and when they do it’s an engine out job.
Upgrades: FZS respond favourably to mods – both motor and chassis – and many later, higher spec Yamaha parts bolt on without much agg. Handling and braking can be improved massively, by fitting
FZR1000 EXUP wheels, brakes and swingarm. You’ll need the correct spacers, but it’s all do-able. With the motor, an FZR1000 Genesis top end fits the six-speed FZ bottom end, giving 911cc on 2MG and later models (earlier 1FN models, with their 1.5mm shorter conrods need crankcase mods, and the later rods fitted, to make the conversion work). Sticking brakes: No matter whether your FZ runs the early opposed piston calipers, or the later Sumitomo 4-pots, they’re both susceptible to water ingress and corrosion creeping behind the seals. Yearly inspection and service is the only way to guarantee consistent performance. Triumph 4-pots bolt straight on for a quick and easy fix.