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We’ve had lots of seat time on the FZ-09, and this sub-$8K naked bike has so much spirit, soul, and performance that the next time I rolled on the throttle riding a Honda NC700X, all I heard was the sound of quiet desperation.
We know the NC700X isn’t meant to be the same thing, but you just can’t help make the comparison because these bikes are going after the same entry rung and are just too close in price to ignore.
But there is no doubt the FZ-09 is the enthusiast’s choice. Wicked fast in a straight line, this Yamaha triple blasts through the quarter-mile in 10.66 seconds. That’s only a few ticks off our trio of exotics leading this Year of the Naked section and barely behind the Monster 1200 S, Speed Triple R, and Z1000, all of which cost considerably more.
Folks, we are talking mid-10s from a $7,990 motorcycle. And it’s not just the 107 hp and 62 pound-feet of torque the bike makes on the CW Dynojet dyno; it’s the fact that there are 43 pound-feet at just 2,000 revs and an excellent clutch that makes firing out the hole so easy. A 396-pound dry weight doesn’t hurt either.
Steering is very good, the riding position ultra comfortable, and overall handling is held back only by the suspension, which suggests “lowest bidder.” The spring-preload- and rebound-damping-adjustable fork and shock run short of composure, even with rebound cranked to max. Eh, be smooth and start considering upgrades (we’ll update you in the next FZ-09 long-term-test installment soon).
There are plenty of reasons to peel greenbacks out of your wallet for bikes like the BMW S1000R, but if you don’t have the funds, the FZ-09 and its new FZ-07 stablemate mean you have not been left out of the naked-bike revolution.
Sophisticated new bodywork and special components add a new edge to the MT-09 Street Tracker’s credibility.
Beautifully crafted aluminium number plates, two-tone flat seat and knee grips complete the authentic urban scrambler look – wide foot pegs that improve high speed cornering add to the performance, proving that this style is not just for show.
The new MT-09 Street Tracker delivers perfect proportions on the street with a stylish and sophisticated design that pays homage to the authentic flat track heroes of yesterday with a modern take. Carbon front fender and a billet handlebar tensioner add a touch of class.
Looks like Ari and motorcyclist magazine are putting some miles on their FZ09 test sled. The article briefly mentions some of the twitchy throttle issues and fixes that have already been worked out on this forum a long time ago
Originally Posted by Ari Henning
WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2014): $7,990
Mods: Flash-Tune ECU reflash, Galfer brake lines and pads, Maxima brake fluid
As Marc pointed out in his April editorial, some ride-by-wire throttle systems fail to deliver on the promise of perfect response. The FZ-09 is an example of a flawed attempt, so improving the bike's throttle response was high on my list.
Flash-Tune is a California-based company pioneering the reprogramming of stock ECUs via some pretty groundbreaking software. Yamahas are Flash-Tune's specialty, so I rode the FZ over to its headquarters in Orange, California, where owner Chris Gardell reflashed the FZ's ECU in an effort to smooth the bike's off/on and on/off throttle response. The process took less than an hour and was as simple as removing the ECU from under the tank and plugging it into a computer—there's no expensive hardware to buy and install. Flash-Tune has the ability to alter fuel and spark curves, engine braking, and the rev limit, along with a dozen other parameters. The software is a tuner's dream, and is available for download via Flash-Tune's website, ftecu.com. Reflashing the FZ-09's ECU costs $200 and is available as a mail-in service, typically with a one-day turnaround.
FZ09.org is not associated with Yamaha in any way. We are an enthusiast site dedicated to the Yamaha FZ-09 motorcycle. Our goal is to offer a place for Yamaha FZ09 owners to discuss rides, events, mods, maintenance, purchasing, etc and offer help and assistance.