Exciting news for the lot of us that have been eagerly awaiting news about what the guys over at Yamaha has in store for the new crossplane triple that they announced back in 2012. We got word just last night that the FZ-09 is on it’s way! This is going to be the naked sportbike that is taking the place of the FZ8 that will be laid to rest in 2013. In 2014, the newest bike out of Japan, will be featuring that brand new liquid cooled 847cc, in-line 3 cylinder motor.
This setup is similar to that of the Triumph Speed and Street Triples that have been tearing up the streets for many years now. Yamaha’s newest motor will feature DOHC, 12-valves , and be fuel injected. With the new crossplane setup, they are expecting to see loads of torque. Yamaha intends on having linear torque development based on the twist of the rider’s right hand. They claim that the 3 cylinder setup will provide performance and smoothness that will place this new motor in it’s logical position between the 2 and 4-cylinder powerplants. With good low end and mid-range power coming from the 3 cylinders, it should have smooth and vibration free operation coming from between your knees thanks, in part to their primary coupled-force balancer that is set to opposite time of the crankshaft.
It looks like the new motor is going to bring a friend with it from Japan in the form of a new, more compact 6-speed transmission. This transmission is boasting optimized gear ratios to efficiently deliver all the torque the new motor is going to develop to the chain, through the wheel, to the tire, and down to the ground that is now behind you.
The new bike will feature the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) that will be nervously waiting for the input of your right hand, so that it can run that information down to the ECU where it will decide the best possible throttle valve opening based on engine RPM, and the angle of your right wrist. Small adjustments will be continually made by a servo motor actuator moving the throttle valve controlling the intake airflow to further contribute to your feeling of torque under your butt as you blitz through the gears.
Another fun bit of kit is the Yamaha D-Mode that will allow you to switch between different maps on the fly while you are riding to adapt to the style of riding that you are doing, or your riding style. This means that you will have 3 switchable throttle valve control modes in the ECU at the flip of a handlebar mounted switch. You will be able to switch between the “STD” mode that is setup to be your go to map for a wide range of riding and riding conditions. Hence the “standard” denotation. This mode is set to give the rider the feeling of torque all the way from low speeds, through the range into higher speeds. Then we get into the mode that I assume most of these bikes will stay in for most of their lives, “A” Mode. A Mode is tuned to give a sharper throttle response while still delivering the feeling of torque through the rev and speed range. Lastly, there is the much tamer “B” Mode. This has a milder throttle response setup than even the STD Mode for the casual ride with the girlfriend clinging to your back.
The overall bike is setup to have a light and neutral riding position that is upright and while maintaining a sporty feel. A much more narrow saddle will help to alleviate some hip discomfort on long rides.
The forks will be sporting an inverted fork with 41mm inner tubes and giving up 5.4 inches in it’s travel throw. It will have adjustments for spring preload as well as rebound dampening. Out back the boys at Yamaha put a linked-type Monocross shock that is positioned below the seat for an almost completely horizontal alignment. This results in a slimmer design and a reduction in mass outrigging. The rear end will also feature adjustments for spring preload as well as rebound dampening, and give up 5.1 inches in it’s trek from top to bottom.
For binding up the 10 spoke lightweight aluminium wheels and 120/70ZR17 front tire, the front will feature two floating 298mm discs with 4 pot calipers. The rear tire will be a meaty 180/55ZR17.
Now for the bad news... Or in the case of the FZ-09, the fantastic news! This slim, torn down, naked street bike with 847cc’s, 6-gears, electronic fuel injection, gobs of torque can find it’s way between your legs for the comparatively small sum of $7,990. This hits your wallet $900 less than the model that it succeeds, and over $1400 less than the closest triple over at the Triumph dealer. And you get more cc’s! The deal of the year right here. For this meager price you are forced to do without a few things like ABS, but with legislation requiring things of the like in the coming years, this will likely become a rider’s bike from the days before the nanny state made sure you couldn’t kill yourself in yet one more way. I think I may just want to get a ride on this little monster to see if Yamaha has built the torquey little racer that they are claiming. And lets see what else this little powerplant finds itself in over the next few years. I am sure that they wouldn’t build a new engine for a singular bike.
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