Used Test: Yamaha Fazer 1000

Eagerly anticipated but horrendously expensive on its launch, the Fazer needed a price cut before gaining the popularity it deserved. But what about a used one?

Posted: 16 August 2008
by Bertie Simmonds

Exhaust headers: A number of 2001-2002 model Fazers had poor quality header pipes, which led to premature 'blueing' of the downpipes. Yamaha replaced them under warranty, but only on request.

EXUP valves: These will stick if neglected and not cleaned.

Radiator fan: Having a smaller radiator than the R1 means that in very hot conditions the fan can be on for prolonged periods. This isn't a problem, it's just doing its job.

Suspension: The front is way too soft and the shock loses its damping and feels tired after as little as 6000 miles. Here's where you should spend your money. Either go for a spring suited to your weight (around £60-£80 fitted), re-valve/service the shock (around £100-£160) or have the shock re-built by a reputable company (try K-Tech on 01530 810625) for around £300 or buy a new shock for £400-£600. Many owners also fit new suspension linkages to stiffen up the rear end a little. Many two-up Fazer riders think rear suspension work is vital. At the front owners drop the forks through the yokes 5-10mm to quicken up steering and also go for new springs and oil to change the front's soggy characteristics.

Suspension settings: Niall Mac's preferred settings at a Jerez test on the Fazer 1000 many moons ago were, front: drop forks 5mm through yokes. Compression: five turns back from max. Rebound: six turns back from max. Preload: maximum. Static sag: 24mm. Rear: compression three turns back from max. Rebound: maximum. Preload: 10mm of static sag.

Front brakes: Good, but not quite as good as the R1 from which they were taken (smaller master
cylinder, different pads y'see).

Finish: Like its smaller brother, the first-generation Fazer 1000 has some finish issues. Engine paint can flake and many owners have had engines repainted under warranty. For those unfortunates who find the paint flakes just after the warranty period, the bill will be around £400 if you want an engine-out job. Paint is also known to flake off the frame rails. For both jobs there's an answer: touch-up paints. You can get 'em for around £75 from Yamaha, or try RS Paint (01226 203608). They sell paint for around £50 in frame and bodywork colours.

Comfort: Very comfortable. The only thing that may rankle will be the screen, which - as standard - some find too small. Plenty of larger replacements are available.

Fuel range/economy: Depending on how hard you twang the loud handle, you'll have around 120-150 mile range before reserve from the 21-litre tank.

Used values: Still reasonably strong for a six-year-old machine with early models commanding a few quid over three grand. There's no real line in price between a 2001 and a later model, as dealers tend to value them more on condition than age. If you want to buy one simply aim for the best you can find. In
general, many touring, two-up merchants will keep their machine in better nick than more sports oriented riders. The new version isn't looking so strong, with naked FZ1s already going for around £5400 (just £400 dearer than '05/'06 Mk1 versions) and dealers punting out pre-reg'd '06 models of the faired FZ1 for £5999! You'll have enough change to sort the dodgy fueling out.

Aftermarket parts: A much-modded machine, the Fazer 1000 ranks up there with the Bandit and GSX-R series for the amount of tat and good stuff you can get for it. Huggers and fender-extenders are good, but do visit owners' websites to find out what fits well and what doesn't. There's a lot of variation in the quality, but choosing a hugger with the lower flap to keep the shock clean is a good idea. Belly-pans are popular, but if you do track days beware ones that may touch down - check with owners to find out first. Crash bungs are popular, with MOKO, BSD and Harris being among the most fitted. Radiator guards keep the rad in tip-top shape (please avoid the uber-naff ones with 'Fazer' laser-etched in them). End cans are also popular, but do ask if the owner has had any jetting changes or set-up time on the dyno. Taller, flip-up and double-bubble screens work, as does some decent suspension work.

Recalls: None reported on the Vehicle Inspectorate website.

Second hand Values

Yamaha FZS Fazer 1000 (2001-2005)

Colours: Red, black, silver, yellow, blue, yellow/black, red/black
Price new: £8100 (2001)
Price now: £3200-£4999

Comments: Yamaha's R1 engine and brakes meets a tubular chassis, Thunderace swingarm and soft but adjustable suspension. Overpriced at first, with a lower ticket it was eventually loved by scratchers and tourers alike. The original series one Fazer changed little in its four-year span, save for bodywork colours and mid-series machines having dark grey paint on the motor.

Yamaha FZ1 (2006-on)

Colours: Yellow, silver
Price new: £7199 
Price now: £5400-£6000+

Comments: Naked replacement for the series one Fazer gels awesome GSR-alike looks to coughy, snatchy motor (albeit with a searing top end) and harsh suspension.

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer (2006-on)

Colours: Silver, blue, black, red
Price new: £7600 
Price now:
£5999 (pre-reg' bargains) to £6500 for ex-demos and low milers

Comments: The half-faired version of the above and therefore the real replacement for the original. As with the FZ1, this has the power, but not the smooth grunt of its predecessor.

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Discuss this story

a very good review.  where can I get a 'proper' rear mudguard (hugger extended backwards) that will actually keep the road crud off the rear of the bike and the chain?

Posted: 10/07/2008 at 12:45

Good review, had mine 4 years, which is a record for me. Highly reccomended.

Posted: 10/07/2008 at 13:29

Powerbronze? Pyramid Plastics? Ermax? E-Bay?

Posted: 10/07/2008 at 19:32

Had my fazer 1000 2 yrs its the dogs , had it on the dyno 130 bhp @ 10,000 rpm (go to you tube &search malandsue, to watch) done nothing to motor . apart from  changing the end can. Have almost every after market bits you can get.

Posted: 25/09/2008 at 18:57

the best review   im in spain  2005 fz1 s  the last one of old ones b4 inj   best bike ever   got new o21  s  bridge on her now  work perfect    great review site  thankyou       m

Posted: 29/09/2009 at 17:41

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