Tested: Yamaha Fazer8 ABS

We've lived with the Fazer8 for 3 weeks, how has it held up?

Posted: 18 October 2011
by Andy Stevens

If you’re looking for a bike to satisfy all your needs then the Fazer8 is pitched at you. At £8999 it's not the most expensive bike in this class but its certainly not the cheapest.

I’ve used the Fazer8 to commute through London over the past four weeks and found that my most relaxed rides home to date have been on this bike. Its not that you don’t want to rush home or indeed push to make progress, but in fact whilst you do everything seems to come in your stride.

Of course you’re not paying for a low geared 600 commuter, the Fazer8 has a 800cc engine largely comprised of R1 engine components. It has 106bhp and largely delivers the power in civilized license healthy fashion. However, crank it past 7000rpm and it will howl with a surge with power right round to 17000rpm.

When I first sat on the Fazer8 I felt like id been riding it for years, it feels soft and the large seat is well padded and the riding position is forgiving, arms chest and head are remarkably well shielded by the substantial half fairing and everything feels roomy. The mirrors are large and as they are fixed to the fairing they are higher than most cars meaning filtering is a dodle.

The clutch, throttle, and gear action is silky smooth with no grabby, twitchy characteristics of old. On tick over the exhaust note is a touch uninspiring but if a quite purr is your thing then you wont be disappointed.

Turn out of your road and in my case negotiate two hefty speed humps then speed up to 4th gear and it becomes apparent that everything with the Fazer8 is generally smooth. The suspension copes well with the bumpy roads and delivers some appreciated soft feedback to you. The same can be said when pitching the bike left and right through counter steering The front and rear wheels follow each other in tandem and so the bike pendulums left and right below you giving a sense of that smooth collected control.

Generally speaking the engine is really happy in town and out on the open roads. It’s geared with more torque than you need to ride in any gear without the need to change up or down to overtake. All of this ads to its sense of ease to ride, reassuring handling and manageable power delivery.

Yamaha use words like “class”, “Comfort” and “confidence” to describe how the Fazer makes you feel. As an overall package I would say that’s bang on. Best suited to calmly filtering through traffic and rewarding on swift open roads.

Unfortunately the Fazer8’s suspension is not adjustable and if you start to push it through late breaking and fast direction changes its all-round ‘designed averageness’ starts to show through. Its brakes lack the initial bite I would expect too but once warmed through and with a bit of notice they stop things with little effort. As always its comforting to know you have the power of ABS to help get you stopped if things get messy.

£16 will fill it up and for that ive been getting 133 miles a time which is what you would expect from a engine placed somewhere bwtween a eco 600 and a thirst 1000.

To summarize the Fazer8 does everything it’s designed to do. You could ride fromScotlandtoItalyin comfort and at an average of 140 miles to the tank which currently costs £16 you could just about afford to. And, if you ride with a pillion sometimes then there are some solid side mounted grab handles that are the best I’ve seen. If you’re looking for a solid commuter and a manageable weekend get around with a solid engine and some of the power rush associated with sports bikes on tap, then consider the Fazer.

If you want something that you use at weekends and like to get a rush form nailing sharp corners and keeping up with your mates on sportsbikes then consider something else, maybe like the FZ1, which, is the naked more powerful version of the Fazer8. The FZ1 will be in for long term test in a few weeks so watch this space to see how they compare.

Check out the Yoshimura pipe fitment and click here to see our first ride report back in 2010. Also click here to see what we said about the Fazer8 a few weeks ago. Click here to find your local Yamaha dealer.



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