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Sep 1, 2010

Yamaha Introduces New 2011 And 2012 Street Models

The 2011 Yamaha FZ8.
Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. is importing the FZ8 into the U.S. market starting in December of 2010. Originally developed for the European market, the 2011-model FZ8 is the first naked sportbike Yamaha has imported into the U.S., and Yamaha hopes that it will fill the gap between the 600cc FZ6R and the 1000cc FZ1 in terms of performance, insurance cost and Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), which is $8490.

For that price, owners get a fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 779cc Inline Four engine that is based somewhat on the previous generation (non-crossplane-crankshaft) YZF-R1 motor. The FZ8 gets the same crankcases, fracture-split connecting rods and stroke (53.6 mm) as the R1, but it gets its own forged 68 mm pistons and slightly less compression. The all-new cylinder head has four valves per cylinder that are actuated by dual overhead camshafts and fed by 35mm throttle bodies. The engine, which is tuned for low-to-midrange performance, is mated to a wide-ratio six-speed transmission with chain final drive.

The chassis is composed of a controlled-fill die-cast aluminum frame and swingarm. The single coil-over rear shock (spring preload) and inverted 43mm front forks (spring preload and rebound damping) are adjustable. The front braking system includes a pair of 310mm rotors and four-piston monoblock calipers, and the five-spoke cast aluminum wheels come wearing 120/70-ZR17 (front) and 180/55-ZR17 (rear) sport radials. Wheelbase is 57.5 inches (1460.5 mm), rake is 25.0°, trail is 4.3 inches (109 mm), seat height is 32.1 inches (815 mm) and with its 4.5-gallon (17.0 liters) fuel tank full the FZ8 is claimed to weigh 470 pounds (213 kg).

Yamaha is also planning to import its first traction-control-equipped streetbike into the U.S. market next year, but it will not be a sportbike. It will be the early-release 2012-model Super Tenere adventure touring/dual-sport machine, and traction control is only part of the machine's impressive list of features.

For starters, the Super Tenere is powered by an all-new, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 1199cc Parallel Twin with a bore of 98.0 mm, a stroke of 79.5 mm and a compression ratio of 11.0:1. And in addition to the three-way-adjustable traction control (Off, TCS1/standard and TCS-2), the Super Tenere comes with Yamaha Chip Controlled - Throttle (YCC-T) drive-by-wire throttle, two D-Mode power delivery settings, a Unified Braking System and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). A wide-ratio six-speed transmission and shaft final drive system complete the driveline.

The engine is housed in a chassis that includes a high-tensile steel tube main frame, an aluminum subframe (ready for mounting optional hard luggage) and a cast aluminum swingarm. The solo rear shock and inverted 43mm forks both provide 7.48 inches (190 mm) of suspension travel and are adjustable. Rebound and compression damping and spring preload can be tuned in the forks, and the shock is adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload via a tool-less adjuster. The height of the seat and the touring windscreen are also adjustable.

Triple wave-style rotors (dual 310mm units in front and a single 282mm disc in the rear) along with dual four-piston front calipers and a single-piston rear caliper handle the braking duties. Wire-spoke wheels are fitted with special tubeless tires, a 110/80-R19 front and a 150/70-R17 rear. Wheelbase is 60.6 inches (1539 mm), rake is 28.0°, trail is 4.9 inches (124 mm), seat height ranges from 33.3 to 34.3 inches (845 to 870 mm), and claimed wet weight with the six-gallon (22.7-liter) fuel tank full is 575 pounds (261 kg).

The Super Tenere will be available in America only via the Pre-Delivery Deposit
Program that was used with the 2010 Yamaha/Star Vmax. In other words, it will be available by special order only. Deposits will be accepted from September 2010 until March 2011 for the $13,900 Super Tenere with deliveries beginning in May 2011 on a first come-first served basis.

Yamaha's Star Motorcycles line is also bringing a new cruiser model to the U.S. market in 2011, the Stryker. This long and low machine is motivated by a liquid-cooled, fuel-inject 1304cc (100.0 mm x 83.0 mm bore x stroke) 60-degree V-Twin that has four valves per cylinder, roller rocker arms and single overhead camshafts. Final drive is via a belt. A double cradle steel tube frame carries the engine as a stressed member, the 41mm forks are raked at 40°, the five-spoke wheels carry 120/70-R21 front and 210/40-R18 tires, MSRP is $10,990 to $11,240 (depending on color) and the machine will be available beginning in September 2010.

Among the Yamaha and Star Motorcycle models returning for 2011 are the: FZ6R ($7490 - $7580); FZ1, which gets a new ECU to improve idle and low-speed throttle response ($10,490), YZF-R6 ($10,690 - $10,890), YZF-R1 ($13,590 - $13,790) and the FJR1300A, which now comes with heated grips standard ($15,490); and the Vmax ($19,890).

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