They say: “Serious bang for your buck.”
We say: “It’s the modern-day RD350.”
When I first rode Yamaha's three-cylinder FZ-09 (2014 Yamaha FZ-09 FIRST RIDE), I was impressed. The bike is small and light, and the motor is fantastically powerful and serves up a broad spread of thrust. And it's affordable: just $7,990. I had to remind myself of that low MSRP every time my long-term FZ-09's suspension jostled my skeleton or the twitchy throttle caught me off guard. For the price, some stuff is bound to suffer.
Not so with the new FZ-07. This latest budget bike from Yamaha is a serious over achiever. In fact, it might be a better bike than its big brother. The FZ-07 is more comfortable, has smoother throttle response, more functional suspension, yet it still hauls the mail. The FZ-07's 689cc parallel-twin dishes out the same kind of excitement as the FZ-09—albeit not quite as much—and the bike's suspension is excellent for such a basic setup. (The laydown shock is adjustable for spring preload, but the right-side-up fork offers no adjustments.) It's tuned for "comfort and commuting," says Yamaha, so things are on the soft side, but the springs aren't flimsy and there's adequate damping at both ends and in both directions of movement. The fork and shock strike a great balance between comfort and control, which are two targets the FZ-09's suspension missed.
The FZ-07 doesn't have ride-by-wire throttle like the FZ-09 so there are no ride modes, but there's also no sign of the abruptness that plagues the triple. The FZ-07 is tractable and smooth but still offers serious acceleration—I was genuinely surprised when a handful of throttle in first gear sent the front tire skyward.
Yamaha claims 74 hp and 50 pound-feet of torque for the FZ-07, and a good portion of that power is available right off idle. There's tons of midrange thrust, but the engine fizzes out en route to the 10,500 rpm rev limiter. Things get buzzy above 6,000 rpm, but you can avoid the vibes entirely by short-shifting. Yamaha's twin has lots of low-end torque; I let the revs drop as low as 2,000 rpm in fourth gear while we were cruising around Seattle, Washington, and the bike leapt forward easily, with a pleasant, V-twin-like shudder from the engine. Like Yamaha's Super Ténéré adventure bike, the FZ-09's mill has a 270-degree crank that yields uneven firing intervals for more dynamic power and sound. It works. While most parallel-twins are as exciting as a blender, the FZ-07's engine has good feel and character, and a pleasantly syncopated (and thoroughly muffled) exhaust note.
Read more: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/firstrides/2015_yamaha_fz_07_first_ride/#ixzz35mhds2ck