Hey guys! Now it’s finally time to present you my new bike! But, before that, I’ll tell you the story of how I found it, why the Yamaha FZ8 was the chosen one and how I got it. I’ll also try and give some sort of explanation on why I didn’t reveal it to you earlier. Finally, I’m telling you a bit about the bike’s future with me and Test On Tour.
(versão portuguesa na pág.2)
The previous bike I had was the 2007 Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom. Had loads of fun with it and I loved it, but unfortunately I had to sell it back in 2012. Now that I think about it, I might write a post on my Strom later.
Basically, I didn’t ride a motorcycle for 3 years, from 2012 to 2015, because I couldn’t afford one. That’s actually one of the reason Test On Tour was born. In 2015, I started the blog and got back riding again for the reviews. It felt so good! Then, about 4 years after I sold my V-Strom, I got to a position in which I could buy a new bike again! Well, not brand new, but new to me!
Although the V-Strom is a trail bike, I’ve always been a huge of the naked bike concept. I feel like the fact that you don’t have wind protection, or barely, makes you a embraced a bit further onto the riding experience itself. As I was growing up, my taste and tolerance for all motorcycle segments also evolved making me capable of appreciate different bikes, trying to understand what they were made for. I figured that in this particular time of my life, I needed a naked bike.
Actually, it featured on a couple of videos on my youtube channel already, but this is going to be the official reveal of the new bike!
I didn’t consider the Yamaha FZ8 in the beginning therefore I wasn’t looking for a particular model, but there were some criteria defined: it had to be above 600cc, not very common, within budget and I had to connect with it when test riding. If I’m not wrong, I started looking at the end of June and, after some research, I nailed it down to the Kawasaki Z750 or Z1000 and, pushing the budget to a lucky limit, track down a Ducati Monster 696.
The first one I found was a Z1000. Right on budget, but I was scared for the bike’s past and lack of service history and the xenon not working. I let it go for that, although I enjoyed riding it. By the time, I had already reviewed the Monster 821 and fell in love so I was very excited when I found a perfect red Monster 696. I saw it online at night and the next morning I went to the dealership. Honestly, I was more than ready to put a deposit down and get right away, so you can imagine how brokenhearted I was when I was informed it was already sold…
The golden tip
Later that day, my lovely girlfriend came to me and told me she saw a bike that caught her attention a couple of days before, but she didn’t recognize the manufacturer. I asked her to describe the logo and I knew it was a Yamaha. After some googling, I showed her a picture and she identified the FZ8. I couldn’t believe I forgot about that model!! It’s not very common, at least here in Portugal, because people would rather go for the FZ1 because taxes are the same and the bike wasn’t much more expensive. I found two bikes online the next day and one of them fitted the criteria. It was a 2011 Yamaha FZ8, black, service history, low milage and with many of the OEM optionals I wanted.
The bike already had original FZ8 frame sliders, Yamaha carbon look LED indicators at the front and rear (which is expensive), a rear tidy plate holder and a beautiful Akrapovic exhaust slip-on with carbon fiber tip. It also came, fortunately not mounted, an OEM top case support, the 36l box and a FZ8 screen. I will never fit the top case, as I hate it, but I tried the screen for a couple of weeks. Anyway, I couldn’t let this one go.
First of all, I met with the guy. A super cool guy who loved his bike. For obvious reasons, I’ll keep his identity private but he was a very nice guy. He let me test ride it and I loved it. At that moment I knew I was going to buy it, although I honestly noticed some problems I needed to fix. I made the call a couple hours after we met and scheduled the day for me to pick it up.
The Adventure Begins
At that time I was moving to another house, so I had rented a big van to move my stuff. Turns out, I timed it to perfection! Me and my girlfriend went to his place, pretty far from where we live, met his lovely family and made the deal having a cold drink on that hot August day. We then loaded the bike into the van and off we went!
Now, I need to explain to you why I haven’t present it to you before. There’s a mix of reasons. First of all, I was in a middle of a moving situation, so I don’t even know how I got the time to get the bike actually. It’s a used bike and I spotted some things I needed to check and I wanted to be sure everything was OK. That way, I’d avoid the embarrassment of coming here saying that the great deal I got actually backfired! And it kind scared me one day when the oil warning popped up. It just needed to be topped up. Then, there was always something wrong like: weather sucks for photos, bike really dirty from riding in the wet, etc… No excuses right now! Here it is!
My New Bike
There’s a couple of things I still want to do to my new bike, but I’ll discuss that later on. Right now, I’m not going to do a review on the bike. I’ll just share what I think of the way it looks and my feedback so far.
I really like the look of the bike. The golden forks create a beautiful contrast with the black. The FZ8 is one of those bikes that I honestly like with any of the available color combinations, with the white being my least favorite.
I like the headlight, which is to me one of the critical points on a naked. It looks modern and well put together. Although I also like the vintage look on some old naked bikes, or customized bikes, I think that the FZ8 definitely benefits with the modern headlight.
The profile view is super cool. The swingarm is beautiful and very well finished, which is an huge difference from the 600cc bikes such as the FZ6 or XJ6 with a straight swingarm. From the photo above, you can clearly see that it is not the most friendly bike for the pillion and, although it is not as bad as a sportbike, it is bad enough to make the babe uncomfortable.
If you look to the photos immediately above and below, you’ll have the impression that the bike has a huge fuel tank…yeah…well it doesn’t. It looks big but it only takes 17 liters, which gets me not much further than 200 km. This means about 8L/100km….oh God….they say it’s 5L/100km…let’s move on, please!
As a naked bike, you must agree with me when I say that my new bike is beautiful! You got to love that carbon fiber exhaust tip sneaking out! The bike is not too aggressive and definitely not boring! Oh, by the way, for some reason the previous owner installed a HRC tank pad. I’ll get rid of it and make it right.
What I think so far
The bike is very fun to ride. The 4 cylinder inline 779cc engine develops 106hp and 82Nm of torque, delivered in a strange kind of way. If you google for torque graphs for the FZ8, you’ll notice a big jump at about 6000rpm and you definitely feel it! It’s fun, after you learn to expect it. At the beginning, it feels like it’s turbocharged or something.
The Akrapovic gives it a really nice tone, specially at low revs. I’ll need a good mic to pick it up for you guys. Also, the bike is a dramatic ride because if you close the throttle, or in a downshift, you’ll hear and enjoy the pops!
The braking power is enough. It does it’s job fairly good and I have nothing to point on that. The only thing I honestly think should be far superior is the front suspension. If you’re riding in the city, or just going for a calm chilling ride, the suspension is good and firm, feeling sporty enough. But, if you really get on it, it is too soft. It travels too much, too easily. That’s my opinion… I think it would benefit of an adjustable setup for the pre load, so you could ride it more aggressively feeling a bit more reassured.
The dash gives you all the info you need and it’s easy to read. Usually, I’d say I’d like to have a fuel consumption display but, in this particular case, I think I’d rather ride it not knowing!
Wow! I feel like I almost gave you a review on the bike… Anyway, I love my new bike, I’ve been enjoying it a lot as is but there still is some tweaks I want to do to it.
Plans for the Future?
My bike has a set of Bridgestone BT-021. I got the bike in mid August and front tyre was almost new but the rear one had some wear in the middle and not in the edges. I tried to make it a bit more even and it has a bit more wear on the edges but the middle section is basically gone. So, I kind of need a rear tyre but the front is good. The problem is I hate these tyres. I have no confidence on the wet or cold what so ever and I had some unpredictable scares. Right now, I’m considering the Bridgestone S20 Evo. I love Bridgestone and i’m confident that’s going to be a great tyre, but I’m worried about the wear and the price…
Aesthetic wise, I’m thinking about changing brake and clutch levers. I always do 2 finger braking and I prefer using the clutch also with 2 fingers. If the lever is big, I get my ring and pinky stuck.
The mirrors don’t have, as always, great visibility. So, I’m thinking about changing them for something better looking and with better visibility.
I simply love my bike! The FZ8 was a good surprise for me and I still enjoy it every single time I ride! And I use it almost every single day!
The question is: for how long am I going to have it? Will I own it long enough to make the mods I just told you? Am I thinking about getting something else? Who knows? Well, I do! Keep watching this space!
I hope you liked my new bike and had fun reading this post! Let me know what you think about the FZ8! Please don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss when I post some news! Also, take a look on my youtube channel and subscribe!
Here’s a short video of an Autumn ride with my bike!
Check out the last post to see my Father’s Day ride!
Ride Safe! Cheers!