Last fall, at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, Yamaha unveiled the Crossplane Concept in-line triple, promising that, “with its clean torque output, this advanced new, light, slim and compact 3-cylinder engine will shape Yamaha’s future motorcycle lineup.” The engine was displayed on a platform with a spider web of wires connecting it to an existing YZF-R1 crossplane in-line four, a male-slider fork topped with an upright handlebar and a pair of wheels shod with sporty tires, but no frame, bodywork or other telltale features.
Yamaha filled in the blanks this week at its dealer meeting, unveiling the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09, a naked sportbike powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 847cc in-line triple. The all-new engine has a bore/stroke of 78mm x 59.1mm, an 11.5:1 compression ratio, DOHC and four valves per cylinder. Whereas the R1 has a 90-degree crossplane crankshaft with an uneven firing interval, the FZ-09 uses a 120-degree crossplane crank with an even firing interval, and the intake funnels are of three different lengths. To reduce vibration, a primary coupled-force balancer rotates in the opposite direction as the crankshaft. Yamaha says the engine has a quick-revving character and makes a claimed 65 lb-ft of torque. Yamaha’s YCC-T throttle-by-wire enables Drive Mode throttle maps (Standard, A and B) like those on the R1. Power is sent through a 6-speed transmission and spins the rear wheel via O-ring chain.
An all-new aluminum frame is connected to an externally mounted aluminum swingarm, which helps keep the frame narrow at the footrests. With a short wheelbase (56.7 inches), sporty steering geometry and a claimed wet weight of just 414 pounds, the FZ-09 is said to have light, intuitive handling. The 41mm male-slider fork and rear shock are adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping, with 5.4 and 5.1 inches of travel, respectively. Up front, dual discs are squeezed by radially mounted 4-piston calipers, and there is a single disc brake out back. Cast aluminum 10-spoke wheels are shod with 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 sportbike tires. Other features include a tapered aluminum handlebar, forged aluminum brake pedal, shift lever and footpegs, fully digital instrumentation and an LED taillight. The fuel tank, with deeply recessed knee cut-outs, holds 3.7 gallons, and seat height is 32.1 inches.
Adding to the FZ-09’s appeal is its MSRP of just $7,990. That’s $900 less than the FZ8 that it replaces, and $1,400-$2,600 less than bikes it will compete against, such as the Triumph Street Triple, BMW F 800 R and Ducati Monster 796. The 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 will be in dealer showrooms in October, in two colors: Rapid Red or Liquid Graphite.