- New-concept middleweight sportbike: High-performance but with an anything,
anytime, anywhere attitude.
- Upright, comfortable riding position with great weather protection. Light,
effortless handling for urban use, comfortable long-distance cruising, and
serious sport riding too.
- Super-light and compact YZF-R6-based engine is tuned for enhanced midrange
performance as well as strong rev-ability.
- Cams and intake tracts are designed to produce maximum torque at 10,000
rpm, maximum power at 12,000 rpm.
- Group fuel injection combines simplicity with excellent response and
- Powerful 32-bit processor and 4-jet bi-directional injectors negate the
need for the R6's suction-piston vacuum assist system and is 75% lighter.
- Six-speed gearbox with triangulated input and output shafts, heavy-duty
clutch and through-the-frame shifter for years of precise, positive
- Stainless steel underseat exhaust system with heat shield looks cool and
doesn't interfere with passengers or luggage.
- Acoustic analysis of the downdraft intake tract and exhaust produce a bike
that sounds as cool as it looks.
- Large radiator with ring-type fan for excellent cooling capacity.
- Yamaha Air Induction System, along with a metal honeycomb type catalytic
converter, let the FZ6 pass strict EU2 and CARB emissions standards.
- Strong and very light Controlled Fill die cast aluminum frame is made from
only two pieces, which bolt together at the steering head and in the
swingarm pivot area.
- Five-point stressed-member engine mounting design consists of two
crankcase mounts per side and one mount on the left side of the cylinder
head for excellent strength and light weight.
- Placing the engine's crankshaft axis close to the FZ6's roll axis aids
quick handling and light, positive steering.
- 25 degrees of rake, 3.8-inch trail and 56.7-inch wheelbase for quick
handling and excellent tracking.
- Single shock linkageless rear suspension is simple and light with
sport-biased damping tuned for a controlled, progressive feel; extruded
aluminum swingarm is 23.2 inches long for reduced chain-pull effect, further
bolstering the FZ6's outstanding handling.
- Placing the battery under the fuel tank and behind the steering head helps
achieve 51-percent front wheel weight distribution and excellent handling.
- Single-piece upper triple clamp/ handlebar mount, with tubular handlebar
for excellent front-end feel, feedback and light steering; 35-degree
steering lock means excellent maneuverability in traffic.
- Extremely light YZF-R6-type 5-spoke wheels reduce unsprung weight by 18%
for improved suspension action and handling, acceleration and deceleration.
- Thick dual seat offers exceptional solo or two-up comfort and passenger
grab rails also serve as bungee attachment points.
- LCD two-color instrument display with integrated bar-type tachometer on
the left, and numerical speedometer in the center- also two tripmeters,
clock, fuel, intake air temperature and water temperature gauges and usual
- 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 radial tires complement the FZ6's modern look,
and its increased torque and great handling fully exploit the superb grip
- Large windscreen provides good protection and minimal noise;
anti-reversion panels on each side of the lower fairing reduce turbulence.
- Dual 12V 60/55-watt multireflector headlight gives a sleek, R1-type
profile for superb aerodynamics and visibility.
- Completely unique, CAD-drawn fuel tank meets the needs of style, handlebar
clearance and tactile feel in one beautiful package crafted from
high-stretch titanium-rich alloy.
- Sporty taillight design reduces both weight and size while providing
- Centerstand for easier maintenance.
- Standard toolkit and U-lock storage under the seat.
Road test and pictures by Adrian Percival
The Fazer 600 has always been a popular choice for the commuter, riding school,
first bigger bike and so on, but when Yamaha announced that it was going to be
killed off due to emmission problems we all wondered what was going to take its
The first incarnation of the Yamaha Fazer was a serious budget street bike and
was based around the old 600 ThunderCat motor dropped into a tubular steel frame
with the most basic of cycle parts. It proved to be a reliable and excellent
all-rounder. The new 600 Fazer is a different breed from anything called Fazer
in the past though! The striking new Fazer 600 is a truly capable middleweight
that uses a host of technology from other Yamahas.
There's no question about it, just one look at the new Fazer and what you see is
an attractive package. The overall look of the new Fazer is one of agression,
with the sleek, twin headlight half fairing dominating the front, and the sleek
sweep back over the side panels to the rear and the twin underseat exhaust
system. The look is one of modern technology built into an everyday bike that
will take you wherever you wish to go in total ease.
Get on to the new bike and the practical nature of the all-new design is
immediately apparent. The straight, and relatively high handlebars provide your
first clue that this little bike is going to be comfortable. Take a look forward
and the relatively high, broad screen gives you exceptional protection from all
but the worst of weather. Surprisingly enough even taller riders won't have a
problem with the screen height as a slight duck is all you need to escape the
The seating position is also extremely comfortable, and the pillion also sits
comfortably, not too much higher than the rider, and with good cushioning and
generous grab handles. The foot pegs are placed quite far forward in comparison
to most supersport bikes, not too far but just in the right position to give you
a very relaxed riding position and over a long distance this really shows.
Power for the new Fazer 600 comes from the current R6 motor, but it has been
tuned for a lot more mid-range power and torque with milder camshafts, longer
inlet tracts and a simpler fuel injection system that is designed to fit the
bill for an everyday commuter/town bike. The Fazer for all its racetrack
breeding is a very tractable bike and will pull from as low down as 2000rpm in
the lower gears, amazing for a modern 600! Anywhere above 5000rpm though and
away you go in typical 600 style, hit 7500rpm and it just flys up to its redline
at 14,000rpm. There is a bit of vibration around 7000rpm but it never gets
annoying and smooths out about 9000rpm. The power drops off sharply after
12,500rpm so there's absolutely no point in riding it up to the limiter, for the
best results and to make the fastest progress just change gear at peak torque
time, around 10,000rpm.
The Fazer accelerates quickly through the gears up to around 120mph (not on a
public road of course!), after that you need to hang on for a bit, and find a
long straight to reach its maximum speed of 145mph. This shows that Yamaha has
the gearing for the little Fazer 600 just spot-on. It accelerates vividly in
every gear although it does lack the wild rush of the R6. The Fazer actually has
the advantage over the R6 of a much wider spread of torque thus giving you a
really impressive mid-range pull. On full-throttle upshifts you will find that
the Fazer shakes its head a little, not alarmingly like some other bikes, but it
becomes very light at the front end due to the fact that there is very little,
if any, weight on the front wheel. And yes, it will pull power wheelies if you
nail it in the lower gears!! The transmission is typical Yamaha, slightly vocal
on the change and a little notchy, but with time they do get better. s smooth
and predictable, hot or cold, and I couldn't make it slip or judder.
The Fazers motor and drive is rigidly mounted, so there's your vibration. It is
all in an alloy frame made up of two big, die-cast spars. These spars are mirror
images of each other and are connected together at the steering head and engine
plates. That makes welding and the use of cross-struts unnecessary, it's also a
very clever way of using the latest technology to make a simple yet totally
rigid frame. The rest of the Fazer chassis is not so hi-tech. A standard
tubular-steel sub-frame is mounted as per normal together with a long
rectangular section swing-arm. The suspension and forks are equally
straightforward and simple. The forks are 43mm non-adjustable and the rear
shock-absorber mounts directly to the frame and swing-arm without linkages.
The brakes on the Fazer are twin-pot sliding callipers biting onto two 298mm
discs, a little old fashioned but on the test bike they were found to be more
than adequate of hauling it down quickly and safely from almost any speed you
care to do. The brakes are predictable and have a very good feel to them, in
fact the feel and stopping power seemed to be linked directly to the lever, the
more you squeezed it, the more you stopped. The rear brake by comparison is
almost non-existent, it is far less powerful and barely held the bike on a hill.
Riding the Fazer as an everyday bike is an absolute treat, it may be a simple
set-up as far as the suspension, braking and so on is concerned, but the result
is a surprise. The handling feels very predictable and neutral, and with the
higher bars you get good leverage and making it easy to just tip the Fazer into
tight corners with total confidence. The suspension works very well and
completely soaks up all the bumps and road irregularities, even when riding
two-up. I used the Fazer in almost every road condition over the period of the
test, in fact I think I did more miles on it in one week than on any other bike
this year to date. Riding in London traffic, out on the motorways and 'A' roads
and country lane exploits were all taken in its stride, never a hint of being
stressed or being in the wrong place, it all just seemed to work as a package
and it worked very well indeed.
When you first get on the Fazer and ride it the turn-in feels a little vague,
with the possibility of running wide through some corners, but once you get used
to the Fazers weight distribution you realise that you need to take a slightly
more strong-handed approach to the bike, and suddenly you find you have sorted
this little initial problem out. There was a tendency to wander at speeds of
more than 100mph, but this disappeared with a slight crouch. The reason for this
is the buffeting from the screen hitting your shoulders, this has a tendency to
shake the steering through the bars, fitting a higher screen or a slightly
different shape screen would cure it, in fact Yamaha offer a 90mm taller one as
As per all Yamahas the switches and controls are all straightforward and robust
with the new instrument set all mounted in one LCD pod. Most bikes seem to be
going this way nowadays for the simple reason that it is cheaper to produce,
lighter and more accurate than dials and needles, but I find with most of them
that reading the bar style rev counter is difficult at a glance, it is, however
all neatly back-lit and a lot easier to read at night.
The little Fazer 600 is a very impressive bike to ride, and with its relatively
unsophisticated suspension it was surprising just how well it worked on some of
the more bumpy roads around the Oxfordshire are where it was tested the most.
The Fazer just soaked up the big bumps and ruts far better than a lot of tourers
or sports/tourers have evr done. The only other bikes that have ever scored
better on this section are bikes like the 1200GS and with their long-travel
suspension. The suspension set up does hinder the Fazer a little in faster turns
and precise steering control, but once you get used to the handling trait of the
bike it will hold its line as well as most sports bikes.
When I got on the Fazer my first thought was that the seat was too hard and
would be uncomfortable over any sort of distance, I was proved to be wrong
almost from the off. Yes it is firm, but the shape and the contour is just right
for long rides. My first ride was a full tank and I had no inclination to stop
for a rest or a stretch, I just rod on until I needed to fill up anyway, than I
had a break and stood back to look at the Fazer, as a lot of other people did at
the motorway service area!
Yamaha's Fazer 600 is a great bike to look at, it has style and is bang up to
date in the technology stakes. It has a great motor based around the R6, and has
a superb frame and although the brakes are a bit on the budget side, they work
well and never show signs of fade or not being able to stop you. The Fazer is a
surprising package, a competent do-anything street bike designed for the
everyday rider to go to work on or to tour or even scratch at the weekend. Its a
comfortable bike for both rider and especially the pillion and this give it an
added touring ability. Don't think you can't have fun on this bike, there's
plenty of R6 left in it for those wilder moments when you want to play, just
twist the throttle and see, you won't be dissapointed at all!