Yamaha's FZR1000 is a maximum sports bike in every sense and has
be- o come something of an industry standard. The machine has Y' won countless
Bike of the Year awards and has even been voted Best Bike of the Eighties. Its
success can largely be attributed to the fact that it does everything pretty
well and n nothing particularly badly. It has astonishing power yet the chassis
can handle it and deliver the performance through " the tyres to the road. More
significantly, it's comfortable and rider-friendly. Although undeniably a pure
sports machine, its abilities are not confined to the racetrack and world-wide
sales confirm its position as one of the very best road bikes available.
Developed from the YZF factory
endurance racer, the FZR1000 uses much of the engine technology Yamaha first
displayed on their pioneering FZ750 road bike. Each of the four cylinders
uses five valves - three inlet and two exhaust - and the cylinder bank is
inclined forward allowing the use of downdraft carburettors and a short,
dead straight inlet path for better cylinder filling.
The result is a free-revving
engine that will pull from idling speed to the redline making smooth linear
power all the way. Performance is electrifying with instant response
anywhere in the wide, flat torque curve and enough brute acceleration to
spin the tyre at 90mph.
Performance already assured and
restricted to 125hp in a number of markets (carb rubbers blank-off part of
the inlet tract and many owners simply take a sharp blade to them), Yamaha
unveiled a more powerful version in 1989, the FZR1000 Exup. This made 139hp
in unrestricted guise and was equipped with hotter cams, lightweight
valvegear and high compression, all in pursuit of more top end poke and
speed. To compensate for the slight loss in low and mid-range power, Yamaha
fitted an electronic, servo operated rotary valve in the exhaust (Exup).
This varied the effective length of the exhaust pipe at different rpm and
helped boost low and mid-range power levels.
At the same time, they eased the
forward inclination of the cylinders from 45-degrees to 35-degrees, still
keeping weight usefully low, forward and bearing on the front wheel but now
also enabling them to shorten the wheelbase for faster steering response.
The FZR handles beautifully
thanks to the rigidity of the very stiff, large section aluminium frame.
Named Deltabox, the frame was developed from Yamaha's V-four 500cc GP racer
and the near vertical position of the FZR's carbs lends itself to peripheral
frame layout. Equipped with sturdy forks, well-damped rear suspension and
enormous 320mm floating brake discs, the FZR1000 is an object lesson in
mating a hugely powerful engine
to a strong yet fairly light and fast-responding chassis.
The result is a bike that can be
both mannered and monstrous. The flexible power means easy cruising or
touring with huge steps in speed is just a flick of the wrist away. Either
way, the rider gets a lot of feedback about what's happening on the road.
Impressed with the bike's roadholding and stability, confidence increases,
he has power available everywhere
so gets on the gas harder for a more aggressive ride, pushing the tyres, the
suspension and the ground clearance nearer their limit. None of this will
faze the FZR.
The bike that brought Yamaha to the forefront of super bike
design was launched in 1987 and it was called FZR1000. The 1987 version of
the Yamaha FZR1000 had a top speed of over 250km/h and the 1989 version,
crowned “The bike of the Decade”, could accelerate from 0-60 in less than 3
seconds and it also had a top speed of over 270km/h. With these features any
bike would be very appreciated, so production continued.
Yamaha improved the performance of the bike, notably in 1989
when the engine was enlarged to 1002cc and added an electronically operated
exhaust valve whose acronym led to the bike being universally known as the
In spite of higher displacement its size was 8mm shorter and
more compact, due to a revised inclination angle of the cylinders to 35
degrees. Valve angles and sizes had been changed, as well as the camshaft
timing. Bigger carburetors helped boost performance and the crankshaft has
been strengthened, alog with countless other modifications.
The system added useful mid range performance and the
engine’s power was also increased to 145bhp.
The unique feature which gave the 1989 onward models their
“EXUP” name was a servo motor driven exhaust valve. This allowed large bore
exhaust reader pipes (for excellent gas flow at high engine speeds) coupled
with the valve restricting flow at lower revs, to speed the gas through.
The chassis was also improved and the bike handled better,
making the EXUP the pick of the Japanese Super bikes. The 1989 frame (now called Delta box 2) used the engine as a
stressed member. Gone were the down tubes, replaced by a sturdy fixation of
the cylinder head with the frames upper box section. This layout was the
foundation for the radical YZF-R1 chassis layout almost 10 years later. But improving didn’t stop there. In 1991 the package was
further improved with the FZR1000RU, featuring sharper and upside-down
forks. The last model improvements were in 1991 and 1994, until the
FZR1000 was replaced by the YZF 1000 Thunder Ace in 1996.
For 1989, Yamaha redesigned their biggest sport bike from the tires up, and
it felt different. The new bike felt smaller, lighter and lower, though
radical improvements became apparent out on the road. The bike got it seat
redesigned becoming wider and the ergonomics were repositioned, making it
more comfortable. The FZR1000 was considered by many to be the best 1000
available when it was introduced in 1987. There have been no major revisions
to the FZR’s design with the exception of substituting a single headlight in
91 and 92 years and adding four-pot brake calipers after 89. The ram-air was
modified in 91 and 92 models. In its last years of production, the FZR was
redesigned to its initial 2 headlights design and it stood like that until
it exited production, in 1996.
The bike’s power plant was a water-cooled, 989cc engine whose angled-forward
cylinder layout and DOHC, 20-valve cylinder format that had been introduced
on the FZ750 two years earlier. This engine developed 130 bhp at 10000 RPM
but Yamaha increased the engine’s displacement in 1989 to a 1002cc,
developing a 145 bhp at10000 RPM and it was named Yamaha FZR1000 EXUP. The
EXUP system boosted performance and torque and it was first to be used on a
4 stroke engine. The Exhaust Ultimate Power valve is an exhaust control
system still used on the YZF R1 in a refined form, which controls the
exhaust gas flow depending on the engine’s revolutions.