If you like things naked (and who among us doesn’t), your two wheeled options just increased by one for the 2011 model year. Developed for the EU market, Yamaha’s naked middleweight FZ8 will grace our shores by the end of this year. The FZ8 sports a 779cc inline four motor derived from the 1000cc FZ1. The FZ8 uses a smaller bore to reduce displacement from the FZ1’s mill, and the FZ8 is said to make around 105 horsepower.
“But”, you say, “doesn’t the Yamaha FZ6 naked bike make around 90 horsepower?” You’d be correct that there’s only about a ten HP difference between the two, but how the two motors make power is decidedly different. The FZ6, like most 600cc sportbikes, makes power on top end; if you want to go fast, you generally need to flog the snot out of the motor. The FZ8, on the other hand, will be more about low end and mid-range, which will make it the ideal bike for commuting and a reasonable compromise for spirited weekend canyon strafing.
The FZ8 comes in black, black or black, and will list for $8,490 when it hits dealerships in December. If the FZ1 is just a little too much naked bike for you, and the FZ6 isn’t quite enough, the FZ8 may prove to be just right.