Naked or Faired, the FZ6 is a Great Platform that New Riders Won’t Quickly Outgrow

I might be biased, given that I’m currently rocking the 2007 Fazer in Yamaha 50th Anniversary Colors you see above, but the FZ6 is probably the perfect bike for the confident beginner rider that wants a bit of power without the hunched-over riding position, or insane power, of a supersport bike.

Featuring a retuned version of the 2003 R6 600cc engine, the middleweight FZ6 was Yamaha’s enthusiastic entrant into the increasingly popular middleweight sport-touring segment. For riders that want power without backaches, the FZ6 is a compelling value proposition with few compromises.

We’ve put together this page as a resource to help you see if the FZ6 is a good bike for you.

Our Take: Should You Buy a FZ6?

2007 Yamaha FZX6 on its Center Stand

If you’re a new rider that is good at managing the bike and are comfortable with your ability to manage the high-revving inline-4 cylinder engine, the FZ6 or FZ6R is an increasingly-affordable option.

Bottom line: this is an excellent first bike that you will get several years out of thanks to its excellent powerband and classic Yamaha reliability.

Reasons to buy the FZ6:

  • It makes plenty of power (98 hp / 73kw @ 12,000 rpm), but with an approachable power band
  • It’s a good height for most people, with a 31″ (800 mm) seat height
  • It is a comfortable middleweight, with a wet weight of 459 lbs / 208 kg
  • It has a more upright, touring-friendly riding position
  • Its suspension is a 50/50 balance of comfort and sport
  • It’s a good looking bike
  • It gets decent gas mileage (around 35 mpg)
  • It has a center stand
  • A decent example is very affordable (under $5,000 for a mint low-mileage bike, under $3,500 for an average bike)

Reasons not to buy the FZ6:

  • 98 hp can be intimidating if you are not confident in your ability to manage the engine
  • The balanced suspension is great for street riding, but limiting during aggressive or track riding
  • It has a relatively short range (about 130 miles / 200 km) from its 5.1 gallon gas tank
  • It is outdated and short on features/specs compared to newer bikes

Production Run & Notable Model-Year Changes

Production Run

The FZ6 was produced from 2004 to 2009. During its 5-year production run, the FZ6 was revised 5 times: in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

2006 Model Year

  • Revised engine and parts of the frame
  • The fuel injection mapping is optimized to increase torque at lower rpms

2007 Model Year

  • Fuel injection mapping updated again
  • Updated fairing and windscreen
  • New instrument cluster (with analoc tachometer and digital speedometer)
  • New passenger footpegs

2008 Model Year

  • The European model (the FZ6 Fazer S2) receives ABS and electronic immobilizer.

2009 Model Year

  • The seat is upgraded to be more comfortable

2010 Model Year

  • The fully-faired version, the FZ6R, is launched. The FZ6R replaces the half-naked FZ6 in Yamaha’s middleweight sport lineup.

Owners Review of a 2007 Yamaha FZ6

Silhouette of a 2007 Yamaha FZ6 Fazer

By: Cameron Martel

I’ve owned a ’07 FZ6 since 2017 and have put about 9,000 km on it. Aside from having to replace its regulator, the FZ6 has been a reliable and willing companion. We’ve seen a lot of asphalt together.

My previous bikes include a ’99 Kawasaki Ninja 500R, 2008 Suzuki SV650S, and a 2004 Suzuki Katana GSXF600. The FZ6 sits right along with them, but in my opinion, is better than them all.

What I Like

  • Integrated center stand – This makes it easy to work on the bike, not to mention it helps the FZ6 tuck away discreetly when stored.
  • The power – The FZ6 runs 0-6 in about 3.7 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds. The power is predictable and addictive.
  • The riding position – A herniated L5/S1 lumbar means I can’t manage the riding position of a true sport or supersport bike. The FZ6’s upright riding position is ideal for people that don’t want to be leaning forward.

What I Don’t Like

  • The range – 180 – 200 km is about how far you’ll comfortable go on its 5.1 gallon tank.
  • No ABS – ABS is a really helpful addition to a bike, especially for new riders. The FZ6 doesn’t have it.
  • The instrument cluster – It’s “fine”, but it’s barebones and not exceptionally lit up at night.
2007 Yamaha FZ6 Instrument Cluster
2007 Yamaha FZ6 Instrument Cluster

Riding Dynamics

The suspension of the FZ6 is softer than most sportbikes, and as a result, there’s a bit of lift and dive when you give it throttle or brake.

Lifting the front wheel off the ground is possible, but you need to plan for it. It won’t happen accidentally thanks to the FZ6’s high-revving powerplant, which makes full power at a screaming 12,000 rpm. Thankfully, the four-cylinder engine is perfectly ridable at lower rev ranges, offering a spirited ride in the 4,000 – 9,000 rpm range.

Twist the throttle when you’re at a roll and you’ll enjoy steady power that builds from 6,000 rpm all the way to its 12,000 rpm redline. The page quickens from 8,000 and onward, but it’s manageable and doesn’t lift the front wheel.

Keeping the bike under the speed limit is a job for the front and rear brakes. Up front are dual 298mm discs (with 2 piston calipers for 2004-2006 model year, and 4 piston calipers from 2007 onward), and in the rear is a 245 mm disc with a single-piston caliper.

The braking is good but not exceptional, and while the bike is perfectly manageable at all speeds, the FZ6 doesn’t stop as quickly as you might expect. Remember, it’s not a featherweight at 460 lbs wet.

It carries those 460 lbs well, though, dipping smoothly into leans and carving corners with ease. The FZ6 is at home on a winding road with long, sweeping bends and some hills and valleys to change up the elevation. As good as it is on a riders road, it’s equally as good in the city.

The Sound

Dual Center Exhaust on Yamaha FZ6 Fazer
The dual center exhaust sounds heavenly, even when a tail light needs to be reconnected 😉

There’s something to be said about the dual exhaust that is incorporated into the frame and runs under the seat. You can feel the heat coming off of it on hot days, but once you’re moving it’s a non-issue.

But the noise that hot exhaust makes? A real treat.

The R6 underpinnings of the engine are obvious in the higher rev range; at low revs it isn’t anything special, but crack it open and the exhaust builds to an aggressive and exotic top-end. At 12,000 rpm the engine and exhaust sound amazing.

It’s nice and reserved when the revs are kept under 4,500 rpm, and between 3,000 and 4,500 you have more than enough power to scoot around residential areas in, so you won’t be the person that wakes everyone up when you come home.

Get Used to a Heavy Clutch

The clutch lever has a shorter friction zone and a heavier pull compared to some other beginner motorcycles. Some riders feel that it’s a stiff clutch, but mine just requires a heavier pull.

Because of this, the first few times I rode the FZ6 I stalled it at a few lights. Embarrassing, yes, but I quickly got used to the clutch. But as far as my friend, Jim Pruner, is concerned? The heavy clutch rules the bike out entirely. I think that’s a bit harsh, but there’s no denying the heavy clutch compared to some of the FZ6’s peers.

Fuel Efficiency

Sure, gas prices are currently on the decline, but it wasn’t long ago that we were fearful of the price at the pumps. Those times may come around again soon, and if so, you’ll be wanting some efficient hardware to scoot around on.

The FZ6, which is using a former R6 engine, is acceptable but by no means Grom-like in how it uses gas. It doesn’t sip, and it doesn’t gulp. It takes measured, responsible drinks… until you pin the throttle.

With the throttle pinned and the revs climbing, the sound of the screaming four-banger should be enough to tell you that fuel efficiency is no longer the name of the game. The price of that thrust is mileage, which takes a dive (as you might well expect).

Keep it reasonable, though, and you’ll see somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km), which is acceptable for a sport-bike-that’s-not-a-sport-bike.

Is It’s Age Starting to Show?

Yamaha FZ6 Fazer Headlights

Older models of the FZ6 suffer from some challenges tied to the era that they were built in. As of the time of this writing (August, 2019), technology has greatly improved since when the FZ6 first entered the scene. Given that the FZ6’s last update was in 2009, and that said update was minor to boot, we’re dealing with technology that’s at least 10 years old.

So what’s missing? Quality of life improvements that you’ll find on many midrange sport-touring bikes, such as:

  • HID or LED headlights
  • ABS brakes
  • GPS integration
  • Smartphone intergration
  • That “new bike” smell

The item that stands out most to me in the list above are the ABS brakes, which are a must on a new bike. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you need ABS, but I’ll tell you that I sure wish my FZ6 had it.

Mileage Concerns

It stands to reason that an older bike will have more miles on it. More importantly, it will have more riding seasons on it. How well the bike has been maintained is a big part of whether or not it’ll be good to you.

At 34,000 km, mine is starting to show its age. The right-side rear taillight keeps falling off (I’ve reattached that thing twice now); the brakes and engine are just about due for a service. These things add up.

But at 34,000 km, outside of a regulator failing (just two months ago), the Fz6 hasn’t let me down in the two years I’ve been riding with it.

Wrapping Up

2007 Yamaha FZ6 Fazer Dual Exhaust

The Fazer is not the perfect bike, but considering how inexpensive they are relative to what their silky-smooth inline-4 provides, it is an exceptional “beginners” bike. One that I’m surprised isn’t more popular among new riders.

Then again, naked sportbikes like this one aren’t the first bike a lot of people think of when they think of their “first” bike. It doesn’t have the aggressive fairings of a true sportbike – even something small like the Yamaha R3 – and it’s also not a cruiser. A lot of people gravitate to the more popular segments, refining their tastes over time.

But if you’ve got your eye on an FZ6, and it’s been well taken care of and it runs well, you’ll have a gem of a bike on your hands- and they’re dirt cheap now, too.

The Breakdown

The FZ6 Fazer is the better early to mid-2000s R6, in my opinion. It's more comfortable yet just as thrilling, with a screaming engine and killer exhaust note. The power band is very manageable and a confident new rider should be able to handle the FZ6 just fine.
Engine 10.0
Acceleration 8.5
Braking 7.5
Suspension 8.0
Approachability 8.5
Pros
Plenty of power / Compliant and predictable suspension / Great exhaust note / Decent fuel economy
Cons
No ABS (on pre-2008 models) / Instrument cluster is barebones / Getting older, finding a good example is getting challenging

Yamaha FZ6 Competition

If you’re looking at an FZ6, you may also want to check out these other bikes:

Summary Introduced for the 2017 model year, the 2018 Z650 offers thrilling performance, easy handling, and lightweight maneuverability. New riders won’t have to worry about outgrowing the power too soon, but they should be careful: this “small” Z has more than enough power to be daring… and dangerous. Highly recommended for fans of naked bikes …

Share
SV650 Review

The Breakdown The SV650 is arguably the best motorcycle for many people. If you are nervous about ‘outgrowing’ your bike too fast, then the SV650 is a great choice. If you are a heavier guy or girl and are worried a 250cc motorcycle like the Kawasaki Ninja 250 won’t have the grunt to move you …

Share

The Breakdown That practicality really does serve a special niche though. There are many riders that have no desire to be crouched over on a sportbike or leaned way back on a cruiser. They want something they can ride on a daily basis. Something they can learn on and ride for years after that. If …

Share

 


Yamaha FZ6 Specifications

The important specs are listed below. See the Wikipedia page for more detailed specifications.

Dimensions + Chassis

  • Height:
    • 2004 – 2006: 47.8 in (1214 mm)
    • 2007 – 2009: 47.6 in (1210 mm)
  • Length: 82.5 in (2095 mm)
  • Ground Clearance: 5.7 in (145 mm)
  • Seat Height: 
    • 2004 – 2006: 31.5 in (800 mm)
    • 2007 – 2009: 31.3 in (795 mm)
  • Wet Weight: 456 lb (207 kg)

Engine

  • Engine Type: 600 cc, liquid-cooled, inline 4-cylinder
  • Maximum Horsepower: 98 HP / 73kw @12 000 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 46.5 ft-lb / 63.1 Nm @10 000 RPM
  • Fuel Injection: Group fuel injection w/ 36 mm throttle bodies
  • Fuel Capacity: 19.4 L (4.3 imp gal; 5.1 US gal)
  • Reserve Capacity: 3.6 L (0.79 imp gal; 0.95 US gal)
  • Fuel Efficiency: Approximately 37 mpg (6.3 L/100 km)
  • Range: Approximately 190 km

Brakes, Rims, & Tires

  • Front Brakes:
    • 2004 – 2006: Dual 298 mm floating discs w/2-piston slide pin-type calipers
    • 2007 – 2009: Dual 298.0 × 5.0 mm (11.73 × 0.20 in) floating discs w/4-piston monoblock calipers
  • Rear Brake: 245 × 5.0 mm (9.65 × 0.20 in) mm disc w/single-piston caliper
  • Front tire: 120/70ZR-17M/C 58W (Bridgestone/BT020F GG or Dunlop/D252F)
  • Rear Tire: 180/55ZR-17M/C 73W (Bridgestone/BT020R GG or Dunlop/D252)

Suspension

  • Front suspension: 43 mm telescopic fork, 5.1″ (130 mm) travel
  • Rear suspension: Single shock, adjustable preload; 5.1″ (130 mm) travel


Helpful FZ6 Communities & Resources

YouTube Reviews