YD gets naked with the 2015 Yamaha FZ-07

Yamaha brought YD’s Troy Turner to Seattle to put the all new 2015 FZ-07 to the test in a mixed landscape of urban riding and wide-open back roads! Hit the jump to see it in action and find out why it’s the ultimate naked sports bike under $7k.

The beauty of Yamaha’s new 2015 FZ-07 is that it exists in the in-between. It fulfills a unique gap in the market by forgiving newbies while still offering challenges to those who are more experienced. Again with the in-between, riders who have been off a bike for far too long will find it to be the perfect catalyst to a renewed thrill addiction. No matter which category you fall in, everything about the FZ-07 riding experience is a reminder of our common ground: that riding is a way to leave your worries in the dust (literally) and escape to what we truly enjoy.

Now for the GUTS! Relax… or don’t. That’s the magic of the FZ-07′s all new 689cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin engine with 4 valves per cylinder, Yamaha’s unique Crossplane Concept 270° crank and 50.2 ft/lbs of torque. It’s torquey, alright.  Fun, but entirely manageable whether you’re dodging commuter traffic or testing twisties in the mountains which you’ll be doing as often as possible. With a wet weight of only 397 pounds, it’s nimble and easy to flick. — You can read up more on Yamaha’s Crossplane Concept 270° crank here, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s these innovative innards that give it unparalleled linear throttle response. It’s smooth as butter whether you’re down low on the street or revving through the canyons. — So what does all this amount to? Well, it’s elementary my dear Watson. (So don’t forget to check out the complete specs below the photos.) But more importantly, it’s confidence. The engines character is such that the rider can have a complete blast, make some mistakes along the way, and keep learning the ins and outs of this beloved machine for a good while. I know, I know… YOU’RE probably a pro, so you’ve got it mastered before you’ve ridden it, right!? Trust Yamaha that you don’t. There’s no boredom to be had here. You’ll be saying “did it really just do that?” before you can get your breath back.

In the looks department there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly for every bike. So, before I rant, you should know something about me. I’m naked. All. Day. Every. Day. I have 3 naked style bikes in the garage. That’s because, aside from the riding style, I think it’s a challenge to make something so stripped-down look good. But when it’s right, it’s right. The point being… I’m particularly particular when it comes to getting naked.  — Overall, the FZ-07 succeeds in dimensions that not only make sense aesthetically but also functionally for riders of various size. The seat looks great with its extreme taper. Riders with short legs will applaud, but anyone with big, muscular, manly legs (me) will feel just a little uneasy about where to put everything. A built in gas tank cover is a HUGE plus. No more ugly aftermarket junk! It fits, better yet, it works. The headlight is quirky and cool, positioned a good distance below where you’d expect it and counterbalancing the profile for a more aggressive look. Swingarm is beautifully designed… no, it’s actually designed to be beautiful unlike most. The meter is whirly and twirly when you light up. Typical of modern meters, but atypical in that it is actually stupidly simple to operate. You can actually switch between MPG, trip, odo without getting lost. Who knew… it only took two buttons! 10 spoke cast aluminum wheels- can’t go wrong there. — Some minor negatives are faux carbon accents that take away from the idea of a no-frills bike. Mixed metal finishes seem a bit schizophrenic. A few little things here and there, but nothing you can’t adjust… especially when you’ve got all that extra cash lying around after the more than reasonable price of just $6,990. BTW, that’s an average of over $1000 less than its competitors including the Monster 696, NC700x, Ninja 650 and SFV650. Plenty of cushion to choose from an expansive lineup of accessories from stylized accent pieces to rear racks and saddlebags.

Now, for your viewing pleasure… some shots from our test ride: