FIRST LOOK: 2017 Yamaha FZ-10

Yep, we’re getting the MT-10 in America after all.

2017 Yamaha FZ-10
Somewhere under all that styling is a slightly retuned YZF-R1 waiting to thrill you. Specs say the bike could be close in power to the R1S, which makes 160 hp at the rear wheel.©Motorcyclist

Here at Motorcyclist there are only two things we love more than spicy Southwestern food and ice-cold beer: superbike power and the kind of relaxed versatility you get from an elemental naked motorcycle. Yamaha must have read our menu, because the FZ-10 is finally here. Never heard of it? Sure you have, Europe's been enjoying this sharp tool for most of the year, calling it the MT-10.

Yamaha’s tech presentation wasn’t awash in minute details, though we expect to get a lot more when we ride this baby later in the summer. For now, revel in the idea that the FZ-10’s engine borrows a lot from the R1, including cross plane design, ride-by-wire throttle control (now enabling standard cruise control), aluminum frame and swingarm, and titanium exhaust. There are shared styling elements, as well, though the FZ definitely shows more of its dirty bits than does the R1.

2017 FZ-10 engine
In a nearly R1-spec frame is a nearly R1-spec CP4—that’s crossplane four-cylinder to you—engine that makes the R1 howl. A titanium muffler picks up from a conventional stainless-steel exhaust with EXUP valve.©Motorcyclist

Although Yamaha deftly evaded the question, it’s a fair guess that the FZ-10’s CP4 engine is based on the lower-cost R1S, whose lower rev ceiling lops off a bit of max-rev horsepower. But not a lot; the last R1S we had on the dyno made 160 hp at the rear wheel. We note that the FZ-10’s compression ratio is, at 12.0:1, a full point lower than the R1S’s, but assuming Yamaha hasn’t committed a lot of other changes to limit fun-thrust, the FZ’s power output shouldn’t be far off the R1S’s. If the FZ-10 can put down horsepower figures in the low 150s, it’ll be competitive with such barn burners as BMW screaming S1000R and KTM’s mighty 1290 Super Duke R. That with the unique crossplane-four snarl should do it.

2017 FZ-10 action
Where does the graffiti stop and the bike begin? Good question.©Motorcyclist

For the rest of the machine, Yamaha’s kept the R1 mostly intact, using slightly modified versions of the frame and swingarm. The specs we have show the FZ’s wheelbase to be fractionally shorter (by 0.2 in, now 55.1 inches) even as the rake and trail are the same—24 degrees of rake, 4 inches of trail. Claimed wet weight for the FZ-10 is 463 pounds; compared that to 448 pounds for the R1S and 439 pounds for the regular R1.

2017 FZ-10 swingarm
In the FZ-10, you get a full aluminum swingarm fitted with a high-end KYB multi-adjustable shock. We don’t know if the FZ is geared like the R1, but it does appear they share sprocket designs.©Motorcyclist

Hungry for amenities? The FZ has ‘em. Suspension is by KYB but not an adjuster-less cheap-o affair. Nope, you get full adjustability front and rear, plus radial-mount brakes with standard ABS (and they’re not linked…yay!), and lightweight alloy wheels, the rear carrying a meaty 190/55ZR-17 Bridgestone Hypersport S20. Aside from the expected RBW system, you also get cruise control and three-level-adjustable (plus off) traction control. It doesn’t appear as though the TC is as sophisticated as the nearly MotoGP-quality stuff on the R1, but it’s probably just fine for a roadster.

2017 FZ-10 dash
Where the R1 gets a distinctive full-color LCD instrument package, the FZ makes due with a monochrome setup, although it does have a lot of information, including gear position, fuel gauge, bar-graph tach, clock, coolant temp, and ride modes.©Motorcyclist

Best news for last: $12,999. That’s $2,500 above Suzuki’s naked GSX-S1000 but below the European competition—BMW’s S1000R starts at $13,495 and KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R runs $16,999. Thirteen grand for the whole enchilada of tech, power, and aggressive styling? Let’s get enough for the table.

2017 FZ-10 side view
The FZ-10 seems to have a generous ergonomic layout, with a good amount of legroom and a beefy, tallish handlebar. There’s even a little wind protection for your torso.©Motorcyclist
2017 FZ-10 headlights
Beady little headlights are all LED, one for the low beam, one for the high beam.©Motorcyclist
FZ-10 burnout
Find the switch to turn off the traction control and have fun.©Motorcyclist
FZ-10 drift
Because your roommate just left his windows down in the parking garage.©Motorcyclist
FZ-10 canyon
With a chassis as stout as the R1-based engine, the FZ should be a capable canyon carver.©Motorcyclist
FZ-10 fork
An inverted KYB fork and four-piston radial-mount brakes will get it done.©Motorcyclist
FZ-10 suspension
KYB’s latest fork design puts all the adjusters on the fork cap. No more crawling around on your knees to adjust the compression damping.©Motorcyclist
2017 FZ-10 switch control
A switch cluster shared with other FJ Yamahas leaves room for the cruise control buttons, including master on/off, set/decelerate, and resume/accelerate. The toggle on the top surface adjusts the traction control.©Motorcyclist