Yamaha FZ-07 Mods for the Road

Building a More Comfortable, Capable Yamaha FZ-07 On a Budget

yamaha, fz-07, streetbike mods
For approximately $1,000, we turned the FZ-07 into a righteous little traveling machine.©Motorcyclist
streetbike modifications
National Cycle VStream+ Sport/ Tour Windshield ($175) nationalcycle.com©Motorcyclist

Every time we hop off a full-size touring machine—whether a sport-tourer, adventure beast, or big-boned cruiser—and then jet around on something as nimble and enjoyable as the FZ-07, we start to wonder: Do we need all that stuff? Could we tweak the little Yamaha just enough to make it a reasonable mid-distance steed?

The short answer is yes, and the longer one is that, really, it didn’t take much. Because the Fizz is already halfway there—with a torquey yet surprisingly smooth parallel-twin engine and effectively soft suspension calibration, we left the core motorcycle alone. And in doing so, we were able to focus on the little things that make a traveling machine more effective.

Start with some wind splitting. Yes, this is a naked bike, and we know what the term means, but there’s no reason a tidy windscreen like the National Cycle VStream+ can’t dramatically improve highway comfort. Nine inches high and 15.4 inches wide, the VStream+ Sport/Tour we tried is the Marcia Brady of National Cycle’s three-screen lineup for the Fizz; the smaller Sport is 6.5 inches tall, while the bigger Touring is 11.5 inches high. We were looking for the middle ground between bikini top and mini-Windjammer. Found it. The screen cuts a clean hole in the atmosphere, directing windblast off a normal rider’s torso while leaving his helmet in smooth, turbulence-free air. A typical pilot will go from feeling the need to lean into the wind at 75 mph, as on the stock bike, to being happy to sit there, totally upright, and take in the sights behind the VStream+. A little wind protection goes a long way toward fighting on-road fatigue.

streetbike modifications
Yamaha Accessories Comfort Saddle ($270) yamahapartsandaccessories.com©Motorcyclist

Comfort above and, with Yamaha’s accessory Comfort Saddle, ah…comfort below as well. Shaped much like the stock seat, with a narrow nose to benefit short-legged riders, the Comfort Saddle has firmer padding and a nice no-slip, suede-like cover, which makes it a big improvement over the thin stocker. Now it’s no trouble to drain the FZ’s 3.7-gallon tank in one sitting.

givi accessories
Givi Easylock Saddlebags (Bags: $350; Mounts: $190) giviusa.com©Motorcyclist

For carrying capacity, we turned again to the Givi Easylock saddlebags (MC Tested, October ’14, MC). These semi-hard-shell bags clip to bike-specific mounts and look smoothly elegant. Not huge, at 15 liters each (expandable to 18 liters), the Easylocks tuck in tightly to the FZ’s tailsection and provide enough weatherproof (with the included rain covers) storage for a long weekend. To supplement the saddlebags, we dropped on a Cortech Micro 2.0 tankbag, which is a super-handy way to carry your wallet, cell phone, and, ah, what-nots. Note that the FZ’s tank cover is plastic. No problem, three “super powerful” neodymium magnets (from a hardware store, $3) glued underneath keep the lightweight Micro from flying away. Or you can use the supplied straps.

yamaha, fz-07, streetbike mods
Cortech Micro 2.0 Tankbag ($60) cortech.net©Motorcyclist

For approximately $1,000, we turned the FZ-07 into a righteous little traveling machine perfect for newer riders and those of, shall we say, compact stature. Proof, once again, that you don’t need a big bike to go long distances.