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Yamaha FZ 750 Genesis
Yamaha FZ 750 Genesis

New Guy! WHAT IS THE FZ 750 Genesis

by revolver on Mar 11, 2012 5:22:49 GMT

FZ750 was possibly the biggest forward of any Japanese motorcycle Just 12 months after GPz900R had seemingly secured the 25 years on much of the FZ’s remains a blueprint for motorcycle

1985 was Year One for modern OK, so Kawasaki’s GPz900R had sort of got started the year before, but had water cooling since the Flying Squirrel. And 16 valves the Honda CBX1000.

But Yamaha’s was something very special. were late to the four-… and even later to get their heads into gear. But one, the Yamaha FZ750, did go up to 11.

The redline of that wonderful engine was 10,500rpm, but the clever head design let it hold power for another 500rpm or so that.

In fact, by most of the time, Yamaha’s FZ750 up to 12, so radical and innovative was the thinking in all-new engine. We didn’t it at the time, but Yamaha were the foundations for the second generation of motorcycles. The FZ wasn’t officially of the Genesis family (that with the F1 race bikes and the FZR1000 in 1987 and was all about a of building bikes as one – no longer an and a chassis), but much of what next started in the FZ750.

a year after the GPz900R, the was Yamaha finally joining the big Previous Yamaha four-strokes had been clones of other bike or old British knockers. The XS never really delivered and the good though they were eclipsed by the Hondas and of the day.

But the FZ was different. It blew Honda’s VF range away. It made the GPz like a stop-gap and even all-new GSX-R seemed a conventional motorcycle made futuristic materials. The FZ had the engine of the and a semi-beam frame that of what was to come.

The front talked of ‘compression damping’ others still spoke of Swapping the position of the fuel and airbox meant the mass was centralised and having the engine forward gave the right distribution for better handling. – a confident company who’d recent two-… design showing the same innovative in four-strokes.

They’ve been the field ever since.

1 It was first four … replica. ‘A four … in the RD An F1 racer with street they said at the time.

And enough for a 205kg bike, it like it too. The riding was RD-familiar, the clocks had an RD-feel and the tacho felt terribly

2 It set the rules for a generation of sports An inclined engine gives a faster path for air and fuel the cylinder head. Reversing the of the fuel tank and airbox a bigger airbox and the fuel to be lower and more centrally, pumping fuel into the allowed the use of downdraught units for power.

3 The project started in By this time the two-… was all but in America – the world’s biggest market. Yamaha needed to get serious but were lagging Even the newly launched XS was outpaced by the competition.

The prototype was ‘Project 064’and was a 16-valve, machine. No one remembers what 63 and 65 but this was the big one.

4 Five valve heads optimum cylinder head Yamaha, like everyone at the time were looking for the performance and better fuel They reasoned that increasing the valve sizes on a valve engine would a flatter combustion chamber the perfect shape is a hemisphere.

valves allowed the use of narrower angles, which permitted a shaped head with a volume than other for increased compression ratio. valves also gave a intake area and better gas without needing large of valve lift that have been unreliable. And more, but smaller valves they could be lighter.

meant higher valve and more rpm for increased power. valves also meant valve springs for less at high rpm, better and less power loss in train operation.

5 But they tried six valves. Which allow the right combustion shape and the central exhaust was exposed to excessively high

6 And seven. Four inlet one in the middle, three exhaust and two spark plugs (one side of the central inlet gave even better gas but less flexibility and had a 20,000rpm These were the days Yamaha were involved in Formula One engines so anything and was tried.

Seven valves but they were worried they couldn’t mass such a delicate engine.

7 And a By the early 1980s Yamaha already developing their V4 GP bike. They understood the in packaging, weight distribution and from a V4 but eventually went for an engine to keep production lower.

By the time they got to number 11, built as a racer, the were getting 130bhp 749cc and 25 per cent more than from the two valve still being developed for the XJ and FJ

8 Downdraught was the future Yamaha also developing their system for the V-Max. This effectively a twin-choke downdraught for bikes, required the airbox to in front of the fuel tank and to sit above it. Yamaha’s engineers V-Boost for the FZ, but adopted the downdraught to give more gas at higher to an engine that wanted to Bike number 11 was adapted in to be the basis of a new roadster.

Detuned to for reliability. Yamaha were

9 It was the genesis of the ‘Genesis concept’ Genesis concept defined bikes of the late 1980s but it about just having valve-heads or alloy beam

Genesis was about designing the as a whole – getting away the traditional Japanese problems of too power in not enough chassis. The engine and chassis design as one.

10 And the steel frame’s stand. Suzuki’s GSX-R have had an all-alloy cradle but it was still essentially the same as your dad’s old Norton. had used a spine frame on the but the future was Yamaha.

The FZ’s spars came out and around the Still high, like a but it was the beginning of the beam frame. The generation wore their spars lower and wider to more room for bigger

And after the FZ, it was all alloy.

11 Within two it was obsolete. Such was the pace of at that time. Honda’s VFR750 had an alloy beam and a V-four 16-valve engine made almost as much and better midrange. Kawasaki’s made the same power a 16-valve engine in 1987 and YB4 showed everyone the future of design. The competition was learning

The FZ became the FZR1000 in 1987 – a race replica with an beam frame plus and brakes from another

12 But in racing, it was still good to get Eddie Lawson his first 200 victory in 1986. Lawson more than a minute of Kevin Schwantz. It also won Superstock in 1987. FZ750s four of the top five places and of the top 10 in British Superstock.

Keith won the title by 35 points from Hurst, also on an FZ.

13 Harris the fairing lowers. By 1986, fairings were for losers no how pretty your engine Yamaha needed a full and Yamaha UK approached Harris to build some as a £300 By 1987, Yamaha

had redesigned the FZ as a faired machine.

14 It was the future of suspension. Yamaha ignored the for anti-dive front forks and talked of variable self-adjusting damping – essentially a valve in the forks that controlled the oil depending on the rate of travel.

15 But not at the The single shock fitted to the FZ had preload and rebound damping, but the was adjusted by a small chain, to the early RD350YPVS. And just the RD, the chain would break one winter’s use.

16 The oil light level, not pressure. Like Yamahas up to the mid-1990s. So when the comes on, chances are it just a top up, not a bottom end rebuild.

Yamaha FZ 750 Genesis
Yamaha FZ 750 Genesis

17 In seven years’ production were only two official The 1987 revamp got a full four-into-one exhaust, minor modifications to reduce friction and a exhaust cam. A new rear absorber and revised linkage to more wheel travel, fork internals and solid discs.

The 1991 revision new wheels including a 17in bigger discs and four-piston brake calipers from the

18 Decent aftermarket exhausts are Motad’s race pipe 10bhp if you also raised the of the fuel tank half a But was loud enough to deafen

Motad don’t build pipes for the road and the limited they built for racing very carefully controlled. But of the handcrafted pipework did escape the and (literally) caused headaches for riders, villagers and coppers

19 It had the longest bar-end weights ever seen. No one knows why – the FZ aren’t especially vibey. But your hands on an FZ’s was a very different feeling.

grips and a lot of metal sticking Thankfully the riding position was

20 It revved to 11,000rpm, but was also a … engine than the or VFR. Long … better midrange but also piston speeds and usually redlines. Thankfully, the FZ was built to

The smaller intake valves also 20 per cent lighter and coupled with the downdraught allowed the Yamaha to make power throughout the rev range and onto it for longer. At 7500rpm, the FZ 15bhp more than GSX-R750.

21 And made more than any of the 750s. Even by against Honda’s VFR and Kawasaki’s the FZ was still the most powerful 750 with 90.6bhp at the wheel. The GPX 90.5bhp, the VFR made 87.7bhp and a made 88.3bhp.

22 It was the fastest accelerating 750 too. weighing 29kg more a GSX-R, the FZ’s flexibility and advantage made it a tenth of a quicker over the standing mile. 11.3sec for the FZ, 11.4sec for the

23 And the fastest top speed. The Yamaha 148.7mph, compared to the GSX-R at VFR at 143.1 and GPX750 at 146.9mph.

24 clearances were 28,000 apart. Because the lighter were less stressed and likely to go out of adjustment, the service could be longer.

25 In 10 years they will be expensive. are cheap right now. at best, but many have cruelly streetfightered or just to rot. Unfair because is a landmark motorcycle.

The first of a new and possibly Yamaha’s greatest road going moment.



FZ 750 Geneses



Liquid cooled, four transverse four cylinder, 5 valves per cylinder.

Yamaha FZ 750 Genesis
Yamaha FZ 750 Genesis
Yamaha FZ 750 Genesis


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