YAMAHA FZS 600 FAZER
BIKE OF THE WEEK
"Reasonably priced, well built and reliable", not the most exciting words to describe a motorcycle, but important ones nonetheless. These words are synonymous with the FZS 600, a bike which is still a popular choice with riders today.
The FZS 600 Fazer was first revealed at the Paris Auto Show in 1997. By 1999, it was the top-selling motorcycle in its class.
It's not the best-performing machine, but the FZS 600 is easy to use and comfortable to ride, making it ideal for new riders or commuters (though not in London, come April this year, unless you want to pay a £12.50 a day fee). The bike is practical, with a pillion grab rail, centre stand, and generous under-seat storage.
Its four-cylinder engine, taken from the YZF 600 R Thundercat, might not be the fastest, but it's enough for its target audience. The original fairing used to have a more retro look until 2002 when it was redesigned.
The FZS 600 shares the same front brakes as the R1 of the time - generally a positive with owners.
One of the biggest issues with the bike was its weak front sprocket nut. It had a tendency to loosen, damaging the output shaft and in some cases, causing the sprocket to come adrift. Yamaha replaced the nut in its later models to combat the issue.
Although the bike is comfortable to ride, its suspension is not a strong point. Before 2002, it wasn’t uncommon for the black-painted steel downpipes (header pipes) to rust.
Despite this, the bike is, overall, incredibly reliable.
2003 saw the end of the FZS 600 Fazer’s production as new European Emissions laws came into force and the model failed to meet the requirements. New bikes could no longer be registered, but it would remain legal to own and ride old models. The FZS 600 was replaced by the FZ6 Fazer in 2004.
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