‘Hyper Naked’ FZ-10 Highlights Revamped Model Range
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]aking a page from Major League Baseball, Yamaha is busting out its All-Star line-up for 2017 in July. Since the crash of 2008, Yamaha has continued to roll out more new motorcycle models, ATVs and Side-by-Sides than any other OEM. Yamaha is continuing to swing for the fences in 2017 with the addition of the SCR950 that blurs the line between “cruiser” and “sportbike,” updates to the popular Bolt/Bolt R-spec platform and the surprise U.S. release of the FZ-10 “Hyper Naked” bike to compliment the popular FZ-07 and FZ-09 models already in its sport motorcycle line-up.
While the ATV/SxS media and select dealers were in South Carolina to see everything from the little YFZ50 to the big bucks YXZ1000R “Sport Shift” in the Big Buck GNCC’s backyard (see Pit Pass), the motorcycle division was simultaneously taking the wraps off its host of 2017 models in Long Beach, California. With all the new “stars” being added to the line-up, it was easy to miss the fact that the Star Motorcycle brand was quietly extinguished. “In order to better integrate synergies with the other key Yamaha models, the establishment of a new Street segment called ‘Sport Heritage’ will be part of this new positioning and marketing integration,” according to the company.
“We feel that the best opportunity for future sales success and growth from each Star cruiser model is to integrate our model line with other Yamaha models that hold the strong brand identity, the heritage and the DNA that define the Yamaha brand. This means that we will begin to promote our Star models in parallel with other Yamaha models, understanding that the cruiser customer is still looking for a unique retail environment and purchase experience from your dealership where personalization is key.”
The plan is for bikes like the Bolt and the all-new SCR950 to better reach the evolving definition of the “cruiser” market (while selling through the 2016 V-Stars in the lineup for traditionalists). “The 2017 SCR950 is an all-new motorcycle that joins the company’s ‘Sport Heritage’ model line-up, which already includes the VMAX, XSR900, and SR400,” explains Yamaha.
Combines classic Yamaha styling with modern components, Yamaha says the SCR950 traces its roots back to the iconic DT250. The modern interpretation of a scrambler, the SCR950 gets the same 942cc (58-cubic-inch), air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin lump found in the Bolt, but different styling cues. To quote the company: “The SCR950 harkens back to the past with its wide and tall handlebars, retro-racing number-plate-styled side covers, fork gaiters, wire-spoked aluminum rims, 2-into-1 exhaust pipe with upswept muffler, and long low-profile seat.”
Speaking of the Bolt, it gets a new flangeless fuel-tank for an even cleaner look and new wire-spoked, aluminum rims. The 2017 Bolt R-Spec adds a “Performance Bobber” attitude replete with external-reservoir rear shocks, different colors and graphics, and a suede-type seat with contrasting stitching.
Derived directly from Yamaha’s flagship R1 sportbike, the FZ-10 is defined as a “Hyper Naked” machine… while that sort of sounds like a spastic streaker (baseball fans will remember Morgana The Kissing Bandit and other streakers at past All-Star games), this niche is no joke! The latest generation R1-based crossplane-crankshaft engine has been tuned to produce even more low-end and mid-range torque and power. The intake ports and valves, combustion chamber, cams and compression ratio have all been tweaked to improve rideability. Yamaha Chip-Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) combined with three different traction control modes makes the FZ-10 equally at home when sport riding, commuting or going on long-distance adventures, according to Yamaha.
Although there was no sign of the rumored YZ65 at the 2017 intro, the bLU cRU dirtbike division did give a host of upgrades to the YZ250F and YZ450F four-strokes, as well as the YZ250, YZ125, and YZ85 two-strokes. For the dual sport enthusiasts, the TW200 cult classic, fuel-injected XT250 and the WR250R return to the line-up for 2017.
In even better news for dealers, most of the 2017 updates are scheduled to be on showroom floors shortly after MLB’s All-Star game. Although Star Motorcycles may have been retired, it looks like the Yamaha team still has some heavy hitters in the line-up. Play ball!