Yamaha FZR400RRSP Bike with Race Spirit


I like the Yamaha FZR400RRSP, it is like a racer in more ways than one. It is so balanced and purposeful, so neutral and true, yet without being unridable or too focused that, like the Yamaha YZF, this bike is surely not a waste of money. Like the Yamaha YZF750, the secret of the Yamaha FZR400, except more so, is its exquisite balance, and the fact that it's got such exact weigh distribution, means that every separate component feels like its reciprocating with every other dynamic component rather than working against each other and having to be neutralized by expensive accessories.

The Yamaha FZR400RRSP to give its full moniker, has a glorious semi-cast box-section frame, but nack all else in the chassis department to be honest.

Ok, the brakes are fairly fit twin-pot calipers, but the suspension is comparatively weedy and very un-adjustable despite the RR acronym.
It is the front suspension that is the bike's only limiting feature, but even then it's not inhibiting in a fundamental manner so much as needing simple augmenting. In other words, the forks are pointing the right way at the right angle and direct the bike in exactly the way the rider's input intended, but their very softness does compromise ultimate speed through the corners when you dial in a few bumps, which quickly uses up the travel and then causes the tire to naturally go walking.

Even so, the almost ideal 50/50 weight bias of this bike means that even at ultra slow speed you can lean it to the max, and it in fact encourages you so much to do so that elbow down is a possibility for even those of modest skill and confidence.

The rear shock is more than adequate and, as we've mentioned, the brakes are up to it too, in fact this Yamaha has one of the most fun back brakes I've ever used, perfectly poised for delicious backing in demonstrations, even if they're not quite the real thing. As I say, the only thing that lets it down is the front suspension. But compared with three new bike launches recently, I can report that this 7 year old bike handles better than the lot of them and my attempts to keep up the same corner speed on the last press test bike nearly ended in some interesting off-road.
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