When the Yamaha Fazer FZS600 first burst on to the motorcycle scene back in 1998 it offered a Jekyll and Hyde mixture of sensible day to day transport & sport bike, or if you prefer, hooligan tool, performance. Add to that an affordable price tag of under £5000 & you had a winner. Yes it was no secret that Yamaha had raided the stores department & produced a parts bin special with an engine from the existing YZF600 Thundercat & a swing arm from the old FZR 1000 etc but i don`t think even Yamaha themselves could have predicted how amazing that pile of old parts would become once they had all been bolted together. It`s now over twenty years since those first machines rolled off the production line but here in the real world of UK motorcycling the Fazer FZS600 still delivers the goods to those riders who want a machine that will quite happily bumble around city streets or at the twist of the wrist give chase to much larger capacity machines along winding country roads.
My own experience back in 2001 with one of these amazing machines pretty much sums them up. At the time Britain was in the grip of foot-and-mouth disease so the countryside was in lock down. This made my dirt bike totally redundant as almost all off-road motorcycle events were cancelled. It didn’t take me long to come up with the plan of dumping my unusable dirt bike on to a dealer in exchange for a nice & very usable road burner. I let myself be guided by the motorcycle press of the day so my first choice was a fast but sensible & apparently quite comfortable used Honda CBR600. After a long road test i came to the conclusion that having all your weight on your wrists & putting a crick in your neck so you could see where you were going was not a good recipe for comfort. Next up was a very clean & tidy bright red 1998 Fazer 600. The bike was several years newer than the aforementioned CBR600 but had double the mileage, it had already clocked up over 27000 miles in its relatively short life. Then, as now, it was quite common to find 10 year old bikes with way less than 15000 miles on the clock, after all most bikes are only brought out for high days & holidays. Looking back now that relatively high mileage for its age should have been a clue to just how intoxicating an original Fazer 600 is. A 100 mile fun run is never enough, you just keep wanting more. It didn’t take long on that test ride to realise that this was the bike for me, with a relaxed riding position & a motor that went from Mr Mild to Mr Mad at around 8000 rpm. As well as being instantly pressed into commuting duties the summer nights & weekends were spent blasting around the fantastic roads of Wales, quite often two up. My girlfriend at the time thought the passenger position was arm chair comfy compared to her previous GSXR 750 pillion perch. As winter started to draw in i mixed up a concoction of white spirit & clear wax oil then sprayed it all over the motor, end can & various other bits n bobs & generally carried on regardless. Those notorious for rust original black painted mild steel exhaust headers were given the occasional going over with good old fashioned “ZEBO” black grate polish. In the spring my greasy DIY protective layer was washed off with several buckets of very hot soapy water & back came my tidy bight red Fazer. The bike was a peach, totally reliable on even the coldest & wettest of winter days. They don`t call em a “Fazer Amazer” for nothing.
Almost twenty years on & yes you can still find me attacking those same country highways & byways on an old Fazer 600. Other bikes have come & gone but when i do a mental check list of all the qualities i need in a machine, reliability, easy to maintain, comfort, cheap to run but also comes with a large dollop of excitement, i always end up back at the trusty Fazer. Yamaha pulled this trick off before with a lightweight bike that if looked after properly, left in standard spec & not messed around with was quite reliable but extremely fun to ride. That bike is the legendary two-stroke RD250 / 350LC & i think you could argue that the FZS600 is Yamahas four-stroke equivalent ! firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fazer 600 seems to fit into the modern UK motorcycle scene better today than it did when new in 1998. Released on to a biking world that was mostly preoccupied with race track style machinery such as the Honda Fireblade, Suzuki GSXR range & the all new Yamaha R1. The Fazer received some very unflattering remarks indeed, mainly about its looks. However, times change & it`s no secret that today fewer younger people are going to all the trouble & expense of getting a full & unrestricted motorcycle licence. Britain’s riding population is getting older & our ageing bodies are beginning to object to being bent up & generally tortured on a head down arse up sport bike. You don`t need to be a rocket scientist to understand why there has been such a shift towards all the new naked street bikes & the huge range of adventure / off-road style bikes with their upright & easy going riding position. All of a sudden the old Fazer 600 offers what riders want, long distance comfort but with the option of high rpm excitement.
YAMAHA FAZER FZS600 PRODUCTION HISTORY. The world was first introduced to the basic design & layout of the Fazer in 1997 but it was only a 399cc machine at this point & called the Yamaha FZ400. As far as i understand it wasn’t imported in to Britain officially, sold only in main land Europe & Japan. They do pop up for sale in the UK from time to time & a quick way of spotting one if it has lost its “FZ” fairing stickers is by the gold coloured Brembo 4-piston front calipers, the later 600 had blue spot calipers. You will also notice the absence of a metal passenger grab rail, instead a grab strap is fitted to the seat. I am sure there will be other differences but as you can see, visually it looks pretty much the same as the later 600.
YAMPART.COM NEW & USED FAZER FZS 600 PARTS SPECIALISTS. CONTACT email@example.com
In 1998 the UK finally got the full fat Fazer FZS600 & apart from different colour options in its second year the spec remained the same for 1998 & 1999. It`s common to hear the twin cam water cooled in-line four cylinder motor complete with its add on cooling fins being simply explained away as the same as the one used in sportier YZF600 Thundercat. This is both true & false. The Yamaha engineers made quite a few detailed changes to the motor in a bid to create a strong & usable mid-range power curve. Don`t get the impression this made the motor slow, just hold back on your gear changes a little & rev the bike out in each one, you will soon be in licence loosing territory. With a top speed of just under 140 mph it`s no slouch. Some of the changes made were altered camshaft timing & valve duration plus smaller 33mm carbs, no ram air system is used just a normal type air box. A designed for purpose four into two into one exhaust system made from mild steel is utilised. A left over from the original high performance Thundercat spec is the ceramic coated aluminium cylinders, this sounds pretty neat & high tech but as the bikes get older & fall into the “worth restoring” category this may become problematic. The carburettors are fitted with a Throttle Position Sensor “TPS”, this sends information to the engine management unit which in turn alters the ignition timing according to rpm & throttle position. All this adds up to a crisp & usable power curve that tops off at 95 bhp @11500rpm.
The motor is housed in a quite unremarkable steel tube frame but its geometry is on the sporty side. The front end of the frame is held up off the floor by a pair of none adjustable front forks these are complimented at the back by a fairly basic single shock. This does at least feature pre-load adjustment that you altered with the “C” spanner & extension tube from the original tool kit. When it comes to fine handling none of this sounds very promising at all. But from this collection of very ordinary specification parts Yamaha some how created a finely balanced chassis that one minute could hold a steady course through a series of nasty potholes & the next could fire you through a series of bends like you were riding a well focused sports bike. If you did mess up then not to worry as Yamaha had provided you with the same blue spot front brake calipers as used on the mighty R1. A Fazers handling & braking was & if kept in fine fettle today is, razor sharp.
In the debut year of 1998 you could choose to have your new 600 Fazer topped off in either – Bright Red officially known as VRC1 (Vivid Red Cocktail 1) – Black BL2 (Black 2) – Golden Yellow officially known as DRYC1 (Deep Reddish Yellow Cocktail 1). The second production year, 1999, saw the bright red paint option dropped from the colour chart & replaced by a darker burgundy shade of red officially known as VRC7 (Vivid Red Cocktail 7) plus silver was added to the list & went by the code of SM1 (Silver Metallic 1)
Tests reports of the day praised the bikes upright riding position, practicality, fine handling, sport bike performance & powerful front brakes. They raved about its all day comfort & how this made it ideal for a spot of touring if the owner so wished. Pillion passenger comfort was also excellent, they liked the large under seat storage compartment & how the machine came with a proper centre stand. A few people remarked on its clunky gear box action especially when you went from neutral into 1st & vibes could creep in at a certain rpm but nothing too serious. In fact the only possible negative point was the styling, mostly the bikini fairing / twin head light design, today known as the “Box Eye” type. On the one hand it does quite a good job of keeping wind blast & light rain off the rider, plus a few of its closest rivals din`t come with a fairing so it scored points over them. No, it was basically just the way it looked, you either like it or not. Back in 1998 some said that it looked dated, a bit retro or an afterthought addition to the finished product. Maybe the designer was a sci-fi movie fan because every time i look at one the same image pops into my head..
Year 2000 & Yamaha had made some changes, the most noticeable being colour options. The dark red burgundy had been dropped but you could still choose to order your new fazer in all black or all silver. The original bright vivid red was back & this time it had been teamed up with black & silver stripes. Gold had also been given the same treatment. The new stripey red & gold machines were now officially known as Fazer FZS600 “S” models. As far as i understand the only difference between a “S” model & the all black & silver bikes is in fact, a couple of stripes. From what i read the reason behind this extra splash of colour was a nod towards the 1980s red, white & black FZ750 campaigned by Eddie Lawson & the famous yellow & black factory bikes raced by Kenny Roberts. I know what you are thinking, “Why O why didn’t Yamaha use speed block graphics on the yellow & black Fazer design ?” Would have been an even bigger sales hit then plus a very desirable & collectable bike now. The designers decided that even though pillion accommodation had received lots of praise from the motorcycling press there was still room for improvement. To make things even more comfortable the exhaust end can was angled down slightly so the pillion foot peg brackets could be redesigned & made longer / lower. The foot pegs were now given rubber covers & the foam in the passenger seating area was made around 15mm thicker. The rear grab rail design was also changed from a bit of bent round steel tube & given a more sculptured look. The hot news up front was the forks were now adjustable for pre-load so the new owner could twiddle away until their little heart was content. While he or she was there they could also play with the new digital read out function. No longer could you choose to just look at total mileage or the trip reading, no, you could now look at a second trip reading, why ? or the time. The left hand switch gear now sported a four way hazard warning red button. Internal changes were made to the fuel tank so you could squeeze an extra litre or two of fuel in. Buried away out of sight the fuel tank breather pipe system was also altered. The Yamaha engineers decided to have a fiddle about with the design of the clutch plates & springs plus make the gear lever a fraction longer. There were a few minor detail changes for 2001, the clock surround changed its look from gold to carbon fibre & a new blue paint option came on line officially known as BMC1 (Blue Metallic Cocktail 1). The lower fork tubes now received a coat of silver paint at the factory to help prevent white alloy rot but otherwise things pretty much remained the same.
2002 saw the last roll of the dice. Yamaha introduced a restyled fairing with a better head lamp set up similar to the one used on the FZS1000 plus longer rubberised mirror stalks & black painted fork & handlebar clamps. The generator was altered & now pumped out more wattage, presumably to power the better headlights. Some other electrical components were changed, relays etc, so be careful when buying in new or used parts, check comparability first. The instrument cluster also received an update, the rev counter now sported its own digital readout panel. The restyled petrol tank could now hold yet another extra litre or two of fuel. You will also notice a change in the logo font style & the bikes radiator comes complete with protective wire grill. The front exhaust pipe tubing was changed to stainless steel but still painted black. Colour options were DPBMC (Deep Purplish Blue Metallic C) – S1 (Silver 1) – RYC1 (Reddish Yellow Cocktail 1). As you can see it was very much a re-styling exercise, the main chassis & mechanical components remained the same. It seems fitting that in 2003, the bikes last year of production, the only thing added to the specification sheet was another colour. You now had the option to order your new bike in the ever popular original bright red VRC1 (Vivid Red Cocktail 1) paint. And that`s it, due to not being able to meet the latest emission rules & regulations the Fazer had to be fazed out !!
The bike that followed & took the place of the original Fazer in Yamaha’s 2004 model rage was the FZ6, this used the 600cc fuel injected engine from the race rep R6. In FZ6 form the motor kicked out 98hp @ 12000rpm with a dry weight of 187kg. Compare this to the original 1998 Fazer FZS600 specification of 95hp @ 11500rpm with a dry weight of 189kg & with a near identical top speed of the new FZ6. Not an awful lot of difference but now with the added complications of a DIY unfriendly fuel injection system !! What price progress, as they say.
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YAMAHA FAZER FZS600 BUYERS GUIDE. Today in the 2020s its possible to pick up a fazer for anything from sub £500 right up to nearly £3000 from a dealer. At the rock bottom end of the scale the bike will either be crash damaged or has been off the road for many years, probably left standing in someones shed & is now just a collection of dirt, rust & alloy rot topped off with a set of scrap carbs. Underneath all that it will usually have quite a lot of miles on the clock or still have the big problem that caused the owner to stop using it in the first place. Mid range sort of money should get you a clean & tidy example with no major mechanical issues from a private seller & come complete with a current MOT certificate. If you are willing to fork out top end money for a 1998 – 2001 bike from a dealer then it really should be very good indeed. Don`t buy into the dealers “it`s a classic” tag line, maybe one day but no time soon i think. You would expect it to be a one or maybe two owner bike from new in fantastic original unmolested condition, no cracks or repairs on the fairing etc with Super low mileage & a good warranty thrown in to boot. On the subject of low mileage, any Fazer fan who keeps an interested eye on the for sale adds will tell you that quite often bikes still pop up with sub 15,000 miles on the clock. So don`t rush into a deal on mileage alone, chances are an even lower mileage example with an even more pampered history will pop up, they always do. If you want a 2002 – 2003 face lift model then price range is similar to “Box Eye” type. There are still so many examples about today that you can let yourself be very choosy indeed. If there is any discrepancy in its history / background check or the owner hasn’t owned it very long & you suspect he is a bit of a wheeler dealer or the V5 is missing, either walk away or bid them low, very low. NOTE if you are thinking of buying a very early 98-99 year bike with a low mileage make sure it`s not fitted with a later type clock cluster. If so, ask the vendor why.
HAVE A RUSTY & CRUSTY FAZER YOU WANT TO SELL ? CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org
The simple, DIY home mechanic friendly Fazer FZS600 came along just when other motorcycles were starting to get more complicated with things such as fuel injection & ABS. Today they occupy that grey area that all things travel through, still too many around & not old enough to be considered a highly prized classic but not new enough for most people to want. This is a good thing as it means riders who appreciate them for what they offer, cheap transport & fun, can still enjoy everyday use without worrying too much about getting it dirty or scratched. With a plentiful supply of new & second hand parts it`s good times for sure. With a power out put of 95bhp they fit right in the 90 to 110bhp bracket that quite a few bigger capacity bikes both then & now occupy. Park a Fazer 600 next to a 1000cc machine from the same period or one from today & they don`t physically look any smaller, sometimes bigger, so you can forget that “Little Bike” tag line people sometimes use. The burble that comes out of even a standard end can when sitting at the traffic lights won`t embarrass you either. Don`t forget, their low speed easy going nature is ideal for a beginner or a rusty rider coming back to riding after a few years away but they are a lightweight 130mph plus machine with grease lightning acceleration. If you don`t treat it with respect, it can kill you.
Yamaha Fazer FZS600 After market accessories. Useful things to look out for on any potential purchase. Cheap & cheerful “Fender extender” on rear edge of front mud guard. Not expensive to purchase but if its been on since the bike was nearly new it might have kept the worst of the winter muck off the engine, exhaust & metal oil / coolant pipes. Rear wheel “Hugger with built in chain guard” again helps to keep dirt away, quite expensive to buy new. Personally not too sure if a “Belly Pan” is a good or bad thing to have. They do seem to get in the way when carrying out maintenance or cleaning & can possibly direct extra noise upwards when you are on the move. It`s useful if the bike has had the original black painted mild steel system replaced with a good quality after market “Stainless Steel Exhaust”, very expensive to buy new. “Hard luggage” with matching rack, again extremely expensive to buy new. If a higher “Touring Screen” or a “Double Bubble” windscreen has been fitted this can be useful, it`s a hot topic among owners which type is best & most suitable for their particular needs. Again they are quite expensive to buy new & it`s far easier to find a good cheap standard spec one than a good used condition taller screen. After market protective “Radiator Grill”, the rad is pretty exposed to potential flying stone damage so a grill is a very useful addition to have on your Fazer. In 2002 when the bike received its final update, Yamaha put a basic wire radiator grill on as standard.
Yamaha Fazer FZS600 What goes wrong & problems to look out for.
Yamaha Fazer FZS600 Engine problems. Well they have all been out in the big bad world for a long time now, the earliest for over 20 years. They have earned a solid reputation for being very tough & reliable when looked after properly & even neglected ones seem to rumble along day after day taking riders to & from work. You quite often hear of 100,000 mile examples still going strong. You shouldn’t expect to have any serious wear on the bores or pistons of something with say 25000 miles on the clock if its been looked after properly. A valve clearance check might show one or two need a re-shim to bring them back within tolerance but the motor should still have many many good summers of riding left in it. I have carried out cylinder compression tests & valve checks on 60,000 mile engines & found they have been in a similar state of wear to one with half the miles on it. No doubt you will hear stories from some owners who experienced a dropped valve or worn piston rings etc at a relatively low mileage but generally those cases are the exception & not the rule. The reality is, yes they do seem to wear very well indeed.
Fazer FZS600 Gearbox problems..These seem to give more potential trouble than most other major mechanical items. The original 98 Fazers were well known for giving a loud clunk when going from neutral down into 1st gear. The rest of the gear change action was OK once warmed up. Many miles & 20 years of fatigue later some, not all, are starting to give trouble. The gear change action can become a bit agricultural. You can try taking your time when shifting gear or adjusting / lubricating the clutch cable, drive chain, gear lever angle / linkage rod ball joints etc, or change the oil but most things have limited success. One of mine can be fine on a 200 mile ride out but then become totally screwed up & start to give false neutrals if i happen to gently touch the gear linkage rod with the heel of my boot while groping for the side stand. But like so many others it keeps going, you just become use to it. Occasionally you do see Fazers up for sale with a serious gearbox problem such as stuck in gear or stuck in neutral. It`s a bit of a job to get in there & fix it especially if you are not that competent with the spanners. Usually the internal gear shift mechanism has developed a fault, its become bent or a part of it has broken off completely. So something to keep in mind if you are tempted to buy a bike that comes with serious gearbox issues. A common gearbox test ride trick suggested by Fazer owners is to sharply change up into second gear & quickly accelerate to see if the bike jumps out of gear.
Fazer FZS600 Buying used engines. The internet is awash with complete Fazer 600 engines, both from breakers & private sellers but caution is advised. All too often the advert will contain the phrase “Engine comes from a running bike” & this is a very good thing but as you have read above, the other probably more important question is ” Is the gearbox OK ? “. With average used prices ranging from anywhere between £200 & £600 for a complete motor it`s a vital point to remember & an important question to ask any vendor “Can you guarantee the gearbox works correctly, does it jump out of gear ?”. If their answer is a bit too vague, especially when you ask if the engine can be returned if faulty, it might be best to walk away from the deal & seek an alternative source. The great thing is that right now the used parts market is chock a block full of stuff so its easy to find another engine for sale. Remember, if the engine is from a crashed bike or one that has been off the road for a long time & gone straight to the breakers yard, there is very little chance of the seller knowing the true condition of the gearbox. Selecting the gears with the motor running but stationary is next to useless. The engine / bike needs to be on the move & the gearbox under load to find out for sure what its true condition is ! Chances are any gear problems are down to the internal shifting mechanism which is bad enough but it could be something more expensive to fix deeper inside the transmission cluster.
Fazer FZS600 Cam chain rattle. Before you break out the tools, some owners suggest a good blast & letting the motor rev into its high rpm range. This can un-gum a sticky self adjusting cam chain tensioner & miraculously quieten things down. I will let you decide if your bike, motor & rattly cam chain can survive a high rpm blast & remain intact.
Fazer FZS600 Carb problems.. If you have just taken ownership of a bike that has been stood around unused for several months or more then the carbs may need a total strip & clean. Modern petrol is no friend of Mikuni carbs if its been allowed to sit in them over winter. I myself have stripped, cleaned & rebuilt many sets of Fazer carbs, new & used parts are readily available so it is quite possible to bring them back from the edge of death. It`s amazing what a good clean & then balancing them up on the bike can achieve. Another potential problem is the very small diameter metal water pipes on each of the four carb units. They can become blocked solid with rust particles or if a previous owner has used a chemical water leak stopper to fix a busted rad. Some times no amount of prodding with a piece of wire or leaving them in an ultrasonic cleaning tank will clear the blockage. You have to either replace the individual metal tube which is a pretty tight press fit or sometimes it`s easier to just replace the stripped down bare casting for another used one with good pipes. In the warm summer months you probably will not notice blocked water pipes but on cold winter mornings the carbs will give trouble. The bike can feel like it`s running on three cylinders at low revs if the carbs don`t get a warm flow of water around them to stop internal icing. Something else to have a look at on any potential purchase is the four rubber engine manifold intakes between the carbs & cylinder head. They crack badly with age & look like they could be letting air in but most in fact are totally fine because the rubber is so thick. Up until quite recently a set of four could set you back £80 to £100 depending on who you purchased them from. Luckily cheaper ones are now on the market & retail at half the price. Apart from causing poor running if split & letting in air, a bike can fail an MOT if the tester thinks they are too perished.
Fazer FZS600 Speedo problem Another common problem with the Yamaha FZS600 Fazer is a none working speedo. Unfortunately the bike uses an electrical system & not a old style rotating wire inside an outer cable. The Fazer uses a front wheel hub mounted housing that has a magnet inside, this is rotated by the wheel. The rotating magnet generates an electrical signal that is sent via wires to the speedo. If the system develops a fault the speedo needle can start to wildly sweep up & down the dial even if the bike is stood still. Common reasons for failure are, the from wheel has been removed for a new tyre & the magnet / sender unit has not been seated properly on the hub before the wheel has been refitted to the bike. Result is the two locating lugs on the magnet have been snapped off when the bike has been ridden. You can still buy the magnet part new for around £40 if this is the case. Another potential reason is the wires that run to & from the sender unit that are normally clipped up out of the way on the fork leg have become loose & been damaged. Some owners say the wires are too fine to re solder back together & you will need to source a new or second hand assembly but disregard that. I myself have had a speedo unit stop working & easily managed to solder a new length of cable on & attach the original wiring loom block connector on to the end of it. I must warn you though that their can be other faults within the wiring loom / block connectors that can cause the speedo to intermittently stop working, so check, check & check again before you source any replacement parts. Complete new speedo hub sender units with magnet & cable ready to plug into loom are available new but cost well over £100.00 & usually have to be shipped in from main land Europe. The moral of the story is if you are looking at buying a bike with a none working speedo make allowances for the cost of a new sender unit when you are negotiating the price. You may get lucky with an easy repair or you may not.
Fazer FZS600 Original Fazer “BOX EYE” square twin headlight upgrade. Basically even when brand spanking new they were poor. There has probably been more written & said about how to improve the out put of light from these things than any other FZS600 topic. Internet forums & youtube are littered with different ways of how to bring them up to a usable standard. The original dodge was to wire them up so on dipped beam they both eliminated instead of just one. It didn’t really improve the potential of lighting up an unlit road at night but it was useful for letting other road users know of your presence. Today owners try fitting super bright white replacement bulbs or even brighter bulbs that need a separate power pack wiring into the loom. If you are an all year round, any time of day & night type of rider you may need to consider fitting extra auxiliary lights. I myself have taken the “Will Smith – I Am Legend” approach & make sure i am off the streets & in doors by nightfall.
Fazer FZS600 Front Sprocket Nut Problem stories started to emerge of the large nut that held the front drive chain sprocket on becoming loose. This prompted a Yamaha recall to fit an upgraded nut & lock washer. It was a quick & easy fix that usually saw the original 9mm thick nut up graded to a 12mm thick nut & new lock washer. The gearbox out put shaft wasn’t changed unless it had been damaged. It was just a case of a wider nut has a couple more turns of thread to help hold it on. Today you probably hear more complaints from owners of a Fazer 600 who can`t get a seized on nut off ! Check to see if yours has been upgraded. The thicker type nut & lock washer is still available to purchase new.
Fazer FZS600 Brake Caliper Problems. Keep the standard spec “Blue Spot” front calipers & discs in tip top condition & you can`t go wrong. If they were good enough for an R1 they are good enough for a humble 600 Fazer. Riders who use their bike all year round find that even after a thorough clean or complete refurbishment the rear caliper can soon become gummed up & start to drag etc. Especially common during the winter months when the roads have a generous covering of water, gritting salt & general muck. The hanging down under the swing arm position does not help the situation at all. Over the years quite a few owners have swapped the original unit for a “Blue Spot” rear caliper from an early FZS1000. Reports suggest that these seem to withstand the winter weather better & also offer improved breaking performance especially if teamed up with a braided hose. You will need to do some filing so the mounting bolt holes line up & the original mounting bracket & blue spot caliper fit flush together. Whether this deviation from the standard set up is safe to do or not is something for you to decide.
Fazer FZS600 Brake Disc Problems. Very important to check both front & rear discs when looking over a Fazer you are thinking of buying. Nothing out of the ordinary just the normal wear & tear issues but new replacement ones are very expensive. New front discs can be around £150 each & a new rear one can cost you between £60 & £80 depending on the quality / brand.
Fazer FZS600 Rear suspension strip, clean & grease. Nothing out of the ordinary to worry about here as long as none of the bolts have seized in due to lack of maintenance. You will find needle roller bearings & tube bushings once you get everything stripped down on the bench. One tip before you start is make sure you have a thin wall 22mm socket that will fit inside the swing arm pivot bolt recess on the frame. Any socket with an outside diameter of over 31mm will not fit.
Fazer FZS600 Exhaust manifold nuts & studs problem. No problems really, its just the fact that quite a lot have remained untouched for around two decades now. Don`t even think of trying to remove one until its had a de-rust with a wire brush & given a dose of penetrating oil. Even then, I personally wouldn’t try to undo one until its been warmed up. Then it`s a case of turning it 1 or 2mm one way & then 1 or 2mm back the other & slowly working the thing off. Be Warned, 20 year old rusted thin studs snap with alarming ease !!
Fazer FZS600 Radiator fan switch. Even when working correctly you will have to wait a very long time indeed for the rad cooling fan to kick in. If you leave the bike ticking over on an average day here in relatively cool Britain you might never see it come on, mine never has even after a run out. For piece of mind you can “hot wire” test the fan to make sure it spins & works OK. But take a look at the official Yamaha service manual & things start to get a bit sketchy. It tells you how to hot water test the thermostat & at what temperature it`s supposed to open but nothing about the “Thermo switch (fan motor)” and the “Thermo switch (engine temperature)”. Only advise the manual offers is to replace if dropped or if either has received a heavy whack. There is a small red light on the clock cluster to warn of danger but again i have never seen one illuminate. Only advise i can offer is to keep a careful eye on the coolant level.
Fazer FZS600 Metal water & oil pipe. They are mounted on the front of the engine & are in direct firing line of all road muck & winter salt. Just like the exhaust manifold nuts they have probably never been touch for 20 years. They also have the added problem of being tucked in on the front of the engine block but behind the exhaust pipes so access is difficult. They quickly started to look untidy when the bikes were just a few years old & today they can be on the verge of rusting right through & leaking vital fluids. So check & repaint.
Fazer FZS600 Front fork problems. One area to take a close look at on any potential purchase is the upper fork sliders. Old stone chip damage on the chrome can rust & if its low down in the area of travel that passes through the fork seals it`s an MOT fail. If it`s higher up out of the sweep area you will probably get away with it. The front fork lowers originally had a bare alloy finish, this as you can imagine quickly picks up stone chip marks & develops white powdery alloy rot if not kept clean over the winter months. Can spoil the look of an otherwise very tidy machine. In 2001 Yamaha started painting the fork lowers silver.
Fazer FZS600 Body panels. It`s getting harder now to buy a bike that hasn’t got at least some minor splits or cracks in the bikini fairing, most have noticeable damage or evidence of past repairs. Tail pieces usually have scuffs & marks from carrying luggage. The small black side panels usually get split through over tightening of the mounting bolt. The good news is the second hand market is awash with panels & petrol tanks in all the various colours. Plus if you are up to the task of a DIY paint job all the original factory colours can be purchased in rattle can form.
Yamaha Fazer FZS600 Low Seat, High Foot Peg, Problems. While the relatively low seat height of around 795mm is very good news for riders with short legs or for those who like to get both feet firmly flat on the ground to help inspire confidence, it can literally be a total pain for those with longer legs or dodgy knees that don`t like to be kept bent up for long periods of time. It`s not only the relatively low seat but the high & quite sporty location of the foot pegs that can cause the problem. If you think that fitting different length suspension “Dog Bones” & raising the overall height of the bike will cure the problem then you are barking up the wrong tree. Excuse the pun. While riding along the distance between your bum & your boots will remain the same. You do see adjustable foot pegs on sale but i don`t think they offer enough movement to make much of a difference. From my own experience the only way to give your poor knees a break & give you the chance of clocking up some real miles in a single day is to get your seat foam made thicker / higher. It might not do anything for the looks of the bike but who cares as long as it helps get you out on the bike more & no one will notice it much once you are on the move. I suggest keeping a look out for a cheap used seat on flee bay & getting that one altered so you can keep the original one safe in case you sell the bike on. I personally went all out & added about 70mm to the height of my Fazer 600 seat, see photo. Surprisingly my legs still fit into the cutouts on the side of the fuel tank.
No doubt some topic has been forgotten about but I hope you have found all the above information useful if you are thinking about acquiring one of these practical but very exciting to ride machines. Don`t let all the potential problems put you off, they are only the usual sort of things you can come across when looking at any second hand bike of this age & some far newer ones as well. I think you would be very unlucky indeed to buy a bike that has all the listed faults but as they say “forewarned is forearmed” & it may help you to avoid a costly mistake or aid you in negotiating a better deal with a vendor. Safe riding, email@example.com
YAMAHA FAZER FZS600 CUSTOM PAINT JOB & GRAPHICS…Thinking of doing your own one off paint job or graphics ? Down load the blank Fazer template below & get busy on a program such as “ADOBE PHOTOSHOP” to get an idea of what your finished project might look like. Best of luck, firstname.lastname@example.org