1991 Yamaha FZR 600 racing motorcycle - official photo

Yamaha FZR Motorcycles

If you're looking for a top-class vintage racing motorcycle, you can't go wrong with the iconic Yamaha FZR series. This series was produced by Yamaha between 1984-1997 and included some world-renowned racing models such as the Yamaha FZR1000.

There's certainly a reason why Yamaha has such a great reputation in the motorcycle world. They consistently produce high-quality, high-performing bikes, often developing and using world-class features such as the alloy deltabox frame and upside-down forks.

Read on to learn more about the FZR series, the different designs you can find, and the stand-out features of these sports bikes.

A Short History of FZR Models

A now discontinued series, the FZR bikes were undoubtedly a pioneering and iconic set of motorbikes. Ten generations of bikes were made, ranging from the FZR400 in 1984 to the last-ever release of the 400RR in 1997.

The first bike released in the series was the 400cc, created in 1984. This model gained a reputation for being one of the best handling motorbikes ever produced and setting the standard for the rest of the FZR series.

In 1989, the now-iconic FZR1000 EXUP was released, a total game-changer in the sports bike world. Developed from the YZF Factory endurance racer, this bike introduced the brand new, patented EXUP system, including a patented valve on the engine that allowed impressive power, throttle, and speed.

The last FZR to be released in 1991 was the 400RR. This bike was solely designed for racing, with many design features, including the frame, chosen to allow for swift and easy track-side changes.

Performance Engines That Give You All The Advantages

Yamaha's motorbikes are renowned for using top-quality engines that were created for high speed and high performance. The engines of this bike series were improved and developed with each new release.

For example, the FZR250 utilised a transverse four-cylinder, four-stroke liquid-cooled engine, which helped it see off any competition at the time, including the Suzuki GSX – whose engine wasn’t as impressive. Other models in the series, such as the 1000EXUP and Genesis, included the unique five-valve 'Genesis' engine design that allowed impressive cylinder filling.

Yamaha has a reputation for building top-quality performance engines, and these engines are part of what makes them a top brand in the motorcycle racing world. If you're looking for an engine for your custom build, you can't go wrong with a Yamaha.

The Fabled Yamaha FZR1000 - What Makes The Exup System So Great?

The fabled FZR1000 was launched in 1987 and arguably was the bike that brought Yamaha to the forefront of superbike design. It was even voted 'Bike of the Decade' by US publication Cycle World! But why was it such an icon?

The key development with this bike was the 'EXUP system', which included adding an electronically operated exhaust valve alongside a chunky aluminium Deltabox frame and new brake callipers. This exhaust ultimate power valve was patented by the company for over ten years, which shows how unique its design was.

The design works by influencing the pressure waves within the exhaust. This, in turn, seriously improves the mid-low range power without affecting any of the top-end output of the engine. This small valve resulted in a bike that offered one of the best riding experiences of the period. It was arguably the top pick of all the Japanese superbikes and is still much loved today.

The FZR Model Evolution

Yamaha FZR400RR

Produced between 1991-1995.

It was the last instalment in the FZR series.

A true racing bike, the overall design was based on making trackside repairs swift and easy.

Yamaha FZR250R

Produced between 1990-1996.

Offered 45 HP and 14,500 RPM.

Included a 6-speed gearbox and a wet multi-plate clutch.

Yamaha FZR1000 EXUP

Produced between 1989-1995.

The EXUP is the FZR icon.

Included the patented EXUP cylinder, an impressive 145 HP, 10,500 RPM and a 5-speed gearbox.

Yamaha FZR750R 0W01

Produced between 1989- 1990.

It was one of the less successful designs in the series.

It was heavier and less powerful than previous models, and thus was quickly superseded by the EXUP.

Yamaha FZR600

Produced between 1989-1997.

The FZR600 was a much-loved track racing model and often was, and still is, the track model of choice for enthusiasts.

Fast, attractive, and inexpensive.

Offered 91 HP and over 10,000 RPM.

Yamaha FZR400

Produced between 1989-1991.

Combined features and attributes that had never been seen in US/UK markets before.

Offered 59 HP and an impressive 12,000 RPM.

Yamaha FZR1000 Genesis

Produced between 1987-1988.

Developed from the YZF factory endurance racer.

Includes technology that was first used in the pioneering FZ 750 road bike.

Yamaha FZR750R Genesis

Produced between 1987-1988.

This model demonstrated technical features that motorbike design hadn’t seen since the Norton featherbed frame.

Yamaha FZR250

Produced between 1986-1995.

It's not quite as aesthetic as its closest rival - the Suzuki GSX – but its engine is far superior.

Yamaha FZR400

First FZR bike ever produced.

Still has a good reputation as being one of the best handling motorcycles, especially for its time.

Engine revs to an impressive 14,000RPM.


What is the top speed of the FZR 600?

This model can reach an impressive 237.1 km/h (147 mph).

Is the Yamaha FZR 1000 EXUP a good motorcycle?

In short, yes. For many bikers, this model was an iconic development in the racing world. Offering a well-balanced design and impressive power, it’s a great choice for a vintage racing motorbike.

What is the average selling price of a Yamaha FZR1000 EXUP?

The price for an EXUP will depend on the condition of the bike and the specific model. For example, for a model released in 1987-1988, you could expect to pay around £1800, and for the 1995-1996 model, around £3000.

Yamaha FZR Parts

We all at Sumo Rubber understand the challenges in keeping these old bikes up and running. As motorcycles develop, so do parts and some are just not economical for Yamaha to produce. This is where we step in and offer you quality reproduction and OEM parts to help you service and restore your bike.

Our selection of Yamaha FZR parts is slowly growing with demand, so if you can't find the part that you are looking for, please email us. Meanwhile, you can start your project with Haynes Manual Yamaha FZR600, FZR750, FZR1000 or a set of new footrest rubbers, cush drive rubbers, fuel tank petcock seals or seat dampers.