A comprehensive review of the Yamaha FZ.. over a three day period
The Yamaha FZ has successfully brought back the "Fun and Oomph Factor" while commuting..
This review of mine is of mine is actually late by 2 years. But when Yamaha had launched the FZ-16 in Oct 2008, I was not able to blog due to personal & professional reasons. I resumed blogging only since Jan 2010.
Meanwhile Yamaha went ahead and launched two more variants the FZ-S and the Fazer both based on the same FZ-16. Since the other two variants are just merely ones with a slightly different paint scheme (FZ-S) and with a fixed half fairing (Fazer), I don’t expect the other two to ride much differently than the FZ-16.
I had the opportunity to ride the FZ-16 over a period of 3 full days as one friend had gone home on his Diwali holidays while leaving his 16,000 Km old FZ-16 with me.
Looks/Aesthetics: "Muscles on steroids"
Without any doubt, the looks of the Yamaha FZ is its U.S.P. When almost every other 150 cc bike in India looks only slightly different from the category leader, the Bajaj Pulsar 150.. the Yamaha FZ stands apart from every other bike on our Indian streets.
But if thought carefully, the FZ doesn’t pack anything extra compared to the other 150 cc bikes. Come to think of it, what is unique in the FZ? Maybe the first Indian bike to feature a Digital tachometer and a radial rear tyre.. but apart from that, mechanically the FZ is just like any other carbureted Indian 150 cc bike.
The FZ is actually a very smart piece of engineering. What Yamaha did very cleverly was to puff up the body parts of the FZ and give it a muscular appearance.
>> The front forks are of 41 mm diameter, which still is the biggest on any Indian bike
>> The tank has been fabricated out of plastic panels and beefed up to appear twice more in size than its modest 12 litre fuel capacity
>>The plastic panels fixed on the area where the crash bars are fitted are put to mimic the radiator as found on liquid cooled bikes and in the process also hides the down tube of its conventional and basic chassis
>> The stubby exhaust is actually covered by plastic panels to make it appear muscular
>> The rear tyre hugger on this designed in such a way that it appears a part of the swing arm and in the process gives the simple straight swing arm looks a the ones found on super Sports bikes
>> The rear tyre is a 140 mm size which even after two more years remains the widest rear tyre on any Indian bike. Moreover the rear tyre has a very flat profile which when viewed from the rear gives it a beefy appearance
From every angle, Yamaha has very cleverly given the FZ puffed up looks mainly by using plastic panels. This actually works quite well for the FZ. According to me, the Yamaha FZ is currently the best looking motorcycle manufactured in India. Unlike its high tech brother, the Yamaha R15, the FZ is perfect and proportional too look at from any angle.
Moreover the liberal use of plastic has ensured that the weight of the FZ is kept at a reasonable 138 Kg Kerb/Wet weight. "Puffed up muscles" it might be, but then it works perfectly well for the FZ.
Riding Stance/Ergonomics: "Comfortable, Sporty, Commanding riding stance and amazingly both short and tall guys are at home on the FZ..!!"
Yamaha has pulled off a remarkable feat with the FZ in terms of ergonomics. A short 5 ft 5 inch guy like me is equally comfortable on the FZ as a 6 ft guy. The FZ doesn’t feel small and cramped like on the TVS Apache RTR for tall guys and also doesn’t feel as big as the Bajaj Pulsar 220 for smaller guys. The FZ will feel just right in size for most Indian body sizes..!!
The riding stance is also very comfortable feels commanding with the wide handlebars. At the same time it is also aggressive and sporty with the rear set foot pegs and with the slightly forward biased riding position.
The "handle bar – seat – feet peg" relationship on the FZ just is so much inviting and additive to ride that one would be ready to forgive the lack of top end performance on the FZ.
Clutch/Gearbox and Engine performance: "Gearshift quality one of the best. Performance is adequate for city rides, runs out of steam at high speeds"
Top Speed: 106 Kmph (Speedo Indicated)
The FZ feels best from 0-80 Kmph
The clutch is light and I found the gearshift on the FZ as one of the best in the business. The gears perfectly slot into place with a positive click. The 14Ps peak power and the 14 Nm torque provides the FZ with performance that is adequate for city rides. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with the beefy/muscular styling and the commanding riding stance of the FZ and start believing that it performs with equal aggression as well. But to be honest the FZ feels best from 0-80 Kmph and post that it starts to run out of steam.
Even the 4 valve/cylinder, Pulsar 135LS performs and feels better than the FZ at speeds of 90 Kmph plus. But then how many times does one ride at 90 kmph plus speeds in the city. Therefore for city rides the performance of the FZ is more than adequate.
I could manage to see a speedo indicated top speed of around 106 kmph on the FZ and it was really difficult to push the bike beyond that speed. The FZ might struggle a bit reaching 100 Plus kmph speeds but to its credit the engine still feels healthy and well built.
Ride and Handling: "Sporty ride and Handling"
The ride on the FZ is a bit on the firmer side which aids in the sporty handling, at the same time it is not very uncomfortable. Just that it isn’t exactly plush and back pampering.
The handling is pretty good too. It is nimble at slow speeds and also stable at higher speeds. The Apache RTR (discounting the expensive R15) still feels the sportiest in terms of handling to me, but the FZ is not bad either.
Fuel Efficiency: "Disappointing for a 150 cc"
Fuel Efficiency: 30 Kmpl (the figure that I got)
I got a pretty low figure of around 30 Kmpl during my ride of 125 Kms. I'll have to admit that some of that portion was ridden hard to test it 0-80 Kmph performance and also to check it's top speed. But even then I don't see the mileage figure to improve much beyond 35-38 Kmpl under sane riding.
The fuel efficiency of the FZ is certainly its Achilles heel. With around 35-38 kmpl, the FZ is not the best ride for the “Average Kya hai” guys. I would not mind this fuel efficiency had the FZ performed like the Karizma the Pulsar 220 or even the R15, but for a bike which performs almost like the CBZ Xtreme, CB Unicorn Dazzler I would also expect it to return a fuel efficiency which is around 45 Kmpl.
Even its much powerful cousin, the Yamaha R15 is reported to return a fuel efficiency of around 40 plus kmpl.
Price: "Pricy for an air cooled, carbureted 150 cc but still worth for the Oh So Sexy Looks..!!"
The FZ-16 is currently priced approximately at around Rs. 74,000 (On Road Pune) which is about Rs. 5,000 more than the Pulsar 150 at around Rs. 69,000 (On Road Pune). The price is further hiked Rs. 2,000 more for the FZ-S variant.
The Yamaha FZ might be priced at a premium over other 150 cc bikes but then one might not mind that for the muscular good looks that the FZ packs in.
Verdict: "A tempting package indeed, but.."
The FZ is definitely a tempting package but still it is also slightly disappointing for the "Average Kya Hai" crowd (the majority)..
..and for someone like me, who can live with the 35-38 Kmpl figure (the minority), the FZ disappoints with its lack of top end performance.
+ Riding Stance
+ Good low and mid range torque
+ Good gearshift quality
- Weak horn
- Comparitively low fuel efficiency figures
- Not so strong top end performance
Without any doubt, it is the looks of the FZ that is its major selling point.
Even with silghtly lower fuel efficiency and a weak top end performance, the FZ will still appeal to a set of bikers who would not mind paying a premium for a well build, beefy looking bike with good handling and decent in city (0-80 kmph) performance..
.. the best thing about the Yamaha FZ is that it has brought back the "Fun and Oomph Factor" while commuting.
Yamaha FZ16, Technical Specifications
* Engine type: Air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve
* Displacement: 153.0 cm3
* Bore & Stroke: 58.0 × 57.9mm
* Compression ratio: 9.5:1
* Maximum output: 14PS / 7500 rpm
* Maximum torque: 14 N.m / 6000 rpm
* Starting: Electric starter
* Lubrication type: Wet sump
* Carburetor type: BS26
* Clutch type: Constant mesh wet multiplate
* Ignition type: CDI
* Primary/secondary reduction ratio: 3.409 / 2.857
* Transmission type: Return type 5-speed
* Frame type: Diamond
* Suspension: (front/rear) Telescopic / Monocross
* Wheelbase: 1,335mm
* Brake type(front/rear): Hydraulic single disc / drum
* Tire size (front/rear): 100/80-17 / 140/60-R17
* Overall Length × Width × Height: 1,975mm × 770mm × 1,045mm
* Seat height 790mm
* Wheelbase 1,335mm
* Minimum ground clearance 160mm
* Dry weight/Curb weight 126 kg / 137 kg
* Fuel tank volume 12 liters
* Engine oil volume 1.2 liters
- FZ Series - New 2010 Colors
- Yamaha launches FZ/FZ-S "Midnight" Limited Edition [Oct 13, 2010]
- Pulsar 180 UG IV: [Review, June 28, 2010]
- Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler: [Review, June 20, 2010]
- CBZ Classic Vs Fiero Vs Pulsar 150 Classic: Blast from the past (early 2000’s) [A review in retrospect]
- Yamaha India launches FZ16 [Nov, 2008]
This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.