Nov 6, 2010

33 Yamaha FZ, comprehensive review [Top Speed/Fuel Efficiency]

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.

2010 Yamaha FZ-16

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.

Yamaha FZ Handling

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.

Positives:

+ Looks

+ Ergonomics

+ Riding Stance

+ Good low and mid range torque

+ Good gearshift quality


Negatives:

- 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

* 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



Chassis

* 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



Dimensions:

* 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




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Disclaimer:

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.






33 Comments:

faizan said...

yeah surely when we ride FZ bikes....they are too tempting to resist! but what i came to know later on by my friend was "yaar ye khoon choosti hai" lol!
efficiency is low as you have mentioned! round about 30....daz pretty low for 150c sport or i should say stylish commuter!

Akash said...

I totally agree with Faizan the FZ drinks petrol like a 250 cc bike. the only reason why people buy this bike is because of it looks

melville said...

Interesting insights despite being a tad little late in the day, SP....though you were spot on about the ride quality, there's one aspect that you have missed-for that you have to be a passenger and let someone else do the riding. The FZ has a horrible pillion seat.I experienced it while sitting behind on my friend's FZ-16 over abt 30kms....the ride was hip-and-back-breaking and left me sore for days! I am approx 6'1" and the stretch included mostly the highway. Guess that rear seat is meant only for chicks..!

Payeng said...

@Melville

Make it "Size Zero" chicks :-)

Sajal said...

I think FZ's USP from a performance biker's point of view is it's handling and all credits goes to it's mass centralization. As Payeng said, it does not have a true top end performance, but it's handling is an absolute bliss. I was able to tilt the bike at my will, with wife as pillion, with absolute ease. It's wide rear section tyre and low cg makes it the most comfortable Indian bike to counter steer after I think R15. Even the Apache RTR does not have mass centralization so well engineered as these two bikes have.

praveen said...

its a nice bike but it still missing something like rear disc brake, clip on bars, led lights, if yamaha will come up with all these features than its icing cake for youth. i hope it will became soon................

melville said...

Oh... forgot one personal gripe I've had with the entire FZ series- The tail light design is an absolute joke...looks like an autorickshaw tail-light. The least they can do is give it a better design...at least a clear lens multi-reflector if not LED.

Anonymous said...

Fazer looks exactly same as fz 4m behind.Though Fazer is much more better than fz.

-Saurabh

Payeng said...

@Melville

Make it "Size Zero" chicks :-)

Akash said...

I totally agree with Faizan the FZ drinks petrol like a 250 cc bike. the only reason why people buy this bike is because of it looks

Anonymous said...

Trst me, its not so very comfoirtable for tall guys. I am 6 feet guy, my knee's are always troubled by the fuel tank curvy designs, no matter how back i might be sitting, tried to change my riding posture by moving albioet backwards still the tank curves become hindrance for free movement of my knees..!

photographer said...

Its a comfortable bike, good pick up, nice brakes.
Good bikes consume more fuel to give you more excitement
in your tours.
If you are a Indian poor guy, then you should try bajaj Pulsar.

I took a small tour on Dukati bike when I was in america, and yahama
fz gives me excitement some what like Dukati Monster.

Never think about fuel if u like to have fun in ride.If you
ever try Dukati , U will understand what I m saying. And i m lucky that I have a chance to ride Dukati monster at a speed of 180 kmph.

What is life without fun?

Anonymous said...

@blogger I own a fz-s and it has given me top speed of 118... And average of around 40...

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@anon,

good for you

Anonymous said...

sorry i am not going to support this review!!
FZs - 119kmph already indicated on my speedo (without any visual confusion).& also calculated the avg. mileage of 46 kmpl (60% city + 40% highway)
this bike is really good. & please its better to take a test ride instead of reading this kind of confusing reviews. choose that one which match with your personality & of course your biking ability.

drive safely.

JSR.

vishal(fzs) said...

the mileage depends a lot on the way you run in your bike. Its a crucial aspect. If done right you can get 40+ km/l easily. My friends cbz extreme was not run-in properly. he started ripping it too soon. his mileage is dead poor (30km/l maximum).

vishal(fzs) said...

mileage also depends on engine temp. The engine must be warmed up before you leave. That way the oil circulates properly ensuring least friction. Most guys my age just twist the throttle completely as soon as they start. In my opinion, the fz is the perfect commuter bike. powerful enough to overtake quickly in the streets, looks great, makes me feel like I am riding a scaled down fz1, handles superbly (not exactly lightning quick change in direction but really smooth, steady and full of feel which is very important. also any motogp rider will tell you that feel and communication is very important to ride confidently and quickly). I get 40+ average which i can afford. And most importantly, its a chick magnet.

-----> VIVEK <----- said...

great review.Spot on statements on the bike's performance and looks.. i own a special edition FZ-16.Though i get a mileage of around 35-40 i must say that i am a proud owner of this bike..

Anonymous said...

i have this bike.nice bike with every aspect.it gives me average 48-50.it has better maintenance than pulsar n other bikes.riding this fz bike like fun.awesome bike.average is depending on ur riding.If u r riding wid best performance then surely fz gives 48+ avg.

shakir said...

i am a big fan of fzs its like dreams come true ... i keep my bike maintain a lot i am getting a mileage of 46+ kmpl. i am a proude owner of this bike.......

Anonymous said...

Wud like to add few more points...
I'm 5'5'' tall and light weighted, so was thinking i cannot handle 150cc bikes with ease.
then i just took ride of my fnd's FZ and i was amazed abt light weight of FZ and cud handle at ease.
till that time i owned RXZ, i have done serious off roading on it, traveled many places and had many long rides...
i sold RXZ and bought new FZ...
I have been using it since 2 years, i am highly satisfied with my FZ.

1) It has great road grip, i bend it till the foot rest touches
road...nothing happens... i never loose confidence while bending...
i dont have to slowdown at curves, if the front vision is clear i just bend it at same speeds like 70's 80's...
i enjoyed a lot of bending it without slowing down...

2) this bike has great stability at lower speeds, once i start i dont have to keep foot on road to balance at lower speeds,
wide tyre just takes care. at road humps where traffic gets very slow i notice other bikers do lot of dancing to hold the balance.
but my bike is am very stable and never touch my feet to ground until i halt. that's one of beautiful feature of FZ.

3) It is highly stable at 110kmph. after that it takes little more time to reach 120kmph...
i have reached top speed of 130kmph at slightly inclined long straight road.
i had to bend myself front to lower air resistance, almost kept my cheek on petrol tank then only i cud touch 130kmph,
otherwise in normal sitting position speedometer stops around 122-124kmph.

4) about looks... it simply looks great from every angle, no extra flashy awkward wings, no design faults...
every part is beautifully and completely designed .

5) About weight.. its the lowest among 150cc bikes 135kg dry weight. but while handling u feel like it is less than 120kg,
because of its low Center of gravity its weight doesn't fall more on body, infact nicely distributed on tyres,
but if u ended up with petrol try pushing it...u feel it is really heavy...


Yes...only bad thing abt FZ is...
as everyone experiencing.. mileage is low..
i'm getting around 37 kmpl inside city. wide tyres ensures more contact to road so road grip,stability increases at the cost of mileage.

Anonymous said...

adding to last comment...
Compared to FZ's beautiful looks, front Number plate looks out of place... dont know where to put/place it, hve observed some have pasted number stickers on mudguard, some have put it on top of headlight itself, dont know whether it is valid or not...still confused abt the placement of front number plate...:(

nick dev said...

from the experience of a fazer owner...dead engine and deadly repair bills if dropped.other excellent build quality and good suspension set up. buy one if your only into how good your bike should look......

Debasish Khandai said...

As compare to pulsar 150, fazer/fz is excellent for his pick up & sound. And fazer/fz gives mileage 45 kmpl.......

and a best thing is (LOW MAINTAINANCE)

Anonymous said...

Hooolah !!! Pre Script : Personal Oneee O.o

FZ is tailor-made 4 a upple middle class john having a fun ride with his Sexy Kareena figurd Gf, whose father doesn't want him to drive above 80km/hr .. u know safety comes first.. simple ;)

sap said...

My fz gves a mileage of 50kml whn ridn at 50 to 55 kmh , n 30 to 35 at 80kmh. N so on . it depnds on ridin style

sap said...

My top speed is 118kmh .i liv in busy streets of kolkata . Ridin fast here is rly a delicasy.;)

venki said...

goob bike
..............

karthik aj said...

i have a doubt and wanted to clarify it from many days but i had'nt got any chance.my height is 6ft and i wanted to go for p220 but bcoz of some reasons my dad did not agree for it and now he is saying that get hero hunk or else i wont get you any bike at all.i was thinking of fz16 and wat would you suggest sir?(i mean any bike which is of its range)

Anonymous said...

fz was very buetiful bike in the wolrd by ashiq & shiyas

Vishal said...

Guys this is a cool bike.
believe me or not but I get a average of 45+ every time.

For driving tips contact me on talharvishal@yahoo.com

Dharan Gupta said...

i like thissssssssssss :)

ravikrishna said...

Awesome bike it is. :) I bought it on may 30th 2013. I checked my FZ-S mileage after first servicing, it is giving 42.5 Kmpl. Before buying FZ-S i feared a lot thinking of mileage. But when started riding it, believe me, awesome experience, super handling. Once we start riding FZ-S we will no more think about mileage. I feel 42.5 Kmpl means a good mileage for a bike like yamaha FZ-S.
Friends, stop thinking about mileage, you will surely get 40-23 if you maintain a speed between 40kmph-55kmph (i never rode beyond 55kmph).

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