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Yamaha FZ25 First Ride Review

03 March 2017, 07:00 PM Pratheek Kunder

What is it?

The FZ range of bikes wasn’t just about commuting. It was also about doing it in style. The FZ16 is a comfortable commuter, has the ability to show off and does the job of being a fun bike in the corners. These aspects made it a game changer for Yamaha and for the industry but there was a problem. FZ16 customers were moving away from Yamaha to other brands once their thirst for more performance and features grew. This made Yamaha develop something that will help them keep their customers within the brand. This will the job of the FZ25.

The FZ25 is the most affordable 250cc motorcycle one can buy in India and maybe that’s what Yamaha was trying to achieve. Everything on this bike has been built to a cost. The FZ25 follows the same stylish DNA as the FZ16 but with more body cladding and power. 

How does it ride?

The FZ25 does all the things that the FZ16 can do, only it does things better and faster. Yamaha says that the FZ25 is a streetfighter that is more oriented towards daily commuting and the bike does that really well. The seating position and cushioning on both rider and pillion seats are fantastic. In fact, extra effort was put in to get the right cushioning for all kinds of body weight. The ride quality on the new FZ25 isn’t really plush or very stiff. The telescopic forks in the front and monoshock at the rear provide the right amount of damping for city as well as highway use. 

Yamaha FZ25

Yamaha FZ25

  • Displacement249 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported37 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)20.51 bhp
  • Kerb Weight153 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,54,408

The FZ25 gets its power from a 249cc air-cooled single cylinder motor. This engine is based on the Yamaha XT250, an entry-level adventure motorcycle, but has been retuned to churn out 20.6bhp at 8000rpm and maximum torque of 20Nm at 6000rpm. This motor is not about top-end performance, but is friendly at low and mid-range. The grunt in the lower revs gets this 148kg motorcycle in motion quickly. The bike does 40kmph in fifth gear and that means there’s not a lot of gear changing  required in traffic. Twist the throttle more and the FZ25 reaches 100kmph without any sweat. 120kmph is possible too, but not advisable due to the amount of vibrations through the handlebar. 

The power delivery on the FZ25 reminded me of the FZ16 – smooth and linear. The fuelling and the throttle response is excellent. This 249cc motor has the traditional Yamaha refinement. The five-speed gearbox gets well spaced out ratios and offers precise shifts. The clutch action is light and stress-free. Yamaha claims a fuel efficiency of 43kmpl but we will wait for our test to get the exact figure. 

Yamaha was able to achieve 148kg for the FZ25 by developing a lighter chassis, body components and even some electrical parts. In fact, the plastic panels on the FZ25 are thinner but don’t compromise on the quality as per Yamaha.  The result is an easy-to-handle 250cc motorcycle that commutes excellently, changes direction when wanted and is easy to operate. There are a few things that could have been better, especially the brakes. The 282mm disc at the front has decent power for slow speed stops, but lacks bite. For high speed stops, the power in the front isn’t confidence inspiring. With the rear brake, there’s marginal feedback and feel on the lever. Being a premium 250cc motorcycle, Yamaha isn’t offering ABS even as an option and that’s disappointing. The FZ25 misses out on radial tyres. It is equipped with MRF Zapper tyres to keep costs in check. 

Anything else should I know?

The design of the LCD instrument cluster on the FZ25 is simple. There’s nothing fancy and doesn’t look like it belongs to a 250cc bike. That said, it has a speedometer, tachometer, clock, average and floating fuel efficiency and two trip meters. The switchgear too, doesn’t feel premium but the build quality will make it last long. 

Yamaha has equipped the FZ with an LED headlamp that isn’t blinding when viewed head on. Unfortunately, we didn’t get chance to test the illumination. The tail lights get LED treatment too, but the turn indicators don’t. Yamaha says they plan to offer LED indicators as an accessory in the future but didn’t give an exact timeline. The FZ25 gets a 14-litre fuel tank and if Yamaha’s fuel efficiency claim of 43kmpl is to be believed, than this street fighter can go touring as well with a whopping 550km-600km riding range. Just like what we have seen in new scooters, Yamaha has integrated the pass light with the low-high beam switch. The automatic headlamp on (AHO) feature is standard. 

Why should I buy one?

The 250cc segment in India is about performance, a lot of features and styling that begs attention. But the FZ25’s angle is different. It doesn’t get mind boggling power output, nor does it get USD forks and other expensive features. It offers just the right amount of technology and features at a price point that doesn’t merely look tempting, but makes sense too. You should buy the FZ25 if you’re in the market for a no-nonsense comfortable motorcycle that can help you commute to work or college with ease and also don’t have to worry about maintenance much. For weekend getaways too, the FZ25 could become a touring companion, thanks to the tank range and the wide comfortable seat. 

Where does it fit in?

The Yamaha FZ25 sits at the bottom of the 250cc spectrum. With a price tag of Rs 1.19 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), it is the most affordable 250cc bike in India. Its main rival – the KTM 200 Duke – demands Rs 1.43 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) but offers more power and features. There are also other 250cc bikes like the Benelli TNT 25 and the Kawasaki Z250 that compete with the FZ25 displacement-wise, but the price differences are too great. A lot of Dominar customers on BikeWale are also showing interest in the FZ25 - is this a sign of a more mature market accepting a product for what it is, rather than what features are on the brochure? Only time will tell. 

Photography by Kapil Angane

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