Let’s get the numbers out of the way. The FZ25 is powered by 249cc oil-cooled single-cylinder engine, delivering 20.3bhp and 20Nm of torque. The Dominar 400 on the other hand, gets a KTM-derived 373cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine. While the engine produces more than twice the output of the FZ25 in its original guise, it has been detuned for the Dominar 400, churning out a respectable 34.5bhp and 35Nm of torque.
Within a few seconds of riding the FZ25, you realise that it is more inclined towards comfort than performance. The torque delivery is linear right up to the 10,000rpm redline, which makes the grunt easily accessible. In the city, you can whack open the throttle in any gear for that quick overtake. The relaxed torque delivery will ensure that you don’t scare yourself out of your wits.
The Dominar 400’s KTM-derived powertrain is very effective in countering the 183 kilogram bulk. The sheer firepower makes it quicker off the mark. But because the torque is concentrated in the mid-range, you have to play with the gearbox to get the most out of the engine. Even in city traffic, you have to keep switching between gears to ensure enough grunt while filtering.
Back to the FZ25, below 5,000rpm, the engine does sterling work to the accompaniment of nothing more than a background hum. Go past this mark, and you are presented with vibrations and the sound of a distressed engine. The Dominar 400 also has its fair share of buzz on the foot pegs, tank, seat and the handlebar, once you get past 4,500rpm. Both motorcycles give out a buzz while cruising at triple digit speeds out on the highway. However, the Dominar 400 feels relatively more relaxed, thanks to its six-speed gearbox. The FZ25 has to make do with a five-speed unit.
The Dominar 400 is an easy bike to hustle around the city and through the twisties. Its stiff suspension might not win it any favour in the comfort department, but it does give it a sporty character. All of this seems very exciting, right until the point you get on the FZ25. The way Yamaha has struck the perfect compromise between comfort and sporty ride is impressive. The FZ25 manages to stay planted around corners, absorbing all the mid-corner bumps without a hint of getting unsettled. Thanks to the lighter front end, it is even easier to tip into corners and it responds well to quick direction changes. This also makes FZ25 better at filtering through traffic and more fun for your daily commute.
I have always liked the way Yamaha configures its braking hardware, and the FZ25 is no exception. The 282mm front disc brake offers a good mix of bite, progression and stopping power. The Dominar 400 has a good initial bite, though the progression could have been better. Nevertheless, it has the additional safety buffer of the optional ABS system.
The FZ25 might not score any brownie points when it comes to technology. But this also means that it will be lighter on the pocket as compared to the Dominar 400 as far as maintenance is concerned. When it comes to fuel consumption, the FZ25's Blue Core technology helped it extract 41.6kmpl in our standard test cycle. The Dominar 400's bigger engine, on the other hand, takes a toll on the efficiency, returning 34kmpl.