We introduced the Yamaha FZ-X to the BikeWale long-term fleet a little over a month ago. While we were at it, we also planned our time with the motorcycle and what we’d do with it. And up until now, I have managed to ride the bike for around 1200kms. For the most part, the bike has seen the chaos of Mumbai traffic and its roads, the local supermarket with my mom saddled pillion, and the route to the office.
Yes, the FZ-X’s affinity to the city was quite pronounced. But even with its supposedly adventure-ish persona, one will most definitely use it to commute the most. So, allow me to spell out the things I liked about the FZ-X and the things I wished were better during my time with the motorcycle.
The Good Bits
Let me begin by telling you that the FZ-X is fully pillion approved. During the weekly trips to the supermarket or the weekend rides to the cafe 20kms away, the mother and girlfriend were impressed by the comfort the well-cushioned seat offered. There was ample space to move around, they said. It was the case for the rider’s part of the seat as well. It is wide, offering enough under-thigh support while the large fuel tank translates to excellent thigh grip levels too.
Adding to the comfort levels was the suspension setup. The FZ-X felt pliant over minor bumps and undulations in the tarmac and bridge connections. And with a pillion on board, it felt even plusher. That said, the rider’s triangle is also one of the things I liked even when I hopped onto the FZ-X a month ago. It feels natural. The handlebar is pulled back and the footpegs are right under you. Couple that with a low seat height and you are seated in a comfortable, stress-free position.
There were times, I found myself stuck in traffic for over an hour but noticed no fatigue from being on the motorcycle. That said, even on those occasions when the footpath needed to be used as a road; or the only option to get out of traffic was to go off the road, the FZ-X proved to be quite a functional motorcycle. Since the handlebar is set slightly higher than the regular FZ and the tank wide enough to grip, standing up and riding over these everyday obstacles was a cakewalk.
In my time with the motorcycle, I even tried exploring light trails and the FZ-X did not disappoint. With standing up ergos that are commendable and a suspension setup that can take a beating, the FZ-X began to feel more than just a regular streetbike. Additionally, I was also impressed by its build quality.
While the components like the switchgear look quite basic, the overall finish and feel is robust. Even the styling of the FZ-X grew on me by the end of the second week. It might not have the charm and uniqueness of the XSR 155, but it still has a distinct character. And that is what I’d personally want from a motorcycle.
However, the aspect that stood out the most in these 45 odd days was the fuel efficiency. I was greatly impressed by the 54-55kmpl it returned- even after riding it at full throttle most of the time. Something that would appeal to each and every Indian, considering the incessant rise in fuel prices.
Although, as I found out, the FZ-X is not all rainbows and unicorns. There were a few things about the motorcycle that I felt could have been better.
The Not So Good Bits
As you might have read in the spec sheet, if ever, that the FZ-X has the same 149cc engine as the FZ-S. There seems to have been no prominent revisions made here either. Now, this motor feels smooth in the 60-70kmph band and offers decent mid-range performance from 4000-6000rpm. However, beyond 6000rpm it feels stressed and announces its displeasure with vibes and by taking its own time to hit a top-speed of 107kmph.
Adding to that, the engine does not always offer enough grunt for quick overtakes. It needs some coaxing and a downshift to surge ahead. The other aspect of the FZ-X I wished would be better was the throw and spread of the full-LED headlamp. While it failed to illuminate ill-lit roads, the setup seemed insufficient even on high-beam setting, in the dark.
That aside, there wasn’t much to loathe about the Yamaha FZ-X in the 1200 odd kilometers I spent with it. If at all, it seemed like a motorcycle one would have fun commuting on. It is quite agile, offers good ergonomics and comfort as well as a frugal motor. Well, I’d be recommending the FZ-X to someone whose sole purpose is commuting. If you’d want something for regular weekend rides or long tours, the FZ-X would be capable but the FZ-25 would do it much better…
Price (when tested): Rs 1.16 lakh, ex-showroom
Odometer reading: 1202kms
Kms ridden: 1202km
Fuel Efficiency: 54-55kmpl
Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi