Slowly but steadily, the 250cc segment is getting as crowded and popular as the 150-160cc class. And why not? You get all the accessibility that the latter offers but in a more exciting, more powerful and larger displacement package. The 250cc street bike segment started gaining popularity essentially with the inception of the KTM 250 Duke. It brought all the desirable traits to the table that were expected from it. But, its hefty pricing of over Rs 2 lakh and a highly spirited character encourage a lot of buyers to look somewhere else. To look for something that’s friendlier, more practical and easier on the pocket. Something like the Yamaha FZS 25 and the Bajaj Dominar 250.
Now, both these quarter-litre offerings are majorly aimed at riders who are upgrading from a smaller displacement bike and are looking for a bigger engine, more power, better equipment and more visual appeal. While the FZS 25 and the Dominar 250 fulfill these requirements, it could be difficult for prospective buyers to choose one of them. In this story, we try to help you make a wise decision by comparing these close contenders in terms of features and specifications.
Let’s start with the way these bikes look. Interestingly, the FZS 25 and the Dominar 250 both look big and muscular. But the FZ carries more of a streetfighter-like personality with sharp and edgy design lines running across its new robotic-style headlamp, chiseled fuel tank, tank extensions and sleek tail section. And the S variant you see here looks even more striking than the standard model with a taller fly screen, knuckle guards and golden wheel rims.
Moving on to the Dominar 250, one of its strongest points is that it looks identical to its bigger 400cc sibling. And unlike the sporty design of its rival, it exudes a power cruiser vibe with a bold headlamp section, a beefy fuel tank, and a stubby tail portion. The Dominar also gets a dual exhaust canister that not only adds to its visual bulk, but also lends it a bassier exhaust note.
When it comes to features, both bikes are decently equipped. They get a full-LED headlamp, an LED tail light, LED turn indicators, and a fully-digital negative LCD console. However, Yamaha has fitted the FZ 25 with a smaller instrument cluster that looks almost the same as the 150cc FZ. Whereas, the Dominar’s LCD is larger and shows a bit more data. And it is accompanied by a smaller, secondary display residing on the fuel tank that comprises tell-tale lights. Having said that, one thing where the FZ does slightly better is in terms of fuel tank capacity that, at 14 litres, is one litre more than that of the Dominar’s.
The Yamaha FZS 25 is powered by a 249cc, air-cooled, two-valve engine that produces 20.5bhp of power and 20.1Nm of peak torque. The power is transferred to the rear wheel via a five-speed gearbox. As for the Dominar, it clearly outperforms the FZ with better engine specs on paper. The 248.8cc motor of the Dominar gets liquid-cooling, four-valves and churns out more power and torque at 26.63bhp and 23.5Nm. It also gets a six-speed gearbox for more relaxed highway cruising, with a slipper clutch adding brownie points.
Although both these powerplants are smooth and refined, the Dominar 250 feels punchier post mid-range, specifically after 5,000rpm. Whereas, the FZS 25 delivers slightly stronger torque in the lower and mid-range of the rev band. Moreover, the Yamaha has a major advantage of lighter kerb weight. Tipping the scales at 153kg, the FZ is about 27kg lighter than the Dominar, which makes a considerable difference in their real world performance and handling dynamics.
But it’s worth noting that the Dominar is equipped with more premium hardware like upside down forks at the front, as against the telescopic units in the FZ. Bajaj has also equipped the D250 with larger disc brakes, measuring 300mm at the front and 230mm at the rear. The FZ 25, on the other hand, makes do with smaller 282mm and 220mm units. Both bikes incorporate a dual-channel ABS setup.
So the whole analysis clearly tells that the Bajaj Dominar 250 is slightly better than the Yamaha FZS 25 in terms of features, cycle parts and engine specifications. But the latter is more manageable with a lighter kerb weight. So if you want something that can be filtered through traffic with ease and can be taken out for occasional touring, the FZS 25 makes more sense. But, if your rides involve more of highway mile munching alongside daily commutes, the Dominar 250 would be ideal.
Yamaha has priced the FZS 25 at Rs 1,58,600 while it is also available in a more affordable standard trim that costs Rs 1,53,600. These variants of the FZ are Rs 12,000 and Rs 17,000 cheaper than the Bajaj Dominar 250 that sets you back by Rs 1,70,700. Now that’s a difference worth thinking over. However, let’s not forget that the service and spare part costs of Bajaj products are lesser than that of Japanese motorcycles.