Words: Jehan Adil Darukhanawala
Images: Kaizad Adil Darukhanawala
For the longest time ever, Yamaha has shied away from the quarter-litre motorcycle segment despite the fact that the 250cc class has done reasonably well in terms of numbers. The manufacturer either had a 150 or a 300+ but nothing in between for consumers. That’s changed now with the arrival of the FZ-25 but the question to consider is this, is Yamaha late to the party? Or will the FZ-25 click with its intended customer with the same exactitude that the smaller FZ-15 had once done? Well, there’s only one way to settle that one, take it out for a ride.
The all LED headlamp and tail light units look stunning. We also think the FZ’s muscular proportions and cutting edge graphics suit it well but we’ll let you take the call on whether you like the styling. What we can tell you instead is that true to Yamaha’s traditions, the designers have got the ergonomics spot on with a saddle height of 795mm and slightly rear set foot pegs and flat, wide handlebar. The split seats are large and cushy and should be comfortable to stay in over long durations.
The LCD instrumentation panel gives enough data and is reminiscent of the smaller FZ. It has two trip meters, an instant fuel efficiency calculator as well as an overall fuel economy read out. Although the entire instrumentation is digital, the tacho is spread across the width of the panel with an analogue feel.. The lack of a gear indicator is not off putting, however would have been a welcome addition.
To power this bike, Yamaha has used a 249cc air-cooled (with oil cooler) fuel injected motor with two valves and SOHC, nestled in an aluminium alloy diamond type frame. The engine puts out a peak output of 20.9PS at 8000rpm and 20Nm of max torque at 6000rpm. Strangely enough, transmission is via a five-speed gearbox instead of a six-speeder that seems to be de rigueur in this segment of motorcycles. Needless to say, the bike gets Yamaha’s signature Blue Core technology.
Like in the smaller FZ, the charm of this engine is in the low to mid-range where the chunk of the torque is delivered. The bike accelerates cleanly off the mark and is quick to accelerate to about 110-120kmph where it settles quite comfortably. Cruising at that speed feels stable and it sounds pretty good too, thanks to that throaty rumble.
On our ride route through the twists and turns of Goa’s roads, the bike proves itself a decent handler but doesn’t feel as quick to react to inputs as some of the others in its segment. The setup of the 41mm front forks and the monoshock is on the softer side, so while dynamic abilities do take a slight hit, ride quality on this Yamaha is extremely well sorted. Especially for our Indian roads. The MRF Nylogrip Zapper tyres that the bike’s wheels come wrapped in are also quite decent when it comes to grip. They may not be in the same territory as the Revz C1s on the Dominar but they do the job and do it well.
Where the FZ could do better is in the braking department. The 282mm dia front disc and the 220mm dia rear rotor don’t seem to have the kind of bite that one would want on a quarter-litre bike. On the plus side they offer decent progression. ABS, even as an option, is sorely missed.
At Rs 1.19 lakh, ex-showroom in Delhi, the Yamaha FZ-25 is only a tad bit pricier than the smaller engined Bajaj Pulsar NS200 and the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V and should be a good option for existing FZ owners to upgrade to.
Looking to buy a 200-250cc motorcycle for yourself? Why not check out our guide.