Yamaha FZ25 First Ride Review

Back in 2008, Yamaha first launched its naked street bike which was quite a big hit. But it didn’t stop Yamaha from working on an affordable quarter-liter motorcycle to take on its rivals – and that’s how the Yamaha FZ25 came into the picture. The 250cc naked street fighter from Yamaha will be finally rolled out around mid August.

With FZ25, Yamaha has carried forward the legacy of immensely popular FZ-S 150cc naked bike. Launched as a single-cylinder, small-capacity sports bike for the masses, the motorcycle is said to have all the ingredients that we love. We finally got our hands on this bike on the beautiful roads of Kavre. It may lose all the spec sheet battles, but it has Yamaha’s DNA. After riding this motorcycle for more than three hours, I can say that the FZ25 offers premium flavor, refined power train, appealing looks and comfort that two-wheeler customers look for in a motorcycle.

Design

The FZ25 is undoubtedly a looker, thanks to its MT-series inspired styling. The highlight of its design is the sharper, low positioned headlamp that gives it an aggressive profile. The headlamp unit comprises of a halogen lamp and three LEDs. There are two smaller 13W LED units for low beam and one 9W diode for high beam. Another interesting design element is its smartly styled fuel tank with larger tank extensions that also gets air vents, which is a nice addition. A matte black section splits the painted tank panels adding to its styling, while the larger, chunky tank has two Yamaha logos on either side.

Moving on to the sides, you will see more familiar design elements shared with FZ16. It features split-seat styling and split-grab rails at the rear. The LED tail-lamps look quite unique and complement the overall design. Other design elements include nicely integrated saree guard and a good looking plastic splatter guard that is fitted to the swing arm.

For rider’s info, the bike has a fully digital LCD screen that has two trips and shows fuel efficiency data along with standard speedometer, clock and rev numbers. However, it misses out on side stand warning and gear position indicators, which is a common feature with most city focused premium bikes these days. Keeping Yamaha’s commitment towards quality, this bike gets a segment-best plastic fit & finish. In fact, the quality of switch gears is top-notch. It has a kill switch to the right and easy to use indicator buttons on the left. The passing light is integrated to low/high beam switch, and is easy to use. Build quality is again best in its league; however, the plastic panels are now thinner. Yamaha claims that the thinner plastic panels help to keep its weight in check, and has adequate strength. 

 

 

Engine & Performance

This is one area that shocked everyone who test rode the FZ25, as the bike’s numbers don’t look appealing on paper. Its 249cc unit is quite engaging and is ready to take any challenge you put upfront. This single-cylinder engine enjoys the benefit of an oil cooler, while the fuel injection comes as standard. Yamaha’s Blue Core technology with a forged aluminum piston improves the overall efficiency by reducing frictional losses.

This engine belts out 20.6bhp at 8,000rpm and 20Nm of torque, which comes into effect as early as 6,000rpm. These numbers might fail to impress you, but this bike surprises many with its strong low and mid-range. It is quick and nimble, and could leave most of its rivals behind on initial grunt. The clutch is very light while the 5-speed gearbox is very engaging and easy to use. Like other Yamahas, the power delivery comes in a very linear manner which is also its highlight point.

Low and mid-range performance of the Yamaha FZ25 is the best in its class. As a matter of fact, you can easily take this motorcycle to 10,000 odd RPMs or redline. You won’t find much difficulty in hitting 110-120kmph, and in fact this bike can easily cross 120kmph barrier without much restriction from engine. I managed to hit 135-142kmph on the Araniko highway, so the speedometer can show speeds up to 150kmph on straight stretches of the highway. Though it can easily touch 130+ speeds, it’s recommended to keep its maximum speed around 125kmph as it has been developed for regular city riding and occasional highway cruising.

This is undoubtedly the most refined engine in its league. There are no vibrations at all till 7,000rpms. Going closer to 8,000 to 9,000 revs, you will feel some vibrations on the handle bars and foot pegs, but they are negligible. It is much less than what one experiences on the bigger Bajaj Dominar 400 & TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. With a claimed efficiency of over 40kmpl coupled to a 14-litre fuel tank, the FZ25 should give you a long range.

Ride & Handling

This naked street fighter is based on Yamaha’s diamond frame chassis that also underpins the YZF-R3. So, reliability won’t be an issue. With a kerb weight at just 148kgs, this bike feels light and nimble in sharp corners. The riding position is a big improvement over the FZ16, thanks to its new well-cushioned seats. The rider will feel he’s leaning toward the handlebar which in its own way is a good thing. Seat height of 795mm makes it easier for taller riders to ride it without compromising on comfort. Adding to it, the 160mm ground clearance ensures that no bad roads affect your ride.

Suspension system comprises of 41mm forks upfront and traditional monoshock at the rear. The setup has been specifically tuned to handle all the bumps one can feel on the highways. In fact, high-speed stability is surprisingly good. The bike gets 100/80 and 140/70, 17-inch MRF Zappers, which performs really well. With low weight, it is easier to take sharp turns and it is very quick to change direction. However, on pushing harder you start feeling the softness of the suspension. As a reminder, the FZ25 is designed and developed as a premium urban motorcycle. Braking duties are carried out by a 282mm disc in the front and a 220mm disc at the rear. The brakes are quite effective, but an optional ABS could further enhance the overall braking mechanism.

Verdict

1. Best-in-class refinement – Its 249cc single-cylinder engine is undoubtedly the most refined engine in its league. You will get maximum torque as early as 6,500rpm and there are very little vibrations which are only felt when you push harder at above 8,000rpms.

2. Top-Notch Quality – Yamaha is known for offering high quality products, and the FZ25 is no exception. The plastic quality around instrument console, switch gears and panels are leaders in this segment.

3. Engine Performance – Despite the max power of 20.6bhp, this motorcycle doesn’t feel under-powered. Thanks to its low weight, the FZ25 can easily hit a top speed of over 130kmph. In fact, during 0-60kmph stretch it is the fastest in its segment.

Summary

The new Yamaha FZ25 or FZ 250 is undoubtedly an excellent product. Despite offering just 20.6bhp, the engine feels quite fast and performs exceptionally well. Gear shifts are smooth and power delivery comes in a very linear manner.