Here you go, months of hard work pays off, 4 on 4, MBA colleges applied to and converted. This calls for a celebration and the much awaited reward – My Bike.
For years (2 to be precise) I have missed my ride. I used to own a Yamaha RXZ 135, back in my undergrad days. She was a
sweetie. I fondly called her my Dhanno. My first ride on it itself was for about 500 km – Bareilly (where I bought it from) – Kanpur – Allahabad (where my college was), and it was special.
Being a 2-stoke, it had an awesome pickup – to the extent that once a Karizma couldn’t beat it upto the 3rd gear. It was good on looks too. Anyhow, now was time to make the big decision – choose the Bike I was gonna ride for the next 3 yrs (atleast). The parameters were budget (80 k), power (150-200cc), performance, looks and ofcourse ‘Deti kitna hai’!
With these in mind, I shortlisted a few – Pulsar 200NS, Apache 180 RTR, Unicorn, Karisma and The Yamaha Fazer. To be true, I had Fazer fixed in my mind since the first time I saw it. But to be fair to all, I researched all of them – except for the Pulsar, whose launch got delayed a multiple times.
Within a few days I was convinced that Fazer was the right bike for me. My previous Yamaha experience gave me enough confidence in the Brand. Although it was costing a lil more than I planned, Papaji was kind enough to shell out a few extra K’s to see me ride that beast.
And so I made the booking at Yamaha Factory Shop (YFS) here in pune. They promised me next day’s delivery and boy, I couldn’t sleep that night! 29th March 2012, one of the best days of my life, I reached YFS at around 5pm and my brand new Yamaha stood there, staring at me – challenging me to test its horses.
It took good 90 minutes for the formalities to get over with. And now was the time to ride the beast, my beast. Although my family was there with me, I drove it alone for the first 15 kms.There is something magical about your first ride – you are proud, you are happy, thanking the God Almighty and ofcourse, you are the only thing the world is looking at.
This bike is special – not just for its awesome handling but for the kind of attention it gathers on the road, a true head turner! For the last 11 months I’ve owned it, I’ve done almost 9000 kms – both in the city and on the highway and it has never let me down.
On busy city roads, its wide stance poses a lil problem compared to other bikes, but its roar at lower gears makes up for it on the tricky traffic lights. My last highway trip was to Alibaug (140kms from pune) with a pillion (read girlfriend). I shouldn’t call it a Highway as there was no ‘way'(road) half the way, let alone ‘high’.
It proved its mettle there. We left at around 6 pm and as we crossed lonavala it started pouring heavily. Though its headlights were disappointing, the bike made up for it with its superb road grip (you need both of them on wet ghats & ‘pothole”ways’). All drenched and hungry, we still din’t feel any kind of tiredness.
Now that we have talked a lot about the bike, let us see how good it actually is.
At 153cc and 14 bhp one feels a lil low on power on high speeds. I have managed to do a 122kmph though it took a lot of effort with 90kgs on board. Yamaha calls it a ‘tourer’ but you feel bad for your bike when you travel @ 90-100kmph for a while. (8/10)
The front (100/80) tyre and single disk brake combo is just impeccable. Not once have they given me a hint of tiring, the brake is responsive and the tyre has great grip. (10/10)
The rear (140/60) tyre and the drum brake are a matter of concern. Being wide (widest on any Indian bike), no doubt it provides stability to the bike, it also gets all the punctures. Also the wheel locks up when you hit the brake a lil hard. (8/10)
I guess, if Yamaha had fit another disk brake (along with ABS) at the rear, the whole thing would have been just perfect. Being on the heavier side, I use 30(F) & 35(R) PSI respectively.
Since most of the times (99.99%) I’m on the drivers seat, I can tell you for sure that the front (telescopic fork) suspension is a gem. Mind you, it plays a major role while braking too. My girlfriend and friends tell me that the ride for the pillion is a lil bumpy and hard (trust me, I wouldn’t know). Nevertheless, the rear (swingarm – popularly known as monoshock) suspension adds style to the bike. (9/10)
The concept of just one head lamp ON at a time is crazy. To add to the crazyness, the standard bulbs are 12V 35W. I parted ways with this crazyness and replaced them with Philips 12V 55W Xenon Blue Vision. For me both the lamps work at the same time. To add to its charm, I put a pair of Angel Eyes. (6/10 factory fitted, 10/10 my style…ha ha.)
- Ride quality
- Rear brakes
Do I really need to say anything? (10/10 all the way)
- The seating position instils confidence in the driver. Pillion seat is a bit small. (9/10)
- The all important question – ‘Deti kitna hai?’ – 43kmpl (Jan), 45kmpl (feb). However, previously it has given me a mileage as low as 37kmpl. To be frank, with the wonderful package the bike delivers, mileage should be last thing one should be looking at. (9/10)
- The after sales service is not as per my expectations. Yamaha being a Japanese company, I expect quality in every aspect. (7/10)
- The engine oil (Yamalube) that they use is not as good as others in the market. You can feel the difference in the engine and the gear shifts after around 300kms of hard riding which should not be the case with a tourer. (5/10)
- The drive chain needs regular cleaning. No complains, since they have done away with the conventional (and ugly) chain cover.
It may not be a complete tourer, but it definitely has the Touring Spirit! All in all, its an awe inspiring, handsome looking ride which will take you on the toughest of roads with the least of efforts. So just put on your helmet, fuel up the tank, tighten your gloves & wear those shades, you never know, it might just take you to Heaven.
Since nothing is perfect in this imperfect world, I’ll give it a 9.999999 on 10. Happy Riding. Yes Yamaha!