Hi, I am Sunjay ‘A biker’ doing 2nd year Engineering crazy about bikes and love riding. “People ride because they want to go from one place to another but, I go from one place to another because I want to Ride”.
How it all Started?
The idea of buying a bike started due to a auto-rickshaw strike because of which my father and sister had to walk a long distance as there was no other medium of transport through that route, that was the day when my father decided that we needed a bike.
He knew that I would get over-excited if I know about it and my mother will never allow him to buy a two-wheeler because she was scared, so without telling us he booked a Hero Honda Passion Pro, all my father wanted was a low powered bike with good mileage.
Three days after booking he told me that the bike will come in ten days. I was shocked! I asked which bike? He told me that he had book a Hero Honda Passion Pro. I told that I wanted something more than a Passion Pro according to my age. I told this to my mother she was like go cancel the booking now.
But my father was determined, so after ten days the dealer called to tell that the bike has not yet arrived. I then somehow managed to convince him to move on to another bike which will also suit me, as I am doing 2nd year engineering. I told him that I wanted something more stylish and it should also have decent amount of power.
The Search Started! (Jan 2011)
I am a big fan of the Royal Enfield and my first choice was the great “Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 350” but my parents doubted that if I could manage a RE350 and the price was way beyond our budget.
All the 100c’s were ruled out of the list, then I finalized on the Honda Stunner and the Pulsar 135LS. After lot of research in bike advice reading ownership reviews, I decided that the Pulsar 135 was not very reliable. I selected the Honda Stunner and showed the picture of the bike to my parents, both of them didn’t like the Stunner due to its front cowl.
Later, I realised what I really wanted was a 150cc so the list was prepared.
- Honda Unicorn Dazzler
- CBZ Extreme
- Pulsar 150
- Yamaha FZ16
The Pulsars were ruled out because of their low reliability, and then came the CBZ Extreme, I learned proper biking on an extreme so it was my favourite in the list. I liked the bike so much that I didn’t want to compare it with the other bikes. First I called all the Hero Honda dealers in my district but no one had the bike. All the dealerships had a waiting period of 3 to 4 months. I even searched other district dealerships but all in vain. But my excitement was not ready to wait.
Then went for the GS150R. It is a good bike, I really loved the digital console and even the pricing was good. My father reminded me that the price was increasing but I had a hope that if I zeroed on a good bike he will buy it. I called the Suzuki dealership they told the delivery will take 3 months after booking. We were not ready to wait! There were only two good models left The Honda Unicorn Dazzler and the Yamaha fz16 both were similarly priced. The Unicorn was full of features like, the rear disk brakes and the FZ had the stunning looks and wide rear tyres.
The Real Competition Starts
After a lot of research and reading ownership reviews in BikeAdvice and xBhp I got a decent amount of knowledge about the bikes. I decided that I will write a review in bike advice after getting the bike. When I used to read reviews, I used to wonder why people write the review after riding it for long time and not after 500 or 1000kms.
My cousin brother had taken a Dazzler. I called him and asked for a test-drive and he came, I drove it. I noticed that the low end torque of the bike was low and it needed lots of gear shifting during city driving but I thought you won’t get everything nice in a single package. At the same time my friend Nikhil had taken a FZ. I called him and he came with the bike, it was sexy and muscular. I sat on the bike, it was the first time I was riding an FZ.
The moment I drove it I noticed that the bike was full of torque and the looks was mind-blowing. I was in love with it. I decided to go for the FZ16. My mother liked the bike and my father asked how much mileage does it give, everyone knows FZ does not give the same mileage as it competitors. My mother liked the bike very much. So she and me together convinced my father that, since our daily use was small, and hence mileage was not a big factor. Finally he agreed! I was so happy.
Went Straight to the Dealership: Shinrai Yamaha
There were many FZ, FZ-S and Fazer’s and other Yamaha’s. The scene was awesome. My father wanted a black FZ but it was not available and I wanted a Red. We booked the red and after the registration, the bike was ready the next day evening.
I was so excited about the bike. 18-April-2011, It was a long day for me, time was going very slow but somehow evening came and we went to the dealership and there it was my lava red FZ16 saying Hi to me. We finished the formalities and they keys were handed over. “A Journey of Infinite Miles Starts With the Ignition”. It was superb, cutting through the traffic was so easy for the bike.
We went home. We did the pooja the next day. Since it was a Sunday, the number plate was not ready. I had to go to hostel that day night. I really didn’t want to go. Somehow, me and my cousin made number of excuses and managed to convince our parents and took leave for a day. Got the number plate on the next day morning and we were ready to roll!
The Real Review…
It stands out in a crowd. I was so happy watching the heads turn, when I pass by. It was the first FZ in my locality. Everybody describes the bike calling “She” but for me it is “He”, the muscular looks and the power, stopped me from calling it “She”. The stunning muscular looks the wide rear tyre which was the widest in India, the full digital console the muscular tank, I was in love with everything.
It was the lion of the Jungle. But the lion need not be the fastest, there are cheetah’s for that. The FZ was not as fast as its competitors, but it was ok till 100 or 105kmph. The low end torque made it perfect for cutting through the city traffic. The tagline says it all “Lord of the Streets” and not highways. I am not going to tell about the technical specifications of the bike as you all know about it. I will describe it from the owner’s point of view.
The Engine and Performance
The 153cc mill is a master in producing torque. I agree that the high end power of the bike is not very good but the low end and the midrange is mind-blowing. The FZ has multiple personality, if we keep the rpm between 3 – 3.5k then it acts as a commuter bike. Fun starts after 4k and all the way to 7.5K! The exhaust note just changes, adrenaline rushes that’s the way an FZ has to be ridden but under safe limits.
It does not perform badly when compared to its competitors in the 150cc segment. The name says the character of the bike “Lord of the streets”. It is made for the city. I love zipping through the traffic in the city, it is so ease. The bike performs the best in the city. When taken to the highway it lacks power at the top end but since I am not a speed freak I don’t have any problem with the bike and my main riding is inside the city.
As everyone say that it has low mileage, but I tell them that, its only due to improper run-in of the bike. People can’t resist ripping it from the time they took it out of the showroom, but I was patient to complete the run-in properly. The engine of the bike is very reliable and performs well in call conditions. Have a look at the Knowledge Base of bikeadvice on how to have a proper run-in.
Do I really need to write this? If you have seen the FZ, you will know how gorgeous it looks. The best looking bike in the segment, the first of its kind. The huge muscular tank adds to its looks but it’s just a piece of fibre covering, the tank is under it and is small, a 12L tank with 1.4L reserve. The Wide rear tyre just shoots its looks to the sky, it also adds to the handling of the bike but we have to sacrifice the mileage for the awesome tyre and its looks.
The wide forks add to the macho looks of the bike. The headlight is one of a kind it’s so different from other. The only thing that I feel that lacks in the looks of the bike is the rear view mirrors. It is not as stylish compared to the mirrors of the other bikes, but it gives good visibility. The pillion foot rests of the bike looks very sporty. No doubt that the bike looks superb, till now it doesn’t have anything to match with its looks. It wins here without any competition.
The list of features starts with the fully digital console which has the digital tachometer. In the beginning, I felt that it’s a bit “toyish” but soon I started liking it. There is a common complaint that the fuel gauge of the FZ is wrongly calibrated, but I suggest you to keep the tank half filled always, so that the fuel meter shows the correct reading without blinking.
But that is not a worry since there is a trip meter so that we can have a rough idea about the fuel left in the tank. The console also has a engine check light which informs us in case of a problem in the engine of the bike. Even now I love to see the digital console lighting up and checking when the key is turned ON. The specially designed midship exhaust, the term midship means that the exhaust is actually under the bike.
If you look carefully you will see a big box at the lower back of the engine that is the main exhaust of the bike. The design of the exhaust is cool and eye-catching. I was so tired of seeing the tube like long exhausts. Again a one of a kind part! The exhaust note is also amazing as the engine revs higher.
The seat of the rider is very comfortable and it can also be used for long journeys but the pillion seat is very small and not so comfortable. It is really felt when going through bad roads but for the rider there is no problem. The seating position of the bike is so indulging and does not produce any stress on the writs or cause any back ache. Yamaha also offer a cool mesh seat cover, which looks good and makes the seat very cool under all conditions, it’s a bit overpriced at Rs1200.
The rear is having a mono suspension which is very comfortable and also can be adjusted with three settings soft, medium and stiff. All three have their functions but the medium is best for daily use, for track based use the suspension can be turned to stiff, it improves the handling of the bike, for more comfort the suspension can also be turned the soft.
The front suspension is also good. The wide front forks also add to the looks of the bike. But the wide forks is not very strong as the looks, a medium fall can result in a alignment change of the forks and will need a bent correction. The things I wanted to have in the features list are backlit switchgear and, a clock in the digital console would have been of great benefit. Again you can’t have everything.
Now Handling the Beast
The first ride of the bike itself shows the handling. It is the best handler. The front and rear wide tyres the 17inch wheels improve the handling of the bike. The chassis is made to challenge corners that come in front of the bike. To see the capability of the bike we should be taken to real twists then the bike really shows its cornering capability.
The FZ is the real master of handling the wide tyres provide excellent grip but I am not very satisfied with the wet grip of the tyres. The tubeless tyres also help in continuing riding even in case of a puncture. My bike has been ridden for a week with two punctures all we need to do is fill air every day but still I noticed that air pressure only decreased by 3psi every day. It is very convenient that we won’t have to stop our journey even in case of a puncture. The tyres used in FZ are both MRF zappers.
The front disk brake is the biggest in India, it’s one of the best brakes and stopping distance is very less. I have seen few FZ fitted with aftermarket rear disks I wonder why they do that when they have such good rear drum brakes at the rear. There is no lack in braking even with the rear drum. I use 70% front and only 30% rear. There is a misconception among bikers that front brakes should be used least I suggest them to go through the knowledge base of bikeadvice.
Reliability and maintenance
The reliability of the bike is great, there is no doubt about it. Yamaha has done a fantastic job with the engine and other aspects of the bike. Regarding the reliability of the bike there are many who have completed saddle-sore on the FZ16, for those who all don’t know what a saddle-sore is, It is riding the bike for 1660km under 24hours.
It’s a real test of the bike and even the rider. Coming to maintenance of the bike, it requires lubricating the chain every 500km since it is a open chain. I do it myself all you need is some diesel and a can of Motul chain lube. I also suggest all FZ owners to check the air pressure every time they go to fill fuel or at least once in a week low pressure is also a main cause of low mileage.
One thing that you will notice after riding it is that, it gets dirty easily, I don’t like dirty bikes so I make sure that my bike is in clean condition always. I give my lion a wash at least once in a week. It’s so nice to see the bike shining. I always want my ride to be in prime condition. My lover sometimes tells me that I care and spend time with my bike more than with her. “The way you treat your ride is the way it treats you”.
One main thing that everyone asks me how much do you get from it? If you do a proper run-in and maintain the bike well, check air pressure at least once in a week, then you won’t have to complaint about the fuel efficiency of the bike. But one thing I noticed is that the fuel efficiency of the bike is always in fluctuation.
I have even got 45+ in the run in period and also got 29kmpl just once after constant ripping. Yamaha’s are not made for mileage, its made for the power, the pleasure it gives while riding is the best part about the bike. I love it when heads turn. Usually I get between 40 to 45kmpl. My riding is 65% City and rest Highways.
To get maximum fuel efficiency a proper run-in is required. To learn how to do a proper run-in refer the knowledge base in bikeadvice. Maintain correct pressure in the tyres.
Tours on the bike
I have gone for small strips on my bike with friends with different roads, twists, in all conditions the bike performed really well. I never got a chance to take it for a long trip but now I got it, I and my ride will be going for the Xbhp.com All Kerala G2G at Vagamon this October 2011.
There are few things that I like the most about the bike:
- The looks of the bike
- The low and mid range torque and power
- The handling of the bike
- Fully digital console
- The braking ability
- The wide tyres
- Its road presence
A few this I don’t like or what I wanted it to have:
- Backlight switchgear
- A clock in the digital console
- Bigger and more comfortable seats for the pillion
- Stronger forks and handlebar
- It gets dirty very fast
The bike is one of the best bikes available. It is fun to ride and easy to handle. Give proper care and maintained well it will also return you with good fuel efficiency and reliability. But if you are more of a highway rider I suggest you to go for something more powerful and which can cruise easily at high speeds. The FZ is made for the city.
The new models of the FZ have arrived they have better mileage but you will have to sacrifice the torque a bit, Yamaha has decreased the torque to a better fuel efficiency. If you are looking for a good bike with decent fuel efficiency stunning looks and which can cut through city traffic and corners with its awesome handling then, it’s time to stop thinking and to go for a Yamaha FZ.
One thing I want to mention here, as I have mentioned earlier, when I used to read ownership reviews here I used to wonder why is the review after 3000 or 10000km why not just after the run-in period of the bike, Now I understood why it is so, because there is no time writing a review I had time only to ride the bike. I thank bikeadvice.in and xbhp.com for helping me in selecting my dream bike and I have no regrets in selecting an FZ.
To all my fellow riders, always ride with the proper riding gear at least wear a helmet when you ride. Prevention is always better than cure. Ride Safe. Enjoy Riding!