Yamaha FZ16 Ownership Review by Rakesh

Hey Guys! I really don’t know how to write on this. I am actually not a good writer. So I would do it in a bit management style (point wise). To introduce my self. I am Rakesh Bhatia. I work with pantaloons at Mumbai and I live at Ghansoli Navi Mumbai. I own FZ16 Red. I ride to office and back home daily and its 20km one way.

How did I Choose My Bike?

In good old college days I used to ride a scooter and then my Dad bought me Hero Honda Passion Plus (year 2003). I rode this bike for 3 and half year. After MBA, I got selected for my first job and that is when I decided that I will buy my new bike myself. I was posted in Mumbai.

Mumbai roads are of mixed condition. Some roads give you joy like heaven to ride on and some give you pain in your ass. I used to travel by bus from my home to office and the crowd and traffic is horrible. I always used to be late no matter how early I start. Also, I had to stand for like an hour which was very exhaustive. So I chose to buy a bike and not to depend on public transport.

Here begins my research. First thing I decided was that I would go with not less than 150CC. The other factor was cost. The third factor was safety and comfort for long ride. The forth and now the most important was mileage. I came across range of bikes from 149CC to 220CC to 350CC (Enfield). Trust me I tested almost all.

At first many suggested Honda Unicorn as it was trusted on mileage by many. But I ruled it out. Reason – One day I took my friend’s Unicorn to drop my girl friend home. On my way back, I slipped in the muddy road and broke my shoulder. Unicorn was not safe in my experience because of its thin tyres.

Then I tested Honda Unicorn Dazzler. Same engine as CB Unicorn with great looks, good mileage review and broader tyres. I somehow did not feel that rear Disc brakes were safe enough. The disc plate was small and I had no experience with Disc brakes. Also, the rider’s seat was found thin, so I was not comfortable with riding it. So ruled out.

Bajaj Pulsar 150CC and Pulsar 180CC were both great options. But ruled out. Reason – Bajaj Pulsar 180CC made me fall in love so I ruled out 150CC. But then during test ride (I rode my friend’s bike for 40km) I did not find it comfortable. Few of my friends mentioned that Bajaj Pulsar needs too much of maintenance and engine failure is often. So ruled out both.

  • TVS Apache: I was impressed with one of the review given on BikeAdvice. But during test ride – I had nothing great but the power. Apache 180CC is much better than 160CC but the cost is too high. So ruled out.
  •  Suzuki GS150R: No comfort, No power, No interest. Hence ruled out.
  •  Hero Honda Hunk: I was impressed in one test ride. But when I came to know it has same engine as CBZ, it was clear that it will not give me the mileage desired. So ruled out.

Now I moved to Yamaha bikes. I first tested Yamaha SZ as it was a good looking 153CC bike at very affordable price. I found it comfortable, powerful and mileage review was pretty decent. So I decided to finally pick my bike as soon as I get back to Mumbai from a short trip to my native place. To my surprise, my brother had bought FZ16 (Black) by buttering and convincing my Dad. I shared my reviews with him saying that FZ16 has the same engine as SZ and price is too high. All he did was, gave the keys of his bike to me to take a quick ride.

Wow! It was so comfortable and handling was so perfect that I quickly shifted my gears to FZ16 from Yamaha SZ. Also, I like the Manly look of the bike. I guess it kind of suited me. So when I returned back to Mumbai, I made my choice that I will not sacrifice the experience for money and I placed my order. Red was my choice of colour as I did not want to offend my brother who had Black already.

Note: Fazer, R15, Karizma, Bajaj Pulsar 220, Bajaj Avenger (my favourite) and Enfield (my dream) were ruled out as here the cost of experience was putting a hole in my pockets.

My Experience so Far

The day I brought FZ16 at my home, my girl friend was more excited than me. I was happy that I got 1 finally from my own pocket. Like a good Indian guy, I praised God and tied a good luck thread to by bike. I gave it a name Liza. Yes I call my FZ16 Liza.

For 1st 1000Km I rode the bike at not more than 40Km. For next 1000Km I took it to not more than 60Km and finally after that, FZ16 was ready for the toughest test of its time.

I rode at top speed of 110Kmph and often applied brakes too hard (not at 110kmph but below 80Kmph) to test if wires and brake plate support or not. Trust me, bike does shake for a meter or two and then you gain the control soon. (Risky, do not try until the road are empty).

After the accident I had lost the confidence to ride a bike in a cosy manner but FZ16’s tyres and braking mechanism got my confidence back and now I can comfortably ride at 90Kmph with full control over my bike.

Performance

The Engine: The engine of FZ16 which I must say is a world class engineering. After so many rough riding journeys and 4 months of rains at Mumbai, my Liza starts at just one push of a button. Ignition is never a problem and engine never stops no matter in which gear or speed you are riding. (If you know how to use the clutch and accelator).

So far engine has not asked for any major maintenance. I just follow the user manual and recommendations by Yamaha Service Manager strictly.

The Power: It goes from 0 to 50km in not more than 6 seconds and it can touch 110kmph easily. Bike does shake at 88kmph to 90kmph but once you cross 90kmph, it goes smoothly and I repeat in control. Engine makes no vague sounds even at 105kmph. But I felt some chiming sounds after 106kmph. Also, I feel that at 4th gear the pick up is less. Sudden raise of speed is not possible. But due to the mid level management of bike’s engine (that is what I will call it) you can ride even at 20kmph in 4th gear. This is true.

The Mileage: What do you expect from a power bike? Liza (FZ16) gives a consistent mileage of 40kmpl in city. I travel for 40km daily (From home to office and back). There is a stretch of road where for just 1km I have to ride at not more than 10kmph due to heavy traffic. Inspite of this, I get 38-40kmpl of mileage. This mean if I travel on highways Liza would run for almost 55kmpl. This is good but not great. I guess I can expect a mileage of 65kmpl on highways and 50kmpl in city.

The Control: I have already spoken about this but I would like to highlight it. Tyres are really trust worthy and front disc brake is really good one to rely on. Wet roads are not at all safe for any tyre. Need to know the bike’s behaviour thoroughly before riding in rains. Once you know it, you can take FZ16 at a speed of 70kmph even if its raining heavily. I love MRF tyres.

The Comfort: Broad tyres bring good comfort for rider and you can go good distance without stopping. However, Only If You Are Alone. Why? The seat is pathetic for pilon rider. I wrote above that my girlfried was more excited when I brought this bike but now she hates it like anything. Rider does not realize how bad it can be for pilon rider. One of my friend whom I gave lift to his home couldn’t bear the pain in his back and he got down half the way. So if you are planning to buy this bike to have a good time with your wife or girlfriend then I recommend to check if your loved one is thin enough to fit the thin pilon seat.

The Lights: The head looks great and it gives a strong street bike look to FZ16. But whats the use if it is not powerful enough to lit the road. Passion Plus has better head lights. Guys, this is seriously recommended to change your head light to higher intensity before you take it on highways in night time.

The tail light has good intensity and though I dont like the look of the tiny tail light, I guess it is designed in a manner to focus on huge rear tyres. So ok.

Complete digital meter marking speed, fuel indicator and acceleration is awesome. No other bike in this segment has total digital meter.

The Looks: Looks a big thing. Male oriented. I like it. Please see below comments as well.

The Value: The cost I believe is still high for FZ16. But I also think that the engine is worth it. Now here is a catch. FZ16 costs you 73K and FZ-S costs 75K with no good changes. Only a Visor and better color and graphic treatment. Fazer with same engine costs you 83K. Fazer has got fairing with twin head lights. Yamaha has here played with Indian market. It has segregated the consumers in three segments – Performance, Performance with good looks and Performance with great looks. I mean it could still have FZ-S at 73K and knock of FZ16 and have only two segments FZ-S and Fazer. I believe Indian audience would have appriciated that. I trust Yamaha engines and their performance but I will stand amongst the critics in this situation. This is totally personal and I mean no offense. But people here reading this would definetly be on my side.

Summary

  • Overall Performance: 4 Stars
  • Looks: 3.5 Stars
  • Comfort: 2.5 Stars (Considering pilon rider); 4 Stars (excluding pilon rider)
  • Fuel Efficiency: 3 Stars
  • Control: 5 Stars

Recommendations: Buy for your own riding luxury as it is the best in 150CC segment but not if you are couple or a family.

Regards,
Rakesh S Bhatia

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