Yamaha FZ-S 10,200kms Ownership Review by Ashwin; a 63kmpl FZ!

Hello bike enthusiasts, I’m Ashwin, an Engineering student from Kerala. Here goes my review about my macho. The Yamaha FZ-S “Lord of the Streets”.

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Introduction

As a meticulous planner, I started looking for my first bike in a very organized and well documented manner. The contenders were the R15 V1, Fazer, Fz-s, Apache RTR 160 and Unicorn. After test riding the above mentioned bikes, they all were good in one or the other way.

The R15 is simply mind blowing with its stunning looks, aerodynamic design and amazing performance with a 150cc power house. Fazer and FZ-S’s ride was almost similar but still, I felt FZ-S very easy to handle in the city traffic without these big fairings like in R15 and Fazer; also, it has an amazing handling and gave a very good performance.

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Apache 160 thrilled me with it’s amazing pick up and disappointed me as the engine was revved higher. Unicorn has decent looks and good performance and an extremely smooth engine. But, being a teen ager, I wanted my ride to look like a beast and give an amazing performance.

After my test ride sessions, I went to Yamaha showroom along with my parents to book the R15. They liked it but the problem was with its mileage. The salesman gave the mileage figures as: 35kmpl in city and upto 40kmpl in highways. I somehoe convinced my parents and we booked it. I was lost in dreamz and the next day itself all my dreamz went to flush!

There came a news that the petrol prices was up by Rs.5! My bad luck. the booking was cancelled and then we switched to the cyber green coloured mighty macho. the FZ-S! The mileage figures were 40-45kmpl in city and 45-50 in highways as said by the salesman. It sounded okay for me and my dad and we booked it.

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The waiting period was around 1 week. I was again lost in dreams and thoughts and was counting days to keep my hands on the fz. Later, the days passed somehow and I received a call from the showroom people saying “Your bike has arrived sir and its ready for delivery.” I was soo happy which cannot be expressed in words.

I went to collect it along with my dad. There stands my cyber green beauty out of the crowd. The service people explained me the basic things and turned on the key. Woww… I liked the way the digital tachometer went all the way up and came down. It felt like saying “Come revv me all the way up!” hehe.. But it was just the pre-initial test.

The engine starting signal is an example of the spirit of innovation. I gave the ignition, turned the throttle and there comes the roar from the 153cc mill. My first ride was from the showroom to house around 10kms. That moment is still unforgettable (6:05 PM 17/6/2012). After reaching home, mom did a small pooja. My biking story starts from this point.

Let me tell you something about my ride,

Looks and Styling

Each kind of biker has a different taste. Some like smooth lines and big flaring, while some like the aggressive, naked and bold looks (exactly my choice). Having a triple macho design, there wont be any one who could miss your bike on the road.

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I have many experiences people stopping by and asking about the bike and also, the girls and women peeping their head out the autorickshaw and buses and having a look at the macho! Feels really great. You can’t help from noticing the macho tires that add to the boldness of the bike.

The 140mm rear tyre (MRF revz) is the biggest in India providing 60% aspect ratio. MRF tyres has made this radial tubeless tyre exclusively for the FZ. The front tyre is of 100mm (MRF Zapper), very impressive. The short 1.5m exhaust pipe adds to the unique feeling of the bike and also helps maintaining the centre of gravity of the machine.

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The dashboard is all digital console but still, it is a little disappointing for me. This one looks a toy. Sorry for the FZ lovers, but this is the part of the bike I don’t like. It features all digital stuff including tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge, trip and odometer.

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They really could have added dual trip meter and a clock. One can never miss its muscular fuel tank. It looks majestic. The front of the bike looks more muscular by the beefy forks. Now you know the secrets of a macho design.

To give a sense of volume to the machine, an external diameter of 35mm is adopted in a two-layer type exhaust to minimize the effect of heat on the pipe. The muffler is an irregular shaped tapered type mid-ship muffler and adds a great look to the bike.

I would rate it: 9/10

Performance and Handling

You cannot compare the FZ with the other premium bikes in India. The Karizma, Dukes and R15s are for the long rides and sporty feel. But most of the Indians ride 90% of the time in city traffic. The 153cc engine of this bike is designed for the urban commute. The machine churns out 14 Nm of torque just at 6000 rpm.

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The broad tires, low center of gravity and high torque at low rpm makes it a celebration to drive in city traffic. I am sure that the so called big-bikers will be left behind once the signal turns green! I hope other FZ owners should have these experience.

The mid range thrust and the highly tuned throttle response are designed to give you the feel of a ultra-powerful bike in the urban ride. The maximum speed I hav attained is 120/121kmph. Yeah, the speed wasn’t constant it was varying. so, lets keep it 120kmph.

As I said before, this bike is not for the long commutes, the seats are soft which is comfortable initially, but will yield and give you a pain in the ass if your drive for more than an hour. This happened once when I went for a long drive to Bangalore from Coimbatore.

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The ride was over 820.7kms up and down. Believ me guys, the ride was amazing, the bike didn’t feel any sort of tireness but, I did! The butt ache started since the 1st hr of the journey and it felt like my butt was fractured by the time I reached my destination. Lol!

The open front gives you a good view of the vehicles going ahead and the broad tires help you twist and turn with ease. I make the turns tilting the bike till my shos scratches on the road. It’s fun! You can easily do stunts with the FZ because of the superior mass centralization and broad tires.

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The 267mm diameter brakes assist in doing easy stoppies. The Monocross rear suspension provides 120 mm of wheel travel, while optimized oil and damping valve specs help ensure agile running performance and handling. The mono suspension is great and can be adjusted unlike R15, which helps you to tune according to the road conditions.

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I would rate it: 8/10

Fuel Efficiency

The mileage figures are not the highlights but its fair if you consider the performance comparing to other bikes.

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Earlier, after the first 2 services, I was getting a mileage figures of 45-48 whereas, my friends where getting around 35. I think it’s because I did my run in properly. A big thanks to BikeAdvice for posting the technical articles which guided me through my run in period.

One day I was googling for mileage boosters and then atlast I found one. It was called HH0 kit or Hydrogen kit. I contacted the seller (Mr. Madhusudhanan, Calicut, Kerala), took details from him and he said he gives a guarantee of 20-40% of guaranteed mileage increase.

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Tt costed Rs.2700 and I ordered it. I got the courier within two days. The kit had a cell (with water in it), an adapter and an instruction manual in it. I took it to the Yamaha service center to get it fixed. The service people were like “You will loose your warranty and loses engine life and blah blah.” I took the risk and gave it to them.

Next day I received a call from them saying “Sir, your bike is ready.” That evening I went to collect it and to my amusement, the service guys who were angry before had a punctual smile on their face. As soon as I entered, one of them came to me, shook my hand and said “Your bike is ready sir and we have fitted the kit u gave. We tested your bike with 100ml of petrol and your bike is returning a mileage of 63kmpl!“.

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Can you believe it? I was jumping with joy. An FZ with 63 kmpl.. Amazing!. Now, its been 7 months and my bike has run 10,200kms with the kit fitted and there is no sign of any harm to the engine after it also, my emission levels has reduced. It was a worthy investment inded.

Specifications: (Just to refresh your memory)

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Engine type: Air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC
Displacement: 153.0cc
Bore & Stroke: 58.0 × 57.9mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Maximum output: 14PS @ 7500 rpm
Maximum torque: 13.6 N.m @ 6000 rpm
Starting method: Electric & Kick
Fuel Supply: Carburetor
Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc
Transmission type: Constant mesh 5-speed
Cylinder layout: Single Cylinder
Battery: 12 V, 5.0 Ah
Frame type: Diamond
Suspension (front/rear): Telescopic/ Swingarm
Wheelbase: 1,334mm
Brake type(front/rear): Disc/Drum
Headlight: 12 V, 35/35W
Length × Width × Height: 1,973 mm × 770 mm × 1,090 mm
Wheelbase: 1,334 mm
Minimum ground clearance: 160 mm
Kerb weight: 135 kg
Fuel tank volume: 12 liters

Pros

  • Muscular looks and macho design.
  • It has got both self and kick start options.
  • Broad & Tubeless Radial Tires adding road grip and provides excellent handling.
  • Perfect for city riding. (Lord of the Streets)
  • International branding. (Yes! Yamaha)

Cons

Just like humans, no bike is 100% perfect! Here are some of it’s cons which I felt,

  • Dashboard looks toyish and lacks clock and dual trip meter.
  • Head light isn’t upto the mark as the visibility is very poor at night. You have to overcome by using xenon lamps or projectors. I have got my fz fitted with a projector with a colour temp. of 8000k (ice berg blue light) with a green angel eye around. Now, it looks like a one eyed beast!
  • Gets attracted to dirt due to naked styling.
  • The pillion seat is uncomfortable. They have resolved the problem in the new edition but the old one cannot be modified.
  • The mud defender at the rear is a waste because, while riding at rainy seasons the whole mud and dirt will be thrown at the pillion’s back!

My overall rating of the bike: 8/10

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Despite of it’s some small drawbacks, I am completely satisfied with my ride. It gives optimum performance, great muscular looks and reliability and I feel it’s a great option for the people looking for performance bikes with naked muscular looks in 150-160cc category. This entire review is based on my own experience so, I hope you liked my review and found it useful.

Regards,
Ashwin

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