Yamaha FZ-S Ownership Review by Ganesh

Hi friends, I am Ganesh, I became a proud owner of the Yamaha FZS in May 2009 and I have done around 6000 Kms. This bike has been reviewed many times on this site and most of them dealt with the technical specifications and the stunning looks of the bike, so I will constrain myself from doing so.

My cousin owns an Apache RTR, which is the first powerful bike that I used extensively when he was off to Bangalore for his 6 months of training. When my cousin returned it was time to choose my new ride. I had not thought of any other bike apart from Apache till then. So I did some research, took test drives and all. The verdict – The Apache wins hands down, when it comes to performance and value for money. TVS had even added rear disk brake to make the offer even more menacing. But, surprise surprise! My heart persuaded me to go for the FZ (NO, not because of its LOOKS), and I obeyed.

So what made me buy the FZ even though it lost to the it lost to the Apache on the paper both performance and mileage wise?? LOTS of things!! First let’s make one thing clear, this bike has much much more to it than just looks. This bike is not a Jack of all trades. It is designed to do specific things and it does those specific things like no other bike in the market.

The FZ is Designed to:

  • Attract people – it does that with ease
  • This bike is built for the city. Now let us understand what this means. Now this bike is said to have a lot of low and mid range Torque. All that torque is provided mainly for city riding, Now that torque isn’t quite needed for highway riding and racing mainly because you do not vary your speed as often as you do so for city riding. This clearly means that FZ is at its best, when you use it for city riding and not for racing or touring.
  • Now what does else does city riding involve? A lot of twisting and turning of the bike. That is exactly why this bike has been provided with best gripping and the best looking rear tyre combined with monocross suspension at the rear and a flat, wide handle bar at the front. No the tyre is not there for looks alone. It is infact one of the best features provided in the bike. Twisting and turning through the traffic is lot easier if the weight of the bike is less and the wheelbase is optimum. I think FZ has the best of these two among the bikes falling under its category and price range
  • Headlight – Now this is a prime example which proves this bike is built mainly for the city. The headlight is really good for the narrow (compared to the highways) and moderately lit city roads but it isn’t good enough for the Highways, the light just spreads too much for anybody’s liking.

BRAKES: Anyone who complains about Yamaha not providing a rear disk brake for this bike will take their words back once they brake this bike really hard in a really tight situation. This bike has the best set of brakes among the bikes in its category. It might not hold the record for the 60-0, but take my word for it, if you fall or skid due to hard braking in this bike, then you will meet the same fate or worse in any other bike during that situation. I am not suggesting that the rear disk brake is not needed, but only insisting that with its build and chassis, the brakes provided are sufficient.

TYRES: We have to appreciate Yamaha for introducing the sticky compound tyres to the Indian market. The bike boasts one of the best tyres around. These tyres look and function really well. Now even the bigger Pulsars have the same kind of tyres.

MERITS: All the above mentioned points come under the merit list of the bike. You want more?

  • It is the only bike in its segment to boast a completely digital display
  • It is the best looking 150-160cc bike around
  • Unlike Pulsars it provides the much needed exclusivity
  • Trust Yamaha, they wont be upgrading this bike every 6 months – 1 year
  • The most refined engine, second only to Unicorn in its category.
  • Awesome Roadgrip.
  • Less maintanence charges compared to Pulsar.
  • The pride of owning a toned down version of the international FZ series.
  • It probably has the best self starter in the country, never had to press it more than twice, even during the monsoons.

DEMERITS: Every bike in the market has its set of demerits. FZ has some too.

In a bid to reduce the weight of the bike, Yamaha gave this bike few problems

  • Weak Rims – The rims are not strong enough for rash driving in Indian roads. If your riding at speed greater than 75Kms/hr and go through a nasty bump on the road, be assured that your rims are bent.
  • Weak front forks – This bike claims to have the widest front forks, it might very well be the weakest too. Don’t be surprised if you end up with a bent fork after a nasty crash with a cycle.
  • Mileage – Well I get a mileage of around 43 – 45 Kms/lit from my FZ, while I got 45 – 47 Kms/lit from Apache. The point to note here is that I never rip my FZ, while I mostly rip my Apache.
  • Do not depend on the bike’s fuel meter, its just there for name sake, it has shown me one bar even when the tank is empty.

Want to convert most demerits into merit of FZ? Just think that FZ persuades you to drive more responsibly, without attempting many risks… 😛

For all the Prospective buyers of FZ, the other Bikes that you might want to consider are

  • TVS Apache RTR 180
  • Bajaj Pulsar 220 S

So now I’ll answer why I chose FZ rather than Apache. The Apache is the kind of bike that you will love to rip and reach the 3 digit mark in the speedometer, something that can be done in open roads and race tracks.

FZ is a bike which you would love to ride through the city traffic, you would love it even more when you see bigger bikes struggle in the city traffic while you just glide through. I find myself in the latter most of the times. So the FZ S was the bike for me.