Hi, This is Karthick, 41, Ex- IT Manager, at present doing Agro-Aqua-farming. My first bike was a Kawasaki Bajaj Caliber in late 90’s. When I was woking in Coimbatore as IT Manager in a Hotel Industry, I rode the bike almost all Western Ghat road in and around Coimbatore. It was very pleasant and memorable. She never let me down during the ride. Recently I have got Yamaha SZ, and would like to review it.

Reason for Getting a New Bike

As a typical commuter I was very happy with my well maintained Kawasaki Bajaj Caliber for the past 12 years. However, my younger brother wanted to present me a new breed, Hence I started a selection process through Net (bike reviews).

The Requirement

I wanted a 150cc bike with better commuting qualities (like good suspension, better mileage and comfortable pillion) with reasonable pricing rather than racing qualities. I have short listed the following after go through expert advices and bike reviews from various blogs and forums including BikeAdvice.

  • Bajaj Discover 150
  • Yamaha SZ series (X and R)

I chose Yamaha SZ without second thought, since I am not happy with discover design and wanted an International brand. And also I am not attracted with Yamaha SZ X and R variant as I hate self start in a Bike (My personal opinion is “Bike has to be kicked and started. not to press the button and start”).

I Met her

After I decided, we went to a Yamaha show room in Chennai on 19th January 2011 and opted for spot delivery (I chose a Black one which was in the show case).

Inspite I got the bike immediately, The dealer made my life miserable by making goof ups in documentation and formalities. It took almost couple of week to get my registration number. But she (my bike) makes me forget those ir-responsible idiots thru her perfect design and smooth ride.

The Review

During the initial period (First 1000 kms) I felt comfortable while riding and my wife also felt the same about the pillion. Sure, It has perfect design for both the rider and the pillion. After getting the first service I decided to go for a long trip. I took a trip from Chennai to Chidambaram (its about 250 Kms).

I started early morning from Chennai. The ride was very smooth. Upto 80 kmph I never feel discomfort and not tired during the whole trip. When I reach 80+, I felt little bit unsafe because of front Drum Brake.

Yes, if they would have provided Disc in the front then Yamaha SZ would be one of best commuter bike with value for money.

I don’t want to review technically as I am not technically sound in bike mechanism. I trust the expert advices and the brand Yamaha. I firmly believe a pioneer Bike engine manufacturer like Yamaha won’t let me down. Of course I have to maintain the bike periodically and follow expert advices.

However, like every human the machine also has its Strengths and Weaknesses.

Strengths

  • Decent Look and perfect design in this segment (Purely personal opinion)
  • Comfortable riding
  • Broad rear tyre for better road grip
  • Same Engine from their elder sibilings
  • Reasonable mileage- 55 to 60 Kmpl
  • Value for Money

Weaknesses

  • Braking (Though the front drum brake has bigger(150mm) than the rear, Disc would be the best option for 150 cc bike)
  • Absence of Engine kill switch
  • Absence of Tachometer.

Suggestion

If you are a die-hard racing fan then this machine not meant for you. This Yamaha SZ is the best choice for a commuter who loves long ride in his leisure time.

Finally, Thanks Deepak, for giving me the opportunity to write this review. And for everyone, please feel free to add your two cents.

Regards,
Karthick a.k.a. Veerakarthikeyan

Click To Expand

69 COMMENTS

  1. Well, the first review of the SZ in Bike advice, I think… The SZ shares the same 153cc engine of FZ but with more tuning toward mileage.. A little more detail on riding conditions would have been good… Anyway good attempt.

    • Thanks Vineeth. Yes, you are right, SZ has the same FZ engine. Tuned down for mileage and to prevent cannibalization of elder siblings. Regarding detail on riding, I thought it would be boring you guys.

  2. Nice review. However, you could have gone for SZ-R at least for the Disc Brake, if not for the self-starter. Kick starter, especially in Hero Honda bikes, develops pain in right knee, after a certain age. Do you know that? This bike is really a good balance between price and performance. By the way, What is the on road price of this exactly? Regards.

    • Thanks Yila. Yes, SZ-R would be the right choice, but I have to spend Rs.7000 extra for disc brake( SZ on road price is Rs.56k+, SZ-R on Road Rs.63k+) for. And also additional Rs.2000/- for kick starter since I am very particular about kick starter.

      Knee pain, Back pain and Wrist pain are the consequences to the Biker. But if you practice simple exercises and maintain your BMI(Body Mass Index) properly, you will over come those pains.

      • Good review karthick. I am planning to get a new bike too, and confused between Dazzler and SZ-X/R…Looking for a 150cc, performance and stylish bike, jus for daily commutation.

        Dazzler is pretty high on pricing, and the abscence of kick-start and its Open chain.
        SZ-X/R has good pricing, but if i opt for kickstarter and disc brakes, it would cost me 66K, not much difference to Dazzler.
        Wht shld i go with??

  3. nice review, when it launches, i also like it but without disc brake & techo it is incomplete..
    now the new version have this all stuff..

  4. nice write up. But the pics could have been better. And, you must be the only one i know who hates self start in a bike (Kidding ;D). Involved review. Keep writing…


    Sent on a phone using T9space.com

    • Thanks Hayaz for the constructive feed back. I hate self start for the following reason.

      *It will be working good for few years(2 or 3 years), then you have to use kick start or to spend sizable amount to repair Self starter.

      *It boasts towards feminine (Self starter may suite for Scooter).

  5. Everything is good about Yamaha no doubt, but tell me one thing, what was the price difference between Gladi and SZ ??

    I have used gladi in highways while in tours and it shows not much power lag even being 150cc and rode pretty fine with the pack.. Matter of pact, I didn’t felt riding a 125cc..

    Gladi default seats felt much comfortable compare to default SZ and gladi comes with Disc brake as well !!!

    In city, 125cc has an edge with their mileage also, so why not gladi ??

    Thanks

    • Gladi was not chosen maybe, because of the power delivery which is more towards the top-end rather than bottom-end and midrange so in city it may not be liked by everyone though it still is the best performing, handling 125cc in the market not to forget the refinement.
      The sz has more torque and bottom end power which makes it very suitable for commuting.
      But still I would prefer a bike with more top-end rather than going for bottom end (personal opinion)

      • Different people different views, the buyer probably went for more rideability and torque…..
        and as far as the discs are concerned there are loads of bikes in the market without discs….
        Discs brakes are without a doubt much safe as compared to the drums, but still 150mm drum at the front is not that bad.Is it???
        and probably at that time there was no disc option in sz and the discover 150 was out of equation and the buyer wanted a 150 commuter for that price…….
        Happy riding

      • Hey,

        Me too confused between SS and SZ. Is there any benefit of the 1500cc as comapred to 125 or its just the fact that SZ gives more torque at lower rpm makes it a better choice.
        Even mileage is a factor & I guess SS shoukd be better in that. isn’t it?

    • Hi,

      I am planning to buy a Yamaha bike but i am bit confused between SS-125 and SZ-R. My daily commuting is about 100 km, half on highway and half on mumbai city traffic. i wanted good average with good performance and good longevity of the engine. Tried to find a lot about SS125 (gladiator) and its my 1st choice but none of the dealers in mumbai are ready to give test ride of it and without testing it out i don’t want to buy it. So can you suggest me which bike to go for?

      thanks

  6. Karthick thumbs up for u! U r a real man as u r very sure of ur choice.i mean u know exactly what u want to do. Great analysis sans the mechanical one. Enjoy ur ride with smile.yamaha will never put u in any trouble whatsoever.

  7. Hi karthik nice review.

    i have brought SZ-R had booked SZ earlier but waited for SZ-R for the disc purpose. i am waiting for the kicker to attach. i also feel its good for boys to start the bike by kicking it rather selfstart. Self is only good for girls. If you want to feel the ride and enjoy your bike kicker is a must, still u can have starter for emergency purpose only in signals.
    Coming to mileage its giving me 52.333 i have checked it 3 times.. (use it very smoothly for first 750 KMS, Dont move your bike in 2nd gear, avoid half clutch, maintain 30-40 km only, atleast till 1st service use only shell petrol quality is very good) last sunday had given it for service and have to wait and see the mileage again. performance awesome on cityroads. i am so happy with less price getting 153cc and more over its Yamaha brand. Loving my bike.

  8. @karthik & Shashi…. Heard from many that yamaha used very cheap materials in sz series..is it true and fro more than 2 months after reading many reviews Many not adviced for yamaha sz-r So please tell me and advice me and help me out from this sooon…Shall i go for yamaha sz-R or not???i have a kid she is 1 year….so it will suits me???

    • Hi Vikram, It seems you heard from many and reading all reviews more than couple of months that SZ series has cheaper material and not adviced you to go for SZ then you must have choose some other brand. I am not advocating you to buy SZ and also neither I am a Yamaha dealer nor a sales rep from Yamaha.

      Unfortunately, I have also read ‘n’ number of SZ series reviews before buying and never come across that SZ series using cheaper material.

  9. I bought SZ-R (blue colour) and am quite satisfied with the bike. It has stunning looks and being a newly introduced model it captures everyone’s attention. The 14 Ltr fuel tank gives it a macho look and the silencer pipe is stylishly slanted. It is giving decent mileage on village roads too. It has good pick up. Using the disc brake is more comfortable than the Pulsar series as the bike doesn’t lose balance easily. However while using the rear brake be cautious as the rear tires skid very much. The dual tail lamp gives it better look. The negative point is its rear mudguard which looks too ordinary : they could have fitted mudguard like in FZ to give it better looks. This bike is best suited to one who wants “power and sport” at the least price. Another nice thing about it is that it doesn’t vibrate in high speed (unlike Discover). It also makes less noise and is pleasant to the ear. So go for it. I bought it for 56,000 (naked price) here in Nagaon, Assam.

    • Sorry to say, U could have gone for CB Unicorn or GSR150 if Dazzler was costly.These r d best performers n most reliable @ 150 cc segment.

  10. Hi Karthick, thanks for ur review, last 2 months iam searching like this review in the internet, but today only i read it, but no problem, just last week i purchased Yamaha SZ-R Black, reaiiy it is very very super, compare to my old one splendour this is like a car for me, most of my friends drive my bike and said riding in ur bike is like riding in to a car such like suspention, and good milage performance and space more over good body built chase, in my town vellore only few bikes sz-r is running, in future it will increase, thanks for YAMAHA and Karthick,
    Muthu Kumaran, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

  11. @Karthick
    Nice review dude.
    I wanna know r u sure it returns mileage of 55-60 @30-50 kmph.
    Is ur engine in perfact condition?Because I heard that engine sound changes after 700-1000 km of ride.
    What about reliability n durability of engine (like RX series) n maintanance?
    Otherwise good value for money bike.

    • Thanks Sabu. You can get decent mileage between 50 and 55, if you ride @ 30-50 kmph. I rode 3000+ kms till now and I didn’t notice any changes in the engine sound.

  12. Review is good.
    Apart from the review your follow up on commenter’s is noticeable .
    One on one suggestions are really nice.
    I read all the comment thread it was very nice that you replied everyone.

    One more thing in every comment your respect for every visitor is displayed .. the short but sweet thing is .. you tried to ensure the name given in the comment should be spelled in dignified manner “With the first char capital for the commenter’s name” .
    Very nice and genuine attitude keep it up. I must say .. you must a very good caretaker in your family … πŸ™‚

  13. Nice review. I supposed to book SZR today , but i have seen some reviews saying it gives only 40+ mileage and tires are very poor quality as it is TVS tires. I don’t have much options in the 150cc category other than apache as i am just 5.8″ . I am not comfortable in unicorn and CBZ and hunk are over priced. Apache and szr are just 7k difference here in bangalore, szr 66.600 and apache 74000 . I really need kick start with szr so it will add 2k again with the 67k . Apache is a well tested and running here for years , but its TVS brand , no idea bike will last for years. I like yamaha brand but szr is recently introduced , dont have much reviews about it. I am totally confused to chose the one . πŸ™

    • Apache has vibrations above 60. Its not too reliable either. You have to maintain it to keep it fit. Maintenance means if you hear any small sound go and check it and replace parts if needed. I know it because my friend has apache. He’s is unemployed for sometime so he limited his bike to just normal periodical service. Now his bikes giving funny sounds in engine, rear led’s are not working, fuel indicator shows wrong reading, gearing in pathetic, there is heavy rust in silencer, vibrations getting heavier overall its a mess. For yamaha, suzukis and hondas if you limit to periodical service for sometime your bike won’t get haywire that easy, parts are of quality and stay with you for a longer time.

  14. Hi Riju, Thanks. I would suggest, go for an International brand like Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki for long lasting engine.

  15. This the on-road price for bikes in Bangalore with Self-Start.

    Honda Twister 110cc, drum brake costs 56k
    Honda Twister 110cc, disc brake costs 60k
    Suzuki slingshot 125cc, drum brake costs 53k
    Suzuki Slingshot 125cc, disc brake costs 56k
    Honda Shine 125cc, disc brake costs 63k
    Honda Stunner 125cc, disc brake costs 66k (analog meter, no kicker)
    Yamaha SZ-X 150cc, drum brake costs 63k (analog meter, but no kicker)
    Yamaha SZ-R 150cc, disc brake costs 67k (analog meter, but no kicker)
    Suzuki Gs150r 150cc, disc brake costs 72k (digital meter, with engine balancer, with 6th gear for highway)
    Honda unicorn 150cc, disc brake costs 73k (analog meter)
    Bajaj Pulsar 150cc, disc brake costs 73k (digital meter)
    TVS Apache 160cc, disc brake costs 73k (digital meter)
    Honda dazzler 150cc, front and rear disc brake, costs 77k (digital meter, but no kicker)
    HeroHonda Hunk 150cc, front and rear disc brake costs 77k (digital meter, but no kicker)
    Yamaha Fz16 150cc, front disc brake, costs 78k (fully digital meter, but no kicker)

    Clearly, Suzuki and Yamaha offer better value and features for money. Honda is overpriced.

  16. Nice review! (more practical… least mech details!!)

    am planning for SZR however worried over some points… since u hv this bike for enough time to judge the pros and cons, can you please help me on following?
    1. comfort to pillion (specifically, lady-in-saree)?
    2. How are the tyres on bumpy / dusty roads? (many people are unhappy over the TVS tyres)
    3. How comfortable is the riding posture (for commuter – 20KM highway, 10 KM city and 5 KM bumpy lanes daily)?

    SEM

    • HI Sudeep
      i may reply it very late, but the following are my genuine observations.
      i bought SZ black, 20 days now and yet to go for 1st service.
      – Very Poor shock observers , bad than a hercules commander cycle
      – Brakes are Sympathetic poor , though they said more theory abot SPEC of Drum brakes
      – riding posture is venomous, tank sits on you, rather you sit on the seat. you have to purposefully sit an inch back to get safe
      – 5 th Gear sounds to the Next street

      Better avoid this Sporty model SZ and SZ** . Just for the sake of yamaha Engine, we loose all first merits and ergonomics. My analogy is : Heart is Good. hands, legs,fingers and hip are ultimate bad !!
      These are the painful observation of a pity soul (me), who saw the review in Internet, seeing the dazzling model and low price,,and it preyed on me – BEWARE

  17. Hi,

    I want to know your opinion on below metnioned points.

    1) If i ride SZR at 50-60kmph, how much mileage do you think will it give.
    2) Is the rear suspension good enough on bumpy road? as it is not monosuspension equiped.
    3) Does Yahama still abides by the waranty even after installing kick start?
    I was planing for Stunner with its features and reliability, after SZR i am confused, please advice me which is the better option as i am looking out for good mileage and low maintenance cost bike.

    • go for HH acheiver its got the same engine used in cbz,hunk ,unicorn and its cheapest of all honda 150s.

      if u want highway cruiser than buy gs 150 r

  18. Hi, Kartick.. I accept your review, but I bought Yamaha SZ 11th November 2010 and Engine No: 54B2003632 CHASIS NUMBER: MEI54B029A2003417, after 1st service, I am facing lots of problem, well
    The Problem 1: When I ride a bike at 40 km speed bike will struck and then go.. it will happen simultaneously…

    Solution Provide by Dealer: They said its a battery problem. and changed in 10 days.. again the same problem will continued upto my 4th service.. I was very disappointed chennai “Sri Motors” and send a email against their service.. after one week an yamaha Engineer Name” Muthukumar” from kerala he will take care of my problem and finally gives a conclusion like its Airlock problem in Petrol Tank and fixed that problem after I ride 15 days smoothly..

    But unfortunately In chennai we can’t ride a bike above 60 kmpl coz of traffic.. two days back I started chennai to pondicherry around of 150 kilometers distance at the speed of 60 to 80 again the same problem I am facing…

    Karthick

  19. Hi, Kartick.. I accept your review, but I bought Yamaha SZ 11th November 2010 and Engine No: 54B2003632 CHASIS NUMBER: MEI54B029A2003417, after 1st service, I am facing lots of problem, well
    The Problem 1: When I ride a bike at 40 km speed bike will struck and then go.. it will happen simultaneously…

    Solution Provide by Dealer: They said its a battery problem. and changed in 10 days.. again the same problem will continued upto my 4th service.. I was very disappointed chennai “Sri Motors” and send a email against their service.. after one week an yamaha Engineer Name” Muthukumar” from kerala he will take care of my problem and finally gives a conclusion like its Airlock problem in Petrol Tank and fixed that problem after I ride 15 days smoothly..

    But unfortunately In chennai we can’t ride a bike above 60 kmpl coz of traffic.. two days back I started chennai to pondicherry around of 150 kilometers distance at the speed of 60 to 80 again the same problem I am facing…

  20. Hi all,
    i have bought new SZ-R, its been 3 months now, the pick-up and average of my bike is good,
    i am facing some problems with my silencer, it produces some sound(purging or backfire) at low speed .

    Is this normal ?

    Are u all facing the same?

  21. Dears,

    I have bought SZ – R last month.i am facing one problem.sound is coming when i reduce the speed from high between front tyre and head.are you people facing the same problem.

    • This is Reply , about Sri Motors @ Zenofer tower, Ekattuthangal.
      it was all the way sucking at the time of Delivery of SZ.
      First they just provided me papers and key, for me to take the bike from the backyard.
      Here no one cared to come with me to deliver it. i took it from the wash men
      – they have not installed the 4 accessories , i have demanded already . For asking that , one sales Guy, called Vijay is saying,” Sir its all installed”. THen to my agony, i asked the money collect madam( near, Suresh seat) to check at the account book ,what are the accessories i asked. Then Suresh asked a Big Sorry, and 4 parts are put in couple of minutes time
      – Actually no one cared, after purchase -even to give my RTO number. i have to OPEN My MOUTH and ask for it
      – LIkewise, they are complacent as an OLD DEALER, but we people SHUD teach them a lesson. The readers of this – please aviod these product and dealer/or Fight your way out , better than me. For that take your friends, who know automobiles better with current ethics of business cheatings for collecting your dream machine

      Thanks,
      Rajagopalan

  22. Hi All,
    i was overwhelmed by Karthicks comment s on SZ and purchased one from Sri motors,opposite Kasi theatre
    2 weeks now and covered 500 kms
    – Only price and mileage seems okay, still mileage yet to measure
    – Suspension, Brakes , gear lever, break lever all of very poor quality for an 150cc
    – my honest opinion , – pls do not go for this, just for brand yamaha
    – dealer Sri motors ,equally same as the bike as told above
    get good products and live happily, kind regards

  23. I purchased by SZX in oct 2010, till date i hv not faced any such problem as mentioned above,suspention are realy good.the best thing i like is the pickup of this bike ,whn the bike is in standing position n u suddenly release the clutch the rear wheel can rotate on the same spot. that is really thrilling.i added 2 accessories ,seat cover from coolmesh and HID lamp.it looks hot.

  24. Hi Karthik,

    Can you let me know from which showroom in chennai you brought your SZ bike? Also how about the service after you bought? And finally is there any noise/vibration from the engine once u cross 70 kmph?

  25. hi, i have rided almost the new szr model of 2012 ,it has its killing look and great pickup, as compared to hunk it is more better as it don’t vibrate at higher speed & it doesn’t give rough sound. one of my fiend is riding cbz, he fell jeal jealous of it and telling that he will purchase the same bike . mileage depends upon riding skills . i have the white with red combination & faced no problems yet. it is best value for money.

  26. Hi, I am planing for SZ, price wise it is in budget and also 150cc but after reading above all comment i am got confused to go for sz

    1. just i wanted to know how it will be after 6months and 1year..

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