Hi, this is Sayan Chakraborty, an M.Tech student of Jadavpur University. I am from Howrah, West Bengal and started my biking with a TVS Fiero-FX model. After taking admission to M.Tech program, I decided to buy a new bike for me. The change was required because there was a tickle in my heart pushing me towards a new bike. The Fiero was in perfect condition; still I decided to go for a change.

The Search Begins

Being an engineer, understand bikes and other factors is easy now, So this time I was pretty more confident and logical. I first of all select a segment for me which was 150cc. This is because in Howrah/Kolkata you need a blend of performance and economy. I am not a peed freak, So I knew 150cc is good for me.

Now, the list making time, I strike off Pulsar – 150 and Discover – 150 first because they were too common and reliability was not top class, Suzuki GS 150R was next to go due to poor after sale service. Then TVS RTR 160 follows the list because it has that small bike feeling. Honda Dazzler, Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme was off because I do not like them. R15 was out of my reach. I then sorted out bikes as-

  • Honda CB Unicorn
  • Hero Honda Hunk
  • Yamaha FZ-S

I choose Honda unicorn because it was the most reliable all-rounder of the lot.

Twist in the story

I knew about Yamaha SZ (didn’t choose because it was lacking disc brakes, tachometer etc.) But all of a sudden came to know about the upgraded SZ that is Yamaha SZ-R. Went to Yamaha dealer the very next day and it was love at first sight.

The Battle Begins

It was a duel between SZ-R and the Unicorn. Unicorn had the reputation of good mileage and performance and SZ-R had the looks and the promise of much more determined Yamaha Motors India.

Yamaha was one of my favorite and the quality of Honda was nothing but “Honda-class”, the only word that came into my mind describing the quality of Honda. It was a tough choice and I was in great confusion because I want this bike for really long term use. I started search the web where BikeAdvice.in helped me a lot but there was good reviews for both the bikes which keeps me in dilemma.

The Deciding Factor

SZ-R costs 8000 INR less than Unicorn though it lacks power as much as 1.3 Bhp but as I told earlier I do not need that extra power, and also, the carefully designed torque curve of SZ-R having peak torque of 12.8 Nm @ 4500 rpm was the thing I needed. I assumed maintenance of the two bikes to be same, even if the Unicorn returns 3km/l more mileage than SZ-R, think how much time it will take to cover the amount of 8000INR.

This was the perfect strategy Yamaha needed to increase their share in the market. I checked the bike and find no quality issues. Yamaha was a brand that can always be trusted, still I made the checks. I finalize Yamaha SZ-R. Went for the Quality-Red color and booked it.

The Day

3rd August 2011, I sat on the bike, twist the keys, the green (N) light goes on, touched the starter switch and the sleeping beauty wakes up. Pulled the cutch, rolled into the 1st gear and off we go.

Review Time

The honeymoon ended and real marriage begins for a bike owner from that very moment when he is handed over with the keys and gets off to his baby but for the lover/bikers, it never ends.

The Engine – Heart of the bike

  • The Engine is 153cc SOHC 2valve producing peak power of 12.1PS@ 7500 RPM and peak torque of 12.8Nm @4500rpm.
  • It’s the same engine that serves in FZ series but has been detuned for better fuel economy.
  • The engine is butter smooth though it’s not as quick as the other competitors. But it is carefully designed torque curve having peak @ only 4500rpm makes life easy in heavy traffic.
  • You will not feel vibration though have not pushed it far than 6500 rpm and that too is done after first 500km because the engine is new and the good thing is that you will not feel the engine heat on your leg due to its well designed sitting posture. It’s best if you don’t cross 4500 rpm for first 500 km and avoid more than 6000 rpm till you clock 1000 km on the odometer.
  • The gearbox is just perfect. No more words. There was a bit notch till first 50km but then it becomes butter smooth.
  • This is not the one to jump from a signal to another and zoom past the traffic but if you want comfort and ease of driving, this one is for you.

Design and looks

  • I personally feel it looks better than many other 150cc bikes and definitely better than the bikes of 125-135 cc segment.
  • The look is sporty though it has been mated with very conventional and comfortable upright sitting posture. It’s very well suited for tall men.
  • It has a very good ground clearance of 165mm and wheelbase of 1320mm.
  • The front mudguard, rear tail light is unique and adds a distinct look. The side cowls are aerodynamically designed and add a special appearance to the bike.
  • It has an analogue cockpit and I love to see the needle oscillating. I don’t like digital meters.
  • The rpm meter is unique and gives a very special look. There is also a engine malfunction light.
  • The fuel tank is very large (14L) and adds extra miles at a single refueling. It’s really an eye candy color quality.

Handling

  • This is where every Yamaha is good at and enjoys being on top and this one is also not an exception. Its handling is top class. Disc Brake is not as sharp as pulsars but still very good, do not have that sudden bite but it’s quite effective.
  • Suspension system handles the potholes very well. It’s presently in the middle of Hard-Soft settings i.e. the factory settings.
  • I found the confidence of curve in my very first ride with this baby, but it will still be better if the tyres were made of MRF.
  • SZ-R is equipped with tube tires. Tubeless tire such as in FZ series is not implemented here.

Overall Performance

If you are looking for a race breed don’t choose this one. But if you are in search of a (150/135) cc bike that has good mileage, awesome handling, very good comfort, good looks and low investment cost than this one is for you. It takes time to reach high on the Speedo but it’s really smooth through the rev range.

Its high torque characteristics reduces need of shifting gears frequently and it is very comfortable for long drives as it’s posture is very comfortable for your back and you will never feel back pain. People complains about it for being low on power but remember that it costs same as 125/135cc bikes and returns similar mileage figure and the advantage is it can breathe easy being an 150 cc so I found out the disadvantage to be an advantage.

Mileage

I am presently getting 44km/l before my first service. This is good for a 150cc machine. I will advice not to choose a bike only for the reason of better mileage because there might be other expenses that might rip your pocket after 3-4 years. Better to have a little low but consistent economy.

Drawbacks

It also has some demerits such as

  • Kick starter has been excluded (But you can fix it later).
  • There is no pass switch, engine kill switch, trip meter.
  • Has rigid footrest for the driver like old bikes (Though I feel it’s not a problem at all).
  • No digital console for digital-fans. And it consist tube tires.
  • And lastly the battery MINDA make and I am not very sure about its long term performance.

Final Verdict

It will be good if you consider all the factors before choosing your machine. All that I can say that SZ-R is a quality product and complete value for money. It is priced similar to 135/125 cc machines and gives similar performance and economy. Think twice before buying a 135/125 cc overlooking this baby.

And lastly, before I finish, all I must say is love your bike, take care of it. Always wear a helmet, obey traffic rules and fly safe. I thank Mr. Deepak for giving me the opportunity to express my views; readers please let me know what you think by your comments.

Note – The photos were taken at that very moment I decided to write this review and that was while coming back from university. It was raining that day and I thought to wash my bike before I take the pictures but then I thought we saw enough of Barbie dolls in the showrooms, our bikes rule the streets and that is how they look in rainy season, so welcome to ground reality, welcome to the beauty that stands in the mud. Hope you enjoyed the review. Right?

Regards,
Sayan Chakraborty

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60 COMMENTS

    • xactly !in case of pickup,looks,battery,tyres n offcource quality!!! dis bike cant beat stunner!!

      i just like d price n looks of this bike!!wt if this bike got 150cc engine..bt that is sluggish one!! yamaha ss125 engine prformance is bettr than this szx!

      • @garavb- I don’t think so, take a stunner to above 75 km/hr and it starts vibrating, and braking and balance is no way close to sz-r. Mileage is same, stunner is good till 60km/hr, after that the engine start’s becoming rough compared to sz-r.

      • 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

    • It’s not super.It came as night mare to me. it gives 30 km/l and is 2 months old.
      and besides engine takes a gap when accelarating in any gear.
      i feel it has a problem with the engine and the technicians are saying to wait till 2nd service.
      did any one faced this problems? plz do reply me.

      • It’s a problem particularly present in your bike. No sz owner reported that low mileage so far. Get your carb checked, don’t rev your engine high & check adjustment of your clutch, choke, acc cable. Can’t understand what do yo mean by “engine takes a gap when accelarating in any gear”. Does the rpm falls during that time??

  1. This is one of the greatest reviews I have read on Bikeadvice.in very informative and down to earth. I live in Sri Lanka, we still dont have this bike here. maybe yamaha will launch it soon. You have taken some cool pics. Nice work and all the best, for both you and your Bike. 🙂

  2. looks like there have been so many compromises to go for SZR as the authorsays I like analog meters than digital, sturdy foot tests are not a problem, power I don’t expect and so on. Please note that Yamaha had done more cost cutting over SZR. one can easily feel looking at the mag wheel, fibres and rubber materials.only style you silk have.

    • @Shashivardhana- But the cost is cutted down to a great extent, and if you want the luxury, go for fz. I am student, a cost of 10K matters man….

    • @ sajith- No man, I hav’nt tried the top speed as the engine is new. Have clocked 714km on the odo last day and have reached 85km/hr without any vibration at all.

  3. Nice review Sayan. I brought a black one (almost same deciding factors) on 4th Feb. Its touching 6000KM and completed 3 free services. It consistently gives me around 50KM/l. I even took this to highest speed (around 110), still no much shivering, very comfortable though mileage reduced for that trip. Speed for good mileage 50-60.

  4. a 153 cc machine with 12.1 bhp power and just 12.8 nm torque ….. it might not b enough and a number of features r missing . i don’t hope it to b liked by the peoples looking for 150 cc bikes.
    what is the plus point of this bike besides its price ?

  5. This bike is a high-torque bike made for city riding and requires less gear shifts, so its good in city riding but will vibrate at higher speeds, so highway performance wont be good, but still better than 125cc bikes. The only negative in SZ-R is lack of kicker. A commuter bike should have kicker.

    Like SZ-R, even unicorn has ordinary analog speedometer, not digital. Unicorn has decent city riding and good highway riding, but not as vibration-free as gs150r at constant high speeds.

    Gs150r has decent city riding, but gs150r is very vibration-free in high-speed highway rides due to engine balancer.

    Apache and Pulsar are powerful city bikes but require more gear changes in city. The are powerful highway bikes, but still lack the smoothness of gs150r on highways.

    So, each bike has its own plus and minuses. No bike has everything.

  6. he he he a mileage of 44 for this it has been detuned a, and u say that u don like dazzler with a mileage of 52 which has 14 ps and rear disks and mrf zapper , u r funny a bike must either fire up in speed or must give mileage we can comprimise in both its 150 segment boss, its a budget vehical thats it, do not compare with honda……

    • Yamaha never make bikes with the ‘kitna deti hai’ mentality in mind. They make performance bikes. So buddy, you should know that before commenting on SZ-R. I had a dazzler which I sold in exchange for an SZ-R. The dazzler simply dazzles on paper and when put on the road, it only whimpers. The SZ-R, despite of its detuned engine is no slouch and is the first one to take a lead when the traffic light turns red. Before other monsters know what happened, the SZ-R is way ahead. No bike, I repeat, No bike can match the initial thrust of Yamaha and its road balance sans vibration. You need to ride it to believe it.

  7. nice rewive, i too having this bike since 7th march 2011, now i gets 53 kmpl mileage, iam from vellore, tamilnadu.

    muthukumaran.t

    • @ muthukumaran- hi, i’m in a dilemma either to go for SZ-R or UNICORN or Twister, but the sporty look & heavy weight (which i like & want) is dragging me towards SZ-R but my only question is about mileage does it really still giving 50+kmpl after 7months (from march-11)…
      If YES… definitely I’ll go for SZ-R for sure… please reply for this… 😕

    • hello sir,

      iam using sz-r black.from april 2012.but i get only 35 km/l.my 2 service is finished.and what speed u are maintaining while riding in cities?.can i tune the engine?

  8. First of all Nice review…

    Six months before I also shortlisted this bike.
    But after doing an intensified research on bikes , I finally took SS125 from Yamaha.
    My comparison of both bikes are given below:

    SS125 vs SZ-R

    SS125
    1.123cc, 11bhp @7500rpm,10.4Nm@6500rpm
    2.125kg
    3.length 1995mm,width 730mm,height 1110mm,wheekbase1295mm
    4.tyre size (front/rear) 2.75-18 4PR / 3.00-18 6PR
    pros:
    1.no vibration even in speed of 70-90kmph
    2.fit & finish of the parts are standard.
    3.Engine cowl is a standard accessory.
    4.Wider&softer seat,easily accommodate 3
    5.Fully loaded with Front disc brake,self start,kicker,rpm meter,pass light,engine kill etc
    6.suitable for tall persons
    7.Even the tyres are narrow since they are of MRF Zapper, the road grip is excellent.
    8.half chain cover
    9.It even looks like a 150cc bike.
    10.milg 55-60kmpl
    11.Great handling
    12.Sitting comfort for both the rider & pillion
    13.The build quality of Yamaha Gladiator SS125 is superb and the paint is terrific
    14.The footrests are also made of aluminium, which is considered premium in any class.
    15.On road price in kerala 55200/-
    16.We can easily attain a speed of 80kmph on highways using this 125cc bike.Even at this speed the bike provides better control and handling.
    17.125cc bikes with 5 gears for smooth riding and better mileage
    cons:
    1.Poor initial pick up but the bike is a beast @ more than 4000rpm
    2.Low end torque, but while riding this bike on highways i didnt feel it, But the riding through heavy traffic is still little difficult.
    In first gerar the rpm rises quickly even on slight acceleration at that time the engine produce high noise also.So we have to suddenly shift to 2nd gear.
    The slow speed in each gear is high compared to SZ-R which causes frequent gear shifting in city traffic.
    3.head light focusing is bad
    4.No place for front no. plate below head light.It is fitted in the visor(After 2 months I successfully changed the No. plate to below which is my own design ,it never hit the mudguard )

    SZ-R
    1.153CC,12.1bhp@7500rpm,12.8Nm@4500rpm
    2.132kg
    3.length 2050,width730,height 1100mm,wheelbase 1320mm
    4.tyre size 2.75-17 41 P/ 100/90-17 55P
    pros:
    1.better engine (same as that of FZ)
    2.Better torque @ low & mid range
    3.Easy handling,easy city riding
    4.great look
    5.larger seat,sitting comfort for rider&pillion
    6.Cheapest 150cc bike rs 62000/- on road.
    7.2+3 = 5 years warranty
    cons:
    1.The less road grip of TVS tyres ,chance of skidding in rainy roads & sand.
    2.Milg only about 40-50(since it is down tuned engine and bike weight is 132kg a milg of 55-60 is needed)My 2 friends were using SZ-x, both of them tell me they getting only about 45.
    3.No pass light,No engine kill, No kicker ( if u need kicker rs 2500 extra should be paid and also there should be waiting period for SZ-R with kicker)
    4.Quality of many parts ( like gear lever,the fittings in the petrol tank,foot rest)were not up to standard
    5.Even the petrol tank can be shaken with our 2 hands..
    6.And also a price difference of 6000/- with SS125 which is a fully loaded bike from yamaha
    7.There is no switch for the park light.
    8.For the cost cutting of the bike Yamaha compromise on not adding the parts like kicker,pass light ,engine kill switch,etc and also in fit & finish of the existing parts like gear lever,mirror,other fiber parts.
    9.The 5 year warranty only covers engine,suspension etc since most of the parts are of less quality we may need to spend extra money for replacing that parts.

    • so do u recommend SS125 over SZ-R? even i feel the same but lack of reviews and no test ride for SS125 being available puts me off.

  9. I thought that it is also a racing bike bcoz it belong to yamaha and it is of 150 cc. But now 3 bikes are in my list to buy like yamaha fazer,yamaha fz-s and new apache 180. Which one is better for racing? Can any one help me plz,,,,

      • I have apache rtr 160 and I did 60 kmph in second gear itself. For this, the rpm needle should be at the red line. O have recorded 4.8 seconds for 0 to 60 kmph. For apache 180, these figures should be even better.

    • If it is racing, there is no other choice than RTR 180. FZ is a street bike and a Fazer is a short tourer bike. I think the price of Fazer is more than RTR 180.I suggest you to go for RTR 180 ABS if you can spend a little more than Fazer.
      Here in Coimbatore, FZs – 79K, Fazer – 88K and RTR 180 ABS is 90K. So, if you really want a racing bike, go for RTR 180 ABS. If you can afford to spend more than 1 lakh, consider the new R15 V2 which is about to be launched soon.

  10. hi sayan!
    congrats!for ur new bike!first of all! i dont want to demoralize you!or dissappoint u!
    it seems that u hav heard about the quality of honda unicorn but iam sure u didn’t felt it!
    specially the sz-r will be miles behind the unicorn! bcoz! unicorn had the ride quality in it!
    and i bet ? u cant see it in any other bike in india! u’ll come to hear cam shaft and timing chain related noises after 10000kms! which u even cannot findout in unicorn after 30000kms,HONDA UNICORN is & will be the undisputed king in 150cc segment and theres no question abt it!i u know why iam sayin all this!!!

    bcoz! myself ,my father! my 2 younger brothers drive the same brand and the same model but in 4-different colours & in four back to back different models since DEC-2004.from the latest to the classical one! so always listen to your heart!before buying some thing special in ur life!!!
    bye bye!!!!

  11. Antony— Gs 150 R !!!, accha …. aray ye flop bike hai mere bhai. Unnecessarily heavy , for a 150 cc very heavy. providing 6 gears for a 150 cc bike seems useless and baseless.ugly design compared to Honda Unicorn.
    Honda Unicorn is the smoothest bike to ride that is available in the indian market. got it.

  12. Sayan u have written a good review & photos are also nice ……YAMAHA SZ-R is a very nice bike in 150 cc segment ….Many of the people has mentioned about the HONDA CBF STUNNER,with this bike. i just wanaa say that both the bikes { cbf stunner & sz-r } are best in there class those who wanted to go for 125cc bike go for CBF STUNNER thats a very nice bike with a smooth & reliable engine , but those who have a dream to buy 150cc bike with a decent looks and affordable price they should really go for YAMAHA SZ-R it’s a reliable bike to……At the end i would say both the bikes { STUNNER & SZ-R} are nice bikes ..

  13. @Ajay – I wouldn’t say that the bike is flop… there are some amazing features which makes GS 150R a great combi of a city & highway life… also i feel u r an amateur riding enthusiast who lacks the knowledge of vibrations & high speeds….

    JFYI: I m a proud owner of Hyosung GT650 – P220 – ZMR – R15 – GS150r – Apache 180 with ABS.
    Reason for havin all the above bikes: Joint Family 🙂 … I decide which bike to buy… 😉

    Need to mention it separately: A proud owner of 1970’s Stock Cond. Royal Enfield.

  14. Hi sayan.Im impressed with SZ-R and your review too.But im not fully aware of mileage.If one goes in with the speed range of 65km/hr.Wat will it return? im expecting around 45.Wats your point?

  15. Hi Sayan,

    Thanks for the review.

    But can u elaborate how is the fit and finish of the bike as when i checked it out the petrol tank and side cowls does shake if u push them a little, very surprising. Also the side grey covers not properly attached/ fixed tight etc .. kindly comment any such observation u had come through. eagerly waiting for ur comments… thanks in advance.

    • I had d same doubt bout d petrol tank shaking wen i got my SZ-R frm d showroom …. (Oh yeah i got mine yestaday !! \m/)
      When i asked d guy in der… He showed me d rubber backing of d petrol tank which reduces d vibration to a gr8 extent … Unless u’ve ridden a discover or P135LS … U wud’nt no wat kinda vibes a bike can produce …
      Trust me … If u do care fo ur b***s …. 😉 U’d no dat des reduced vibes wud b a +pt in terms of comfort … Don worry bout d tank … Its just fine … 😀

  16. @PK- The fit and finish is up to the mark and i don’t find any problem yet. You are right you can shake them but they do’nt vibrate, that’s for sure. May be they are kept like that only to be a bit flexible so they don’t break away easily. But i am not very sure that whether it is a fault or not but all I can say that I never faced any problem regarding it. After all you don’t wrestle your bike, and considering vibration, no issues.

  17. hi sayan da… first of all thanks for the gr8888 review!! i am a physics hons student of 1st year,, and about to buy a bike.. my choise is the rockinnn sz r..!! btt my father’s opinion is to go for pulsar 135 ls.. is this bike suits me overall?? plz hlp…. i m 5.5 of height.. and 55 kgs of weight.. plzzzz suggest.. waiting for ur early responce…

  18. @PK- The fit and finish is up to
    the mark and i don’t find any
    problem yet. You are right you
    can shake them but they do’nt
    vibrate, that’s for sure. May be
    they are kept like that only to
    be a bit flexible so they don’t
    break away easily. But i am not
    very sure that whether it is a
    fault or not but all I can say that
    I never faced any problem
    regarding it. After all you don’t
    wrestle your bike, and
    considering vibration, no
    issues.

  19. Hi,sayan
    Good review……btw im a resident of kolkata(behala) and planning to buy a sz series bike in coming months
    ,can u tell me about yamaha after-sales-service in kolkata?Are the parts readily available/too costly?

    • There are 8 yamaha service centers in calcutta, you can refer to the yamaha india website, then dealer locator, after-sales-service is very good.

  20. Nice u have given a good review…You considered Honda Unicorn like anyother Indian…Then choose Yamaha SZ-R,that FZ’s same engine…come man u r an engineer,u should do research on each bike when u buy a bike.The one u cut off Suzuki GS150R now has double the sales of a Unicorn bike & has very good resale value then Unicorn.The engine is much more refined than Honda’s engines,Suzuki’s service is far better than Honda’s.
    In all Suzuki GS150R is one of the best 150cc bike,it demands a class of its own ‘SPORTS-COMMUTER’…superb performance along with good mileage.Pls don’t go blindly for a product because others buy them.

  21. I’m in srilanka. We’re waiting for longtime for this bike.. But still we couldnt get the experience of this bike. When SZR comes to srilanka?

  22. excellent review love to know the story after 1 year of ride but whatever bike next tear or so thanks for your review cleared last bit of fog in my mind for this bike

  23. Hi sayan, Nice reviews..

    I also have SZR-red and i’ve run it 22000 in just 13 months.
    I daily drive 50kms( 30kms in express highway n 20kms on normal delhi roadas.
    SZR is best in his class it has no comparison. However i get mileage of 35-40 kmpl only as we drive it above 70-75 km/h. but @speed of 50-60 kmph it gives 44+.
    I also crashed it 3 times on road but still didn’t get any scratch on it except its leg guard. Amazing n perfect built by yamaha…….. loving it.

  24. Nice review dude.. I too hv planned to by this bike.. Pls share me the mileage.. If I will run it at economy speed (40-45) in the highway, how much it will give me..?

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