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Yamaha FZ-S V3.0 Road Test Review: Still Very Much an FZ Underneath

News18.com

In 2008, when Yamaha introduced the FZ16, it essentially opened the doors for the entry-level street-fighter segment in India and 11 years later the bike has now entered its third generation and has arrived in a new avatar. However, as against the outgoing one, the new generation comes at a premium of Rs 12,000. And what we need to find out is if all the changes in the new model are really worth the price.

What's New?

On the outside, the front fascia gets a new look with split LED headlamps that are similar to the one seen on its elder sibling, the FZ25. Like its predecessors, the broad shoulder lines and the chunky tank takes the centre stage in the new version too. In addition to this, the tank now also gets a pair of tank shrouds that seems like vents but are just present for design purpose. The chrome bezel on the same and the belly pan is essentially the only difference between the FZ and the FZ-S.

Yamaha FZ-S V3.0 gets a new instrument cluster. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Yamaha FZ-S V3.0 gets a new instrument cluster. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

While we did expect a power bump in the engine, Yamaha decided to steer clear off of it. Which means that powering the bike is the same 149-cc engine that outputs 13bhp and 12.8Nm of torque. While this might be the lowest in its segment, the bike doesn’t really go for the sporty street-fighter purpose this time by trying to a be bit more commute friendly. And we measured the same by subjecting it to the daily urban grind in the traffic.

Compared to the 2.0 the new FZ gets slightly raised handle-bars that makes manoeuvring in traffic all the more easy. And those pothole-ridden roads will be less of a problem as the ground clearance is also up by 5mm. Unlike the older version, which did compromise pillion comfort with its split seat setup, the new FZ features a single seat with 16 per cent more surface area. And this welcomes comfort. For a guy who measures about 5’6 like me, all things were easily accessible with the perfect seat height.

Yamaha FZ-S V3.0 gets new tank shrouds that look like vents. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Yamaha FZ-S V3.0 gets new tank shrouds that look like vents. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

In terms of material used, we thought that the quality and finish could have been a bit better. If you thought the switchgear looked familiar, it’s because it has been taken from the FZ25. The bike also gets a new instrument cluster that comes with negative display helping in better visibility. It shows plenty of information, however, we could have lived with a gear-position and side-stand indicator.

What's it like on the roads?

Well, not bad at all. You see as mentioned earlier, the bike has been given a do-over with being commuter-friendly as a key aspect, which explains why Yamaha decided to retain the same engine. Speaking of which, as compared to the older version, the new FZ comes with plenty of grunt in its engine note. At higher a bit north of 5,000 rpm vibrations could be felt on the handlebars. As much as it turns heads, we will say that the performance will float your boat. The engine offers a pleasant ride without letting you forget that it is very much an FZ underneath. This means it has plenty of mid-range torque that will put a grin your face for those quick overtakes.

The new Yamaha FZ-S gets a similar rear with new grab rails. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

The new Yamaha FZ-S gets a similar rear with new grab rails. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

The braking duties on the bike are handled by a 282 mm disc brake at the front and unlike the older generation which shipped with drum brakes, the new one gets a disc brake at the rear as standard.

In a nutshell, while the numbers on paper might not be as impressive as its rivals, once you swing your leg on the bike, it doesn’t feel like it. Yes, we do agree that the price has been significantly hiked as against the outgoing version. But the bike still falls in the same price range as its rivals. Additionally, the plush ride and the comfortable ergonomics will not take long to grow on you which is something that Yamaha has kept going with the new generation. To sum it up, despite the changes being just cosmetic, it is still worth the money simply because of the way it rides.