The Yamaha fans in India have been waiting for the launch of the XSR 155- a retro-styled 155 cc bike. However, instead of launching the XSR 155, we get the FZ-X. Now, this might disappoint fans but Yamaha got a good reason behind it. Firstly, the FZ-S is an established brand in India and the FZ-X can leverage it. Secondly, Yamaha can price the FZ-X competitively due to it sharing parts with the FZ-S. But how much has Yamaha done to separate the two and does the FZ-X have its own identity? Let’s find out:
The FZ-X has a controversial design that some might like or hate. However, the pictures might deceive you and it looks much better in person. Yamaha has used a lot of metal elements in the design for parts such as the fender, fuel tank, front brace and the removable grab rail. What could have been done better though would be to add the retro cowl to the speedo area as it doesn’t gel well with the design. The headlamps have been done well though with a high and low beam projector setup surrounded by LED rings. The wheels are 10 spoke 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in chunky tires with disc brakes. You get a dual or single tone seat depending on the variant. The seat height is higher than the FZ-S which might be an issue for short riders. The metal tank gets exposed rivets on top which adds to the muscular look of the motorcycle. The footpegs are placed ahead which lends to a commuter-ish stance while riding. You also get a metal dash plate to protect the bike from underbelly scraping.
The switchgear quality is typical Yamaha with well-finished switches. You don’t get hazard lights as standard however they can be added as accessories. The mirrors are not the widest but they are reasonably well and won’t cause any issues in terms of visibility. Yamaha has provided a 12v power socket which can be used to charge your phone via an adapter. The instrument console is all new and it gets inverted colours. You get a circular tachometer, a digital speed readout, a clock, two trip meters and a fuel trip. The FZ-X gets optional Bluetooth connectivity in the form of Yamaha Motorcycle Connect which provides features like call alerts, SMS alerts, app connectivity, fuel efficiency display, maintenance recommendations, last parked location alert, malfunction notification alert, real-time efficiency display and eco riding indicator. One thing to note is that the Bluetooth version of the FZ-X costs ₹3000 more than the non-Bluetooth model.
Ride and handling
The FZ-X gets the same 149cc air-cooled, two-valve, SOHC engine which produces 12.4 hp and 13.3 nm of torque from the FZ-S. The 5-speed transmission is also from the FZ-S. One unique thing about the FZ-X is that it has a distinct exhaust note which has a lot of bass. The engine is one of the most refined units in its class with no vibration at mid or high rpms. The power delivery is similar to the FZ-S which is quite easy-going and linear in nature. The engine is not suited to high speeds and lags behind the competition in terms of acceleration and top speed. The 5-speed transmission doesn’t help its case either as it surely needs an update. The lack of performance is made up of the best-in-class efficiency. One can easily achieve 50-55km/l which makes it a great commuter. The suspension is more softly sprung as compared to the FZ-S which makes it a great choice if comfort is your priority. The bike glides over the bumps and you realize that this is the perfect bike for commuting in the city rather than a bike for attacking corners. The braking duties are taken care by front and rear disc brakes with single-channel ABS. The bike stops without any drama and it is well controlled.
The FZ-X is not the bike for you if you want performance and a good corner attacking capability. The FZ-X can be seen as a commuter bike that has a unique design, fuel-efficient engine and international brand backing. The pricing is definitely on the steeper side but the FZ-X gets a unique styling and character if you don’t want the cheaper FZ-S.