New Yamaha FZ25 Review: Sinewy Sonnet

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Added in: Reviews

You get what you deserve. But in the FZ16’s case, it never really was true. The stylish looking thing had everything else working in its favor, except performance. Anybody who has ever ridden one would agree how it cried out for something more substantial to hug its capable chassis. And because the next available upgrade within the family was a super sporty 150cc machine, existing owners who wanted to sit straight had simply no choice other than deflecting to a rival camp.

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Say hello then to the Yamaha FZ25, which is here to address that decampment. Although we think with this bike, Yamaha might attract a lot of new settlers and witness some reverse desertion too. What you’d call ‘Ghar Wapasi’ in the automotive world maybe. Read on…

Here is the video review :

Performance

The Yamaha FZ25 picks up from the point where the smaller FZ would run out of breath. But here’s a tip. Do not let those numbers and figures on a specifications sheet fool you into dismissing this machine. We agree that 20.9PS at 8000 clicks and 20Nm at 6000 rpm from a 250cc, air-cooled single doesn’t make this motorcycle a spec-sheet hero. But real life performance is such a delight, the first thing you’d do after experiencing this bike is burn that piece of information. Because then it wouldn’t matter.

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The 250cc single’s characteristics are strikingly similar to the motor that propels the smaller FZ. Power delivery is linear, progressive and well spread. You never have to keep dialing revs and wait to get to a point from where the engine drops its coat and swings around a pole. Throttle response is crisp, lag free and from 5000 rpm onwards, until about 9000 clicks, the engine spins within the meat of its powerband. It will rev till 11,000, where the limiter cuts in and crashes the party, but you don’t really have to send the tachometer to the moon to build up speed. You may do so if that is how you fill your appetite for thrills and the FZ25 won’t complain.

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Naught to sixty comes up pretty quick and the FZ25 crosses the 100kph mark under 9-seconds. Final gearing is tall and you never really feel the absence of a sixth cog, which many might feel is a negative for some reason. However, this quarter liter Yammie can comfortably cruise between the 110-120 kph mark without protest, and cruise all day. For those whose eyes light up at the mention of a machine’s top speed, we managed to register 140+ on the speedometer without much fuss.

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The gearshifter responds positively to every toe movement and runs up and down the box in a smooth and clinical manner. It needs an assertive input from your foot though and doesn’t get tickled at the touch of a feather if you know what we mean. There’s a good amount of muffled bass to the 250cc single’s sound at idle, and it sounds moderately gruff as the revs climb. There are a few mild pops from the exhaust too when the engine’s slowing down.

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A tiny amount of vibrations are felt on the bars and the thigh area post the 6500-7000 rpm mark, but it can be classified as more of a tingle rather than anything which will bother you. Overall, for the way this 250cc engine delivers its goodies, it will appeal to those who’ve shied away from the Duke 200 for its frenetic, always on the edge nature. Portrayed as a powerful urban commuter, we like how the FZ25 offers performance that is refined, mature and easily accessible for everyday conditions. Also, promising to return 43 kpl with a 14-liter fuel tank, the FZ25 will cover a lot of distance before asking for a refill.

Handling & Braking

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The Yamaha FZ25 employs a Diamond type frame to hold its quarter liter engine together, which connects the wheels via conventional telescopic forks up front and a monocross spring at the back. A tried and tested setup, where the suspension has been set to offer a compromise between being sporty and comfortable. At 148 kilos, the bike feels extremely lightweight for a quarter liter machine. And just like its smaller sibling, is easily flickable and nimble on its feet.

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Riding position is sporty, yet not overtly so and thanks to mass centralization, the FZ25 feels joyously confident in its stride. Grip levels are decent, courtesy of 100/80 front and 140/70 MRF rubber at the back. Yamaha has ditched the low profile radial for a more rounded, higher profile rubber at the back in favor of reliability. The suspension setup feels perky enough over bumps and ruts, but if you start pushing things over a corner aggressively, its soft nature comes to the fore.

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The bike is eager to switch from side-to-side, thanks to the lightweight scheme of things, but it isn’t what you’d call electric. The chassis relays a feeling of being composed and well balanced. The front brake offers progressive bite and one needs to grab quite a bit of the lever for real braking force to kick in. The equipment provides strong braking power though, where the rear disc works without locking up when stamped upon.

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Seats are well cushioned, but only a longer stint on the motorcycle will reveal how things hold up for longer distances. The pillion seat offers decent amount of width and is fairly comfortable as we discovered on a short ride.

Styling and Equipment

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The 250cc FZ gets aggressively designed faux vents on its tank extensions, and along with an almost crater like dimple on the 14-liter chiseled tank, it stays true to its beefy, muscular image.

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The fancy bit up front is a mean looking headlight cluster that sits rather low and gets twin LEDs for low beam which stay always on. There’s another LED for high beam in the jaw area and a position lamp which completes the coronation of this Lord.

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There’s a black plastic panel that divides the tank area in the middle, and it already had some scruffs and scratches, which can be covered with a slap on tank guard.

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The middle section of the body work has been designed to convey a sporty message, where an angular, glossy piece of bodywork merges with a flared rear section which also features little, faux vents on each side.

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Floating grab rails, an attractive LED tail light and a sporty licence plate holder which also holds the turn indicators complete the picture at the rear.

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An almost camouflaged saree guard has been integrated within a neat looking tyre hugger

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Switchgear quality is good, and since the FZ25 comes with an always on headlight, an engine kill switch and the starter button sit to the right. A beam toggle switch on the left incorporates the pass function.

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The instrument cluster is all digital and displays a large speedometer, a horizontal tachometer, a fuel gauge, and features an odometer, two trip meters, reads out the average fuel economy and tells you the time. A little switch on the console itself lets you switch between information. Tell-tale lights surround the display area in a glossy black finish and even in bright sunlight, everything looked legit and easy to read.

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Overall, the FZ25 stays true to the original, ready to attack streetfighter design and will certainly find many buyers who would give in for the looks alone. Watch out for the one in White. It looks smashing if you ask us.

Still a Lord?

Certainly it is. Where many think that Yamaha has arrived late to the party, the FZ25 could start something new on its own. It will definitely attract existing FZ owners who wish to upgrade and are used to the quality for sure. But we think there’s more to it. This bigger Yamaha matches, outclasses, even, the Duke 200’s performance, although where the latter delivers all its goodies in a hormonally charged manner, the FZ25 does the same without much drama, in a very refined and elegant fashion.

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And since the FZ series has flexed its muscles now, we kind of hope the Fazer won’t lag behind either. Now imagine what a fantastic entry-level tourer the Fazer would make for if it gets similar treatment. And since the Bajaj AS 200 is no longer in production, Yamaha could pitch in with a good looking, semi-faired product that could rekindle the love that was showered on the original Karizma for all the right reasons. We aren’t sure if it will happen for real, we hope it does though. Until then, the Yamaha FZ25 is a brilliant new product which looks fantastic, has been priced well, and is a strong and attractive alternative to its lesser and higher priced rivals. What do they say about killing two birds with a stone. Yamaha’s rock killed a goat too.

Here are the complete technical specifications followed by a detailed image gallery:

Engine
TypeAir Cooled, Single-Cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve
Displacement249cc
Bore x Stroke74.0 x 58.0 mm
Maximum Horsepower20.9 PS @ 8000 rpm
Maximum Torque20 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Starting SystemElectric
Ignition System TypeTransistor Controlled Ignition
Lubrication SystemWet Sump
Fueling SystemFuel Injected
Engine Oil Capacity1.55 litre
Dimensions
Overall Length2015 mm
Overall Width770 mm
Overall Height1075 mm
Seat Height795 mm
Wheelbase1360 mm
Minimum Ground Clearance160 mm
Wet Weight148 kg
Minimum Turning Radius2.5 m
Fuel Tank Capacity14 litre
Transmission
Transmission TypeConstant Mesh, 5-Speed
Gear Ratio
1st2.571 (36/14)
2nd1.684 (32/19)
3rd1.273 (28/22)
4th1.040 (26/25)
5th0.852 (23/27)
Chassis
Frame TypeDiamond
Caster Angle24°
Trail98 mm
Steering AngleLeft : 37°Right : 37°
Tyre Size : Front100/80-17M/C 52P Tubeless
Tyre Size : Rear140/70-17M/C 66S Tubeless
Brakes
Front282 mm Hydraulic Single Disc Brake
Rear220 mm Hydraulic Single Disc Brake
Suspension
FrontConventional Telescopic Fork
RearMonoshock
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)INR 119,500
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  • Hi Reetabrata,

    Levels of fit n finish are good. Not great, not average either. We had the motorcycle with us during the day, so checking the headlight’s illumination will have to wait until another evening. Luggage will fit if you are insistent 🙂

  • fb-ReetabrataBhattacharya fb-ReetabrataBhattacharya says:

    Hi Amit. Nice review, pretty informative. What about fit & finish of plastic panels and their quality? How is the LED headlight’s functionality post sunset, is it good for our highways? From a luggage carrying perspective, is there any facility for fitting a tank bag or saddle bags?