This year, Neck to Neck comparisons can’t get any better than Yamaha FZ25 Vs Apache 200 4V since the two almost match each other in many aspects
There are two types of rivalries in the Indian motorcycling context. The first was Pulsar vs Karizma and the second, is the one between Yamaha FZ series vs Apache. These are ‘words’ that are used out on the streets. “Pulsar is the father, Karizma is legendary, Yamaha is the best and the Apache is Apache”. Now translate those things in India’s national language and dissolve yourself in the review that we are writing here. There hasn’t been a comparison this neck and neck in a very long time. Even Pulsar vs Karizma or any other battles have been fought with various weapons in hands.
Somebody has more power, somebody has more displacement. Someone has been naked street-fighter while other has been a semi-faired tourer. The ratio has been very high most of the time, here again, there are differences but then again there hasn’t been a closely fought battle as this one.
TVS has given Apache 200 almost EIGHT variants to choose from, but only two are available now. FZ only comes in one variant which has everything from the Japanese manufacturer thrown into it. Let’s dig deeper as we have the information and numbers to make sure who is the real winner.
When it comes to the design, the FZ is now a MT series replica from the international range. The MT-09 is available in India, but anybody barely knows about it. The downright similar headlight is a major giveaway to that fact. The rest of the part look like they have been taken from the FZ16 to make sure economy of scales match. We can assure that they were designed for the FZ25 and FZ16 together but the FZ16 Fi came first.
The Apache 200 on the other hand has a predator like headlight with LED position lamps. Speaking of lamps, both bikes have almost similar looking tail-lamps which is quite an coincidence (same smart outsourced design firm maybe).
The fuel tank on the FZ25 is substantial than the traditional FZ series bikes. The FZ fuel tank is large and macho, but the edgy tank grabs more attention on the Apache. The belly fairing on the Apache 200 makes it look even sportier. The Apache gets a significantly compact, well chiseled rear tail-piece which also houses split seats and Batman inspired grab rails. Exhaust is inspired by Ducati’s Streetfighter series. We think the Apache looks more fruity/sporty over the very commuter like FZ25.
Speedo and switches
When it comes to the switches, both are near identical, but the FZ25 has a pass light button embedded in the high beam button which was first seen on the TVS product, called Jupiter. Same is not seen on the Apache. However, the quality of plastics, palm grips is better on the Apache than the FZ, but by a subtle margin. The FZ’s minimalist approach is very similar to big bikes which lends its own appeal as there is audience appreciating that part as well. TVS continues to score on this part as its quality is visible all the time for all these years which has not seen any degrade.
Speedo is where FZ25 tried to be better than its younger sibling, but it cannot take down its peer. While the FZ25 has basics covered. Apache has thrown in the kitchen sink with lap timer, clock, top speed recorder, gear position indicator, fuel gauge warning light, service indicator over the FZ25. Both bikes offer digital speedometer, tachometer two trip meters and tell-tale lights. Apache even tops it by multiple slogans that is displayed when you start the bike saying’ Race on and many more.
Ergonomics is where the Apache continues to be selective with its choice in this comparison and over the years. The riding position is similar on both bikes as you lean ahead and go a bit lower to grab the bars. However, the FZ lends more legroom for taller riders, while the pegs on the Apache 200 are raised and makes it best for shorter riders only. Overly tall people will suffer in long rides, but it is still better over the past Apache bikes. Apache continues to be apt for shorter riders. Seats are great on both bikes, mirrors are well positioned and the pillion seats are also comfy enough for short to medium trips.
Let’s get to riding part now! We can immediately tell you that FZ25 has advantage on paper despite being low on tech than the Apache. The 2-valve layout, 5-speed gearbox with more power and torque and a narrow power band along with gear ratios placed in a neutral manner (not short or long) makes FZ25 a proper machine which just shoots of the line as if there are no transmission loses.
The 4-valve should add more power in the Apache then, but it doesn’t. The power band has been tailored to deliver power in lower and mid-range. 4-valves just end up making combustion easier and meet emission norms. They could have used to make more performance, but it ends up saving the polar bear first rather than making you win a drag race.
However, despite that, Apache has a top-speed which is enough to stay neck and neck till the end of top-end run as the FZ25 also lacks at top-end thrust because of its 2-valve design. Both finish their power-band with ease which is another feel good factor with these motorcycles. Apache has a top speed of 135 km/hr while the FZ25 has 136 km/hr top speed on our testing equipment. Apache also does 0-100 km/hr in 12.68 seconds meanwhile the FZ25 does it in 10.45 seconds. Throttle response is crisp on both bikes, but the Apache response towards every input is just more livelier.
FZ has a minor advantage when it comes to numbers, but that clearly doesn’t put down anvil on the Apache 200. The Apache sounds way better than the FZ25 despite the exhaust that has been tailored to an extent on the FZ25. The FZ is also raspy and throaty, but the Apache 200 is all that too, but it also packs a louder exhaust and intake roar which is unique is a treat to the senses no matter how sound proof your helmet is. We have ridden both FI and Carb and the test bike is carb, so you can expect a bit higher numbers from Apache in the future with Fi and ABS variant. Fuel-efficiency of both bikes stand around 28-33 km/l mark which is respectively for city and highway.
Where the Apache 200 again wins you over is with its flick-ability through a set of corners which it can do back to back for hours! The Apache 200 is very responsive to inputs, making it very agile while tipping it into corners easier and it is very nimble in the city too. This is also because the steering is much more faster in the Apache 200 than the FZ. Despite the fact they have identical wheelbase numbers as well. The Apache does this because it is more stiffly sprung. FZ25 on the other hand is also a well sprung too, but the chassis tuning on the Apache is always been on the livelier side.
Both bikes provide good ride quality despite as they are well damped for a sportier ride and are not harsh over any type of surface except for really big potholes at medium speeds where both send a jolt via the chassis to the rider. Both bikes get telescopic front forks and monoshock at the rear, but the KYB forks on the TVS give more feedback. Fun fact, Yamaha has a large stake in kYB suspension.
We still particularly do not like the front-end of the Apache as we think it could have been better, which is great on the FZ25. We road tested the Apache with Pirelli and did this comparison with Remora TVS tyres and we have no complain with either of these tyres. Be it the Revz on the FZ or the two options on the Apache RTR 200.
FZ25 Vs Apache 200 Review, Verdict
Let’s cut to the chase here. While the Yamaha FZ25 is a great product and is most welcome in the country as it has a large fan base which just picks up its branded motorcycles with eyes close, it should and is doing well already with the FZ25. Yamaha has the price almost spot on and the equivalent Apache should come very soon as well (FI and ABS variant). However, TVS will continue to offer more bang for buck in every regard, be it features, design, performance and most importantly, the fun to ride factor is really high on the Apache RTR 200.
The motorcycle looks like it has character and it is filled up to the brim in the Apache 200. While the FZ25 feels like a very well done sporty commuter, has minutely better numbers too. However, the TVS Apache is the king of the segment as it does the same and still offer more smiles per miles (kilometers) and hence it is wins this comparison test.
TVS Apache RTR 200 Price: 1.13 Lakhs (Carb and Remora tyres)
Yamaha FZ 25 Price: 1.48 Lakhs