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WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Yamaha FZ25 Review, First Ride

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Yamaha FZ25 has the right balance and enough performance to keep riders happy in all the situations that we encounter on a daily basis

Enchanting –

  • Well styled Street-fighter
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Sporty, comfortable and promises to be efficient
  • Sporty commuter, effortless to ride

Unsatisfying –

  • 250cc motor could have made more power
  • ABS is still missing

If you remember back in 2012, there was a lot of speculation that what was Yamaha going to do when it comes to cracking the quarter litre segment. Everyone said we should expect a 250cc R15 based model, some said there will be a 350-400cc motorcycle which will come with twin cylinders. However, some said that all we need in India is a single-cylinder 250cc which makes a lot of sense. Yamaha seems couldn’t decide between them and today we have both. The R3 twin-cylinder motorcycle which displaces 320cc and makes almost 45 BHP and goes against the likes of the KTM and Kawasaki.

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Yamaha targeted the lower segment and we see the FZ25 taking birth and coming into our market first. Worldwide launch awaits but we are here to witness it first on stage and in real life as well. Yamaha targets a segment with all its might and goes against the likes of the mighty Bajaj Pulsar and the new TVS Apache. To a certain extent, it targets the KTM Duke 200 as well. The big question how is it like to ride? On paper it is good in its segment, we expected a bit more, but nevertheless the wait is over and we bring you WORLD EXCLUSIVE first ride of the Yamaha FZ25.

Design

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Styling of the FZ25 is of a minimalist street fighter. The panels including the headlamp, fuel tank, the broad tail-piece with split seats are small in size. The tail-lamp is one big unit which is an LED unit just like the headlamp. However, the overall motorcycle has a tall stance. The fat tyres and suspension also lend it a proper street-fighter look it deserves.

The colors are limited for now, we expect the S version to come soon and spice things up. Our test bike black and white are to be chosen, we do not like much of the fuchsia blue color that is on offer. Overall, a street-fighter with the genes of its elder sibling such as the MT-09 and MT-07 makes it look a true global product which should help it garner attention.

Speedo and Switches

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The RHS switch is devoid of the headlamp button as the light stays because AHO is seen here. The pass light switch is not the conventional button it is integrated in the high beam switch just like how we first saw on the TVS Jupiter scooter. LHS has the usual buttons mounted as usual. The RHS also has an engine kill switch on offer. Speedo includes average fuel-efficiency indicator, two trip meter, odometer, clock and a digital speedo and tachometer.

Ergonomics

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Ergonomics is the place where Yamaha continues to excel. The small fuel tank allows you to grab the tank thoroughly and fuel tank extension continue to lend the motorcycle the style it has. A neat idea executed really well. The rider leans forward a bit, the handlebars are set lower and all of this means it gives you a sporty yet comfortable riding position. The lower rear set footpegs allow for a lot of legroom and lend the right blend of ergonomics a street-fighter needs.

Performance and Gearbox

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Coming to the heart of the matter. The engine is a 250cc 2-valve oil-cooled motor which makes 20.9 PS of power and 20 Nm of torque from its engine. The motor is mated to an 5-speed gearbox. All of this doesn’t sound very high tech on paper and Yamaha seems to have cut cost. However, the riding experience is where the cost of development has been spent. The FZ25 is a true street-fighter. There is torque everywhere in the power band and in every gear. Roll from any gear in any RPM and there is enough thrust to give you a kick in the pants. The throttle response has the ‘electric feel’, the motorcycle picks up pace best from mid-range and there is a subtle amount of top-end as well. All of this comes from a narrow power band which is tailor-made to this bike.

The clever gearing (minutely tall), the well thought power band gives it the ‘peppy’ nature that a street-fighter on our streets and traffic conditions requires. There you go, we said it, it is a PEPPY motorcycle which means it should be a hoot to ride when it comes weaving through traffic and maintaining good speed on the highway. The motor feels stress free till 100 km/hr and it is willing to go much ahead. Expect a top speed of 125-130 km/hr when we road test it with our equipment.

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Overall, it never feels breathless and this is a very strong point which should attract FZ 16 owners which suffer lack of thrust from 100 km/hr onwards. Be it the carburetor unit or the Fi equipped FZ of the past. This sole feeling will heighten the spirits of the FZ fans for sure. Needless to mention, throughout all of this process, the NVH levels are fantastic and exhaust note is throaty. Minute vibrations at redline but the benefit of doubt goes to Yamaha as the motor we tested was brand new. Clutch is light and progressive and the gearbox is smooth.

Dynamics

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Ride and handling is where every Yamaha has to excel and FZ25 is no exception. The diamond frame with stiffly tuned suspension on both side is surprisingly well tuned for our road. The damping is just right, ride quality is exceptionally good and far more compliant than the FZ16 when compared. The chassis feels stiff and takes all the beating and yet again the rider isn’t going through all the pain even on a very bad patch road that we encountered in our test ride.

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Despite a good ride, the handling is sharp, it is a very agile motorcycle and tips into corners rather quickly, but not super sharp because the suspension is minutely soft. Turn-up the monoshock which is adjustable and you get KTM level of stiffness and agility if you want to. As we mentioned earlier, the nimbleness that the chassis also offers makes it very easy weaving through traffic and this is another highlight of the mechanical package that the FZ25 will offer and impress its fan base.

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Brakes are really good with a little less initial bite on both end, but post that progressive power is more than enough and it stops at any given speeds. At the very limit, we still have our doubts and we will confirm that in the road test. MRF rubber on both ends which is fat enough also is responsible for the fantastic chassis behavior at any given road or speed.

Yamaha FZ25 Review, Verdict

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Well, after reading you already have realized the Yamaha FZ25 is yet another proper motorcycle from the company. The motorcycle may look inferior on paper, but in life it is a proper old-school motorcycle which is fun to ride in our conditions. Sooner or later, riders and owners will realize that this is ideal sporty commuter in the market today to look forward too if you are a brand fan.

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However, there is head on rival from TVS and we cannot wait to ride them back to back to tell you what that is like. FZ25 then, is the right balance, a great achievement by the brand when it comes to offering performance, essentials and features at this price point for a foreign bike manufacturer in the country.

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Yamaha FZ25 Review
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Value
  • Features
  • Safety
4.5
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