Yamaha FZ16: Roadtest
The second blow from Yamaha India came in the form of the newly launched FZ16. Varad More takes the FZ16 for a spin to see if she has what it takes to bring back the glory days of Yamaha
"Hey! It’s 6.00pm right now. Let's catch a movie at 6.45pm at Adlabs? Say what guys?" Heads nod in agreement. The dudes hop onto their motorcycles with the pretty-young-things as pillions and off they go. This is the generation, which demands something cool, hip and stylish. Every thing that they ever want has “Cool” as its USP – something that screams "Look at me!" And the Yamaha FZ16 delivers that in best possible way. My very first ride astride the FZ16 on the streets of Pune had me bathing in envious looks and enquiring stares.
Needless to say how much I enjoyed all that attention I got from the fellow commuters and passersby, including a lot of women (Guys are you listening?) – the FZ16 caught the fancy of everyone. Just like the YZF-R15, once again this is the design genius of Yamaha’s consultant firm GK Dynamics. They have played a pivotal role in styling and designing most of the Yamaha motorcycles for all these years. And the FZ16 only bares testimony to the fact as to why Yamaha hands over most of its projects to the Tokyo-based firm.
FZ16 wins the 'Looker Prize!'
The elegant yet sporty poi se of the FZ16 is largely attributed to its muscular and curvy tank with the plastic shrouds. Use of fibre made it easier for Yamaha to craft those curves and edges while the metal fuel tank remains hidden inside the plastics giving the bike a very clean and neat look. The black strip in the centre of the plastic fuel tank shroud reminds one of the similar design cue seen earlier on the TVS Apache RTR – nonetheless, it adds a lot of spunk to the FZ’s naked appeal. Keeping in mind the importance of style on the FZ16, the centre panels too have been carefully designed to look as a pseudo-twin spar frame and they sync perfectly with the sharp and edgy tail panels.
The FZ16 spent almost six months in the Yamaha wind tunnel, so that the respective parts on the bike allowed maximum airflow onto the cylinder block and head. For example, the front wheel mudguard with its sharp curves steers the air toward the cylinder head, while the plastic shrouds below the tank, which carry the Yamaha logo with pride, have also been carefully designed to direct more air to the engine for improved cooling. Yamaha has worked hard, very hard, and the result is here for all to see.
Yamaha has done a brilliant job with the detailing on the FZ16 and it is clearly visible the way its headlight and the exhaust have been crafted. Placed at a low-down angle than seen on most Indian bikes, the headlight presents the FZ16 with an aggressive demeanour. The short and stubby exhaust is borrowed from Yamaha’s international FZ lineage and it successfully compliments the bike’s compact stance.
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