Yamaha SZ-R : Roadtest
After delivering some hard blows to the competition with the YZF-R15 and the FZ16 in the premium segment, Yamaha India has ventured into the upcoming power-commuter market with its latest offering, the SZ-R. Varad More takes it for a spin to see how much sense and stimulation there really is.
Complimenting its muscular feel is the perfectly calculated handlebar-seat-footpeg equation leading to a comfy riding position that is suitable for city riding as well as long hauling. Before the launch of the SZ-X, Yamaha invited the media for a two-day ride on the SZ-X over the arrow-straight NH4 from Udaipur to Jaipur. Throughout the ride, the SZ's comfy riding posture surfaced prominently as none of us riders complained of fatigue or body aches as we gunned down the open highway occasionally touching the triple digit mark. And now when we got the fully loaded SZ-R for our test, its prowess in city riding conditions also came to fore as I filtered through the crowded streets of Pune, which has one of the highest two-wheeler density in India. Not only did it feel welcoming but it also confidently convinced many of us at ZigWheels that we could spend an entire day astride the SZ-R without any complaints. I was already quite impressed with the grunty and lively motor and now with the right stopping power and essentials like a tachometer, the SZ-R surely is a lot of motorcycle that will warmly welcome its rather commuter-minded buyer to the world of power-biking.
Once on the saddle of the SZ-R, it is easy to see the brutish side of the bike with the sporty yet comfy handlebars, the aggressive bikini fairing upfront with a clear visor and the twin speedometer and tachometer dials. So while the seating and comfort is top notch on the SZ-R, we wish Yamaha would have walked that extra mile to include a pass switch or then placed the high beam button a little more within reach of the rider's thumb. Hunting for the switch is particularly irritating when one is constantly battling high beams from oncoming cabs and big SUVs! But once you get past these little niggles and crank the motor it's a tingling sensation you get as you rev up the engine. The 153cc grunty motor borrowed from the FZ-series powers the SZ-R but in a slightly detuned setup for better fuel efficiency as well as a linear torque spread for better in-town rideability. And it achieves both of these objectives to a great extent. Churning out 12.1PS @ 7,500 rpm and 12.8Nm of torque at 4,500rpm, the SZ-R delivers quite an impressive performance. With a 0-60km/h dash coming up in just 5.9seconds and a top-whack of 103km/h, the Yamaha SZ-R is by no means a slouch. But its biggest advantage is its in-town rideability i.e. in-gear acceleration. It beats all its rivals hands down when it comes to roll-on acceleration from 30km/h to 70km/h in the 3rd, 4th and 5th gear. In the 5th gear roll-on, the SZ-R finished the 30-70km/h dash in just 8.38seconds. That makes it one of the few bikes to do the test in less than 9 seconds! This same motor in the FZ16 takes 12.3 seconds for the same test, which just goes to say how much attention Yamaha has put into improving the rideability of the SZ-R.
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