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.
And to buttress its spot on ergonomics as well as the performance of the efficient engine is the extremely adept and supple chassis that makes the SZ-R an exceptionally easy-to-ride motorcycle. From the moment one gets astride the bike, there is no time spent in finding the perfect riding position. The SZ-R is a great city tool that can weave through traffic with minimal effort from the rider and at the same time it can very easily deal with fast sweeping corners with equal conviction. The telescopic front suspension is softly sprung and takes the potholes and bumps in its stride without any hiccups. The twin rear suspensions look after providing comfort to the rider and they do an excellent job of endowing the rider with plush ride quality even when dealing with broken roads. It is not always that such level of detail is given to ride quality but the SZ-R truly outshines with its assuring and unperturbed nature.
Assurance is further heightened with the inclusion of the disc brake as this bit of kit is extremely important on any motorcycle and in any conditions especially when the motorcycle is capable of touching the triple digit mark. The disc brake on the SZ-R has a strong bite providing the rider with highly accurate feedback during braking whereas the braking duties on the rear are handled by 130mm drum brakes which too deliver good performance and decent feel under braking. The SZ-R took 33.56metres and 3.3seconds to come to a standstill from 80km/h and this can be bettered only if Yamaha opts to give the SZ-R better quality rubber that it deserves like MRF Zappers than the not so great TVS tyres. I'm almost certain that the MRF rubber will truly transform the SZ-R into an excellent sporty motorcycle without taking much away from its econo-conscious line of thought.
Coming to another important aspect in the power-commuter bracket - the fuel economy of the SZ-R does not break any new grounds but delivers efficiency comparable to its rivals. With an in-town figure of 55kmpl and highway efficiency of 64kmpl, the SZ-R will merrily return an overall figure of 57.25kmpl under mixed riding conditions. As said before, it is a fairly decent figure for a 150cc motorcycle but does not outshine its immediate rivals. However, it more than makes up for it with its superbly sporty dynamics and thrilling ride experience. Overall setup of the SZ-R is spot on with oodles of functionality as well as plentiful of fun packed into the motorcycle. Apart from some small niggles and need for better tyres, there is nothing to fault about the motorcycle. Also with Yamaha's top-down strategy working in full-force, the SZ-series is bound to make hay while the sun is shining. And with an attractive price-tag of Rs. 55,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Yamaha SZ-R is also one of the cheapest 150cc motorcycles presently in the Indian market, the only other economical offering being the Bajaj Discover 150 DTSi, but then it's purely a 150cc commuter with oodles of functionality and VFM, but not much flair or exuberance that one would want from a 150cc power-commuter.
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