Yamaha India’s best selling motorcycle FZ now gets new technology – fuel injection, an all-new engine, new chassis and improved styling. And the new variants – the Yamaha FZ-S FI V2.0 and the FZ FI V2.0 have been launched at ex-showroom Delhi prices of Rs 78,250 and Rs 76,250 respectively.
In terms of looks, the 2014 FZ-S FI Version 2.0 retains the same muscular profile which made the FZ so popular over the years. The bike now gets a redesigned and sharper headlight, together with a new instrument console, which now offers a “Eco indicator” – indicating when the motorcycle is being ridden to deliver optimum fuel efficiency. It also gets new graphics with a small “Version2.0” sticker.
The more noticeable visual changes are towards the rear of the bike – a rear tyre hugger, split seat, split grabrails, new side panels, new taillight unit and a new exhaust end can.
The important changes however, are more technological than cosmetic. The bike has a new engine, but one that displaces less and makes less power, but is now fuel injected. The new engine develops 13.1PS of peak power and maximum torque of 12.8Nm – a drop from 14PS power and 13.6Nm torque on the outgoing model.
On paper, this may seem disappointing for FZ fans. But Yamaha officials say that there will be no difference in performance. What makes the new FZ better, Yamaha says, is the technology.
The new engine is built on what Yamaha calls its new generation ‘Blue Core’ technology, which, the company says, offers improvement in all areas – acceleration, fuel efficiency and emissions – without affecting performance.
And the bike has now shed some weight too – about 3 kg due to lighter parts used in construction.
Seating position is more or less similar to the outgoing model. The new engine feels smooth and rev happy, gear shifts on the five-speed ‘box are precise and slot easily. In gear acceleration is smooth and stress free and the drop in power figures isn’t very apparent, at least during the short spin we indulged in.
But where the FZ-S FI shines, as did the outgoing model, is handling – manoeuvrability is very good and the new chassis ensures that flicking the bike into a corner or out of it, is without drama and inspires confidence. This is thanks to the excellent riding dynamics of the new chassis and reworked suspension.
So, what does the new FZ-S FI Version 2.0 mean for the Indian motorcyclist?
Ever since the first FZ was launched in 2008, the FZ series has been a favourite of young motorcycle riders – partly because of its muscular looks and fat rear tyre, and partly because of its excellent handling and riding dynamics.
Indeed, many a FZ fan has been hoping that Yamaha does justice to the excellent chassis and put in a larger, more powerful engine in the FZ.
But performance enthusiasts don’t make sales numbers. The old FZ’s Achilles Heel is its fuel consumption. Despite a large base of fans – mostly within the college-going and young executive crowd, the FZ could never lead the cost conscious 150cc segment in terms of sales volumes.
Yamaha India says fuel injection and a new engine with new technology will improve the FZ V2.0’s fuel efficiency by 14 per cent. And at the prices the new bikes are launched, it makes the Yamaha twins two of the most affordable fuel injected bikes in the segment.
Better fuel consumption and technology at a competitive price – this, Yamaha India hopes, will give the company a wider slice of the commuter bike market pie.
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