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Yamaha FZ-X: Road Test Review

Is looking like a discount XSR enough to make a splash, or is there more to the FZ-X than meets the eye?

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After fans collectively making an outcry for the past couple of years for Yamaha to get the XSR155 to India, Yamaha seems to have listened. Well, sort of... and got us this - the FZ-X - India’s more affordable neo-retro motorcycle. Now Yamaha’s FZ series of bikes certainly has a lot of fans in India. So the question is, does this FZ-'X' mark the spot? Not quite, we think. But there’s more to that story. To help you figure that out, here are four ways in which the FZ-X misses its mark, and a couple of ways in which it doesn’t.

A face only a mother could love
Yes, the FZ-X is supposed to look like the baby XSR. And if you squint your eyes, you might say it sorta does. But unsquint your eyes and there’s no getting around the fact this looks like some sort of celebrity impersonator at best. There are individual elements that do look pretty good here, such as the wide, teardrop shaped fuel tank, the fake radiator shrouds and even the tan “tuck and roll” seat. But all these elements just don’t come together in any cohesive way. And some bits such as that archaic grab rail just look like they might have come off a barebones moped.

Not the quickest bunny in the forest


Yamaha FZ-X

Bajaj Pulsar NS125


149cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled

124.45cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled


12.4PS @ 7,250rpm

12PS @ 8,500rpm


13.3Nm @ 5,500rpm

11Nm @ 7,000rpm

The FZ-X is based on the standard FZ-FI. So it’s got exactly the same underpinnings - same chassis, same suspension and mainly, the same engine. So it doesn’t really bode well for the FZ-X that this is the least powerful engine in the 150-160cc class in India. In fact, it makes just 0.4PS more than the recently launched Bajaj Pulsar NS125. And the actual performance figures tell an even more depressing story. 


0 to 60kmph

Yamaha FZ-X

7.04 seconds

2021 TVS Apache RTR 1604V

5.34 seconds

Bajaj Pulsar NS125

6.60 seconds


Not only is the FZ-X the slowest accelerating bike we’ve ever tested in this class, it’s also distinctly slower in the dash from zero to 60kmph than the aforementioned Pulsar NS125. The fact that it does this run in a hair over seven seconds puts it in the ballpark of the BS6 Hero Passion Pro. And as for zero to 100kmph? We can’t tell you, because our bike maxed out at a VBOX recorded 99.6kmph in all our test runs.



Tyres (F/R)

100/80-17 / 140/60R17

And while it’s a decent handler, with fairly light and precise steering, it’s block pattern tyres don’t inspire as much confidence on tarmac as the road-biased ones on the standard FZ do. Don’t think though that these tyres endow the FZ-X with great off-road abilities either. As a wise man once said, This is not a Tenere!

Ride free, but not far
Firstly, let’s address the riding position. Compared to the regular FZ-FI, the FZ-X’s handlebars are taller and pulled closer to the rider, and the footpegs have been moved quite a bit forwards. So you end up sitting in a very commuterish stance. Combine that with the very soft seat and you’re bound to have a back and butt ache if you spend a long time in the saddle

Then there’s the highway performance. You’ll only be able to maintain speeds of about 80-85kmph comfortably on the highway. Anything faster than that makes the bike feel rather strained. And because of this, highway efficiency, while fairly ok at 48.67kmpl, takes a bit of a hit compared to city efficiency.

Price puts things in perspective


Price (ex-showroom Delhi)

Yamaha FZ-X

Rs 1,16,800

Yamaha FZ-X (Bluetooth)

Rs 1,21,800

Yamaha FZS-FI (Bluetooth)

Rs 1,08,200

At almost Rs 1.17 lakh ex-showroom, the FZ-X is about 9,000 rupees more expensive than the Bluetooth equipped FZ-S FI. Honestly, for that extra cash, we don’t think you’re getting anything more than just the FZ-X’s neo-retro design. Which conveniently brings us to why this FZ-X might just hit the mark for you...

Nothing else like it
Now don’t get us wrong, we are not fans of the FZ-X’s design at all - it’s rather unflattering from pretty much every angle. But there’s no denying that it’s striking and stands out amongst all other bikes on the street. So we can totally imagine there might be some buyers for whom the uniqueness of this design might seem worth it. I mean, there are people who liked the design of the Hero ZMR or the Mahindra Mojo or even that of Yamaha’s own Fazer 125. To top it off, the overall proportions of the bike certainly look, and feel, much larger in real life than they do in pictures. And build quality feels fairly solid too… so no complaints there!

It’s got a fully digital instrument cluster with a couple of interesting features up its sleeve too. Firstly it gets Bluetooth connectivity using Yamaha’s Y-Connect app. This let’s you check out your bike’s fuel efficiency data, mark your last parked location and even gives you call and message alerts on the dashboard. Heck, you can even see a live display of your engine revs on your smartphone. Although we’re not sure what use that is. And you also get a 12-volt charging socket under that dashboard. But this dash misses out on basic features such as a gear position indicator.

City Slicker


In-gear acceleration

30-70kmph (3rd gear)

11.01 seconds

40-80kmph (4th gear)

10.68 seconds

The one place where the FZ-X really comes into its own though, is in the city. Firstly, the engine is extremely tractable at low speeds, allowing you to carry speeds as low as 25-30kmph in 5th gear without lugging. This ability of this motor to chug along at slow speeds also lends it great urban fuel efficiency - we managed to get 55.1kmpl in the city.

You get great ride quality too. Now the FZ series of bikes has always had a great suspension setup, and the FZ-X is no different. It filters out even the nastiest bumps on the road without feeling too soft or wallowy at any point. It does feel a little bit firm, but it’s very well controlled. And if you are one of those very few people who found the ergonomics of the FZ-S to be too aggressive, then you’ll love the ergonomics of the FZ-X. As we mentioned earlier, the riding position is absolutely commuter-like, with its swept back handlebar and centre set footpegs. Combine that with the very manageable kerb weight of 139kg, and riding the FZ-X feels like riding a larger Splendor. Surprisingly though, even though the 810mm seat height isn’t exactly what you might call low, it’s quite easy to plant your feet on the ground when straddling the bike.

The bottom line
The FZ-X is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it does work extremely well in the city. But on the other hand, it doesn’t really hit the mark in any other respect. We really think Yamaha would’ve been better off getting the XSR155 to India since they already make the MT15 here. Sure it might have been a bit more expensive, but compared to the Huskies or the CB350RS, it would’ve still been the most affordable neo-retro bike in the country.

It would’ve even made sense for Yamaha to build a neo-retro bike on the FZ25 platform. That way it would at least have had more punch and better highway legs. At the end of the day, if you wanted a bike in this 150-160cc segment, and Bluetooth connectivity isn’t a big deal for you, the standard FZ-FI is 98 percent the same bike, looks much, much better, and saves you 12,000 Rupees in the process. If you want our wholehearted recommendation, that would be it!

Yamaha FZ-X Video Review

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