Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yamaha Fazer Review & Road Test

All across the globe, Street bikes has got its own fan base and so has the sport bikes for itself. Yamaha holds a pre – dominant position when it comes to both these kinda bikes. Think of street bikes and FZ series will be the first one to strike the gong in your mind. For the sport-bike category, it has to be the inevitable YZF – R15. (What else can one think of other than this?)
But, ever wondered how will a street bike look if it bears a fairing which is basically derived from that of a sport-bike? It’ll be resembling the Indian bike which talks about the ‘Touring Spirit’. Put your collars up for a while if you guessed it right. It has to be the Yamaha Fazer.
The bike sees no change across its entire body and heart (the engine) which is all inherited from the FZ-16 which became a massive hit in the sub – continent by attracting great fans towards the company. Also, the Fazer marks the beginning of a whole new segment by targeting specifically the long distance tourers.

First Impression

Though, the Fazer doesn’t boast of a monstrous look unlike most other European bikes, you need to look at it with an artistic touch to get a glimpse of its macho starring monstrous looks. Our Photographer Sharat tried too hard to get the click in the most appealing angle (as a result of which he made me divert the traffic for him for about 15 min or so!). Finally after puff and pants, I should say that he has indeed been successful to an extent in his attempt. Historic attempt, Oh well that’s just way too much!
The headlamp fairing is what catches your attention on the first sight when taking a look from the front angle. The dual lamp small fairing is the cut down version of the R15’s fairing and matches just perfectly in the given space. For a true macho and an aggressive look, twin lights will always assist in getting the effect accomplished ad the Fazer is a live example for it.  Actually, I‘m the right guy to comment about the Fazer’s looks. You know why? I’ve never been personally impressed so much by the FZ-16 or the FZ-S for that matter. And that’s because I always have a greater affinity and bonding towards sport-bikes. But, I found the Fazer very appealing with a mutual composition of both these looks.
The small fairing is cut at the right place just ahead f the fuel tank’s projection which doesn’t affect the position of your leg in any matter.  I really like this designing. The graphics are also bare minimal and are cool enough to ideally match the bike’s looks. The wind protector above the fort fairing is another style quotient here. Though, it is undersized it does its work brilliantly.
Bangalore Wheels, the Yamaha dealer in Bangalore had offered us the Limited Edition Midnight Black series for our review. This is a masterpiece from the company where aesthetics meets the touring spirit perfectly. As you can see, the rims are matte gold in color with the graphics too in the same color. Cool enough to attract any passer – by in the signal or along heavy traffic.

What is Fazer worth of?

Yamaha India website bring the adage of Fazer to display right out there. It states
  • Mountains are what you’ll love to conquer
  • You thought it’s just a large piece of sand covered wasteland – think again! Explore now
  • Discover the secrets of the sea
  • A ride on green woods will lift your spirit.’
This is more than enough to be on familiar terms with what category does the Fazer actually fit itself into ideally.


Let’s first discuss about the heart of the Fazer, which is nothing but its engine. Its 153cc engine is derived from its sibling FZ-16 without undergoing any tuning for any sort of performance. As with the case of all Yamaha engines, the Fazer also is a zero vibration bike and possesses no engine vibes.
So, no worries on that aspect. The engine doesn’t get exhausted fast with puffs and pants when you rev her up as much as you can. The engine is more frugal and you get to understand it right in the first ride (if you really notice it keenly). The 153cc ‘     -cooled’ engine is ideal along all kinda roads and makes the bike an efficient handler.  The detailed spec list along with that of engine details will be posted towards the end of this post.


Handling of the Yamaha Fazer has nothing much to talk about. She is not at all a bike meant to be used in a track and hence if you expect such a kind of decent performance, she would greatly be pacified in satisfying you.  The bike handles extremely well in the power band of around 5500 to 6500 rpm. This band will be able to glide the bike in a speed of around 90 kmph without any strain to the engine.  No vibes, no hard pulling nor no roughness. Probably, that’s what the bike is designed for. This is what a guy taking this bike for a long trip would in turn expect from a bike like the Fazer.
Rev it up a little more and the engine starts expressing its unhappiness. But, you gotta be happy that it doesn’t express it in the form of engine vibes. That’s the best part about the Fazer. Absolutely no vibes.   But, you need to rev her up so damn hard and hold it for a long time and that’s when you’ll find her touching a max speed of 119 kmph which is the max. speed she is able to attain. I tried touching 120 but in vain. But, still this is a decent figure for a 150 cc touring bike and one has to be happy and is forced to stay satisfied with it.

Riding Impression

As I took this bike for a ride along the NICE road on the outskirts of Bangalore, I was able to get the feel that she can sustain comfortably for along rides, than compared with the usual and tiresome city rides. On the first note, the handle – bar is pretty wide thereby creating a comfortable riding position and I really found it very useful as we opened her throttle along the open highway. This is something I feel should be a part of all bikes designed for touring purposes.
The mono – shock suspension in the rear does its work brilliantly. As you cruise, this offers an ease of ride which I was able to feel clearly and if you’ve a pillion on your back, then this would make your ride even more enjoyable. Ride the Fazer in the 3rd gear and you’ll enjoy the way she responds back for your throttle. Every bike will have one gear which is the fun to ride and as mentioned, it is 3rd for the Fazer.
But, it becomes very clear that this is not the kinda bike that can be used on the tracks owing to its bulkiness, not in terms of weight but in terms of its size.


The seating position of the Fazer is no different from that of the FZ series.  It is comfortable for both highway cruises and for the city commutes, which is where the Fazer stands a class apart. As with the case of other bikes, the seats are not slippery which prevents you from having a comfortable ride.
The split seat concept is not implemented but there is a considerable difference in height between that if the rider and pillion and this is again not too high making the entire concept uncomfy.
However, lean forward of tuck – in position becomes tough in getting used to in the Fazer, there is a fact that this is not the bike of that kinds, which I’m constantly mentioning for your knowledge.


There is usually a mindset amongst us that tourers will not be able to deliver great performance. But,  it depends on the way we’re gonna handle her. Agreed that it cannot perform to the greatest but one has to agree that Fazer doesn’t underperform when compared with its rivals.
In fact, it is pretty better than many other rivals in the 150cc segment.  Apart from that, there’s not much to discuss about the bike’s performance here. In short, you can expect same kinda performance what you get outta the FZ-16 or the FZ-S.


Here comes the interesting fact about this bike.  The main notable difference between the FZ-16 (and the FZ-S for that matter) and the fazer is the twin pod headlamp and its fairing which covers it. Any bike would obviously look great with twin headlamps and the Fazer is not gonna be any exception with this fact. In fact that’s what the best part about the Fazer is. But, guess what’s the funniest part here? You can’t turn on both the lamps together. Yes, you seriously can’t do that. That turns out to be a minor flaw. (Or major you call It as).
Yamaha need to upgrade this feature in the Fazers soon. Among the two lamps present, one comes alive when you turn on the low bean switch and the other exclusively for high beams. This concept is unlike the way the headlamps of the R15 work.
I don’t understand the concept of keeping one light dummy and the other active. High time for a change in this aspect and let’s hope Yamaha hears us and incorporate this change in the next breed of bikes.

Instrument Cluster

Again, not much to discuss as this is inherited from its siblings. It’s a fully integrated digital cluster with absolutely no pinch of analog elements surprising us. It has a Fuel-meter, Odometer and the Tachometer combined in an overall package with the Speedo.
You also have the Tripmeter out here. It looks as a great package for a bike like fazer which is targeted for the long tourers.


The Fazer comes equipped with disc brakes at the front and the conventional drum brakes for the rear tyre. The front single hydraulic disc does its work brilliantly without a flaw. Brakes in Yamahas have never been an issue worth concern till date. However, it’s high time for the Fazer to be fitted with rear discs as well.
Every other bike in this segment competes with discs for both the tyres and this is a point where Fazer lacks. But, as I say this I should also tell you the fact that the drums handle far better than the way its other competitors handle. There are companies (and this is not the apt place to mention the name) from companies where the discs handle worse than the drums. There’s no sense of dissatisfaction with the rear brakes. However, it’s a suggestion which needs to be heard as we talk about this here and needs to be implemented at the fastest possible time frame.

About The Midnight Special

Let’s also have a few words here mentioned here about the ‘Midnight Special’ edition of Fazer which is basically a limited edition one. This deserves a special place as you can’t get this bike now even if you love it to the core of your heart. There were only 1000 bikes produced as part of this limited edition series and Yamaha stuck on to the figure seriously. What makes this bike unique from the others is the pinch if matte gold color which you find here and there. For instance, the entire graphics in this bike is golden color based which makes it really stand apart, not from its competitors from other brand but from its own color schemes.
As you can see in the pics, both the alloy wheels are matte gold powder coated without much fanfare.  That is something which attracted me towards this bike. This color scheme is available not only for the Fazer, but also for the FZ-16 and the FZ-S range of bikes. The toolbox cover also has the term ‘Midnight Special’ written on it with an attractive macho font.  Then you’ve a small metal strip in the fuel tank where the unique number of your bike is engraved. This makes the bike more special and admirable irrespective of how many ever years you keep this bike for yourself.
The final admiration is the autograph of India’s most admired biker and Bollywood star – John Abraham on the headlamp fairing. Hardcore fans of JA would love possessing one of this limited edition bikes.


If it’s any bike in the FZ series, then there has to be a paragraph exclusively dedicated for the tyres of these bikes. The rear tyre is the highlight for this mean bike. The dimension of the rear tyre is ‘140/60-R17’ which makes it one of the widest tyres offered on an Indian bike.
The tyres are tubeless which came in handy for us as we met with a punctured rear tyre along 30 kms off the city limit. The tubeless tyres enabled us to reach till the puncture-wallah ad then get it done. For a bike like Fazer which is designed to cater the needs of tourers, tyres like this would indeed be a boon at times of emergency.  Excellent road – grip is what these set of tyres offer and the confidence level within you goes way too to the fore when you’ve such implausible tyres on your bike. The dimension of the front tyre is 100/80-17 which again does its job executed perfectly without a flaw.


There are few other points also to be mentioned here. This is one of the few bikes n the 150cc category which still comes with a kick – starter. Absence of this option has become a hot topic of discussion these days in BikeAdvice forum. For such guys who has got an obsession towards kick – start, this is one of the best option you’ve here in the market.
Then the next point is that here are absolutely no LEDs coming anywhere in the picture. Neither the turn indicators nor the tail lamps are installed with LED lamps.
To mention a word about the gearbox, it is a five speed one which is truly crisp with smooth levers which enables better ride quality and also enhances the same to a greater extent.
The grab- rail is indeed one of the coolest looking in the market.  Though, it’s been quite some time we’ve this in our market, it still looks spanking new which is the prime plus for this bike
Last but not the least, the exhaust talks a tone about the bikes looks. The small yet bulky exhaust has become the identity for this entire series of bikes. The note arising here is sharp and enjoyable. Acts as a style quotient as well, apart from differentiating itself in the battle without losing out itself on the long run.

Fuel Efficiency

For a 153cc bike like the Yamaha Fazer, all that you can expect is a decent figure of 40 – 44 kmpl practically as the Fuel Efficiency. With a heavy rise in city traffic these days, the Fuel Efficiency naturally tends to see a dip.

Color schemes

Yamaha Fazer is available in four color schemes as of now. The schemes being Competition White, Black Cyber Green, Lava Red and the list would tend to become incomplete without mentioning Midnight Black. The bulky body of the Fazer is capable to bear all these paintjobs on her and is able to carry them well. None of the colors really looks odd on the Fazer. Note that Midnight Special scheme is not mentioned in the list.


Coming to ‘P’ factor, the Fazer is made to bear a price tag of INR 74,500 which is the Ex- Showroom price in the city of Delhi. This is marginally expensive for a 150 cc bike. However, taking into consideration the big bike feel which it offers, the amount is worth investing upon.


It is indeed nice to see bikes like Fazer, which are designed to satisfy the inner self of true bikers who believe in the fact that bikes are for long rides. On an overall package, if you want one bike which should be made use of across all kinda lanes, be it city roads or open highways, this is the bike you need to go for . One thing that neds to be assured here is that you certainly get value for the bucks spent here though it is commented to be priced high by many riders.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 
I’ve tried my max to cover almost everything about this bike and I assume that I’ve been quite successful in my attempt as well. All that I expect is that my readers should sit back and enjoy the review.


  • Ridden and Reviewed by Naren.
  • Photography by Sharat Aryan.
  • Test Ride Bike Offered by Bangalore Wheels 

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