2021 Yamaha FZ-X Test Ride Review
A thorough and detailed test ride review of the new 2021 Yamaha FZ-X
Bike tested: Yamaha FZ-X; Road Test No. 1350; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,46,000/-
The Yamaha FZ-X is the first cruiser-cum-commuter bike from the brand’s FZ lineup.
Back in 2009, Yamaha launched the FZ and immediately, it became the trendsetter. It had a radical design that took the market by storm and set the sales charts on fire. With the FZ-X, Yamaha has played around with the existing internal components of the FZ and coupled them to a different body shell to create a new product. The FZ-X we see here is a result of this game and has turned out to be an interesting product. The FZ-X stands as a cruiser-cum-commuter proposition that promises to deliver the comfort and fuel economy of a cruiser with the ease of riding of a city commuter. In our road test of the 2021 Yamaha FZ-X, we tell you whether the FZ-X makes any sense over the regular FZ, and should you consider buying it over the competition.
MotorQuest: The FZ-X is the latest addition to Yamaha’s FZ portfolio. It is also the first time that we are seeing a commuter based cruiser bike from the brand. It shares all of its mechanical bits with the regular FZ, while the bodywork is new. The FZ-X is specific to a few Asian markets like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Styling: Well, the styling of the FZ-X is a hit or miss. It isn’t designed to please everybody like the regular FZ. Instead, it takes a bold course with its “take me as I am approach”. The headlamp is an LED projector unit that is surrounded by tri-split DRLs. However, due to its dimensions, the headlamp unit looks a bit too odd and out of place on the rather bulky front end. Coming down, the presence of fork gators, and a tailored matte black fender, and dual-purpose tyres pass on a purpose-built vibe that is accentuated by the sturdy engine bash plate. The alloy wheels are borrowed from the regular FZ and look neat on the FZ-X too.
The Yamaha FZ-X looks very abuse-friendly and tough over the regular FZ
Moving to the side profile, the faux radiator cowls add to the muscularity but, they look wannabe at the same time. Keeping that aside, the tank has a very relaxed shape with spacious contours and a centre-wrap plastic cladding. The single-piece ribbed seat is quite roomy and looks quite premium. Further down, the exhaust is finished in a very basic, all-black plastic that looks a bit cheap. Thankfully, the taillight is an LED unit, but the indicators are still bulb based. The saree guard is neatly designed and goes well with the rugged look of the bike. Lastly, the FZ-X is available in a choice of three colour options – matte black, matte copper and metallic blue.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: The instrument cluster of the FZ-X is a brand new unit. It is a negative LCD unit that houses all the basic goodies along with twin trip meters and a trip F meter too. It also has an eco riding indicator which is a thoughtful touch. This cluster offers Bluetooth connectivity and packs features like call/SMS alerts, phone battery indicator, last park location, etc. which, is a nice touch. However, this cluster lacks a navigation guide which is disappointing. Right below the instrument cluster is a nifty 12V power socket which is a nifty feature to have.
Though the FZ-X is a new product, it feels very familiar as it shares a lot of parts with the standard FZ
The switchgear setup on the FZ-X is similar to the regular FZ. On the left, you have a slider-type switch to toggle between DRL and headlamp mode, a high-low beam switch followed by traditional indicator and horn keys. Coming to the right, you only have an engine kill switch and a starter button. Quality-wise, the switchgear setup feels decent. However, the negative LCD cluster is a bit hard to read under harsh sunlight. Nevertheless, we would have liked to see a dedicated button on the switchgear to browse through the cluster, enabling us to switch between the information without taking one hand off the handlebar.
Ergonomics: To favour the cruiser proposition, there are a lot of changes made to the ergonomics of the bike. For starters, it gets a new tuck and roll seat which, offers ample comfort and support. Here, the seat height is 810 mm which, is a little much for the average Indian. The footpegs are forward-set which, makes for a very relaxed riding experience. This setup, paired with an easy to reach handlebar, guarantees a comfortable and upright seating posture. The mirrors have good adjustability and offer a wide view of what’s behind due to their no-nonsense oval shape. For the pillion, there is enough room, and the grab handle doubles up as back support too, which is a likeable touch.
Performance: Powering the FZ-X is the tried and tested 149cc air-cooled engine. This engine produces 12.4 PS of power at 7250 RPM and 13.3 Nm of torque at 5500 RPM. Yes, the power figures are a little too bland and don’t seem exciting in terms of performance. This motor has been tuned for performing its best in the low and mid-range. The low-end grunt is good, while the mid-range feels brisk. However, as the revs move towards the top, the motor feels quite stressed and harsh. The vibrations build up in sync with the revs and are quite strong post 7000 RPM. The 0-100 km/hr sprint takes 24.24 seconds while the motor tops out at 108 km/hr.
The FZ-X has a bassy exhaust note which is the loudest in the segment
Gearing duties are managed by a 5-speed gearbox that offers crisp shifts. The gearing is short as the peak torque comes in quite early. Evidently, this motor doesn’t favour the enthusiast but it impresses the mileage junkies. The FZ-X returns a brilliant mileage of 45-52 km/l which is its primary USP. However, what’s not so impressive is the 10-litre fuel tank which makes us doubt its touring capabilities. The FZ-X deserves a larger, 15-litre fuel tank which would make it a faithful mile muncher. Nevertheless, this 10-litre fuel tank can take you on and on for 450-520 km.
Riding Dynamics: Being a commuter-cum-cruiser, the FZ-X has a comfortable ride. The FZ-X has a traditional suspension setup, with telescopic forks at the front and a mono-shock at the rear. This setup is fairly soft and has a very abuse friendly nature. The diamond frame is stiff and enables swift manoeuvres in the city and a feedback-rich experience in the twisties however, it isn’t the sharpest in the segment. Out on the highway, this bike feels planted and doesn’t bounce around excessively. Tipping into corners feels seamless as the bike is quite light at 139 kg.
The FZ-X is a brilliant commuter, thanks to the lightweight body, and a good cruiser as well due to the comfortable ergonomics
Gripping the FZ-X are MRF’s dual-purpose tyres which offer promising grip in all road conditions. The braking department is handled by a 282 mm disc at the front and a 220 mm disc at the rear backed by Brembo calliper at the front and Nissin calliper at the rear. However, the feedback from the brakes isn’t communicative enough as the initial bike is lacking but it is still manageable. The FZ-X gets a single-channel ABS system that is very well calibrated and ensures safe halts. Overall, the FZ-X has satisfactory well-tuned riding dynamics
Verdict: At Rs. 1,46,000/- (on-road, Mumbai) the FZ-X asks a hefty sum for what it offers. Speaking about which, it demands an Rs. 12,000/- premium over the FZS and, an Rs. 20,000/- over the regular FZ! Frankly, it offers less and asks for more. Apart from the polarising design, there’s nothing much to talk about. We feel that the FZ-X lacks individuality as it tries to do a lot of things but doesn’t excel at anything except for offering the topmost comfort. Clearly, it doesn’t boast the VFM tag but, if you really want to stand out of the crowd and commute comfortably, then the FZ-X should be your pick.
* Out of the box design that gathers a lot of attention
* Great fuel efficiency and comfort
* Dominating, loud exhaust note
What’s Not So Cool
* Performance is mediocre as the bike feels very underpowered
* Doesn’t justify the price tag and feels slightly overpriced
* Fuel tank lid isn’t hinged down to the tank
* Engine: 149cc, Single-Cylinder, Air-Cooled, FI
* Power: 12.4 PS @ 7250 RPM
* Torque: 13.3 Nm @ 5500 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed
* Fuel Consumption: 48 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Diamond Frame
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Mono shock(Rear)
* Tyres: 100/80/17 (Front), 140/60/17 (Rear)
* Brakes: 282 mm Disc (Front), 220 mm Disc (Rear), Single-channel ABS
* Length x Width x Height: 2020 mm x 785 mm x 1115 mm
* Wheelbase: 1330 mm
* Ground Clearance: 165 mm
* Seat Height: 810 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 10-litres
* Kerb weight: 139 kgs