Yamaha FZ-X: Here’s What We Know So Far
Yamaha’s going out-and-out retro with its upcoming FZ motorcycle
[UPDATE: Yamaha has launched the FZ-X in India. Check out our launch story for the price, specs and other details.]
Globally, Yamaha sells quite a few retro-themed bikes. While the XSR family -- consisting of the XSR 155, XSR900, and the XSR700, among others -- is the most popular one, it also makes bikes like the SR400 and SCR950. But these beauties will continue to remain alien to us Indians. Instead, we will be getting the new Yamaha FZ-X, a neo-retro XSR-inspired build on the existing Yamaha FZ Fi v3. Here’s what we know so far:
Same Trusty Setup
While doing our research online, we came across RTO registration documents for a bike that Yamaha would call the FZ-X. Not to our surprise, just a few days prior to that, we did manage to catch a glimpse of a retro-styled but heavily camouflaged Yamaha bike. While we thought it was likely to be the XSR250 at that point in time, the registration documents cleared a lot of our doubts.
The FZ-X’s documents showed it was using the same 149cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine as the FZ Fi v3. Output remains the same at 12.4PS and 13.7Nm, which is shockingly low for a 150cc bike. However, it is tuned to return fantastic fuel efficiency.
While the wheelbase of the FZ-X matched that of the FZ Fi, the overall length, weight, and height were different. And after a quick glance at the first round of spy shots, we could clearly see that the main frame, suspension components, and 17-inch alloys were the same.
Yamaha India has clearly tried to mimic the XSR155’s look with the FZ-X but has done a rather shoddy job of it. The round LED headlamp looks a bit tacky, and let’s not even delve into the colour schemes. There are brush-finished elements on the bike, like the headlight stays, faux radiator shrouds, and front mudguard mount, but they don’t elevate the experience. The dark black theme underplays the look.
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That said, the revised seating position should appeal to Indian commuters. A new rear subframe could be present here, with a possibly lower seat height than the FZ naked. The footpegs are neutrally set, and the controls are closer to the rider, giving it a pretty upright riding stance. Plus, the thick, padded single-piece seat appears plush and comfortable for commuting.
Lastly, it seems to be running on chunkier tyres with a more aggressive tread pattern. This signals its rugged intent, which should be suitable for semi-urban and rural areas where the possibility of navigating bad roads is high.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave in the country, Yamaha will probably put off any plans that it might have had to launch the bike. We guess the earliest we might see this new Yamaha is by the end of May, which is when the pandemic is supposed to stabilise, according to experts. We reckon it would sell at Rs 1.14 lakh (ex-showroom), Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000 dearer than the standard FZ.