Yamaha Fascino 125 BS6: Road Test Review
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The Fascino moves up to the 125cc segment. Does it pack in enough to cast an impression?
The previous-generation Fascino was Yamaha’s best selling scooter, offering Vespa-like styling at a much lower price point with the added bonus of Japanese reliability and refinement. During the BS6 transition, Yamaha decided to replace the Fascino’s 113cc motor with an all-new 125cc mill. The new motor now allows Yamaha to step into the more premium 125cc segment dominated by the Suzuki Access 125, Honda Activa 125 BS6 and Hero Maestro Edge 125. So are the updates enough for the Fascino to regain its popularity among buyers?
99kg weight makes it light enough for all members of the family.
Gets a host of colour options.
Plush ride setup gobbles up all the bumps in your path.
Uneven floorboard space makes foot placement feel awkward.
Headlamp beam lacks brightness.
No external fuel-filler cap.
Best-in-class fuel efficiency.
Gets silent starter generator and engine start/stop feature.
Brakes offer strong bite and fantastic feedback.
The Yamaha Fascino’s USP was its retro styling that resembled the Vespa scooters. Yamaha chose to retain the same flowing lines in the new Fascino 125 with just a few tweaks. The headlamp gets a distinctive concave shape with a surrounding bezel. As a whole, the front apron and side panels are new and have a smoother flowing shape. The tail lamp is elongated and has a cleaner look. It features a large V-shaped tail unit consisting of a tail lamp and turn indicators. We would have loved seeing a clear lens treatment here as it would have given the plain-looking tail section a premium look. Overall, the Fascino 125 has evolved into a larger scooter with a cleaner design.
The Suave Copper colour scheme, though, feels underwhelming. It’s a good thing that you can have the Fascino 125 in six other vibrant colours. While the standard variant gets chrome finished headlamp bezel and front and side panel trim, the deluxe variants get a nice understated gloss black finish.
The switchgear quality is quite good and fit and finish, as expected from a Japanese scooter, is impressive. It gets premium looking textured panels around the instrument console and behind the apron.
Despite the larger bodywork, the Fascino 125 is 4kg lighter than its 113cc predecessor. The weight reduction comes partly due to a lighter frame and the removal of the starter motor altogether.
Also read: Honda Activa 125 BS6 Review
The new Yamaha Fascino 125 gets updates to make it more ergonomically efficient. For one, the handlebar now sits 20mm higher and 18mm closer to the rider. The floorboard is roomier while the seat is longer and flatter than before. While the floorboard is spacious, it is not flat. Due to the curved shape of the side panels, the rear part of the floorboard tapers upwards. It is an awkward feeling for taller riders as it makes feet placement around the floorboard feel restricted.
The handlebar is closer to the reach, which makes it easier to manoeuvre the scooter in tight spaces. Yamaha has retained the petal-shaped mirrors and it offers good rear view visibility. Despite being 5mm taller than before, the seat is accessible to shorter riders since it is narrower at the front. While the seat cushioning is on the slightly softer side, it is comfortable enough for city riding. It is only during extended highway jaunts that the softness begins to feel uncomfortable particularly around the rider’s tailbone.
There is not much to complain about in terms of space, for the rider and pillion alike. The pillion will appreciate the chunky pillion grab rail that goes around the rear seat.
Also read: Suzuki Access 125 BS6: Road Test Review
Technology & Features:
Unlike the RayZR 125, the Fascino 125 gets a simple analogue layout that consists of a speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge. Though spartan, it is a clean and classy looking unit with a legible layout. We would have preferred a digital insert at the bottom with a tripmeter and clock at the very least. The scooter does not get any LED lighting either. While the halogen headlamp offers a good enough beam spread, its weak intensity disappoints.
While most of the 125cc and even 110cc scooters now get an external fuel filler cap, Yamaha continues to skip offering this convenience feature on the Fascino 125. That’s disappointing as the long tailpiece has ample space between the seat and tail lamp unit to accommodate one. Thankfully the Fascino 125 gets an all-in-one ignition lock that also unlocks the seat so there is one less step to fill up the scooter.
The previous generation Fascino got an apron mounted cubby hole but the new one does not. In its place is a storage hook. The hook isn't spring-loaded so you have to manually push it back to its resting position once you have used it. You can opt for an under-seat storage hook from Yamaha’s accessories list. The underseat storage space is spacious but shallow so you will have trouble storing a full-size helmet in there. It does not get a boot light. The under-seat USB charger is an optional extra.
Where the Fascino 125 impresses is in terms of technology. Like new Honda scooters, the Fascino ditches the starter motor for a starter-generator that offers more silent starts. It also gets a start-stop function that turns off the engine if you are waiting at a traffic signal. To get moving, simply pull in the brakes and the motor comes to life.
Engine & Performance:
Yamaha claims that the all-new fuel-injected motor is not just 30 percent more powerful than the older 113cc motor, it is also 16 percent more fuel-efficient. In terms of performance, the Fascino is on par with most of its 125cc rivals but where it shines is in the fuel efficiency department. The Fascino 125 is more frugal than all other 125cc BS6 scooters we have tested. There are quite a few reasons for this fantastic city fuel economy. For one, it is lighter than the competition which means the Fascino has less weight to lug around. Then there’s precise fuelling via fuel injection, and the engine has reduced friction which not just makes the 125cc scooter extremely refined but fuel-efficient as well. Then there is the start-stop tech that saves fuel during traffic stops, and the starter generator that ensures that less fuel is wasted in starting operations. All these factors ensure that the Fascino 125 is one of the most fuel-efficient scooters around.
It isn't slow either. The motor has a linear power delivery with enough grunt to sail through traffic and out on the highway it will cross the 80kmph mark with ease. The engine is smooth for the most part with the vibrations better damped than its sportier RayZR sibling. However, do not expect typical Japanese levels of refinement as the motor sounds quite gruff and a bit uncouth.
Ride & Handling:
Apart from a new frame, the Fascino 125 gets a larger 12-inch front wheel. It continues to use a 10-inch rear wheel as well as telescopic fork and a monoshock. The suspension is tuned for comfort. While the setup filters out road imperfections well, the rear suspension tends to bounce over sharp ridges and speed breakers.
The long wheelbase makes the Fascino 125 feel stable on the highway but you might want to take it easy in a downpour as the Maxxis tyres feel slightly skittish at close to 60-70kmph over wet roads. The grip on dry roads is quite good and the tyres are well composed even under hard braking. The optional 190mm front disc brake offers a strong bite and excellent feel through the levers.
While Yamaha has improved the Fascino 125’s ground clearance by 15mm, it is still low compared to the 125cc competition. That said we did not have the scooter’s underside graze anywhere during our close to 500km stint with it.
The Yamaha Fascino 125 comes in a standard variant and deluxe variant. The higher-spec deluxe variant gets Gloss Black trim and two dual colour options: Dark Matte Blue and Suave Copper. On the standard variant, you get chrome trim and a choice of five colours: Matte Blue, Metallic Black, Cyan Blue, Yellow Cocktail and Vivid Red. The price difference between the two variants is Rs 1,000. Both variants get a disc brake option for an extra Rs 2,500. The Yellow Cocktail and Vivid Red colour variants are available only as disc brake options.
Yamaha has made an interesting choice of abandoning the 110cc scooter segment in favour of the growing 125cc segment. Neither does it have a lot of modern features nor is it undercutting its rivals when it comes to pricing. The Fascino 125 instead sticks to the basics. What is promising is that it gets a gem of a motor that is on par with the segment on performance and exceptional when it comes to fuel efficiency. The underpinnings and bodywork give very little to complain about either.
To the discerning rider, the Fascino may feel dated and lacking in features. But it is perfect for the average consumer who is looking to step up to the 125cc segment but does not want to let go of the term ‘affordability’ and ‘fuel efficiency’ associated with 110cc scooters.