The Yamaha FZ was the motorcycle which is largely credited for changing the fortunes of Yamaha in India. The FZ was the first attempt by Yamaha in the over-crowding 150cc volume segment, apart from a track-focused YZF-R15, and became an instant hit due to the extremely muscular big bike stance, plethora of interesting features and equipment and the availability of lots of torque from the potent engine, making it an ideal tool for commuting as well as long trips.
The design is what keeps the Yamaha FZ stand apart from the regular crowd of 150cc motorcycles. The FZ is the most muscular of the current 150cc crop, with the bulbous tank with good looking curves and recesses, fat tyres and chunky suspension. The front has a minimalistic design approach with a small but edgy headlamp, with a tiny pilot lamp sitting beneath it. The fuel tank is the main show stealer of the side profile. Unlike other 150cc motorcycles, the rear of FZ is a bit different with the tail lamp being mounted on the rear mudguard, with a tiny Yamaha logo taking the center position at the rear panel, along with the split pillion grab rails. The instrument console is fully digital, with the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meter and fuel gauge on the display. The build quality is fabulous with the switchgear too offering great feel.
The engine of the Yamaha FZ is equally muscular as its design, and is a 4-stroke, single cylinder, air cooled 153cc engine which produces the maximum power and torque outputs of 14 PS and 13.6 Nm respectively. The engine is very refined and purrs out the exhaust note in a perfect manner – neither too loud, nor too silent. FZ is renowned to have the presence of ample of torque throughout the rev range, which is exploited well by the 5-speed gearbox with well matched gear ratios.
The FZ is an impressive city tool, which can be easily judged by its handling and ride quality traits. The bike has a special mass centralization construction, which lowers the center of gravity at just the middle of the bike, making it a very potent handler. And this experience doubles up with the almost flat handlebar. The suspension setup is also class-leading with 41mm dia front telescopic forks and rear monoshock, making the bike to soak up all the bumps and potholes like a child's play. The brakes, front disc and rear drum, are one of the best in class, but an option of a rear disc could have been a bit more applauding.
The Yamaha FZ, at last, turns out to be a very impressive and desirable overall package, which offers you everything what a commuter expects from a 150cc motorcycle, and in some cases, even more than that. The bike has good road presence, performs brilliantly and is a tad too easy tool for maneuvering around city, which it does so effortlessly in spite of its bulbous stance. It is a premium over other 150cc commuters a very narrow margin, but is worth of every single penny you spend for it.