No intention to sound cheesy, but does the new Yamaha Fazer25 really deserve all the love? We find out
smooth single-cylinder quarter-litre sporttourer arrives. Does it set itself apart?
The Touring genre is an old
one and it has been at the core of the Indian motorcycling scene since the very beginning. Even today, you will find a lot of touring stories woven around the highly capable and sweethandling Yamaha RD350. It’s not just the oldtimers who will engage in an interesting conversation revolving round their favourite Yamaha steed. There are several new-age bikers who have experienced nirvana on modern Yamaha machines such as the YZF-R15 and the smaller Fazer.
The touring game, however, has changed quite a lot today but there is a recent Yamaha motorcycle that should establish itself as a capable touring machine in the near future. It is called the Yamaha Fazer25 and we recently spent some time with it to see if it can become what the company promises.
The Fazer25 is a new motorcycle; however, it’s not really an all-new bike. Because it is based on Yamaha’s aggressive street fighter, the FZ25. It uses the naked in an unchanged manner as the base for a more touring-friendly motorcycle. And to justify the touring tag, Yamaha have given the Fazer25 a fairing, though, unlike the smaller Fazer that had a half-fairing, the bigger Fazer gets a full-fairing, which for many will highlight the bike’s sporty character.
The fairing gives the Fazer25 a beefier and more aggressive look but it isn’t like a traditional fairing. For example, the headlamp, which comes from the FZ25, sits between the faux ram-air-intakes, giving it a more naked bike look, at least from the front. The fairing, however, gels well with the rest of the design, when viewed from the side. Rest of the design is carried forward from the FZ25, which means it looks exactly the same as the naked when viewed from the back. In short, the Fazer25 gives you the best of both worlds in terms of styling.
Mechanically, the Fazer25 is identical to the FZ25, except for the fact that the fairing has added six kilos to the touring machine. The bike gets the same diamond frame, telescopic front forks, a rear monoshock, front and rear disc brakes, same tyres and wheels, similar dimensions, and the same 249-cc, SOHC, twovalve, air-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine, and the same slick, five-speed gearbox. The transmission features ratios that are wellspaced out, making the bike very easy to ride, even in traffic. So the new package should be good, since the old one managed to impress us when we took it from Delhi to Khardung La and back without breaking into a sweat.
Yamaha developed this very engine to be more touring-friendly and that character is seen the moment you start riding the bike. It is smooth and refined with the typical singlecylinder note that only gets better when you rev the engine. The peak output of 20.9 PS and 20.0 Nm, which are developed at 8,000 and 6,000 rpm respectively, start to come in as early as 3,000 rpm, giving the Fazer brilliant bottomend delivery and its mid-range is strong too. The delivery, in fact, is gradual and quite civil, making the Fazer25 a fun-to-ride motorcycle throughout the rev range. The well-spaced ratios allows you to ride at 60 km/h in second gear, without stressing the engine at all. But the Fazer25 feels the sweetest while cruising at 80– 100 km/h in fifth gear as the engine speed is just below 6,000 rpm, eliminating the vibrations
Performance-wise, the Fazer25 is again quite similar to FZ25, thanks to the same engine, frame, and suspension combo. It posted similar timings in our performance tests with 0–60 km/h coming up in just 3.71 seconds, which is just 0.25 seconds more than the FZ25. Roll-on timings were also quite good as it took just five seconds to go from 30 to 70 km/h in third gear. It also posted a top speed close to 130 km/h. So the Fazer25 is quite capable when it comes to performance as well.
I wasn’t surprised to see how plush the ride quality was and the credit for that goes to the soft suspension setup, which is borrowed from the FZ25. It absorbs all the bumps and road undulations with utmost ease, giving you superb comfort on almost any terrain. As for handling, I give the Fazer25 full marks because despite the suspension being set up on the softer side, it can handle enthusiasm with gusto. The bike’s 1,360-mm wheelbase might seem slightly longer than other bikes’ in the segment, but the Fazer can change direction with minimum input. It’s easy to flick at low speeds and more than good when it comes to attacking corners. This motorcycle takes directional changes into its stride quite well, giving you the confidence to push harder with each passing corner. These attributes make the Fazer25 a cruiser with a healthy dose of sportiness. The MRF Zappers on the bike just add to the confidence with good grip and control. The twin-piston caliper bites well into the 282-mm front disc brake, providing superb braking power and feedback.
Overall, the new Fazer25 is a potent little cruiser that can munch miles quite easily without leaving you fatigued. Yamaha have also done a great job of pricing the Fazer25 at 1,28,335 (exshowroom, Maharashtra) just Rs 10,000 dearer than the naked FZ25. This makes it quite a value-for-money proposition that should entice many touring enthusiasts who have just heard of the glorious Yamaha RD350, which mixed sportiness with cruising ability. So, go ahead, consider this new Yamaha as one of the best touring options in the country.
The new Fazer25 is a potent little cruiser that can munch miles quite easily without leaving you fatigued