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Honda CB Trigger Vs Yamaha FZ-S

10th Jul 2013 7:03 pm

Honda’s CB Trigger goes head-to-head picking up a fight with segment ruler, the Yamaha FZ-S. Can it take down the leader?

Honda’s Dazzler hasn’t sent Honda soaring in the 150cc segment, receiving only a lukewarm reception due to its high price and stiff competition. The Dazzler has thus been dropped, replaced by the CB Trigger. Meanwhile, rival Yamaha has been in this premium 150cc segment some time, its feet firmly cemented with the FZ series bikes showing no signs of being easily beaten. Can the CB Trigger do here what the Dazzler failed to achieve?

The CB trigger and FZ-S are both attractive streetbikes, sure to catch the fancy of potential bike buyers in this segment. Honda could have done more to improve styling on the Trigger from the Dazzler, given the time they’ve had to improve this new motorcycle. The CB Trigger is a lean machine, compared to the burlier FZ-S. 
The Trigger headlight looks smart, decidedly Honda, whilethe FZ-S gets a V-shaped unit with chin-set parking light. Both motorcycles rely on sporty looking digital instrument bays, with a speedometer, tachometer, fuel-gauge, odometer and trip meter all present. Switchgear is well made on these rivals, and both provide pass-light flashers. The Honda however misses out on an engine kill-switch. Palm grips are rider friendly on both motorcycles. Likewise, the pair come with adequate rear-view mirrors. 
The CB Trigger comes equipped with a fully-enclosed drive-chain, a boon in demanding Indian conditions. Sharp tail-fairings are the norm on both bikes. The Honda comes with a conventional, boring and boxy exhaust canister, while Yamaha has excelled to fit a stylish, stubby and compact exhaust system to the FZ-S. 
Attention-to-detail is good on both bikes, but the Yamaha has an edge. Build quality, fit-and-finish likewise leave no stone unturned, and are top notch for both bikes.
The CB Trigger and FZ-S’ four-stroke engines are similar, both brought to life via push-start buttons. The duo use single-cylinder, air-cooled engines, and inclined from vertical cylinders that run twin-valves. 
The 149.1cc engine on the CB Trigger is identical to the one seen on the Dazzler and Unicorn. The Trigger comes with slightly shorter gear ratios, to give it a more rideable character. The FZ-S believes there’s no substitute for cubic capacity, its slightly larger engine displacing 153cc. 
Both motorcycles use CV type carburettors. Maximum power generated by both motorcycles is identical, the Trigger generating its 14bhp at 8500rpm, where the FZ-S does so slightly lower in the powerband at 7500rpm. 
Both Japanese bikes feel different on the road. Smooth engines are a constant, these piling on the revs effortlessly without hiccup whenever required. Both, the Trigger and FZ-S run with refined feel, and stay totally vibe free. The CB Trigger has a beefy mid-range, and pulls strongly all the way to redline. The FZ-S meanwhile, is tuned for a stronger low to mid-range, but does sometimes feel like it could do with more grunt high in its rev band. 
There’s nothing to choose between the rivals in terms of their gearboxes, which come with five, well spaced ratios and work seamlessly in universal one-down and four-up shift  patterns. 
Our performance tests tell us the Trigger is a negligible tenth of a second slower to 60kph, taking 5.69 seconds from rest to get here, while the Yamaha achieves this in 5.59sec. We managed to take the CB Trigger to a top speed of 107kph, while the FZ-S performed a touch better to reach 109kph.
The Trigger has its task cut out as it strives to keep pace with Yamaha’s proven FZ-S. Both motorcycles deploy single downtube, steel frames, their engines slotted in as stressed members. In front, the Honda loses out for use of relatively spindly telescopic fork suspension. At rear, both motorcycles come with monoshocks that lack linkage, and rectangular section swingarms, but again the Trigger misses the bus for using inferior rubber. And the FZ-S also benefits from Yamaha keeping weight centralized, which is why its fuel reservoir sits below, as also the silencer. 
The FZ-S’s wider, flatter bars enable quicker, easier directional changes, allowing better bike control than on the Trigger. Both bike saddles are well-padded. Still, the Yamaha excels again with slightly better ride quality. However, the CB Trigger’s also a stable, light and nimble bike that’s a breeze to ride in traffic, and comfortable enough. The FZ-S’ edge comes to the fore when you realize it’s so much more stable going round corners. The FZ-S chassis is brilliant, and having taken the bike to its limits, we can’t help but wish Yamaha had provided it more power. 
The CB Trigger comes with Honda’s combined brakes (CBS) system. Disc brakes are standard on both bikes in front, while the FZ-s uses a drum rear brake, where the Trigger offers an optional disc. Both bikes proved themselves during our brake tests, stopping in short distances, and good time. Brakes on both motorcycles impart progressive feel at their levers. 

Good fuel economy ranks high on priority for Indians, and rightly so. The Honda trumped the Yamaha in this respect, to return 45kpl when riding in real world city riding conditions, where the FZ-S gave us 41.3kpl. On the highway the CB Trigger delivered us 49kpl, even as the FZ-S provided 46.6kpl. 


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