I actually took delivery of our long-term Yamaha FZ25 even before I had stepped into the Autocar India office for the first time. It was an important first assignment (ahem!) and having spent quality time with the FZ25 previously,I wasn’t about to let anything come in the way. Lest you get my unapologetic excitement wrong, allow me to explain that long-term motorcycles aren’t just a privilege, but are genuinely insightful to us motorcycle testers. They give us a deeper, real-world perspective on a motorcycle’s all-round performance, and it’s an opportunity that’s hard to resist.
The FZ25 came to us with 74km on the odo, and while it was squeaky clean, I did secretly wish I could have the Warrior White one instead; the Ballistic Blue I got instead doesn’t look quite as ballistic, to say the least. There’s a lot to like about it, thankfully, so let’s move on quickly. Much like the original FZ16, the FZ25 is an appealing but undemanding motorcycle and I like that it’s generously proportioned – cramped bikes are best saved for the racetrack, right? Also, my 80km commute (on a round trip), isn’t a particularly short one and I’m generally unwilling to trade a comfy motorcycle for any other incentive. As you can tell, the FZ25 had a lot to deliver – and it did.
I don’t mind its lack of outright aggression; it’s still entertainingly quick in the city and refined to a reasonable degree. The suspension, too, makes light work of road undulations and has, so far, taken kindly to abuse – oh, and the roads in Mumbai can present torture-tests that beggars belief. Braking, however, isn’t quite impressive. The front brake is mildly spongy, and, while I’m alright with the omission of ABS, I wish Yamaha would address the brake feel on what is otherwise a dynamically sound motorcycle. The FZ is an inherently nice motorcycle to flick around in the city and it certainly belies its 148kg kerb weight, which is already quite a remarkable figure for a 250.
What’s not to like is the LED headlight which brightens up the FZ25’s specification sheet better than it does the road. The beam is patchy and also extremely shaky on the move and while it’s a bother for the rider, I suspect it will be a bigger bother for oncoming traffic. Another dislike comes from my better half who enlightened me about the uncomfortable pillion perch on the FZ. We share the same commute and on the days I’m riding the FZ, she opts for public transport instead. That should tell you something, right? To elaborate, she likes neither the size of the pillion seat nor the level of cushioning and I can’t quite disagree with her (on this matter, and in general, too).
After a busy first month, it did sit idle almost all through December and early January since my garage was corrupted by bigger, comfier and faster motorcycles. This unexpected (but certainly not uncalled for) hiatus had no side-effects, thankfully, and the FZ fired up at the first dab of the starter, which is definitely impressive. Now that the other motorcycles have dispersed, the FZ will get back to being my everyday runabout and I’m not complaining one bit. As for the better half...
2017 Yamaha FZ25 video review