Scooters have been fast moving forward, adapting into something more than just a means of convenient city commute. They have turned into what can now be a part of one’s style statement. Yamaha has taken this forward with the launch of the Fascino scooter, keeping in mind the fashion-conscious commuter.
The Yamaha Fascino's looks are a case of love-it or loathe-it design. The body gets a lot of curves and chrome. The headlamp has been given a retro look, and the front apron has large turn indicators. Addition of chrome to the front is eye-catching, but not particularly fascinating. The mudguard is placed slightly high, and the instrument console is large, simple and easy to read. However, like we mentioned in our first look in this year’s June issue, Yamaha could have included a clock on the cluster too.
What is really pleasant is the fit and finish of the instrument cluster, and everything seems to work well. The mirrors are mounted on chrome stalks, and while they look stylish, they don’t score high on functionality. We wished that they were mounted on slightly wider points, as the rider’s arms kept coming in the way when trying to look behind.
The rear half of the Yamaha Fascino is designed rather simply, with curves galore. It tapers towards the end and looks rather nice. Chrome under the seat and above the brake lamp adds some bling to the overall appearance of the Fascino. The tail-light assembly takes the shape of a boomerang.
Yamaha has given the Fascino a 113cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke engine that makes 7bhp of power and 0.8kgm torque. This is the lowest power figure among its competition, hence it doesn't come as much of a surprise when you feel the Fascino’s performance isn’t the fastest off the line. But then it does make a comeback, thanks to a strong mid-range that lets you pull well till you reach a reasonable 60kph. Should you pin the throttle, the Fascino is capable enough to touch an indicated 85kph, but it doesn’t sound all too pleased at this point. The Fascino engine, like any other Yamaha motorcycle or scooter powerplant, feels very refined, and vibe-free.
The suspension on the Fascino has been tuned towards the firmer side, and due to this, some undulations do filter through to the rider. However, this is not overly unpleasant, and is a worthwhile compromise made to help handling on the scooter, which allows you to tackle curves with confidence. The 90/100 section MRF Nylogrip Zappers also hold the road well, even when surfaces are wet. A long wheelbase helps keep the Fascino steady at high speeds, and well under control even when pushing to achieve a good top speed. The seats are wide and well contoured, and kept us comfortable during the three-hour-long ride we included in our test. Bringing the Yamaha Fascino to a halt are 130mm drum brakes at the front and rear. These work well together, giving the rider ample feedback, however the bite they offered left us wishing for more.
The Yamaha Fascino retails for Rs 52,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi), which makes it the most expensive among its competitors. The Honda Activa-i and Mahindra Gusto, both offer 8bhp engines, and are priced considerably lower. However, the design and styling of this Yamaha makes it a niche product, positioned uniquely to target a specific group. The scooter does do this pretty well. Although the Fascino's styling may not be to everyone's liking, the handling offered by this 113cc scooter is definitely up to the mark.