The FZ-16 is a looker and it instantly attracts attention. It’s not possible to lose focus when you’re looking at the new Yamaha – it is both shapely and eye-catching. The Indian FZ borrows design cues from its stunning looking big brother, the FZ-1, and is equally dazzling to look at. Negligible body cladding is the rule on the FZ-16, with its engine and cycle parts gallantly noticeable as necessary elements of the bike’s general style. Designed to show minimum gaps and following a solid theme, the FZ-16 has been sculpted by old Yamaha partners, GK Dynamics of Japan.
The new bike uses lovely slim-spoke alloy rims in black and the same colour scheme for its engine, swingarm and silencer. Huge section tyres add to its charm, while a wide, conical front headlight with a sharp beam and small city light stare forward from below the FZ’s diminutive Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) instrument bay. The instruments – including a rev counter, speedometer and fuel gauge – offer all in a sporty-looking digital arrangement.
The new FZ-16 deploys a city-friendly, broad and to some extent, a low-set handlebar, and uses grips with great feel, marvelous levers, good mirrors and enough switchgear. A useful engine-kill switch is part of the package, as is a handlebar-mounted choke lever on the left. There’s a enormous and splendidly sculpted model resin fuel tank as normally found on superbikes, a brushed finish alloy fuel-filler that sadly, lacks a pivot and comfortable knee recesses that absolutely tuck away a rider’s thighs. The tank is divided by a bold secondary colour stripe down its centre, while the real 12-litre fuel-storage bay sits placed just below, intentionally closer to the bike’s centre of gravity. The FZ-16 comes with a stylish engine cowl, constructed with vents to direct and scoop air-flow straight to the engine and spark plug.
Other impressive details comprise alloy footrests for both rider and pillion; an uncovered O-ring sealed drive-chain, nattily executed rip grab-bar and a clever rear tyre hugger. Look closely and you’ll see that the new Yamaha uses a compact sheared silencer which routes itself midship, below the bike’s swingarm and frame, in the section of its rear tyre hugger. The FZ-16’s flanks and tail are elegant, while its smart tail light is housed within the rear mudguard.
The new Yamaha uses an all-new, four-stroke, single-cylinder and CV carburettor-fed engine that displaces 153cc. The air-cooled power plant uses big size fins on its cylinder, as well as cooling fins in the lower sump area of the power plant.
Tuned chiefly for city riding, the FZ pumps out a strong 14bhp on tap at 7500rpm, and offers a deliberately torque-laden and linear reach of power. Ignition mapping is three-dimensional and takes throttle inputs into consideration via a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) situated on its carburettor. This thumb-started (with no kick-lever) engine uses an auto decompressor for ease of starting, as well as a single-axis balancer that works to stop out all vibes at source. The FZ-16 uses a five-speed gearbox that shifts via a toe-shift lever in the generally acknowledged one-down and four-up pattern. We found the FZ enjoys a completely weighted clutch, and specific, smooth-shifting gearbox with perfectly-spaced gear ratios that leave little room for enhancement.
Performance is nimble enough, and the best part of this Yamaha engine is its hard-hitting, silky and user-friendly wide power band. The FZ managed to touch a speedometer-indicated top speed of 110kph in fifth during our ride, with fourth good enough for 107kph, and third, 89kph.
The latest Yamaha uses a usual diamond-type, single downtube tubular frame that bolts in its engine. A clear plus over its rivals is the FZ-16’s firm 41mm front forks, that are able to condense 130mm. The latest FZ undoubtedly proves itself a accomplished motorbike, with 17-inch rims, a comfortably decent riding stance, well-padded as well as generous seat space and wide handlebar all coming together to make this Yamaha perfectly suited for stress-free city crusing and faster highway riding. It enjoys a near-perfect ride quality that is more firm than soft, with a sound handling character included in the package. The latest Yamaha also offers ideal straight line steadiness and excellent high-speed cornering manners at all times.
The FZ comes with a 267mm front disc-brake and rear drum unit that works in tandem to pull the bike along carefully from speed with an omnipresent progressive sense.
Its chunky, tailor-made radial, tubeless and unique compound 100/80 x 17inch and 140/60 x 17inch section MRF tyres work wonderfully to provide massive traction and a steady, planted feel.
Yamaha claims the new model is capable of 52kpl plus in city riding conditions, we still have to extensively test it though.
The FZ-16 costs Rs 65,000 (ex-showroom, India). While we wish that it was somewhat cheaper, every fan will appreciate this is money well-spent.