With no revision in the engine, the FZ-S is just a more chic version of the enormously popular FZ-16. At first glimpse, the FZ-S looks sportier than the standard FZ-16. Both bikes have a similar shape, except for a new small visor above the instrument front. A larger, more aggressive swept back headlight casing now comes fitted with conical halogen bulb-equipped headlight. In addition to a neat new two-tone paint job, racy stripes lend a muscular touch. The front forks and side panels also follow a black theme, similar to the FZ-16’s, on the smartly packaged engine, trendy slim-spoke alloys and swingarm. Digital carbon fibre look alike instruments look attractive, although the rev counter isn’t all that convenient and can prove a bit unwieldy to interpret while riding fast. The switchgear on the FZ-S’s wide and slightly low-set handlebar has a solid, built-to-last feel.
The wonderfully designed fuel tank is stunning and comes with large knee recesses that provide ample support to the rider’s thighs. Unfortunately, we found the brushed-finish alloy tank cap still needing the convenience of a hinge.
Adding brawn to the hefty design is a chunky 140/60 x 17-inch MRF rear tyre which sits flanked by a stumpy, trimmed silencer. A lightly stepped seat leads to the body-coloured tail, which sports a smart split grab-rail. Completing the new bike is a small tail-light housed in its rear mudguard. Clearly, the new S is a head turner.
The FZ-S is mechanically indistinguishable to the FZ-16, using Yamaha’s sophisticated four-stroke, single-cylinder and CV-carbureted 153cc engine that made an appearance on the original bike. This engine does its job like a dream coupled as it is with a silky and smooth five-speed gearbox. Flawlessly spaced ratios allow the rider to ably utilize the bike’s good low- and mid-range power nature. Another thing is that hardly any uphill ascents require quick downshifting was significant.
The FZ-S’s competent handling dismisses twisty hilly sections with ease. The S uses a conventional, single-downtube frame with the engine slotting in as a stressed member. This bike isn’t simply ruffled by changes in road camber, which allows aggressive corners with assurance.
The amalgamation of the FZ-S’s comfy upright riding stance, well-padded seat and wide handlebar works beautifully. Out on long and flat straights, the engine feels at ease even cruising at close to three-digit speeds. The S’s stocky 41mm forks up front work in tandem with an adjustable single rear shock absorber and permit effortless gliding over little ruts scattered along the way.
Overall, the FZ-S feels just as comfortable on the twisty roads and straights as it does in the jungle —urban or otherwise. Priced at Rs 67,000 (ex-showroom, India), the FZ-S is Rs 2,000 more expensive than the FZ-16. Offering the same pure and brilliant riding experience as the FZ-16, the FZ-S makes sense for riders looking for a bit more attention for the money they pay.