My Trusted Companion : FZ-16


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My tryst with FZ-16 started in Oct'10. This is my second bike - prior to this Honda Unicorn gave me company during the period March'06 to Dec'07. Due to switching over of job, I had to part way with Uni. Understandably, in this review, FZ shall be often compared with Uni which is still my 1st love. (Literally, I met my GF after buying Uni).

After settling down in my new job & location, I started to look for a new bike from June'08. I was very much interested in Repsol edition of Unicorn, but HMSI politely informed me that this limited edition is no longer available. I initially shortlisted following 3 bikes:

1. Hero Honda Hunk: Felt it was a too common bike. Zing was missing for me.

2. CBF Stunner: Absolutely fell in love with the looks. But as I was habituated to 150cc bikes, so it felt under powered.

3. Unicorn: Honda launched a refreshed Uni that time. Almost zeroed it on a pearl black Uni. Dealer informed that waiting period was minimum 1 month.

In the meantime , I came across the news that Yamaha is planning a 150cc bike for India. So I decided to hold my plan till this new bike. Finally, I came across the first ride report of ACI & other mags which were mighty pleased with FZ. So I started to enquire about FZ but my nearest dealer expressed his inability to provide any concrete info. I then chose to go to my neighboring town/city. I was pleasantly surprised by dealer's commitment to provide me bike within one week of booking.

One fine day I went to check out the bike along with my check book. I was mighty pleased with:

1. Looks: Macho looks of FZ makes it stand out in crowd.

2. Pickup: On paper 14 bhp is on par with competition. But low end torque help it to zoom past traffic from stand still.

3. Fit & finish: Even after owning Uni, I found fit & finish of FZ a notch above.

4. Handling: Its effortless handling both in city & highway again put it a notch above Uni.

So I did waste no time in signing the check for booking amount. As promised delivery was done within a week. In fact dealer was so helpful that he offered to give delivery on Sunday itself as I could not make it n Saturday. All in all it was a very pleasant buying experience.

Initial experience: FZ made me a most wanted person (sort of ) in my locality & office. There was a reason behind this. As mentioned earlier, Yamaha dealer of my town had some issues due to which FZ was not available in my town. Yamaha has to give dealership to a new block which took almost a month. During this period, mine was the only FZ available at that locality. So my bike became a test drive vehicle for all my enthusiastic colleagues and many like minded strangers as well. My FZ made many heads turn whenever he went. I often find him encircled by youngsters at parking lot.

Adulation apart, FZ gave me a good experience as far as biking goes. It ticked almost all the boxes expected of a 150 cc bike, sparing FE & price (which was not prime concern for me). After riding the bike for 2 1/2 years my view on main parameters are as follows:

1. Style & build quality: Style needs no further elaboration. Build quality is also very good except for silencer cover which got scuffed up pretty often. Rest is as good as new. Paint is still holding its shine.

2.Powertrain: Engine is reliable with good bottom end. Top end is little disappointing. Nothing much to gain after 6500 rpm. It takes quite a bit of time to reach 100+ speed from 80 kmph onward. Engine is certainly not as rev happy as DTSi engines are. But it is very refined and next only to the legendary refinement of Uni. FE however is low and around 40 kmpl while I used to get 45+ in Uni.

Clutch is progressive & light enough despite giving good feel. Gear box too has a sure feel with superbly mated ratios. I have successfully tried clutchless upshifts. But again as far as smoothness goes, Uni's buttery smooth G/B is unmatched. However overall powertrain is more sporty than Unicorn but offers equal quality feel.

3. Handling: For a balance between city & highway handling among 150 cc's, FZ is unmatched, period. It gives so much confidence that congested city traffic hardly poses any problem. I will pick FZ over Uni for city traffic any day. But for highways with knee scarping turns, Uni is preferable, but only marginally.

4.Ride: Ride is good for rider but not so for pillion. Uni offers more comfort as FZ has slightly sportier set up as compared to Uni.

5. Ownership: It has been good but Uni was better. FZ has two issues so far:

a. Oil seal of front shock absorber gave away within 6 months. Changed by dealer immediately without any issue.

b. Seat clamp: Seat clamp got loosen after 1 1/2 years. Issue yet to be sorted out permanently: on a temporary measure, clamp on which seat rests is made to bend slightly.

Overall, I am having a good experience with my FZ and if I take all things into account, I am more happy with FZ than I was with Uni. However these experience is giving me a headache while finalizing my next vehicle - a hatchback. These bikes has given so much pleasure as far as quality goes, I am looking for a car of equal quality as well as character. Somehow I feel none of the present hatchbacks ticks all the boxes.

Time to enjoy some pics of my beast:
 

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A very nicely written review. I have seen many of these bikes, it surely is a stunner. Wish you many more happy miles with your ride.
 

Akash

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Very nicely written review. Excellent pictures too. How much has your bike clocked till now? Also if the fuel efficiency is becoming a problem, you can switch to Synthetic oil.
 

AMG

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Hmmm

Thats interesting.

You are the first guy who says FZ is better than Uni.

BTW, does the bike struggle at above 90?
How are the vibes at that speed?
 
Thread Starter #5
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@ fusion, @ Akash: Thanks

I have been using Yamaha branded/recommended engine oil costing around 220/-.
How much does synthetic oil cost and what is the FE difference vis-a-vis normal oil? Will be grateful if you can offer me some details.

@AMG: IMO, FZ is overall better bike than Uni. However in fields like refinement, comfort & efficiency , Unicorn is better than FZ. But overall handling (both city & highway), low end torque, feature & looks of FZ are better than Uni. IIRC in ACI shootout FZ trumped Uni.

FZ's chassis/suspension/handling is well sorted for 100+ speed. its the engine which feels like out of breath above 100. Takes quite a bit of time to reach 100 from 80kmph. Vibration at 100+ speed not as much as I encountered in Pulser & Apache, infact it is at par with Uni.
 
Thread Starter #8
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Let me reiterate what I stated above:

Uni has better refinement that FZ.

Till 80kmph one never feels that he is riding a 150cc bike. You will struggle to pick up engine noise.

Its only in 100+ speed that vibes of Uni & FZ are similar.

Still, vibes are not too much to complain about.
 
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Very well written ownership report with nice pictures. I have been driving my friends Fz a lot these days and i agree with all your points above. Fit and finish quality is top class , pretty much vibe free even till 80kmph(i don't ride bikes faster than that!). But yeah a little low on comfort , after a continuous one hour travel it hurts my back. Overall i am happy driving my friend's Fz more than my Pulsar150cc!


BTW what's the FE you are getting now?
 
Thread Starter #12
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@cooldhaya: I am getting around 40kmpl. I used to get around 47kmpl in Uni. So it is less efficient. But the pleasure it gave me from its good low end grunt & handling more than make up for the drop in FE.
 
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