Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ben's Corner #7: Fingers crossed for Fazer 250

At a time when one of the highly advanced affordable bikes, Bajaj Dominar is doing dismissal numbers in India, Yamaha's latest kid on the block FZ 25 is already on a flying start with a healthy sales of more than 2,000 units a month. Riding on its success, Yamaha is going to launch the faired version of the FZ 25 coming Monday (21 August). Christened as the Fazer 250, the spy-shots of the bike are already going rounds on the internet. So, will the Fazer strike the right chord? Let's find out.

Going by the spy-shots, the Fazer 250 looks very different from its 150 cc sibling. In fact, it's much more bigger than the latter with a large protruding fairing and wind shield. Unlike the Fazer 150, the 250 sports a single headlight directly borrowed from FZ 25, a LED unit. Many users on Youtube had complained about the poor illumination of the FZ 25's headlight and the upcoming Fazer is also likely to suffer from the same drawback. Coming to the fairing, it follows the same design philosophy as Yamaha Ray Z R with protruding cowls at the front.

Though looks are subjective, Yamaha has done a fantastic job of providing gill vents on the fairing which now takes us to the performance department. Going by how well the FZ 25 performs, Fazer will be no different. But the fairing, which doesn't seem to be a wind tunnel tested one like that of the Suzuki Gixxer, will surely be an additional burden on the engine. Its added weight is likely to hinder outright performance.

The FZ 250 accelerates from 0-100 Kmph in 9.89 seconds (vbox GPS tested) and is only marginally quicker than Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS which, despite getting a smaller engine, has a higher top speed of 136 Kmph (vbox GPS tested) and a good Rs 30k cheaper. So, Yamaha, indeed, has the tough task of keeping the performance numbers in-line with the FZ 25 or else the Fazer is most likely to lose to the Bajaj bike.

Before coming to a conculsion, one should also remember that Yamaha's 250cc mill is the most refined one in its class, thanks to the segment's lowest power output of just 20.6 Hp. Not only that, it has the highest torque output of 20 Nm offering terrific low and midrange grunt which is one of the reasons for FZ's success. With the addition of the fairing,

Yamaha is eyeing the touring class of people but it is still unknown if the Fazer will sport FZ's five-speed gearbox or a touring-friendly six-speed unit. But if the upcoming bike adopts the FZ's gearbox as it is, it will be a disappointing move as the engine's red-line is also limited to just 10,000 rpm. So, tourers will be forced to keep the engine on boil post 120 Kmph on the highway.

While Yamaha chose to do away with liquid cooling, the FZ's oil cooling system does the job well as most of the reviewers on Youtube had praised the heat management of the engine. It also helped the brand undercut its liquid-cooled rival KTM

Duke 250 by a big very margin of Rs 60,000 in price. The Fazer's price is also likely to be in the same ball park as the FZ offering terrific value for our money. Moreover it will be a perfect upgrade for the owners of Suzuki Gixxer SF which is currently the cheapest full faired bike in the country.

As per an official invite, the launch will take place on 21 August in Mumbai. The event will be presided over by Yamaha

India MD Masaki Asano and Sr VP - Sales and Marketing, Roy Kurian. Finally, if you are on a look out for a tourer under the price tag of Rs 1.5 lac, it's better to wait for this bike. Until then, stay tuned as we eagerly wait for the day when we get our hands on the machine.


What is the use of gill vents?

Going by the spy-shots, the Fazer sports gill vents on its fairing. These vents are used to channel air into the engine for better cooling. These vents play a major role in faired bikes especially air-cooled and oil-cooled ones. The air-cooled Suzuki Gixxer SF sports two such vents on its fairing. They are also used to taking in ram air. Case in point is the upcoming TVS Akula.

Yamaha Fazer is likely to get the same specs of the FZ 25 which are below:

-Engine: 249cc, 2-valved, single-cylinder, air-oil cooled, SOHC
-Power: 20.6 BHP @ 8000 RPM
-Torque: 20 Nm @ 6000 RPM
-Transmission: 5-speed
-Suspension: 44mm Telescopic Forks (Front), Mono-Suspension (Rear)
-Tyres: 100/80/17 (Front), 140/70/17 (Rear)
-Brakes: 282 mm Disc (Front), 220 mm Disc (Rear)
-Wheelbase: 1360 mm
-Ground Clearance: 160 mm
-Fuel Tank Capacity: 14-litres

- S Ben Raja,
Chennai, August 16, 2017

The above review/analysis is completely the perception of S Ben Raja alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only. This author is correspondent for an English daily working on auto beat stories for over a year. Reach him at benraja4@gmail.com.

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