There is a standard yet unspoken barometer to determine the aesthetic appeal of a bike – the number of eyes that dart towards the bike at traffic stops. The Yamaha FZ 3.0 comfortably aced this test. Perhaps it is the by product of the success of the FZ 2.0, or maybe it is due to the improvements made to the design language. While the reason is likely a confluence of the two, one thing became unequivocally clear in the two days I spent with the FZ 3.0, the gentlemen of Kathmandu couldn’t keep their eyes off it.
Not to belabour the point, but I didn’t sense these many eyeballs even while riding more overtly premium bikes from prestige manufacturers.
Suffice it to say then that Yamaha has put in a more than reasonable effort on the design aspect of the FZ 3.0. The large fuel tank that signals power and authority is immediately noticeable. The sculpted tank contributes to the rugged nature of the bike and lends it a sense of musculature. This is compounded by the slightly raised handlebars and pillion seat. The chrome duct plating on the front is a unique look that allows the bike to stand out from the crowd. The purpose was clearly to build a bike that has an aura of strength and stability, and in that endeavour, Yamaha has succeeded.
The FZ 3.0 is a dogged, ragged yet handsome street fighter.
Engine, Performance and Ride Quality
The single cylinder, Blue Core FI engine is capable, responsive and powerful. It’s uniquely suited to navigate city streets with its peppy performance. The five-speed gearbox paired to the engine is well tuned and responsive as well; shifting between gears is quick and enjoyable.The bike’s acceleration is commendable, and the FZ-S 3.0 is perfectly capable of satiating the urges of riders who feel the need for speed.
More than the technical jargon, one of the primary concerns of most urban dwellers is how a bike performs its overtaking duties. Given the FZ-S 3.0’s crisp acceleration and agile manoeuvrability, overtaking is a dream. The bike is an ideal companion on daily commutes.
A word on handling; it’s worthy of some praise. My time with the bike coincided with the protest at Maitighar on 20th June. As such, I was forced to scamper through congested alleyways and between throngs of people. This inadvertent test brought the bike’s handling and agility to the forefront. It performed admirably.
The FZ-S 3.0 inspires confidence while riding and the comfortable seats at both the front and rear ensure the ride is smooth. The able monocross suspension chews through the many scars on the streets of Kathmandu with gleeful abandon.
Braking and Safety
The inclusion of single-channel ABS at the front is a boon. ABS is one of the most essential features in a bike, particularly in a crowded, lopsided urban dwelling such as Kathmandu. The fact that Yamaha has included it on its 150 cc offering is hopefully a sign of things to come. There is a genuine and worrying dearth of moderately priced ABS-enabled bikes in the country, exacerbated by the fact that bikes remain the vehicle of choice for many.
The braking is sharp and inspires confidence. The response time too, is excellent.
Eventually, almost every single purchase decision boils down to price. At Rs 3, 07,000, the Yamaha FZ-S 3.0 has to be considered reasonably priced given the market. For that money, a potential buyer gets a muscular, powerful and handsome aesthetic, a capable engine ideally suited for urban use and single-channel ABS. Perhaps that’s a bit simplistic, and there’s more to the bike, but the bike meets all expectations in terms of the essentials. Product taglines almost exclusively operate in the realm of hyperbole, but the FZ-S 3.0’s ‘Lord of the Streets’ moniker is not far from the mark.