The new Yamaha FZ150i was launched into the local market back in April 2014, approximately six years after the first model was rolled out by Hong Leong Yamaha Motor (HLYM). Between the years, Yamaha has given the naked-street bike a plethora of changes – some are major – to keep up with the demand, hence alluring more potential buyers. We test the bike to find out if the changes really set the new model apart from its predecessor.
Looking at the aptly sized bike, you’ll notice the striking difference in terms of appearance over the 2008 model and the facelift version that followed. First, the boring round headlight has been swapped with a more angular piece, complemented by a sharper tail light at the back and fresh bodywork design in between. Perhaps what buyers would notice when they first look at the bike (other than the new headlight) is the sporty half covered tank with “airplane” style cap and new underbody cowling, which was not on the previous model.
This points to added value in the FZ150i, which is vital to attract first-time buyers as well as existing customers. Plus, instead of a double meter layout, the new model comes with a single rev meter with a digital speedo. Yamaha is also offering the bike in three attractive colours – black, red, and white – combined with appealing graphic design that makes it look a whole lot more youthful than the olden model. The FZ150i rides on new cast wheels with a wider rear tyre (120/70 R17).
Swing your leg over the FZ150i and you’ll notice the comfortable riding position right away. The handlebar is high enough to prevent you from leaning forward while its foot pegs are positioned just right to offer not only comfort but complete control of the bike at the same time. Bring the comfortable saddle to the equation and you’ll have one of the most comfortable and posture-friendly bikes available in the market.
Like the previous model, the FZ150i retains its liquid-cooled 149 cc four-stroke engine with the same bore and stroke of 57 x 58.7 mm. Despite that, the new model is blessed with 16.36 hp at 8,500 rpm and 14.5 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm, which is slightly higher than what the old FZ150i makes. The figures might not shout much improvement, but the puny street bike proves it can do the walking with better acceleration and steady power delivery across the powerband, making it a versatile bike for both city and highway riding.
The new FZ150i is also one to look at if you are looking for something that is economical. You can open the throttle and watch the rev climbs up to 10,000 rpm with all its might, but the fuel injection system, combined with the ECU, ensure that not one drop of fuel goes to waste. With a decent 12-litre tank, it’s not impossible for the FZ150i to reach 300 km or more before the next refueling (depending on road conditions and riding style). Vibrations on the foot pegs and handlebar, meanwhile, are kept at a minimum level even at high speeds.
Handling-wise, you’d get what you’d expect from Yamaha. The slim profile and steady frame help in making the FZ150i a nimble street bike that is ready for corners after corners. The wide rear tyre helps as well. Nevertheless, the front brake does feel a little spongy and unconvincing, despite the presence of a rear disc.
All in all, for a starting price of around RM8,538, you can’t ask more from this bike. The new Yamaha FZ150i certainly looks fresh enough to compete in its class while everything else looks and feels pretty much solid. The engine is economical but powerful enough if the need for speed kicks in.
|Price||RM8,538 without insurance|
|Engine Type||4-Stroke, Liquid Cooled, 4 Valve, SOHC|
|Power||16.36 hp @ 8,500 rpm|
|Torque||14.5 Nm @ 7,500 rpm|
|Weight (Dry)||117 kg|
|Rear Suspension||Double-sided Swingarm|
|Seat Height||790 mm|
|Fuel Capacity||12 Litres|
|Tyres||90/80 17 (F), 120/70 17 (R), Tubeless|