Review Brief

The Yamaha FZ25 is a promising motorcycle. Lightweight, decently powerful, comfortable, efficient and good-looking, the FZ25 checks all the right boxes. On paper it seems like the perfect bike for India. But to see if it is truly great, the FZ25 will have to hold its own against the Bajaj Dominar 400. No, it doesn’t seem fair at all. The Dominar 400 is a bigger, more powerful and a better equipped motorcycle. It is also sports a different body style and a higher price tag. 

While a standard non-ABS Dominar 400 would have been a better match in terms of pricing, the ABS version accounts for 90 per cent of Dominar 400 sales making it the obvious choice for this test. We would have also loved to throw in the KTM 200 Duke in the mix, considering that it falls in the same price bracket. 

BAJAJ-DOMINAR-400-VS-YAMAHA-FZ25-COMPARISON-4

Compare Looks

Both the Yamaha FZ25 and the Dominar 400 take different approaches towards styling. The Dominar 400 claims to be India’s first ‘power cruiser’ while the FZ25 is a quintessential naked. The Dominar 400 takes pride in its bulk, giving you a ‘big bike’ feel. The whole point of buying a Dominar 400, like a KTM, is that you want a bike that looks loud. You can’t have a Dominar 400 and be worried about drawing attention. So, better go for the white paint scheme.

Yamaha-FZ25-250cc-First-ride-review-bike-india-M8

Yamaha-FZ25

The FZ25 on the other hand draws influence from the bigger Yamaha MT range of streetfighters. But, even after spending so much time with it, I can hardly point out any unique styling cue apart from the LED headlamps. Mind you, the design is quite aggressive with its muscular fuel tank and cowls. But its semblance to the FZ-S, which is now more than three years old, makes it look ordinary in front of the Dominar 400.

Bajaj Dominar 400

Bajaj Dominar 400

Riding Positions

The Yamaha FZ25 might feel compact and cramped under the charge of tall people (especially after having ridden the Dominar 400), but the seating triangle is spot on for my stature. The narrower handlebar and rear set foot pegs give it an involving riding position. The Dominar 400 offers a slightly laidback riding stance, ideal for touring.

The LCD display on the FZ25 features a trip computer with average and instantaneous fuel consumption. However, Yamaha has designed it in such a way that that you have to choose between the clock, odometer and the FE read-out at any given time. The Dominar 400’s dual-console, on the other hand, presents a new direction for Bajaj. Though it lags behind in terms of the information displayed, it is better organised. 

Performance and Handling

Let’s get the numbers out of the way. The FZ25 is powered by 249cc oil-cooled single-cylinder engine, delivering 20.3bhp and 20Nm of torque. The Dominar 400 on the other hand, gets a KTM-derived 373cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine. While the engine produces more than twice the output of the FZ25 in its original guise, it has been detuned for the Dominar 400, churning out a respectable 34.5bhp and 35Nm of torque.

Bajaj-Dominar-400-4-web

Within a few seconds of riding the FZ25, you realise that it is more inclined towards comfort than performance. The torque delivery is linear right up to the 10,000rpm redline, which makes the grunt easily accessible. In the city, you can whack open the throttle in any gear for that quick overtake. The relaxed torque delivery will ensure that you don’t scare yourself out of your wits.

yammie

The Dominar 400’s KTM-derived powertrain is very effective in countering the 183 kilogram bulk. The sheer firepower makes it quicker off the mark. But because the torque is concentrated in the mid-range, you have to play with the gearbox to get the most out of the engine. Even in city traffic, you have to keep switching between gears to ensure enough grunt while filtering. 

The Engine Power

Back to the FZ25, below 5,000rpm, the engine does sterling work to the accompaniment of nothing more than a background hum. Go past this mark, and you are presented with vibrations and the sound of a distressed engine. The Dominar 400 also has its fair share of buzz on the foot pegs, tank, seat and the handlebar, once you get past 4,500rpm. Both motorcycles give out a buzz while cruising at triple digit speeds out on the highway. However, the Dominar 400 feels relatively more relaxed, thanks to its six-speed gearbox. The FZ25 has to make do with a five-speed unit.

Bajaj-Dominar-400

Bajaj-Dominar-400

The Dominar 400 is an easy bike to hustle around the city and through the twisties. Its stiff suspension might not win it any favour in the comfort department, but it does give it a sporty character. All of this seems very exciting, right until the point you get on the FZ25. The way Yamaha has struck the perfect compromise between comfort and sporty ride is impressive. The FZ25 manages to stay planted around corners, absorbing all the mid-corner bumps without a hint of getting unsettled. Thanks to the lighter front end, it is even easier to tip into corners and it responds well to quick direction changes. This also makes FZ25 better at filtering through traffic and more fun for your daily commute. 

Yamaha-FZ25 Engine

Yamaha-FZ25 Engine

The FZ25 might not score any brownie points when it comes to technology. But this also means that it will be lighter on the pocket as compared to the Dominar 400 as far as maintenance is concerned. When it comes to fuel consumption, the FZ25’s Blue Core technology helped it extract 41.6kmpl in our standard test cycle. The Dominar 400’s bigger engine, on the other hand, takes a toll on the efficiency, returning 34kmpl. 

Verdict

The Bajaj Dominar 400 is a jack-of-all-trades motorcycle which tries to fulfil multiple roles at the same time. Yamaha on the other hand, is a lot more focussed than Bajaj. There is a definite theme running through the FZ25. The company stuck to what consumer clinic surveys asked from them. Despite feeling quite dull in comparison with the Dominar 400, the FZ25 does what is expected from it, and then some. It is comfortable, feels easy to ride and exploitable even in the hands of a novice. It is indeed an ideal upgrade for someone moving up the ladder from a 150cc motorcycle. 

Yamaha FZ25 2017 (9)

bajaj-dominar-400-moon-white

Specifications

Make  Yamaha Bajaj 
Model  FZ25  Dominar 400
POWER TRAIN    
Engine Type Oil-cooled Liquid-cooled
Capacity 249cc 373cc
Max Power 20.3bhp 34.5bhp
Max Torque 20Nm 35Nm
Gearbox 5 speed 6 speed
Clutch Wet, multiplate Wet, multiplate with Slipper Clutch
Fuel Efficiency (Tested) 41.6kmpl 34kmpl
CYCLE PARTS    
Chassis Diamond Perimeter
Supension F 41mm Telescopic 43mm Telescopic
Suspension R Mono shock with adjustable preload  Mono shock with adjustable preload 
Brakes F 282mm Disc 320mm Disc with ABS
Brakes R 220mm Disc 230mm Disc with ABS
Tyre F 100/80-17 Tubeless 110/70-17 Tubeless Radial
Tyre R 140/70-17 Tubeless 150/60-17 Tubeless Radial
MEASURES    
Fuel Tank 14litres 13litres
LxWxH 2015mm x 770mm x 1075mm 2156mm x 813mm x 1112mm
Wheelbase 1360mm 1453mm
Weight 148kg (Wet) 182kg (Kerb)
COST    
Price (on-road, Mumbai) Rs 1,36,000 Rs 1,84,673
Warranty 2 years/30,000kms 2 years/30,000kms

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