Yamaha SZ-R Review
Yamaha SZ-R - Click above for picture gallery


Bike tested: 2011 Yamaha SZ-R

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 63,000/-

Yamaha is one of those companies who command respect all round in the heart of motorbike fans. And as with every bike manufacturer, they also want to relish a share of the commuter segment sales pie! Though, it has been making efforts at succeeding in this endeavour for quite a long time with the launch of the Libero, the Crux etc etc, they fell short of expectations each time. Yet, they didn’t get disappointed and vanish into oblivion, rather they have garnered strength and are back again with something that made us look up and take real notice! We decided to test this new contender, the Yamaha SZ-R and check out how good Yamaha has done its homework this time to capture the heart of the Indian commuters.

Yamaha SZ-R Test Ride

Styling – On the styling front, the bike has a slight resemblance to its big sister, the FZ, like the angle of the headlamp and the side covers. The headlamp has been shaped differently though. The fuel tank has been sculpted nicely keeping thigh positioning into consideration. It also sports dual-tone side fairings attached to it with the Yamaha logo and SZ-R written on it, which looks cool. The tail lights are also shaped beautifully with a black line of plastic splitting it in two. This bike also sports a long rear mud guard unlike the FZ series. The rear view mirrors and the indicators of the Yamaha SZ-R are of the conventional type and are provided just to mind their own business; nothing to talk about them. All in its entire quite well styled, considering the fact that it’s a commuter.


Performance – Coming to the performance, this bike features the same 153 cc engine that powers the FZ lot but the power output has been detuned to 12.1 PS which is delivered @ 7500 RPM. Also, it gives you 12.8 Nm of torque @ 4500 RPM. We understand the strategy of detuning the power to improve the fuel economy but sadly, we were not impressed with the power figure considering some players offering more of it at comparable economy figures. On the positive side, you get lot of thrust at low rev band which is quite handy in stop and go city traffic. The bike has electric start too, so no hassle of kicking and kicking as the “light turns green”.


The Yamaha SZ-R features a 5 speed constant mesh gearbox. The gearbox is silky smooth and shifts like cakewalk. The gear ratios are also well engineered keeping in mind the long “commuterised” driving. The sporty bad boy tires of the FZ haven’t been carried over to this. Instead, it rides on the decent 100/90 17 kind.

2011 Yamaha SZ-R Review

Handling – This is one aspect that Yamaha engineers are good at and impressed us the most. The vibrations are taken care by telescopic kind at the front and dual spring-damper at the rear. They take care of the potholes quite well. The seating posture of the Yamaha SZ-R is quite upright giving comfortable confidence for “commutering” on it. The seat is broad and has plenty of cushioning for fatigue-free riding experience. It is even pillion-friendly!! It weighs 132 kg which being slightly on a higher side for commuter standards can have some effect on rider comfort after long distances. The “R” version of the SZ series features a 245 mm disc brake for confident braking power. This is one real, big, necessary welcome change that they have incorporated but for an additional price. The cornering capability is not up to the 150 cc sports category bikes, nonetheless, it doesn’t completely disappoint either. The diamond type frame and thigh hugging tank recesses ensure that you remain firmly grounded to the bike while cornering. The tires also do a decent job of gluing the bike and the road.

Yamaha SZ-R Instrumentation

Instrument Cluster – The instrument cluster is not unconventional or outstanding. It has two big dials on two sides housing the speedo on one and the tacho on the other, both of them analog. The space between the two features the fuel level indicator, the turn signals, hi-low beam and engine fault warning light. The Neutral gear indicator is at the bottom of the speedometer. All the displays are neatly placed but have nothing to ogle about it. A plain, simple layout giving high importance to function over form.


Conclusion – Overall, the bike does put up a good fight in all the segments we evaluated. With a mileage of 55 kmpl in mixed riding conditions and priced at Rs. 55,500/- (ex-showroom Delhi), you get a good bargain of class, solidity and economy performance. This new segment, “sport commuter” is getting hotter each day with more and more players targeting it. And looking at Yamaha’s bet, it clearly wins our heart this time!!

– Joy Chatterjee