Dec 30, 2010

29 Yamaha SZ Review

I take Yamaha India's latest sporty commuter the 153 cc SZ, for a spin..


+ Attractive pricing
+ Good low end performance
+ Comfortable ergonomics


- Omission of features like Pass Switch, Tripmeter, Engine kill switch

- Doesn't do justice to the Yamaha DNA

"Yamaha = Excitement/Performance/Faster Heart Beats"

That’s what Brand Yamaha stands for me and I am sure to the majority of Indian bikers as well. Lets recollect the models which have built Yamaha its image/presence in India

    1. RD350
    2. RX100
    3. YZF R15
    4. FZ-16/S

I don’t think anyone with an interest in Indian motorcycles would disagree that no other Yamaha model can find its place in the above list. Each of the above mentioned four models stays true and honest to the brand identity of Yamaha.

i.e. "Yamaha = Excitement/Thrill/Faster Heart Beats"

According to me, any product that Yamaha manages to conjure up for India by following the above formula, will be a successful. Well then, what about the recently launched Yamaha SZ/SZ-X/SZ-R?

I take it's test ride to find out..

Yamaha SZ Review

Foreword: I got to test ride the SZ-X variant, the one with the self start feature but without the Front Disc Brake. The SZ-R (the one with the front disc) variant was there in the showroom too but there wasn't any SZ-R test vehicle. To add to my frustration, the showroom guys did not allow me to take photos of the SZ-R variant, saying that they could be held responsible by the Yamaha top management guys if any issue arises because of the photos..!!

Hello.. haven’t you heard anything about "Free Publicity"..??

Looks: "Contemporary good looks, but nothing like we haven't seen"

Good looks can do wonders. Sexy good looks can guarantee admiring second glances, make ones heart skip a beat and might even lead you to think irrationally. Ask any male who has crossed puberty.

The styling of the SZ is definitely draws inspiration from the FZ. The shape of the tank and side panels especially has traces of the FZ in it. But somehow the SZ finally appears more closer to the current 150 cc models in India. It is a decent looking bike, pleasing and modern. But in the end it’s not something which we have not seen before, and that fails to generate the thrill and excitement in 2010-11.

Riding Posture and Ergonomics: "Comfortable, slightly sporty"

The riding posture on the SZ is quite comfortable and slightly sporty too. The seat is comfortable and well padded; the seat height is slightly tall for shorter guys. Conservative commuters might not take the absence of a kick lever on the SZ-X and SZ-R kindly.

Other omissions (cost cutting?) are the absense of an engine kill switch, a high beam - pass flasher, a tripmeter (come on Yamaha, even the 125 cc Gladiator had those features).

Ride, Handling & Braking: "The suspension is tuned for a comfortable ride rather than for sporty handling"

Unlike the FZ the SZ has been given conventional suspension in the form of dual rear suspension. The suspension has also been set up more to provide a supple ride which somewhat compromises on the handling. Both the front and rear tyres are of TVS make, a tyre brand which is exactly not the favorite among bikers. Nevertheless during the test ride the tyres did not give any nervous moments and provided decent grip.

The braking provided by the front drum brake of the SZ-X is not confidence inspiring. Its highly recommended to opt for the Disc Brake (SZ-R variant instead).

Clutch & Gear Box: "Light weight clutch and precise gearbox"

The clutch is delightfully light which makes short work of riding in traffic. The slick shifting gearbox slots the cogs perfectly in place in the universal one down- four up pattern. There are absolutely no issues with the clutch and gearbox.

Engine & performance: "Smooth engine tuned for low and mid range performance"

The looks, ergonomics and the ride on the SZ has been set up for effortless and comfortable commuting. Likewise even the 153 cc, FZ derived engine has been tuned to perform like a commuter. The detuned FZ engine makes 12.1 Ps of power and 12.8 Nm of torque, lower than that of the FZ and it shows in the slower throttle response as well.

Unlike the FZ the SZ doesn’t provide the thrill of a quick 0-60 kmph. Also compared to the SZ, the Pulsar 135LS is way more potent in terms of top end performance.

What the SZ does best is let you potter around in traffic without having to change too many gears. Also worth mentioning is that the engine remains reasonably smooth in its performance.

Fuel Efficiency: I couldn’t check the fuel efficiency of the SZ for obvious reasons but with a detuned FZ engine and a slimmer rear tyre the fuel efficiency will be at least around 45-50 kmpl (I am speculating here). According to me, the fuel efficiency of the FZ is its only ‘Achilles Heel’ and hopefully the SZ should better the FZ in this aspect.

Price: The best aspect of the SZ is definitely its price tag.

Rs. 49,000 (Ex-Showroom Delhi) for the SZ (no self start model),

Rs. 52,000 (Ex-Showroom Delhi) for the SZ-X (self start and tank extension) and

Rs. 55,500 (Ex-Showroom Delhi) for the SZ-R model (with Front disc + Self start + Tachometer + different tank extensions)

The SZ-R is still a good around Rs. 8,000 cheaper than the Pulsar 150, the segment leader for the last nearly 10 years. The SZ-R also has almost the same price tag as the Hero Honda Achiever (with Front Disc Brake + Self Start).

But at the same time the SZ-R is a good Rs. 8,000 costlier than the Bajaj Discover 150.

What’s the USP of the Yamaha SZ?

To me the USP of the Yamaha SZ is that it’s a value for money, affordable product. Anyone who is short of cash for a 150 cc and isn’t too kicked about the looks of the Hero Honda Achiever or the Discover 150 has a good option in the Yamaha SZ.

Verdict: The Yamaha SZ definitely is a good package of decent looks, decent performance for commuting in traffic and a comfortable vibe free ride. All this comes at a decent price too. But does the SZ have the Yamaha DNA (Thrill/Excitement/Faster Heart Beat) to set it apart from other bikes/brands?

Hmm.. well.. the SZ is too docile and well mannered for a Yamaha..!!

Yamaha SZ Technical Specifications


Engine type: Air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC
Displacement: 153 cc
Bore & Stroke: 58.0 × 57.9 mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Maximum power: 12.1PS / 7,500 rpm
Maximum torque: 12.8N.m / 4500 rpm
Starting system: Kick start (SZ) / Electric Start (SZ-X/R)
Lubrication: wet sump
Clutch type: wet, multiple disc
Ignition system: C.D.I
Fuel supply: Carburettor

Battery: 12 V, 5 AH (10 AH)
Headlight: Halogen bulb (12 V, 35/35 W)

Primary/Secondary reduction ratios: 3.409/3.000
Tranmission type: 5 gear constant mesh
Caster/Trail: 26 degree/99 mm


Frame type: Diamond
Front suspension: Telescopic
Front brake: Drum(150 mm) / Disc (SZ-R)
Rear brake: Drum (130 mm)
Front tyre: 2.75-17 41P
Rear tyre: 100/90-17 55P


Overall length x width x height: 2,050mm x 730mm × 1,100mm
Kerb Weight: 132 kg
Wheelbase: 1,320mm
Minimum ground clearance: 165mm
Engine oil volume: 1.0 litres
Fuel tank capacity: 14 liters
Seat Height: 802 mm

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Anonymous said...

My Discover sports (self start+disc brake+135cc+ 'O'ring chain+2009 model+mileage of 50-55kmpl) has more power 13.1Ps than this bike.
Not saying that SZ is bad but bajaj bikes are much more better.

manjunath said...

hi even i too have bajaj discover but the bike suck in the quality part i need to spend nearly 1000 RS approx monthly
you will get all kinds of option if you pay money but getting a quality bike is very difficult

Akash said...

Hey Payeng, is the SZ series bikes better than the Pulsar 135LS? In what all aspects is it better than P135LS, and what all aspects is the P135LS better than SZ?
Its because its a similar priced bike, so I think there shud be a comparo between them.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


The Pulsar 135 LS is a different kind of bike compared to the SZ in terms of engine character and on road performance. The SZ is meant for relaxed riding with little need to twist the throttle. The Pulsar 135's engine loves to be revved and it handles quite well too.

Apart from the price both the bikes are quite different in character. The SZ is more a relaxed commuter and the Pulsar 135LS a more sporty energetic bike.

Anonymous said...

Which part of bike troubles you?
Mine is 2.5 years old and not a single part is defected or i have been replaced.
Everything works quite perfect.Though i bought it for Rs.53490+tax.

praveen said...

Yamaha is doing good with its SZ/SZX variants in the market, adding to them SZR i hope yamaha will capture the 150cc segment in the market.

manjunath said...


Anonymous said...

Does Sz-R has pass switch and Trip Meter in it ?

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

No Pass Switch and Trip Meter on the SZ-X or SZ-R. Probably die to cost cutting

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Reply ...
I have a Query whether Honda Stunner will be better than Yamaha Sz-R .. as it has 11 bhp and 11 Nm Power .
And it has same cost compare to Yamaha Sz-R....
More over it has tubeless tyres and Good mileage than Sz-R....

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


its a tough choice. It would depend on what you would prefer, whether to be identified with a 150 cc bike or with a good looking 125 cc bike with goodies.

The choice is yours

Anonymous said...

Oh Man.
I rode my friend's New Yamaha SZ-R.Its the second best bike in its category.I guess you know the first one. :-) :-)

The pick up was much more decent than i thought. Though with less power in engine, it quite astonished me by its pulling capacity.Its mainly due to its less weight.
The gear box was such good and follow the Yamaha trademark.
No argues about brakes.Even with a pillon,the bike came to hault at once.
In short,bike is a better than many other..


Sonika said...

Interesting read !

dinesh said...

Please don't compare Bajaj Discover with yamaha Engine.... Long life and performance is always yamaha

dinesh said...

the stunner is also good bike but long life would be SZ-R coz of the design in stunner i think it wont come for the long period.... I also test ride the bike it was classic i had bajaj pulsar 150cc 2004 model when i compared the engine and the model everything is cool in this SZ-R planning to buy this bike... cheap (63K) and it contain FZ Engine and body ,tyre has been changed for the mileage...... Cool bike for the middle age group.....

divyang said...

is yamaha sz r have kick start ?

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


Nope, no kick start on the Yamaha SZ-R

RuchA said...

I wonder... what if my battery dies now, without kick start how the hell is one supposed to start their bike ?
please guide me as i am planning to buy a Yamaha model.. my current bike is Yamaha Libero.

vamshi said...

hi i am planning to buy yamaha SZ-R please tell me whats the exact maileage of that bike in city..

shiva said...

@Rucha: Hi, I am Shiva, i do own a YAMAHA SZX, the battery for this may finished may be only after 1 year but still any time you can start it by putting in 1st gear and move the bike a little front and it sould start...this is the first answer to your question, coming to the second part, when i purchased this bike it didn't have a Kick start, but by paying 2000/- i got the kick rod installed in Yamaha showroom...may be this helps you ...

vishnu said...

hi i decide to buy xz-r pls post the fuel efficiency and riding comfortability that help me to campare other bikes from my choice

Anonymous said...

hw s it on the whole...??

Anonymous said...

Cars have no kickstart, but cars have bigger 30 Ah to 100 Ah battery, and also cars have fuel-injection, not carburetor. R15 also has no kickstart, but R15 has fuel-injection. Fuel-injection vehicles selfstart is more reliable. Bikes like Sz-R, Dazzler, and Hunk are carburetor bikes, so they should have kickstart.

Yamaha, Honda, and Hero are doing cost-cutting by removing kickstart. Ultimately, customer only will suffer consequences. Dont buy carburetor bike without kickstart.

Anonymous said...

SZ-R The best bike I drive in my life from all side.....

Anonymous said...

Yamaha has now given kickstart to FZ series and SZ series bikes also.

New SZ-R has kickstart. Kerb weight has increased from 132 kg to 134 kg with kicker. This is still very light compared to other 150cc bikes. Good for city riding.

shijas said...

I covered 3000 KMS in my new yamaha SZR. Its a Good bike with catching sporty look and better pickup.its ground clearance is higher than pulsar aand FZ.In highway iam getting 55Kms/L. mileage.Hight gives a special look for back side view. I like it more than pulsar when a person sits in back seat. Handle is short but gives good mood for speed Racing. Its a good value for my mony..
And no doubt about the hard Rock Yamaha Engine. Go forward if any body planned for buying this bike ....SZR- ROCKZ..


Anonymous said...

I have covered 10,000 on my SZR and the smoothness of the engine with roaring yamaha sound still rocks. Nevertheless its a very good commuter bike which is light in weight though very tough on highways. I have taken a ride on the pulsar 135 on highway as well which i have notice started to vibrate when a heavy vehicle passes. Please dont compare any of the bajaj bikes with yamaha.
Wont say that bajaj are the worst than yamaha but every brand has its own standards.
Everyone is aware what happens to the Pulsar engines after a year or two.
Yamaha engine anybody any comment.

Ajay Sharma said...

To hell with bajaj, after using it for 6-7 year, i regret my decision to buy a bajaj. Won't recommend it to anyone to buy, very high on maintenance. Planning to buy yamaha, lets see how good are there claims though i am somewhat excited about the szx, tired of kickstarting my bajaj pulsar, which won't start after 4-5 kicks, even my mechanics are puzzled.

Anonymous said...

What does engine signal indicate in Yamaha SZ-R. i am unable to start my bike.

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