Clocked 5000 km on my Yamaha FZ25 & now need an upgrade: My options?
The shortlist contains the KTM 390 Adventure, Bajaj Dominar 400 and Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.
BHPian SiLxNcE recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
So the upgrade bug has slowly started to bite me too, and I am keenly looking forward towards something bigger than what I ride now.
I got myself a Yamaha FZ25 mid of last year and have put 5000 km on it so far. My first bike too. It has been with me to hills, hairpins, super fast highways, off-road, and city commutes. The perfect “hot-hatch” city bike that can do highways too. Love the bike. Especially its body balance and how well it handles. The low-end torque is like a dream. “Low spec-sheet power figures”, but it’s one of those bikes that you need to ride to understand that a bike is more than just numbers on paper.
Okay, so why the upgrade itch? Well, the FZ is a little basic. Not much electronics. At the top end, it struggles. Have made it sit at 130 kmph for quite some kms on a safe highway stretch and it just kept refusing to pull anymore. There are mild vibrations at 70-80 which is apparently a good lazy cruising speed. And I think I am used to the power so much that I probably just need a little more. Well, maybe a little more than “little more”.
Over these 5k kms, I have realized that as much as I enjoy the low-end torque, I also need something that screams and is enjoyable at the top end. A moderately fast highway cruise is what I want probably. And as much as I loved sports bikes because they looked good in photos, after riding a few of my friends’ R15s and Ninjas, I have realized I don’t see myself all crouched up with wrists at knee-level, tearing through the roads at mad speeds. I want something comfortable but not super comfortable too. The FZ25 has spoiled me a little with its perfect riding posture. Just a little bit of sporty attentive lean. Also, something that can go comfortably outside the tarmac will be a welcome addition.
That brings me down to a similar shortlist as this thread:
KTM 390 Adventure
I seem to have fallen in love with this bike. It’s probably what I need, but that humongous price tag is, well, ‘a small good used car territory’. I even went to a KTM showroom to sit on it to check if my feet can reach the floor. I was half expecting it won’t, but it did, given I am 5’10”. Test ride wasn’t available but the cockpit view was awesome, just like in all the countless ADV 390 videos I have watched on youtube. I am unsure about how that supposed lack of low-end torque would feel like.
Bajaj Dominar 400 Touring Edition
So, clearly, a compromised bike for me, since I like the ADV much more. But there is a huge price gap. Almost 1.3lakhs. That can buy you 1200+ litres of petrol. Or around 30k kilometers. Mind-boggling maths. Also, the Dominar can do almost everything that the ADV can. And arguably sounds better too.
I love how the Continental looks. Everyone does. But the Interceptor is more practical. And has the same parallel twin at a similar price point. The only reason. Other than that, I find nothing special about it. I personally find the analogue dials too old school too. I would prefer them digital, with more info.
My current bike. It’s on the shortlist because, well, I have only done 5k kms on it. So, I should ride it more, right? Or this upgrade mentality is the right way forward?
Forget the upgrade, ride the FZ for a few more years and then get a multi-cylinder bike some years down the line: Like maybe a Z650, a Triumph, or a CBR650R. Also, can something like an ADV 390 be daily driven in Bangalore with some decent mileage?
I just want to make sure of the bike I want to keep a target fixed and finances sorted. Might get it at the end of this year. All of your inputs in the decision-making process will be super helpful.
Here’s what BHPian tarmacnaut had to say about the matter:
The thread is pretty old and the best addition to the shortlist will be VStrom SX 250.
It has a wonderful engine which is a tractor with an amazing low end and a powerful, exhilarating top end built for highways. Exactly what you are looking for.
And it also has the best Rider’s triangle much better than the FZ and the unique suspension setup which is softer in the beginning and progressively stiffness ensures it is good off the tarmac and bad roads, at the same time avoids being bouncy on highways and nosedives on braking.
Do take a test ride and with the discounts being offered including an exchange bonus of 7000 you should get a good deal for the VStrom.
Even the ADV250 heats up heavily in traffic and the suspension is stiff for city speeds (I have not tried the adjustment in 390, 250 is non-adjustable).
VStrom SX excels here, I use it for my daily commute in Bangalore, no heating, great mileage with excellent comfort for both rider and pillion. At the same time, the highway performance is outstanding pulls cleanly even above 110 and can cruise at good triple-digit speeds with juice left for overtaking. Perfect all-rounder in my opinion.
Here’s what BHPian shancz had to say about the matter:
- Agree and very comfortable too, that is something you’ll miss in a lot of bikes over 250cc. You haven’t realized it but you’re spoilt by the refinement and low-end torque too. In such a case I would recommend a day’s rental for the 390 Adventure to get to terms with what you’re dreaming about.
- You’ll have a multi-cylinder, something like a CBR650R.
- In single cylinders, it’ll be difficult to get a strong low and top end. Bikes like the R15 have an average low but strong top end and the FZ25 sacrifices the top end for the better low and mid-range which is more practical in everyday riding.
- The high compression KTMs have a strong mid-range and top end but below average low end. But maybe the newer versions have changed it a bit. Anyways the only time you’ll feel it is in crawling traffic otherwise you won’t even spend a couple of seconds in low rpms.
- I’ll recommend renting it out for a day and seeing for yourself as this is highly subjective. A friend rides his 1st gen 390Duke regularly in city traffic but I don’t.
- KTM Adventure 390: Rent it for a day
- Bajaj Dominar 400 Touring Edition: it has better low and heat management than the KTMs but is heavy and no point compromising.
- RE Interceptor: Not the bike you want so skip it.
- FZ25: I consider the FZ25 as an ideal city and highway cruiser and I would suggest keeping it even when you get your dream bike if it’s feasible since its maintenance costs are basic.
- Ride the FZ for a few more years and then get a multi-cylinder bike some years down the line: This is my recommendation but start your search and test rides now starting with the 390 Adventure.
The most important part is to keep upgrading as your wants change. How big of an upgrade and when, is the question you have to answer. Whether it’s the 390 now and then straight to a 1000cc later or straight to 600-700cc now then a 1000 or a lateral switch to an ADV are some of the many options available.
If getting the 390, wait for the 2023 iteration which has been launched overseas but let’s see when it makes it here.
Also, consider the ADVs when considering multi-cylinders as they can be the only bikes around and handle all situations.
Here’s a video I think you might like. Credits to Providers.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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