There was a time when scooters were dull and drab. Think about early Honda Activas – they were just a convenient and efficient mode of transport and offered nothing else. Today, however, things have changed – scooters are now breaking away from their utilitarian mould and becoming sporty and feature-laden, with an all-round performance. In fact, not too long ago, it was the 100 to 110cc segment that ruled the scooter market, but today, the 125cc segment is where all the action lies.
Given this change in the market, Yamaha entered the 125cc scooter segment earlier this year by launching two new products – the Fascino 125 and Ray ZR 125. Now, both of these are familiar names, but underneath the skin, they’re all-new scooters. Of course, both these 125cc siblings share the same underpinnings, but while the Ray ZR 125 is aimed at college-goers and the youth, the Fascino has a retro-modern design, which will appeal to slightly more mature tastes. And that’s not all, there’s even a Street Rally version of the Ray ZR 125, which features a smoky visor, brushed knuckle guards, block pattern tyres, and more, to give it a rugged look. They’re all well-equipped too – there’s the start/stop fuel-saving tech, a super quiet starter motor, a side stand engine cut-off system, a combined braking system, and a generous 21 litres of under-seat storage.
Powering the Yamaha duo is a 125cc single-cylinder engine, which develops 8bhp and 9.7Nm. These sure aren’t class-leading numbers, but with a kerb weight of just 99kgs, the Ray ZR 125 and Fascino 125 are nearly 20kgs lighter than their direct rival – the TVS NTorq. Given the power-to-weight advantage of the Yamaha duos, they feel peppier and more eager in terms of engine performance. They also handle really well, thanks again to their lightweight frame and 12-inch front tyres. On the whole, they’re both quite fun to ride.
What lets these Yamaha siblings down is their ride quality, which isn’t as comfortable as their rivals. The suspension is stiff, and the 10-inch rear tyre doesn’t absorb sharp bumps well. There’s no Bluetooth smartphone connectivity or LED headlamps on offer either. Having said that, if these things don’t really matter to you, and you’re looking for a fun, wieldy, and efficient 125cc scooter, the Yamaha Ray ZR 125 and Fascino 125 are a great choice.