We rode to Ahmednagar astride the Yamaha FZ-X to see if it fits the bill as a touring machine.
Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
A one-motorcycle garage is an exacting order because that one motorcycle must be capable of doing everything that the rider needs. Join me as I slip into the boots of a touring enthusiast, who not only finds solace on the open road but also seeks excitement in exploring a new place and experiencing something outside the everyday routine. My companion for this trip was the Yamaha FZ-X and Ahmednagar was the destination. With a motorcycle like this, a lot of planning is not required because it is more than ready to just roll out of the garage and hit the road. So, that is exactly what I did.
Early morning is the best time to ride for the urban dweller, because traffic is at the bare minimum and the morning air is as crisp as it is refreshing. Astride the FZ-X, there was not much to worry about, because it inspires a lot of confidence in the rider with its composed and agile handling. Thus, when faced with a twisty ribbon of tarmac that snaked up a hill, I was eager to oblige. This Yamaha’s engine is a reliable unit that sings with an engaging, throaty exhaust note and that was music to my ears as I rode up the hill. With the satisfaction of dismissing corners with gusto, I joined the highway to settle down for a nice cruise all the way to Ahmednagar.
The road from Pune to Ahmednagar is mostly good, barring a few bad patches every now and then. Apart from that, traffic in small towns is the only unavoidable obstacle. The 12.4 hp with 13.3 Nm of torque meant, there was ample firepower to keep up with the highway speeds. And with just one stop for breakfast, we reached Ahmednagar in good time. The weight of this motorcycle is distributed well and that offers great handling, which is why I was able to sneak through traffic with ease and arrive at my first destination, the Ahmednagar Fort.
Once, the most significant structure in Ahmednagar, it is now under Army control, and they informed me that the fort would remain closed until Independence Day. That was a little disappointing because I was looking forward to exploring it. To top it off, there was this particularly bad road that I had to ride over to reach the next destination. Thankfully, the FZ-X had that covered. The suspension at either end of this motorcycle is tuned rather well for Indian conditions or, maybe, it is simpler to say that it was built like a tank because it took the beating admirably. Of course, my next destination ‘Cavalry Tank Museum’ would allow me to validate that statement to some extent.
This Museum in Ahmednagar is one of its kind and also Asia’s first one. Many tanks from different eras and countries were on display over a sprawling area. Each one had lived out its life on the battlefield and stands proudly behind a plaque that details its exploits. These machines of war were built to withstand all kinds of abuse and yet execute an attack when necessary. The more time I spent at the museum, the more I was convinced that the FZ-X also shares some core traits with these immortal machines. Of course, the motorcycle is more contemporary. Particularly because it also has its own smartphone Y-Connect app that offers a plethora of useful features. Even when I was on the move, I was constantly updated about the status of my phone’s charge and notifications via the instrument console. Furthermore, the app itself keeps track of useful data, including real time and monthly fuel consumption, maintenance updates, malfunction indicator, and even an accurate pin of the motorcycle’s last parked location.
No travel experience is complete without indulging in some culinary delight and after relishing a nice meal, I headed towards our next stop, Salabat Khan the second’s tomb. This massive structure is located atop a hill nearly 13 kilometres away from Ahmednagar and I was told that it offers smashing views of the city, along with an epic sunset. The road leading up to the tomb was in a poor condition, but it was hardly a problem for the FZ-X, thanks to the block pattern tyres that offered immense grip throughout. At the top, I spent some time marvelling the tomb and its architecture. However, its maintenance does not do any justice to the monument. The sunset was certainly worth the ride and as the orange light blended with the FZ’s fuel-tank, I found myself mulling over the day’s events.
What had begun as a ride from Pune to Ahmednagar was transformed into a memorable experience thanks to the trusty Yamaha FZ-X. The motorcycle handled every bit of road I introduced it to, with the same diligence. It remained unfazed and composed even when the going got tough. In addition to having enough power to cruise on the highway, it also returned a commendable fuel-efficiency figure. I did not have to refuel throughout the ride and still had fuel to spare when I reached home. Special mention must also be made of the headlamp that did a splendid job of illuminating the road ahead when I returned to Pune. As a touring enthusiast, I was quite satisfied with how the ride turned out and I strongly believe that a lot of that credit goes to the FZ-X.
Watch the video here.
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