Did you know that the Japanese dominate the world’s top 10 motorcycle manufacturers list with the likes of Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and the Yamaha leading the industry! They say, the Japanese build the best engines in the world with refinements level unimaginable, but the fight to be the best is fierce in all these Japanese born siblings. That was about the World market, getting local, the Indian automotive industry was already suffering under the burden of BS VI norms implementation, high GST regime, changing insurance norms on sale of new vehicles which curved the growth trajectory by the end of 2019. Came in 2020, we all know what happened right? Corona happened and the industry hit the Stop button, maybe after decades of continuity. The on-set of 2020 also saw the BS VI norms coming into implementation. All manufacturers had to go back to their drawing boards to develop engines that delivered cleaner emissions, had to invest in Research & development and new inventory creation, after which Corona struck the World.
Today in Sept 2020, the 100-110cc segment scooters no more exist in most of the line-ups, which were the bestselling segment a few years ago. Most of the manufacturers upgraded their engines to 125cc, to deliver an upgraded & fresh new experience for the price hike they had to undergo. Following the same wave was Yamaha which launched the All New Fascino125. The Fascino was first launched in 2015, with a 113cc 2-valved engine with a Retro-European styling, similar to what Vespa offered but at a much higher price point. The affordable price point and the Stylish Body became the Fascino’s USP carving out a share of the segment for itself making it the top 6 th selling scooter in India in 2019-2020.
The New Fascino125 is undoubtedly the best looking scooter among all its peers. Yamaha’s delivered an attention magnet is a crowded scooter market with its all new Retro themed design features. The moment I saw the Fascino125, I couldn’t take my eyes off the newly designed Head lamp unit with the Chrome trim, just looks so elegant & classy. The front apron too is newly designed with sharper curves now complementing the design along with chrome trimmed mirrors. Twin chrome panels are added to the front apron, which have integrated signal lamps in them. Below it sits an all new Metal Mud-guard fender with sharper curves complementing the overall design. The instrument console is bare-basic analogue type with an odometer, speedometer and a fuel gauge.
The curves continue their flow as we move towards the Rear. It also comes with its Unique V- shaped tail-lamp which certainly makes it stand out of its peers. The Rear fender comes with aggressive curves that are in line with the flow that the mudguard, headlamp and the front apron create. There Fascino looks elegant & premium in all terms, adding to it is the chromed Fascino monogram.
There is enough foot-board space available to sit comfortably for a person with height less than 6ft3 or 4inches , if more than that, you might not have enough turning radius, as your legs will block the handle movement. The seat is wide & long, for both rider & pillion to sit comfortably. The overall lighting setup is halogen type, which is sufficient enough in dark night situations, also is in line with its Retro theme, which also helps Yamaha save some bucks. As a whole, the Fascino125 is young & energetic and with its Retro-European styling it’s an Eye-candy at a Steal price if you compare it to a Vespa base variant, which easily sits over 20k more for the same design & styling.
This Sculpted body of the Fascino125 rides on a all newly built chassis, which is feather light and manages to restrict Fascino125’s weight at just a mere 99kgs, that a new benchmark set in its class as of date. The front end comes with telescopic forks loaded onto a 12-inch 90-section tyre. Braking on the front is managed by a 190 mm disk on our bike, while Yamaha also offers a Drum option also at a cheaper price tag. On the Rear, it gets a off-set unit swing suspension. I must say, the light
weight and the progressive suspensions make the Fascino125 a pleasure to ride no matter how bad the roads or traffic were, its also one of the most comfortable scooter when we compare the pillion rider comfort. The Rear braking gets managed by a 130mm drum type setup onto a 110 section 10- inch tyre, which helps in delivering an anchored & stable ride.
The Fascino also gets a Auto-start-stop feature, which basically stops the engine when you halt at one place for a few seconds, and starts it the moment you twist the throttle. This has become a standard feature now on all scooters now-a-days, features once on Cars are boiling down to scooters a decade later. This is possible due to the newly designed engine & coils, which gives it a silent start now. This allowed scrapping the starter motor as a part of the engine, which again helped to cut off some weight.
As I was saying, the Fascino125 comes equipped with a newly developed 2-valved blue core engine, which allows the Fascino to deliver 8.2PS of power & 9.7Nm of Torque. This new motor gets fueling via a Electronic fuel injection system, which allows in better control on fuel usage. The motor comes with a compression ratio of 10.2:1 which allows it to deliver more power & mileage than before with the increased cubic capacity. It gets a ARIA mileage certificate of 66kmpl, which is 10-14% better than the market leaders, the Activa125 6G and the Access125 bs6. The scooter comes with a fuel capacity of 5.2L which gives it a range of atleast 280-300kms.
Now that we have spent some time with the Fascino125, I really have no doubts that the Fascino 125 is at par with its competitors in terms of performance & refinement. The Fascino is really peppy & fast as you accelerate through, the 30% rise in Power is visible, and the 99kg weight mass gives it a great power-to-weight ratio, much better than most of its competetiors. The light mass also helps the Fascino to achieve 18% better mileage figures than before, and during our test ride delivered a mileage of 54kmpl, where 75% of the times I was full throttle with a top speed achieved upto 95kmph. The Silent start isn’t something that would make it go purchase it, but yeah its there and works without any glitches, cant say the same with the Auto-start stop system though, In our case, it worked at times, and at times, it just didn’t.
The Curved body panels, the Concave headlamp & the V-shaped Tail lamp that give the Fascino a Retro European styling is the USP here, which also work surprisingly well to deflect most of the winds & resistance that may come by which gets combined with the 110 section rear tyre make the ride very stable & controlled at all speeds, especially when you overtake or cross big trucks & buses, which is something that makes Fascino stand out of the crowd instantly.
The suspensions provide great comfort & stability while riding through any kind of bad or broken roads, both the front and rear are tuned progressively to soak & absorb all kinds of roads delivering a comfortable & controlled ride.
In terms of features, it gets the Auto-start-stop system, Silent engine start, an analogue type instrument cluster, which is something, Yamaha could have put in efforts to design it in line with its retro looks. In terms of features, it gets a 21 litre boot storage space, and the fuel tank lid, still sits under the seat. In a generation where most have shifted to Exterior Fuel tank lid for refuelling, Yamaha has played an blind eye to it. Some might complain that, Yamaha didn’t even provide USB charging, that’s like breathing for some in 2020, but that’s not the case. It gets a USB charger as a accessory, at the cost of just 700rs extra & can be fitted in the boot space.
Most of its competitors today provide atleast a semi-digital consoles, with Bluetooth connectivity for navigation & what not. But then when you look at the price point the Fascino retails at, the Top variant sits well below the 70,000 mark, while an Activa 125 BS VI Alloy costs some 2500 extra and the Deluxe even more. But, paying those amounts cant give you the attention the Fascino demands & with 7 different colour options to choose from to match your personality, the Fascino has created a position of its own today.
The 125cc scooter market is fierce & cut-throat, but the Fascino will surely attract all the young, style and design conscious customers, for whom, how they look & feel matters, than just mere features. Its more of a choice between Stylish & Retro Themed V/s Simple & Feature loaded . What will be your
choice? Do let us know down in the comments section and why so. The Out-going model of Fascino, it was a very reliable & has proven its worth becoming the 6 th bestselling scooter in the Indian Market for 2019-2020, its time to wait & watch to what new heights does the Fascino125 FI take Yamaha to.
Words – Suraj Sawant
Photography & Video – Bhushan Joshi