Bajaj launched the Dominar 400 because the market for people looking at bikes for over 1.5 lakh has seen impressive growth, ask Royal Enfield.
Yamaha also has a contender in that segment, the 250cc Fazer, which has been upgraded with dual-channel ABS in 2019, meaning a price bump as well. While the Dominar and Fazer 25 don’t match up in terms of the engine capacity, but their price tag is likely to put buyers in a muddle, especially when the price difference isn’t too much to bear.
So, which one of these two should you be eyeing, when your budget is close to Rs 1.50 lakh? Let’s give you a lowdown on that.
What you’re looking at is the fairing-clad version of the 250-cc FZ25, which has been in the market for more than six months now. With the addition of a full fairing, Yamaha claims that the Fazer 25 is only six kilograms heavier than the FZ25. The overall seating quality is a big improvement, and it has brought in dual horns and pilot lamps with DRLs.
While that’s not a bad way to talk about the Fazer 25, but the Dominar clearly has a lot more going for it. The butch body design of the bike, coupled with its LED headlamps lend a striking pose on the street. It’s not a full-faired bike, but the use of an LCD instrument cluster makes it look good in both day and night conditions.
For me, the front part of the Fazer 25 looks flat in comparison to the Dominar and that might work in Bajaj’s favour, even though you’re already getting a 400cc engine. The instrument cluster on the Fazer 25 still lacks some features, but with a claimed mileage of 43 kmpl, Yamaha hopes that its sports tourer catches the fancy of new-age buyers,
The Fazer 25 packs a 249-cc four-stroke, fuel-injected engine with 20Bhp of power and 20Nm torque. Even with the newer variant, the engine sees no major improvement and in 2019, for its price tag, that could work against Yamaha.
We’ve ridden the R15 V3 recently and the 149cc engine turned out to be peppy and quick on corners. With the Fazer 25 pegged as a possible tourer, we’re hopeful that the bike carries the same peppiness, without compromising on power.
Now on to the Dominar. Fire it up and the bike’s 373cc liquid-cooled single-pot thrums to life sounding like a content big cat purring. Yes, as is the case with the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS, this is essentially an engine derived from the KTM Duke – the 390 in this case.
Despite the tuning down of its engine, the 35PS-35Nm equation is enough to get you into trouble, but this is also a motorcycle that is just as forgiving too. All those figures get laid down to tarmac through a 6-speed transmission, slipper clutch and chain drive to the rear wheel.
The Bajaj Dominar is not only more powerful than the Fazer 25, it is definitely more feature packed as well. You get dual-channel ABS with 330mm and 220mm front and rear disc brakes respectively. Add to that, there’s a secondary screen which houses the tell-tale lights such as stand stand, ABS turned on/off and battery health indicator.
The 17-inch tubeless tyres are rugged and can handle a fair amount of rough use. The slip-assist clutch is another addition that’s hard to find in a bike that costs under Rs 2 lakh and that enables you to ride without worrying about missing a gear while shifting.
Yamaha, on the other hand, doesn't have too many features and just about manages to tick a few boxes for us. It's mainly standard equipment on offer with a 5-speed gearbox.
Which One is Worth Buying?
Bajaj Dominar for over Rs 1.48 lakh (ex-showroom) for the dual-channel model works out as the better option of the two. With Yamaha Fazer 25, you do get dual-channel ABS as well, but this is a 250cc bike, that wants to cater to the touring segment. However, at that price point, it could do with a few more features.
Having said that, Yamaha has a different audience, compared to what Bajaj caters to. It has a fairly loyal customer base and if the the brand allegiance continues, it would be hard for anyone to dislodge that perception, no matter how much better the Bajaj Dominar 400 is, especially for an almost similar price tag to the Fazer 25.