2020 i-MOTO ROAD TEST: YAMAHA M-SLAZ

2020 i-MOTO ROAD TEST: YAMAHA M-SLAZ

YAMAHA M-SLAZ

Yamaha M-Slaz which was launched in Thailand in December 2015 & a few months later, know as the Xabre was launched in Indonesia & Singapore markets. The first time I got close to a M-Slaz was during the Phuket Bike Week 2016 but back then I was was just recovering from a broken collarbone, so didn’t get to test ride the Thailand M-Slaz. Now we can!, As Hong Leong, Yamaha has one registered unit. Let’s do a quick review of the M-Slaz. Sporty and small capacity bikes have always been a fancy for me. You could full throttle it, and ride it to it limit, but most importantly focusing on the handling and its performance. So excited as this M-Slaz has always been on my bikes to ride wish-list. Here’s why!  

THE LOOKS!  

The Yamaha M-Slaz is quite aggressive-looking if I should say, cos I brought the whole set of M-Slaz headlamp back in 2017 and fitted to my “Hoonigan” (MT-09), with its full LED headlight emits a focus brighter white lamplight, energy-efficient and durable. Though it’s confirmed not to be launched in Malaysia, M-Slaz was developed to be a machine with that aggressive but sharp clean looks, thought to be the FZ150 replacement in Malaysia but looking like it’s not gonna happen. (since R15 V3 is launch, next-gen naked streetbike would be an MT-15).

M-Slaz features a fully digital speedometer like on the NVX, that displays Tachometer, Clock, Odometer, Fuel gauge, Speedometer, Trip meter and Low battery indicator but no Gear indicator.

M-Slaz features a fully digital speedometer like on the NVX, that displays Tachometer, Clock, Odometer, Fuel gauge, Speedometer, Trip meter and Low battery indicator but no Gear indicator.

The Delta Box frame with aluminum rear arm gives the M-Slaz rigid & handling stability. Through corners felt planted even with the shocks set to hard, but felt very bouncy through rugged roads surface. The IRC 110/17 and 130/17 rear took it nicely through Ulu Yam, but the standard tires grip doesn’t give me the confidence to go lower but indeed the Delta Box frame felt solid, very stable when maneuvering even at high speed. Well, highspeed here is around 90-100km/h around fast corners of Bukit Tinggi. The 150cc variable valve system (VVA), water-cooled engine with 6 Speed gearbox, (FZ150 is 5 gears) gives pretty good performance too.

The fuel consumption was pretty good as I could get a 380km mileage. Sg Buloh – PJ- Saujana Utama – PJ – Batangkali – Gotong Jaya (3 days without filling, reached Petron, Gotong Jaya only refill). 

Back then in 2016 Inverted Front Suspension (Up-Side-Down, USD) wasn’t a normal issue on the standard bikes, out of the factory, so Yamaha did a great job to implement this to the MSLaz and set the bar higher for other Japanese manufacturers to follow. Continental & Chinese manufacturers do load USD on their models.

But the placement of the ignition key is on the fuel tank, with a key shutter for security reasons. The ignition system is MT style which is seen on bigger MT models.

The engine of Yamaha M-Slaz delivers 16.1 BHP & 14.3 Nm of torque while weighing only 135kg +/- 10kg for fuel, does feel a bit too light but it’s great and easy bike to zap through heavy traffic especially in Kuala Lumpur.

The seating position of Yamaha M-Slaz is a bit awkwardly straight like a motocross bike as the position feels like a supermoto style rather than a sporty or commuter style riding position. (Very upright riding position)

Shifting through gears is super smooth, with no complaints too about the suspension and tires of Yamaha M-Slaz. The stock IRC tires are pretty good for normal riding. Since the M-Slaz has a shorter wheelbase but felt really tall and skinny but its so compact which in technical terms is not suited for high speed corning but I really had a great time in the short corners and flicks easily from left to right. The M-Slaz engine is really smooth, but for sure, there is some small vibration which I felt in the low rpm but once shift into 3rd through to 6th gear, no vibration but for overtaking you would need to drop to 5th. At high speed, there are no vibrations at all. Overtaking Rating I give the M-Slaz a 5.5/10!  

The suspension works well on bumpy roads. Riding the Yamaha M-Slaz was a really fun experience. After a few days with the M-Slaz test ride, I would like to share some findings on the bike from which you may get some clearer picture of the M-Slaz. The smooth gear covers up for the lack of instant acceleration, (no pickup) but once mid and top gearing. Occasionally get 140km/h flat fully flat out on the throttle, while I got one time, 146km/h with a slight downhill at Karak.

I feel the M-Slaz seat is bit small and there is no room even to move my small butt back.

But with two grown-up riding together, (my piliion about 80kg and me 50kg) it’s not so difficult to experience as I rode together with a buddy from PJ to Saujana Utama in Sg Buloh. But to be honest both the seats are hard and not good for a long-distance ride but the worst thing is the pillion seat is really hard as my pillion complain throughout the whole journey to Saujana Utama and back.

Yamaha M-Slaz clocked a top speed 146km/h at Karak with a slight downhill.

MY VERDICT:

Yamaha M-Slaz would be a seriously nice City bike to own and ride around, should Yamaha decide to have it on the Malaysian road.  But what my guess is! Hong Leong Yamaha will bring in the 2020 MT-15 which is a VVT 155cc engine instead, to replace the age-old but trusty FZ150. I give an overall 6.5/10 for the M-Slaz. MT-15 is based on the naked version on the popular YZF-R15 V3. So we eagerly await the news. MT-15 is in the process of JPJ homologation and have been spy shot during highway testing.

PROS:

  • Awesomely smooth 149cc engine & gearbox.
  • Fantastic brakes and chassis.
  • Good mileage.
  • Good mid & high range acceleration.
  • Good build quality and nicely finished, love the aggressive front styling.
  • Suspension is good for bumpy road.
  • Up Side Down front forks.
  • Delta Box Frame.

CONS:

  • Headlight not that powerful.
  • Pillion seat not comfortable.
  • Small seat.
  • no “Over Taking” power in 6th gear, mush shift down.
  • no “Pick-up” 

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