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Yamaha FZX 250 Zeal

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Stueh, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Heya everyone,

    So, I'm selling the CB250 and upgrading, if you could call it that.

    I've had a look around and am now pretty much hooked on the FZX250.

    I've found one down south which I'm interested in. It's with a dealer.

    It's a 1998 model with some 21,000km on it. Usual scrapes and dings etc.

    I'm just wondering, who here has had experiences with the FZX 250, and what are their thoughts? Good, bad, neutral?

    I've already test ridden on and am pretty much hooked on it, but would just like to know what other people think of this model :)
  2. Is it an FZR250 or a Zeal? Two different bikes. FZR is the faired sports bike, Zeal is a naked bike with the same engine.

    How I would advise you to go depends on which bike it is.

    The zeal is detuned from the FZR engine. For the complexity of the engine, the performance is underwhelming, but an okay bike otherwise. There are sportier alternatives if you like, I think it's the least powerful 250cc four cylinder. If it's priced okay, go for it. If you want more of an upgrade, consider a bandit or hornet 250.

    All FZR250's are grey imports. In addition, there were none made as late as 1998. If it is an FZR250 that they're trying to sell as a 1998, that would be the compliance date, and the date of manufacture would be much older. Check the headstock where the manufacturer will have imprinted the date of manufacture, seperate from the compliance plate.

    People have had a lot of hassles with these bikes, just be aware what you're getting into before you take the plunge on an older bike.
  3. Oops, my apologies, yes I meant to say FZX, was a bit tired when I wrote that :)

    The dealer is asking for $3,500. He reckons it was garaged, but looking at the condition of it it looks to me like it was out in the weather for a bit of that time.

    So yeah, it's the FZX 250 Zeal. It's not a grey import (one of the first questions I asked :) )

    The reason I'ev chosen the FZX is that I like the sporty look but am not a huge fan of fairings (or the cost it incurs ni the case of an incident :p)

    When you say it's detuned from the FZR, does this just mean one can go for a dyno or is it not as simple as that?

  4. They're good lookers. I had one in Japan as a commuter. (Post about that, along with some comments from others about another Zeal here.)

    I don't know the exact details of how they detuned it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing -- they probably did that to get more mid-range in exchange for top end. My guess would be through something like smaller carbs. Just a guess, though.
  5. Hey Stueh,

    A mate of mine pointed me to this topic. I'm a zeal owner (1999 model with bikini fairings) that I've modified to become a cafe racer.

    Detuned basically in lay man's terms means that the engine is tuned more for street use. It has more "torque" down low if you can call it torque for a 250, than arguably say its sportier cousin, the FZR250 (which I previously owned yonks ago). It also revs out at 15,000 compared to the extra 3k (i think?) on the FZR.

    They are a fantastic little commuter bike, and once you alter the seating position and handle bars on the bike they can carve up the twisties pretty well.

    The low seat height and 140kg wet weight makes it easier to handle for the short arses out there, such as myself lol.

    As for the $3.5k price tag, it all depends on the condition of the bike. I plan to sell mine for around that price, and my Badger has been modded (extras like cafe-racer bars, blinkers, silver bar ends, headlight swap etc) since the second owner sold it to me, among other things like a new cam chain tightener, new carb manifolds etc.

    Zeals are also notorious for their front forks being problematic (i.e. leaking fork oil). A mechanic friend was quite meticulous when they were checking over my machine - so make sure that if you're planning to buy Zeal to check for any irregularities in the forks.

    As for the grey import question - I thought all the Zeals in Australia were grey imports???
  6. Cheers Peaches!

    As far as I can tell, it's pretty much unmodified. Looks all stock to me.

    I'm not much into the whole racing thing, I just enjoy riding the bike, be it riding in the CBD or through the hills (I live in the hills :) )

    I wouldn't mind to get into modding bikes, but being rather new to riding (only been doing it ~ 6 months) I probably should do it yet. Don't realy know where to start.

    I quite like the low seat height. While I'm 5'11" I have a muscle problem where they're weaker, so if I have to stretch even a little bit to touch the ground holding a bike up can be difficult. I've sat on it and test ridden the Zeal and found it quite comfortable. Thing thing I'm unsure about though is if I should be leaning right forward or sitting up a bit. In between felt about right, but never ridden a sport style bike before so not too sure if I'm doing it right :p

    I admit it is probably on the pricey side, given it's from a dealer. The dealer reckoned it was always garaged, but going byt he condition, it looks like it's spent at least some time out in the rain.

    Cheers for the warning on the forks, I'll take a closer look when I look at it next.

    Well, apparently they weren't ll grey imports. There's three at the dealers I went to and only one of those was imported. The dealer said that the other two were Aussie. There's the '98 model I'm looking at and an '03 model which are Aussie, and another '98 is imported.

    Thanks for the link Termis, I found it before when I was searching the forum :)

    Oh, and I also found that it looks like the bike has been dropped, albeit very lightly. There's scratches on the top exhaust which look to me like being from a drop at low speed.

    I might as well list the imperfections I found:

    Brake Fluid container on the front brake has that sort of white stuff on it you get from being out in the weather.
    Front forks and front disk have a bit of spot rust / surface rust, but VERY light. It looks to me like it'd come off with some autosol.
    As I said previously, there's scrape / scratch on the top exhaust.
    Again, that surface / spot rust sort of thing on the lid of the fuel tank.

    That's about it. I don't really have a problem with the exhaust, and the rest I reckon would come off with 15 minutes a couple of rags and autosol (my best friend :) )

    When I sat on it, I had my girlfriend sit on the pillion as well. It feels much more top heavy than the CB250 does with someone on pillion, which is pretty much what I expected, but she actually thought it was more comfier o_O

    She's only 5'4", but could actually see over my shoulder on it! :-O

    I've been unable to test ride this particular bike yet as it's raining a bit over here and I don't fancy a test ride in the rain.
  7. I’ve been pillioned before on my zeal and I hated it. I could feel it bottoming out whenever I hit a bump :|

    That said though your gf is lighter than me I assume, so it shouldn’t be an issue (I’m around 60kg). And the guy pillioning me at the time was around 90kg… oh gah my poor bike now that I think back on it. Ah stupid emergencies.

    Sorry I rambled… again.

    Rust is not too much of an issue I’d imagine if it’s really minor, from the sounds of things you’ve got it down pat anyway. Just make sure you get to it quickly before it gets worse :p lol.

    As for the modding, it’s not really worth it on a 250 to be honest. I set myself a budget for $200 and managed to all the cosmetics for under $170, because I knew I was going to upgrade. Oh, my Firebolt… one day… one day….

    That said if the zeal is going to be a keeper than go for your heart’s content. Mmmmm… silver braided brake lines….
  8. Piccies taken by Rybky (who is also on NR), at a recent photoshoot of our bikes.

    Here's my little Badger.


  9. Nice :)

    Yeah I've got it down pat, only one problem.

    The person who decided they'd buy my current bike, and put a deposit down, asked for their deposit back and decided not to buy it.

    Puts me in a bit of a pickle.

    So I buy my Zeal (It's MINE damnit! :mad: ) and keep my current bike up for sale, or do I wait until I sell my bike and hope that MY Zeal is till there when I sell it ...

    Oh woe woe woe
  10. least powerful 250cc 4cyl?

    i doubt it, they have a claimed 40hp just like all the others the FZR claims 45hp old CBR's were on 34hp

    i easily kept pace with anyother 250 4cyl i ever encountered at the lights, and i have a decent weight disadvantage being around 1oo+kg at the time, it ate Hyo and VTR 250's though, did a mean rolling skid and you could wheelie it if you tried hard enough had it past 195km/h on the clock once too with more revs to go, but the death shake started..... starts to shake @ about 140km/h sitting upright, you have to duck and lean forward and it's all good untill you start going faster, the bikini fared Ugly as shit models shouldnt have the same problem though

    i did 15k on it in under a year and it had 18k on it when i got it, used to get lots of comments saying how good it looked, gunmetal naked version... i changed the indicators and did a small mod to the airbox and pipe, sounded great went hard absolutley flogged my mate on his dackar 650 bm and he's 30kg lighter than me.....

    never had one single mechanical issue, and i thrashed the shit out of it every time i rode it....

    i never even got close to 4-5L/100km though! if economy is your thing

    Seat height735 mm (28.9 inches)
    Wheelbase1370 mm (53.9 inches)
    Fuel capacity - reserve15 l (4 gallon US)
    Dry weight145 kg (319.7 pounds)
    CategoryNaked bike
    ModelFZX 250 Zeal
    Type249 cc, liquid cooled, 4 - cylinders in line, 4-stroke
    Power40 hp (29.8 kW) @ 12000 rpm
    Bore x stroke (mm)48 mm x 34.5 mm
    Valves4 valves per cylinder
    Torque26 Nm (19.2 ft. lbs) @ 9500 rpm
    Gearbox6 Speed
    Final driveChain
    Front tyre110/70-17
    Back tyre140/70-17
    Front brakessingle 320 mm disc with 2-piston calipers
    Rear brakessingle disc
  11. You got it to 195km on the clock 0_o???


    I find that hard to believe, but that's just me. And it's the naked version you had, too?

    I had mine to 140 once and only once, just to see how fast it would go.. and that was pretty much the max LOL, and I'm 60 + kilos. That said though it's a 250. I'm not interested in the straights and the 250s in general are not built to be fully sick straightline hero machines :p

    I'm a straight out girly wuss and only interested in corners I'm afraid.

    andrewd, did you mod your Zeal?

    Good luck on the purchase, Stueh! Hope it all works out hon.

  12. Zeal

    Hey Stueh, my first bike was a Zeal, with the bikini fairing. Like andrewd I am 100kgs but it didn't miss a beat taking me through Reefton Spur or any of the other great spots just out of Melbourne. Didn't get the speed up too high cos I am new at this but it was willing, I had a tonne of fun on it.
  13. bumping an old thread. just purchased a Zeal, was wondering if there is more photo of the cafe style bike. Or anyone else modded their zeal?